Painted Cabinets: Pandemic Inspired

To paint or not to paint? That is the question! In the middle of a pandemic, what’s a girl to do? 

Of course paint an entire kitchen of cabinets in light blue!

Light blue cabinets with contrasting dark blue island

Baby blue! It is not just for your newborn’s nursery. Nor is it for the faint of heart. 

Let’s rewind to how I arrived at making a bold decision to paint all my base and wall cabinets light blue and my island dark navy.

2020 coming in hot!

I am not going to lie, my business was rolling along. I had made the personal decision at the end of 2019 that it was time to gut my kitchen of 18 years and do it my way. I raised a family of 4 in this bad boy. It always had been a kitchen workhorse not a show horse. Don’t get me wrong, when we bought our “forever” home 18 years ago, I was over the moon. It was a brand new build sitting on the market after 9/11. It checked all our boxes. As a designer, I was fine with the standard cabinets and flooring because I was going to put my mark on it. I am also utilitarian minded when it comes to viable finishes in a home, if it ain’t broke (or worn out) then why replace it (for now)? I decided I would make due with golden oak cabinets and white ceramic tile counters for 15 years I told myself. In hindsight, thank goodness for the white ceramic tile! You will hear more about my white tile later.

Pre-Pandemic Kitchen

Hello! My kitchen is broken, I have to fix it

I quickly realized that my kitchen had a poor layout. Specifically, the work centers of the kitchen were crammed into one small area of a nice size kitchen (14 feet x 20 feet). Kitchen design 101 tells you that the kitchen work triangle makes or breaks a kitchen. There are recommended distances between the three areas (sink, stove and refrigerator), however, my three work centers are under the recommended distance to each center which creates a traffic jam quickly. It is a shame because both my husband and I like to cook and help one another in the kitchen. Typically, one of us always ends up sitting on the other side of the island and becomes an observer rather than a participant. 

Finally, this was our year to make it the kitchen we dreamed of. We are empty nesters and it could not have been a better time. Over the last couple years, I had replaced failing appliances with the new appliances (GE Slate Collection) that I knew we were going to use for the new kitchen. But I had different plans for the configuration of the stove, microwave and double oven locations in the kitchen. So I had held out on replacing them so as to not throw away money on appliances that would be wrong specs for their new locations.

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Life. Life who? Life has other plans for 2020, that’s who!

Just like everyone else, I was affected by this crazy pandemic. California was one of the first states ordered to shut down. I respectfully called my clients and we all came up with reasonable plans on how we would navigate thru this new “normal.” Fast forward to two weeks later, I came to terms that my new normal is going to cause me to pivot in my business and I should probably wait to see where this ends before gutting the kitchen. 

Be that as it may, I am a problem solver, solution sleuth! One night I woke up and sat straight up in bed. I envisioned baby blue cabinets with black matte hardware. “Ha,” I thought, “should I wake my husband now and tell him his quarantined, organized habitat was about to be rocked?” Nah, I let him dream of birdies on the 9th hole for now. Yea, let him enjoy what’s left of his quiet abode. Of course, I could not sleep. Hell no! I have some color consulting to do… and I am the client.

Little Boy Blue, come do my kitchen…

Well, having been in the business of consulting others on the right paint selection for their cabinets for years, I knew I had two options; first option was to hire my longtime paint contractor and friend to paint them with a pre-cat pigmented lacquer process successfully done for years now with Sherwin Williams products. Just as I have done for my very happy clients in the past.

How could I do that in the middle of a ‘stay at home’ order? I couldn’t. The second option was to paint them myself. I wanted to use a particular DIY product that I heard was the DIY cabinet painting industry’s secret weapon, INSL-X Cabinet Coating. It is carried at local Benjamin Moore paint stores where they can tint it any BM color I selected. Music to my ears. I love the depth of Benjamin Moore’s blues. Next step was selecting the right light blue and dark navy to compliment it. I pulled out my BM paint deck and narrow it to the colors below.

  1. Harbor Fog
  2. Mystical Blue
  3. Hale Navy
  4. Polo Blue

Eenny, Meeny, Minny, Moe

In order, to confidently choose the right color the first time for your project you must invest in taking the time to do the following steps:

  1. Purchase 11×14 poster boards
  2. Buy sample pots of the colors you are interested in (3 maximum per color or else you will drive yourself crazy) 
  3. Paint the boards with 2 to 3 coats of the paint and mark the name of the color on each board
  4. Save a white poster board or a white piece of paper and use this to block out the elements that are going to change in the room (see above for reference)
  5. I took it a step further and introduced my new roman shade fabric for my kitchen window while choosing the right blues 
  6. Move the board around to the different areas the paint will be applied. I recommend do it in the morning natural  light and the evening artificial light before making your final decision

Psychology of Color! Light Blue= Bright Kitchen

Light blue evokes creativity and I can tell you that after painting over the dark, boring oak cabinets, every time I walk into my kitchen now I feel a burst of JOY and creativity! I am not fibbing when I say I have done more cooking since I have painted my kitchen because I feel inspired when I walk in it now. 

I decided to choose Benjamin Moore’s Harbor Fog for the light blue. It is soft and subtle, but strong on its own. Harbor Fog is a great neutral blue in my opinion. For Harbor Fog’s counterpart in my color scheme, I knew I wanted a deep navy blue that was almost black for several reasons. I wanted to counterbalance the soft, feminine feel of Harbor Fog with a strong, masculine color. I accomplished this with Benjamin Moore’s Polo Blue.  In addition, Polo Blue married the flat black hardware against the blue cabinets very well. I really love how the hardware takes these light blue cabinets out of the pastel category and appeals to a more, modern vibe. 

Don’t worry! I did take stock of the cost and my time invested in a project of this scale. Let’s take a review of DIY cost vs. Professionally Painted Cabinets:

DIY: Cost- $427 

Before you commit to painting your cabinets assess them. Confirm that they are in good shape. No broken drawers/doors, splintered wood, dried, splitting wood, etc. There is no amount of wood putty and paint that will restore disheveled cabinets. My golden oak cabinets are in great shape and I like the style, let’s move forward then. 

  1. Clean cabinets with a degreaser, Krud Kutter. This is a crucial step. The wood needs to be stripped of grease and dirt  for paint to adhere. Cost: $6
  2. Remove all the doors, hinges, hardware and drawers
  3. Fill any cracks or holes with latex wood putty, Synko, and sand Cost:$8
  4. Purchase a good HVLP sprayer (not airless) for fine furniture application, Wagner Flexio 3000, Cost:$153 
  5. Tape off ceiling, floors and inside of cabinets. This can take 1-2 days depending on the size of your kitchen. It is time well spent! Less work later when spraying and minimal clean up of over-spray too. Cost:$80
  6. Use  INSL-X Cabinet Coating(tint with color selection of cabinets), Benjamin Moore sells it. No sanding required. Bonus! Saves so much time and energy. 

Cost: $180 (3 cans= 2 lt blue + 1 dk navy)

Install new hardware. Insl-X dries within an hour, but doesn’t start to harden for another 24 to 48 hours. And cures in 7 days, which is amazing because latex paints typically take up to 14 days and oil-based can take up to 30 days.  I recommend waiting a minimum of 3-5 days before you put the hardware on. Another benefit to INSL-X is it is low V.O.C. which means very little smell. 

Vs. Professionally painted: Cost $8,000 approximately

Here is an example of a professionally painted project that I was hired to color consult for. They had dated oak cabinets that they hated, but the budget did not have room to gut the kitchen. After the Sherwin Williams pigmented lacquer was applied to these dark autumn stained oak cabinets, I added new polished brass hardware to finished this kitchen that she could live with for years to come.

Out with the old and in with the new…eventually

As I stated above, when I suggest my clients paint existing cabinets I have them use Sherwin Williams Pre-Catalyzed, Pigmented Lacquer. It is the next best thing to a factory finish painted cabinet. However, I would never suggest anyone, but a licensed paint contractor who is familiar with the process to apply it.  It is worth every penny if you like the footprint of your kitchen, don’t want the crazy dust and debris  in your house, believe in not adding to the landfills or a version of all the above. 

I am over the moon with how my cabinets turned out! It did take a full 7 days and I don’t regret it. What a great way to preserve great quality wood cabinets and not add to the landfill. What I am pleasantly surprised about is how much I don’t hate my white 4” ceramic tile anymore. I am actually grateful that I don’t have baltic brown granite like I wanted 18 years ago. White tile is always fresh and classic. So I am going to live a little longer with my counters because I realize I can. Likewise, I have hidden my dated ceramic tile floor with a fun runner in front of my sink and added a metal Chinoiserie chair I found on Offer Up for $30 bucks to dress up my desk.

However, stay tuned for a new white oak floor some time this year and my Schumacher roman shades. Plus, I have not thrown away my idea of reconfiguring my microwave and ovens. So get ready later this year for phase 2 of this kitchen update.

Tammie, Your Sustainable Designer

If you enjoy Tammie’s style check out similar products to achieve the same style. You can hire Tammie for eDesign nationwide or if you are in the San Diego area, hire her for full interior design services.

Congratulations! You hired an Interior Designer. Now What?

 

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HIRED AN INTERIOR DESIGNER! NOW WHAT?
<Disclaimer: In good faith, I cannot release part 2 of hiring an interior designer without addressing COVID-19 2020.>

Thirty days ago, my blog existed in a land far, far away, where our alarms were set for the busy day ahead of us. A snapshot of our days were grocery lists, kids’ soccer practices and a quick bite at your local restaurant.

Fast forward to today, we have new words like “social distancing” and “shelter in place”. Interior design seems like it should be the last thing I should be talking about during this tumultuous time in our world.

However, during this time of solitude (22 days at home and counting) I was able to get back to the root of why I became an interior designer. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I know up to this moment I have with my core beliefs in sustainable design. In today’s new societal norms, my sustainable principles are a necessity in my opinion.

People want a better quality home-life present and future by giving their homes some TLC. My expertise is making my clients homes sustainable whether it is a conscious decision we make together by choosing no VOC floors or by my firm partnering with sustainable manufacturers for furnishings.

My company, Blackdoor by Tamra Coviello, is pivoting right now. I am still offering virtual consultations with in-home follow up when the quarantine lifts in my communities. However, the blog below will be in reference to a post ‘COVID-19 2020’ world. Let’s all move forward and imagine how the air will be lighter and the flowers will smell sweeter when we can move around our communities freely again.

 

RHONJ

Let’s pick up from last month’s blog on “How do I hire the right Interior Designer?” If you are lost (like when I miss an episode of Real Housewives), then here are the cliff notes.

 

Things accomplished so far:

  •  Phase 1: a discovery call with a few interior designers (or just 1)
  • Phase 2: confirmed the date for your paid initial consultation in your home (during COVID-19 can be a virtual consultation)
  • Phase 3: hire the interior designer of your choice to execute their services they presented at the consultation (during COVID-19 can be virtual)

Now your interior designer launches his/her  services (hourly or flat- fee based) which brings us to “Congratulations! You Hired an Interior Designer! Now What?”
So, your interior designer has collected the fee for their  services for phase 3.  Now is the time well- tailored sleeves get pushed up to the elbows and fashionable eye glasses sit on the tips of  noses because your interior designer is about to dive deep into creating a custom design for your space or spaces (there are creative solutions during COVID-19 for this phase).  The first stage in Phase 3 is to schedule Trade Day.

 

TRADE DAY IS HERE! TRADE DAY IS HERE! 

Most likely, there are going to be trade people who are needed to implement the interior designer’s vision. An organized designer will schedule a Trade Day at your home for roughly 2 to 3 weeks after your service agreement and fees/retainer have been paid.

Trade day, you say. Please do explain. Well, your interior designer has mapped out a list of what she or he will need to execute the design. Most of the time, it will require 2 to 5( or more) tradespeople to carry out the design plan. As a courtesy to the homeowner, it is less intrusive to schedule all the trades on one scheduled day and walk thru the project with the interior designer. <Psst, this alone is why you hire an interior designer. She/he has established trusted relationships with licensed contractors and skilled tradesmen that: #1 would take you 6 months to infinity to find #2 try to get them all at your home on one-day #3 he/she will have the quotes within a week in their hot little hands after trade day. Good Luck! I dare ya! That my friend is years of mutual respect!>

Typically, Trade Day is scheduled 2 to 3 weeks after you signed your Phase 3 agreement. On Trade Day do not be offended when you are asked to make plans away from the house.

HOW RUUUDE!!!  You’re right it is! But here is the nitty-gritty, your designer needs the undivided attention of the trades in the house. Trust that you will be brought in to all major decisions when the time is right. Some times it takes a couple times to the drawing board before a vision comes to fruition. Plus, the most exciting part of the design is showing the final vision, not plan B or plan C laying on the cutting floor.

 

RADIO GA GA, RADIO SILENCE!
freddie mercury radio gaga

They blew in and out like a warm breeze off the coast through your home. Leaving no traces behind but the echo of tape measures snapping back into their cases, 12-foot ladders closing and stud finders beeping down the hall. It has been a couple of days, knock, knock anyone there? Hopefully, your designer has reached out to you within a couple days after Trade Day to explain the next step in your project. A “Monday Follow-Up” email with clients is a great pipeline for communication that hopefully, your designer establishes with you in this process. These are things to pay attention to while leading up to Phase 4. Either way, depending on the size of your project it can be anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks before you sit down with your designer for the presentation of space or spaces. For this stage of communication, I like to call this Radio Silence.  Yes, you will hear updates like:

“Can’t wait to show you what we have created!”

“Waiting on numbers to come back from the cabinet maker.”

“Still waiting on the final plan to execute an amazing idea I have to give you more room in your family room.”

“Samples are on there way!”

In other words, patience is a virtue! I always like to think of my firm as the Keebler elves working in the workshop deep in the ground. Except instead imagine your interior design team is sourcing the perfect products, consulting with experts and waiting for all there resources to provide them their information to pull together what will be your new home! It just excites me just thinking about the process!

 

PRESENTATION DAY HAS ARRIVED AND ITS TWINS… TWIN CLUB CHAIRS!
Cerro Del Sur Club Chairs

Design by Blackdoor by Tamra Coviello

Presentation day has arrived, and it feels like you have been waiting for the doctor to tell you if it is twins or not, but what if you don’t LOVE everything. Most designers will have an option in their back pocket to present to you anticipating your hesitancy.

It is my belief; however, you hired a professional to deliver an updated space that broadens your home’s aesthetic by presenting textures, color schemes, and functions that enhances your life.  It is our obligation to push you out of your comfort zone.  Isn’t it why you hired a professional interior designer? But beyond being a good interior designer, an exceptional designer will educate you on how this will elevate your home to a new level of comfort.

Things to expect at presentation day are:

  • 2d/3d renderings (not applicable with all firms)
  • Mood boards (when applicable)
  • Fabric samples (when applicable)
  • Finish samples (when applicable)
  • Hard surface samples (when applicable)
  • Budget predictions
  • Timeline
  • Full Design Service Package Pricing  & Contract to execute the design

THE FORK IN THE ROAD
Road not taken

Now you have been presented with your beautiful designs for your home and you have reached the end of Phase 3. Once again, you are at a fork in the road.  Your interior designer has delivered what they promised in Phase 3. You have renderings, samples, and a complete road map to transform your home. Over the last 6 weeks, you have established a firm understanding on how the process works with your interior designer.

Has your designer met your expectations?

Are you excited to start the project?

Have Phase 1, 2 and 3 have been a good working relationship with your interior designer?

I have faith that you answered “YES!” to the above questions. If there were some bumps along the way, now is the time to address them with your interior designer. It is in both of your best interest to not brush any discrepancies under the vintage, Turkish rug because it can become a distraction in Phase 4. This is the proverbial fork in the road similar to the end of each phase. You have reached the end of Phase 3 and now Phase 4 lies before you. <disclaimer: you can choose to move forward with designs, mood boards, etc. without using the interior designer that created it all for you. But why? You don’t have access to the sources, trades, etc. that are proprietary rights of the designer. The only time I recommend taking your design renderings, etc. is when there has been gross negligence on the interior designers part. Otherwise, it is just yukky and unethical. > Okay! enough of that! Good thoughts only!

Pinterest fail

Phase 4, the Full Design Service, is now presented with a full-service contract. Each designer has their own business model in Phase 4, hourly or flat fee-based, plus deposits for products, trade services (most contracts and fees handled directly between you and the trade), receiving warehouse fees, install day fees, etc will be collected for Phase 4.

 

IN THE HOME STRETCH
Once deposits have been received for all presented items to complete the full design, your interior designer will update you weekly on any backorders or progress of items arriving at the interior designer’s receiving warehouse.  Expect 3 months minimum to 6 months (custom/cabinets) for an end date to Phase 4. In closing, I hope that you walk away with a firm understanding of the commitments involved when hiring an interior designer. It entails 4 phases:

Phase 1: Complimentary Discovery Call

Phase 2: Paid Design Consultation (2 hours maximum) $300-$800/more (approx. based on experience)

Phase 3: Signature Service (design the space/spaces) $2,000-$11,000/more (per space and experience approx)

Phase 4: Full Design Service ($5,000-$20,000/more for management of design)*

*Does not include the budget for products, trade labor, receiving fees, delivery, etc.

Hopefully I have shown you that if you choose the right interior designer they will have a similar business model that allows you to take each financial commitment with confidence. In addition, you should walk away with a solid decision if hiring an interior designer is RIGHT for you! If you do, then enjoy the process of watching your home transform before your eyes.

If you enjoy Tammie’s design advice and are interested in her expertise, please reach out locally in the San Diego County area at www.blackdoorbytc.com  Outside of San Diego County or looking for eDesign services go to http://www.emodernabode.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do I Hire the Right Interior Designer?

Author: Tamra Coviello

Photographer: Melissa Au

The Exploratory Stage

blackdoor{lauralane}-386

Tamra Coviello

Let’s be honest! The only thing we NEED is food, shelter, and clothing.  However, I occasionally like my food from a delivery service, my shelter to be perfectly designed and my clothing to be sprinkled with designer labels.  I like the little luxuries in my life, and I prioritize those luxuries to fit into my monthly budget. Yes, interior design is a luxury service. But that word “luxury” leads many to believe that a well-designed home is for the wealthy. I am here to tell you this is not true. You have set aside money for an update, right? I am sure in your budget, you have included furnishings, a contractor or trades person, and a few random salespeople. At the top of that list should be your interior designer.  Each project is a symphony. In order to deliver a lovely sound from the orchestra pit, a good conductor is required to bring woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings together to form music pleasant to the ear. A good interior designer orchestrates your vision by balancing your style, function, and execution of this concept by managing all the moving parts that are required to achieve a professionally designed home.

Updating One Room, Renovating an Entire House, or a New Build

422 Marview LR

Before

Whether you are embarking on updating one room, renovating an entire home or a new build it can be a daunting task.  An interior designer not only delivers a beautiful, well-thought-out space but can help you avoid the money pitfalls of wrong color decisions, bad furniture scale, and style-confusion. You ask, “Tammie, how is it possible that I will save money by hiring an interior designer?” I am glad you asked. You know when you come home from a shopping trip and say to your significant other, “Look, Honey, I saved $150! They were having an amazing sale.” Your significant other shoots you a perplexed look, “Great, so we saved money by you spending money?” That is the kind of savings I am referring to when working with an interior designer. You might not ever know the checks that will remain in your checkbook. All because your professional guided you seamlessly through the process of custom window treatments or effectively managing the order of operations for a custom bookshelf in your family room by scheduling the drywall repair, painting, electrical and installation of the cabinet in the right order. In turn, the wrong paint color for your house can cost thousands to repaint when if you had just spent a couple hundred dollars for the color consultation with an interior designer it would have saved you money and undue stress. A qualified interior designer makes it look effortless due to strong processes and years of experience and reliable relationships with reputable industry trades and vendors. 

 

BLIND DATING YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER. NOT IDEAL

Hiring the RIGHT interior designer can be scary. Luckily in today’s digital world, you can explore interior designers’ styles and abilities by following them online thru Instagram or Facebook. Once you find someone who aligns with your aesthetics then it is time to reach out. In most design firms, there is an ice breaker called the discovery call. This is where your professional and yourself get to know each other and the scope of the project. I suggest that you have a bucket list of items ready to address in the phone call. For example, if your project entails a bathroom remodel, then a question would be how many bathrooms do you do a year? What is your process in designing a bathroom? Do I need my own contractors? (educate yourself on your states requirements).  Are you Eco-conscious and need someone like-minded, then look for a sustainable designer.  If any items on your bucket list are a deal-breaker, then now is the time to qualify these with them.  Now is not the time to receive design tips or for them to give you solutions. A discovery call is like a blind date and both of you are making sure you have the foundation for a good relationship. Typically, a discovery call can last from 15 to 30 minutes. At the end of that call, both of you should know if the project is potentially a good fit for both parties. A successful discovery call leads to a PAID initial consultation in the home or job site. I can see the beads of sweat forming on your brow. Don’t sweat it! 

Here is where I pull you to the side and say, “Hey, you want to know a lil secret to a great interior designer?” And then you say, “Yes, I do!”. The  discovery call is the first phase of a 4 phase process. Each phase has a beginning and an end. What does this mean?  It means there is a ripcord at the end of each phase. If you or your interior designer decide for any reason you would like to halt the process, then at the end of each phase there is a well-planned period.  Let’s continue on to Phase 2, the paid consultation.

 

PAID YOU SAY! OKAY, I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION

TCE_seal

Okay, I have your attention. After you have established that you are “vibing” with your interior designer and you are enticed to see what he or she can do to transform your space.  I suggest hiring them for the initial consultation. Yeesss, breathe in, breathe out…it is only a 2-hour commitment. A consultation can cost anywhere from $300 – $800 (or more) depending on the skill-sets and experience of the designer. A well sought out interior designer will charge for their initial consultation(which on average is 3 times more than their hourly rate). So don’t be intimidated with the initial fee. Yes, you heard me right. Trust me, it is the best paid 2 hours of professional advice you will receive other than your lawyer. The big difference, however, you are going to be left with happy solutions and warm, fuzzy feelings! 😉  In an initial consultation, an interior designer will give you up to 2 uninterrupted hours with a principal designer who will arrive at your home with years of color expertise, curated vendors and a vast mental library of fabrics and wallpapers to reference when surveying the scope of your job site. Sometimes when applicable sketches, shopping lists, color schemes, and solutions are left with you to apply to your project. See I told you it would be $$$ well spent. 

 

BUDGET, SMUDGET

how-to-create-a-budget

Hopefully, this is not the first convo about money. I always feel it is in the best interest of both parties to discuss a “number” in the discovery call. We want to make sure that your expectations for the project align with the possible scope of the work.    That awful word is thick in the air… BUDGET! BUDGET, SMUDGET! Your designer has walked you through the different scenarios based on any custom items that were suggested in the consultation plus the full scope the project will potentially cost. When forming an initial rough budget, I find there is a good rule of thumb. In general, after our projects we find our fees run approximately 10% to 20%** of the total cost of the project. Refer below for an example.

 

Living room budget- $40,000*

Interior Design Fees- 10% of budget ($4,000)

Approximate Living Room budget- $44,000

 

 

*Furnishings and fixtures typically purchased thru hired design firm

**Disclaimer: design costs vary by regions nationally and experience of designer

 

LIONS, TIGERS, AND PHASE 3 ! OH MY!

Up to this point hopefully, you feel like you are kindred spirits.  You have taken baby steps to get to this point. Now the next step in the process is Phase 3. Typically, Phase 3 is presented after the designer has spent the last 2 hours with you going over design ideas, space planning , and budget expectations based on your requests and the interior designers suggestions. Phase 3 does require a bigger financial commitment at this point in the process. She or he will be spending on average 3 to  6 weeks curating, sourcing and designing custom items for your home. On average, this phase can cost from $3,000- $11,000 per space or more depending on the scale of the project.  

 

YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY LIKE ME

You Like Me

You both are already planning coffee dates and happy hours. The initial consultation was delivered. Processes and contracts discussed.  Next is the exciting part, right? “My beautifully curated master bedroom will be on my doorstep next week, correct?” you say to your new interior designer exuberantly.  Not so fast. Good things take time. Stay tuned to find out all about Phase 3 and the final phase, Phase 4 next month.

 

BOOKMARK IT

Well, I hope that I have demystified the urban legend of the aloof interior designer in the wild. For now, I want to bookmark our conversation on ‘Do You Need an Interior Designer? The Exploratory Stage’. Stay tuned for next month when we discuss the next phase, “Congratulations! You Hired An Interior Designer! Now What?.”

XOXO (1)

Tamra Coviello

Your Sustainable Designer

 

If you enjoy Tamra’s design advice and are interested in her expertise, please reach out at www.blackdoorbytc.com  (San Diego, CA only). Outside of San Diego County or looking for eDesign services go to eModernabode.com

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainability in Interior Design

Sustainability in Interior Design

Fair Trade is a highly charged term thrown around the last decade, with companies around the world being called out for their inhumane labor practices. But do we as consumers understand the principles behind ‘Fair Trade’ and why we should be shopping with Fair Trade and other Eco-friendly products in mind?

The water-downed definition of fair trade is trading between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to producers. The philosophy is that if we support fair trade products, we can make a significant impact in the world by helping support communities in developing countries. Isn’t that last statement enough to wake the activist in you and lean closer to your computer screen to find out how you can contribute to the change? At the very least, you will walk away wanting to hit your local resell stores for treasures. Emoji Wink

Let’s look at how some of the small ways you can choose to spend your money on home furnishings to make a positive impact in our world, fiscally and ecologically.

Your Impact on Sustainable Decisions in Design

Fortunately, there are more companies embracing sustainability and a fair-trade philosophy in their business model. Even budget-conscious companies like West Elm or Crate & Barrel are partnering with manufacturers that practice fair trade and sustainability. In addition to supporting fair trade, companies are sourcing from manufacturers that are FSC certified, which ensures stricter standards for chemical use, the prohibition of old-growth forests and maintaining a list of threatened/endangered species. The FSC also has a program to enhance and promote the growth of new forests.

 

 

 

Sustainability goes hand in hand with the FSC certification, these countries rely on the forests. Without regenerating these forests, local economies, as well as indigenous animals and plants, are put in jeopardy.

For the consumer who requires a custom, high-end finish, CR Laine has a great sustainable story. They use frames from sustainable hardwoods, coil springs from 50% recycled metal, water-based adhesives, and plant-based seat cushion cores. CR Laine is speaking my “interior design love language.”

By now you are thinking, “Tammie! Why do I care about any of this?” I am here to tell you the long-term reason is to maintain our planet for generations to come. But the short-term reasons are, you can bet that the products from these companies are better built, better scale to other furnishings in your home (NICE SIZE), safer to use (engineered better) and fewer toxicants. All these reasons will assure longevity you can rely on for years to come.

Do You believe in Reincarnation?

When I approach a new client’s project I am always inspired and eager to use as much of their pieces that they have collected over the years. If the piece has good bones but just needs an update, then maybe we reupholster it or paint it. Sometimes the trick is just repurposing it in the home to give it new life! My clients are always pleasantly surprised when I am excited about incorporating existing art or furnishings in the new design.  Almost always, there are framed art pieces that just need to have new mats and updated frames. Easy peasy! Here is an example of a recent project for a client’s collection.  It was not only practicing some of our company principles, but it accomplished a beautiful art gallery on her office wall.

Art Before

Before

 

After

Tip: when creating a gallery, whether it is a collection from the same artists or an eclectic  assortment of art 3 steadfast rules will pull it all together.

  1. Pick one frame for all art that makes the cut ( I prefer a clean inconspicuous frame, typically in metal. Here my client wanted a more ornate frame, which is still beautiful in the setting of her office)
  2. One mat color and size for all ( Here it is a white, 2.25″ mat.)
  3. Lay them on an open area on the floor and play around with the scale and proportions of what will look right before hanging them on the wall. The trick to giving the gallery balance is having your rule of thumb of distance between the art consistently.  ( I prefer a playful asymmetrical format for many reasons with 1″-1.5″ gap from each other) One being that your art will have different dimensions and you will hopefully add other finds in the years to come).

Create In Your Community

Hands down, one of my favorite aspects of interior design is creating a custom console or vanity in a bathroom. It hits all my sustainable buttons too…

  1. local craftsmen (support local economy)
  2. less waste (shipping packaging, etc.)
  3. control of the products used
  4. personalization for my client (one-of-a-kind)
  5. share my heart’s passion with others

Of course, I have sharpened my list of craftsmen and trades whom I use for my clients’ creations, but don’t be afraid to ask in your local Neighborhood app for a good recommendation. However, if DIY are not letters in your name, then reach out to someone like me to help with your project.

Strumsky Finished Custom Vanity
(Source: BlackDoor Color Consult & Services)

Shop Local

Did I hear the word SHOP? I have never passed up an opportunity to shop till I drop.  Seriously, some of our best resources are our local shops. They are a wealth of knowledge with great suggestions that you might have not considered for your project.  Unlike the search bar on GOOGLE or that ice queen, Alexa.

“Alexa, what size should my mirror over my vanity be?”

“I am sorry I don’t understand… are you asking if you are vain?”

“Yes I am, but that is not what I… never mind, Alexa”

Ditch Alexa and venture into your community. I want to share with you just one of the local shop owners in my community, Tap Lighting. Tammy Packard has owned Tap Lighting for 20 years. That is a feat in itself! A survivor of a recession and the revolution of online shopping, she has managed to plant roots in the heart of San Diego, in a community called Hillcrest. Hillcrest has many fun, eclectic small business owners with a multitude of shops to explore. Tap Lighting is a definite stop when you are in the area.  Its distinctive Craftsmen style house sits on the corner of 6th and University Ave amongst the utilitarian commercial buildings. When you walk in you are greeted with an array of lighting with new fixtures tucked in between antique fixtures. Both Tammy and her staff are a delight! They are knowledgeable about all types of lighting and the possibilities are endless.  I love to find  fixtures which inspire me that were not on my radar originally.  Here the inspiration runs rapid! I will be considered a rock star when I present these gems to my client at our design presentation. Local specialty shops make me look gooooood!!

 

Other local finds I like to use are my thrift stores. I have my “go-to’s”! There are stores in my community like Sister’s Closet or Loveseat.com, a local auction format business. I have found items that just need a little TLC that make a room go from average to sophisticated. Here I found this amazing resin Ivory Crane Lamp. It is fabulous! If my client did not want it,  there was a definite thumb war happening back at the office later over this one of a kind lamp.

 

Before                                                                After

If you are adventurous and creative, Craigslist and Offer Up are great platforms to score some good finds too.

Donate, Donate, Donate

Okay, I can be accused of being a romantic, but I am a more of a romantic realist! Not everything in your home is a keeper. Oh, did I mention I am also a relationship therapists? And sometimes I help my clients recognize that they have outgrown their relationship with that worn out Dad recliner. The separation anxiety is real! But this when great non-profit companies like Salvation Army are great resources. If you schedule online or call they   pick up your items free of charge and leave you with a tax deductible receipt for your CPA. This my friends is a sustainable decision! There are other resources you can use to make sure the other items don’t clutter your local dumping facility. For example, kitchen cabinets (direct your contractor to keep them intact) and bathroom cabinets are great to donate to Habitat for Humanity.

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(Source: Habitat for Humanity)

Let’s Wrap (Recycled, Of Course) this Up

If anything, I hope that you go away from this blog aware that small choices in your home furnishings can make a big impact on our world.  Look for sustainable and fair-trade certifications  when you purchase from  manufacturers, in general. When you use your dollars to purchase from more responsible companies then it forces other less responsible companies to look at their business model. So one purchase at a time can collectively make a difference.   Not only are you actively contributing without having to put in volunteer hours (WOO HOO! I like my Saturdays), you are finding ways to make your home unique by repurposing, sourcing vintage and creating custom pieces.

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Tammie, Your Sustainable Designer

If you would like Tammie to help you with your livable luxury design and sustainable lifestyle, please book an online appointment for a complementary discovery call to see how BlackDoor can meet your needs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pantone Color of the Year and How to Use It

Pantone Color of the Year

It’s a new year! And it’s a new Pantone color! The Pantone Color Institute announced the color of the year for 2020, Classic Blue. I must admit I felt a little “Wuuuuuuh?!” when I heard it was a blue. Only because blue has been a dominate color the last couple years in our projects and the home design industry.

 

(Source: http://www.blackdoorcolorconsult.com)

I am always excited to see what the Pantone Color Institute’s research unveils for the upcoming year. It influences my interior design projects moving forward for the year. Quite frankly, it influences the world around all of us. It colors our landscape across all facets of our lives globally, from fashion to advertising. We see the Pantone color of the year everywhere! So to find out it is another version of blue, I was like “Ugh, alright I guess.”

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However, when I saw it was Classic Blue. My flat alright became more like…

Blog 6(Source: Google)

Classic Blue 19-4502 is a crisp, bright blue and will wake up any room. After looking into the psychology of Classic Blue, Classic Blue evokes a feeling of nostalgia, a return to simpler times. (Bravo, Pantone Color Institute, Bravo!) As stated by Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, “It’s a color that anticipates what’s going to happen next,” I connect with that philosophy. I especially love the timeless look of Classic Blue. I really strive to have the bones of my designs for my clients not become outdated, but yet interject some current trends that speak to the client’s style. In addition, the sustainability of Classic Blue really is up my alley as you will learn as we explore how we can introduce this vibrant blue into our homes in 2020 and years to come.

The Psychology of Classic Blue

Right now, Americans are affected by an unsure political canvas and economic climate. On top of that, most of us are stressed and anxious due to our fast-paced day to day lives. A way to bring balance to your busy life is to create a space in your home or office where you can escape to beautiful spaces that help you relax and unwind. Classic Blue, the color of a beautiful body of water or a deep, vast expanse, brings a calmness to your space. If you are longing to have a space in your home to unwind in, then the first place to look is to borrow from nature.

 

Classic Blue Bathroom Blog
(Source: Google)

By the way, as I am writing this, I believe I just convinced myself I am designing a Classic Blue room in my home this year. Look out 2020! Here comes peace and tranquility in the guise of Classic Blue at the Coviello house.

How to use Classic Blue

What I also enjoy about Classic Blue is it is not gender biased, all are welcomed with this color.  When designing for a  couple, I  find that blue is a neutralizer for two style opinions to come together.

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(Source: Google)

In a recent project, we designed a home office that is shared by a couple. They both had unique ideas for the space, but we were able to find a happy compromise where they both felt a win-win, with blue! We found a white and blue botanical wallpaper (her style) and a blue hexagon fabric custom window treatment (his style). This way we were able to reflect everyone’s taste in the design.

(Source: http://www.thibaut.com)

But you know what really speaks to my heart when I see the color, Classic Blue? It is the bright, crisp blue, and that my friends, makes for a GREAT statement color!  I am a sucker for a pop of color in my work. I will def be adding it to our repertoire for statement colors in 2020 design.   If you know our work, then you know we strive to turn ugly ducklings into swans when it makes sense for the project. One of the ways is to paint   dated maple kitchen cabinets or paint dated a golden oak banister. Occasionally, we pluck  a diamond in the rough out of the vintage world and resuscitate it.

Laura Lane Grandma Wing Chair

Before

After 

(professional pics to come in Feb 2020)

Sustainability can come in many forms when working on a project. Practice sustainability by not tearing out perfectly good cabinets or updating a piece of furniture that has a good foundation. Keep the already bloated landfills free of quality crafted home furnishings and fixtures. Ask for references for  a great painter and ask them how often the paint wood. We have found a reputable painter  and upholster whom we work  closely with over the years to get the quality, high end look we require for our clients homes by educating ourselves on the best techniques when refurbishing furniture and cabinets. See below one of our current projects where we have breathed new life into this bookcase.

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Before

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After

The bookcase is crafted beautifully and there is no reason to tear it out! Both the homeowner and I agreed that it needed a refresh. Sherwin Williams Naval was a resounding yes from all decision makers!  Here it has a Classic Blue kind of feeel. Stay tune for the final install and photos soon on BlackDoor’s website.

 Classic Blue is a classic

Don’t shy away from a bright color like Classic Blue. Just as it says in its name, it truly is a classic color. Similar blues like Classic Blue have been carried though out history becoming collectibles and mainstays in home decor. For example, collectible ginger jars, blue willow china and nautical antiques all have graced homes across the world for centuries. And will continue to be a part of design in the future.

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(Source: http://www.tinyhomedecorations.com)

It is always refreshing to introduce a classic color in a new way in your decorating by choosing to paint a wall or an amazing wallpaper too. Classic blue in outdoor furnishings with white garden stools can really invite your guests to stay and linger longer due to the crisp, spring feel. If you are on the fence, I don’t think you will regret introducing Classic Blue into your home life.  Either make a small investment  with a collection of ginger jars strategically placed to enjoy or a larger investment with an elegant velvet couch to spoil yourself.

(Source: Google)

Contrasting Colors with Classic Blue

I know we have focused primarily on how phenomenal Classic Blue can be in your home, but let’s talk about all the other bright, fun colors that can be used with  it. I recommend that you stick with clean, bright colors to compliment Classic Blue. A bright Coral (SW6606) or Fiesta Yellow (BM341) can be incorporated by introducing them as a solid pop of color or finding fabrics that  Classic Blue and these contrasting colors together. If you would rather have complimenting colors then try a clean, lighter blue like Flyway (SW6794) which is a fun combo for a boy’s room.

Well, Cheers to Classic Blue in 2020!  And I look forward to designing more homes and commercial spaces with the this bright and  crisp Classic Blue will bring to 2020!

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Tammie, Your Sustainable Designer

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If you would like Tammie to help you with your livable luxury design and sustainable lifestyle, please book an online appointment for a complementary discovery call to see how BlackDoor can meet your needs!

 

One Room Challenge- A Modern Spanish Bathroom Week 6 “The Big Reveal”

ORC WEEK 6

Hallelujah, the big reveal is here!  There were days I thought I might have bit off more than I can chew.  But let’s be honest if I had not had a deadline and One Room Challenge to hold me accountable this would have been the 6 month challenge.  I am so pleased with the outcome. I was able to transform what was  a bland hallway bathroom with a fiberglass tub enclosure  into a beautiful bathroom with a walk-in shower that my 19 year old son claims bragging rights to his friends now.  Enough with the talking, I am going to let my photos  talk for themselves…

 

Modern Spanish After 2

I am so happy with the balance of the geometric lines of the cement floor contrasting against the rustic Spanish vanity with the modern vessel sinks.  I felt the walls needed color.  I found Sherwin-Williams Glacial Stream was the perfect supporting role  to the colors in the cement tiles with its warm undertones.  In addition, the navy metal sconces with aged brass finish is a great pop of color on the walls. And by repeating the range of blues throughout the bathroom from blue-greens in the towels to the baby blues in cement floors I love how it is not flat and one dimensional.  I also consciously mixed my metals by choosing oil rubbed bronze fixtures and aged brass in the lighting and mirrors.

vanity front view

 My son loved this art that I found so much he requested  it on his side of the vanity.

  This 5 foot walk in shower is the jewel in the crown.  I am really glad I took the risk and did a stationary glass panel with no door.   I had to have the plumber come back to change the shower arm to a gooseneck arm so that the water sprays downward similar to a rainhead, but once that was corrected it functions perfectly.

Modern Spanish After 1

Here are some different views of the details that make my 💙 sing when I see my Modern Spanish shower.

 

The ledge is functional and fun. It is able to hold all your amenities plus stylish decor.

 

 

This concludes my first One Room Challenge.  It definitely was a challenge for many reasons. But it was rewarding in the end to have a beautiful bathroom that my family and guests will enjoy for years to come.   My business partner will be taking over ‘Linen & Palm Trees’ for the Spring One Room Challenge. She is very talented and I can’t wait for you to see her room choice and design selections.  She has such an eclectic, unique eye for design. I am always so inspired when she executes her vision.  I can’t wait for you to join her in the spring for her One Room Challenge.

Thank you to One Room Challenge from such an amazing platform. I have had the honor of joining the ranks of many talented designers. I have learned so many valuable tools for my business, but also introduced to a  community of designers whom the camaraderie is refreshing to be a part of and I look forward to following their blogs and Instagrams in the future. @betterhomesandgarden #bhgorc @homelovenetwork

Till we meet again…

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One Room Challenge- A Modern Spanish Bathroom Week 5

ORC Week 5

So I am not going to lie I have been sweatin’ this week from the day I ordered my big, solid mesquite wood 90″ vanity four weeks ago.  I knew I was pushing the envelope by choosing the 90″ cabinet over the 72″ cabinet. However, waking up in a cold sweat several nights a week are not because of my concerns over tight dimensions in the bathroom, but  from the narrow staircase return that this behemoth vanity has to clear.  Well, the delivery truck dropped off the vanity while I was out and I received a panicked phone call from my husband,  “Uhh, how are you going to get this thing upstairs? It is at least 600 lbs!” Wait! What? He is exaggerating. OMG, what if he is right? I did not account for weight.  Things at that moment racing thru my head like an 80’s Apple computer :

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  • the staircase can only fit 2 people, so more hands not an option
  • rent a small crane and hoist it over our balcony in the family room=$$$$$
  • deny my husband is right and repeat the mantra “OMMM!”

Of course, I arrive at home and go directly to the vanity.  I grab the edge of the cabinet and try to lift it. O.M.G. WHHHYYY? It is 100% Mesquite wood! I believe I mentioned this several times in my description in the last 5 weeks. What I failed to correlate was how heavy this big, bad a@%* cabinet would be, not like the pressed particle board, veneered cabinets typically I use in my designs. I tell myself “Don’t panic! When there is a problem you only find a solution. Gurl, you got this!”  So I went inside had a carb fest and proceeded to sleep on it.

Nothing like a belly full of carbs and a night of sleep to solve your problems.  It came to me in the middle of the night. I belong to a Crossfit gym and today was the day it was going to pay off! They teach us that with proper form you can lift heavier.  It is not what you think, I am not an Olympian weightlifter by any means. But I happen to workout with a few.

 

 

Meet Chris and his brother, Matt, they are my coaches.  I was able to entice them to come over after the gym and move this whopping vanity upstairs.  I told my anxious husband to go golfing.  He was so nervous that someone was going to get hurt or the vanity was going to come crashing over the banister.  So with Nervous Nellie out of the house and “Hans & Frans” (SNL reference😁) here,   let me tell you it was AMAZING! They  lifted with their legs and used a lil engineering to maneuver it up those stairs.  Brains and brawn at its finest! My brains their brawn, haha…

Now with the vanity in place my plumber arrived the next morning and installed the vessel sinks, the toilet and the fixtures for the lavatories and the shower.

week 5 vanity

Week 6 is upon me and I have come along way since the picture above in week 5.  Mirrors are hung, drywall is patched and frameless glass is installed.  I took a break from all the construction and went shopping for the fun stuff,  like towels, decor and art.  It has been a nice distraction.  I gave you a little teaser of  what is to come next week in my powerpoint image for week 5.  The big reveal is in 5 days! Thank you again to the OneRoomChallenge and to sponsors like Better Homes And Garden #bhgorc  #oneroomchallenge

If you are just finding my blog and would like to catch up on the previous weeks click on the links below.

One Room Challenge Week 1

One Room Challenge Week 2

One Room Challenge Week 3

One Room Challenge Week 4

 

One Room Challenge- A Modern Spanish Bathroom Week 4

This has to be the most exciting part of the One Room Challenge so far.  Casa Vita Bella encaustic cement tile is everything I hoped it would be!  It makes a bold statement. These handmade cement tiles are not only beautiful to look at, but under foot they are exquisite too.  They are soft, smooth  luxurious feel on your bare feet in a bathroom.   I find my clients are reluctant at first to put them in there home because they think they are fragile and trendy.  On the contrary, cement tiles have been around for hundreds of years in Europe. And you will find them in some of the oldest mosques and restaurants in the world. I always find it necessary to follow my endorsement of cement tiles with a “How to properly install…” because skipping one step or using the wrong sealer can be the difference between loving your cement tile floors or hating them.

orc week 4

First, you want an experienced installer or a designer, who have a history of installing cement tiles.  There are very specific steps that should not be skipped to ensure a proper installation.

Here are some tips for a quality install:

  • wear latex/rubber gloves when handling tiles
  • either soak tiles in water or wipe down with wet sponge before installing so mortar does not bleed to the top of the tile
  • seal 1 coat of Drytreat and let dry for 24 hours
  • install (do not use grout release products)
  • grout and clean
  • Drytreat 1 coat
  • for extra stain and water repellent apply Drytreat again 24 hours later

Secondly, cement tiles can show wear, however, they are repairable. So if there is a stain or scratch you can get a fine grit sand paper, lightly sand the imperfection, then seal the area.

In addition, for longevity use a neutral Ph cleaner which can be picked up at any big box hardware store. And you will want to deep clean it and seal it once a year if it is a high traffic area.

Lastly, cement tile and their patterns have been historically woven throughout Europe for centuries. They are newer to the states and re surging over seas with  contemporary colors which makes them fresh and new to us.   Yes, they are a trend right now. Trends run anywhere from 10-15 years. Most homeowners update their kitchens and bathrooms every 10-20 years.  So I explain to my clients I feel that if you love this “trend” then let me implement it the right way so that is on trend for the next decade in a half and not just trendy. Maybe we do a small representation or maybe you are not afraid to embrace it and will love it 15 years from now. Then let’s go for it! I did and I can’t wait for you to see my Modern Spanish bathroom in 2 weeks!

Anywhoo, I digress and will step off my designer soapbox.  We  now return you to your scheduled  program… look at how GAUWGEOUS this shower looks against this vibrant floor.

I love it when a plan comes together! HEHEHE!!!!  Since it is an 8×8 tile they  are able to pitch the tiles to the shower pan too.

Modern Spanish Shower pan

Look at this drain I used. Whaaat? Where is it?     Follow the arrows…

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Enough about my floor. Let’s talk about this glistening white shower. It is shining like the top of the  Chrysler Building. And I wish you could see the back of the ledge where the Onyx chevron tile is placed,  it is all about the subtle texture.

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There are only 2 weeks left. I am not going to deny that I am feeling the of pressure right about now. My vanity is in transit from Texas and is to arrive October 25th.

Next week’s things to do  are as follows:

  1. Modern Spanish Wall Color Paint walls and ceiling Sherwin Williams Glacial Stream
  2. Modern Spanish Vanityinstall Foxden Decor 90″ reclaimed mesquite wood vanity
  3. Modern Spanish Sinksinstall the vessel sinks and toilet
  4. 5.25″  baseboards

It doesn’t look like a long list, but 3 different trades need to be coordinated through the eye of a needle this week.🤞

If I am lucky I can get my glass company to install the frameless glass panel too!

See you on the backside of this crazy challenge, thanks to @oneroomchallenge @betterhomesandgarden ! and @homelovenetwork 

#oneroomchallenge #bghorc #hln

 

 

One Room Challenge – A Modern Spanish Bathroom Week 3

ONE ROOM WEEK 3

Week 3 of the @oneroomchallenge!  We are on the homestretch and the words “temporarily closed due to construction” have new meaning for my family right now. For my son, it means the inconvenience of coming downstairs for all his bathroom amenities and bathroom runs.  For my husband, it is the disruption of people in his home. For me, it is sweet, sweet music to my ears to hear the progress of our bathroom transformation.   under constructionThe excitement I get just driving between my client’s projects  and my own is like showing up to my  birthday party every single time.

In the past week, those beautiful @Emsertile Choice White Gloss 12 x 24 porcelain tiles have been installed in a horizontal, soldiered pattern with a 1/8″ grout joint.  I want the shower to have  modern, clean lines. And this pure white polished tile just gleams in the corner of the room now where there once was a door hiding an ugly fiberglass shower/tub enclosure.  I wanted the shower to be a focal point of this bathroom. Mission accomplished! Can you be in love with a shower?

I💙 My Shower!

Modern Spanish Shower Wall Install

 In order to keep in line with the sharp, angular look of the shower I used Schluter’s bright white Jollys  to finish the dam and sides of the shower walls.  In the gaping hole which will be a ledge, the white ceramic chevron decorative tiles are being installed right now. So stay tuned for that gorgeous tone on tone look, only to be defined by the texture of the chevron pattern. Things this week are humming along and the vanity is going buh-bye next week… Bye Felicia 🙋‍♀️

Coming up next week this lovely golden oak cabinet we all grew to despise in the early 2000’s will be gone. The entire bathroom floor will be prepped for the gorgeous cement floors. For week 4, installation of the floors, the chevron decorative in the ledge and the shower pan are on the short list for the installers. It is a an aggressive agenda, but as we speak the shower is being grouted and cement tiles are being prepped.

modern Spanish Before

Next week  we will talk encaustic cement tiles. How they are all the rage. How you shouldn’t be scared of them. And how amazing they are to any home.  Thanks again to @BetterHomesandGarden for sponsoring this amazing collaboration!

Modern Spanish Cement Floor

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One Room Challenge- A Modern Spanish Bathroom Week 2

Modern Spanish Tile Collage

Week 1 of the One Room Challenge is behind me and I am staring down week 2 feeling confidant!  All tile was in stock (Hallelujah!) , delivered, and walls torn down.   I am in love with these tiles I selected. I wish the camera could show the depth and beauty of the polished pure white 12 x 24 Emser’s tile called Choice in White Gloss.  Then I chose this extra large chevron white 2 x 6 by Onyx for a 12″ x 60″ ledge with a depth of 6″ running the full length of the longest shower wall.  I want something more dramatic than just a niche. So I had my contractor confirm  the depth of the wall to make sure  the ledge depth would work. Luckily it so happens that this  wall is backed up to the hallway where the builders had framed another foot in a half further into the hallway. Probably to cut down on sound from the shower into the hallway. Whatever the reason I will take it. 🎶🎵CUZ ITS ALL ABOUT THE LEDGE, ABOUT THE LEDGE🎵🎶

Modern Spanish Cement Floor

Of course, the ⭐ of the show is this stunning encaustic cement tile.  Cement tile has made a come back in the last couple years. Oh boy, has it revived what  I considered  drab and boring choices in the flooring world for a good 5-10 years. The patterns are ornate and vibrant or sharp and contrasting.  People shied away at first from this look thinking it was trendy, but encaustic cement tile has been around for  hundreds of years. I am excited to set the stage of my modern Spanish bathroom with this pattern  in electric, baby blues, soft grays, and outlined  in  black all  against a creamy white background from Casa Vita Bella called Neo II.  And I embrace putting this  in my home for the next 10 to 15 years. In fact, between you and me I have another pattern picked out for my fireplace fascia when this bathroom is done. Shhh, don’t tell my husband.

Okay, I have distracted you with the baubles and shiny things. Now for  my reality right now.

Modern Spanish Walls Torndown

My son officially has no shower for the next 5 weeks. He is not a happy camper.  But I told him, ” But look at it this way.  A family that showers together stays together.” He doesn’t find the humor in it. Wait till Week 4  when he finds out he has no sink..hehe. Guess what, son? I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

Fixtures have been ordered and are in transit.  My biggest purchase for the bathroom is the vanity. It is  being custom made and takes 4 weeks. Plus, it is coming from Texas.  I did, however, order it the week before the challenge. I pray that it comes in on time or else this will be the One Room Failure instead of the One Room Challenge.

Stay tune till next week…

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