Thursday, December 9, 2010

Other Options and Ideas- Backsplashes are a Home Run!

While on the subject of making changes that are not too big and not too expensive
consider adding a new backsplash to your kitchen. This can make such a dramatic
change in a short time period and does not have to break the bank.

Backsplashes can run from very intricate to very simple. The trend currently is to a more streamlined use of tile. If you look closely at current design magazines you will see designers using classic subway tiles, or a solid glass tile for a monochromatic but elegant look. A combination of stone, tile and glass accents is also a great look. Pair this with a beautiful looking granite or solid surface material and you definitely have a "WOW" moment coming.

But what if you don't have granite? What if you don't want to change out your counter top, is it still worth doing a backsplash?
YES! A backsplash can instantly update a tired kitchen and make everything feel much newer, cleaner and more expensive. Especially if you have a neutral countertop.

I have a client that had a 6" white tile countertop with a matching 6" tile backsplash with fruit decos inserted. In 1997 that was very hip, for 2010 it looked dated. My simple solution was to tear out the existing backsplash and replace it with a stone subway tile and incorporated glass and metal accent strips very carefully throughout. What a difference it went from dated to dramatic in just a couple of days. We even changed the little island top to granite using a remnant from the granite yard. All for a super affordable price.

If you have been wondering what can I do with this kitchen? My suggestion is this: Decide to paint, decide to add cabinet hardware and consider a new backsplash. And the good thing is I can help with any and all of this! Making sure your money is well spent and giving you the finished look you desire. Remember designers often get discounts on products and materials that a consumer cannot. Think about it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Warm up that room!

What's great about my job is getting to go shopping, buy stuff and use someone else's money!

Recently I had an especially enjoyable project. My client had a sparsely furnished condo and was ready for the "fun stuff". She wanted their getaway place to feel cozy and inviting. She gave me a budget,said those magic words "pick it all out!" I was on my way. (In reality it was not quite that fast). I did quite a bit of planning before I set out. Here is my tip of the day: Plan before you go.If you want success, pre-planning will make it happen. Get an idea of what you are looking for, how big the items can be and a color scheme. So I did my homework and armed with my design notebook containing photos of every room, measurements of every space, paint samples and color swatches, I was off!

I had a terrific couple of days buying, building, arranging. There are tons of bargains to be had. Things that can be jazzed up to add a little more pizazz with some paint or another detail. Things that can be re-purposed and new pieces that can be found at bargain prices. If you know where to look there are truly deals every where.

A empty fireplace. Just screaming for some details.

And the AFTER!
Just adding a mirror, and other
items completely transformed this wall.

And talking about re-purposing the glass bottle on the top shelf of the bookcase is actually an antique "wasp " catcher I purchased at a garage sale. I added some curly willow stems and of course the always perfect orchid stem!

Some of my favorite spots are Home Goods! (love them), Furniture Affair (cool model home furniture, art and decorative stuff), Ikea (never go wrong with them). There are many more, I will add more of my favorites soon. But my point is, there are lots of bargains out there, but it does take some leg work,looking at things outside the box and a willingness to pick through stuff. Go find a spot in your home and jazz it up!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Simple things big changes

On the subject of what can I do that is affordable but makes a big impact in my kitchen or bathroom is hardware! Don't downplay what new cabinet hardware can do. If you have old knobs and pulls in your kitchen it more than likely will make your room feel dated. With the simple addition of new hardware it can literally transform a cabinet from dated to dazzling. Very similar to updating your jewelry. And if you have never had pulls or knobs on the cabinets you will be amazed at how much it adds to the room.

A couple of things to keep in mind when choosing new hardware.
  • Make sure you have taken into consideration the style of your cabinet

  • What other finishes do you have in your home (i.e. doorknobs, faucets, light fixtures)

  • Do the styles blend or match (it's okay to mix finishes just make sure the style is cohesive)

For example you would not want to put a chunky rustic pull in a contemporary kitchen.

One my favorite company's for hardware is Top knobs USA. They have a wide variety of styles, a terrific quality both in material and finish. I have noticed that some of the big box stores have hardware at a nice price point but many are made of resin. All in all I personally feel Top Knobs is a great value both in style and price. I am also a retailer for Top Knobs and if you are interested in a sample or ordering call me!

For a minimal investment you can make big changes to your kitchen, so go ahead, put new jewelry on your cabinets and enjoy the results!


Friday, October 22, 2010

What can I do to update for a minimal cost?

You have probably heard this a million times but it is true. Paint is probably the easiest and one of the least expensive things you can do to dramatically change a room.

A fresh coat of paint can make a dingy room shine. A cold room feel warmer, and an uninviting room feel comfortable. Have you ever noticed the really nice Doctor's offices are painted warm welcoming colors? It is all in the psychology of color and how we feel in certain hues.

I have a few companies that I use for my "go to" colors. One company in particular that I personally think has beautiful, livable and current paint colors is Restoration Hardware. My absolute all time favorite (this year!) is Silver Sage. It is a gorgeous silver blue color that is perfect in a bathroom or a bedroom.

You will find that the Restoration Hardware line of paints are well thought out and very livable. Even if you don't live near a Restoration Hardware you can request samples from their website and take it to your local paint supplier for a color match.

Sherwin Williams has lots of great colors and another favorite is Latte.
It is great anywhere. It is a warm color but not too much color. They have a terrific website and fun software to play around with.

So do something fun for yourself and your home. Paint this weekend!
Here's another tip: use the right tools it will go a long way towards making your project easier and look better! Trust me, I have learned this the hard way!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Going Green!

With Green being the buzz word of choice these days, especially in the building industry Board by Board participated in the 2nd annual Green Fair at Talking Rock Ranch in Prescott, AZ, Saturday October 16th. We joined multiple vendors and builders in sharing with the public what we do that is environmentally friendly. It was a lovely fall day, perfect for being outside and chatting with the public.

Interesting enough, when Robert and I sat down a couple of years ago and looked at our company and building practices we were delighted to realize we were already very Green. Our desire to build an energy efficient home had taken us well down the path of what it means to be Green!

On the technical front I am taking our office to almost paperless! I don't think I can ever be completely paperless (I rather like paper actually) but I am currently having a great time scanning and electronically filing all kinds of things. Now if I could just get up the courage to dump the paper copies!

Baby Steps!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get the Picture!

With the NKBA design contest deadline looming I have been working on my contest entry. I decided to have this fantastic bathroom professionally photographed. I asked photographer Larry Kantor to shoot this bathroom for me.

Tagging along on the photo shoot was a very interesting experience. I was amazed at the amount of time it took to set up, light the room and finally get ready to shoot. To sum it up it took 3 hours to get 4 photos. I've decided photographers earn every penny of their fee and I have a new found respect for the spectacular photos we see in design magazines.

I send my packet off this week and will wait with the 1000's of designers who have entered to hear back on who won. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Musings from a Kitchen and Bath Designer

I love ideas, I love sharing my ideas and I especially love seeing others use these ideas. Even better, I love helping other people take a desire or a hope for a new kitchen, bathroom or any room and making it come to life.

Please check back as I add to these pages my current projects, ideas and thoughts on what is happening in the world of kitchen and bath design.