Client basement re-do

while we are hunkered down in the hotel here in bahrain, i have been trying to organize my photos. i found some OK quality ones of a basment re-do i finished up this past summer. this basement belongs to one of my all time favorite clients (and i am not just saying this because she reads my blog:))! she is honestly one of the nicest, geniune people i know. on top of that she is so easy to work with...its a good thing because we have been working together for about 12 years?!?!

i know my husband will be twitching when he sees these photos....i still havent mastered the photo taking....and the TV has a kids show on it (ava was with me hiding behind the couch that day:))...and the lamp is on!! however, i am going to show you anyway.

here is the basement before...i know you are cringing michelle:)  4 kids grew up watching TV here and now they are all out of the it was time for an update!

here is the after....

ahhh...much better dont you think? we still need to add some accessories...but thats the easy stuff:) the built-in around the fireplace made a huge difference. now my client even enjoys spending time down much brighter and inviting!!

here is another angle....before

and after....

believe me, i tried to have that "spindle hole" covered up...but i couldnt get someone (read my clients husband) on board with it stayed:) it honeslty doesnt bother me as much now that the basement is finished. so i forgive him:)

here is another angle

my client came up the the brilliant idea for the built-in above the sofa...if you look in the first before photo you can see the wall sticks out a she had her contractor add a half wall with a built in over it! it looks amazing...she is still looking for the perfect piece of art to go over it!

here is a close up of the them.

the colors of the pillows are the most true in this photo than any other of the basement. i hope you can you can tell how really pretty this room looks from these photos.

i am trying to gain momentum here to keep blogging!! so keep reading:)


We are here.....

well...we made it to bahrain and this has been our view for the past 6 weeks...not too bad! we are staying in a nice two bedroom suite so that makes hotel living a lot easier. (so does having our room cleaned every day:)) we have been busy getting settled, adjusting to a new country, starting the kids in school and looking for a place to live. we found a place and i will be sure to post more on that when we get ready to move at the beginning of october. most of our activities have been indoors so far because of the HEAT! here is a picture of the kids in front of one of the many malls here in bahrain.

as the weather cools down and we really start exploring the island i will definitely be sharing more!

for now i wanted to make good on a promise from my last post ...that i would show you a shoe/book shelf that kevin built (almost 2 years ago!). it all started because he was sick of having so many of his shoes on the floor of his closet....

he came up with the idea to break through the wall (!) and add a built-in shelf accessible from the inside of the closet. here is the hole.....

however...the wall wasnt thick enough to hold the shoes so he decided to make a box for them. then on the bedroom side of the wall there would be a "cool box shelf" when i came home and saw this i said told him it was not "cool":)

so he/i (i cant remember who) sugggested making this box into a book we were getting somewhere!

after a few more weekends this is where he ended up...

then it was time for paint....

here is the final product with more trim work! it looks even better because i painted the room and hung the window treatments. i loooooove the way it turned out and made our whole bedroom more cozy.

let's not forget why this whole project started....for the shoes!?!? all of that work and this is what he ended up with inside of the closet ...a place for about 12 pair of shoes!! the rest still ended up on the floor. here is the only photo we have of the inside...he did patch the holes and paint eventually:)

so that is the story of our shoe/book shelf. looking at these photos makes me miss our "stuff'...i cannot wait to move in and get unpacked!


bahrain or bust is official we are moving to bahrain! where is that you ask? it is a tiny island off the coast of saudi arabia:) i have learned more about this country in the past 3 months than i could have ever imagined. my husband works for the government and with his job we have the opportunity to go overseas. we spent 4 years in italy from 2005-2009 and it was amazing. we wanted to go overseas again before the kids get out of elementary school. now that the decision has been made and we have our official orders...we are  excited for the adventure! some of our best friends already live there and have been paving the way for us over the last year.

i am nervous about the change for my business...but i think it is going to be an amazing opportunity to grow and learn about design in a a part of the world i probably would never visit otherwise. i am planning...ahem...on blogging a lot more about my interesting finds over there, our travels and experiences. so i hope you will follow along.

for now here are some pretty pictures that i found on a this blog ...

and one more of a beach in bahrain...

since we found out about moving i realized that there are so many things in our house that i havent blogged about. so i am going to try to show you some of them before we go.

first up is the landscaping in the front of the house. this is what the house looked like when it was first built in the summer of 2009 (the kids were so little!!) and we hadnt moved in yet.

i realize it doesnt look like much....but that was a lot of work a few years ago! my mom came down for a few days and helped me move, remove and plant shrubs. i am so happy with the way it turned out. i wanted those two large laurels on either side of the entry to take away from the ridiculous amount of stairs we have. the two small laurels next to the large ones still need to come up...but they are getting there. i usually add annuals for more color, but not this year because of the move.

so there you have it!  next up.... an interesting built-in shoe/bookcase that my husband made:)


bedrooms on the brain

phew... work/life has been crazy!

i am working on several bedrooms at the moment and i just finished up a mini-makeover in our guest room that i though i would share.

here is a little before shot...

here it is after....there is still more to be done...but this will have to do for now:) i painted (BM revere pewter, my new favorite), recovered the headboard and added some nail head trim, changed the bedding, moved some lighting & furniture around and added some window treatments. i want to change what is over the bed eventually....but all and all i am happy with the way it turned out. there is a large chest in the room that i want to that side of the room will have to wait for photos:)

here is another closer look...thanks to my husband who takes fantastic photos!

here are some other bedrooms that i have been drooling over while looking for inspiration for my clients rooms...

thanks for stopping by....


the big picture

dont worry i am not going to talk about the meaning of  life here...i am literally talking about BIG pictures! i have told you before in this post what a wonderful photographer my husband is. most of the artwrk around our home is his photography.

 we have been trying to decide what to put in our double story foyer for about 3 years now. kevin came up with the idea to have some of his photos blown up on vinyl. they came with grommet holes along the top and bottom. so for a while we just had it thumb tacked up!

eventually kevin decided  to frame them with simple stained 1 x 2's and they look amazing! i selected the tree because it is one of my all time favorite photos of his. then after a trip to cleveland he came home with this. i thought it was a great photo to have in the foyer...its just plain happy! here it is after he framed it....

here is another before and after....

there are still a few wrinkles...but we are living it with it that way. we are so happy with the way they turned out!  i love walking by an seeing this from upstairs every morning...

*that foyer light is not staying:)

so my advice here is..go big or go home!


client progress

hello..i thought i would check in and show you some progress photos from a couple of projects i have been working on.

first up is a client that i met through working with the nest egg. we have been working hard on a "new to her house" that she purchased this past summer. there is wall to wall seagrass being installed as i type this and her furniture is being delivered on friday! for  is a tease of the before and after of her foyer...we updated it with new tile, paint and dark gray doors. as always... excuse the phone photos:)



another angle...

this project has been so fun and so has my client! i cannot wait to show you more as we make more progress.

remember this photo i showed  you of some fabrics for a clients family room? are a couple of snippets of that plan coming to life.

i loooooove this room! i am waiting for the built-ins to get done and a few more accessories before i photograph the whole thing.

it really is so rewarding to see all of our (my clients and mine)  ideas, designs and planning come together... especially when we are all happy with the outcome:)


towel bar talk

i had some extra time on my hands thanks to hurricane sandy. time to think about towel bars...and the alternative to them. i am not a big fan of the standard towel bars you see everywhere. (below is an example of one via pinterest)

 they look good when the towels are neatly folded on them...but how often does that happen? i always found myself  having "show towels" for these towel bars and the towels we used everyday were hanging everywhere else in the bathroom...over doors...on the name it. so when we bought our house...i took all of our towel bars down and used other things.

in our powder room the hand towels hang on an old antique ladder thing (i really dont know what it is...but its the first thing my husband bought me when we were dating...i am sure he doesnt even remember) whatever it serves its purpose for towel hanging!

here you can see where is sits in the room...

in our master bathroom, kevin made this plaque and i added the hooks. these hooks are not big enough though...and honestly the towels don't dry very fast:(

so when it came to the guest/kids bath we used bigger hooks and spread them farther apart and they work very well.

while we are looking at this guest bath...let me show you a very cool piece that kevin built. i think i have mentioned before that my husband travels a lot? well... for the past 7 years or so he has been collecting all of the goodies from the cool hotels he stays in. unfortunately until about 6 months ago...when he finally found time to build something for them...they were all piled in the linen closet. this is what he came up with...super clever as usual.

cute huh? ok...back to towel bars. i dont really have a lot more to say....other than ...when you arent loving your towel bars...take them down:) here are a few other examples of what to do with your towels...