A Peek Behind The Scenes

A Peek Behind The Scenes

Today I thought I would take you behind the scenes of one of our current projects. Although this project has just completed, I am giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes before furniture comes into the space and before our final photo session.
Most of our renovation projects involve a complete re-configuring of the space, removing walls, and incorporating much needed square footage to the areas of the home that we are renovating. However, sometimes a room can be totally re-designed and renovated within the current room’s configuration.
Add rich color.
This specific project is a complete kitchen renovation replacing all flooring, finishes, kitchen cabinetry, and all of the fixtures and details that put together a kitchen space.My client’s desire was to completely renovate their dated kitchen, however adjacent to the kitchen space was an open concept living room that really needed to feel connected to the adjoining kitchen. We planned on doing this with color and with extending new wood flooring through the living room.

These lovely homeowners were also particularly anxious to hear my design ideas for their living room fireplace.This existing brick fireplace really was not scaled properly for the space which really called for a larger, symmetrically centered fireplace. Here I designed something much more angular and modern to fit the room. The material choice was key as it needed to tie the fireplace into this traditionally styled home and reflect the homeowner’s love of old European stonework. All of these elements would work together to complete the look.

I recommended the selection of this beautiful oversized porcelain tile. Its’s matte finish and slightly textured appearance gave the homeowner’s the aged look that they loved. Its blue-gray coloration allowed me to tie it in perfectly with the kitchen design featuring some rich blue cabinetry. The tiles layout also was planned to visually enhance the size of the fireplace. Now the fireplace really anchors the entire space and has become a strong focal point that the space needed.

I can’t wait to show you more of this beautiful space!

Until next time,

Gia

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Why most of your design projects don’t produce the desired results

Why Most of Your Design Projects Don't Produce the Desired Results

Why can’t you get the desired results when finishing your own design project?  This is a complaint that I hear over and over from clients. It is especially frustrating for clients that know what they like and have a good artistic eye or “good taste”.

While I am a firm believer in buying items that you love and working them into your home, this does not guarantee a beautifully designed space in the end.

This can be very frustrating for someone that has meticulously selected beautiful items that they love for their home.

Recently, I met with a lovely client of mine, she has the most impeccable taste she’s very knowledgeable about the world of design. This client has the most amazing items in her home, she has a great eye for beautiful pieces and we always enjoy discussing some of the design world news. I have recently been working with this client on completing all of the rooms in her home and preparing the home for sale to a very exclusive market, but also appealing to the client as she is currently living in the space.

Why did this client hire a designer?

Because purchasing beautiful items does not equal a cohesive design in the end. Yet at a recent meeting that I had with her, she made the most profound statement. She said that she realizes that all of these years she has been shopping for each item for its artistic features, having no idea how she’s going to use it in her home, if it’s going to go with everything else she has in her home or how to pull all of these items together.

So, my first task for this unique project was to prepare the entire house for it’s impending photo session using items in this very large home and eliminating or supplementing where needed. This client gave me free rein to reconfigure the entire home and placement of everything. This allowed me to use my skills to transform her home in a way that she could not visualize. Of course, I did this with her lifestyle and taste in mind, and after discussing the overall goal of the transformation.

The Collection.

With so many amazing and unique items in this home, I knew the first step was to reconfigure the home. With my crew’s assistance, we worked tirelessly for several days moving furniture from one end of the house to another, moving and relocating just about every item.

The homeowner’s extensive art collection allowed me to pick and choose the best pieces for each space, finally displaying the homeowner’s favorite pieces, and allowing me to create a cohesive color scheme throughout the house. With 12 rooms to work with, I continue accessorizing and adding window treatments and bedding where needed. As we moved through the process items that instinctively belonged together found their home. In the end, we created a huge transformation in the home. Each room now looked balance with color, proportion, and style. Each room now functioned for the purpose to which it was designed. This homeowner was so pleased with the results and we are currently continuing to work on additional projects for her home.

3 helpful tips:

1: A well-designed room requires professional skills like a thorough knowledge of space planning, proportion, color balance, and lighting. It also requires a thorough knowledge of products and when or what to use where and why.

2: You might have numerous items in your home that you love just waiting to be part of a new design.

3: A great design requires much more thought and planning than it does shopping. Never start with shopping. Especially if you have a goal to complete a space an entire room or home and you have a budget. Plan first, shop last.

Until Next Time,

Gia

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How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 2- The Design Plan

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 2- The Design Plan

Part 2 of my series on how to work with an Interior designer. 

THE DESIGN:  The most crucial step in any renovation project. Yet, when homeowners are embarking on a renovation project it is the step that most people tend to skip, moving forward with a few random design ideas. Design planning consists of much more than shopping for products that you would like for your space. What does a professional designer do in the process of creating a “design”?

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 2- The Design Plan

Design Plan

First, what exactly is a “design plan”? Every designer, depending on their area of expertise works a little differently. As a designer who specializes in renovation planning and implementation of our projects, this is my process: After meeting in an initial consulting meeting and after discussing all of my client’s desires and goals during the consultation, I create a realistic design reflecting my recommendations for the space. This is done with my client’s goals and desires in mind.

This design plan will includes

This design plan will include the following:

  • Floor plans
  • Elevations of walls showing all design details
  • Color recommendations
  • Material selections
  • Fixtures
  • Cabinetry design
  • Furnishing
  • Any other customization suggestions

Some or all these details will be included in the plan depending on what we’re trying to achieve within the space. Discussing and incorporating these elements into the conceptual design is crucial for you to understand and visualize the final product before materials are purchased and quoting for construction begins. Space planning is done to ensure that your space has all of the required clearances and space for moving around and functioning in the new space.

This extremely detailed design plan also gives construction professionals all the details needed at this stage of the project to assist with their planning, again giving them the ability to head off problems and prevent backtracking. The ability to head off design and construction problems before they happen is one of the biggest benefits of a professionally designed space.

Then I will present this design to my client in a design presentation meeting where we can discuss the details of the design, receive input and make any changes that might be needed.

Sometimes after seeing this design presentation, clients can have some clarity as to the overall look of the space, they may consider ideas that they might not have considered without this process. Allowing our clients to be rest assured that the finished product will look and function as a professionally designed space.

Until Next Time,

Gia

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How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 1- The On-Site Consultation

How To Work With An Interior Designer

Part 1: The On-Site Consultation

 

This on-site consultation is the first step in the design process and this is where we start every project. This appointment takes about an hour or so and has a high value to the planning of any design and renovation project. Like most highly experienced interior designers, we have a fee for this first appointment.

You might have seen offers of “free design”, usually this is an offer made by a retail company who has an interest in selling you a product, and that free design is not necessarily being done by an experienced interior designer but perhaps a sales professional, and is not necessarily “free” in the end. Keep in mind, the level of design skill needed for a renovation will come at a cost.

This cost could save you thousands of dollars in the end by avoiding expensive mistakes throughout the renovation process.

How To Work With An Interior Designer- Part 1- The On-Site Consultation

So what happens during this first appointment?

First, I walk through the home with the client, then I will discuss the client’s concerns about space, listen to their thoughts, ideas, and goals, addressing any problem areas that the client wants to discuss. During this appointment, we answer specific design questions, make general suggestions, and offer ideas as to the best way a client can reach their goals. A site visit also allows the client to get a general frame of reference for the cost of the projects that they are thinking about so they can prioritize their needs and determine the best use of their funds and the overall project scope.

Add rich color.

During the Site Visit

CLICK and scroll through some BEFORE and AFTER Photos!

For the client that wants our full-service design and build/implementation, we will discuss design fees and review the next step in the process, which would be creating a conceptual design.

For the homeowner who wants to do the project themselves (DIY), this consultation can be very valuable, providing information that will help steer them in the right direction and help them to avoid common pitfalls.

During our site visit, you will walk away with ideas and insights that took me 20 years of experience to develop. From the moment I enter your home, I look for ways to help my clients avoid many of the common and costly mistakes that homeowners make when undertaking an Interior Design or Renovation project.​

Until Next Time,

Gia

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I’m Dreaming Of A White Kitchen

I'm Dreaming Of A White Kitchen

The holidays are upon us and soon we will be preparing for a season of entertaining as we welcome our family and friends into our homes. A season for baking, cooking, decorating as well as entertaining, no other room in the home is called upon to meet the needs of the holiday season as much as the kitchen.

For one of my recent clients, their dreams of a light bright fully functioning kitchen space where they can gather with family and friends this holiday season have come true when we recently designed and completely renovated their kitchen.

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Mix it up.

Like many clients, these clients called me when they started considering a new design for their kitchen. Their older appliances started to fail which made sizing and matching difficult, so considering their desire for a fully functioning space with an improved layout and upgraded appliances, this was indeed a great time to design and renovate the entire space.

Upon my first visit with these lovely clients, I knew that I could make major improvements in the layout and function of their kitchen as well as the look and feel of the space. So we discussed their needs and desires and I went to work designing their new kitchen.

One of the biggest changes in the design of the space was the location of the refrigerator and range. The new Thermador range is now a focal point in the new kitchen, with plenty of workspace and storage on either side. The new integrated refrigerator melds in perfectly in its new location. Our expanded sized new island houses a speed oven, plenty of storage, seating and an enormous amount of uninterrupted counter space.

Add rich color.

Recycle what you have.

CLICK and scroll through some BEFORE and AFTER Photos!

We eliminated the soffits using cabinetry that now goes right to the ceiling and is fully customized to our client’s storage needs.
Our beautiful granite countertops inspired the soft dreamlike color scheme using whites, grey and soft cool greens. Even our porcelain tile floor met with the approval of our homeowner’s dog Molly, who soon became a vital member of our construction crew with her stash of tools.

The homeowner’s original table and chairs were reupholstered with fabric that coordinates with the new custom window treatments in the new design. The warm wood tones echoed the wood tones from the adjacent rooms, joining this newly designed space seamlessly to the rest of the home’s warm wood flooring. The result is a soft dreamy white kitchen that I know my clients will enjoy for many years to come.​

Until Next Time,

Gia

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Featured Project- Half Bath

Featured Project- Half Bath

The half bath is often a room that is overlooked . Especially when it comes to thoughts of design and renovation. That small first floor half bath doesn’t allow you to create a beautifully layered feel that we can create in a larger bath, with more space. Or does it?

I believe that a half bath is a great opportunity to create a little oasis in your home. This is a place that you can use unique and specialty finishes that you might not want to use in a bathroom that gets heavy use, like the master bath. Textured wallpaper, gleaming fixtures, specialty lighting. These are a few elements that I might use to design something unique that blends well with the rest of the home, but also gives my client a feeling of walking into a luxurious highly customized space.

After A Successful Kitchen Renovation

No more boring half bath!

On one of my latest projects, my clients were working with me on the planning of a large kitchen design and renovation project when they decided to include their small half bath into the renovation as well. I designed a bathroom that complemented the new design that we were doing in the adjacent kitchen. No boring half bath for this home. My homeowners loved the original drawings and design for this space, so we proceeded with creating something that I know will bring joy to my clients for many years to come.

Featured Project- Half Bath - "after"

and “After”

The “after” photo shows our finished project which includes porcelain tile flooring, a custom vanity, vessel sink, wall-mounted faucet, and beautiful granite countertops. Chrome lighting fixtures with porcelain shades and a recessed accent light which directly aims at the center of the sink. Shades of gray give this bathroom a cool contemporary edge which was perfect for my client’s style, but still blended well with the traditional architecture of this beautiful home!

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Pillow Talk

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I often run into a local Home Goods or Home Sense store in whatever town I might be working in at the time. I might be looking for a few odds and...

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