Monday, April 15, 2013

Choosing paint colors: girls rooms

“The space upstairs is amazing – better than I could ever imagine. Besides the space we gained –  the colors in the rooms are the first thing people react to. It is perfect. My girls are so happy.” – my client of 6 years

I promised to start sharing more of my design work so I am starting with some recent consultation projects. First up is a pair of girls rooms. My client decided to raise the roof on her Cape style home, and in the process she was able to add a full size bath where there was none, and the two existing bedrooms were expanded to include lots more wall space (bye bye slanted ceilings and window dormers!) plus two generous sized walk in closets (one in each room).

Well you can imagine that any girl of any age would love this new arrangement, and these pre-teen girls were no exception. While mom had plenty of design ideas of her own, I was called in to help finalize the color choices based on bedding that each of the girls had chosen. I also offered some space planning tips and ideas for accessorizing. I’m not going to show the entire rooms just yet, as they are still a work in progress (our last meeting involved window treatment ideas), but I really liked how the color combinations came out so here they are ...

{ Younger daughter’s room }

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Bright White on a vintage vanity set

Clients daughter chose the bedding

{ Oldest daughter’s room }

Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Gray mixed with Pure White
on both the standing floor mirror and vintage cabinet

Bedding is currently in a classic blue toile print
(not this exact pattern, but very close)

Top portion of wall plus ceiling: Benjamin Moore Dalila 319

{ Before }

The girls shared a room back in 2007 when I first started consulting with this adorable young family. The chosen look was more shabby chic at the time, with matching white iron twin beds covered in charming floral fabric quilts for these little ones who were barely in elementary school. I recommended a soft spring green for the walls and suggested that the original slanted ceiling be painted in the same color. This makes such a big difference in a dormered room in creating a space that looks and feels more expansive. At the time, this one little painting tip was something my client had never thought of, and she was very nervous about doing it, but then very happy to have taken my advice. Weve been working together ever since  : )

I still get asked to schedule color consultations on a regular basis from both new and previous clients. These are some of my favorite projects, because the results are so immediate. If you need help selecting a color, give me a call. Id be more than happy to help you decide!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When designers work together ...

Lauren Carelli of Northshore Magazine checking in guests at Thursday’s
“Love Your Home Design Event at Landry and Arcari in Salem, MA

Thursday evening was the Northshore Magazine “Love Your Home Design Event at Landry and Arcari. For the past few months the event sponsors worked as a team to plan a social evening that included the reveal of several homeowner submitted design challenges that were solved by the participating home design experts (Designer Bath, Howell Custom Building Group, Sue Adams Interiors, Lucia Lighting and Design, Landry and Arcari). I will be posting the floor plans and design selections that were featured that evening on the Designer Bath blog later this week. For event photos, visit the Designer Bath facebook page.

This event was a great example of how as a group, design/build experts collaborate to create a finished space that is driven by a shared vision. Behind each “after photo, there are usually many hands and minds that come together to bring to life an inspired home that suits the needs of the people who live there. From new floor plans designed by Howell Custom Building Group to designer Sue Adams selecting new fixtures, lighting and carpeting from each showroom, the team effort resulted in three homeowners receiving individual plans to improve the way they live in and enjoy their homes.  

with Rosanne Palazola and Katherine Hawkins at Landry and Arcari

I am excited to announce that I, too, will be part of a special design team with a couple of my friends this spring and summer. As a group – Trio Design to be exact – Rosanne Palazola, Katherine Hawkins and I submitted a couple of design proposals for the Museums of Old York 24th Annual Decorator Show House and we were selected to participate! I have always enjoyed attending the York Show House and this will be the first time I will be part of the transformation. Rosanne, Katherine and I have been attending and participating in other shows together for years. We are already having a great time pooling our creative thoughts and resources together to solve the design problems that we saw on our initial walk-through of the seaside property located in Kittery, Maine that will be home to the month long show (mid July through mid August).

24th Annual York Decorator Show House // 2 Lawrence Rd, Kittery, ME
photo courtesy Museums of Old York

Starting in late April, Rosanne, Katherine and I will begin physical work on our four spaces: a teen bedroom with full bath, plus a mudroom and adjoining powder room. We each will get a chance to showcase our individual design aesthetics (I will be focusing on the bath spaces with the help of Designer Bath) but we are all working together to finalize our selections and execute our plans. Last night we got together with our husbands to make pizzas and then have a quick business meeting. I am hoping that the constructing of the rooms will be easier than the pizza making (who knew pizza dough was so finicky??) At least we had some skilled pie builders in the group, so none of us went hungry. Team effort + wine = happy designers : )

Below are the before pictures of our four spaces ...

York Show House 2013 // teen bath “before photo

York Show House 2013 // teen bedroom “before photo

York Show House 2013 // mudroom “before photo

York Show House 2013 // powder room “before photo

Be sure to mark your calendar for a road trip this summer to see the transformed home in its entirety, including an adorable guest cottage, some great porches, and lots of more. 

York Show House 2013 // guest cottage “before photo
space will be designed by Ann Cowenhoven

York Show House 2013 // cove view porch “before photo
space will be designed by my friend, Barbara Elza Hirsch

A couple of years ago, I featured the York Show House in New England Finery. It is one of my favorite issues! Frank Hodges Gentlemans Library is on the cover. He will be doing a Study in this years show, which I am sure will be equally fabulous! I am really looking forward to spending time preparing for this show with the cast of talented designers that are participating this year. I will keep you posted on our progress! 

New England Finery Magazine, Autumn 2011
cover photo Michael J. Lee

New England Finery Update ...

Having the York Show House on my plate along with my full-time job, spending time with my family, plus handling weekend decorating clients, I am putting the publishing of New England Finery on hold for now. While I have loved working as editor and creative director of an online magazine, I realize that to keep publishing them I really would need to commit to a full time schedule with a dedicated team to achieve this goal. I had hoped to put forth a spring Celebrations issue this year, but my time is not as free as it used to be.

I realize I have been very fortunate to be able to work with many talented photographers, writers and contributors to put together six issues of New England Finery over the past couple of years – half of which were done while working full-time – and I couldn’t have done it without them, but to coordinate all of those creative contributions requires lots of time and attention.

While I don’t have the time to focus on a 75+ page full length issue with supporting advertising, I will, however, be happy to create mini-magazines (4 to 12 pages or so each) for individual New England based businesses who would like to increase their online presence via the New England Finery resource library. I dont want to shelve New England Finery completely, and this is one way I can continue to promote local design businesses in a manageable way.

I often run into people who ask me when the next issue of New England Finery will come out, so it was not an easy decision to stop publishing them. Luckily, I do get plenty of opportunities to work with local design magazines as Marketing Director at Designer Bath, as I did with the Northshore Magazine “Love Your Home” Event, the recent Passport to Design program via Boston Home Magazine plus numerous monthly ad insertions, so I do not feel like I am missing out at all. And who knows, maybe this year my design work will be featured in one of my favorite glossies instead of just being shared on this blog. Which reminds me, I really should share more of my client decorating projects on my blog ...

Next post, I promise!