Sunday, September 28, 2014

Touch Faucet - 1 Year Later

For my second installment of "Friend or Foe, 1 Year Later" I want to discuss our Delta Touch Faucet.

I know it's a little early in the post to let this cat out of the bag, but....THIS.THING.IS.AWESOME!

Like by far one of our favorite features in our kitchen, awesome. Before I get into the whole explanation, let me bring you all up to speed as to what a "Touch Faucet" is. When you touch this faucet, and by touch I mean tap, slap or knock with your elbow the water comes on. No shifting or twist of the handles necessary. 

I first saw this product at KBIS (The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) a few years ago and remember thinking it was cool, but probably really expensive or complicated to install. I don't do a lot of plumbing specifying so this product remained filed in the depths of my brain until it was time to help my Grandparents with their kitchen remodel. I knew my PapaJack, who is an electrical engineer, would be all about the technology, plus he would be smart enough to figure it out, should it require some brainy install technique. Turns out the install was simple enough and the function was awesome.

Fast forward a few months and Brent and I were in the thick of decision making for our own kitchen remodel. There were a thousand-and-one things to pick out and agree on, but one thing we didn't have to think twice about was the faucet.

For both my kitchen and my grandparents kitchen we went with Delta faucets with the Touch20 Technology. Delta has a large offering of styles and finishes so it was easy to find the perfect faucet for each space. Pricing wise the addition of this technology was a bit more expensive, but in truth worth every extra penny.

I know some of you may be rolling your eyes right about now, thinking - how lazy can one be to pay extra money so as not to have to twist or turn a handle to activate your faucet. BUT LISTEN - just think about how many times you are in the middle of cooking, with your hands covered in flour, raw meat, cookie dough, etc...and you head to the sink to wash your hands and WHAM the mess that was once on your hands is now on your faucet. GROSS.

But not with the touch faucet ...allow me to demonstrate:

Oh you know....Just a typical Sunday, whipping up something super delicious, all Martha Stewart like....or maybe I just poured flour on my hands for the movie... either way pretty nifty, eh? After having lived with this faucet for over a year, I find myself slapping every faucet I come in contact with expecting it to turn on. Of course most don't and I look/feel like a fool, but ya know, so it goes....story of my life ;)

Check out my first installment of Friend or Foe where I discussed our white marble countertops.

All photos are my own. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Extreme Office Makeover

I typically hang out in the residential side of the design world, but a few weeks ago I dove head first into my first commercial project. I styled an office space. In a totally un-planned, took-over-my-entire-life-but-was-pretty-fun-and-satisfying manner. I should really say Brent and I styled an office space, as this was a huge team effort and the office for the company he works for.

Brent started a new job in May and was influential in the opening of the company's Atlanta office in Buckhead. Since moving in, the office has been pretty sparse with only a large conference table in the common area.

Brent's personal office was furnished but the rest of the space was pretty empty and bland. But it had good potential with tons of natural light.

With the team spread all over the country, this office was not top priority, until.....a few weeks ago when it was. A top priority that is. A big meeting had been set up and getting this office up to par and fast was crucial. Brent said he knew a girl ;) and before I knew it we were given a budget and 1 week to bring this space to life.

Before we hit the shops we came up with a game plan. With the conference table pushed to the far side of the room we wanted to create a sitting area that felt more like a lounge or coffee shop. Not only would this give the crew an alternative meeting spot, but it would warm up the space, keeping it from looking too blah, blah sterile office-like.

We set out to find furniture that evoked a certain masculine-chic vibe.  Nothing says man chic' like leather so we perused every store within a 30 mile radius looking for the perfect leather chairs within our budget. Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG!  Finding furniture that is available to purchase and load up the same day is near impossible, especially when multiple quantities are needed. Once we found the pieces we were looking for, Brent rode all over town convincing people to pleaaaaase let us take their floor model(s). He literally had to beg a few of them, but finally we had ourselves four brown leather chairs, one sofa, a coffee table and two end tables. We grabbed a few plants and some accessories and our man chic' sitting area was in business (no pun intended).

Next, we created a printing/coffee/filing station. 

We purchased a shelving unit and sat the printer on top for easy access. We utilized one shelf for extra paper and filled the other with two large leather baskets (from Target, soooo good) for additional storage. We moved the mini-refrigerator and filing cabinet side by side to fill this wall and used the continuous "counterspace" for the Kurig, K-cups and snacks they keep on hand for meetings. We bought two towel racks and mounted them one on top of the other for coffee cup storage. We found the 6-piece map art at World Market and the money tree and pot are from Home Depot... And just like that, this little corner of the office was not only functional but aesthetically pleasing too!

The back wall is huge... like 28 feet long, huge... and was totally, 100% blank. With the conference table sitting in front of this space, it was imperative this wall feel finished. We went back and forth on how to fill the wall and finally came up with a plan which consisted of two 55" pieces of art and the company logo mounted dead center. We found the skyline view of both Atlanta and NYC at Ikea, already framed. For the logo I enlisted my trusty engineering wiz, Richard to blow up the logo and have our CNC machine cut it out of MDF board. We wanted the logo to sit off the wall for a 3-dimensional look, so we purchased some 1" wide wooden dowels and chopped them to 1 1/2" in length to mount the letters and frame. Brent assembled the frame and painted it with the letters. He pre-drilled the holes for all the dowels and then proceeded to mount it on the wall. Because the letters float within the frame, the installation was tedious and required a lot of measuring and figuring, but in the end was so worth it and looked just as we had envisioned.

To finish off the office we painted a wall in floor to ceiling Rust -Oleum dry erase paint and mounted a pivoting flat screen TV to the perpendicular wall. We wanted this corner of the office to be full of functionality for any and all meeting needs the group may have. 

You know, I've always felt commercial work was cool, but lacked the opportunity to show personality. But I have to say this project was fun and I feel like we were able to put our spin on things while still providing a super functional space. The before and afters on this project are drastic, which is always fun to see, and the overall space just feels 100% more professional and nice.

Here's one more shot of the finished space. This is the view as you walk through the front door...

It was a whirlwind and a lot of work but the end results make me very happy we dove in and conquered this beast!

All photos are my own. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Shutters

Not long after I posted about our shutter woes, we did ourselves and the neighborhood a favor and removed the rackety old shutters until we made our minds up about the new ones.

Never did the word bald seem more appropriate. Our poor house looked naked and ridiculous, which was probably a good thing because we were more encouraged than ever to get her fixed back up so we could look her in the face again with pride.

As you know we were teetering back and forth regarding the style and material for the new shutters. Thanks to all of your great feedback we ultimately went with your suggestions and decided on style #3 (paneled shutters) in vinyl. As many of you brought up, there is virtually no difference aesthetically between wood and vinyl and vinyl will hold up much longer. Plus it's cheaper AND  didn't require paint. Win, win, win.

We wanted the shutters to be hinged so as not to sit flat against the house. They were like this before and we really like the dimension this installation gave to the overall appearance. Because the backs of the vinyl shutters were hollow Brent took some measurements and cut strips of wood to glue on the back of the shutters to give himself something to screw in to.

Next he painted each piece of wood.....

and glued it into place.  

**Note, initially he used liquid nails, but this glue did not stick against the vinyl so we went back and got a product called Strong Stik from Home Depot, which worked like a charm**

And just like that it was go time. The whole install process took about 5 minutes. Yeah......easy-peasy. 

I really love the new style! So fresh and classic!

Oh, and would you look at that! Please allow me to introduce you to your first view of the entire front of our house sans Christmas tree plus new shutters. Big sigh of house is back to it's old charming self and is no longer bald or broken or blocked by a giant blue spruce. A happy sight indeed. 

All photos are my own. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

HGTV Urban Oasis Photos and Contest Info

Happy Labor Day friends!!

To celebrate this day of relaxation I thought I'd let you all know the images for the HGTV Urban Oasis 2014 are now online and ready to be perused and drooled over by the masses!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this unit is located right here in Atlanta at the Mandarin Oriental and Bell Kitchen and Bath Studios (the company I work for) provided most of the cabinetry! While we had the opportunity to watch this unit take shape over the past few months we were just as anxious as everyone else to see the finished shots with the rooms all furnished and decorated.

Check out some of my favorite shots below:

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this sneak peek of the kitchen last week:

The cabinetry is from Bell's Metropolitan Frameless Collection with slab doors and a painted finish. As is the case with any kitchen, one wants as much storage as possible, which is why there are organizational storage components and features included throughout the kitchen.

You would never know it but there is a whole pantry behind that oven wall. The entrance was covered with cabinetry which really provides a seamless, clean look. 

Living Room:

This space sits right off the kitchen and shares a wall of windows overlooking beautiful Stone Mountain. The built-in cabinetry also has slab doors with touch-latch hardware.

Master Bath:

This space is full of texture and interest which really evokes a calm, tranquil vibe. With a giant tub and spectacular views this room is equal parts relaxing and luxurious.

This has just been a taste of the apartment, see more shots of these spaces and tour the rest of the unit here.

Y'all this beautiful space could be yours! To enter, follow this link for instructions and guidelines. You can enter through October 10th, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Just think....A nearly 2,000 square foot apartment located in the heart of Buckhead on the 37th floor of The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta PLUS, a 2015 Acura TLX and a $50,000 cash price!!! Holy smokes, go enter.......and one of you Cow Spot readers WIN WIN WIN!!

All images are from HGTV's website