The Top 3 Ways to Update A Dated Home

What makes a home dated you ask?

Well, if I can spot tiled countertops, 80’s brass fixtures, pink carpet in the bathrooms, golden oak raised panel cabinets…. I’m sorry honey but that means dated in my book!

A Before pic from one of our past projects!

So…. how do you fix that? Well, I understand how overwhelming it could be to want to update EVERYTHING… and eventually, you’ll probably have to update it all.

But starting on these key areas is going to be the most important.

Flooring:

Updating the flooring throughout a home is no-doubt the best way to transform a space. Most dated homes have different types of flooring in one room (as seen in the image above). Sometimes you have a mix of vinyl, carpet, and cheap builder grade tile all in one space. We encourage clients to have the same type of flooring throughout the home, except for the bathrooms and laundry rooms, where we will install tile. One flooring throughout the home will not only make it feel larger, it will make it uniform, easier to keep clean and instantly level up your home.

Honeycomb Home Design - Marcel Alain Photography

Paint

You’ve heard it time and time again; paint is the least expensive way to transform a space. It is soooo true! I can’t tell you how many homes I’ve been in with a bazillion accent colors and all the wrong shades of burgundy and yellow. It’s time to kiss those shades goodbye and introduce a softer palette throughout the home that allows your art, furniture and accessories to really stand out.

Don’t get me wrong - I love a good dramatic accent wall here and there, but the whole house doesn’t need to be that way!

If you need some inspiration, check out our blog post here.

Honeycomb Home Design - Marcel Alain Photography

Cabinetry

As you noticed in the before picture we shared, the golden oak cabinets instantly scream 1980’s. Most dated homes have these cabinets and while some of them may be in good condition, you may actually spend more than it’s worth trying to update them with paint and new hardware. In addition, the kitchens of the 70’s and 80’s do not take into account modern appliances, codes and accessibility factors. By code, you should have at least 18” of space between the bottom of the upper cabinet and the countertop, and in older kitchens, you’ll see this as low as 15” sometimes! No wonder the Ninja or Vitamix can’t fit there! Also, if your kitchen has an island, often times the distance between he perimeter countertop and the island is less than 36” which is the minimum industry standard.

These reasons and more are why sometimes it’s better to upgrade your kitchen with entirely new cabinets. Plus, it allows you to make great functional updates to the layout as well.

Remember the kitchen in the Before photo? Well here is the After!

We were able to not only open up the kitchen to the adjoining rooms, we were able to design a much more functional layout for our clients who love to cook!

 


How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color For A Room

Paint is the least expensive way to transform a room yet it can be one of the most challenging things to select.

How many times have you picked a color off of a 2”x2” paper swatch only to find out it is certainly NOT what you thought it’d look like? So then you go back to the paint store to pick another one… and again… and again.

Yeah, we’ve been there too!

Even as a design professional, paint can be challenging and complex. Through a lot of trial and error, I found quickly what worked and what didn’t work when it came to certain paint colors.

I built upon that knowledge by earning my True Color Expert certification through Maria Killam’s course.

Will you be an expert after this blog post? No way jose. It takes lots of practice (and mistakes) to become an expert! What I will share with you are my tips and tricks on how to even start the process of picking a paint color.

 

 

Before you can pick the perfect color, you’ll need to know some basics when it comes to color:

Light Reflectance Value (LRV)

  • Knowing the LRV of a paint color is very important during the selection process. LRV refers to the percentage of light a paint color reflects. The higher the number, the lighter it is.
  • Most white paint colors will start at a 80 LRV and go up from there
  • If you have a lack of natural lighting in your room, you’ll want to go with a color that has a higher LRV

Artificial lighting:

  • We’ve all seen those super blue tinged LED lights and how they can totally throw a color off. To prevent this, you’ll want to change your lighting temperature to 2700-3000K. Some recessed cans have an option to adjust the temperature, so keep an eye out for those.

The Color Wheel:

We all remember this from grade school, right?? A quick reminder that the three primary colors are: red, yellow and blue. These colors are purest in form and by combining these colors, you create the secondary and tertiary colors. Secondary colors include: violet, orange and green. Tertiary colors include: blue violet, red orange, yellow orange, red violet, blue green, yellow green.

We categorize paint undertones into two categories: warm and cool tones. A warm white is a white that has a yellow undertone. A cool white is a white that has a blue undertone. Every neutral color has an undertone. Understanding this will help you make decisions quickly when you are comparing different colors together in a room.

Let’s look at this principle in real life situations. Here are two examples of “white” kitchens with two totally different colors and feels. Yes, they are both “white” but here are the differences:

An example of a white with a warm undertone:

This is from our Cuyama beach house project. The cabinetry color is Simply White by Benjamin Moore. It’s one of my favorite whites (see our other white favorites here)

Why did we pick this white out of the bajliion other whites?

Well, the floors here are very warm, meaning they have a very yellow undertone. A white with a blue undertone would have totally clashed. Sometimes white that has a blue undertone looks like primer - no bueno.

OK, what about a white with a blue undertone? Here is a good example:

This is from a Honeycomb Cabinetry project. The paint color on the cabinetry is Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore.

Why did we go with a cool tone here? Well, the island is a navy blue, the flooring has a cooler undertone and the ceilings were a bright white. If we had done a warm white here, it would have totally clashed.

Even though we’ve done this exercise with whites, you can apply this principle towards any color in the fan deck - cool vs. warm undertone.

Now to understand how to select a paint color for a room:

  • First, identify which items are fixed and which items are moveable. (i.e. your kitchen cabinets, flooring, countertops etc.. are fixed. Your barstools, area rugs and drapery panels are moveable) This is really important to consider first because the fixed elements will set the starting point.
  • Are those fixed elements collectively cool or warm tones?
    • HINT: Flooring is really the biggest tell-all when it comes to color. Many homes we’re starting to remodel are still in the “tuscan” phase where the flooring is tumbled Noce travertine. Noce Travertine naturally has a warm undertone to it. Pairing this warm flooring with a cool gray paint color would be a huge no-no. An example of this travertine is below:

Ok, so what color WOULD work well with this? Well you’d want a color that would complement the warm undertones of the flooring.

I’ve used Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige in the past and it has worked out great because it’s a beige that has a warm undertone to it.

  • Now what about a flooring with a cool or gray undertone? Let’s check it out.

These are examples from our Hurley Ranch project.

The flooring is a dark brown with gray accents throughout. While brown is considered a warm color, the gray undertones in the flooring are pretty pronounced.

So, we kept the walls a bright true white, like Chantilly Lace, and also kept the furniture with cooler tones with blue accents. You can also see that our accent color in the Dining room is a bright blue. No yellow tones for these walls!

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the difference between a cool color and a warm color.
  • Identify which items in your room are fixed and which are moveable.
  • Complement the fixed items with their corresponding color temperature.
  • Decor can go a long way. If you’re still not loving the paint color you selected, pull out some complementary colors with your area rugs, pillows, and artwork. You’ll be amazing at how quickly that can make a difference.

Be sure to check out our previous blog posts about our favorite white colors from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.

It takes some practice but understanding undertones and how to select a paint color for your room can be achieved!

And if you are still running into issues - we are here to help!

Contact us to book your paint consultation!

 


San Luis Obispo’s Own Wallpaper! “SLO Toile”

Once dubbed the “Happiest Town in America,” San Luis Obispo is truly a remarkable little town. Having grown up here, it took living away from SLO to really appreciate the beauty, the small town vibe, and the people that make it so wonderful. I moved back after I finished college and really love calling this place my home.

If you haven’t heard about San Luis Obispo, it is a town nestled between San Francisco and Los Angeles and features mountain peaks, green valleys, a historic mission, an amazing college, Cal Poly, and a super cute downtown that is always buzzing on the weekends. About ten minutes from SLO is Morro Bay, perfect for kayaking and fresh fish, and then fifteen minutes south of SLO is Arroyo Grande, where Honeycomb Home Design is headquartered, and home to its own charming “village.”

When my friend, food and drink journalist, Jaime Lewis, said she was creating a wallpaper featuring all of SLO’s hallmarks, I was so excited to see what it was going to look like! She teamed up with illustrator, Anna Takahashi, to create “SLO Toile” and feature hallmarks, important people and places of San Luis Obispo.

Even better - ALL proceeds of “SLO Toile” will benefit children’s art education in San Luis Obispo. How cool is that?

Now for a look at the four colorways and designs!

How cute is that?!

And yes, that’s Weird Al Yankovic! He graduated from Cal Poly SLO!

The pattern features: Phyllis Madonna, Rick Martel, Dr. Rene Bravo, Damon Castillo, Paul Kwong, Jerry Reiss, Sara and Jon Peterson, Maxine Lewis, Jordan Hasay, Heidi Harmon, Dorn Pyramid, Ah Louis Store, jennifer Street Bridge, Mission Plaza, High Street Deli, Sunny Acres Orphanage, Firestone Tri Tip Sandwich, The Holiday House, and Madonna Inn Cake!

Some of my favorite features are the Sunset Drive In, Bishop’s Peak, and of course, Julia Morgan, the famous Architect that was responsible for designing Hearst Castle!

 

Another fun Easter Egg: Jaime loves old Al Hirschfield cartoons, where he hid his daughter's name in the drawings, so Anna put her kids’ names in, too. Look at the water in the Mission image, and the sidewalk on the Jennifer Street Bridge image.

To purchase your very own bit of SLO, click here.

Thank you to Jaime and Anna for such a wonderful tribute to our beautiful little town!

 


The Best White Paint Colors - Benjamin Moore

If I had a nickel for every time we are asked, “What is the best white paint color?” I'd be rolling in the dough!

White seems like it would be the easiest color to pick but all it takes is one trip to the paint store to realize how many bazillion shades of white there are! Once you start comparing the whites to one another, you start to realize that some whites have a blue tint to them and others have a yellow tint to them.

Even as a design professional, it is easy to get overwhelmed. I recently completed Maria Killam’s True Colour Expert Certification Course and am now armed with so much more knowledge about paint.

A few of our favorite whites - although some have a blue undertone and others have a yellow undertone.

You may also notice that some whites are darker than others. The way to measure this is called a color’s Light Reflectance Value (LRV). This refers to how light or how dark a color is from a scale of 0 (black) to 100 (white). The higher the number, the lighter it is.

I know what you’re thinking… why does this matter?? Just tell me the colors already!

Well, knowing the LRV of a color is very important because it can help make decisions easier for you when picking out colors. You won’t want to do a color with a low LRV in a dark room.

Dark color (Low LRV) + Dark Room - Natural or Artificial Light = Sad Room :(

LRV is important to be aware of but it will not “save” a dark color in a dark room if you do not have natural or artificial light. Just something to keep in mind.

OK, I’ll save the LRV talk for a lengthier post about paint.

For now - let’s get back to the white colors!

(Before you get too far - be sure to check out our Sherwin Williams favorites here!)

Here’s our list of the Best White Paint Colors by Benjamin Moore:

I’ll focus on our very top three choices and why they work so well.

Our Top Three White Paint Colors from Benjamin Moore:

  • Simply White
  • Chantilly Lace
  • Cloud White

Let’s start with Benjamin Moore - “Simply White”

This really is one of our favorites! We have used this numerous times for ceilings, millwork, cabinetry or as our main white wall color.

You can see here how beautiful it looks on millwork for this custom wainscot paneling we did:

Why it works:

Simply White - OC 117 - (LRV 91.7)

Simply White has a slightly warm undertone to it, making it a white that plays well in the sandbox. But, it is not ideal when paired with cooler finishes, such as carrara marble. That’s where our next pick comes into play.

Next Up: Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”

This is a fan favorite for cabinetry, ceilings and millwork.

We used Chantilly Lace in this kitchen remodel project as the color for the cabinetry and ceilings:

(This project also features cabinetry from one of our lines! To learn more about them, click here.)

Why it works:

Chantilly Lace - OC 65 - (LRV - 92.2)

Chantilly Lace is what I call a “control white.” It’s the white you can use to compare other white paint colors against it, because it is a true “white.” It’s been one of our staples for cabinetry, ceilings, millwork etc.

Lastly, Benjamin Moore’s White Dove:

This is a classic warm white with a beige undertone. It’s a beautiful color for walls that get a nice dose of natural light.

White Dove made for a beautiful backdrop in this Primary bath we completed a couple years ago:

Why it works:

White Dove - OC -17 - (LRV 85.38)

It’s a warm white without getting too dark or too creamy. If you’re looking for a subtle white with a beige undertone, this is the perfect one!

Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re looking for additional help selecting the right paint color, contact us to get a paint consultation scheduled!


The Best White Paint Colors - Sherwin Williams

White paint colors can be the most challenging to select! (Before you read on, be sure to check out our Best White Paint picks from Benjamin Moore!)

Luckily for you, we’ve been through the trial and error process of finding the best white paint colors. We’ll share our favorites below, but it is important to note a few things about paint:

  • Pay attention to the LRV (Light Reflectance Value) of a color. The higher the color, the lighter it is.
  • Also pay attention to how much natural and artificial light your room gets. You’d be surprised how easily a color can be transformed with lighting. If natural lighting is an issue, bring in lamps!
  • If a color does not look good in one of your rooms, likely it is the wrong color. Lightening the color by adding white to it will not save it most of the time. It’s better to go back to the drawing board.

I’ll do a longer post about paint very soon. For now, let’s get to the good stuff!

Here’s our list of the Best White Paint Colors by Sherwin Williams:

I’ll focus on our very top three choices and why they work so well.

Our Top Three White Paint Colors from Sherwin Williams:

  • Pure White
  • Extra White
  • Snowbound

Let’s start with Sherwin Williams “Pure White”

This has been a great color for an exterior of a home if you’re doing siding and are going for the “farmhouse” or “coastal” look.

We used here it on a beach house:

Why it works:

Pure White - SW 7005 - (LRV - 84)

It’s a great white without getting too bright or too blue. I’ve found that it’s a little too bright for interior use, but have loved using it on exterior siding.

Next Up: Sherwin Williams - Extra White

Extra white is a true white with a blue undertone, making it a great compliment to carrara tile or countertops. Here in one of our projects, the shiplap is painted Extra White.

Why it works:

Sherwin Williams - Extra White SW 7006 - (LRV 86)

A true white with a blue undertone, this is a great pick when pairing with carrera marble or other blue tones. It can be a little harsh on walls if paired with earthier materials and can look like primer!

Lastly, Sherwin Williams Snowbound:

Snowbound is a great off-white that plays well with others. We used Snowbound for our cabinetry in this project:

Why it works:

Sherwin Williams - Snowbound SW 7004 - (LRV - 83)

Snowbound is a great off-white that works well with a white quartz countertop. It is not too creamy or too blue and can work well with both warmer and cooler tones. It’s a fan favorite for cabinetry and millwork.

Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re looking for additional help selecting the right paint color, contact us to get a paint consultation scheduled!


Robin Circle Remodel

Whole house remodels are our favorite! Why? Because they are complicated, challenging, messy, but the end result is always so worth it! Our latest remodel is no exception - this is a great Before and After! What makes this one even more special is that it’s located in the neighborhood where I grew up! Talk about full Circle to be able to work on a remodel where I used to play with my dollhouses.

The Before:

This single level home was 2000 SF with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms when our clients purchased it back in 2019. It featured two living rooms, and 4 smaller bedrooms. Our clients wanted to expand the footprint of the home and create a primary bedroom/bathroom on the other side of the house. Finishes were very dated and definitely needed to be re-done!

Here are some photos:






We had some work to do. Together with PACK design, we created an open floor plan, added on to the front of the house to include an additional bathroom, and expanded the primary bedroom/bathroom wing off the left hand side of the house. Robertson Builders came on as our Builder and did a great job of bringing our designs to life.

The challenge with this project was mostly due to permitting delays in the heart of the pandemic. It was definitely frustrating but we finally got our permit and hit the ground running.

Our favorite room to design - the kitchen - was where we really got to work. We wanted to create a functional kitchen but also one that had double the amount of storage that their old one had. Plus, we needed to include a bar that would accommodate a wine column and plenty of glassware.

Here are some of our working drawings:



In addition to the kitchen, we had some work to do on the primary bath. We wanted to create a large shower and a separate room for the toilet.

Here are some snapshots of other parts of the home that we worked on as well:


Stylistically, we wanted to keep the lines super clean, inject some black and bring in the warmth with walnut and wood tones. The kitchen is where we really packed the punch with color. Wait until you see the kitchen backsplash!

Ready for the final reveal?















All of the cabinetry in this home is from our cabinetry lines. Here are some close-ups!






What do you think? Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite part!


Top 6 Backsplash Ideas 2022

Let’s face it - backsplashes are the jewelry to your kitchen or bathroom! They can make or break a design. Is that way they can be hard to nail down?!

Sometimes, we pick out the backsplash first in a kitchen design since it can really set the stage for the rest of the finishes.

There are so many options out there when it comes to backsplashes. Ceramic, mosaic patterns, natural stone, glass, cement...how to choose? It really depends on your overall design aesthetic and concept.

We’re going to break down the different types of backsplash materials and provide some inspiration on how to use them. Then, we’ll give you our Top 5 tips on how to pick the best backsplash!

Glass Mosaic Backsplash:

First on deck is this beautiful glass mosaic backsplash we used for a recent project:

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

It’s from Sonoma Tile Makers - “Vihara” Swish collection. This was actually our second choice option! We had an initial backsplash selected but due to COVID related delays, we had to re-select at the last minute. After scouring our local stores, I found Sonoma Tile Makers. They have so many beautiful glass mosaic options. This particular colorway reminded us of the ocean. Our client is a biologist, so she really wanted something that had colors you could find in nature. When paired with the countertop, Caesarstone’s Clamshell, it really popped! It also tied in really well with the custom paint color of the island.

Another amazing source for glass mosaics is Artistic Tile. We’ve used them a couple of times for past projects.

One of my favorite applications of this tile is when we used it for this kitchen remodel:

Design by Honeycomb Home Design / Emily Elise Photography

The overall theme of this project was a slight nod to the Art Deco Era. We wanted a backsplash that was going to add some drama to the space, but nothing too over the top.

After deciding that we wanted to do white perimeter cabinetry and an island with a pop of color, we found this Artistic Tile. It is a glass mosaic with a bit of brass detailing in it. It is sooooo beautiful in person too!

You’ll notice the hefty price tag on this one at $95 per square foot. So, we decided to do a feature wall of this tile instead of doing the entire backsplash. This is a great thing to remember when you’re trying to reduce costs. Sometimes we will mix in a less expensive tile as the “field tile” and then a more expensive backsplash behind the cooktop or range as an accent.

If you look closely, you can see that we actually recessed this accent tile 2” so the edges died nicely into the wall instead of having to frame it out with a trim piece. Instead of adding a field backsplash, we opted for a tilt up of the countertop material. This gave the kitchen a very clean and seamless look.

Another one of my favorite glass mosaics is also by Artistic Tile called the Estrella series.

We used it for this Primary bath remodel. Unfortunately, they don’t make this particular colorway anymore, but they do still have 5 color options available. What we loved about this tile is that it looks like a wallpaper! But when you get very close, you can see how beautifully intricate this pattern is. The colorway worked perfectly with the warm walnut tones of the cabinetry and really added a bold statement. Because we opted to do side splashes on this vanity, we decided to carry the tilt up backsplash all the way across and then start the mosaic on top of it. (note - this vanity is 60” with two sinks, so it is best to do side splashes in this instance since you may get water on the return walls).

Honeycomb Home Design - Marcel Alain Photography

Next, let’s take a look at natural stone mosaic backsplash:

These are often a fan favorite. The most common natural stone mosaics that we use are often marble.

This particular backsplash is a mixture of mother-of-pearl and marble. I couldn’t find the link to this exact backsplash (it might have been discontinued) but I did find one very similar here.

We wanted a BOLD statement in this kitchen so we opted to take this graphic pattern throughout the entire backsplash. Because we kept everything else pretty neutral, the backsplash has the space to really shine.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design - Photography by Emily Elise Photography

This next marble mosaic backsplash is one of my favorites.

It’s from Soho Studio and is filled with different pieces of marble.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

You can see here we decided to use the accent only above the cooktop. We did this for two reasons: cost and also to make the pattern really stand out. This mosaic is over $130/SF so it can get pretty pricey fast. But also, when paired with a subtle field tile (like this one - one of our FAVS!), the pattern actually has a chance to stand out.

Another fun option is ceramic tile.

Patterned ceramic tiles are having a moment, that is for sure! Like this graphic black and white pattern in this farmhouse kitchen. While we can’t locate the exact backsplash anymore (darn COVID-19), we found this one that is really fun!

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Ceramic tile comes in many styles and shapes. We used a beautiful crackled ceramic tile from MSI in this kitchen we designed.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Here, we opted to go all out and use the same backsplash throughout the kitchen. The arabesque pattern and the soft grey coloring were a perfect mixture for this classic kitchen design.

Recycled Material Backsplash

One of our favorite vendors is Fireclay Tile. They not only have beautiful tiles and patterns, they create these tiles from post consumer recycled glass and porcelain and pre-consumer recycled granite dust.

We used this color for our Shell Beach remodel and loved how it pulled the entire look together for this coastal home.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Pack Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Hand Painted Terracotta:

For those spanish inspired interiors, this hand painted terracotta tile is a must have! We loved using Tabarka for our Santa Ysabel project. Tabarka has some amazing products and they are all truly hand made. We paired this backsplash with a beautiful honed Perla Venata Quartzite. Finding the right paint color was tricky, but Pewter Tankard by Sherwin Williams was the winner! We added a glaze to it for the perfect compliment to the backsplash and countertops.

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Emily Elise Photography

Full height countertops:

Lastly, let’s talk about the full height countertop option as a backsplash. We opted for a full height backsplash in this beautiful kitchen because the clients really fell in love with this material and this particular cut of the granite has a special surprise (Can you see it!?)

Designed by Honeycomb Home Design / Pack Design / Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Did you see the dove shape in the backsplash?!

This goes to show you that sometimes less is MORE! There is a lot going on in this kitchen and the backsplash just helps bring a little bit of drama without overtaking the entire look.

Hopefully that gave you a little inspiration behind different backsplash options!

Here are our Top 5 Tips when shopping for backsplashes:

  1. When in doubt, go timeless: You want to make sure your backsplash doesn't feel out of place with the rest of the kitchen. (i.e. You wouldn’t want to put an arabesque pattern in a Mid Century Modern style kitchen)
  2. Remember the layers of your kitchen: countertops, cabinetry, flooring. You want to make sure your backsplash compliments all of those elements nicely.
  3. Focus in: Doing an accent over the range with a mosaic tile is a great way to add pizazz. You can save cost by doing a less expensive field tile and leave the big budget for the mosaic accent.
  4. Pattern Play: Have fun with patterns! Even if you select a simple subway tile, you can lay it many different ways - herringbone, ⅓ offset, straight stack etc. The more complex the pattern, you’ll pay a little more for labor, but if you pick an inexpensive tile, it might be a wash.
  5. Don’t overthink it! If you’re not in LOVE with it, leave it. You’ll be looking at this backsplash everyday, all day, so make sure it is the ONE.

 


Top 6 Nursery Must Haves

Top 6 Nursery Must Haves!

Our baby boy has been in our world for almost a month now and let me tell you - this has been the fastest month of my life! How is it almost the end of October already?!

Lisa Maksoudian Photography

A month ago, we revealed our full nursery design in this blog post. Check it out before you read on!

I had a blast designing the nursery and transforming a simple room into a little escape for our little guy (but also for me!)

Now that we’ve had plenty of time in this room, I can share with you some of my must-haves for these first few weeks!

Babyletto Toco Swivel Glider in Performance Cream

Lisa Maksoudian Photography

Babyletto Link:

https://bit.ly/3vmbzG2

This glider is soooo comfortable and I have slept in it a few nights! We actually have the power recliner version and I would highly recommend it. The fabric is also super easy to clean, perfect for the late night milk spills! Or Mom’s chocolate snacking…

Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer

Wipes Warmer Link:

https://bit.ly/3vs7OyU

One thing Pierre does not love is a diaper change! He does a *cute* scream when we do the 2 AM diaper changes...BUT I will tell you that the warmer wipes definitely have helped. It may seem a little over the top, but has been well worth the money so far. And our ears are thanking us too :)

Happiest Baby Sleepea Sack Swaddle Wrap - Blue with Stars

Snoo Swaddle Wrap

https://bit.ly/3aPJSvU

One thing I learned right at the hospital was the power of swaddling! I know some babies do not like it but Pierre seems to love it. We tried several different swaddles and really liked the ones from Happiest Baby. They keep them nice and snug and the easy zipper action makes those late night changes easier!

4Moms Mamaroo

4Moms Mamaroo Link:

https://bit.ly/3n8qz6I

This one is a little bit of a splurge, but has so many cool features! You can switch from 5 different motions (kangaroo, car ride, swing etc.) and then also change the speed. I’ll put Pierre in this after a morning feeding when he is wide awake! He seems to really like the motions and and he’s slightly vertical. (You will need an infant insert that does not come with this unit though.)

Dock A Tot - Deluxe +

Dock A Tot - Deluxe + Link:

https://bit.ly/30Jbcdx

The Dock A Tot has been great for lounging, diaper changes and hanging out! I love that it is so portable. I’ve taken it over to my Mom’s house when she is watching Pierre as it’s perfect for travel.

It is super soft and comfortable, and will be something Pierre can use until he’s at least 8 months old. It is great for tummy time too! The contrasting pattern is great for their development as well.

Marpac Rohm Portable Sound Machine

Marpac Rohm Portable Sound Machine Link:

https://bit.ly/3FWDzoJ

This little gem has been well worth the $30! We actually brought it with us to the hospital and used it on the second night there. It charges with a USB cable and is easy to take with us in the car seat on the move! I also have it handy when I take Pierre on our stroller walks. Well worth it!

I’ll be sharing more of my favorite products but these have been our go-to’s this past month.

Did I miss any of your favs?!?


Baby Lovato Nursery

How I transformed a “builder-basic” room into our baby’s nursery:

This past year has been an exciting whirlwind of events… starting with becoming pregnant with our first child!

It’s been an incredible experience so far and I am extremely excited to bring our little guy into the world.

I had really never designed a nursery before but knew I wanted a space that was going to be relaxing and calming, since it was going to be my second home pretty soon!

Here’s the Before:

I pretty much had a blank shell to work with. The room is fairly small, 11’x11’, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t pack a punch with the design!

When thinking about a “theme” for the room, I didn’t want to do anything that I would get tired of easily, because (believe it or not) designing my own home has always been a challenge… I love too many different things!!! I also wanted it to be gender neutral in case we ever wanted to have another child (but let’s be real - I will probably want to remodel it before then LOL!)

What really set off the total vibe was my love affair with this particular wall mural from Rebel Walls:

I just loved the pattern and all of the colors. I looked around a bit more but kept coming back to this pattern.

Soooo…. The creative juices began to flow!

With the wall mural as the main focal point, I wanted to add some drama to the room without taking away from it… so, I paid attention to the “5th wall” AKA the ceiling and wanted to panel it!

This step was a messy one, but so worth it. We first had to sand all of the walls and the ceiling since the mural required a smooth wall and so did the paneling. You wouldn’t want to see any of that yucky orange peel drywall texture peeking through. Then, we got the paneling on the ceiling. Already feeling a lot better in there!

But I wanted to level it up. So, we painted the ceiling Sherwin Williams - Roycroft Bottle Green. It is one my favorite greens! Such a beautiful, deep and rich color.

The room is starting to transform...

Next comes the wall mural and the transformation truly begins:

I know what you’re wondering… OK what about the furniture?!? Here’s our selections!

I did some research on nursery furniture and found a great vendor, DucDuc out of NYC. I not only loved the aesthetic of their products, I also loved that they used 100% baltic birch, TSCA Title VI compliant wood, made in the USA, water based finishes and non toxic glue. Plus, it was SUPER easy to assemble. The crib and the changing table are from them.

The other item that was super important to me was the glider! I wanted one that had a power recliner as well. I found the Babyletto Kiwi Glider and was hooked! It is super comfortable and I love the power recline feature.

Here are links to all of the products listed in the moodboards:

Glider: https://babyletto.com/products/kiwi-electronic-recliner-and-swivel-glider-in-eco-performance-fabric-with-usb-port-water-repellent-stain-resistant

Crib: https://bit.ly/3msP9kf

Changing Table: https://bit.ly/2W4OU3T

Ceiling Flush mount: https://bit.ly/3sroYLE

Window Coverings: https://bit.ly/3xWMe5m

Quilt: https://bit.ly/3ge9m9q

Shelves: https://bit.ly/3D0Ekvx

Prints: https://bit.ly/37VeHOc

End Table: https://bit.ly/3jcLo0g

Table Lamp: https://bit.ly/3z87OVM

And of course, we had to do a rendering to show the final concept as well!!

Are you ready to see the full reveal?


Sandydale Remodel: Before and After!

Kitchen and living room remodels really are the best! When you’re able to re-design the most important space of your home, you’re able to truly transform the way that you live in your space.

Enter the Sandydale remodel. I started working with these sweet clients back in early 2019. They were working with a small living room and a small family room divided by a super small kitchen. They love to cook and being a family of four, this kitchen was much too small for them as is.

We knew we had to do something pretty drastic to expand their kitchen and give them not only more room, but more functionality for their space.

Check out the Before Photos:

You can see that the living room had an old wood burning fireplace and a funky half wall that divided the entryway from the rest of the room.

The kitchen was an awkward U-shape in the middle of the room, and then the family room had only one access outside and was one of the largest rooms in the house. It was actually an add-on from the previous owners and had some weird beams that hung down from the ceiling that made it LOOK like an add-on. It used to be part of a patio space.

The last image shows the guest bath! Can you say time for an upgrade?!?

Here’s the As-Built Floorplan:

Here’s where we got creative. We wanted to move the kitchen out of the middle of these two rooms. Our thought was to move the kitchen towards the front of the house, where the fireplace is currently. The clients were open to moving the fireplace sooo…

Here is our Proposed Plan:

You can see how we shifted the kitchen towards the front of the house, added a walk-in pantry and then created a large living room with a wood burning fireplace. This floorplan allowed the clients to have a much better flow and use of the space. Plus, they gained storage space, a full pantry, and a more functional gathering space to hang out and watch TV. It was also important to have two access points outside in the living room, so we placed the sliders opposite each other.

We also designed a fireplace surround that offered storage as well as a proper surround for their wood burning fireplace and a TV!

Our Rendering:

We also carved out little spaces for additional storage, like a command center where the kids can do their homework and an entry cabinet to provide storage for coats, backpacks, and shoes.

Ready to see the AFTER???

Can you tell where the old fireplace used to be??

We also did some pretty cool custom stuff in this kitchen with Honeycomb Cabinetry, like this Kitchen-Aid lift cabinet!

And for the bathroom!

To see the full reveal, check out our Portfolio page (link Sandydale Remodel to this page)

What do you think about the Sandydale Remodel? Send us a note!

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