Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday: Bedroom Makeover- how to

This room was easy because it's always easy to design when you have a great client but especially when there are great bones to the room. The ceilings were high, it had good moldings and trim, a beautiful window seat just begging for a cushion. It also had great storage space.

This is how we started:
I interviewed the daughter and mother together. I had Annie (the daughter) flip through magazines before the appointment and clip out pictures that she loved. She only had a couple of catalogs like pottery barn and west elm but the over all feeling was lots of blue-greens and natural woods finishes and blown glass.

Here is where I made one of my first mistakes on the project. I know Annie really well. Apparently I thought I knew her better than she knew herself! My initial reaction to her clippings was that they were more "Wisteria" and feminine and french and I thought she was more punk, Restoration Hardware, London. I mean, she listens to Jimi Hendrix, Deaf Leopard, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones. She had the most awesome short, red, punk haircut, wears converse shoes and old rock band tees. I thought for sure I was right. But I wasn't and I pushed this style on her because "it is my job as a designer to show her all the things she might like if you knew all the stores and styles that I did". However, I presented with this idea, she went with it, but it eventually it just morphed into all her original clippings. She wanted a calm, peaceful room to be in after a long day of craziness at high school. Lesson learned.

The room specifications:
1. Bed: Restoration Hardware on sale, king for $1000 with shipping and tax.
2. Sheets: Home Goods Calvin Klein. Really soft. $70
3. Blue-green coverlet: Pottery Barn, $200
4. Linen Pillow Shams in Euro size: Pottery Barn, $100 each, 3
5. Desk and Chair: World Market, $400 for both
6. Lamp and shade: Ikea $60
7. Plants: Ikea, $10 each, 5
8. Glass jars: Anthropologie, $4, 3
9. Rug: Carpet Remnant, $500 for a 9 x 12
10. Blown glass hanging from the ceiling: she made at a glass blowing factory in Switzerland over the summer. Cool.
11. Pleated duvet: Ikea, $130
12. Mattresses: old ones from another room in the house
13. Bath towels: Target
14. Orchid: Restoration Hardware $65
15. Keep Calm print: found on the internet, $30
16. Mirror over bed: Home Goods, $99
17. Window seat cushion: custom made by Losa Upholstery, $650

We still need to fix the cords behind the desk, hang Anthropologie lanterns over the window seat, get a frame for the poster, decoupage the lamp shade with dictionary pages, and put up her vintage key collection on either sides of the mirror over her bed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday: Blog Re-design frustrations

I'm feeling frustrated and down about my blog! I love my blog and it's been neglected by me lately because my job/marriage/children/etc. are on the crazy side of things right now. But also because I've been wanting to put my posts on my newly designed blog and have been waiting and waiting...

Back on October 4th I hired Kelly from Fabulous K to give my blog the make-over it so desperately needed. I love her work and she is reasonably priced and it seemed like a great fit. I sent in a rush order for $55 extra so that I could have it done by November 1st. She responded acknowledging a rush order and a few questions and I answered them. Then nothing! I never heard from her. I was getting nervous so on the 24th of last month I emailed her and she wrote back that she was working on it and would send it over ASAP that week. Then nothing again! November 4th, four days after the rush order deadline I
e-mailed her thinking she'd pulled a fast one on me! She wrote back right away and said she has sent me an e-mail with more questions that I never responded to. Okay... understandable, maybe it got lost in some junk mail trap. I didn't care I just wanted it to be finished. So I responded back to her questions 5 seconds later and I've sent her three more since then to the same email address she's been emailing me from and still haven't heard from her since Nov. 4th. Isn't that weird? I don't see any e-mails in my junk mail. Maybe our e-mails are going into some void in the universe but I'm going crazy because I don't know what's going on. I just left a comment on her blog so I'll see what happens. I hope it works out. I was really excited about it! Now I'm mostly just frustrated by the whole thing :(
Any advice?


Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday: Relatively Cheap and Chic

I love that this lamp is a very classic design but then the elongated shade adds a little modern sense of humor. I saw it in a store window and knew it was perfect for our family room/office. I finally saved up enough to get something. I desperately want a cozy chair but our room has no light in it besides my two giraffe sconces and I can't see anything! The lamp is from I love free shipping. It's by Robert Abbey. I love that its name is Buster. It reminds me of Arrested Development. And the lamp couldn't look less like a Buster to me.

Tip to try at home: turn off the ceiling lights and then hang out in your room like normal. You will see where you need lamps. I have light by my desk, string lights in one corner for Christmas and the floor lamp will go in the other corner. The next step will be getting a chandelier/pendant for the center.

I forgot to mention! We are still trying to get the blog re-designed. Long story. I'll fill you in on the details later. -Whit

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wednesday: Kitchen makeover how-to

We've had a lot of requests to share our design process on the blog.

Here's what I do:
1. I start by making a list of everything that needs to go in the room. What is the purpose of the room?
2. I move to the floor plan and do the space planning. (Thinking of traffic patterns, dividing up areas, lighting, etc.)

3. I gravitate to a particular inspirational photo that I've been wanting to use. For our kitchen I'd seen an image in Domino Magazine with the same banquette. Banquettes are the perfect solution for small kitchens/dining rooms. We wanted open benches for storage space. The Saarinen knock-off from Ikea was easy because we already had it! The one in the picture is no knock off. You can tell by the shiny base.
4. Details: The banquette is made of wood and spray painted white. The clock is from Conran USA (an is the most expensive things we own besides our sofa!). The high chair is Ikea, the kids table is Ikea, the place mats are Crate and Barrel from my aunt for our wedding gift. On the counter we have out our juicer, toaster and a ceramic canister for all of our mixing utensils. On the stove I keep out my blue Le Creuset from our wedding because I use it almost every night. The pillows and inserts are from Ikea. The small plants are Ikea, the broom is from Whole Foods and the scooter is a Kick. The curtains are bad and need to be replaced but we haven't gotten around to it. We just used what we had.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Monday: Flea Market

His idea, not ours. Promise....Although at times, I can see the benefits of a little containment while flea-marketing...

What a frustrating day! How do you mentally make it through the week when all you can think about is finding a set of Milo Baughman lounge chairs in the most perfect "pearl" leather and let them slip through your finger tips??? 

     Or see the perfect "British racing green," comfortably worn leather chair, (and ottoman!) for $200, and not pull the trigger on it??? 

How do you go on living after something like that, right?... RIGHT ?

We learned many lessons on flea market shopping last weekend. The hard way. I was very close to tears on our way home. What a silly thing to almost cry about! What a silly thing to waste time thinking about all week.

But we did.

What we learned:
*Have a list of anything you might be looking for with measurement and a measuring tape.
*Go with your gut and move fast.
*Offer 20% lower than the asking price. Then, take what they counter-offer.
*It won't be there when you get back.
*And if you catch sight of something from the corner of your eye from a half a block away, then you probably love it. And you will find a place to make it work. Or you will resell it.
*Go with your gut, go with your gut, go with your gut. *ALSO, speaking of going with your gut......Choose you truck-vendor burrito wisely.

sad face after loosing our chairs

These are the only pictures we have from the trip. Can you believe it?  Why didn't we take pictures of those amazing chairs? And take video for the blog? And take a picture of the view of San Francisco across the bay?!!

 It may have something to do with wrestling two little boys.

Written by:
Kevin and Whitney

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday: Before and After

This project was so great because it was for my brother and sister-in-law! I know the before and after is hard but the window you see in the before is the same window on the right side in the after. 

Why I love this project:
-my family has excellent taste
-my brother can make anything (ex. the bench/coffee table, the bookcases, the easel, the mirror over the sofa) Is there anything left? :)
- It's an old student housing apartment and it looks great!

Here's a break down.
-Desk chair, overstock
-computer desk, jimmy-rigged from ikea stuff 
-rug, ballard
-bench by window, ikea (holds niece's toys)
-easel and art both done by brother
-wood framed mirror, brother
-arc lamp, overstock
-side chair, brought with them
-bookshelves, materials from home depot
-lamp, target
-plants and pots, ikea

The break down in price is around $3,000, including making the bench and shelves but not the mirror or easel and art. Those were made a few years ago. 

This was our inspiration.