Category Archives: 2016
Bathroom Begins in Lincoln Park!
Renovating a small bathroom is one of my favorite projects! I love the challenge to maximize function and increase storage while keeping the space looking and feeling open and spacious. The before photos above show the outdated, dark, dull space which will soon be transformed into a beautiful bathroom.
A transitional style will work with the vintage architecture of the apartment–clean and classic in soothing colors of gray, green and blue. There are so many decisions to make, even for a small space. The couple, who will share the bathroom, know they want to replace the tub with a shower, but will they choose sliding doors or a pivot door as shown in my concept drawings above.
Each option offers advantages and disadvantages that will have to be considered. A partition wall will give privacy and provide a place for recessed shelving and a towel hook, while sliding glass doors will make the room feel open and larger than it is. The color scheme will give the room a calming, spa feel.
After several months of living among construction, my clients are happy to have their kitchen back. They quickly put everything back so they could start enjoying it.
Featuring white shaker style cabinetry, quartz countertops, and stainless steel appliances, this kitchen is beautifully updated in a monochromatic color scheme of white, taupe and champagne. A large island provides ample counter space for the owners who enjoy cooking and baking. It also serves as a dining table or bar counter which can seat 4 people. Now that the back wall is filled with cabinetry–it was previously empty–not only is there additional storage, but a serving counter and glass display cabinets. Perfect for entertaining!
Texture is added through ribbed glass door inserts, dimpled glass pendants and ceramic tile. The backsplash is a subway tile from Mission Stone and Tile, which features a raised geometric design and adds a timeless element with a modern twist. The island is highlighted in Silestone’s quartz, Lusso, which has multi-color veining over a white background. The outer counters are Silestone’s quartz in Coral Clay.
When I arrived to take photographs, the home owner had just finished baking the muffins that are sitting out. She told me how much easier and more enjoyable it is to work in her new kitchen.
As always we strive to create kitchens that are functional as well as beautiful. It is always nice to hear that we were successful!
The Bathroom as a Place of Relaxation and Well-Being
As the emphasis on luxurious bathrooms continues to grow, they have become places of relaxation and well-being. Any bathroom can be transformed into a “home spa” while being functional and durable. This relatively small master bathroom in a downtown Chicago high rise was updated, modernized and outfitted with abundant storage. The neutral gray color scheme sets the tone for a calming and soothing space. A floating vanity was chosen to make the room airy and open. Lighting from beneath highlights it and adds ambiance.
Large porcelain tiles cover the floor and the side of the bathtub while the same tile in brick size surrounds the tub. Thermofoil cabinets in stainless steel are a modern feature while also offering easier maintenance than wood. A tall cabinet sits on the quartz countertop to provide additional storage.
On one end of the soaking tub, a niche with shelves is filled with easily accessible bath items. At the other end, there is a hand-held showerhead to make cleaning the tub– and the dog– easier.
The Starck Organic Hansgrohe faucet is sculptural and sensual. It boasts an invigorating spray with low water consumption. Behind the vanity, stacked ceramic tiles are installed flush with the mirrors for a seamless look. The tiles are hand made in California of locally sourced clay.
The soothing color palette, lighting and soaking tub turned this bathroom into a home spa which is also functional, durable and easy to maintain.
Thinking about taking on a bathroom renovation? See my worksheets to help you get started.
Magnificent on Michigan Avenue
This Downtown Michigan Avenue Kitchen was outdated and didn’t provide adequate storage. The dining counter closed it off from the rest of the apartment and made the work area feel cramped. See the “before” photo below.
The kitchen layout was reconfigured so that it opened up to the dining room. The dining counter was removed but the column had to stay. In order to incorporate it into the rest of the space a quartz counter was wrapped around it on 2 sides. It provides extra work space for cooking or preparing food, as well as a spot to sit and eat or entertain guests.
A neutral color scheme in shades of gray was chosen to give the space an airy, modern feel. Light gray painted cabinets, coupled with a dark gray countertop set the tone. The wall cabinets above the sink are perfect for display wile the metal/glass doors add a nice contrast among the wood cabinets.
The backsplash tile has a wallpaper look and adds pattern and texture among the flat panel doors and solid color countertops.
To the right of the column the galley kitchen continues to a storage room. A stacked washer/dryer was placed in a cabinet to conceal it and integrate it into the other cabinetry. The Sub Zero refrigerator also has matching panel doors for a streamlined, built-in look.
Across from the refrigerator additional cabinets, a counter and a dog feeding space create a bar area to serve food and drinks to guests– and pets!
Next to the refrigerator is a microwave oven and beverage refrigerator. This second counter can be used for prepping food or folding laundry. This newly renovated kitchen is now an enjoyable, functional space in which to cook, eat and socialize.
Wool is good for you!
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March 2016 Why Wool?
As an interior designer, my job is to specify materials that are beautiful, functional, sustainable and help create a healthy living space. Wool meets all of those criteria.
Wool is the coat of a sheep. It is grown continuously, making it a rapidly and readily renewable material. Wool is used in interior textiles such as blankets, pillows, curtains, upholstery and carpet. It is also used as fiberfill for mattresses, pillows and home insulation.
Because of its strong, flexible fibers, wool is durable. It is easy to maintain because spills bead up–instead of immediately absorbing–allowing time for blotting. Its natural oils resist dirt and grease. It is soft, warm and resists static build up. Wool is even flame retardant–it self-extinguishes without melting or giving off noxious fume. As a natural material wool contains no irritating substances which could cause allergic reactions or other health issues.
Using wool throughout your home, will create a healthier and more comfortable living environment. It reduces floating dust by trapping it until it is vacuumed. When used as filling in a mattress it provides a buffer by absorbing and releasing moisture, thus regulating temperatures to allow better sleep. As a home insulator, wool permanently purifies harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde in the air. It is efficient, cost effective and absorbs sounds.
So, Why NOT wool?
Etsy shop now open!
Check out my hand knit home accessories line, Cozy Modern Living. Unique items for upcoming mother’s day or graduation gifts. Bowls and pillows can be customized for you!
When my clients bought their beautiful, grand home in Naperville, Illinois, renovating the kitchen was first on their list. The homeowner’s main objective was to update it in a classic style and improve storage and functionality since they enjoy cooking big meals for gatherings with their large extended family.
To help make that happen, a 48” wide Wolf range and 60” wide Subzero refrigerator/freezer were selected. The large island houses a microwave and warming oven while providing seating for four.
Cream colored inset cabinetry, quartz countertops and a crackled subway tile backsplash were selected for a timeless, sophisticated look. An extra thick deep rich brown countertop adds depth to the kitchen’s muted color scheme.
The room’s focal point is a decorative vent hood with Ann Sacks artisan glass tile highlighted above the range. A separate counter area, close to the dining room, is equipped with a small sink and a beverage refrigerator to facilitate serving meals and drinks.
Now their home is complete with a beautiful and functional kitchen in which they love to cook, eat, hang out and entertain.
Cabinetry by Mouser, available at Green Home Chicago
Etsy shop now open!
I am excited to announce that my new Etsy shop, Cozy Modern Living, is now open. It features hand knit throw pillows, hats, scarves and bowls. They will add comfort and color for a cozy modern life. Visit the shop now and add it as a favorite, please!