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Design Projects

Kristin’s Bedroom

Kristin is a friend of mine, who lives in a one bedroom cottage and has a rambunctious little Westie named Bennett Bonham. Here’s the deal on Kristin’s bedroom plan, tiny budget + likes the color purple.

Kristin already has some key pieces for her bedroom,

  • The parsons style desk, she bought hers at Walmart.
  • Bedside table, Rast overhaul, thanks for the inspiration Aubrey and Lindsay
  • Hand me down dresser, needs to be spruced up with new hardware and stain/paint job
  • A pair of Adler-esque white ceramic lamps from the 60s

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Rast hack that was all over blogland a few months ago, the Rast is a petite dresser that begins this way…

Ikea rast before

and can become this…

IKEA Rast Hack

Kristin has the overhauled Rast on one side of the bed and I suggested that she put her Parsons desk on the other side.  And the rest of the room could look like this…

VANVIK bed, $379
Tyler Ivory Rug | Crate&Barrel, $100
Hillside Quilt + Shams | west elm, $24
Nate Berkusâ„¢ Velvet and Stripe Decorative Pillow Pair at, $17
Lac Set of 2 Modern Plastic Side Chair with Wood Legs – White- Baxton…, $171
Parsons Desk With Drawers, White | west elm, $299
Happy Chic By Jonathan Adler Ceramic Table Lamp at, $120
Home Ball Orb Drapery Rod : Target, $21
Bentley The Westie Decoration, $24
Discount Designer Fabric – LS Fabrics
walnut wallpaper – Gallery, Louise Body Birds 

The Kelly Wearstler fabric was offered at Designer’s Attic, wow do I love Shannon! And there’s a little Westie sitting on the desk in honor of Bennett. The bird wallpaper is to be framed and mounted on either of side of the bed.  Also of note-the chairs are from Kmart. Word.


Primary Colors: A Nursery

Last time I created a nursery it was for my friend Amanda.  That nursery was centered around a photograph of a young giraffe.

This time my wheels started to spin when I saw this pair.

                       Summer Girl screen print blancucha  Summer Boy screen print blancucha

The Summer Girl and Summer Boy Screen prints from Cosas Minimas

So I thought I’d design a nursery around these prints and here’s what I came up with,

What do you think?



Kristine’s Living Room

My friend Kristine asked me to give her some input on redecorating her living room. Remember when we talked about Kristine’s kitchen remodel here and here.

Last time we checked in with her, Kristine and her husband were trying to choose a kitchen backsplash. They are still working on agreeing on the right tile.

For her living room, Kristine bought a beautiful kilim in Afghanistan. The rug and budget had to be considered when making other choices for the room.

Kristine's kilim

She also already purchased a couple of other pieces that also had to be incorporated like; a pair of mid century Danish armchairs, a rustic wood accent table, a pair of wrought iron etageres and lots of exotic accessories from her and husband’s travels.

Considering the style of their home and their collection of worldly accessories I thought a modern rustic style with a touch of Southern California would bring everything together. The fabric choices were influenced by the kilim that Kristine purchased. The greens and deep reds from the rug are picked up in the fabrics and the blue tones in the rug will be echoed in accessories. I’m really excited about the modern wingback from West Elm, I hope Kristine decides to spring for it.

The vintage Danish armchairs that Kristine purchased that will sit across from the wingback are not pictured but they look very similar to the one pictured.

Living room Sunset


Currently the room is a medium gray but I’ve been trying to convince Kristine that its begging to be painted a warm white to open everything up. Notice I avoided the phrase “light and airy”, that phrase is looonnnng dead.


A girl’s nursery

One of my besties, Amanda is having a girl! Such amazing news for their family, they already have a little boy and now they’ll complete their collection, ha!

In light of this joyous news, I decided to mock up a nursery for this precious girl scheduled for arrival in October. My source of inspiration comes from the Baby Giraffe series by Sharon Montrose,

the estate of things chooses baby giraffe photograph

This darling would be perfect in a large size on the nursery wall. 20×200 currently has a 30″x24″.

Rubie Green east village pinkthe estate of things chooses kochi kasmir fabric

After seeing Baby Giraffe No.5, my mind wandered to Rubie Green’s pink chevron fabric called East Village and then everything else kind of came together.

Amanda already has the Gulliver crib and the Hemnes dresser so those elements were included. Here’s what I’m thinking as far as bedding goes,

Crib bumper in Rubie Green East Village (pink) because the Gulliver looks a little silly with a skirt (there’s controversy about using a bumper but Amanda and I both used them and didn’t have any problems so for the forseeable future I am pro-bumper)

Small comforter/coverlet in John Robshaw’s Kochi Kashmir, for the first long while she won’t use this because of safety hazards and it will be placed over the end of the crib. Note: You could have the skirt fashioned out of Kochi Kashmir and have an East Village bumper.

Crib sheet-off the shelf, pink polka dots, pinstripe or solid white

Mattie' Nursery

IKEA | Bedroom | Chests of drawers
$179 -

Weathered Wood Table Lamp | west elm
$179 -

IKEA | PS MASKROS | Pendant lamp
$90 -

$100 -

scalloped mirror

Some accessory ideas,

Kay Bojesen vintage wooden rabbit

Vintage Bojesen rabbit, the Sunday Times Market

pear tree wall art

Pear tree, Almost Sunday Designs

goose grease suburbans

the suburbans, Goose Grease

Love print Blancucha

love, this way, Blancucha print

I really like the idea of the warm brown tones in the giraffe print paired with the light pink. Two elements that I prefer to find in a nursery were included in this design, a commanding piece(s) of artwork and some fun overhead lighting.


Indiana Project: Master Bath

In the beginning the master bath was an extra room off the downstairs hallway that was being used as a den.

downstairs hallway


We knew instantly that this space was wasted as a den and we needed it to become part of the master suite.

This was the master bath in mid-April,


DSC_0006 DSC_0007

To create this room, the door in the hall was eliminated, today the shower is now where the door used to be. You no longer enter this room from the hallway. It is now accessed by way of the master closet. Both original windows were removed.

Indiana master bath orig layout

Indiana master bath new layout

I was inspired by a number of custom bath vanities I saw in designer’s portfolios scattered across the internet.

bath vanity Molly Frey

Molly Frey

Urban Grace bath vanity

Urban Grace Interiors

Leverone design bath vanity

Leverone Design

Blue & white cottage bath

Source unknown

remodel boy's bath

Remodeling magazine

chunky open vanity Traditional Home

Traditional Home

I didn’t want to buy an off the shelf vanity and I needed a double that fit snug in to a custom space in front of the window. So I decided to have a custom vanity fabricated. I needed a drawing to give to someone so I talked with my brother in law Patrick. Patrick is currently in school for mechanical engineering and he knows AutoCAD. Perfect! Patrick was just the man for the job and he created this plan for me.

Indiana master vanity

Thanks Pat! If you need someone to create a drawing or a plan for you, we’ll be glad to pass along his email.

Here is the plan that Quality Cabinet Company made before beginning fabrication,

Indiana Master cab

This is the vanity in place in the bathroom. The towel bars have not been installed yet.

Master bath custom vanity

This is the plan for the finish materials,

Master Bath

The walls will be painted Benjamin Moore’s Healing Aloe. A great soft blue/green that will give the room a spa like feel.

paint swatch healing aloe


Indiana Project: Upstairs Bath

This is what the bathroom looked like in the beginning,

upstairs sink

upstairs bath upstairs bath

Upstairs bath sink

This is the current state of the upstairs bathroom at the Indiana project.


I did consider leaving the brick exposed but the mortar was in bad shape and decided to skip expending time and resources on revamping it.


A close up of the window and the shelves that have been framed in the shower.


Standing in bathroom looking toward door and hallway.  You can see the ring for the toilet on the floor on the right.

Both rough in electrical and plumbing work are complete, as well as insulation.  This room has passed inspection and is ready for drywall.
This bathroom presented a few challenges,
  • Challenge #1– How to best position the shower?
    This room is long and fairly narrow but the challenge is the slanted ceiling.  We had to restructure the entire bathroom and really part of the upstairs hallway to get the room you are looking at now. We had to carve out a space in the room for a shower. Our first design included a clawfoot tub along the slanted wall and then the shower stall against the right side of the room, eliminating the window and adding a large skylight. The final design is a tub/shower combination at the far end of the room.
  • Challenge #2– Where can we put the toilet?
    We are required by code to have a certain amount of vertical inches from the front of the toilet to the ceiling.  Normally this wouldn’t be an issue but in a room with a slanted ceiling it quickly becomes a problem. The inspector was asked to come and consult with us on our preferred spot for the toilet. He agreed to allow us to put it where we wanted to because it was a remodel and it had previously been a bathroom. If it would’ve been a new house, the inspector wouldn’t have given us as much leeway.  Even after we placed the toilet, the challenge wasn’t over.  The plumbing has to tie in to the sewer so it has to travel down to the lower level.  The position of the toilet routed the pipe through the downstairs hallway ceiling. When this happens you have to build a box to house the plumbing. In order to make this box make visual sense, the carpenter built a tray ceiling in the downstairs hallway–problem solved.
This is what I have planned for the fixtures in this bath,

Indiana Project:Upstairs Bath

Some of you might be interested in some other details,

  • The window is vinyl clad with obscured glass.  The window itself will not be affected by shower water. The window will be trimmed in composite material that will not rot and then painted.  We may choose to apply a water resistant epoxy, which we’ve had a lot of success with in the past.
  • A custom, frameless glass door will be fabricated to shield the floor from splash.
  • I’ve already purchased the American Standard rain can, extension arm, faucet, shower controls and tub filler from Hubbard plumbing supply. I also bought the Aquaglass unskirted tub at Hubbard’s as well.  I did compare prices at Lowe’s and Hubbard’s because I knew Lowe’s carried the Aquaglass brand. Hubbard’s came out lower and they stock the particular tub I needed, no special order necessary. The side of the tub that is visible in the room will receive a custom wooden paneled front built by the carpenter. As plain as this tub might seem to those of you that are designers or cruise shelter mags or design blogs on the reg, it was still $500.00. Trust me, if it was in the budget I would install a $1500-$3000 soaking tub.
  • There are four 4″ recessed lighting cans in the ceiling in addition to the sconces.

Fixture Sources:

Vanity, Home Decorators

Hexagon floor tile, Overstock

Subway tile, American Universal

Sconces, Lighting Universe

Grohe faucet, Overstock (sold out)

Rain shower head, Faucet Depot

Wooden mirror, Overstock (I purchased ours at Home Goods)

Towel hooks, IKEA

Right now I’m leaning towards Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace for the wall color. I like to test the color out in the room so I’ll finalize the choice once I take the fan deck over and observe it in the room. The trim will be oil based, semi-gloss white and the ceiling will be white.

Indiana upstairs bath colors