Thursday, October 8, 2015

bdhomesf | Three week kitchen refresh

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think...I'd like a different kitchen. Now.

That's not what happened with this client, but the result is basically the same—a wonderfully refreshed kitchen, with minimal down-time.

When we first met, we discussed several projects including a kitchen remodel. But after considering the parameters: wide galley kitchen, no room for an island, didn't want to demolish the wall between the kitchen and dining room (resulting in the loss of the original Victorian fireplace on the other side and definition for her formal dining room), it was obvious. With no good way to change the overall layout, we shelved the major remodel for her five year-plan, and opted instead for a quick update.

Because her cabinets have jewel-toned glass inserts, we chose a paint color for the cabinets that complements the overall palette while contrasting the existing cream-colored subway tile backsplash. The muted navy of Evening Dove (Benjamin Moore 2128-30) tones down the glass inserts and helps the black appliances and existing concrete countertops become visually uniform through the galley. Walls are Benjamin Moore Simply White (OC-117).

It only took a few days to refinish the existing soft-fine wood floors with a lighter stain, but what a way to bring new light into a somewhat dark space! The lighter color gives the room a modern feeling, without compromising the overall Victorian charm.

Best of all, with surprisingly little expense and no major changes, we were able to create a fresh, contemporary kitchen in just three weeks. So next time you need immediate gratification, consider a simple refresh!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

bdhomesf | Shifting into Neutrals

I find color inspiration all around...but this time, it happened to find me.

While attending a birthday lunch for a friend, I noticed that two of the gifts she received were wrapped in neutral and gray color schemes - brown craft paper with a gray grosgrain ribbon; and a white and gray cabbage rose-print paper with a burlap ribbon. An unusual color combination and yet it looked so great together.

And then I left the party, drove down the street and started noticing the gray/neutral combination all over SF. Very cool.

I especially like the use of dark gray on the very traditional trim of the Victorian covered in wood shingles pictured below. Such a sophisticated way to modernize a traditional exterior.

Even my neighbor across the street made this color choice - I came home recently to find that she had changed out her (awesome) bright orange solid front door with a natural wood and glass one, a perfect complement to her dark gray Victorian!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

bdhomesf | Teen bathroom Phase I, II...and maybe III

Often clients don't renovate immediately when they move into a house, and I think can be a good thing for them to live in their space for awhile to get a sense of what they want.

I recently completed Phase II of a remodel for a client, a teen girls' bathroom, but upon initial move-in, they wanted just a simple refresh.

When my clients first moved in, their girls were a few years younger and bathroom time wasn't critical in their lives. The original bathroom, consisting of an old clawfoot tub, sink and toilet, didn't work for their immediate needs and they wanted to take some time before a major makeover.

For the refresh, the tub was removed and we used FLOR® carpet tiles to cover the old floor tile. Then repainted the walls and added a new sink with counter space.

Fast forward a few years, and now everyone was ready for the girls to have their own shower. The girls' Phase II bathroom remodel included adding a tiled, stand-alone shower, changing the toilet position to accommodate the shower and adding a larger, double vanity for maximum mirror time.

You can see on the new floor plan below, this modest 7'x7' room became more functional once we moved the door frame and created a pocket door with a full mirrored surface.

We chose classic white bathroom fixtures and created a WOW room with orange paint and fun accessories like the yellow/pink/orange window shade pictured below.

Everyone is thrilled with the new space, which will suit the girls through their time living at home.

And for Phase III, we can repaint and re-accessorize with a more mature color scheme!

Friday, August 29, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #3 A Kitchen Story

Although the theme of this kitchen remodel was THAT blue, the result was decidedly green.

LED recessed lighting was installed in the ceiling and LED rope lights were used inside and under the cabinets for task lighting.

Low VOC paint was used throughout the room, and a bespoke wooden table was made for the client from Dominant Sapwood Walnut by The Grothouse Lumber Company in Pennsylvania

The remodel created a more efficient flow to the room—moved walls, lengthened the island, improved storage. A fun highlight are the "appliance garage" areas behind the wall to tuck away countertop appliances, hidden by aluminum "garage" doors.

And of course, the new and old cabinets painted THAT blue, Benjamin Moore 1638 Midnight Blue.

Friday, August 22, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #3 A Kitchen Story

More and more, I meet with clients who are interested in repurposing—reusing, recycyling, upcycling—call it what you like. Sometimes it's sentimental, sometimes it's budgetary, and sometimes it's just because they believe it's the right thing to do for our planet. Whatever the reason, I think it's always a good idea to consider repurposing if it makes sense in the design of the space.

So I wasn't surprised when a client who was embarking on a kitchen remodel asked me to use some existing cabinets in the new design. She is a green-minded executive of a company that manufactures alternative packaging for liquids. Of course she wants to upcycle!

Inspiration for the kitchen came from the color of her existing blue tile counters. She knew she'd have to lose the counters in the remodel, but asked if I could use THAT color blue in the new design. Easy. Since I knew we'd need to change the color of the repurposed cabinets, it made perfect sense to paint all of the cabinets—old and new—THAT blue.

Here's the before:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #2 Saving something Sentimental

Wow. That's all my client kept saying when she saw it. Wow.

I knew the hutch would look great,but there is something really exciting about seeing the finished piece in place. Everything comes together in a room and you see that decor-magazine moment. So satisfying.

The color is a little darker than the wall but still blends to give a built-in feel without the heaviness that built-in storage sometimes brings. And because the neutral color echoes the wall, it sits back and lets the beautiful walnut of the table and console pop. The room definitely looks bigger but has retained necessary storage.

Most important, a sentimental family treasure has been given new life as an avant-garde showpiece that will continue to be part of this family for many years.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #2 Saving Something Sentimental

Because the piece was old and had some sun damage, the client was concerned that the finish wouldn't be smooth. I reminded her it wouldn't look like a brand new piece, and that's the beauty of these repurposed pieces—their texture and grain. It's the best part about transforming furniture with paint, their sense of time past, given a fresh look, that gives uniqueness and character. Without it, this piece wouldn't be remarkable.

Our painter had to do some careful sanding to get the crinkles out of the surface without compromising the wood, and fortunately the piece didn't have any major dings. Sanding and priming went smoothly and was done in one day. I could really see it coming together, but my client was still unconvinced. She was out of town now and her husband sent her the photo posted here. I can certainly see why she was nervous!

Painting day arrived and I held my breath as the first coat went on. It's always a surprise to to see the paint color going up for real; the light and reflection can be very different than on the test sheets, no matter how large they are. This time the surprise was a very pleasant one. I could see immediately that the color was spot-on. A light, warm gray, slightly deeper than the wall. Perfect.

All that was left to do was let it dry, reassemble it and get the hardware on before my client returned from out of town.