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

From The Blog

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

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

The days are getting shorter, the kids have gone back to school, and there is a slight chill in the evening air. All signs of early Fall. Soon the landscape will be painted with broad strokes of Autumn color and before you know it we will start spending more time indoors as fall ushers in the cooler winter air.

This is a great time to start to cozy up your home. Here are a few tips to make your home a little more warm and welcoming:

10 Ways To Cozy Up Your Home For Fall

Add a mix of textures.

Change out the throw pillows by adding tactile soft textured pillows to your sofa or bed.

 

Change out the throw pillows by adding tactile soft textured pillows to your sofa or bed.

Change out or layer area rugs. By adding area rugs you are able to soften up the look of your rooms. This also provides an additional layer of warmth on those cold evenings. Choose textured rich colored rugs to define and warm up the space.

Change out your bedding. Add flannel or fleece sheets for extra warmth. Add a big fluffy down (or down alternative) comforter. This is a great time to upgrade or replace your bed pillows.

Add a few cozy throw blankets to the living room or any area in your home where you might use them.

Re-arrange the furniture or plan to makeover the living room with a new design. This is a great time to makeover the living space. The winter will bring holiday entertaining and you will most likely be spending more time indoors, so you will be sure to enjoy your new space.

Add rich color.

It’s all about color.

Add rich color. Rich vibrant color can surely warm up your home for the fall and winter season. A punch of color in fabric or accessories can add a cozy warm feel to your space and can help you transition your decor come holiday decorating time.

Change out accessories. Move your existing home accessories around to freshen up your space. Add a few accesses that tie in any added color that you bring in with fabrics and area rugs.

Switch out your window treatments. Transition into the cooler weather with heavier window treatments.

Add scented candles for a little added ambiance.

Start thinking about your holiday decor (I have certainly started planning my own holiday decor as well as the holiday decor of some of my clients). The holidays will be here before you know it. Start thinking about your holiday decor now so you can have an idea of what you would like to do when the time arrives.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Designing your home to support fitness and wellness

The interior design of your home can affect many aspects of our daily lives, especially in the area of health and wellness. With all the planning that goes into a well-designed interior, a conscience effort can certainly in designing a home that supports a healthy lifestyle. Here area few ways to set yourself up for success in the area of designing for a healthy lifestyle:
The Kitchen

The Kitchen

Set yourself up for success by designing your kitchen so that you can easily prepare healthy meals.

  • Add plenty of countertop area for prepping fresh food like those fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include appliances like a steam oven, or a refrigerator with lots of space for all those freshly prepped meals.
  • A large deep sink and a faucet with a sprayer make washing those fresh vegetables easier.
  • Be sure that your range hood is properly venting the space.
  • I kitchen that feels good to be in will encourage you to cook those healthy meals instead of a quick call for take-out meals.

Fitness Area

Include a fitness area in your home. A complete designated home gym space would definitely encourage you to stick to your work out goals, but squeezing that home gym into a dark, cramped, damp, and unfinished basement area will not encourage you to spend time in the space. Create a pleasant area for those workouts. If you don’t have a designated room to create a fitness area, carve out small spaces in areas where you spend most of your time. I always keep my yoga mat under a small area rug at the foot of my bed. When it is time for yoga, I just pull back the area rug and I am ready to melt away the day’s stress. Put your equipment when you can access it easily and where you will really use it.

Fitness Area
Fitness Area

Flooring

The floors of your home harbor can harbor numerous germs and toxins.

  • Older carpets and flooring can house decades-old dirt, grime, and toxins. Install new easy to clean flooring to promote a healthy environment. Greener options are now available for flooring, using fewer chemicals than in previous decades.
  • Remove those shoes. Creating a mudroom or entry area in your home can encourage your family to remove shoes and coats when they enter the space. This keeps germs, dirt, and toxins from being spread throughout your home
  • Use area rugs over wood floors or tile. When these area rugs get dirty they can easily be sent out for cleaning or replaced when necessary. Wall to wall carpet usually stays in place for decades.

Rest

Create areas in your home that are conducive to rest, relaxation, and your overall wellbeing.

  • Keep clutter to a minimum, clutter creates anxiety and restlessness. A well-organized space will be a great step to overall wellness
  • Comfortable seating. We have all heard that extended sitting is bad for our health. We know we must move our bodies as much as possible for our overall health. When you are seated be sure you have comfortable seating and maybe a properly sized ottoman to take the pressure off your back when you are seated. Sitting in uncomfortable chairs in your living room, kitchen or home office area can certainly aggravate back and neck issues. These issues can certainly hinder your fitness goals and overall wellbeing.
  • Design your bedroom sooner rather than later. Many people design their living spaces first and leave their bedroom spaces for last, figuring that they are the only people that see these spaces. Create a bedroom retreat that welcomes and comforts you at the end of a long day. Use colors, fabrics, and materials that you love. Add layers of comfort including lighting, furnishings, pillows, blankets, and sheets and a great mattress. All of these elements will work together to create a relaxing environment. A restful bedroom space will do wonders for your overall health and so will a great nights sleep.
Rest

Until next time,

Gia

The Importance Of Having A Realistic Budget For Your Design and Renovation Project

As an interior designer and renovation specialist, I love working with all of our clients, whether that be our full-service clients, our consulting clients, or our social media followers and email list subscribers for whom we provide free resources like our information-packed blog articles. I love helping all of our clients by providing services that meet all of their design needs.

When I first meet with a client they may or may not have a budget for the project that they are desiring, or be willing to share their thoughts about the budget. If they do have a budget, that budget may or may not be realistic for the project that they are thinking about completing and the desired scope of work. Homeowners may look into the cost of cabinetry, fixtures, and counter-tops and then make a guess as to what the overall project might cost. This is a very inaccurate way to determine what the cost of your project might actually be.

When looking at what is actually involved in doing your project the cost of professional services is not usually talked about much on television design shows or in publications, but it’s a big cost when it comes to your project. Professional services include everyone from the designer or architect, structural engineer, contractors, plumbers, electricians, installers, and painters. Additional costs may include all building permits and delivery on all products. So much is involved in putting a project together and there is a cost to that above and beyond products and materials purchase cost.

So in the beginning stages of a project,  I try to discuss budget early on to be sure that my client’s budget and scope of the project are in alignment. If the client is prepared with an idea of their budget for the project that they’re looking at doing, this gives us the ability to know this early on and to prepare design elements or suggest a scope of work that’s more reasonable for their particular goals and budget. Or to determine the costs of the projects that they desire and then schedule the project when they are thoroughly prepared for the cost. This helps the homeowner be more prepared later when estimated costs and quotes for projects are higher than with the customer thought they might be.

Couple managing the debtThis is very successful when being lead through this process with a professional. Sometimes when homeowners attempt to go through this process on their own they quickly wind up in trouble by underestimating expenses or even starting a project before totally figuring everything out with regards to design, professional services, and labor cost. Another issue might be not having planned any contingency funds available for unexpected construction issues, or for things that you might want to add to the project scope. The end result is always spending more money than planned and putting the client over budget.

Preparation and planning is the key here. Just because you think a kitchen might cost $20,000 doesn’t mean that this is realistic considering the desired scope of work, the condition of your existing home and it’s systems, the desire to take down several walls to expand the space, and the professional services needed to accomplish to your finished project. The biggest way to control the cost of your project is to prepare the scope of work that you can afford after accurately investigating costs.

Until next time,
Gia

11 Ways To Create Spaces That Spark Joy

One of the questions that I ask when designing a space, after reviewing my client’s list of wants and needs for their new space, is “how do you want this new space to feel?” The answers vary between peaceful, restful, a place that the whole family can gather, and an exciting space to entertain. What most people want is a home that brings them joy.  A space that is intentionally designed to make its homeowner feel joyful. This requires getting to know our client’s likes, dislikes, and lifestyles so that we can personalize their spaces to bring them a feeling of joy when they spend time in these spaces.

Here are some general ideas that will help you create a joyful environment in your home.

1. Bring Some Color into Your Space
First, color has an enormous emotional impact on individuals. Using colors that you love can be a great way to make your space feel joyful. Even using small splashes of color can have a dramatic impact on the “feel” of the space. Using a color that you love will make an even greater impact on the way you feel when you enter this space.

2. Make sure your space plan works
The way that your space is planned will have an impact on the way you feel when you are in your room. If you stub your toe every time you try to maneuver around that over-sized coffee table, you might want to take another look at the furniture and traffic patterns in this room and create a space plan that works. Most people underestimate the amount of space needed for function.

3. Choose Textures That You Love
Textures have a huge role in making spaces feel cozy and comforting. Use items and finishes that use textures that you love. Whether it’s a velvet pillow or a sleek glass sculpture, if you love it, seeing these items when you enter a space will create a feeling of joy and comfort.

4. Get Your Space as Organized as Possible
Organize your space. This starts with eliminating anything in the space that you do not need. Then creating an intentional place for all of the necessary items included in your room. Getting organized creates a great sense of peace, allowing you to feel like you are in control of your environment.

5. Choose Lighting that Brightens Your Mood
Lighting can influence your mood and can make us feel either inspired and joyful, or sad and lethargic. The right lighting for the use of space is what is important. Dim lighting in the bedroom can be relaxing, but dim lighting in the kitchen or family space can be uninspiring.

6. Less can be more
Crowding a room with furniture that you do not necessarily love doesn’t create a great feeling in your space. If you really don’t love that end table, remove it and make room for something that you really love. This might take some time but start with pieces that you know you could do without for a while. This will allow your mind to imagine the possibilities instead of focusing on that table that you don’t like.

7. Create a Technology-Free Zone
We love our technology as it’s now helping us manage almost every area of our lives. But it’s important to allow our minds to re-charge and retreat from information overload and overwhelm. If we are intentional about creating a technology free area in our homes this will allow us to experience joy, as we retreat from the compulsion to jump into action every time we hear a notification on our phones or computers.

8. Have Only Items You Love
Surround yourself with items that you love. For everyone this is different. What items in your home are important to you? Are there items that you love that remind you of people that you love or happy times? Are there items in your home that bring back bad memories or bring up negative feelings? Keep what you love, and use it so you will see it daily. Get rid of anything with negative memories, or share it with someone who might look at it differently.

9. Find Art that Inspires You
Art plays a large role in the way a room feels. Artwork should be a very personal choice. A piece of fine art purchased on your last trip to Europe or last weekend’s flea market find, it doesn’t matter, if you love it, use it, it will create a great emotional impact on you as you enjoy your space. My grandson’s first finger painting makes me smile every time I see his framed artwork on my kitchen wall. The artwork is a great way to pull color into a room.

10. Harness the Emotional Impact of Your Favorite Scents
Introduce your favorite scents into your home. All of our senses absorb information that helps us experience a feeling of joy. Seek out a scent or two that fills you with a feeling of bliss. This is a small thing that will help to create a joyful atmosphere.

11. Use Greenery to Liven Up Your Space
Live greenery used in your home creates a life-giving effect. A small arrangement of fresh flowers or a live plant, My arrangement of fresh lilacs is currently bringing me lots of joy and the scent is heavenly.

Just a few small changes in your home or space can bring you lasting joy. We are will benefit if our spaces and homes fill us with joy. Try implementing a few of these steps to create a joyful feeling indoor home.

For more advice and design inspiration, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list!

Happy Decorating!
Gia

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