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

How to Avoid Design Decision Overwhelm

How to Avoid Design Decision Overwhelm

The Pandora’s Box of Design Choices.

Today homeowners have access to so many different design elements, from design television shows, design apps, and internet access to design resources all over the world. Homeowners often start out their design and renovation projects very confident that they can design their space themselves since the have so many design and shopping resources.

The Pandora’s Box of Design Choices.

Shopping, Shopping and more Shopping!

Homeowners immediately start their project by shopping, shopping, and more shopping sometimes purchasing items randomly that may or may not work for their home, but in many cases the endless options and even the most resourceful homeowners end up falling into a rabbit hole of design shopping, endlessly scrolling and changing directions based on products and resources they are finding on their random shopping searches. Then upon reaching a state of complete overwhelm homeowners either pause their project before it begins, continue to randomly search products sometimes for years or confidently make random purchases and find a way to make all of these items work in their space never really realizing how great a well designed could really have been.

With endless quick and easy design solutions available it is easy to see how homeowners are lead to believe that this is the best way to design a space and get professional results.

Have a well thought out plan.

Have a well thought out plan.

However, professional design is not that quick and easy, it involves thorough planning, and much more thought than shopping. A professional designer uses their experience to develop a well thought out plan, many hours of planning are done before the shopping phase.

Once a professional design plan is created, a designer knows exactly what items are needed, the look or feel of the space and where to quickly and easily source these items. Sourcing is done from a combination of readily available resources but also ”trade only ” resources knowing which manufacture has the best products for the particular design plan.

Even if you are not working with a designer having a well thought out plan before any searching or shopping is the best way to avoid design decision overwhelm and stay on task looking only at items needed for your project

Until next time,

Gia

 

From The Blog

Renovating An Older Home? 5 Things To Consider

Renovating An Older Home? 5 Things To Consider.

Out with the old. In with the new?

Living in the Northeast I am privileged to be able to experience living amongst some of the most beautiful older style homes in the United States. From beautiful antique colonial homes, stately Greek Revival beauties with their magnificent woodwork and elaborate winding staircases to the 1920’s era English tutor homes, there is nothing like the architecture of an older home. However, renovating one of these stately homes can present numerous challenges. Whoever is renovating an older home must understand the unique challenges that are involved with this type of renovation.

Renovating An Older Home? 5 Things To Consider

1. Design your renovated space skillfully and carefully.

A newly renovated area should be designed so it seamlessly flows with the architecture of your home. For instance, a kitchen or bathroom renovation can certainly have all of the modern conveniences and features of a newly designed and renovated space but certain architectural elements should tie it into the rest of the house, so it doesn’t look out of place in the home.

Update plumbing and hire for craftsmanship

2. Plan on updating all of your systems: plumbing, electrical, and heating.

Often the systems in an older home have only been partially updated if at all. When renovating to create a new kitchen or bathroom allow the extra time and cost of updating or replacing these systems. This is often required during an extensive renovation by the local building codes. This is always the best to do all of this work since walls will be opened up for easier access to wiring and plumbing. Also, your new design will most likely have some floor plan changes which will require moving electrical and plumbing anyway.

3. Older craftsmanship can be expensive to replicate.

One of the biggest benefits of living in an older home is the incredible old molding and woodwork that is sometimes still intact. Often novice renovators strip out the beautiful craftsmanship contained in these older homes, sometimes regretting it later. The best renovations happen when the original architecture of the home is honored when creating a new design for the space. That beautiful crown molding in your older home might have been made differently than what is easily available today. It certainly can be replicated by skilled craftsman, but it might take a little more time and money to fabricate matching moldings or trim.

4. Hire a pro for any wall work.

Many of the older homes have walls that were done with the old lathe and plaster method. Narrow strips of rough thin wood were stacked up and down the walls and then a plaster mixture (sometimes made with horses hair for reinforcement ) was applied, plaster oozed between the strips to which helped hold the plaster to the wall. So when repairing old plaster walls, it’s never as simple as a quick patch like you would do on a sheetrock wall. Locate someone who knows how to properly repair horsehair plastery. Many times the plaster is in such disrepair or will start crumbling when you do try and make a repair that competitive skimming or removal of the plaster must be done. Wall work in these older homes is best left to professionals as DIY repairs often make the issues worse, so when a professional finally is brought in to correct the issue, it is an even bigger job.

5. Assess the flooring.

The flooring in an older home can either be your biggest asset or your biggest disappointment. Sometimes one of the most exciting moments in renovating an older home might be the discovery of beautiful wood floors conceals and protected by wall to wall carpet. In which case with the proper sanding and finishing, you end up with the most beautiful hardwood floor, sometimes even more beautiful than the newer hardwood floors available today. I was lucky with this in my own home, a 1920 era Tudor, under the old carpet revealed the most beautiful white oak flooring, an older species of white oak flooring with unique coloration. Once several hundred carpet tacks were removed and proper sanding and finishing were completed by my crew, I now have gleaming hardwood flooring that is very unique throughout this home. This was not the case throughout my former home, a colonial home from the 1700s. Each room’s floors had to be accessed carefully. Sometimes old carpet, tile, or vinyl flooring was installed in these homes over existing wood flooring, but floors might have been glued or mortared directly to the wood flooring in some cases making it unsalvageable. As a pro who has designed and renovated numerous older homes, I will say that you have to assess some older floors as to whether or not they are worth salvaging. Of course, we want to save them all, but there are some instances when you have to be able to predict the best possible outcome for that individual floor to see whether the results will be worth the time and cost.

Renovating an older home involves a deeper level of commitment and skill because of all of the unique challenges that come along with it. When an older home is designed and renovated properly with professionals that regularly renovate older homes, the results can be magnificent.

Until Next Time,

Gia

Have floor access and hire a pro!

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

Should You Hire A Team For Your Renovation?

Should You Hire A Team For Your Renovation?

How to choose the right team for your renovation. You are ready to renovate. You know that you should involve an interior designer. But how do you choose the interior designer, contractor, electrician, and plumber? And who else do you even need to complete your renovation?

Well, the answer to this question depends on your needs.

Should You Hire A Team For Your Renovation?

The homeowner who is looking for a budget solution could perhaps hire the interior designer to design the space, then hire contractors independently and go from there.

This requires an enormous amount of work and knowledge of the industry since by doing this, you have now appointed yourself as the Project Manager.

You must now take responsibility for the planning, management, supervising and scheduling of everything to do with your project. Including ordering all materials and making sure that everything is correct. If you have numerous hours in which to devote to learning, researching and making mistakes and you don’t mind making mistakes on your house you could certainly take this route.

If you are the kind of homeowner that wants to do this right the first time and wants to be sure that the money spent will guarantee a quality job, you should hire an experienced full-service team to complete your project.

“I cannot wait to transform your space into the home of your dreams!” – Gia Milazzo Smith

It’s all in the experience.

If you hire an Interior Designer that has experience in the type of job you’re doing be sure that they have the ability, connections and can implement a full-service project. Some designers just design and don’t have the knowledge, skillset, experience, and contractor relationships needed to implement your project. Have the designer prepare a complete design plan for the entire space before construction begins, this allows you to know exactly what you are building and what craftsman will be needed for the project. With a complete design plan, the project can now be more accurately quoted and planned, and changes can be made easily.

As a homeowner, in any renovation, knowing your finances is the key. What can you afford to spend? What projects can you eliminate from your wish list if you want yo stay within your budget? What level of service can you afford to pay for as far as professional help?

When choosing a full-service design and build team, you are choosing a process that brings you from design right through the final details This creates a seamless experience during construction. And allows you to go from the initial conceptual design right through the final details of furnishings and window treatments. Everything from start completion is overseen by a project manager. You, as the homeowner can now rest assured that your project will run smoothly.

​Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

Renovating? Which Room Do You Renovate First?

Renovating? Which Room Do You Renovate First?

You just purchased a new home knowing that you will want to renovate it over time. Or perhaps you’ve been living in a home for a while and now you’re ready to renovate. Since you were going to be living in the home while you renovate you have decided that you were going to take the one room at a time approach. This will allow you to proceed through the renovation and still maintain somewhat of a normal daily routine in your home. So how do you know where to begin? Does it matter where you begin?

Renovating? Which Room Do You Renovate First?

Well, there are several ways that you can approach this, and the answer depends on your particular home. Most people are anxious to start with the renovation and perhaps explore some basic costs of what their projects might be. They look at doing the kitchen and the bathroom which are the most complicated and costly rooms to renovate. These are the rooms that need all of the work. Therefore here is where the bulk of expenses will be.

So after looking at this most people decide if they’re going to take some of those lesser expensive rooms and start there perhaps a living room, dining room, children’s bedrooms even the master bedroom. This sounds like a good plan and in some cases might be a good plan because these rooms are less costly to renovate and it also allows them to ease into the renovation process.

However, when this homeowner finally gets to the point where they’re ready to renovate the kitchen or bathroom, they are now surprised to hear that in order to do that luxurious master bathroom renovation upstairs that the ceilings and perhaps some of the walls in that living room or dining room directly below might have to be opened up in order to run pipes electrical etc. Or to do that kitchen renovation you also might have to open up ceilings and walls in adjacent rooms to run venting electrical or electrical, etc. for the completion of this room.

This could be problematic if all of the surrounding rooms have already been renovated to perfection.

The last thing you want to do is start backtracking pulling down that expensive wallpaper or opening up walls in rooms that have already been completely renovated. So in most cases, it is more strategic to start your renovation in those more complicated rooms, the kitchen or the bathroom. Specifically the second-floor bathroom.

There’s more to consider.

There’s more to consider.

So, after years of renovating and designing kitchen and bathroom projects for clients. My general advice would be if there are any bathrooms on the second floor that need to be renovated, this is best done first. Followed by any bathrooms or kitchen that might be located on the first floor. In some instances, it won’t matter especially if you’re not changing the floor plan much or perhaps just giving the room a face-lift but if you are relocating piping and electrical and completely renovating to a new floor plan, It’s best to complete these areas first. Then once these areas are complete, the messiest most invasive projects are complete and now you can proceed to the easier less expensive projects without backtracking and on doing any of your work. This isn’t always possible.

So, if the kitchen and bathroom are not done first just know that when these areas are completed later, you might have to do a little backtracking in the surrounding rooms. Either way, thorough planning will get you to your goals the most efficiently with regards to time and cost.

Until Next Time,

Gia

From The Blog

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