This was by far one of my favorite projects. And nestled in one of my favorite locations. Santaluz is amazing! Maybe only second to Santa Barbara, in my opinion. Photo shoot is coming, but I couldn't resist letting a sneak peek out of the bag...
Perfect Powder Room
This powder room had one requirement: to perform as a full working bathroom while retaining it's beauty. We kept the builder cabinet (to save money), the client needed the extra storage. We changed the knobs, painted the walls, added a gorgeous countertop and voila, transformation! The wood flooring continues from the living room to enlarge the space. The veined stone countertop was scrounged from a fabricator scrapyard in downtown San Diego. The splash came from Home Depot, the accessories and art from Home Goods. A gem of a facelift without breaking the bank.
The sink is large enough to wash your face or brush your teeth. I also love that it's a vessel sink but is super easy to clean around and behind. The monogrammed towels the client found are super cute.
Stone backsplash from Home Depot, surrounded by hand-painted walls.
Fashion art. Because life is too short to live without a little glam!
Relaxed luxury in East San Diego...
I truly loved working on this project, and it helped to have a wonderfully fun client with great taste! Her eye for a good bargain rivaled my own, and together we transformed this tract-style home into a custom luxury retreat just minutes from the busy city. Come relax and leave your worries behind.
The stylish sitting room beckons you to an afternoon of tea lattes and good books. I loved designing this room with it's pastel neutral palette and unexpected whimsy. The two mirrors flanking the electric fireplace create the illusion of extra space. And speaking of illusion, who would know the fireplace is electric? Well, you, of course, reading this. We used black tile around the small fireplace opening, offset by the large white mantel, to created the perfect scale for an elegant fireplace.
Fluffy flokati rug (aka dog bed, who knew), fashion coffee table book, and scrumptious pillows are grouped with our favorite chairs from World Market. The curtains are custom, thank you Cathy's Draperies San Marcos, and the centerpiece was crafted by Artificial Blooms in San Diego. Accessories, as (almost) always, from Home Goods. Except for the coffee table bowl which I believe was a family heirloom. Ahhh, enjoy your latte...
Elegant Grace - Dining Room
Luxury Spa Bathroom
This gorgeous bathroom has a textured spa look, serene and luxurious. Being in this room calms the soul. We modernized the Meditteranean style with updated fixtures and current tile trends which gives it a fresh vibe. Come in and see...
Family Room Makeover
What can we say about this room? Absolutely stunning. There's a calm to the beauty, perhaps it's the layered textures. Or the story we told with the furniture and accessories. Or, just maybe, the 100 year old barn wood we used for the shelves...
I knew we were in good hands with our cabinet maker, Jeff Braxmeyer. Working with Jeff is always a joy, he has tons of talent and a super professional team. Not to mention his shop is near my office and I love to swing by and make sure everything is perfect. The details on this TV cabinet I selected from woodworking websites and we placed them artfully to make the cabinet look luxuriously aged. It sure turned out a beauty! Thanks, Jeff.
Dining Room Facelift
It's amazing the change you can make with design, and his room is a great example of why I absolutely adore my job. I love taking a space and making it beautiful through engineering the space-planning, setting the style tone and embellishing with color. I really could work all day every day and never take a break, I love what I do so much. But enough about me, let's take a look at this dining room:
The client wanted to keep her dining table and buffet, but we agreed to add new chairs, etc. With the use of trendy fabrics and contemporary art we put a fresh new spin on the Tuscan look that she loves.
The custom end chairs pretty much stole the show with their vibrant cut-velvet colors and sexy shape. They are the first thing you see from the entry... actually the first thing you see from the street. Front and center gorgeous!
We placed a pair of amazing mirrors above two custom made benches, flanking the center. The symmetry grounds the room and the extra fabric on the benches softens the architecture. And yes, those are real coral on the buffet...
Kitchen Makeover, Extraordinaire!
Welcome to my kitchen. What once was a faded brown, tired room has transformed into our favorite fresh and sunny morning hangout. And afternoon coffee. And evening dinner date...
We moved to our small development in the country about 10 years ago, and two kids and much rough-housing later our kitchen was pretty banged up. Since the world has gone white kitchen (and I'm pretty much addicted) I figured it was our turn. We hired a local painter to do a spray lacquer, which lasts so much longer than ordinary paint. Although it stinks like crazy and you really have to vacate the premises while they work. P-U!!
The pew across the back window was a Craigslist find. We drove almost two hours to pick it up, it was that worth it. Our pew acts as the longest bench ever, we've packed at least ten kiddos (and one or two adults) along that back window, it makes for super fun gatherings.
I was so thankful we got rid of the chandelier that was dangling over the table, since we're a tall family and we mostly whacked our heads on it. The track light is a whimsical statement and provides great light. We added a dimmer for mood lighting.
I'm also thankful we removed the wood blinds that had covered our view. The view here is amazing! The fabric curtains pull aside easily (a little candle wax along the top of the pole is an ancient designer secret, wink wink) and the blinds no longer block the view. Not to mention I don't have to clean them anymore. Anything off the cleaning list is a bonus!
So, the island. The one thing we splurged on and went custom. No words can justify how much this one tweak has changed our lives. No kidding! I drew it up and had my source in Mexico build it with a distressed finish, since I knew we would really abuse it over time. I love their craftmanship, and already I just touch it up when it gets a ding. Win, win.
The prior island was a big rectangle with one tiny seat at the end for one person. Well, for one small person. Which we are not. And whoever designed that one seat must not have had multiple kids. The peace we gained by adding more seating was worth every penny. And who doesn't love those adorable (indestructable) World Market barstools?
Some technical things: the leg I custom designed to cover the hole left behind by the previous rectangle island. If you look closely you can see the tile repair and the missing grout line. I also engineered the height of the trestle foot so that the barstools would scoot in all the way when not being used.
The island countertop is a man-made quartz which looks like cement. I purposely did a squared-off, thick edge, it's different than the granite edge but it enhanced the cement look. The almost-solid gray island top is a relief from the busy granite perimeter. Less busy = more peaceful. another win.
Below: Some times in design you just have to break the rules. I mean, who puts a cabinet in front of a window? (Well my Aunt Maureen does, but I digress.) This particular window-covering cabinet is my mom's buffet cabinet. It's no heirloom - I think she bought it at a thrift store - but she kept it in her dining room for as long as I can remember, and it is super sentimental. When we lost her to Leukemia I needed a place for it. Honestly, I needed my mom back... but having this memory close by has been a sparkle in a hard place. I gave it a beautiful charcoal paint finish (painted it myself) and parked it right in front of the window. The filtered light is beautiful.
The best part of this cabinet is that we actually use it. We use the heck out if it! I'm constantly heading to it for salad bowls, bread baskets, miscellaneous serving dishes and our summer plastic plates which we store behind the solid doors. I do have to dust things off, but what's a little dusting in comparison to a lot of blessing. Some times you just have to break the rules.
I hope you enjoyed taking a walk through our kitchen. Next time let's have coffee!
La Jolla Lifestyle Kitchen
I think the world may have found it's happy place. Introducing our latest (and favorite so far) lifestyle kitchen. A proper photo shoot hasn't been scheduled but we couldn't resist posting a few photos. Because why hold back sharing this beauty? Here you go:
We started with a clean slate, after much research and discussion whether to "facelift" the old or start anew. Boy am I thankful we started fresh! Because fresh is what we ended up with. And wonderful. And yummy. And...
This island is truly amazing. The room's previous layout was pretty crowded; to say we had limited space would be an understatement. The contractor and I scrutinized every inch and angle and came up with such a great solution to the space problem that you don't even remember there was a space problem. The only thing you do when walking into this kitchen... is smile, relax and cook something!
I could go on and on about how much I love Tabarka tiles, but the evidence is in the installation. I hand-selected the colors for the backsplash and had it installed to the ceiling above the sink, which enlarged the kitchen and consequently... enlarged the happy.
The story of this kitchen isn't complete without a visual of what we started with. It really was a pretty kitchen back in the day it was done, but truly time goes by and thankfully styles change. We kinda prefer the current style.... don't you?
Luxury Kitchen Makeover
Another of my favorite facelifts, with this kitchen we proved that a little paint sure goes a long way. Prior to the upgrade, the kitchen was a lot of brown cabinetry and busy granite. We changed the perimeter while leaving the island the same... what a DIFFERENCE! Alternating color and pattern really calmed the effect, and removing the upper cabinet opened up the sink area, making things light and airy. The new tile above the window makes you smile every day. Can you smell the coffee brewing?
BELOW: Before & After