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Recent Project: Contemporary Bedroom Design by Email

This time last year, a super nice young couple who live in Vienna, Virginia, called me because they wanted help with paint colors, placement of accessories, and flooring.    It was a good opportunity to help them make some changes that would make a big impact to their home.  Well, they liked the changes and a few months later they asked for my help on their master bedroom.

This project was a little different from other projects because we developed the room's design based on information we shared with each other by email.    There has been a trend over the last few years for interior designers to offer their services online for a slightly cheaper rate.  All the information for a client's project is gathered by phone and/or email.    Based upon the client's measurements and pictures, design plans are developed and items are selected.  I've been a little suspect of the service because I wasn't sure seeing a space with your own eyes and meeting your client in person could be replaced with information exchanged via email.   I decided to hire another designer to see how the process worked.  After providing feedback on "inspirational images" and information on my room, I was sent a space plan and links to furniture that I could purchase on my own.  I have to say I was pretty impressed with the result.    It's an interesting concept because it allows access to designers without paying full blown designer rates.  I've not formally offered this service on my website (honestly, I've been pretty busy without it) but might consider it one day.

This project wasn't purely an "online"project but was as close as I've come to this kind of service.  Admittedly, I had been in their bedroom several months before so I knew how the space was used and related to the rest of the home.  Nevertheless, they sent me their wish list, measurements and pictures of their room which were used for the design plan.

Here's one of the BEFORE pictures they sent me...

My client was looking "to pump up the color, keep lines clean, and add some texture" and some extra storage to their bedroom.   The contemporary bed and large dresser were to stay.  So after some research, we put this design plan together for them...

We wanted the space to be fun, fresh and contemporary.  We selected lighting, pillows, accessories and furniture for the room and used a mixture of national catalog and trade resources in the design plan.  Yesterday, my client sent me these pictures of their room and I'm pleased with how it turned out... 

We used "pops" of red strategically placed around the room that contrast with the blue grey color on the walls and duvet.

Accent lighting is so important for a room.  Below is a Jonathan Adler sconce we used on either side of their bed.  In case you missed it, check out the post I did on Jonathan Adler's home about a year ago...Fun Interiors.  His home is a good reminder to not take our interiors too seriously and to have fun with them!

Here's another "pop" of red for next to the TV...

Here's the eclectic grouping of pillows we selected for the bed...

Love these contemporary accent tables from Bungalow 5.  This table is finished with a red lacquer.

The other bedside table has texture with red painted grass cloth.  

Here comes the custom part.  It would be hard to offer certain window treatments with an "online" service.  Especially a custom roman shade which worked best for their window type.  I took measurements of the windows, looked at our fabric options in their space and their lighting and confirmed the treatment design in person. 

Below is a BEFORE picture of their window...

After a trip to the Washington Design Center, I found several fabric options for the window.  Our two favorites were the middle diamond pattern and the lower right deep red fabric.  They both had a more "organic" feel that went well with the motif on their duvet cover.

We decided on the deeper red fabric.   My workroom did a beautiful job constructing the roman shades below.  You can also see the dresser we added for storage.

Here's a picture with the shade down so you can see the pattern.  We used black out lining to ensure the room remains dark for good sleeping...

One more after picture of the bedroom...

Another fun project with another great client to work with!  Thank you Ron and Pam for taking all the great pictures of your space for this post!

I also want to mention that I'm on Pinterest.  I've been posting images I'm really liking to this site almost daily.  Click here to follow me and my boards.

Have a great week!


Spring is Here!!!

I'm loving the recent weather in Maryland.  I had my first dinner party outside this past weekend.  We didn't sit down to eat till 8 so everyone got a blanket just in case they got a little chilly.  It was a great time with good friends, good food and good wine!  I tried a new Paella recipe that you make on the grill with lobster.  It had the most amazing flavor and I highly recommend you try it! Click here and scroll down to the Paella recipe.    Below in the lower left corner you can see a picture of the dish...

Wall Street Journal
For desert I made dark chocolate mousse from the Bouchon cookbook.  I've never been to Napa Valley, but when I go, I will definitely be eating at Bouchon Bistro.  I love everything I've tried in their cook book.  Years ago I even bought the lidded pot de creme molds to serve mousse.  We like mousse so much it was worth the splurge.


Below are pretty spring pictures...Here's to enjoying the outside!


Canadian House and Home

Canadian House and Home

Canadian House and Home
House Beautiful

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Canadian House and Home

This Old House

This Old House


Recent Project: Office with Live Edge Desk

Since I started my business a majority of my projects have been more traditional in look with a smattering of contemporary projects here and there.  Well, I'm excited about adding several recent contemporary projects to my portfolio including this project which mixes both contemporary and rustic elements.

My client has an office located in downtown Annapolis, in the great area of Eastport.  He not only wanted the new design to reflect his style and interests but also improve its function by providing better organization and storage.

Here are the BEFORE pictures.  My client was temporarily borrowing this L shaped desk which was too big for the space and visually too heavy for the room.

BEFORE picture

BEFORE picture

This first step in designing a room for someone is to not only find out their style preferences, but their functional needs.  In this case, we had to pack a lot of function into a small space.  My client wanted his desk space to be uncluttered with space for a computer and writing.  We recommended all paperwork, files, supplies, and the printer go behind him on a credenza with a hutch for additional storage...all unseen until needed.  The office was also in need of better task lighting.

Here's the space plan for the new office and the elevation of the new credenza and hutch.  The 6' credenza and hutch are along the wall.   Lighting was improved with a task light on the hutch, a desk lamp, and a large floor lamp.  A 5'10" desk will float in the middle of the office with accents chairs and table across from the desk.

Once the space plan is finalized, we put this digital look book together which included the furniture, lighting, and artwork to be placed in the room.  We also provide finish samples for furniture and fabrics for the proposed items.

After the look book was approved, the ordering begins.   Furniture is shipped to my receiver who inspects everything for me and stores them until the installation day.  On install day, I jam pack my car with toolbox, accessories, and glass and furniture cleaner.  I meet my receiver there and have everything placed in the right spot.

Here's the final result...

Every well designed room needs a focal point.  I think this office landed up with two...the custom designed live edge desk and wildlife photography.  Here's a close up of the desk...

My client and I were really happy with how the desk turned out.  The rustic top pairs nicely with the steel legs.  The oil finish on the desk top is beautiful.

Normally, this desk has a computer monitor on it but I had to take it off for the picture above.

Here's a close up of the Michael Land's photography on the wall.  Michael, who specializes in photography of the Chesapeake Bay, printed the photos in the size we needed and Artist's Framer did a beautiful job matting and framing the prints for us.

We also added these side chairs from Room and Board.   They have a great profile.  In between the chairs is an accent table with wood top and iron twig base.

The Knoll mesh desk chair below is a classic. The hutch can be seen here too along with the floor lamp with a base that is adjustable and wrapped in leather.   How nice to have a view of the water through the window.

Other items added to the office that you don't see are a gallery of family photos and a white board for keeping track of tasks.

One more AFTER picture....

Another fun project!  If you would like fun transforming your space into one you me.

Have a great week!


Recent Project: Accessorizing a Family Room

My animal lover just celebrated her 8th birthday this past weekend.  It was a dream party for her because not only did she spend time with fourteen of her closest friends,  she learned to train animals and had the chance to hold lots of exotic animals.  I highly recommend Chelonia Eco-Adventures who created a wonderful memory for Kylie.  

Happy Birthday Kylie!

As much as I love full service design projects, I have to say the smaller projects are so much fun too.  You get the instant gratification of transforming a room fairly quickly. I enjoy the chance to organize, reuse, and add some much needed elements to a space that make a big impact.   We recently helped a young family who was unhappy with their family room.  They asked us for advice on furniture needs, artwork placement, organization and accessory placement.  After running a few ideas by our client, they gave us the green light to move forward.  In just a few hours and on a modest budget we transformed my client's room.

Here's the BEFORE picture...

BEFORE picture

Here's the AFTER picture...

Here is what we did....

It made my weekend when I received the following email from my client:

Just wanted to let you know that we are thrilled with our new family room.  It is really making us feel more settled in our home!

The best was when Jared came home and LOVED it, and was so impressed with how much care you took with his pictures.  He said the project was worth every penny!

Can't wait to work with you again on another project!

Thanks, again! 

Have a great rest of the week!