Friday, January 29, 2010

Lisa's New Bathroom

Last spring I bit the bullet and decided to completely renovate my master bath.  It had a large jet tub I never used (though one winter I stored my tropical plants in it), low-quality cabinetry with cultured marble tops, white "Chiclit" tiles and peeling gold faucets. It also had bright pink wallpaper, and though I love color, I really wanted to have more restful bed and bath.  Here's the before...

My good friend and former roommate from our single years, Beth Ledy, helped me design the bathroom. The renovation began with a Curry secondhand chandelier I found at my favorite furniture resale shop, South End Exchange (for all of you living in Charlotte!). I loved its simplicity, sparkle and soft gray finish...

That great painting next to the tub was done by Barbara Jamison, a friend and very talented artist...

One of my favorite features are the Robern medicine cabinets. I found one at a home store that someone else had returned so I got it at a huge discount.  They are deep, so one can store in them big bottles of lotion, cosmetics, even an electric toothbrush.  We built out the walls to incorporate these cabinets.  They are really great for a person with, uh, messy tendencies like me, because I never put anything on the counters; everything fits inside. 

But of course they are not framed, so I installed a Charlotte Silver Leaf MirrorMate frame on mine! You can see it here just as it was done - corners for hanging it straight, still in place...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

10 Trends & Budget-Friendly Decor Tips for 2010

We asked our expert Home Stager and Designer Kate Hart to give us her top ten trends for 2010 – and tips to affordably update your home for a whole new decade.

“Many of the trends in 2010 reflect the mood of today’s consumers,” says Kate. “Homeowners are looking to brighten their space and their mindset, stretch their decorating dollars and make the most of the home they have.”

Here’s what Kate highlights as trends and tips to take us through the new year in style:

1.REFURBISHED FURNISHINGS – Reclaim and restore what is old and make new again.

Tip: Reduce, reuse and recycle are décor terms today so reupholster that old chair, add a MirrorMate® frame to your bare bathroom mirror instead of replacing it and repaint a flea market-find dresser as opposed to buying new.

2.CALMING, UPLIFTING COLORS – Create a cheery retreat with cool colors & lighter wood tones.

Tip: Use turquoise, the Pantone color of 2010, as a bold accent when paired with neutrals like black and white or use it with gray or mint green for a more subtle effect. Replace or refinish dark woods with lighter shades of honey or a driftwood-inspired finish for a brighter, more up-to-date look.

3.MIRRORS & METALS – Brighten, lighten and add pop to a room with the shimmer and shine of mirrors and metals .

Tip: Group three or more Pizzazz MirrorSquares (less than $20 each!) in Charlotte Silver Leaf behind a couch or along a wall, add a mirrored chest to a room or silver candlesticks to a mantle. Shiny silver, brushed nickel, antique or oil-rubbed bronze remain popular metal finishes.

4.MULTI-PURPOSE SPACES – Turn unused spaces into something new and useful.

Tip: The space at the top of the stairs, the living room you never sit in, or guest room used twice a year, can do double duty as a home office, den or playroom by adding an armoire-style desk, pull out sofa bed or toy storage.

5.BOLD, GRAPHIC PATTERNS – Replace timid designs with large scale patterns in one or two colors.

Tip: To perk up your living room consider recovering a chair in a new, fun print or simply add some toss pillows to a neutral sofa in exotic patterns like bamboo or natural motifs such as asters or birds.

6.MIX & MATCH PIECES – Mix it up by breaking up matching sets of furniture, adding in new and unexpected pieces.

Tip: Instead of buying a new dining room set, add new chairs to the table you already have or consider hosting a furniture swap with your friends to exchange unwanted piece. You’ll get a whole new look –for free!

7.NATURAL ELEMENTS – Bring the outside in and “green” your home with eco-friendly materials like bamboo and cork.

Tip: A sisal or jute area rug is an affordable way to embrace this look without adding new flooring to your room. Add some recycled glass candle sticks or organic cotton pillows to complete the space.

8.LESS SHABBY, MORE CHIC – Forget the flowers and ruffles, things are looking more tailored in 2010.

Tip: Think fitted bed skirts, drapes that don’t drag and throws that are neatly placed- not draped.

9.HOTEL DÉCOR – Bring the look and feel of the hotel home to enjoy during “staycations” and all year long.

Tip: The bathroom and bedroom are the perfect place to start, adding furnishings with clean lines, plush white towels and a spa-like color palate.

10.DIY DECORATING – Tackle those do-it-yourself projects and save money in the process.

Tip: Pick up the paint brush to refresh your wall color, break out the sewing machine to de-puddle those droopy drapes and resist the urge to spurge on new items like a mirror for your powder room. Reframe the one you have instead with a MirrorMate frame in eco-friendly Pacifica Silver Sheen or Acadia Dove White.

“Trend number 10 is the most inspiring of all because by doing-it-yourself almost all of these trends and tips can be achieved with little to no expense,” concludes Hart. “So many of today’s trends allow you to use what you (or your friends) have, simply re-arranging or adding to it with affordable accents.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reflecting on 2009

As we enter a new year, we wanted to take some time to reflect on all the fun we had in 2009 and, of course, all the mirrors we framed and bathrooms made beautiful!  Throughout the year, our design experts shared some great decorating advice, not only for use in the bathroom, but throughout the whole home.  Before we dive in 2010 we wanted to look back at some of our favorite design ideas from 2009...
 To celebrate our entrance in a new decade in design, we'll soon be sharing our tips for getting the latest trends for less.  Stay tuned!