Before & After

Style + Storage: A Bare Wall Transformed

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Ever wondered what to do with those bare walls in your home?  That unused square footage along empty hallways or entryways ?  Do you add storage, or do you use that space as display for your art and photographs?  Well why not have both!

This wall space presented that very design dilemma:  how to take this busy family’s unused square footage in their upstairs loft and make it work for their lifestyle.  They wanted to display family photographs, but like most families, also needed extra storage. 

I tackled their dilemma in three simple steps:  first, by adding architectural interest that complemented the style of their home with the addition of a board and batten wall treatment.  Next, I introduced hooks and a storage bench below for added utility.  Finally, I allowed for space above the wall treatment for a mini gallery of family photographs.  Take a peek at the transformation!

Before:

wall before

 

After:

cg loft bench after

 

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Budget Bathroom Makeover + Linky

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

You know those oak vanities picked out by builders and installed in bathrooms across America over the last two decades?  I am not a fan, and I imagine you are not either.  Unfortunately, I happen to have one of those very same bathrooms in my own home awaiting a remodel.  Patience icky bathroom, patience, you’re next!

Meanwhile, my friend Mia and I got to talking over the Christmas break.  We were discussing her master bathroom.   Mia said “It needs help.”  I said, “I’ll bring my paintbrush.”  So I set to work to bring this bathroom into the modern age and add a few more upgrades as well.

Mia’s has an affection for warm earth tones and rich dark wood ~ her style is the yin to my ‘paint it all pale gray or white’ yang.  With all the dark wood and light bedding in the adjoining master bedroom, painting the vanity a rich espresso color made perfect sense.

Some of the pros of the existing master bath:  good paint on the walls and clean white tile countertops.  The cons: oak cabinets, those bathroom vanity light fixtures that should be outlawed, a very plain mirror, gold accents on the faucets, and no hardware on the cabinets.

Here it is Before:

mias before

 

And After:

budget bathroom after

 

The most time consuming part is the refinishing of the vanity cabinet.  Here are the six simple steps I followed.

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A Perfect Gray Blue

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Do you have a signature color?  The one hue you turn to time and again that brings you happiness, soothes your soul, and brings you constant comfort?   There is such a color in my world, and it is the perfect gray blue.  The color that brings to mind a hazy afternoon in Provence, or a cloudy day on the Côte d’Azur.  (I’m guessing, I’ve never been, but a girl can dream!)  I swear, every time I see a well executed combo of white and dark wood with a beautiful gray blue, I completely melt like buttah!

Whenever I hear designers talk about their perfect ‘gray’ or ‘blue’ I’m all ears, but my personal quest for the perfect gray+blue continues.  It can’t be too blue, or it looks like a baby boy’s pastel nursery.  It can’t be too gray because it will feel lifeless and devoid of color.  Capturing the perfect shade of gray blue is a tricky thing I tell you.  It has to be just right!

Enter this little dresser I found at the local thrift.  Definitely in need of some love, and with such lovely curved drawers, I couldn’t pass it up!  It became the perfect specimen to test yet another shade of gray blue.

Here’s the sweet little dresser ‘Before’:

honey dresser before

 

And After:

cg dresser gray blue

 

Here’s the quick play by play on this charming dresser.  It was pretty sad when I found it and had taken some abuse, but at $40, I still couldn’t pass it up.  Perfect shape!  It could have been restained if I had sanded it down, but I decided to paint instead.

 

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