Complete Destruction | ORC Week 3

Welcome to week three of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress here.

Last week after I read through a good chunk of the other ORC Guest Participant posts, I started experiencing maximum anxiety about my time frame for this project. Having been away for 5 days took a lot of my progress time away and after seeing the strides everyone was making I was like oh crap I need to get down to business.

So, as soon as I got home from the office last Thursday (and finished snuggling with #BrantleyBub) I started ripping out the telephone wire I pointed out in last week’s post. I sent out a snap of the progress I was making and immediately got a text from the hubs, like “what in God’s name have you done?!” Well it wasn’t that dramatic, but he was a little nervous curious and the text did come through pretty quick.

Over the weekend, we began taking the old moldings out. We very quickly realized that we weren’t going to be able to get off so many layers of poorly applied (and like lead) paint, so we cautiously began removing them, with much concern for the plaster walls… we did not need those crumbling down on us. We plan to replace them with period appropriate moldings. It was so fun though to see the history of colors that have been on our walls from shades of green to blue to pink and white.

Remember last week when I said we might do the floors, pending budget and availability of scheduling someone? Well yesterday we had the guy come out to give us the quote, because after removing the molding and revealing the edging, it quickly became apparent that it needs to be done. So we are pinching pennies and cutting from some areas of the budget where we can to make room for the floors. They will be repaired and refinished and the soonest we can get on their schedule for is May 2nd. That’s cutting it awfully close to the reveal week, but ya know what? It’ll have to do.

So, flooring aside, we successfully removed all of the trim ourselves (with the exception of the window trim), and for my hubby who has never really been all that handy, and for myself who grew up in a DIY family but hasn’t ever undertaken serious projects at home (everything I plan with my clients, someone else executes), I am insanely proud of us! So right now we are in the “complete destruction” phase of the project, where nothing looks pretty and we are lucky if there isn’t still demo dust scattered around the living room (and the rest of the condo). Hopefully soon, things will start looking a lot prettier!

We also swatched paint to decide on our color change. I narrowed it down to 5 choices, which do you like the best? (The colors are as follows–all Benjamin Moore: 1., White Satin. 2., Breath of Fresh Air. 3., Jet Stream. 4., Heaven on Earth. 5., Silvery Blue.)

I’m planning to paint the base molding and the ceilings white, and the walls, door and window trims and doors themselves all the same as the wall color. Because our room is so small, and there are a lot of doors/doorways/windows for the small space, I want to eliminate the illusion of the space being broken up so much. I feel that if the color is consistent on all of the details with just the top and bottom framing out the wall color with crisp white, then the room will feel a lot more expansive. That said, I’m catching a lot of flack so far from the few people I’ve discussed it with, but I think we are going to move forward with this plan anyway. Since I can’t shake the idea, I decided to dig up some images of rooms where others have embraced the concept and rocked it! Here’s a look at some rooms where they’ve done some version of this:

[Paint Inspo Images: Martha Stewart’s Pink Guest Suite, Latitude Lane Den by Angie Hranowsky, AB Chao’s Moody Bedroom as featured on Apartment Therapy’s post here, Eclectic Dining Room by Suzanne Kasler and Kim Winkler as featured on Carla Aaston’s blog here.]

What do you think? Are you a fan of unifying the space by painting everything including moldings the same as the wall color?

This weekend our goals are to finish removing the last bit of trim, tend to the radiator, and start working on patching and priming the walls. I’d love to say we will paint, but if there is anything I’ve learned from doing the molding it’s that everything takes longer than you think, and I do not want to rush the paint! We also have an appointment for the window treatments to finalize our fabric selections and get our install scheduled. So all in all, I feel we have made great strides this week (even if it only does equal one thing off the list).

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up and/or cover
  • Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

One Room Challenge, One Room Challenge Spring 2016, One Room Challenge Guest Participant, ORC Spring 2016, ORC Guest participant

Be sure to pop over and scroll through the featured designers progress updates here, and jump to the Calling It Home blog for the guest participant link up to see everyone else’s spaces as well! I hope you are having fun following along with this challenge!

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Reveal | Master Bathroom That Wows

I have been busy with work and training and projects running their course, we hosted Easter, which I really want to share more about at some point, but for now I really just want to share with you this finished bathroom!

AT2_4409

This is the project that the homeowners main request was to open the doors and feel “wow-factor.” I shared the progress report over a year ago and it just took a long time to get schedules lined up for photography.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely think that mission was accomplished!

What do you think? Are these photos not the most beautiful thing? (Thanks Lindsay Photography!) They really show off all of the details in the space!

More work/life/general updates to come late this weekend/next week! What do you have planned for the weekend?

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

The 1893 House

This suburban New Jersey project has been under way for us for about 6 months now, with DBK involved for a little over 2 months. They found the home last summer and immediately started seeking out contractors and an architect and I didn’t step onto the project until the architects plans were complete and the crew was about to break down the walls.

I love this project. I love this old home, the clients, the character in the details, the things we are able to salvage and retain and the things we are working so hard to incorporate to get it back to it’s hay-day style. (The pictures above are from the real estate listing which didn’t share photographer information, but since I came on board late there was already a bit of debris around the house so I wanted to share something so you could at least envision the space before it became a construction zone.)

I love being able to walk in and envision film reels of this house’s glory days. I can’t wait for this couple to be able to enjoy their own glory days in the homes renewed beauty when we are done with it.

That said, when I first walked in and walked through with the client, I was awe struck. The details truly are magnificent and they really don’t make homes like this anymore. However, upon seeing the architects plans for the house, I had to proceed with making a few adjustments, and without hesitation, I brought up my concerns with the client.

Basically I had concerns with the layout of the master suite, and the flow of the kitchen. There were some minor issues with the hall bath that we caught and addressed before they would become an issue, and we have more recently been combing through the electrical plan and making sure the lighting is enough and that we have our proper layers of light in each space. (The lighting I will have to share more on another day, because I get so excited just mentioning it… I can’t wait until it’s actually all in place.)

For the Master Suite (first five images in this photo group), the changes were made but didn’t get to the construction crew in time, and because of this, we had to re-frame the master suite (relocating closet space and bathroom space). It was extremely frustrating for the crew and I’m pretty sure the GC is still upset with me, but honestly, these are the details we need to make sure are done with 100% accuracy so that when move in date comes and the client is using the space, they are moving through it with complete ease.

Good design of a space isn’t just fitting it all in. It is making sure there is good function and flow… making sure that the end user can function well and thrive in their new environment. I truly believe that is key to any successful design project.

So, the changes were made. The space is really beginning to take shape and the home is opening up beautifully. (The last picture in the lower grouping is of the kitchen space opened up now into the dining room area… I can’t wait to see how the light and space feels when framing is complete!)

I will share more progress as we move through and make more progress. All of the photos here are obviously rough and in the works as the construction team has been working through all the rough work. Hopefully I can give you an update next month that is a little more resembling of a place you would actually enjoy spending time.

What do you think so far of this project? Would you be brave enough to buy a 100+ year old home and take on it’s restoration? I have been sharing a lot of in process images from this space over on my Instagram and you can follow along with the hashtag #dbkproject1893 to see some updates and selections along the way.

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Simplifying a Bathroom

This project is the type of project that is so fun! No major plumbing or electrical changes are taking place, but the transformation is so HUGE! The work is in progress now, hopefully will be done soon so that I can share a reveal with you but on the phone last night she said to me that already the bathroom is “one hundred and fifty seven thousand times better!”
I love that, and I have to agree. The old space was outdated with burgundy 4″ tiles everywhere with the exception of a one piece tub surround unit that felt cheap and dingy in the space, a vanity that was dis-proportioned to the space and visually felt bulky with the details and finish, and an overall yellow tone in the space that didn’t feel right.


The goals for this space were to maximize the functionality and the storage while making the space feel clean and bright and more open.


Here’s what we are doing:

First things first, the vanity that is existing is 42″x 21″ and with a long narrow bathroom like this one, we want to make sure the vanity protrudes into the space too much. We decided to order the vanity to be 60″ wide with a reduced depth of 18″ to allow more storage in the length, while running the cabinetry more flush against the wall.

Due to the position of the door, we can’t run the vanity all the way to the door, so we positioned it as close to the commode as we could according to the code regulations, leaving a 20″ space between the entry wall and the vanity unit… perfect spacing to accommodate a decorative hamper or waste-basket, or just leave it open, either way, the space is left feeling elongated and open.

We changed the vanity finish from dark wood to a painted white finish and from a dark granite top to a gray and white top.

The other main thing that we changed that will make a huge impact is the tile. On the floors we removed the old dated mini burgundy tiles from the floor and replaced them with a large 10″ gray hexagon, and on the walls, we used a large white tile, staggered just like a standard subway tile would be, but in the large scale, it makes the space feel so open and the white is so refreshing compared to the old dark tile that was there before. Instead of using a standard bull-nose tile to finish the ends, we capped it all off with a sleek chrome trim. (Some in progress shots below.)

Basically the re-design is a simple change in the scale and tone of the details to really simplify and freshen up the space. Hopefully I will have more details to share soon… be sure to follow along on Instagram to see any updates that may come along.

What do you think? Are there any little things you can do to simplify your bathroom? (Or any room in your home?)

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Updating to a Classic Look | Farmhouse Bathroom Renovation In Process

TGIF y’all!! I wanted to celebrate that we made it through the week by sharing a bit about one of my current projects!

I started working with this client on their space several months ago (back when there was still snow on the ground). We sorted through all of the details of their space, worked out a plan, and started selecting our materials.

Farmhouse Bath Floor Plans

Orders were placed around March or April and then we waited. This is not that uncommon in the world of renovations. You have to wait for your contractor to fit you into their schedule, the town to approve your permits, and the materials to all arrive. All that said, we were ready to go in June, but couldn’t start until a few weeks ago due to many variables.

You can take a look at the planning process in this post (the first image shows me working through this space planning). And the plan above is the one that we ultimately went with. The idea was to bring in some more classic farmhouse elements to be true to the home’s character while not creating something that would easily feel dated.

We decided to choose materials that represented that classic farmhouse feeling with the wood look tile on the main floor, white subway on the walls (in an updated scale and finish), and accents of Carrera marble in the counters, shower floor and saddle pieces.

We went with a claw-foot tub centered in the bathroom space with a beautiful and classic tub filler to finish it off. This detail was the one sticking point for this client, we had to find a way to make a claw-foot fit in the space in addition to the shower, and ideally make it stand out as a centerpiece.

Farmhouse Bathroom Storage Cabinet Linen Tower Custom Amish Dining Room Hutch

For the cabinetry, we went with a simple style and a classic valance base that nods towards an Amish farm style cabinetry detail. The plan is to carry this theme through with custom corner cabinets to flank the tub and add storage in the space (we had to knock out the linen closet in the hallway to make everything fit in the space that we wanted). The corner cabinets would be a painted white finish with a valance base that would match that of the vanity cabinet, but for now they won’t be added due to budgeting restrictions (also very common in renovations), however they are all planned and ready to go whenever we are ready to add them. The vanity cabinet itself is a really pretty chestnut brown finish, which is a nice rich tone without the reddish undertones.

I can’t wait to see how this whole space comes together! Hopefully I can share more soon! Are you working on any projects at home? What renovations are on your list currently and what types of renovations do you want to see me share more of here?

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Traditional | Warm | White | Kitchen

This kitchen renovation took a lot of planning, but it was so worth it. You can see what it looked like before and in process here, but let’s take a look at all that storage and counter space in the after below!
Warm White Kitchen 1

One of the things that I really love about this new space is the new windows. Both of the windows in the kitchen space were replaced, the one over the sink was moved (it’s worth checking the before post to see the old window placement). The previous window was close to the corner of the room nearest the front door, it was large and low and took up a bulk of the usable space. For a kitchen though it is so nice to have natural light streaming in, it was better in this kitchen to recover that space for storage and counters and upgrade to a smaller window centered over the sink.

We centered the window in the interior space, so if you look closely at the exterior shots, you will notice it is slightly off centered between the door and the edge of the home, but it isn’t super obvious and the bigger concern was that it would look puny compared to the large window on the living room side of the home. Once we applied the siding and shutters it seemed to really blend in and balance out on the front of the house, and there are always landscaping tricks you can do if this is something that ends up changing in your space as well.

The other thing we did to help make this space feel larger was open it up to the formal living room. We weren’t able to open it up completely due to structural requirements and budget constraints, but we opened it as much as possible, extending the counters through to the living room side of the column to create a breakfast nook and keep the sight lines as expansive as possible.

Lastly, we grouped all of the food storage together anchoring the far corner of the room creating ample storage while still leaving the eat-in kitchen capabilities.

Another favorite feature of this kitchen is the white sink. Believe it or not, it is a white granite composite sink, and the homeowner has reported that it is holding up very well and they are quite pleased with it. With the cabinets and sink being white, we balanced it out with a warm counter, paint and flooring to really get a warm feeling in the space overall. This is also why we steered clear of stainless appliances. The white appliances keep the space feeling more open and don’t add the cool stainless feeling to the overall warm space. All of the hardware is in a brushed nickel which is also a very warm finish.

What do you think of this finished space? A lot of people right now are doing all white kitchens with white details on everything except for the appliances and hardware, so I’m interested to see what the feedback will be on this space with the white balancing out with warmer, softer details, but at the end of the day and at the end of the design what matters most is the homeowner and it is safe to say that they are really pleased with not only the visual of the space, but also with the new functionality they have here!

Halfway There on a Home Redesign

I wanted to share a photo post of a space in progress. I shared a little bit about this project on this post with the before, and here is a look at the first install day trying to get as much done as possible before the family hosted a big event at the house. 
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We are still waiting on most of the furnishings for both kids’ rooms, the headboards alone will make a world of difference. And for the living room, we still need the chairs that were on back-order (I brought my living room chairs to fill in while they wait), and all of the accent tables, art work, window treatments, etc., but I have to say that the place has already made such a huge transformation on 2 weeks notice before the party! I can’t wait until the rest of the pieces arrive and I can get this job wrapped up and photographed so I can share it with y’all! This project has been a favorite so far!

What do you think? Do I look like a crazy person in these photos running around trying to get all the details in place? What little transformations have you been making to your home lately?

100 Year Old Basement Renovation In Process

This project started out a lot like many others. When I first met with the homeowners, the wife was timid and anxious about even letting me see the basement, but upon seeing it and discussing the space with her, she became very excited to be moving forward with renovating this space.

When I presented the plans to the husband and wife they both became very excited about the space and anxious to keep things moving. This basement needs to consist of more organized storage for household items, their extra refrigerator, an appliance pantry for larger counter-top appliances that get used only a handful of times throughout the year, a laundry room, and gym. In addition to these shared spaces, we needed to create a space where family can crash when needed, so there is also a shared mud room with exterior entry and a full private suite with a kitchenette, living room, bathroom and bedroom, and knowing how amazing this space is going to be when it is finished, any member of the family who gets to crash in this basement is going to feel like they landed at a 5 star hotel.

Through shopping trips, research, planning and revising plans, I have become pretty close with the family and they have had some unfortunate news come to light. That said, we are doing everything we can to finish this project as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.

The space has been fully gutted and the french drains are going in. The space feels so much larger than it felt before and they are starting to be able to envision the plan within the shell of their basement now. We are at a pretty fun stage of the game with everything so raw right now. (All of the images above are pre-demo; below is where we are now.)

I wanted to share this seemingly nothing of an improvement so that you can see how these projects start. We have to knock things down in order to pick them back up again, and in this business it isn’t all pretty. Sometimes you might be ashamed of how your space looks now, but it will get there, even if it takes forever.

This basement is 100 years old, it has a lot of character, and we are intending to keep a good chunk of the character in tact. Can’t wait to show you more along the way as we progress.

Tour Of A Sweet Master Suite

This project all started out with a little leak. The homeowner was experiencing a drip in their shower, which developed into mold, which spread through to their closet, and before you know it, their insurance was coming out to take a look at the problem.
Master Suite-Bathroom Overview1

This project started as something done out of necessity, but soon became something that both husband and wife wanted to never have to worry about changing as long as they were in the home. So we worked through a more functional design for the space, shifting the walls slightly to accommodate a wider closet, swapping the tub location to accommodate the make-up area and more cabinetry. We shifted windows, added a laundry room, etc., When it was all said and done, it was so worth it.

The only thing we did outside of the on-suite portion of their master was pick out new paint colors to help the spaces flow together better — hence the random photo of the fireplace. This is their sitting room that leads directly into the bathroom from their master bedroom.

I could live in this master suite. All that is missing is a beverage center for coffee in the morning and wine at night, and a mini fridge and microwave for snacks. Maybe we can tack that on to their next home improvement project.

Dressing Room Details

Last week, I shared a dressing room in progress with the promise of more to come. So this week, while I await the final details to come together, I want to share with you the furnishing selections and accessory choices for the space.

For this space, offering a seating space –where she could sit to put her shoes on, or he could relax while she was finishing her make-up — was key. But I wanted the seating space to feel inviting enough to act as a place to escape when they just wanted to relax as well.

I had first wanted a settee or a chaise lounge, but for size and space reasons also considered chairs for the space.

Options 1 & 2 felt too linear for the space, like you would always have to sit in them with proper posture. Option 3 is a great shape and option 4 is a good style, though a bit too long and lean, but both were slightly out of reach for the budget on this space. Options 5 & 6 were perfectly relaxed but just a hair too long for the space, both coming in at a little more than five feet in length. Option 7 again, is a bit too straight, but the velvety texture makes up for that. And Option 8 was just right!

For the rugs, the option was to go shaggy or tufted for the texture and solid or patterned with the coloration. Here are the options we narrowed it down to:

The first option is a tonal shag, with a pattern that felt too large in scale both for the space and for the size of rug we would be getting. The second option was beautiful, but again, was just too large scale for the space. The third option, I really fell in love with everything about, but overall the pattern was a bit too abstract for the space we were putting together. The fourth option is shaggy in a super lux and silky texture, which fit perfectly with everything we were aiming for in the space.

The client found this great mirrored vanity for a steal, and we sourced this very similarly detailed stool to accompany the piece:

The last decorative pieces are the window treatments, art and accessories.

I found the art (Audrey|Chaplin) and immediately knew it was perfect for the space, well everything except the size. The prints were too wide! After much searching we found similar prints on art.com that have been ordered. The window treatments were narrowed down to these two options, and although the black and white had a great velvety texture, the silver was the right move for this space. I played around with a lot of pillow and throw options for about a month, online, in stores, you name it. But finally, the day the install started, I landed on the two options above while playing around at West Elm. We quickly decided that the first option would shed too much on clothes while getting ready and wasn’t worth the risk no matter how cozy. The alternate was a great way to incorporate the velvety texture I keep trying to bring into the space, the larger pillow nods to the paint color, while the smaller pillow keeps things feminine, and that throw is incredibly soft.

So, there you have it! Now for the last few little details to come in and we will be home free! Can’t wait to get them in there and finish the space so that I can photograph it and share it with you all!!