Thursday, November 26, 2020

Revamping your outdated kitchen

Revamping your outdated kitchen cabinets

Do you have outdated kitchen cabinets? Don't have the finance to do a complete gut job? As a designer, I get asked this question a lot, "What can I do to update my kitchen without spending a lot of money?". There are a few solutions that you can do to update your kitchen.

The easiest and by far the least expensive with the most significant impact is to paint your cabinets.

Adding crown molding takes it up a notch!!

Add beadboard to flat panel door, then paint it any color you like.

Remember these cabinets? Very popular in the eighties? Not so much now!! Using a 2" wood strip, it completely changed the look of the cabinets. Love how they turned out.

Don't want to spend a lot of money on beadboard? Use paintable wallpaper. Easier to use, the same great effect.

Use half-round decorative molding to achieve this look. Then paint it any color you like.

As you can see, there are many ways to update the look of your kitchen without blowing your budget. It takes a little bit of time, but the results are simply amazing. And the money you just save, you can splurge on the backsplash or countertop. Maybe even both!!  For more ideas, check out Pinterest.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Pendant Lighting

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights are trending these days most commonly over kitchen Island. It serves a dual purpose. Offerings light in a much-needed area and changing the look of the space. Pendants come in all sorts of colors, finishes, styles, and lengths.

As a designer, I often get asked these two questionshow many will I need? And how big should they be? Good questions. As with anything else in designs, there are guidelines.

 1. How big? It requires a bit of math! Generally speaking, you want 12"-16" from the end of the island. The most common is 12". Let's say you have an island the is 120," and you want 4 lights. With 4 lights, you will have 5 open spaces, one on each end, and 3 in the middle (one between each pendant). Using 12" x 5 (open spaces) = 60".  Subtract from 120", and you are left with 60". Divide 60" by the number of pendants (4 pendants), and you are left with 15". This will be the diameter of your fixture. Can you figure out what the diameter would be if you were using 3 pendants? (Hint 24")

2. How many? The rule of 3. In the design world, odd numbers seem to work the best. That being said, rules are made to be broken. In the example I gave above, I use 4 pendants. Why? Because the island is very long and can handle 4 pendants. Just keep in mind if you are going with less, use slightly larger pendants. If you are going with more, use slightly smaller pendants above all, scale matters.

3. What height should I hang my pendants? They should hang 36" to 48" from the top of the counter to the bottom of the future. Be considerate of the sightlines. You don't want the pendant to obstruct anyone's views, nor do you want them to hit their heads!!

Images Via Pinterest


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Contemporary Rustic Cabinets

Contemporary Rustic Cabinets

Mixing old with contemporary is a very hot trend these days, especially in the kitchen. Thanks in part to Joanna Gaines. This is one trend that I have fallen in love with—mixing the look of traditional, contemporary, and rustic all in one kitchen. The look is fabulous!!

Don't be afraid to try this design style. It gives warmth and charm that is very appealing; I love the look and feel you get from mixing different design elements.

Image Via Pinterest

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The world of windows!!

The world of window treatments

There are so many options when it comes to window treatments; it can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, functionality, aesthetics, and design.

Well, I am here to help you understand the different types of window treatments that are available. Some you may know, others you may not.

Let's get started.

1 Hard Window Treatments - These are shutters that can be louvered or fixed slats. It can be made from wood or plastic. They offer privacy and control the amount of light being filtered.

2. Woven Shades - Sometimes called a bamboo shade. Great way to add texture to any space. They can also have an exotic surface like reeds, grass, or wood.

3. Cellular Shade - Looks like honeycombs. They are energy efficient and help insulate your home. They can be light-filtering or room blackout. They are made from clothlike material. They can come in a single, double, or triple honeycomb.

4. Pleated Shades - Similar to cellular shades but no honeycomb. They pull up to sit flat at the top of the window.Thereby giving you an unobstructed view of the outdoors.

5. Venetian Blinds - The can be made from wood, metal, or plastic (not my favorite as they can break easily). The slates rotate, so they overlap, blocking the light from coming in. Slats can also come in different widths from micromini to 2 1/2" slats.

6. Shoji Panel Screen - Originated in Japan, they are made from translucent rice paper. Easily allow light into the room so not great for bedrooms. They do offer an exotic look to any living room or dining area. They can made from out of wood or bamboo.

7. Panel Tracks - Often referred to as sliding window panels. They are great for patio doors or picture windows. Come in many different shades of colors and widths.

8. Vertical Blinds - They can be custom made. They can come in fabric, plastic, metal or faux wood. They were very popular in the 90's not so much today.

9. Roller Shades- They are called roller shade merely because they roll-up. You may remember them from your grandma's house, but I can assure you they are not the same. They come in many colors, texture and feature a simple and elegant way to treat a window.

10. Roman Shades - Fabric that hangs flat when closed. The fold into pleats when raised. They come in many different styles, fabric and offer insulting features, a beautiful way to add material into any space without cumbersome bulk of drapery.

11. Silhouettes - The vanes appear to float between the two sheer panels to create shading. When vanes are opened they provide sheer light diffusion. When closed, they offer privacy.

12. Drapery - Also known as curtains. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, patterns, and sizes. They are the most versatile and most likely the least expensive window treatment.

Pole Pocket

Pinched Pleat

Tailored Pleat

Inverted Pleat


13. Sheer - Made from translucent fabric. It doesn't offer much privacy, but it does prevent people from looking directly into your home. Comes in many different colors and texture.

14. Cafe Curtains - They may cover the lower portion of the window or the upper part of the window. Sometimes they can do both. It allows light to filter in, while keeping the room semi private.

15. Austrian shades- Fabric that is gathered into scallops when down and pulls into tighter scallops when pulled up. Fabric can be sheer. I do not like these as they are very "heavy" looking. Honestly, they remind me of Dracula's coffin. No thanks!!

16. Swag - Material that swags across the pole. They can be free form or custom made. They were very popular in the '90s. I still see them in homes today, but they are very outdated in my opinion.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider. It can be overwhelming at times. Just choose the one that is best suited for your space. And if you need help, reach out to me. I'll be more than happy to help.

Images Via Pinterest


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Is it wood? Or is it something else??

Is it wood? Or is it something else?

Wood flooring has been around for a very long time. But unfortunately, wood was not always possible or even affordable.And wood does not do well on concrete. But today there are so many many wood-like products. You can have the look of wood without the problem wood flooring can create.

1. Vinyl Floors - Great for mudrooms or any room that has a high traffic area or moisture issues. Easy to install and affordable. They click together or come in the adhesive that attaches.

2. Ceramic or Porcelain Ties - These tiles look so real it's hard to tell the difference. They even have hand-scrap wood tiles. Great for kitchen or bathrooms.

3. Engineered wood floors - They are resistant to higher moisture levels. They can be glued down and applied over concrete slabs. There is a layer of real wood on the surface. Once installed, it's nearly impossible to differentiate between engineered and the "real thing." That's what makes them so popular. They are also less expensive than real wood.

4. Laminate floor - Relatively easy to install. They can be used over concrete slabs. Less expensive then wood, but they are made from recycled wood fiber, so if they get wet, they will expand. Laminate floors have come a long way since their introduction. The quality is much better, but they are not as popular as they use to be. 

Nothing beats real wood. Otherwise, why would they try so hard to replicate it? What is it they say, imitation is the best form of flattery. Wood must be very flattered indeed.

With all the different types of wood flooring out there, it's easy to find the look of wood in the selection you like and at the price that you want to pay.

Image Via Pinterest


Thursday, September 17, 2020

My New Shed

My New Shed

Building and organizing my shed was a time-consuming project but well worth the time and effort. It's also a great selling feature when it's time to sell your home. In my case, I needed a shed to put all my tools and outdoor items. I bought this pre-fab shed and had my contractor New Island Remodeling put it together. They did a great job as usual.

1. Building Phase -  Reading those instructions was time-consuming. Looking good.

3. Painting - Construction is done; now, the painting begins—a lot of work on my part but worth it. I painted the inside and the outside. Why do you ask? Because it brightened up the interior and protected the outdoor against the weather elements.

3. Organizing - This shed came with two shelves. Very handy, it allowed me to store my tables and outdoor area rug. I added hooks to hang items that were large or bulky. I labeled all my items—this way, when my kids use the items, they know where to put it back. No excuses!!

I bought these white storage cubes from Home Depot. They are great because they are plastic. I bought three sets. They come in in a two-pack.

I bought these fabric storage bins from Target. They are called Threshold Fabric Cube. They come in different colors and fit perfectly in those white cubes.

I used PVC tubing and cut them on an angle then nailed them to the wood. This allowed me to store my large items. Very organized.

Lastly, I use these hooks to hang my ladders, hose, and eventually, my snow shovels.

It's not done until I add some piazza to it. Couldn't help myself!! 

Now it's all done. It gives me a lot of storage. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished on my own. I'm not done yet; I will be adding cement sometime soon. This way, there won't be such a big step getting in or out of the shed. It will also prevent it from getting muddy.