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Recent Projects: Finishing Touches and Marco Island

Before I show pictures from a few recent projects I wanted to share some pictures from our recent trip to Marco Island.  We got lucky by missing the ice storm in Maryland and having great weather while in Florida last weekend.

I took this picture during our boat tour of the everglades.  There's something so peaceful about a solitary tree.

Then there was the exciting part...wild dolphins putting on a show for us within feet of our boat.  I did not catch the jumps on camera but they happened!

 The kids loved checking out all the birds.

We discovered this tree decorated with shells during our five mile walk along the beach.  We added a couple of our own.

If you're looking to relax on a beautiful beach, I highly recommend Marco Island!

As you know my projects can vary greatly in size.  I have full service design projects where I design everything from floor to ceiling for one or several rooms in a home or office.  But I also have smaller projects where I simply select a paint color, or design window treatments or simply rearrange furniture and accessories.  Here are a few smaller projects that I recently worked on that helped finish off my client's rooms.


A client asked that I refresh her bathroom with a new paint color and window treatments.  Everything else was to stay the same.  Below is the BEFORE picture.  

BEFORE picture

The tile on the floor was a good starting point.  I found this bold blue linen fabric from China Seas (trade only) to use for the both the window treatments and new shower curtain.  If you've been following my blog for awhile you know how much I loooove China Seas fabric so I was very excited that my client loved it too!  We also picked out a pretty Pindler and Pindler linen fabric (trade only) for the shower curtain that will be finished with the border from the China Seas fabric (upper left corner).  I wanted the shower curtain to fade into the walls so I picked a similar color for both.   I did this so the China Seas fabric and tile grabbed your attention first.

Here's the AFTER picture with flat roman shade on door, valance on window (covering a privacy shade) and new shower curtain...

AFTER picture

A close up of the new roman shade...

A close up of the new shower curtain with banding...


Here's another project where my client wanted help with creating window treatments in her master bedroom.  I had selected the paint color many months before and now it was time to add the finishing touch of window treatments.  Here's the BEFORE picture of one of the windows...

BEFORE picture

Here's the AFTER picture of the window with a valance and contrast banding that hide privacy shades.  This amazing fabric is by Jane Shelton (trade only) from the Holly Hunt showroom.  A Pindler brown linen fabric was used for the contrast band.

AFTER picture

The same fabric was used for flat roman shades on either side of the bed.  

AFTER picture


My client did a beautiful job renovating her bathroom.  She asked for my help to finish the window.  Here's the BEFORE picture.

Here's the AFTER picture.  I selected a Lee Jofa linen fabric banded with with a darker grey linen for contrast.  

AFTER picture

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my recent work!  This week I take pictures of my recent installation of an office in Eastport.  I think it turned out great and can't wait to share.

You also may have noticed some changes to my blog.  I rearranged the layout so the pictures are bigger.  I also "de-cluttered" the blog's look even further.  The look of the blog's title changed too with a fun colorful chevron pattern behind it.  I hope you like it!

Have a great week!


TV Design Solutions

With one of the biggest TV days around the corner, I thought it was a good time to write about TVs and how to decorate with them.   After searching through my inspirational picture files to find photos for this post  I actually came up with very few to share.  Turns out interior design magazines rarely include TVs in their photos.  Let's face it, they aren't very attractive so why would they include them.  But the reality is most of us have TVs and sometimes they are in very prominent places in our home.  Some people want them on display and others prefer to hide it.  What's your preference?

Here are a few solutions for both preferences...

The Built In Solution

Putting TVs in built in cabinets is a nice way to have the TV in a good spot for viewing but not be the focal point of the room.

Southern Living

Southern Living

This TV is hidden by panels when not in use.  I've seen old barn doors used this way too that slide on metal track.

Southern Living

Bifold doors are easily tucked away...

Mahoney Architects

I like how this TV is somewhat disguised in the bookcase.

Apartment Therapy

The Over the Mantel Solution

When the TV is placed above the mantel, keep the accessories on the mantel simple so it doesn't get too cluttered.  Make sure your TV size works with your mantel size.

Canadian House and Home 

This is one of my favorite pictures with the TV over the mantel.

House Beautiful

The Hide-With-Art Solution

The TV is actually hidden by the artwork which rolls up when you want to watch TV.  A company that offers this product is Art Screen Systems.

Southern Living

The Furniture Solution 

It's hard not to have your TV front and center when using furniture, unless it's an armoire.  Here are a few pictures where the designer/stylist did a nice job accessorizing around the TV. 

House Beautiful

I like how the TV is off center and works with the artwork.

Room & Board
 Here the TV becomes part of a vignette.

Pottery Barn
I especially like how West Elm accessorized around this TV (sorry for the poor quality picture, it's the only one I could find)

West Elm

Another bookcase solution that disguises the TV a bit.  The use of real books would actually hide it more.

Restoration Hardware

Put it on an easel and move it out of the way when you need too.

Restoration Hardware

And of course there is the armoire...

Ballard Designs

The Small Cabinet Solution

I really like this small mirrored cabinet for the TV...

The Simple Solution 

Design Within Reach offers a product called Muro Media Storage that allows you to build out a wall-like section to hide cords.  It comes unfinished so you can either wallpaper it...

Design Within Reach

or paint it.  Pretty cool.

Design Within Reach

 The High Tech Solution

Here's a high tech solution that incorporates your fireplace and your TV.  Great for the more contemporary home.  MCZ sells this product.


I'm sure one day soon we won't need any storage for our media, DVRs, cable boxes.  Won't that be nice!

Have a great week!


Recent Project: Bathroom Renovation

My client said her bathroom went from "Motel 6 to 5 star!"  This was a fun project that was a true collaborative effort to transform a master bathroom.

As with all projects, they start with an interview to find out my client's needs and desires.  I look at pictures to see their dream spaces to determine the style they are drawn too.  You also need to consider the style of the home and their current style.  This particular client lives in a beautiful historic home in downtown Annapolis.  The house is filled with mostly traditional furnishings along with artwork and accessories from their travels.  Their desire was to update their bathroom with an updated traditional look with classical details.

The next step is to take detail measurements and put them in Autocad.  Then a before and after floor plan is created with notes for the contractor.  We used the existing footprint because we could not steal space from anywhere else.

The design process for a bathroom can be different then that of a living room that uses fabrics and floor coverings.  This bathroom had little opportunity to introduce fabric because there are no windows and a shower curtain would not be used in the new design.  There was one piece of artwork that was to stay but it was neutral in color.  So basically the tile we selected was the starting point.  From there, the cabinet style, vanity top, plumbing fixtures, lighting and hardware were selected.

So here is the BEFORE picture...

Here's Dave, the contractor and perfectionist at work.  He's the same contractor who installed the kitchen in the 100 year old cabin that you can see here...Time to Get Cozy in the Kitchen.

Here's the AFTER picture.  You can click on the picture to enlarge.  I'm sharing the pictures before the frameless shower doors go in so you can see the tile work without the glare of the glass.   

You'll notice the tile with the classical look of marble.  Keeping the tile background more white versus beige keeps the space feeling lighter and brighter.  Granite was used for the vanity top, thresholds, and shower seat.

Here's another BEFORE picture from the other direction...

Here's the AFTER picture.  We used polished chrome fixtures and accessories, my finish of choice.  The lighting fixture is a great accent.  I can't say enough about how important it is to have good lighting fixtures.  They can make or break a space.  We also added can lights in the ceiling for good general lighting.  There's also a skylight above the shower that floods the space with lots of great natural light.

Here's a recessed cabinet with mirrors on the inside and an electrical outlet.  This bathroom is shared by both the husband and wife so outlets were needed on both sides of the vanity.

We used a "square" shape for most of the fixtures and accessories.  I like the simplicity of the one handle faucet keeping the surface of the vanity less cluttered.

Here's the old toilet...

Here's the new Toto toilet with the client's artwork above.  We considered the Kohler Cimarron toilet but in order to save another inch or two on length, the Toto toilet was installed, a definite upgrade in look also.  My client's artwork, another classical touch, is a replica of the Nike, warrior goddess of victory, adjusting her sandal.

This is the original Nike found at the Temple of Athena, Athens, Greece.

Another view of the Toto toilet.  But also notice the shower tile in the background.  Simple and elegant.

Floor tile is laid on a diagonal.

Here's the vanity with inset doors and drawers and pretty hardware.  I like to mix shapes for the hardware.

Here's the shower seat and niche for toiletries.  We used 7x11 tiles in the shower.  This tile shape is more contemporary but when used with the more traditional marble look, it strikes a nice balance.

Here you can see the 2x2 tile used on the floor of the shower.  What you can't see is the wall tile going all the way up to the ceiling.  This helps elongate the walls and doesn't leave an awkward section of wall above.

One more AFTER picture...

I hope you enjoyed seeing this recent project.  I feel fortunate to have another wonderful client to work with who really enjoyed the design process.  

Don't forget to click on the above pictures to get a closer look!

Have a great weekend!