April 25, 2011

My Dining Room

I've posted dining room photos before, but not since I got my incredible wide-angle camera lens.  So I wanted to share this with all of you.  It's definitely my favorite room in our house, for now.  The gallery wall in the living room is still in the works (though I can assure you that progress has been made!) but I'm hoping my room allegiance will shift to the living room eventually, since that's really where we spend all our time.  Yes, I admit... our coffee table is our REAL dining table.

On another note, I'm off to KBIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) this week!  

I plan to post photos and comments about all the great new products I see on the enzy design facebook page, so check it out if you're interested!  I'll also follow up in the next couple week with KBIS blog posts.

April 20, 2011

Concrete Countertops Don't Need To Be Ultra-Modern

This is a small section of a beautiful concrete countertop in a kitchen I designed a couple years ago.  While most people think that concrete is cold and industrial, this proves that it can fit in traditional and refined settings as well.  

This particular top was made by Scott Thomsen at ConcreteXpressions here in Salt Lake City.  It was such a fun and personal process!  He worked directly with my client, making several samples until she had exactly what she wanted regarding background color, and the size & spacing of the various flecks.  The flecks are actually recycled brown glass mixed with mother-of-pearl pieces.

April 12, 2011

More Free Downloadable Artwork

I've been seeing a lot of symmetrical geometric prints framed and hung in groups.  People are especially loving this set of 6 from Crate & Barrel:

Others find that $ 369 is just too much to spend right now, and have been going about getting a similar look in more creative ways, such as framing 60-cent pieces of colored craft paper in Ikea frames:

But I just discovered Sprik Space, where the wonderful Aimee offers free downloads of geometric patterns in several different colors.  

The patterns she offers include Circles, Leaves, Grid, Chevron, Diamonds, Houndstooth, and more.

She then recommends getting them printed on 12"x12" size from Costco for $ 2.99 each, and framing them in Ikea Ribba square frames at $ 17.99 each.   If you follow these instructions, a set of 6 costs only $ 125.88!

She also offers other great downloads in various color options, great for nurseries, gallery walls, craft rooms, etc.  Just a few examples below:

See more at Sprik Space, under the Freebies tab!

See an earlier post for more downloadable artwork from Feed Your Soul.

April 7, 2011

Bathroom DIY Cosmetic Makeover Advice

My sister and brother-in-law recently bought a house and are planning on how to makeover the bathroom on a very tight budget.  With some creative thinking and a bit of physical labor, I know they can do it.  I thought I might share the advice I gave her, as it could be useful to others out there as well.

Based on the photo above, here is what I recommended:

  • The most obvious:  Remove the wallpaper borders, and paint EVERYTHING!  Paint the walls, trim, cabinets, and interior doors.  This will take the most time, but will make the biggest difference, and it won't cost much at all.
  • The countertop and sink are pretty neutral so those can stay without turning into an eyesore.
  • Remove the posts sitting on the knee wall between the vanity & toilet.
  • Get rid of the curtains!
  • Instead of boring blinds, make a fun DIY roller shade like this one by Emily A. Clark.   It would look great to have a fun fabric there since that window is such a focal point.  You can find great fabric prices online.  I've recently discovered Tonic Living for great modern fabrics at amazing prices.
via Emily A. Clark

Wouldn't this damask fabric look great?  AND it's on sale for only $ 8.95/yard!

  • Replace the carpeting.  I suggest a simple inexpensive tile.  This will involve the most physical labor but will be the most durable in the end.  If you don't want to mess with tile and grout, a shorter-term solution is a vinyl peel & stick floor, which will probably still be more durable than carpeting.
  • Since you'll want to pull the base trim up to redo the floor, I'd suggest looking into a taller base trim made from paint-grade MDF, which is a great price point and will work well in a high-moisture area.
  • Add flair with a fun framed mirror.  Take a look at places like Big Lots, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc. for mirrors.  You can find some great deals there.  Or even local thrift shops.  Keep in mind - if the frame is ugly you can always spray paint it a really cool color.

  • Replace the cabinet hardware.   New knobs will add a little punch to the final project.  You can find simple pieces for just a couple dollars.   Or you can splurge and get something unique for just a little more cost.   I've been drooling over this toggle pull from Paris Apartment for a while now:

Obviously these are only cosmetic changes, but considering nothing is broken and nothing is leaking, a makeover is all this bathroom really needs.  All of this won't cost a fortune, but it will make a HUGE difference.