Monday, November 12, 2007

Updated Kitchen Cabinetry

Saving old cabinetry is a great, green idea and keeps most of the waste out of our landfills. This house is about 20 years old with the original kitchen cabintery. The existing maple cabinets were in great shape (sorry readers I don't have the before shots on this one due to my lack of discipline when it comes to charging the batteries).

The clients had received a quote on refacing the cabinetry and then decided to find a more economical option -- and having your cabinetry painted, glazed and top-coated is a great value in comparison. Why rip everything out when your cabinets are in good shape? When cabinet doors like these have nice face frames with stiles and rails they lend themselves to a traditional glazed finish that enhances the frame.

Glaze treatments can vary from heavy to light. This particular finish is on the medium side with a slightly rustic feel.

It was such a transformation when I went back today to see it for the first time since we glazed (another painter top-coated) even I was awestruck. It is a lovely kitchen, and the homeowners achieved their goal. They wanted to stay in the home for a few more years and have an updated kitchen without renovating.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Guest Bathrooms With Chandeliers

Who wouldn't want to stay in a guest bedroom with a guest bathroom as luxurious as this? A sunken jacuzzi tub surrounded by beautiful marble, a chandelier, and lovely scents. I think I'd have a hard time leaving.

We applied a specialty plaster in two tones to the ceiling dome which started out as a plain white plastic cast dome. The mirror was cast iron painted all white. The same specialty plasters were used to create more depth with the flowers. The lions head towel bars, toilet paper holder and the sconces all started out bright gold. With that same fabulous plaster we softened up all those accessories creating continuity throughout. The vanity which was hard to photograph got the same treatment as well. The end result was one of the prettiest bathrooms I've seen in a long time.

When I returned the mirror to the client the husband hugged me. That was the first time a husband had hugged me, and so unexpectedly. He was absolutely delighted that we could transform such an ugly mirror and give it such beauty.

One of the great joys of this job. Making someone so happy with the final design!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Contemporary Fireplaces

I love fireplaces. To prove it I have several 3-ring binders full of fireplace design ideas pulled from the pages of Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Home & Garden, Traditional Home... just to name a few. I had grown quite fond of these two ideas and kept hoping that one day I would meet the perfect client open enough to allow me to replicate these ideas into a custom faux treatment.

Well, I did meet those perfect clients. A contemporary designer that I work with introduced me to a couple who had just built a contemporary home and their 18'H x 11'W fireplace was a blank slate! The designer had given me a brief description of the home before our initial meeting, and I had an idea a treatment simulating wood would look stunning in their home. I didn't have a sample board created, but I had these magazine ideas. When they saw the pictures their eyes lit up and they got a little excited of the possibility of their fireplace really becoming the focal point of their home. It was already going to be the focal point just because of it's size and placement in the home, but it needed to be a FOCAL point.

So here is my blank slate.

It was a project that required scaffolding.

And here it is in all it's glory! It's a plaster treatment that has been glazed and the "grout" lines are Modern Masters silver paint.

The clients were fabulous people! She made me the best lattes, and I recall a fabulous glass of wine with dinner one evening. We never expect clients to be so generous, but we've worked with some of the greatest people. I guess after spending a week in their house swinging from scaffolding you create a bond.

If I may say so, the picture doesn't do it justice because it is such a grand presence when you walk into the home.