Land Park Kitchen Renovation

This lovely brick duplex in upper Land Park was built in 1942 and in need of some serious updating. My clients found me online and asked me to help bring their tiny kitchen into the 21st Century. They wanted to keep the look of the kitchen similar to what was existing but also wanted to add some modern amenities like… a dishwasher.

I knew we would lose some storage because of the dishwasher so I planned on adding bench seating to regain some of the storage space. The clients had recently installed new tile flooring that they wanted to keep, so the footprint of the new kitchen had to match up with the old layout.

This is the area I had to work with…

Tiny spaces require some extra creativity! The clients wanted to upgrade to a full size refrigerator, add a dishwasher, increase storage and improve access to items in the cabinets.

We selected a traditional shaker style door in matte white paint for the cabinets and a white quartz for the countertops. The clients selected a marble mosaic backsplash that give a feel of timeless elegance. The angled sink and wall mounted faucet keep the feel of a vintage kitchen while adding modern appliances and finishes make this little kitchen photo worthy!

So there she is… a sweet little renovation that still feels like a vintage space.

If you are interested in a renovation of your space, give me a call and let’s chat!

~Amanda

916-801-5076

"After" Photos - The struggle is real

I’ve been in this industry for a long time now. I’ve worked at several different design companies that each had their own method of dealing with photographing projects once they were completed. One company didn't photograph jobs at all, one had us use the camera on our phone, one would only have professional photographs taken on one or two projects per year and one had the girl that worked the front desk go to the jobsite with a camera to take photos. None of them consistently had jobs professionally photographed after the job was completed. Those were the “old days” and they are over.

I get it. Professional photography is expensive and time consuming.

After the job is completed you have to schedule the photographer, gather all the items you’ll need to stage the scene, do some cleaning, arrange and re-arrange until it’s just right, spend a few hours with the photographer at the jobsite, clean everything up and then wait for the final photos. And pay for it…

Is it really worth it?

Yes.

In the age of Social Media and Digital Marketing there’s just no better way to show potential clients who you are and what you can do. It’s taken me a long time to come around to this conclusion. I’ve literally had a client tell me I should just charge them an additional amount to cover the cost of photography when the job is completed. You spoke and I listened. (Thanks, Andi.)

So, I’m now going to be having my jobs photographed on the regular.

I’m sure my next step will be to do Instagram stories…but I’m just not there yet.

Travel: Growing as a Designer

In 2 short weeks my husband Joe and I will set out on a 5 week tour throughout Europe. Although each of us have traveled in the past, we haven't been to Europe together.  This will be an epic trip through both familiar and new places on this lovely planet.  

I'll be revisiting some places that I wanted to share with Joe including San Sebastian, Carcassonne, Rome, Venice and Paris (because anyone in love should share that magical city with their partner!) as well as some new places.  I'll finally get to see Barcelona, the Amalfi coast and Amsterdam as well as touring my husbands ancestral roots in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo. 

I'm absolutely overwhelmed. 

I look forward to experiencing life outside of the United States. Hearing the sounds, tasting the food, seeing the beauty (both natural and man-made) and touching the places that were instrumental in the development of civilization. It's never been hard for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger and I look forward to talking with people from around the world.  I crave to understand another perspective. 

As a designer there are so many ways to become inspired and I believe this trip will light a fire in me that I'll be able to share with my clients over the coming year. With the opening of my new showroom and the growth of my business, I am so humbled to also get to have this experience. 

Seeing everything from the opulence of Paris to the simplicity of Scandinavian design, I can assure you I'll be taking copious notes! Through travel we grow, we change, we learn and we find new things that bring us joy. Understanding that we are just a tiny piece in the mosaic of humanity can be liberating. 

We have but one life... live it well. We're all in this together. 

And as Lin-Manuel Miranda so eloquently said...

"....When senseless acts of tragedy remind us

That nothing here is promised, not one day

This show is proof that history remembers

We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger

We rise and fall and light from dying embers,

Remembrances that hope and love last longer.

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.

I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.

Now fill the world with music, love, and pride."

 

Radiant Heat Floors - They're so hot right now

What comes to mind when you hear the word "luxury?" Perhaps you think of a private plane, expensive cars or huge homes in exotic locations? When I think of luxury I tend to focus on the experience rather than the item itself.  Sometimes you can have a wonderfully luxurious experience with a super soft bath towel or while enjoying a delicious meal.

Luxury doesn't have to be super expensive. 

If there was one luxury upgrade I could recommend it would be radiant heat flooring.  The experience of waking up on a chilly morning and stepping out of bed onto a gently warmed floor can be a little touch of heaven. For clients who are planning a bathroom or kitchen renovation, it's an easy way to overcome the biggest negative of using tile on the floor. No one likes to step onto a freezing cold floor!

Whether you have pets that sleep on the floor, kids that play on the floor or are just looking to make your home a more comfortable oasis, radiant heat flooring can be the touch of luxury you're looking for.  It is an additional expense but the return on investment will pay off with reduced heating bills and the comfort of walking on a surface that hugs your feet with cozy warmth when you need it most.

Heat can be installed under many (but not all) types of flooring. The most common form of radiant heat is using low voltage electricity in a thin mesh that is installed between your sub floor or slab and your finished floor covering. If you want to have every inch of your flooring heated, there are custom mats that can be made to fit the exact dimensions of your space. If you only need specific pathways or locations heated, there are also a variety of standard size mats that can be combined to cover the necessary locations.  Most of these mats can be used under engineered wood, tile, laminate and even vinyl plank floors. *Be sure to check with the flooring manufacturer to see if their warranty will allow them to be installed over radiant heat.

 

One of my favorite methods of heating tile floors combine the heat element with an anti-fracture membrane that help keep the surface tile from cracking if your subfloor moves or cracks. Not only can you fully customize the locations of the heating element, but the quality of the tile installation will be improved! This method is particularly helpful if your home is on a slab foundation. Temperature is controlled by a thermostat that can be set and adjusted to ensure optimal energy efficiency and comfort. You'll find that the more you use the radiant heat, the less you'll use your old forced air heater!

Pricing can range quite a bit so I recommend getting a quote from your local flooring installer.

Check out Warmly Yours and Schluter DITRA HEAT for more information and to find a local installer.