SNP Kitchen Progress

One of the projects I am currently working on is a small galley-style kitchen. The client’s previous kitchen didn’t have a very good working triangle, nor did it have good organization for food and other kitchen essentials. The plan in the new kitchen should take care of all of that.

The first step in any project is to get a plan. Once you have the plan, you select and order the materials. After the materials are scheduled for delivery, you can use that timing to figure out the start date for your contractors to begin demolition.

For this project, demo began about a month ago in the beginning of May. Once the demo was done, we started removing the old windows and framing out for the new ones. The rough plumbing and electrical was done and we awaited the inspections.

In New Jersey, the inspection process can be cruel. Each town has adapted it’s own version of the code and each inspector has a different list of things that they are particular about. The codes are there for a reason and they are so important, which is why it is always important to file for permits and go through the process. It is also very important to work with certified plumbers and electricians so that you can ensure a minimal amount of time wasted on delays due to inspections. For this job, we were delayed 10 days after needing to make minor revisions and have re-inspections.

Everything has now passed and the sheet rock is up! The client is getting antsy, and wouldn’t you without a kitchen for over a month!! But this is the way that renovations work. They take time and believe me, you don’t want anyone rushing your job through because that is when mistakes happen.

This project is coming along beautifully and I can’t wait to share more progress, and hopefully soon a finished reveal of the space. You aren’t going to believe the transformation once it is complete!

Work Space Lighting

I am still working on getting my little home office work space fully put together so I can show you the real ‘after’ look from the shelving post a while back. I know some of you commented that you really needed to see the space finished to get the full idea of what I was trying to do there… so it’s coming.

One of the last details I am working on right now is the lighting. The work space is in our bedroom, and currently we only have a hideous single bulb flush mount ceiling fixture in the room. That will eventually change, but for now, I just need some dedicated light shining on my work space for when I am working either early or late and there’s not enough daylight filtering in to balance out the space.

I love lighting, so sometimes it can be hard to nail down exactly which piece is the right fit, but here are the options and some of my thoughts on each:

My primary concern for table lamps is I don’t want something with a heavy base that has large footprint. Since I added the shelves to get things off the surface to give myself more room to work, I don’t want to now limit the work surface by filling it in with a heavy-bottomed lamp. That said, I love the textured white look (though even the thought of dusting those little hexagons… no thank you) and any combination of white and gold is just so pretty, not to mention the soft handmade quality of the brushstroke lamp. (Gold Brushstroke Lamp by Jana Bek/BEK Design || White Honeycomb Table Lamp from World Market)

An alternate option would be to add sconces, I might have a mild obsession with sconces. They have no footprint and take up zero space so they are so useful. Alternately, you either need to hard-wire them or leave a cord exposed and hanging down the wall, and you have to anchor them into the wall as well…which ends up being more of a permanent detail or feature in your home, so if you will be there for a while, no big deal, but as this is our starter condo and it’s tiny and we likely won’t be there for too long and thus, I don’t know if this is the best option. That said, we have several nail holes and things that we will need to patch and repair when the time comes to ready the space for resale anyway so it certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and I could camouflage an exposed cord. I’ve also been trying to find a good way to incorporate sconces somewhere in our home basically since we moved in, so I don’t think I’ll nix these just yet. The industrial style piece is right up my ally I love it’s simple details and the glass shade and P was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the sleek white sconce. (Menlo Park Industrial Style Sconce found on One Kings Lane || Jax White and Wood Sconce from Crate & Barrel)

Lastly, there are floor lamps. They won’t take up any surface space on the desk, but I do have to be aware of how much physical space they take up in the room. They can be a great addition, help layer in the right amount of light for the space and even act as a focal point. The first option shown is just that-a statement piece-and it is glorious! I’m crushing on it hard, but at the end of the day, it might just be too much of a focal point for this area and end up pulling away from everything else that is going on here… plus I may not ever get any work done because I think I’d just be sitting here swooning over it all day. The second one is understated and simple while still being very visually appealing. I think the base is small enough that it could sit alongside the desk (or even slide partially beneath it) without taking up too much space, and I love that it brings in a touch of the gold tones, without being overkill. The black top mutes it down just enough to add an industrial edge to the glam gold base so the style is on point, but we have to consider the proportions and make sure the scale is a good fit for the space as well. (Studio Tripod Floor Lamp by West Elm || Black and Gold Crane Floor Lamp by CB2)

What do you think and which would you choose? I think I know which way I’m leaning, but I always love your input! Hopefully I can make a decision and get something ordered in the next few days so I can finish the work space and share the full reveal!

Five on Friday

1. I have been working hard to follow and participate with more blogs and people in the design community. It is a great way to find inspiration and make connections with people that are interested in the things that you are interested in. So today on instagram (@designbykrystle) I’m sharing four accounts that I love.

Instagram ff 2-20

@InteriorDesignCommunity is a great resource to find other designers/bloggers in this industry. They share inspiring people, spaces and quotes daily, and, if you are looking for more people to follow, they just posted a list of 100 interior-design blogs to follow (we are #55 on the list!).

@Nis5a is a kitchen and bath designer in Philadelphia that I randomly found on instagram a few months back. I love the design projects and details she shares, and I hope you do too!

@KristenFDavisDesigns works with colors, patterns, shapes and so much more, doing custom art and paint installations for clients and designers. Her insta-feed is always a great source of inspiration and admiration for me. You can find her blog here, too.

@EarnestHomeCo_ is a blogger I’ve followed in the background for a while, and have been trying to comment on more and more. She does beautiful work and just posted about her new home office here. Go check her out!

2. My hair is so long that yesterday’s sloppy top knot actually hurt my head. When I took my hair down at the end of the night, it has never felt so good. So! I am looking for a new do-I’m thinking of a long bob with minimal long layers around the front, and potentially even adding some highlights… care to weight in? (Pictures from pinterest.)

Hair Inspo 2 Hair Inspo 1

3. Today we have officially owned our condo for a year, which is incredible. It was a long and very trying process to get where we are, and we have had a love/hate relationship with our space, but it is mostly love and the space has really been transformed in the last year to really represent us! Can’t wait to bring you more projects from our tiny home 🙂

4. My childhood puppy is really really old. She turned 15 this past December and unfortunately her age is starting to wear on her. I wish I could jet off to Seattle to snuggle with her and soak up every last minute available, but it looks like it isn’t going to work out. Thank goodness for technology, my mom is going to Facetime with me so I can see her before it gets too bad. If you don’t know the love of a dog, it is one of the most unconditional loves you can experience, and that girl really has my heart. I’m thankful that P & I have our Brantley bub to cuddle with and take away some of the hurt.

Abby Girl KrystleandAbby

FullSizeRender (14)

5. This weekend marks the end of our January Cure. Yes, I do realize it is February, but when we went out of town in January, our cure never really got back on track. So, our dinner with friends is this weekend and next week I can share all of the progress we made around the house, as well as the details from our dinner!

New Year, Time For a Cure

I have followed along sort of mindlessly with the Apartment Therapy January Cure in the past. But I haven’t really ever participated, mostly because I didn’t want to put the effort into a home that wasn’t truly mine.

This year, however, I have signed up! I know it is a little late to the game being six days into the cure, but we are only on assignment two, so if you are interested in curing your home, click over here to sign up. They will send you the assignments via email throughout the month of January and by the time we have finished the month, your home will be in better shape for the year ahead.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited to get curing! I think that being involved in design, and working so hard on everyone else’s spaces (which I love so much), it is sometimes hard to bring that home. At the same time though I want the same peaceful and organized home that I preach the benefits of to my clients. Truthfully I don’t think we are that far off, but what I like about the cure is that you start at the ground (literally) and work your way through your space.

You can tackle the whole home or one specific problem area depending on the size of your place and what feels like it needs the most attention. Either way… I think it is definitely worth take a look at.

Friday was the first assignment, and though I started on Sunday, I still managed to get it done. If you get going today, you should definitely be able to catch up.

This weekend we tackled floors. The assignment was to give your floors a healthy cleaning. And being the way that I am, I left no piece of wood un-scrubbed. I found some good wood floor cleaner, got my supplies ready and then methodically worked through each space. I started with the vacuum and vacuumed up what was there. then I removed all the layers (furniture, area rugs, etc.), vacuumed again, ran the Swiffer over the floors, then got on my hands and knees with the wood cleaner and really got down to business.

I used Method Wood Floor Cleaner, a hard-bristle scrub brush (the kind you scrub your grout with) for the corners of the rooms and where the baseboard meets the floor, and a soft rag for the main areas. While going around the edges, I noticed that we had some old dried sealing around the edges of the living room and the bedroom, so instead of just noting it and moving on, I got out my putty knife and new sealant and scoured away the old, cleaned beneath what was there and re-sealed the edges.

I have to say that it was hard work to clean all the floors, especially scraping and resealing the edges. But, I feel so much better already. The condo just feels like it is in better shape already! And after all, that is the whole point. This little detail that I’ve never paid much attention to before, has been tackled and I feel like I am being a good homeowner taking good care of my investment.

Part two of the assignment was to pick up some flowers for your home. Having just preached about this on Friday, you might be surprised to learn that I failed to accomplish this part of the task. I can make all sorts of excuses for why it didn’t get done, but really the last time I was at the market, none of the flowers spoke to me and we are going out of town soon, so I passed this weekend, and I will pick some up next time.

Time to start working on the second assignment! Who’s with me?

2014 Personal Highlights

This is the time of year when you look back on things that you’ve done, hurdles you’ve conquered, celebrations you’ve reveled in, and all the little things in between. This is a time for some positive light to be shed, but I know that it can often turn negative, and you can beat yourself up for the things that didn’t get done, hurdles you are constantly tripping over, etc., some years are going to be better than others. So as we get ready to start the next book in the series of our lives, I wanted to take a minute to run through my personal highlights of 2014, with a focus on the good and any negatives we will call challenges that helped us learn and grow!

In January, I shared the long struggle that was our home buying search. It was such a difficult process that challenged us at every turn and keeping positive was downright impossible at times. I wrote a bit about that here, and tried to give some insight into the process for other first time home buyers.

In February, we finally did find our first home! We signed on the dotted line, scheduled the movers and tore out the carpeting all within the first 24 hours.

Our small little slice of the world is the perfect place for us, and we have loved (and hated) it for almost a year now, and I can confidently say the struggle was worth it. Losing out on the other two places was meant to be, even though it was hard at the time, it was the best thing for us.

In March, as we settled in, I dreamt up a color scheme for our cozy abode and we painted the nights away. I will say that painting is something that I really do not enjoy. I thought there would be some feeling of reward in painting our first home by ourselves. But after finishing up the living room, we decided to wait on the other spaces, and eventually we will likely have a professional come in and at least touch up the moldings.

That said, P & I did still paint the kitchen ourselves, and in April, I taped off and painted the accent stripes over a few days when he was working late shifts. The bold accent was a surprise to some, and it still gets a lot of comments when we have company over, but we still really love it. It adds such a playful element to the space and makes me smile every time I glance into the space. Take a look here for more on our bold kitchen reveal.

In May we brought the most adorable puppy home (check #BrantleyBub on Instagram for a cuteness overdose). He instantly stole our hearts despite the potty training challenges of living in a condo and having to repeatedly sprint down several flights of stairs (sometimes for nothing), and I’m sure all the neighbors think we are insane for the excessive whooping and cheering we’d perform upon him actually going to the bathroom outside. Outside of the house, I began working on a living and dining room for a client whose bathroom is still an all-time favorite in my portfolio. Much like the rest of us, her projects are ongoing as the challenges of the budget and owning a home often add restrictions and make getting things done feel impossible. Both spaces are very close to completion and I promise to share them once they’ve wrapped up.

The summer months came and went without much notice, between wedding planning and working we spent a lot of time checking out our new neighborhood and dreaming of beach days and scenic retreats. Somewhere in there we managed to organize some frames and arrange a gallery wall as a focal point in the living room, which is another highlight of our home in my opinion. We actually received a few more framed pieces over the holidays that will soon be added to the wall as well, so more on that when the time comes.

Come August I got to bask in the fun of bridal showers and girls nights with some of my nearest and dearest. In September we even made it home to Seattle for a few days of bachelorette fun and a couples shower. If I had to use one word to sum up our labor day weekend of fun it would be epic. That trip was seriously so much fun. We also began work to add a closet to our bedroom that has added so much storage that I can’t express how much our life has improved with it. I haven’t shared pictures of it yet because it isn’t truly finished, but I think we will be there soon.

October was a continuation of epic fun, starting off with our wedding! It was a day that down-poured. The weather was not such a treat, but it made for a truly beautiful backdrop to our day, I’ve always loved so much about the rain, being from Seattle, and our pastor reminded us that our first date was also very rainy. Needless to say, the ceremony was so beautiful and we had so much fun at our reception and after-party that I woke up the next day and asked my new husband if we could do it all again! And if bad weather is the worst of things to come in our marriage, I will certainly take the rain! A few weeks back I shared a glimpse into the making of our big day, and hopefully in the new year I will have time to sort through more pictures of the wedding and honeymoon to share as well.

We ended the month of October on our honeymoon and started November off in Italy. For being a month about gratitude and thanks, my heart is certainly so full with love (even still) from our amazing wedding and honeymoon it might just burst. This trip (and this year) has filled me with so much inspiration and relaxation that I am fully geared up for another year of working with my clients to create amazing spaces for them.

December  has been about cutting myself some slack. I have had an extremely full year. Full of a lot of incredible and very positive things. But with all that good comes a lot of chaos. So I have been working on giving myself credit for all that I have done this year, and trying to give myself more attainable goals for things. We did have our holiday party, which I debriefed on a bit yesterday, where instead of making everything from scratch, I worked on good presentation, planning a tasty spread and a house full of festivity, cheer and ambiance.

This year as a whole has been such a wonderful year. For starters, I am now a Mrs. I am a home owner, a doggy mom, a business owner and so much more. These are all huge things! There have been times I have cried over the chaos, but there has been so much growth this year. Personal growth, yes, but also business growth-I have so many exciting projects to share with you in the new year. I haven’t ever really done a year in review like this before, but I have loved doing it! It has taken me all the way back through the blog and I’ve seen how this outlet has grown for me as well. I am so thankful for everyone who comes through and keeps me going here. I love to see the progress I’ve made with my writing, graphics and even my work that I share. I am so excited to continue this growth through blogging into 2015! If you made it all the way through this lengthy post, I can’t wait to make it through so many more in the new year!

Wishing you all a healthy happy 2015–I can’t wait to share another year with you all!