August Design Book Club: Bohemian Modern

I chose this month's book because of the new house I just bought that will be an Airbnb. As with all rentals there is an upfront cost you put into the project, such as repairs and furnishings, that you won't get back immediately like you do in a flip. So, I wanted to choose a book that would help me think outside the box with the decor and on a budget. I think this month's book will do just that.

Bohemian Modern: Imaginative and Affordable Ideas for a Creative and Beautiful Home by Emily Hensen.

It's "easy" to binge purchase a bunch of new furnishings to fill the space for an immediate put together look. However, the cost will be enormous and the result will feel like a showroom rather than an inspired home. I find myself binge window shopping in preparation for furnishing my place, so to combat that I'll shove ALL the creativity from this book into my brain. Amazon will be delivering it in a couple of days and I can't wait to dig in.

If you're joining me in this boho design immersion, I'd love to hear what you think about this book in the comments! And, as usual, I'm open to suggestion for next month's book.

Happy boho obsessing!

Bathroom Design: Rustic Modern + Funky

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Before

Yet another bathroom in need of some serious help! The owner of this tired bathroom, Jen and her husband, are tired of the small outdated look of their bathroom. They have room in their master bedroom to extend the bathroom a bit. They also wanted to incorporate the current walk in closet into the renovation somehow. Their main focus was to expand the bathroom space with hopes of adding a garden tub. I was up to the challenge. Here's the current space. 

Master Bedroom wall with closet and bathroom entrance
Vanity wall in master bath

Layout

The current layout, as seen in the top drawing below, has a long and narrow bathroom and closet. The entrances to both rooms tie up the entire wall space of the master bedroom. The new layout, shown in the bottom drawing, bumps that bathroom and closet wall into the master bedroom space allowing the bathroom footprint to expand in both length and width. The master closet gains just 7 sf but is no longer visible from the bedroom. 

The new layout allows a ton to happen for the new rooms. 

  • The entrance to the master closet is now through the bathroom. This frees up that wall in the master for a dresser or seating area. It also allows one person to sleep in peace if the other person is getting ready earlier in the morning. No going back and forth from the closet to the bathroom. 
  • The bathroom was widened and lengthened in order to add a garden tub. It's placed at the end of the room in front of the window while a stand up shower sits next to it. They can be separated by glass in order to keep light flowing through from both directions. 
  • A sliding barn door is added to the bathroom instead of a swing door in order to keep the floor space in front of the vanities free from obstruction. This could be a pocket door if they prefer that style.
  • Because of the garden tub addition, the linen closet had to go. This is not a deal breaker in my opinion. That extra 7 square feet in the master closet could house linens and other bathroom items and could be placed directly in front of the doorway between his and her clothing areas. Another option is to add shelving above the garden tub and toilet. They may also decide to choose vanities with drawers for greater organization. 

Issues

An issue in any situation like a layout change is dealing with structural supports. I have not been in the space, nor am I qualified to make structural decisions, so Jen and her husband should rely on a contractor and structural engineer before deciding to move any walls. Usually walls can come and go, it's just a matter of counterbalancing the weight of the structure somewhere else. Plumbing, venting and electrical will also need to be rerouted. Moving and removing walls always seems so easy and fun but there is always a price tag involved.

Design

Jen wanted something modern but with some funkiness to it. I'm always looking for renovations to last fore a long time so I go with funkiness in the decor, not the renovation. I rip out too many old bathrooms and kitchens to feel good about putting something back in that will be dated in the near future. So, I like to go with good ole trusty subway tile which will be in for quite a while. The easiest to swap out is the decor. Add some funky artwork and a funky rug to spruce it up and she can change it out when she bores of it or wants a different color.

As always, I love hearing from everyone about their likes and dislikes about designs. Call it research. What do you think? If you like something let me know. If you don't, constructive criticism is appreciated. :) 

Interested in your own design but have questions? Contact me on the contact page! See your options by clicking that box below.

 



Living Room: Cozy Modern Loft

This one is for me! I'm like the cleaning lady who doesn't clean her own house. I'm the design and renovation chick that doesn't do a dang thing to her own house until now. I have just one house right now, with not much renovation needed. So, I finally have time to work on my own house. Condo, that is. Can you believe I've only painted one room in the place since it was built 7 years ago.

For shame. 

The white walls were comforting for a while, I've got to be honest. With all of the neutral colors I was putting in the other houses, I kinda learned to appreciate the blank canvas. I also just couldn't commit to anything. One month I wanted this, the next that. What to do? Finally, this year I decided to put a design board together so I could get it together once and for all. 

Before

Ok this is embarrassing. Don't judge. 

Modern Loft Before

Yes, that's a baby gate in the fireplace. We can finally take it out with only a slim possibility that my 2 year old will dive in headfirst to play with the rocks. Yes, that's a monitor on top which we plug our laptops in to play shows and movies. Look, we've been traveling ok? We sold everything we owned a few years ago and just never committed to putting a home back together. Get off my back. I'm working on making this place more legit!

Anyhow, we're keeping the rug bc it hides lots of little kid droppings like broken crayons, trail mix, you name it. It's like the cave of lost things. A keeper. The couch can go. It's lame. Maybe we'll even get a real TV.

GASP!

Moving on. 

The Plan

 

Some of these things we already have. This is the good thing about making a design board. It can include things you already have and want to keep, just add the rest of the stuff to coordinate. This way you can see it all together rather than trying to imagine it all working out. For instance, the rug, the coffee table, the maps and the artwork are already things we own and like. The concrete ceiling and the fireplace are parts of the room and cannot be changed but will play a part in the design. As for the rest...

  1. Sofa: We need something that is more modern can fit in the small room and is comfortable. A couch should be, no? Otherwise, what's the point?
  2. Chair: The Eames lounge chair is a dream. I want it and have wanted it for a while. I'm a sucker for vintage, mid-century modern. Preferably the chair I find is the real deal, in good condition and the leather is nice and warn in for me. 
  3. Plants: This place is filled with hard spaces. The ceiling, pillars and floors are all concrete and the entire east wall is steel and glass. We need a little nature up in here. 
  4. Charcoal Gray Accent Walls: I love that most of the condo has white walls. It's bright, airy and different than any of the homes I renovate. I do think it needs a little bit of color, though. I know gray is probably not a color. Oh well. It's happening. I'm going to paint the walls behind the sofa and fireplace Behr Evening Hush. I may also take it to the fireplace wall, too. 
  5. Barn Wood Accent Wall: This may or may not happen. I'm up in the air about wood accent walls at this point. I love them, but they are EVERYWHERE. I think it might warm up the space a little but am hesitant about spending the money. If I do go forward with it, it will be installed on the fireplace wall which extends to the second floor and into the loft bedroom. 
  6. Accents: The rest of the items are a throw blanket and some plants. The room needs some life and warmth so these will just round out the edges. And who wouldn't want to pick some fruit straight off their own potted tree? Duh.

That's it for now. It's a small room with a lot going on structurally and height wise so I don't want to clutter it with too much else. I'll update you as I update the room. First, paint. Woo! 

Want your own design? Click that box, yo.



Kitchen Redesign: A Rustic Modern Kitchen

When we're not renovating houses, we're doing new designs for those who want to tackle the renovations on their own. A client asked us to put together something for her dining room and kitchen. She filled out our quick questionnaire and sent us some photos. Game on!

The Needs

"We need to move the washer/dryer- with this, we will be re-designing the eat in space of the kitchen. We're also looking to update the kitchen cabinets and floor. We don't have an extensive budget, but we are learning to be handy. We recently moved in to this house, and there's a chance we may move again in the next 5 years. So, we're looking for something functional for our family but not too custom that could potentially hurt the resale appeal. We are hoping to paint the kitchen cabinets white and change the floor of the kitchen."

The Room

Laundry closet in kitchen

The Design

When I saw this kitchen and dining area, I immediately knew what to do. Simple and clean lines of white cabinets and white backsplash would appeal to many buyers and won't be out of style within her 5 year timeline. A hint of color in the furnishings and window treatments would add a little fun without any permanency. 

The Roadmap 

  1. Cabinets: Let’s start with the most important part. We recommend leaving most of the cabinets, but paint them a nice crisp white. Behr’s Ultra Pure White is a good choice. To open up the space a bit, remove the cabinets to the left of the window, eliminating the awkward and bulky cabinet that sticks out over the peninsula. Ideally, the soffit would go, too but that could be costly. It’s ok to stay as it is. 
  2. Counters and Door Hardware: From your photos, it appears that you have black granite counters and stainless cabinet pulls/hinges that could remain and work with the new look.
  3. Flooring: To get the rustic look, use a tile that looks like worn wood. It will hold up well with the traffic in the kitchen and dining area. 
  4. Backsplash: Tile the backsplash with a simple white subway tile. It is classic, modern and inexpensive. White grout will give it a clean, simplistic look while a dark gray grout will give it a little more interest. Carry the backsplash from the refrigerator on the right, all the way to the peninsula on the left of the sink. We recommend carrying it all the way to the soffit where the cabinets to the left of the sink used to be. 
  5. Shelving: Replace the cabinets that were removed with open shelving. We like black brackets with a pine board painted white on top. If you will use the shelves for dishes, make sure it is deep enough to hold your dinner plates (10-12”). Keep the items on the shelves to a few neutral items to keep from looking cluttered. 
  6. Faucet: Replace the faucet with a modern stainless goose neck version.
  7. Laundry: Decide on whether to move the laundry to the basement. Several things to consider are: 
    • Do she really need more storage in the kitchen? 
    • Will moving the laundry to the basement be a huge inconvenience being further from the bedrooms?
  8. Closet: If she does decide that she'd like more storage in the kitchen and move the laundry to the basement, consider installing the same wire shelving that is in the pantry. This closet could be used to house small appliances such as the stand mixer, bulky serving ware and other items not used daily. Also good for this closet would be supplies used on the dining table for homework or craft time.
  9. Dining Area: A rustic wood table with a metal base will be great for meals as well as hold up to every day use. Add some interest with colorful metal chairs and an orb pendent light fixture. The rug could be used to add softness to the room, but could be left out in case kids will be dropping lots of food on it. 
  10. Windows: Bring out the bright color used in the dining chairs again in the window shades. Choose a geometric pattern that is lively for a roman shade over the kitchen sink and the same matching fabric in curtains in the dining area.

The Numbers

Along with the design and road map, she received a spreadsheet with the locations of all the items in the mood board, quantities she'll need for her space and the total cost to purchase the items for the 2 rooms. The total came to $2210, not including any labor costs and building materials.

What many of our clients do is use this as a starting point. We find middle ground priced materials at realistic costs, not best case scenarios. This way, if they find a coupon for Lowes or a similar tile at a discount store, they're going to come in under budget. Win-win!