Do you have a picture in your mind of your dream home? Is it the flow? The exterior? The interior? The colors? The location? Chances are, it’s all of these and more! Well, one thing that is impossible to alter after purchasing a home is it’s location (unless you are in a home with wheels!). When you find that perfect “spot,” at times the perfect home just isn’t available. However, with the right inspiration you can often transform that imperfect house in the perfect spot into your dream home! This is the case with this Atlantic Beach home which is in an ideal location, one block from the beach. The homes in the neighborhood are at a significant premium, so even from a financial perspective, investing in a remodel is a great option! I did a little work with my architectural/designer software to allow the client to see what their home COULD be. Imagine this finished home with an amazing open floor plan, huge kitchen island, custom woven window treatments , French doors, live edge wood tables and shelving, custom fabric furniture, under lit agate counter top, custom cabinets…….and all the accessories of an amazing coastal home! Check out this video and stay tuned for more on this home…
I am one of those fortunate people that are really doing what I love. As a designer, one of the most inspirational events is attending the International Highpoint Furniture Market in NC. This is a massive 10-city block show where anything and anyone related to the Interior Design business is on display! When planning my trip, Blue Ocean Traders Outpost is always my first visit. I get giddy and anxious to step into the warehouse, knowing that there will be rows and rows of unique finds. This year at market I picked up a favorite of mine , a very large antique pot from Greece that once held olive oil. I even fell upon a beautifully colored oil jar from India, colored with shades of the ocean. I literally think I jumped up and down for a second. I am pretty sure my husband recognizes now when I feel I have found a gem. I was told these large pots are becoming harder and harder to source for a reasonable price and I feel lucky to have located another to bring home.
Once inside I found the most amazing rare pink amethyst. It was very large at 16” long, 16” high by 4” deep. I discovered it actually only contains 10% of amethyst, but due to exposure to a mold or contaminate, has literally created a piece of art. I had to have it! We also found large Chinese millstones that once were pulled by donkeys to crush grain. My husband and I took bets as to what they would have been used for…we both were wrong! It is like a slice of history hearing the story behind every item. We also found very large white abstract geodes on stands. Perfect for just about any space. As many of the items at Blue Ocean are antiques from all over the world, they all have a very unique story, like the two metal olive pails used on a Turkish farm. Three and a half hours later and a van full of treasures, we drove back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow.
We arrived at IHFC in comfortable shoes with our plan of showrooms we want to visit. Having a plan is very important as there are literally hundreds of buildings and thousands of showrooms. Thankfully three of my favorites are right inside the doors at IHFC. Inside Noir, I sit in every chair and open every cabinet door and drawer. That way, when I select items for my clients I know the quality and comfort of each item. Noir has very unique furnishings and lighting that are full of interest and texture. Every item a piece of art. There sister company, CFC makes most of their furnishing out of reclaimed wood. Another favorite of mine.
The next showroom, Selemat Designs has really expanded their look and number of pieces. They have creative lighting great for vacation homes and those wanting to add some charm. I decide to bring this fun and unique furniture line into my list of “go to” companies for clients wanting a relaxed island feel with stylish pieces. Next door, Regina by Regina Andrew not only has the most amazing lighting and furnishings but, has created a line of very organic jewelry, belts and purses. I admit I left with several pieces for myself! It’s not market without a new Regina Andrew jewelry item!
After several hours visiting new showrooms and discussing new products with current vendors we walked over to Market Suites. This is a great place to see many different vendors quickly. Well maybe not quickly if you get stuck in awe at all the beautiful things. You have to stay focused or it gets difficult to get to everywhere you planned to go. Too many beautiful things all in one building!
We make sure to go to all of my current vendors to see new products. This way I can see everything first hand before it is delivered to a client. I am like a kid in a candy store. Literally. I am always impressed with Four Hands furniture. The quality and great price point make this a go to for many projects. They have an extensive amount of furniture to chose from and represent many different styles. They also have the most delicious lunch to offer two tired, hungry people!
At Market Suites we were lucky enough to get to chat with the owners of Artesia, Eddie and Anna. They have introduced some really high quality outdoor furniture that has a very streamlined island feel, with amazing detail and great price point. I must admit I had to swing in the two awesome egg shaped hanging chairs in the showroom. I really would love one of these in my home.
Towards the end of the day, we stumbled upon a rug company that was selling unique, one of a kind, authentic antique Persian rug that had been shaved down, acid washed and recolored into more modern designs. My favorites were saturated in Turquoise, celadon and orange colors. I could have taken everyone of those rugs home. My husband gives me the glance as if to say, they won’t fit in the van. I text some images of my favorite rugs to my client and she agrees we should use one in her Florida Keys home. I take the information and move on to find a husband and wife team making custom lighting and chandeliers out of recycled wood and beams. They are each completely custom and each piece of wood comes with the location and story behind each wood used in the production. The history behind each piece of wood is really what is most interesting. Who thought you would one day be able to purchase a custom light that was removed from a historic building in Boston that was going to be demolished. The history lives on and you get to tell the story to every guest that visits.
At the end of the day, we stumbled upon Verona Prive’s booth. She owns a mine in Mexico where artisans mine hundred million year old onyx and sculpt it by hand into beautiful vases, large bowls, sinks, furniture and simply art. Not surprisingly most items are sold out. I find two beautiful medium bowls that are still available. Before leaving we talk with the owner about her line. It was fascinating. She also is doing something she really loves. I make note to make her booth a priority to go to first next year. One of those really large bowls would be a wonderful addition to a client’s home. These artists take something beautiful created by nature and make it even more beautiful!
The final day, Universal Furniture is on the top of my list to visit before heading home. I have just begun to order from the line and have been impressed with the quality and magnitude of offerings in their lines. The showroom was very impressive. The company has several different styles offered such as traditional, transitional and coastal. One important feature is how many upholstery items are now offered in Crypton fabrics. I have for years selected Crypton fabrics for my client’s main upholstery pieces due to the inherent durability and stain resistance. We were lucky enough to make a video of the demonstration of the removal of wine, Gatorade, ink and crayon from a fabric. It is almost like a magic trick. See the attached video and be prepared to be astonished. Universal has also just launched a Coastal Home line that I look forward to using in projects. One of my favorite chairs from Highpoint is from this line.
We have only an hour or two left and we run over to Showroom to see Surya, a rug company I utilize due to the hundreds of different styles ands price points of rugs they offer. On the way out of the showroom we see some beautiful art in a showroom and walk over. We discover the artist, John Beard, is a Jacksonville local! Who would have known such talent was right in our back yard. We take a quick picture together and make plans to connect in Jacksonville.
After loading the van with today’s purchases and great finds we head back towards the highway and homebound. We take the 7-hour drive as an opportunity to reflect on everything we saw and all the great people we met. Another successful visit to Highpoint. I take a quick glance into the back of the van and remind myself how lucky I am to be a part of this story.
There is something about traveling abroad that inspires the designer and artist in me! I just love the architecture and scale of these centuries old buildings. You can almost see using some reclaimed doors and tile in an amazing home remodel!
It was a pleasure to work with a lovely client here in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL to do a complete interior remodel in her dark and dated home, transforming it into a home filled with texture, light and a sense of calm. A wall was opened up into a sitting room and I installed pecky cypress beams over the doorways and also as a fireplace mantle. Beautiful marble tiles, with swirling gray was placed around a new fireplace.
The wall that had originally closed in the small kitchen was removed and new clean, white cabinetry with glass backsplash was installed. What a difference removing one wall can make in a space!
New textured light wood floors and clean new trim was installed, as well as beautiful new lighting & furnishings throughout.
Nothing makes me happier than to see a client smile when she walks into her new home. I hope this inspires you to see the beauty there beyond the surface in every space!
ALL BEFORE PHOTOS – MCPHERSON REMODEL IN PONTE VEDRA BEACH 2017
Most of you that know me well, know that I can see a diamond in the rough. The ability to see what could be and the patience to use the most basic of materials and turn them into something very unique.
I struggled for months trying to locate a house that I felt stood out from the others. One that I could put my mark on and make my own. I almost purchased several other homes only to get “out bid” by other investors. Also I cancelled two contracts due to builder issues and previous poorly done upgrades found in the inspection phase.
I originally wrote this 1937 Beach Bungalow off as a potential purchase because the property was so large, and replacing all the grass and shrubery as well as caring for it later seemed a burden to me. A good friend insisted I go and see the home. I remember now driving into the area to see the home, I almost felt I had entered another city. Huge oak trees lined the streets and sunlight entered the property setting it apart. I remember thinking as I drove up to the home that my deceased mother Celia would have absolutely loved this house.
The home was small, but had so much character. This 3 bedroom, one bath home had the kitchen and bath remodeled, and the wood floors had been refinished. I knew I would have to take out an existing wall between two bedrooms and add a bathroom and new closet. There would also have to be extensive painting inside and out, new irrigation, and all new landscaping. There was a new shed on the property that I would remodel as well, creating another very usuable space. (will post these photos in another blog)
10 weeks later, the construction was complete. Weeks of living on an airmattress in the living room and contractors at my door everyday at 7:15 am was not fun to say the least. It certainly gave me a better appreciation for clean floors and sleeping in.
I think my mom Celia would have really liked this home and so this post is in memory of her and for her teaching me to love all things, even a old piece of driftwood.
With projects I prefer to think “out of the box” and try to incorporate at least one really unique custom item into each room. Working with Live Edge wood to create amazing tables, shelving and countertops is the perfect customizable project.
The dining table below was a fallen Pecan tree that I found at Tom’s Cypress “digging around” in their many piles of treasures (aka wood piles). The legs were custom made (not expensive) and then the pieces were joined together with colored resin. The bartop in Ponte Vedra Beach, seen below was made in the same process but, with Cypress wood and is under-lit from below for a nice ambiance at nighttime.
My favorite by far is the custom bar-top designed for clients in Boca Raton, FL seen below. I hand selected the Cypress wood slabs for their unique wormy texture and then selected a beautiful White Onyx from Cavastone. The wood had to be planed down to the same thickness of the Onyx and then the fabricators joined them together. The edges of the Live Edge are wrapped in a ethereal white Resin for a smooth edge.
For assistance with your next project contact me at 904.234.4937, or firstname.lastname@example.org and check out my work at www.abodeint.com.
My go to for custom furniture with fabulous texture and character is Driftwood. It is a perfect option here in Florida and blends in well with many interior styles.
I work with an amazing artist in central FL that has produced for my clients oversized driftwood floor mirrors, shelving, console tables, coffee tables and more. She is able to do extensive options for finishes, stains and even paint. Her items are crated for protection and white glove delivered to your home.
If your interested in a quote for a custom designed piece for your home please contact me at 904.234.4937 or email me directly at email@example.com.
Outdated before pictures shown below of a recent master bath remodel project in Parkland, FL for the Strode Family. My goal was to create a more up to date, Spa like retreat, filled with texture and emanating a calm and peacefulness in the space. Goal was achieved and the Strode’s couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome!
The After photos shown below include amazing Custom Cabinetry by the one and only Elliot Rivera (never says never to my ideas!), floor & wall tiles are from Cavastone Group in Boca, FL (have the look of aged wood and distressed fabric), and Interior Design by Abode Interiors.
Hurricanes tend to bring “downed trees”…so I used the opportunity to snag some free tree stumps to do my next project: 4-5 tree stumps on wheels I will cluster together to make a coffee table that can be moved out of the way for parties. Great texture & unique character!
First I had to chizel off the loose bark before they are taken to be cut down evenly at the mill to 18” height. Just a “little elbow grease” needed!Next step is to sand, sand and sand some more the top and sides until smooth! How smooth is really a preference. I prefer a slight texture and roughness to the stumps.
I will paint the sides with an off white satin paint leaving the top a sealed natural wood tone. Final step is to select wheels. See two options below I selected at www.vandykes.com. I will post the final product when complete!
My inspirational images for this project:
I have long admired the use of concrete in home & furniture design…even so much I had stained concrete created in the bottom floor of my new home. We are blocks from the ocean and I knew it would be a great option with less upkeep with all the sandy wet toes that stray in from outside!!
They did a fabulous job matching my sample (can you see the small 2.5” x 2.5” sample on my concrete floor?)
So…I had seen recently concrete side tables for $400 each and thought I can do this myself!
I decided with the help of my neighbor, who had just completed his own fireplace hearth in poured concrete, to assist me with two bedside tables.
We used the following youtube video: https://youtu.be/9866dmfJxUU to help with materials and steps. We used Quikrete Countertop Mix:#1106-80. Total spent on materials for two end tables was $50. I used my local metal fabricator to make the simple metal base for $100 each. (Your local metal fabricator could easily make these for you)
I happened to paint mine white to match the custom headboard I designed. See the finished product below..
It was very easy to do! Yes…it really was! It also was cost effective as two tables only cost $250.
A little bit of elbow grease and a desire to learn something new!
Cheers and have fun with your next project!