Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ranchburger Renovation Diary

 And so it begins . . . . a new kitchen adventure.
For the last few months, I've been working on a renovation game-plan.
This time, I worked with an architect, and we agreed that the 8' kitchen ceiling "matched" the wonderful mood of the house--warm, cozy, and cottage-like. However, the old windows needed updating. Rather than adding new casements, the architect pointed to the wonderful view and suggested that I blow out the windows and cabinets and add floor-to-ceiling doors. Since the kitchen opens onto a porch, I really liked this idea--I imagined eating fried sage leaves at at small wicker table and watching the moon rise.

Along with my general contractor, we explored various ideas and window companies, keeping the pocketbook in mind, along with energy efficiency. The goal was to get everything sourced and spec'd out before construction began. Last week, my GC and I found the perfect window/door, but it was only available in 8' and we needed something smaller. The local builder's supply found other great options.
This one is called "Nantucket."

Floor-to-ceiling "door windows" will replace the old casements. This room has a lovely view--the only thing that swayed me about the ranchburger--and everyone on the team agreed that we should make the view a focal point.

Luckily, the house has a huge dish room, so I will have plenty of storage.
There's also a kitchen in the pool house.

Here's where we are in mid-December--a gutted space.
I opted for an unfitted look, so the sink will go in an island. 

The kitchen "door-windows" will overlook a screened-in porch, similar to this inspiration photo:
Traditional Kitchen by Beaufort Architects & Building Designers Allison Ramsey Architects

I'm warming to the idea of stain rather than off-white trim.
Traditional Living Room by Beaufort Architects & Building Designers Allison Ramsey Architects

If so, the tones will (hopefully!) be repeated, keeping in mind the kitchen's scale.

Pictured from left: my GC, Mike Cox; his project manager, Medana; Bandwidth and Zap.

Unfitted cabinetry will go on the "refrigerator" wall.

The wall ovens and a hutch will go on this wall. In the bottom of the hutch,
I'm adding pantry storage.

In this photo, you can see the stairway to the infamous "man cave."

Traditional Kitchen by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

This photo shows the breakfast area. The architect said it would be a little tight when I put a table and chairs beneath the lantern. After exploring many options, we decided to add a bay window (it will also be made of "doors," and one will open to the porch). The lantern will be moved into the bay--or the dining room. I really love it.
We put packing materials beneath the lantern to prevent folks from smashing their heads. :-)

The window/doors will be ordered before Christmas, and after cabinet sketches are approved, the project will begin. Can't wait to share the progress with you all!
My GC promises that we'll have exciting updates in January 2015.

You can read about the ranchburger and our previous project HERE  and HERE. Thanks for visiting!

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Southern Christmas

This Sunday, we're looking at homes that have been decorated by Tobi Fairley, a Little Rock, Arkansas, interior designer. "Bright, bold, and tailored" are the cornerstones of her philosophy--with a timeless Southern flair. 

"Since establishing her design firm over 15 years ago, Tobi’s projects have spanned the nation, and her award-winning designs for high-profile and celebrity clients have been featured on television, and in top-shelf shelter publications around the globe, including House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, Coastal Living, and more."

Shelter magazines seldom refer to "Southern" decor as a style (it's always "transitional," "traditional," "contemporary," "romantic," or "cottage"). Perhaps the Deep South way is a state of mind, drawn from family and regional traditions. It's so subtle, I'm not sure it can be defined in a few words. To complicate the situation, in some parts of the south, this style might be fading, as stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware (which I love, by the way) have influenced a new generation.
But Southern "decor" can be spotted during the holidays--magnolias, apples, oranges, nuts, and baked goods.
Decades ago, it may have been impractical and costly for Southern homemakers to buy "storebought" goodies. The local Piggly Wiggly probably didn't have huge magazine racks, either, but somehow Southern women have always celebrated Christmas in style. Colonial Williamsburg may have set the bar for the holidays. I like to imagine how DIY design ideas traveled by letters and word-of-mouth, inspiring generations to come with apple fans, herb wreaths, and pine swags.  Yet the South added its own stamp with jewel toned colors, family mementos, and regional food . . . especially food. Honey, we're talking about hospitality at its finest. Every little detail is straight from the heart, and it says, "Welcome to my home. I'm so glad you're here. I just made eggnog--would you like a glass?" (And it will be served in an heirloom glass, possibly dating back to the Depression.)

We'll begin in a black and white living room--nothing overtly Southern here--until you see the thick boughs of fresh fruit and greenery on the mantel. 

Almost any color will work in a black and white room. The colorful garland is lush and wonderfully long. Can you just imagine the fragrance?

A bejeweled tree sits in the corner of a den, a sparkling backdrop to the earth-toned plaid chairs.
(You'll see the cocoa tray in a moment.)

In the foyer, the banister is decorated with another extravagant garland. Guests will be greeted with a whiff of citrus, as the greenery is stuffed with fresh lemons and orange pomanders.

Here's a close up. 

A silver bowl overflows with beads and balls. The bowl is anchored on a tray, where colorful accessories are casually strewn.

A plush wreath adds a festive touch to a china cabinet.

I love how wreaths and paperwhites create an elegant, outdoorsy look in a mint-blue kitchen.

In case you were wondering, the paint color is Sherwin Williams Spearmint - SW 6465.

On the counter, gingerbread houses sit on jadeite cake pedestals.

A living room mantel is transformed by a colorful garland.

The "blues" continue on pillows, art, gift wrap, and a brass entertainment cart.

At first, I thought orange pomanders were mixed with the ornaments, but I was mistaken--instead of cloves, metal studs were used.

What a cute idea--animal print ribbons.

In another home, the breakfast room was decorated with cheery red and white fabrics.

Blue and green have never been merrier.
Napkin Ring Idea: a ribbon and an ornament. And don't forget the monogrammed napkin--it's a Southern preppy tradition.

Remember the den with the colorful tree? Here's a closer look at the cocoa tray.

Tobi is the "gift wrap" whisperer. Here, presents are personalized and color-coordinated.

Tobi is masterful at creating elegant vignettes, weaving in colors and candy.

Hope you enjoyed touring Tobi's rooms inspiring holiday spaces. 
See you next Sunday.

Tobi Fairley on Houzz
Tobi's Home Store
Tobi's blog

(Note for paint sleuths: in the top photo, the wall color is Sherwin Williams Believable Buff - SW6120. The minty-blue kitchen cabinet color is Sherwin Williams Spearmint - SW 6465.)

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Simple, Fresh Design

One morning, I was searching for kitchen ideas on Pinterest, and I saw a photograph that bowled me over. I imagined walking in my sock-feet over those polished floors. I could almost feel the smooth edge of the counter and the sturdy round knobs. What would I put in the drawers? Cookie cutters, rolling pins, measuring cups. The powder blue armoire added a soft, beguiling touch of color in this neutral space.
Oh, how I loved this room.

It was simple, fresh, and ageless.
Traditional Kitchen by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

Who was the genius behind this design? 
A wildly talented interior designer named Minnie Peters.
You won't see fussy, complicated rooms in her  portfolio. When she begins a project, every aspect is worked out in one fell swoop. Based in Ireland and France, Minnie's team includes architects, project managers, seamstresses, landscape architects--together they coax the best from each space. The moment new windows are chosen, her team considers the clients' dreams and practical needs, along with the view from each window. After everything has been sorted, the drapery treatment is selected. Colors are selected with the same attention to detail. Under Minnie's careful eye, house and garden work together seamlessly. 

A mix of old and new objects add color and personality to this neutral dining room.
Traditional Dining Room by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

I can almost imagine Minnie planning the draperies while the architect sketched a room with a bay window.
Traditional Entry by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

Just when I wonder if an all-white dining room can be too white, here comes Minnie with her inimitable style, adding color and texture.
Traditional Hall by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

Here's another view of the room--just gorgeous.
Traditional Dining Room by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

Minnie intuitively knows how to mix antiques and contemporary pieces. 
Old meets new in a traditional bathroom.
Traditional Bathroom by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

Minnie's vignettes add sparkle to this table.
Contemporary Living Room by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

This was the only bedroom photo that I could find. It shows Minnie's flair for
blending textures.

I love the windows in this peaceful, inspiring home office.
Traditional Home Office by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

Key elements are repeated in this traditional living room, and yet, somehow Minnie avoids a "Noah's Ark" feel.
Traditional Living Room by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Minnie Peters

 Would that I could bring Minnie to my 70s "Ranchburger.". It has a dark, small, and narrow dining room, and two walls are claimed by built-in shelves. I had thought about putting them in the library, but the cases were built into the boxed trim on the walls, and the workmanship was very fine. Demo would be tragic in all kinds of ways, plus I'm working on a very tight budget and timeline. I couldn't do it.

 Here, the previous owner used the room as a study. 
My cabinet guy, Jimmy, is making solid doors for the bottom shelves; glass vs solid doors are
being considered for the tops. After seeing Minnie's space, my vote goes to leaving the top shelves open.

Ideas began to percolate when I took a second look at a dining room that Minnie had designed. 
Just look what she did with those bookcases.

I'll leave you with a photo of the ranchburger's gutted kitchen, which will hopefully be complete by March 2015--or sooner, as my general contractor is fast-tracking the project. I'm hoping to move soon, and I've been busy packing.

Note: The 8' ceilings are staying, and floor-to-ceiling windows will replace the old casements.

Until then, I'm dreaming of islands.

Hope you enjoyed Minnie's spaces.

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