Luxury Home Remodeling – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

We love doing remodels, especially when they are in a great place to hang out….like oceanfront! But real life in  the Interior Design and Remodeling business does not always follow the HGTV script. And rarely do these shows truly depict the REAL costs associated with tearing a house down to the studs, moving walls, plumbing and electrical. Furniture, art and accessories…..well that’s never mentioned in the project plan! We’re deep into the demo of an  oceanfront condo and we intend to post pictures of the before, during and after. Oh, and who would like to know the real life costs? Just let me know! Here’s a pic of our first obstacle: plumbing and electrical panels in less than ideal locations to execute our CAD drawing!

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An Amazing Home Refresh With Almost No Construction!

Here’s a very recent project that transformed a dated kitchen and living room. Great use of new colors, flipping the dark counters for light and a re-facing of the cabinet color! New paint throughout, custom Lee Industries swivel chairs and …gasp….a beautiful white couch (with Crypton fabric!). Great new art and unique accessories, including a historic Turkish pot. Great new rugs, even a couple antique Turkish beauties. Enjoy these before and after photos.

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Art and Accessories in New York City

My husband and I recently went to NYC where he was speaking at a show at the Javits Center and I was spending time with my cousin and brand new baby boy! I also managed to spend some time researching and being inspired by the art and accessories scene in New York. I visited MOMA and they’re amazing collection of art and design. You forget some of the timeless pieces there from the likes of Dali, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh. We also visited Astro Gallery on 5th Ave, who has a remarkable collection of minerals, gems, fossils, meteorites…..that can be collected or used as show stopping home decor! All of these created by nature and absolutely breathtaking and unique. I even brought back some pieces that will adorn a future clients home!

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How Lucky Are We?

…to get to work together designing, remodeling and guiding clients on the journey to the home they have dreamed of! Here’s the article as it appears in Jacksonville Real Producers.

 

 

 

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Florida Keys Home Makeover

Take a look at my latest project in the Florida Keys! This home was severely damaged by the hurricane but has received a complete makeover. What a transformation! Custom closets, custom live edge wood, custom barn door, custom cabinets, custom window coverings, new flooring, amazing lighting, Persian rugs, concrete like counter tops, “grunge” backsplash, artistic pendant lights….and much more!

 

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Increasing Home Values

We have been working with the community of real estate agents, broker and builders to increase home values through innovative design. We are fortunate enough to be featured in the upcoming Valentine’s edition of Jacksonville Real Producers, featuring couples who work together. Here’s a few pics from the shoot!

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Custom Live Edge Wood Table

These tables are always spectacular, adding a real wow factor to any home as they are unique to every client. Everything from the type of wood (and there are MANY choices), color of the resin, length and width….all unique and sure to be a conversation piece!

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Sometimes You Have To Dream To Find Your Dream Home

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…

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Love What You Do!

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.

 

 

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Inspiration

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!

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