Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Stuff Kris and I Found For Her Bathroom Redo

OK class, I am back for another post 
THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW!!!!!
I hope you guys are suitably impressed, 
because I SURE AM.
Let's continue looking at what I've done to with Kris's bathroom.
For those of you just tuning in, look at last weeks post, to catch up.

When Kris decided to redo her bathroom, I didn't take her seriously, seeing nothing wrong with what she already had.
(since I had been the one to design it.)
(and as we all know, my designs are timeless.)
(and wonderful)
(and stand the test of time.)
WELL
her shower didn't.
stand the test of time, that is.
It leaked
Down to her new kitchen ceiling.
Kris was not amused.
I would like to point out that I had nothing to do with the labor of the first renovation.
(luckily)
Sooooooooo.......
this inspired her,
 now that her kids were grown,
flown the coop,
left the nest,
cut the apron strings (we can only wish),
to redo the bathroom in Kris's idea of a fancy schmancy grownup loo.
I started to take the idea seriously several years ago when we came across this server in a local auction.
Nice quality image?
Only the best for you guys!
Let's see if I can do better.
It was French marquetry.

mar·que·try
ˈmärkətrē/
noun
  1. inlaid work made from small pieces of variously colored wood or other materials, used chiefly for the decoration of furniture.




The top was a warm toned piece of marble that we matched when we chose the marble tiles in the bathroom. 
So now you know why we chose the marble that we did!!!!!!
Kris stored the server in her basement for a million years, until we were ready to redo her bathroom.
Then we started to choose what else we would need in the space, as well as take the server to the furniture doctor who turned an affordable piece into an expensive piece!!!
He replaced all the missing marquetry, and refinished it in a low luster lacquer that could hold up to the moister in a bathroom.
Here is a shot of it in the basement before it was fixed.
We had the extra ormolu pieces inside the drawers.

or·mo·lu
ˈôrməˌlo͞o/
noun
  1. a gold-colored alloy of copper, zinc, and sometimes tin, cast into desired shapes and often gilded, used especially in the 18th century for decorating furniture and making ornaments.

I had to find a mirror to go with the glamorous look of the room as well as fit inside the space.
I decided on a Louis Phillippe mirror, as I love the look and style of these babies.
They are elegant without being fussy.

I rely on 1stdibs a lot, as it can supply me with very specific items when I am designing for a very specific look.
What could take me years to find, I can find in a day, as it represents the best of antique stores across the country.
I drew an elevation of the vanity, mirror and sconces so that I would be sure that what we chose would fit. 
I never understood how decorators could design without drawing out what they were doing.

After we (I) found the mirror, I attacked the problem of finding sconces that would work with this room.
I looked at lots.

I looked at these.....
I looked at these.....
I looked at these.....,
AND THEN I FOUND THESE!!!!!


They will go great with the server.
Kris admitted to me that she always wanted a chandelier in her bathroom.
I was taken aback.
I was somewhat horrified to realize that my best friend was 
one of those people!!!!!
But because I love her to bits,
I found her one.
There was no place to put it in the main part of the bathroom, 
but it fits perfectly in the throne room, 
commonly referred to by the unwashed masses as the toilet room.
(see what I did there???? 
Unwashed masses???
 This is a story about a bathroom!!!!
I am funny!!!!)
It will be seen from the hall doorway looking into the room, as it will be centered on the toilet room door.
It's little, so it fits the scale of the room.
Kris wanted crystal, and I found her crystal. We love the barrel beads on the chains 
It works with the pair of sconces.

This is why I wanted the wallpaper we found. 
The slight gold in the pattern, picks up the gold leaf of the mirror and ormolu, as well as working nicely with the warm tones of the wood.


Last week we were able to install the vanity.
Below is the placement against the wall.
Then they hung the mirror!!!!!!!!!!
Then they placed the marble!!!!!!!
You can now see and I hope understand, why we chose the tile that we did.

Kris and I had taken the slab to a local marble vendor and had the hole cut in it.
Our furniture restorer reworked the cabinet to fit around the sink and plumbing.
The wood glows and is so beautiful.
That's as far as we have gotten.
Kris has been rambling in Cornwall, and will be back tomorrow, so I expect the bathroom work will continue this week.
We need to do the electrical and plumbing finish, then the shower enclosure..... and then add the shutters on the lower parts of the windows so no one can look in on my buddy while she is sans clothes.
All the hardware is unlacquered brass, so it will mellow over time. 
Once again we chose all of it from Waterworks.
The sink is from Kallista

Kris fell in love with it because of the overflow holes.
You gots to love a good overflow set of holes!!!!!

On that note, 
Latah, Gatah

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bathroom Redo

Or....having to redo a bathroom I already had to rehab ONCE!!!!!

Hi!!!!!
I have been away from you guys!!!!!
Working my little tush to the bone.....
I have ACTUALLY SOLD SOME FABRIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(i don't know if those were enough exclamation marks.)
(i tend to underdo my punctuation.)
My first collection has been selling and I am getting ready to launch my 2017 designs this summer.
Then we will branch out into wallpaper.
What the hell have I started?????
This feels suspiciously like work.
BUT I AM LOVING IT.
go figure.

anyway.
enough about my wonderful stuff.
let's talk about my buddy Kris.

Kris lives in an old old old old old old old house.
Not one of these new fangled homes with bathrooms for each bedroom.
This house was lucky if it had a bathroom on each floor.
When we remodeled the downstairs, we enlarged the back of the house, enabling us to change the power room from a tiny closet to a normal size half bath.
When I say tiny,
 I mean so small that the door had to have a half circle cut out of it so it could swing open and get past the sink.
I wish I had a picture of this.
I do not.
My life is full of regrets.
Sigh.

ANYWAY.

On the second floor, 
years ago,
 when I first started working for Kris,
 and she was my client,
 and not my friend, 
and those were the good old days and I made money off of her and her falling down old old old house.........
I designed a remodel of her second floor bathroom.
This bathroom serviced the four second floor bedrooms.
These were all the bedrooms for the family.
Well.....
one of those rooms we turned into the TV room, so it really was for three bedrooms.
BUT IT WAS FOR 4 PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!
We were able to enlarge the bathroom to create a separate toilet room, 
which is a really nice detail..
 when you have 4 people sharing one bathroom.....
Now, before you feel too sorry for her family,
 they did have another loo on the third floor,
 thus the kids got plenty of exercise,
 and to this very day are fit and healthy.

Kris wanted a bathtub/shower,
 so that's what I gave her.
Later on, it was changed to a shower stall.
Here are the shots of how it looked before it was all gutted for this new remodel.
I had a half wall built to separate the tub from the vanity, 
adding beadboard wainscoting to all the walls.
This was 20 years ago, before everyone and his dog was using beadboard.
Anyway, I don't care, 
I still love it.
beadboard beadboard beadboard beadboard.
Love it.
So Kris ripped it all out.

Below are all the before shots.
First is looking in from the hall past the vanity and what later became the shower stall back towards the toilet room, with its pocket door.
After 20 years, the wallpaper is starting to peal off.......
We used hardware and faucets from Waterworks, and Carrara marble.
These pictures are courtesy of Kris. 
She took them for me before the room was demoed.
Shot towards the door out to the hall.
We used subway tile 20 years ago, because I've always used it.
I found Mexican mirrors that had been metal worked in silver, so the tone of the metal was similar to the nickel of the fixtures.
The wallpaper was a classic Brunschwig & Fils all over leaf pattern in green.

So

That is what was, this is what is:
As you know, if you've been paying attention.....
we gutted the room.
Started from scratch.
Clean slate.
We still kept the subway tile look, but Kris wanted something less stark than white, so we went with a creamy marble.
Below is the wall that runs behind the vanity and shower.
I decided to tile the whole wall.
It's only money, and it's not mine.
For the top of the tile we installed a crown of the same marble.
I worked with the carpenters to create a similar profile in wood to continue around the room.
They also recreated the details for the windows and doors that the rest of the house had.
Below is a shot of the molding painted. See how nicely the shape blends with the tile.
We had the beautiful basket weave tile in the same marble installed on the floor of the room and the shower.
We were lucky
 (I found it.....
and found a small slab of the same marble that we could use for the shower curb.
We didn't want to have to buy a 4 x 8 size piece of marble for this little area.
It took us hours to find the right wallpaper.
We wanted one that was simple,
to work with the tile,
but that had a little glitz, 
since Kris was going glam.
 This wallpaper (it's hard to see in the pictures) is printed in metallic gold.
Very subtle, but glittery in the morning sun,
when an old biddy is getting up and attum!
This is the way it looks at this point in the renovation.
It's all creamy.
I will be keeping you up to date on its progress.
I promise.
I have been missing in action, but will be better.
That's it for today, campers.

Oh, wait!!!!!
we need one of my fabulous side by sides!!!!!
The new way is going to feel much larger because I am not going to have a half wall.

OH!!!
and a teaser.
the vanity is an amazing antique we picked up at auction.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Transforming a Living Room for My Buddy Kris

If you've been following my bog, you know that one of my all time besties is Kris!!!!!
I met her when she was looking for an interior designer.
 She saw an article about me in House Beautiful that showed me with lots of dogs, and since she lived with a dog (and kids) she thought that maybe I would be able to help her...
 with her house.
If she knew that it was going to change both of our lives....
I wonder if she would have made that fateful call.....
of course she would!!!!!
the woman is crazy about me!!!!!
She wanted help with her living room.
This is what it looked like when I first saw it.
The kids weren't in the room at the time.
That helped.
Nor the Foosball table, which also helped
(that had been moved across the hall to the dining room.)
She and her husband Keith had bought a turn of the century home in the Boston suburbs that had been allowed to go to seed over the years.
By attacking one room at a time, and not cutting any corners, we have transformed this rundown residence into what I now feel is a showplace.
However, because Kris is not a showoff.....
THAT IS LEFT UP TO ME ME ME!!!!!
To give you an idea of how long this has taken, the little boy in the photo is now out of college, fully employed and over 6 feet tall.

I have shown you pictures of this room before, but this past year we finally had the windows replaced, and I am always blown away by the difference muntins make in a window.
For those in the class that don't know what a muntin is.....

mun·tin
/ˈmənt(ə)n/
noun US
a bar or rigid supporting strip between adjacent panes of glass.
Most folks call them mullions.

For those in the class what don't know the real definition of mullion.....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullion

mullion is a vertical element that forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen, or is used decoratively. When dividing adjacent window units, its primary purpose is to provide structural support to an arch or lintel above the window opening.

So think of it this way.
A muntin holds the panes of glass in a window sash.
A mullion is the structural vertical piece between windows when there are double or triple or more windows together.

Now that you know this.....
if you use this out in the real world, most people won't know what the hell you're talking about.

You're welcome!!!!!
Sooooooo.....
This is the way Kris's living room looked before we put in the new windows.
I had designed a new fireplace for her and had the bookshelves removed.
We had the walls re-plastered and crown moldings installed.
There were two doorways into the front hall (it must have been two rooms at one point in the house's life) and we had one closed off and plastered over.
I had new recessed lighting put in in one of my wonderful and fabulous lighting plans.
In the shot below you can see two of the windows that were replaced.
The biggest change was to the middle picture window.
I HAVE HATED THIS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS
 AND YEARS AND .........
Once again you will have to deal with my blurry images.
my hands are a little shaky, and I am too lazy to drag around my tripod.
SO JUST DEAL WITH IT!!!!!
In the image below you can see the new windows.
isn't it just the most amazing thing!!!!!!!
I have this love affair with muntins.
They make everything cozier in my less than humble opinion.
Behind the sofa is where the second door into the hall used to be.
By removing it we were able to create a better floorplan in the room.
This shows the long wall that now exits with the removal of the second set of doors.
This is the view looking into the room from the front entry hall.
I designed and needlepointed the seat covers for the pair of hall chairs flanking the chest of drawers.
This is a shot with the old windows, I am an idiot, I am an idiot, I am an idiot.....
I forgot to take a new one.
These is the sitting area to the right of the French doors leading into the hall.
You can see the reworked moldings that were created for all the doors and windows.
Believe or not.....
Kris and I still have some walls in this house that need to have some stuff hung on them.
AND THAT IS FOR MY NEXT POST!!!!!

On that note,
Latah,
Gatah

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

I'm Loosing My Mind, So You Have To Come With Me....

That's right little campers.....
I'm back for another post 
right on the heels of my previous one!!!!!
You guys are so lucky.
Or, as they say in New Jersey,
Yous Guys.
Seee?
I learned something from my under graduate degree.

After writing that I was definitely going to use the green colorway of my cabbage rose pattern.
I have changed my mind.
Again.
Quelle Surprisio!!!!!
(spell check doesn't like it when I make up new foreign languages.....)
(spell check has no sense of humor.....)

You may wonder why there are two blog posts in close succession...
WELL...
I have a headache.
And my headache medication has caffeine in it.
I don't normally have caffeine.
Due to medical issues that are none of your damn business.
(Not that you would be interested, 'cuz my family is certainly bored hearing about them, and they are all doctors.)
SOOOOOOO.......
when I have a headache, it is a great excuse to get a little caffeine in my system.
Which my brain box really really really really loves.

AND.......
I am having trouble working out a drop repeat right now on a new design, so I am looking for any excuse to distract me from my frustration.

So,
let's get to today's design issue for little Betsy.
We left off here.
I was going to use my green colorway.
I really love this look.
It is fresh and pretty....(if I do say so myself.....)
however....
there was an uproar from the peanut gallery pushing the pink color back to the forefront
of my cerebellum.  
You guys liked it in the room, and pointed out that it was more what I was known for.
Not that you shouldn't allow me to evolve.
sheesh.
So I placed the pink on my antique French chair to show the class how it looks, because that is how I will be using it.
Like the way all my pictures are blurry?????
I am too lazy to pull out my tripod, and I am shooting in low light.
So deal with it.
I gots to admit that this colorway goes better with the rug and bookcase.
Maybe that's because I originally designed it to go with my living room.
It was so long ago that I forgot that.
Can you believe me?
Talk about a senior moment.
I expressly colored blue flowers into the bouquet to pull in the blue of the bookcase.
I worked really hard for this $%# colorway to work with my living room, and then I forgot that I did that.
Below is the way we sell it in my collection.
It is a fresher pallet.
Josh chose the more muted one that I show above to be printed on my natural linen ground.
Here is one of my fabulous side by sides!!!!!
See how the one on the right is more muted?
That's the one for me.
Below I've pinned the two samples to my current drapery panels, you can see the difference even better. 
Sooooooo.....
the one on the right is the bright way it's being sold, and the one on the left is the way I will use it, and it's not for sale, unless you want it, and then, of course we can accommodate you!!! 
AND THEN!!!!!
BECAUSE I'M AN IDIOT!!!!!
I had to try another colorway.
This is the French blue on white.
I am not going to do it.
But I am leaving no stone unturned.
I need another caffeine pill.
Or something.
ANYTHING.
please.
on that note,
Latah Gatah
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