As homeowners, it is important to make upgrades and improvements to our homes

this is especially true with bathrooms.

Dated plumbing, tilework and fixtures will hamper the sale of an otherwise lovely home and lead buyers to believe the proper maintenance may not have been performed over the years.

In this bathroom remodel, my client wanted a furniture look to the vanity. We found this semi-custom model with a travertine marble top, but you can also use an actual piece of furniture, (new or vintage) have holes for the sinks cut and a piece of granite or marble made for the top.

My clieint fell in love with this beautiful handmade tile by Sonoma Tilemakers. The handmade nature of these tiles creates a depth and variation in the glaze as well as slight imperfections in the tiles (they are not completely square or perfectly straight) which gives a slightly rustic feel to the otherwise elegant patterns. I had so much fun putting the patterns together to create this shower wall.

We added a niche in the shower wall for easy access to shampoo or soap.

Brushed nickel fixtures and towel bars were selected

Here is a close up of the sink with the backsplash detail behind.

When you are doing a bathroom remodel on plumbing that is over a few years old (in this case over 20), always open the wall and check the plumbing out. A preventative check now will save tearing out new tilework later.

New shower fixtures usually require the installation of a new thermostat or valve, so you will already have access inside the wall. In this case, we also raised the height of the shower head to accomodate the 6'2" husband.
A beautiful new frameless glass shower enclosure keeps the water in without obscuring the beautiful tile work.

We also took the tilework all the way to the ceiling.

And wrapped the window with tile as well. The frameless glass shower door opens in or out for easy access.

The floor was covered in a sturdy porcelain tile resembling travertine. We layed it very tightly together, with minimal grout lines like stone. The insets are actual etched travertine. The result is a wonderful old world look, exactly what the client wanted!

My client fell in love with this image by Montserrat Masdeu of a Tuscany or Provence building and garden. Because we were placing it in a potentially damp area (this one over the toilet, next to the shower)
 I had it mounted on a foamcore board and I gel coated it.
This process not only protects the print, but when done correctly with brush strokes that mimic the painting, it actually looks like an oil painting. No glass is necessary.

One of my favorite images, this is the companion piece to go in the sink/dressing area. You can see some of the brush strokes on the left side if you look carefully.

We painted the rooms a soft gold which contrasts beautifully with the dark wood and blends with the tilework. We added crown molding, a new baseboard and a wider door molding for architectural detail.

We removed the construction grade mirror and added a wider and larger mirror - taking it to the ceiling and expanding its width to both walls. On installation of the mirror, we had a hole cut and installed the vanity light directly over the glass. This not only looks great, but reflects more light into the room.
Last of all we added the artwork (by the same artist)

The color has been off a little in this post.  There are not actually any pink doors in this room - and the walls are not lemon yellow - but hopefully you get the idea and feel correct!


WEDDING DESIGN: Tips on Planning a Wedding!

I'm planning a wedding in Dallas. It is my first experience planning over the phone and via email - a little hard to convey ideas sometimes! So, I sent off little sketches of my vision for the wedding (reception) and crossed my fingers, waiting to hear back from them, hoping I got it right.

I just heard back from the bride. She emailed me to say that she LOVED every little thing and that I had made her dreams come true. How adorable! I was amazed she could tell from my scribbles what I was hoping to create for her.


The bride is a true princess. She is a beauty queen, a ballerina, homecoming queen and student body president of her high school to name a few of her accomplishments. So I created ideas fit for a princess and with her colors of ice pink, chocolate and ivory. Here are some of my scribbles and photos of the venue. I will keep you updated as we progress!

We will be using ivory linens as our base (the Bride's dress is ivory) and making runners with rhinestone encrusted tassels to top them. The venue looks like it will be beautiful. I love the fact that it is already complying with our color scheme with the walls a beautiful chocolate brown. There are interesting architectural features - columns, moldings....

and beautiful embossed tin ceilings and chandeliers dripping with crystals. I'm planning on using this mirror to our best advantage by placing the wedding cake in front.

Here is a little detail of the top of the cake. The layers will be encircled with rhinestone studded ribbon in chocolate and pink.

  This venue calls for a tall centerpiece on these tables. I'm looking for the perfect containers. Possibly a tall candlestick! 

The linens for the cake table and the entry table with the bride's guest book will have ivory linens on the bottom, topped by a beaded edge cloth with rhinestone encrusted ribbon tassels. The banquet tables will be flanked by tall buffet lamps with customized lampshades.

Throughout the decor is the monogram 'K' - representative of the new last name of the bride.

The black chairs were a bit of an eyesore. I really didn't want to drape them - I always think that looks like someone has gone off on vacation and put dust covers on everything - so I came up with an alternative.

The bride saw this idea at a wedding show and immediately fell in love with it.  We will feature black and white wedding photos of the couple's parents, grandparents and other relatives tied to manzanita branches. I'm also incorporating the crystal/rhinestone theme here by tying vintage chandelier crystals to the branches as well.

We decided on a popcorn bar - (Kolorado Kernels) with a couple of different flavors. The popcorn will be served in these paper cones with a monogramed medallion on front. In the foyer, on a beautiful arched wrought iron door, I'm going to make a (pink) floral wreath with sumptuous ribbons and a rhinestone and pearl wire script of the bride and grooms first names.
On the outside of the building on the entry door I'm thinking of doing something similar with a boxwood or green wreath. I love to have something outside that announces the event within. We will add little twinkle lights there as well. Two sconces flank the entry door - I thought these leaf covered cones filled with flowers and hung by beautiful ribbon would be elegant there.

 More later.... Claudine


HOME DECOR: The College Apartment

There are certain advantages to having an interior decorator for a mom.

Just ask my son, who took full advantage of that fact when I took him to school, out of state, last month.
When the bed turned out to be a double/full size instead of the twin we had linens for,
we quickly realized a shopping trip was needed.

Picture a small college bedroom - 4 white walls, a window with white blinds, fairly new speckled brown carpeting, the smallest wooden desk in the world - and a full size mattress on metal bedframe.

Boring, Boring, Boring.
At least it was clean.

But for a few dollars spent wisely at Target, WalMart and TJMaxx,
and a few things from the home decor discount stores and sale finds,
we turned it into a very warm and inviting space.

We already had the chocolate and navy pillows from Pier One. We found a full-size chocolate bedspread at BedBath and Beyond, on the 50% off rack, along with a bedskirt for 75% off.
We found the navy drapes at BBandB as well, also on sale.
Don't you just love a sale.
We folded his warm blanket at the bottom of the bed, ready for cooler nights to come.
The Ed Hardy style artwork was an item he had at this last apartment.
The flag is from Brazil

Last semester I purchased the table
(actually a plant stand, but works well with the added height to the bed from risers)
and lamp at Home Goods, along with the burled wood bowl.
The wood and twig theme brought a more masculine flavor to the room.

We pulled up the bedskirt here to show how placing the bed on risers (WalMart) created storage space beneath for our two storage drawers (Bed,Bath and Beyond).

The smallest desk in the world holds his lap top and charging station, a desk lamp - and little else. Eventually he will have to study here - although I'm not quite sure how! Above the desk is a bulletin board to post notes, with some reminders of home, friends and Brazil.

We found this little bookcase at Target for only $60. 
Although we did have to put it together, James and his roommates made quick work of it.
It holds his books, supplies and printer effortlessly.
A shoe rack on the back of the door frees up closet floor space for his guitar and laundry basket.

And after all that work, can you guess what his favorite thing in the room is???
The photos don't do it justice. It really is very warm and inviting - almost like home.
Do you have questions about your kids dorm rooms or apartments? Ideas to share?
 Please comment and let us know all about your solutions to 4 bare walls and homes away from home.


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