Tuesday, February 21, 2012

For The Love of Storage - Facelift Series Part Four

I love beautiful bathrooms as do my clients but, let's face it, when it's your bathroom, being pretty is just not good enough, it has to be functional. No matter what size your bathroom is, I'd say most people would agree that second to toilet paper, storage is the most important element. This bathroom was no different, and the concept of storage was more important than ever, considering this was the ONLY bathroom in the house. This bathroom was marginally functional before, but it seemed like all functional elements came with an aesthetic price.

This is the cabinet that once sat over the toilet and in front of the window. While it's looking pretty grungy now it wasn't all bad. As you can see, it provided closed door storage in the upper part as well as an open shelf below. With all of that being said, it took up a lot of room, making the bathroom seem smaller AND it blocked the only natural light in the space. As we toyed with the idea of getting rid of it, we realized as unappealing as it was, it actually offered a good amount of storage and we knew unless we could come up with another form of storage this cabinet or something like it would have to stay.

That's when we discovered this...

I never thought I could be so excited about a hole in the wall! As the painting was being done the wall mirror was taken down and THIS hole was behind it. The wheels started turning and my ultra handy partner in crime came up with the idea to turn this  hole into a recessed medicine cabinet.

As you can see, the hole was framed in and painted white. The antique mirror came all the way from Albany, Georgia. The artist who provided the stain glass window and light fixture found this mirror in her attic. It was painted black and Brent (ultra handy partner in crime mentioned above...) added cabinet guides to the back of the mirror and the front of the medicine cabinet frame, which allows the mirror to be opened by pulling it to the right.

Here's another view of the mirror opened and you can see that a shelf was added which increased the storage space. Virtually everything that was once stored in the upper portion of the over the toilet piece of furniture is now stored in this recessed medicine cabinet.

This hole was like the gift that just kept on giving, not only did it provide us the space to incorporate the medicine cabinet shown above (closed.) But it also allowed for the addition of an outlet. This was a HUGE deal considering the ONLY outlet in this bathroom was WAY up under the light fixture.

The final storage piece was this new vanity. The vanity is from Inspirations Kitchen & Bath (the company I work for!) and is custom made Bell Cabinetry. It is a frameless cabinet with a shaker style door and drawer. The cabinet was constructed in paint maple and painted in Sherwin William's Caviar SW6990. The cabinet height is 34 1/2" high plus the countertop.

As is the case with most sink base cabinets, this one is a cave cabinet because of the space required for the plumbing. So, to add an extra layer of storage we opted to make the false drawer front operable by having a tilt out tray installed. This is the perfect place to put toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc..

We squeeeeezed all the storage we could out of this little bathroom and this time the aesthetics were not compromised they were enhanced!

Stay tuned, the moment you've all been waiting for.....THE REVEAL is next!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spotted - Design Blogger's Hall of Fame Nominee


I JUST found out that I'm a finalist in the, "Best New Design Blog" category for the Design-Blogger's Hall of Fame! How cool is this? I had no idea! I found out the top five finalist in each category were announced in early January, and voting was open to the public from January 9th - February 10th. Each category winner will be chosen based on 50% of the input coming from judges and 50% coming from the public vote. Because I had NO idea I was even nominated, let alone a finalist, I wasn't able to encourage beg people to vote :).  Regardless, I am so beyond honored and excited to be a finalist!

The awards will be presented live at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on February 27, 2012. I SO wish I could go, I'm sure it would be so interesting and informative....maybe next year!

Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Perfect Gray - Facelift Series Part Three

Benjamin Moore - Stonington Gray HC-170

With allll the work that went into this bathroom remodel I can honestly say that the most challenging component was the paint. OH. MY. GOSH...As crazy as this may seem I am dead serious. Not only was the act of painting very time consuming but the selection process was actually painful.

Let me start from the beginning....

When this project began the walls were a shade of green somewhere between apple and lime. As I mentioned in my last post, the light fixture directed the color palette of the space and those green walls were just not going to work. I wanted the bathroom to be light and tranquil, so I knew I wanted a neutral earthy tone that would compliment the elements in the room - not fight them. The first color that popped into my mind was gray. Gray has been an intriguing color to me for sometime, in fact I had tried gray walls in a den and quickly found that picking the perfect gray was complicated.

In my first gray paint attempt a few years ago I used gray paint over a light yellow/beige existing wall color without priming. So, when the color came out light purple-ish my first thought was...I should of primed the walls (DUH).  So, I did. I primed the walls and then painted them AGAIN and AGAIN the color came out purple. This time I blamed a large red couch that was in the room thinking that maybe the red couch brought out the purple tones in the paint. So, I ended up going in a completely different direction and closed the door on gray paint all together...until recently...

This time, I was more seasoned, I've got this I thought. So, I primed the walls in the bathroom. I went to Ace Hardware and selected a light gray that I thought would be perfect and began the process of painting the walls. As I painted I realized this paint was turning out light purple too! AHHH! NOT AGAIN I thought. Always a little optimistic I thought maybe the paint would dry less purple so, when I went back to check on it the next day I was disappointed to see it was periwinkle-purple just as it was the night before. Blast! What to do?! I was not willing to give up on my gray walls this time so I began to research, and this is what I found...

There are a lot of grays out there and their undertones can be red, purple, blue, brown and green. When looking at a paint swatch look at the top color, if it has a lot of blue or purple tones than the light shades down from it will too. From everything I could find the best grays are those with brown tones. So, I went to Benjamin Moore and looked at paint swatches. Still not 100% sure of my paint picking abilities, I googled the names of those I liked to see what others had to say about them- this was really helpful, because a lot of people showed pictures of their rooms painted in certain colors. After a few days I had decided on the color you see at the top - Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray HC-170 AND it is perfect! THANK GOODNESS!

Please share any experiences you all have had with paint colors. We can all use all the help we can get with some of these tricky colors!

Stay tuned, with the paint on the walls we are getting closer to the final reveal!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Defining Elements & Focal Pieces - Facelift Series Part Two

A well designed space has two key players - a defining element and a focal piece. Each of these elements are important, but their roles are very different; however in this bath remodel they had one thing in common - both were stained glass. Before meeting Cindy Shearer of Cindy's Glasswork Designs, I really didn't know a lot about stained glass. To be honest, hearing the phrase "stained glass" evoked visions of churches and Gothic castles. But I quickly learned that stained glass is truly an art form. Not only does a vision have to be clearly defined before beginning a project, but all of the different cuts, textures and colors must be carefully considered by the artist to really bring the piece to life.

 Piece one - the defining element...

 Every space tells a story and most begin with one defining element. This element is not necessarily the star of the show, but  it  steers the look of the space and heavily influences the selections of the other pieces that surround it.  For this project the light fixture is undoubtedly this piece; it not only initiated the project but  truly set the stage for the feel of the space.

This stain glass light was created by Cindy Shearer of  Cindy's Glasswork Designs.
This light is so fun! From its boxy shape to the funky swirl of the glass, it instantly added a fun pop to the space. The cool toned colors used in this light became the color palette for the bathroom and as soon as it was installed, it became apparent that every other element in the room would need to compliment this unique fixture.

Piece two - the focal piece...

Focal pieces ARE the star of the show. These pieces can vary from room to room. For example, focal pieces can come in the form of a large piece of art in a foyer, a beautiful, bold fabric on a couch, a grand piano in a formal living room or a mantle hood in the kitchen. Focal pieces MAKE a room. They make it unforgettable, they make it inspiring, they make it one of a kind.

This stain glass light was created by Cindy Shearer of Cindy's Glasswork Designs.

SIGH...is this not THE most breathtaking thing? This window was also created by Cindy Shearer of Cindy's Glasswork Designs, and wow, does she have talent! The glass used in this piece is subtle but powerful. With its mixtures of different variations of clear, white and light colored glass it is dramatic without trying too hard. And the movement! Oooooh the movement!!!! It is so bold, unique and captivating!

Cindy got her Feng Shui on by adding five candle holders that extend from the window.
In bathrooms with little surface area this was a creative way to incorporate candles, while adding an additional layer of depth to the window.

Not only does the window serve as the aesthetic anchor to the space, but it also adds that one little thing we all prefer when in the bathroom... privacy! The obscured glass allows light in, while blocking views into the bathroom from the outside. Windows like this are a creative alternative to boring mini-blinds or drab curtains so often seen in bathrooms.  The window is everything a focal piece should be. It is the first thing you see when you enter the room and the piece of the room you will remember the most when you leave.

Check out Cindy's other work on her page to see how she creatively incorporated stain glass into door panels, jewelry boxes and windows.

Stay tuned as the rest of this project unfolds in upcoming posts....!