My Home Office Dining Room

I've been busy updating photos and room tours on the blog.  Currently, I'm working on the "My Home" tab.  This post is an updated room tour of my Home Office that also doubles as our Formal Dining Room.   This room is a good example of a versatile, multi-functional space. 

This room is small but it's very hardworking.  Most days, it is used as my Home Office/Design Studio.  While entertaining {and sometimes Sunday evening dinners} this room is used as a formal dining area.  
I was able to accomplish this easily by choosing multi-functional furnishings.  

My "desk" is actually a dining table.  We had our local glass company cut a piece of plexi-glass to protect the top of the table.  I am able to use the surface daily as a hard-working desk that is subjected to many DIY projects without worrying about damaging our formal dining table.  

Most days, there are four chairs at the table.  The other four are kept in the basement and brought up when we are entertaining.  

Now that we have the great "wood" floors, I can easily spin the table around to accommodate the leaf, if necessary.  

Since this is the first room you see upon entering our foyer, I chose accessorize the space as a dining room.  

I kept the color palette in this room neutral.  I love to decorate this space for the holidays and the neutral color scheme is a great backdrop for Christmas reds,

warm {and spooky} fall colors,

spring pastels and multi-color party decor,

The neutral color scheme also helps me keep my focus while designing for clients.

I'm less distracted by color in my surroundings and more focused the palette of my project.

The "buffet" is a thrift store dresser that also functions as a "file cabinet".  I swap the charging station and desk accessories for food serving pieces when entertaining.  
The lamps stay put, they are a great source of additional lighting during work hours and they provide a soft, cozy, ambient lighting for intimate dinners.  

The mirror over the buffet is a new piece from Rugs USA {The Kristen Arch Mirror}.  The extra large mirror anchored the asymmetrical room.  It also opened up the space, making it feel larger.  
Tomorrow, I am going to share tips on how to hang a large, odd shaped piece like this.

Here are some details about the space:

Flooring~you can read about, here
The black dresser/buffet~you can read about, here
The wall color~Martha Stewart Crevecouer
The molding paint color~Martha Stewart Tailors Chalk
Mirror~The Kristen Arch Mirror from Rugs USA
Rug~The Merchandise Outlet
Table/ {Plantation Cove Collection}
Charging station~Potterybarn
Drapes~Restoratin Hardware
Curtain rods/holdbacks~Restoration Hardware
Roman shades~Target

Thanks for visiting our Home Office Dining Room.

Creating A Kids Space With Meaning~Design Dazzle

Today, I'm guest posting over at Design Dazzle {one of my very favorite decorating blogs}.  I'm so excited to be there talking about kids spaces.  Specifically, creating a space for your child that looks chic and has meaning.  I'm sharing some of the ways my daughter, Hannah, and I used sentimental stuff and DIY projects to personalize her Potterybarn-style room.

{Hannah and I in front of our DIY magnetic memo boards}

Please, stop by, say hi and poke around Design Dazzle.  Toni has a fabulous blog centered around kids rooms.  There is a ton of inspiration over there.  If your gearing up to decorate a child's space any time soon,  you may want to check out Design Dazzle, first.  :)

Haley's Room

Today's Online Design Plan is one of my favorites.  I love designing for kids.  This room was created for Haley, the daughter of my client, Anna.  I've had the honor of decorating a few spaces in this beautiful home.  Anna is a dream to work with.  We started the design with pretty white furniture (2 twin beds, dresser and nightstand) and a pair of gorgeous lavender and green patchwork quilts from Potterybarn.  

And here is her custom inspiration board...
We created a sumptuous space by using layers.  The window treatments are wispy, feminine, layered white cotton drapes.  The beds are dressed to perfection by layering fluffy white and purple duvets over the patchwork quilts and crisp white sheets.  
The wall color we chose is "Kittery Pointe Green" by Ben Moore.  Soft and subtle, the perfect backdrop for the lavender and green bedding.  Outside of Haley's artwork {framed and matted in white Potterybarn frames}, the star of the show is this beautiful, handmade, one-of-a-kind chandelier...
To give the space a unique personality, I hit up my favorite online source for handmade/vintage accessories, Etsy.  This masterpiece was created by Lori Nelson of Shabulous Chandeliers.  You may have seen her recently on an episode of HGTV's "Dear Genevieve" where she made an amazing custom chandelier for Genevieve's client.  
Lori's Etsy shop caught my eye initially because of her gorgeous chandeliers.  What really sold me was what she had to say about her creations, 
"...My work demonstrates the potential for items that are broken, worn, or out-dated to become new again, fresh, and fun, keeping at least a little bit out of the landfills. I think of it as doing my part. I am also a master at turning ordinary items into the ultra extraordinary. All things can possess the promise to become special. It just takes a little creativity and a lot of fun. ".  -Lori Nelson, Shabulous Chandeliers.
The piece I chose for Haley's design plan is a semi-flush mount ceiling light fixture called "The Purple Monster".  I chose this unique light fixture for the gorgeous color and amazing sparkle.
You can visit the Shabulous Chandeliers Etsy shop by clicking here.  You may also visit Lori's website, here
Here is the complete source list of products and images included in this design plan:
Thank you, Anna {and Haley} for inviting me into your home. 
I hope you enjoy your new space.
For information on my affordable Online Design Services, please click here
*This is an example of the Comprehensive Design Plan which includes a video of the design plan put to music. 

Painting Kitchen Cabinets (Painted Cabinetry)

This is the second post on the details of my recent kitchen makeover.  Today, I'd like to share my cabinet painting experience.  At the end of this post, I've included all of the paint colors used in the kitchen project.  Later on this week, I'll be sharing more details on how we customized our builder-grade kitchen cabinets. 

Back to cabinet painting...I often watch (with excitement and anticipation) as clients go through this process.  It was good for me to experience it first hand, in my own home, to remind me what it's like living through a re-model.  A taste of my own medicine :).

  At times it was pretty stressful, but so worth it in the end. 
I would do it over again in a heartbeat.  I'm so happy with the results.  
Here is a look back at what they looked like originally, (medium tone birch)...


And here is what they look like now...



 Since this is design for real people, I'm going to be real about this experience.
Before the transformation was complete, there was a "during" period.  This is the part of the post where the pictures are hard to look at.

Here is what my home looked like for many weeks in between the before and after...




Here is how it went down...

I decided to have the cabinets brushed as opposed to having them sprayed (Both options are great.  My personal preference was the old fashioned way).  I hired a professional painter {Bob's Home Improvements Pontiac, Mi}.  He began the  process by removing the doors and creating a tent of plastic around the kitchen.  He gave everything a good sanding (which made a huge mess, even though the kitchen was wrapped in plastic) followed by a coat of (really stinky) oil based primer.

Then came three coats of oil based enamel {satin finish}.  Due to excessive heat, high humidity, and a ton of dust in the air, the painting all had to be done inside, with the windows closed.  The house was turned into a make-shift painters warehouse for several weeks.  The smell was pretty strong so the kids and I made ourselves scarce.  We took a trip out of town to escape the fumes.

Tips for anyone considering this project...

~Research the process thoroughly if you are going to attempt it DIY style.  This is one project you don't want to do twice.
~Use a licensed and insured professional if you choose to hire the job out.  Don't be afraid to interview several painters and ask to see examples of their work {specifically kitchen cabinetry}.
~Pack up the contents of your kitchen, it's much easier than dealing with dust on your dishes and in your food.
~Get yourself, the kids and pets out of the house while the paint is wet {Especially if using oil based paint}.
~Be prepared for a huge mess.  Expect to be inconvenienced for a while.  It's temporary, you'll get through it and you'll be happy in the end.

Here are the paint colors used in the kitchen makeover...

The paint used for the cabinets was an oil based enamel.  The painter chose his favorite brand of paint and had it custom mixed to my color choice.  I chose the same color as the trim throughout our home, Martha Stewart's "Tailors Chalk". In the image below, you can see how the cabinets match the super thick crown molding (which is really an optical illusion, you can read about, here).

In this image, you can also see into the dining room.  The color in that space is a dark green based gray also by Martha, "Crevecour".

The light grayish green of my new kitchen is a custom mixed color based on a very old Martha Stewart color, "Coir".  This color is so old, that it was actually part of the paint collection sold at Kmart.  This color can also be found in my living room, breakfast nook and foyer.  Since it has been discontinued, I had to have it custom matched to a small sample I had laying around from previous touch up job.  I've had so many emails asking for this paint recipe that I seized this opportunity to share it with you...

Here, again,  is "Coir" on the walls of the breakfast nook and "Tailors Chalk" on the trim and molding.  The black doors are Martha Stewart "Silhouette".

For the doors, molding and trim, I used a latex satin finish paint, for the walls I used a latex flat finish.
After experimenting with a few different paints and finishes, the painter achieved the best results using a high quality, satin enamel mixed with a paint leveling additive.

This experience was similar to having a baby.
When the project was complete and I saw my brand new kitchen for the first time, I completely forgot about the delivery.

Kitchen Makeover Details~ The Rug

The next few posts will be dedicated to sharing the details of my kitchen makeover.
You can see the original reveal post, including the before and after pictures by clicking here.
Today, I'd like to talk a little about one of my favorite elements of the new kitchen...the rug.  

The first criteria I had when choosing the rug was the shape.
My kitchen is almost a perfect square.  To soften the hard lines and sharp corners, I set out to find a round rug.  When I started my search, I began at one of my favorite sources for rugs online, Rugs USA.  
It didn't take long to find my rug soul mate.  

I wanted a bold, graphic, contemporary pattern in soft muted colors.   By visiting the Rugs USA website and entering in the following search criteria: round, green, contemporary, I was able to find the perfect rug for my kitchen...

On their website, it's shown as a rectangle.  By clicking on the product you can see the other shape and color options.

I have a thing for clean, uncluttered counter tops {especially in a compact kitchen such as mine}.  I also have a thing for color, pattern and interest {which is usually brought into a space through art and accessories}.  This rug was a great solution.  It brought color, pattern and interest to the space without taking up valuable counter space.  It gave the room a ton of personality without "clutter".


Rugs USA has a great variety of beautiful, high quality rugs at amazing prices.  I am not just saying this because this is a sponsored post.  I am saying it because I really mean it.  Many of my design projects include a rug from Rugs USA.  {Click here to view recent design projects}.  I've had complete satisfaction from my clients with their Rugs USA purchases.  

My order was processed and delivered within a week.  It came to me securely packaged and in perfect condition.  When I stumble upon a great retailer, I can't wait to pass their information on to you! 

Thank you, Rugs USA, not only for my beautiful new rug but, also, for providing great products time and time again.  {Not just fabulous rugs, they also have great furniture and home decor}.

*This is a sponsored post.  I received merchandise in exchange for this product review. My experiences and opinions are 100% honest.
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