Giveaway~Third Step In A Worry Free Kitchen Makeover

At the end of this post, please leave a comment for a chance to win $100 Visa gift card.
Welcome to part three of my series titled, "Four Steps To a Worry-Free Kitchen Makeover."  As a design professional, I know firsthand that for many homeowners the thought of a kitchen renovation is accompanied by anxiety over all the decisions that need to be made.  I'm teaming up with Sub-Zero and Wolf to share my tips for each stage of a kitchen renovation to help put your worries to rest. 
Here is a look back at the other two posts in this series:
Step One: Define Your Goals. 
 Today's post will address the third step: Executing Your Design Plan.
In my experience the main topics that cause anxiety for homeowners at this stage of the game are; choosing the right professionals, making final decisions, balancing the budget and living through the actual remodel.  The design board shown here is from a client project I'm currently working on.  Using this project as an example, I would like to walk through the process of executing a design plan and offer my advice on each of these anxiety-inducing topics.

1.  Choosing The Right Professionals


The design board shown here is from a client project I'm currently working on.  Using this project as an example, I would like to walk through the process of bringing a kitchen design plan to life.  These particular clients are undergoing a complete kitchen remodel.  They hired a local architect to design the new kitchen layout and a cabinet maker to build new custom cabinetry according to the architect's plans.  They asked me to assist with material selection, finishes, paint colors, hardware, furniture, lighting, etc. 

In Step One and Step Two of the Worry-Free Kitchen RenovationI I mentioned, it's important to have the right professionals involved in your project from the beginning.  In this case the homeowners have had previous experience working with the three of us and knew we were right for their project.  If you are contemplating a remodel and aren't familiar with any local design professionals, trusted resources like Sub-Zero and Wolf's website can help.  Their "Locate a Designer" feature can quickly provide a list of award-winning kitchen designers in your area. 

2.  Making Final Selections

Once the plans from the architect were squared away it was time to start making final selections.  First we met with the cabinet maker to choose the cabinet style and finish.  Then it was time choose their new appliances.  My clients visited our local Sub-Zero and Wolf showroom where they met with a kitchen specialist and selected their brand new rangetop and refrigerators.  Visiting the showroom allowed them to experience and get hands on with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances in full scale kitchen settings before they prurchased.
Here is a look at their selections…
The refrigerator they chose is the 42" wide Sub-Zero Over-and-Under with French Door.  This particular model has the most interior capacity of any counter-depth French door model.  In addition to a full size refrigerator, they also selected the Sub-Zero UC-24BG Beverage Center.  This beverage center will be perfect for when they are entertaining as well as everyday family life.  It offers built-in refrigeration for their new custom bar area.  For the cooktop, they selected the Wolf 48" Sealed Burner Rangetop.  They love to cook and this gas range offers everything a chef could want including dual stacked sealed gas burners that offer two levels of heat control. 


After checking appliances off the list, it was time for the three of us to start shopping for materials.  The photos used throughout this post were taken during our shopping trips to local tile and granite suppliers Ciot and Gennesse Cut Stone.  The first selection we made was the granite. Choosing an important, main element like countertop material first can help make all the other selections easier. 
   Using the granite as our color guide, we were able to narrow down our backsplash options. 

3.  Balancing The Budget
Since countertop material was one of the biggest expenses, choosing the granite right away gave us a place to start the budget management process.  If sticking to a budget is a priority in your kitchen makeover, having your project managed by a kitchen design professional from the early stages will help keep you on track.   


Balancing the budget in a remodel is all about give and take.  If you find a slab of granite that you are in love with, but it's pricier than your original granite allowance, you may be able to make up the difference in other areas.  For instance, using budget friendly, off the shelf hardware as opposed to custom order could save enough money to make up for that more expensive granite.  If making decisions like this on your own has you worried that your end result won't be the same, a kitchen design professional will know how and where to make appropriate budget friendly substitutions within the design.
It's important to remember when you're planning a remodel that one change can sometimes lead to another.  It's a good idea to leave room in the budget plan for unexpected expenses and/or add-ons.   For example, while shopping for granite and backsplash tile for the new kitchen, we came across some beautiful tile flooring options for the adjacent pantry and mudroom.  The materials we found really complement the new kitchen design and got us thinking about adding on to our project.   
4.  Living Through The Re-model Process 

Once all the design decisions have been made and materials have been selected, it's time for the work to begin.  Whether you are living in your home through the remodel process or staying somewhere else, expect to be met with some inconveniences.  In this case, my clients are living in their home through the entire process.  They are prepared to deal with a mess for a few weeks knowing the reward will be a beautiful kitchen they will enjoy for years.  Residential interior websites like are a great support center and resource for homeowners.  There are many articles, like this one, related to living through a kitchen remodel that offer a ton of great tips and advice to make things a little easier

No matter how much planning goes into a remodel project, it's always best to expect something unexpected.  As long as you go into your kitchen remodel project with realistic expectations and an open mind, the process will be much less stressful.  If you are managing your own project, be prepared for the possibility of things like contractor delays or product backorders.  If you are enlisting a kitchen design professional to oversee your project, they will help manage events like this.

Stay tuned for the fourth and final post in this series.

Join in the conversation and follow Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook. For more information on their appliances, visit Sub-Zero or Wolf online.

How would you design your dream kitchen with Sub-Zero and Wolf? Let me know in the comments below for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Sweepstakes Rules:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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2.     Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

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4.     For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/19-9/16.

Be sure to visit the Sub-Zero and Wolf  brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts.


Bedroom Makeover~Before and After~A Design Plan Comes To Life

One of my absolute favorite things is receiving "after" pictures in my email inbox.  Today, I'm going to share some that were just sent in by my e-design client, Barbara.  We recently had the opportunity to provide Barbara with an online design plan for her master bedroom.  After Barbara completed our project questionnaire, she returned it along with measurements and photos of her space.  Then, we got busy creating a custom design plan that gave Barbara specific product recommendations and instructions on how to implement a professional custom design in her master bedroom. 

Here is a look at the room before the design consultation…



Barbara wanted her bedroom to be high in style but still relaxed and comfortable.  Most of the rest of her home is decorated in neutrals, so color was a welcome addition in this space.  As you can see, she already had some great furnishings and wanted us to keep some of her current pieces in the design.  One of the things Barbara mentioned in her consultation questionnaire was that it was important for us to incorporate a piece of art that has special meaning to her.  It's a needlepoint angle that her mother made and you will see in the "after" pictures below how that piece is now the focal point of the space.  

Here is a look at the design plan we created for Barbara...

After we delivered this plan, Barbara got to work implementing her custom design.  She made a few substitutions, but used this plan as her general guide.  For instance, she chose a chair that had a similar look to the chair we suggested, but was more tailored to her personal comfort needs.  It is the same style and color.  Another example of a substitution she made are the mercury glass lamps.  The lamps she chose are very similar to the lamps we put in her design plan. Barbara also decided not to incorporate a TV into the new design and replaced it with a mirror. 

Are you ready to see what the room looks like now?  
Take a look…

What I love most about this space, is how her special needlepoint angel is now the focal point of the room.  Barbara did an amazing job following our plan, tweaking it to meet her personal needs and implementing the new design.  I also have to point out that this real-life makeover with real-life photography is a great example of the results our online design plan service provides.

Thank you Barbara for allowing me to share your project.  We really enjoyed working with you and hope you are enjoying your new bedroom!


For information on my affordable online design service please click here.
Source List

Blue, Beige and Charcoal Family Room

Today's featured design plan is one of two rooms we designed for Ashley and her young family.  We created a look that is classic, yet young and current. The color combination of blue, beige and charcoal gray is timeless and striking.  This living room design is high in style and in family friendliness.  
Take a look...

(*All product sources are listed at the very end of the post)

  For Ashley's Living Room wall color, we recommended a color like Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams (the color shown below, all the way to the right).  This fantastic neutral color will look great with her white trim, baseboards and window casings.  Also shown here are two other accent colors that could be used with this design.  

For drapes, we chose these eye catching charcoal gray cheveron panels from Ballard Design.  These have a casual feel while the large graphic pattern will set off the large windows in Ashley's home. 

Ashley already has a great loveseat that she would like to keep in the space.  For additional seating, we introduced a pair of neutral colored wing back chairs.  These particular chairs have a nice contemporary shape which keeps them feeling young. 

For color, pattern and interest, we created a custom mix of toss pillows.  This collection of fabrics will look great mixed together on the loveseat and wing back chairs. 

Ashley has a young family that wants to be able to use this space comfortably everyday.  This coffee table is a perfect solution.  These beautiful storage baskets not only provide a place to keep toys, but they also bring gorgeous natural texture that compliments the design.  

This amazing area rug was chosen for it's striking color combination and bold pattern.  It is traditional in style, yet the contrasting color palette makes it an eye catching addition to the space.  

With the addition of this bold, colorful rug and striking cheveron drapes we kept the rest of the design simple.  These beautiful glass lamps from Ballard Design are simply stated, yet interesting and elegant.

All together this design feels young and fresh, yet classic at the same time. 

Here is the true to scale floorplan we provided to Ashley that illustrates the furniture placement we suggest for her space...

As with all of our online design plans, Ashley received a complete product source list, a true to scale floor-plan illustration and instructions on how to implement her new design. 
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to design for you, Ashley.  


For information on my affordable online design service please click here.

*Product Sources:

A Tough Week With A Happy Ending

We had quite a scare this week at The Yellow Cape Cod.  Our beloved mascot (and fourth child) Murphie became ill last weekend and progressively got worse through the week. 

If you have followed The Yellow Cape Cod blog, you already know all about Murphie.  He face makes a frequent appearance in my blog posts.   

If you're new here, these are just a few of his TYCC debut photos. 
 After a week of being sick with no sign of improvement, we were preparing our family for the worst. 

Almost as suddenly as he became ill,  he turned a corner last night.
This morning things are looking up.  We are so relieved and can't wait to have our happy go lucky pup back.  

We'll be showering him with love this weekend while trying not to spoil him too much.  

I have to admit I'm a little worried that he may get used to all the extra attention... 

…especially having me cook for him (which is part of his treatment). 
Have a wonderful weekend friends!  I'll be back next week to share some of the brand new custom designs we've been working on. 

Important Announcement!

Wow, this has been an incredible year!  The Yellow Cape Cod has reached a major milestone…behind the scenes of this blog my team and I have been busy in the studio creating custom designs for over 300 rooms!  

I'm very humbled to say that this month, The Yellow Cape Cod Online Design Service is completely booked!  Our commitment to providing exceptional design services means we must limit the amount of projects we take on each month.  This month, we've reached capacity.  If you haven't made your reservation through our paypal shopping cart by midnight tonight, you can email me to have your name added to our waiting list (  If you have already made your reservation through our paypal shopping cart, no worries you're in!  

Stayed tuned for an announcement as soon as we are available for new projects.  
Thank you for stopping by the blog and for giving me the opportunity to design for you!  I can't wait to share all the new and exciting custom room designs we've been working on. 

Like this one…

(A complete product source list is available at the end of this post)

This design was created for an amazing master bedroom suite.  You can see in the true-to-scale floorplan illustration above the space includes a luxurious sleeping area as well as an intimate lounging area in front of the fireplace.   
Here are just some of the items we included in this custom design plan...
Our goal was to create a comfortable, calming retreat for our client.  A pair of beautiful linen chaise lounges are the epitome of style and comfort.  They are the perfect choice for the area in front of the fireplace. 

Mirrored side tables add a lot of interest and a little bit of *bling* to the design.  
Black furniture grounds the space.  A gorgeous black dresser and pair of nightstands in a rich black finish adds sophistication and drama to the otherwise neutral design.  

This oversized set of four art prints make a focal point of the bed.  We suggested that they could be split and mounted over the nightstands as an alternative to hanging them as a set of four over the headboard. 

A tufted ottoman was placed in between the two chaise lounges.  This beautiful piece adds softness and a bit of femininity to the space. We especially love it's latte colored velvet fabric against the neutral linen colored chaise upholstery. 

This beautiful, classic chandelier is the most romantic finishing touch.  The modern Crystal shapes update the look of this otherwise traditional piece.  

As with all our design plan projects, in addition to the items shown here, we included additional furniture, art, accessories, drapery, mirrors, lighting and accessories as well as step by step instructions on how to implement the design. 
Product Source List

Thank you for stopping by!  Come back soon to see more of our most recent custom designs!
For information on my affordable online design service please click here. 

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