Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Finished!!

Yes! The work on the master bath was completed today with the installation of the mill work framing the vanity mirror. (From Mirror Mate at, Mediterra/Glazed Earth). It's remarkable the impact adding this frame has had on the room. This once generic plate glass mirror has become a gorgeous feature of the bath, looking like a very expensive and large custom hanging mirror. It is a great finishing touch.

Finally, a few final accessories were brought in. A basket for towels, soap dishes that follow the lines of the sinks, candles and a little adorable bird I found while sourcing fabric at Calico Corner. Because...what bathroom is complete without a gold bird!? It brings in a bit of whimsical personality, completing the final goals for the room. The aim of this redesign was to infuse the room with a wonderful sense of style, a bit of whimsy and drama, through decorating. I think the redesign has been a great success! I love the final result. Looking back at the 'before' photo I think it is amazing how a room can be transformed through creative decorating, when a remodel does not make sense.

Next time, how to make decisions like a pro when shopping...but most importantly... Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...WC

For the minuscule WC off this master bath, I designed a bold "wallpaper" that is being painted on the walls. It would have been easy to ignore such a small space, but when given this bit of special treatment it becomes a great little surprise off the main room.

The "wallpaper" was designed to coordinate with the Thomas Paul fabric used on the chair's seat cushions. The pattern is being hand painted in a rich brown over walls that have been painted with a gorgeous striae effect. These layers give the walls texture and dimension. For the ceiling I mixed a gold metallic paint into Devine Color's Cocoa paint, for a shimmering bronze result. The idea is to have the ceiling glow from the light of the Jonathan Adler light fixture to be place of the room's recessed light fixture. (I couldn't pass up another opportunity to pull out a recessed light!!) Finally, the window treatment will be a grass cloth roman shade, same as the treatments used on the master bath windows. It may take awhile, but I will post photos when this space is complete.

Next time...the vanity mirror frame ordered from Mirror Mate was shipped today! So, very soon the master bath will be complete and I'll post final photos!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Mirrors

This mirror, which serves as the room's dressing mirror, was recently found at a tremendous discount. (See earlier blog, "Buy the Floor Model...Save $$$"). So when it was first hung and the frame's finish didn't quite work with the other colors and finishes in the room, I had no problem deciding to tweak it's finish. The same process used on the chair frames was repeated here, with one additional paint layer, a light brushing of the room's wall color. This was done so that this mirror, which admittedly is a bit over the top, starts to fade into the wall. The final result works, bringing drama into the room without overwhelming other elements around it.

Now for the large plate glass mirror at the vanity. Can't get any more basic! The original plan was to remove it and add two smaller framed mirrors above each sink. However, when the cost of removing the mirror, drywall repair and price of replacement mirrors were added up it didn't make sense.

So on to Plan B...Mirror Mate. This is an awesome company offering a great line of frames designed to fit right over an existing mirror. Go to to see all the available styles and how easy it is to order and install. The edge detail on the style selected (lower of two samples shown in photo) for this project is very similar to the finish on the vanity light fixtures. Perfect! The result will be gorgeous, bringing a finished custom look to the mirror.

(A decision on which style to use was just made today, so unfortunately this part of the master bath redesign will not be complete for a couple more weeks). So...while we wait, next time I will talk about plans for the small WC adjoining this bath, a space that I am excited about doing something really special in!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Seating

What a wonderful luxury to have enough room in a bath for seating! It's very convenient to have a place to sit and somewhere other than the floor to put one's clothes. These two chairs, found unused in another room of the home, were given a makeover and repurposed to the bath. The absolutely delightful pattern on the seat cushions bring an unexpected pop to the room, and the frame's finish resembles the room's oil rubbed bronze bath fixtures.

Below is a photo of one chair in it's original state, more photos showing their transformation and a run down of the steps taken to breathe new life into these chairs.

1)Seat cushions and old fabric are removed.
2)The chair frame is lightly sanded to remove the old finish and prep the wood for primer.
3)Primer is applied.
4)The frame is painted with a rich dark brown paint.
5)Three layers of color are wiped over the frame to achieve the final finish, meant to look similar to the oil rubbed bronze bath fixtures in the room. First, platinum metallic paint, a lighter brown paint and finally a gold metallic paint.
6)The cushions get wrapped with a new thick lining, attached with staples.
7)The new fabric is cut and placed on the cushion, making sure the pattern is positioned identically on each cushion. (Fabric by Thomas Paul, see earlier blog for more information).
8)The fabric is stapled on, starting at the center of each side and working towards the corners, pulling the fabric slightly for a polished result.
9)The cushions are attached with screws to the chair frames.
10) DONE...I think the result is a great example of how it is often possible to work with what you already own!

Next time...a dressing mirror is brought in and the over sized vanity mirror is "dressed up" with an outstanding product by Mirror Mate.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Windows and Niche

Clean, simple and tailored describe these window treatments. It's important to balance design elements in a room, the detailed alongside the pared down. It makes a room more interesting, allowing some details to star while others provide the background. If every aspect of a room has a wow factor, they tend to cancel each other out.

The goal when choosing these window treatments was to provide privacy while not blocking the room's natural light and view. These tailored, grass cloth roman shades achieve this goal. In the sunlight the shape and movement of the trees can be seen through the shades. (Unfortunately Oregon hasn't had sun in these photos don't convey this!)

In the niche a towel bar was removed, allowing for a dramatic focal point. The plan was to place several tall glass candlesticks here, but when I was out shopping and spotted this tall smokey grey vase, I knew it was perfect! (From Crate and Barrel). With the golden grass, under the accent light, an absolutely gorgeous moment is created in this bath.

In the next blog I'll talk about one of my favorite design purposing. With room for seating in this bath, and I am bringing in two chairs that have undergone a beautiful transformation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Vanity Lighting

More beautiful lighting! This master bath's two craftsman style vanity fixtures were replaced with two stunning, clean lined fixtures. These new fixtures were chosen for their strong architectural design, which have a wonderful juxtaposition against the floral lines of the chandeliers. All the fixtures have the same antique gold finish, which is why these two lighting styles are able to co-exist in the room so well.

Next time...window treatments have arrived and I have found the PERFECT accessory for the niche!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Lighting

Beautiful lighting can transform a room. In this bath the main source of light were two recessed ceiling fixtures, and in my opinion, that is a lost decorating opportunity!

Luckily, this problem is easily solved with a fabulous product I recently discovered. The "Recessed Fixture Converter" kit, which can be found at Home Depot for under $10, converts a recessed housing unit to a junction box. After this quick task that just about anyone can do, a light fixture up to 25 lbs. can be hung where the recessed light was previously. (I LOVE this product!!!)

In this bath both recessed lights where converted and replaced with two identical leaf motif chandeliers in an antiqued gold finish. Each were hung below ceiling medallions painted a similar shade as the room's mill work. These chandeliers bring in a delightfully sophisticated element to the room, helping nudge this master bath towards my designs goals for the space.

Next...vanity lighting. I'll exchange the existing craftsman style lighting with fixtures that are in keeping with the overall design plan for the room.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Master Bath Redesign...Paint

"Update: This room was completed a year ago and I love it! Check out all the details of the finished project here. Today it is attending Smiling Sally's Blue Party!"

As I've said before, I think paint can often transform a space. I am banking on it in this room! I believe the major problem with the design of this bath is that the same tile was used everywhere...on the floor, vanity counter top and shower surround. It is simply too much! Used in such quantity, this somewhat average tile, becomes the room's major statement with a lackluster result. So, my goal with the paint is to bring in a bold and beautiful surface that draws attention away from the tile and it's volume.

In choosing the paint color I pulled out the greys present in many of the tiles. Because the colors are in the tile, I was virtually certain the paint color would work, (and again, help neutralize the tile's overwhelming presence). BUT, it is always a good idea to test a color before making a final decision.

The walls have two layers of color, the first a solid coat, in Devine Color's Storm. This is one of Devine paint's incredible colors, a deep rich grey with undertones of blue. Next a second coat was layered over Storm, using Devine Color's Rain. This layer was applied with the Ralph Lauren Linen Brush, in long sweeping strokes, creating a striea strip effect with bits of the first color showing through. Quite a bit of labor involved, but the result is worth it, a finish with a depth that a single color would lack. I am mulling around the idea of adding a third layer in Devine's Fog...(got to get all the Winter elements included here)...but holding off a decision until I see how the next steps of this redesign move forward. When working on a design I think it's smart to be open to possible changes as the work progresses!

So, the paint is working, next, one of my favorite design tools!