Using What You Own
so don't stop short of truly your original vision. And if it hasn't been done, that doesn't mean it's not possible Now. There's a difference in what I call different for the sake of being different if it's just weird and hokey and you're just trying to be different. Ah, lot of times those things don't work. There's a reason that they haven't been done. But there's a lot of times that we, as designers, auras doing do it yourselfers in our own home. We have an idea, and we talked to say a contractor or we talked to someone and they go, Oh, no, you can't do that And we stopped short And usually there is a way to make things work. This kitchen is a remodel, and it's been very, very popular with people that follow my work. It's not been everywhere online and on Pinterest, and the before image of this room is that the cabinetry stopped at the eight foot height and there were so those glass cabinets were added on top of these cabins, so you can imagine if the cabinetry didn't go all the way t...
o the ceiling. If we didn't have this decorative backsplash. This would feel much more like a speck hung what we would call a builder spec home, a model home, something that's not of great quality. And so the client came in and said that I don't really want Teoh rip out my whole kitchen. I don't really want a full kitchen remodel, but it just didn't look expensive. It doesn't really fit the space. It just what can we do to improve on this space? And so ah, lot of Cabinet makers say, Oh, it would be so much more expensive to add to these than just just ripped the cabinets out and start over. Well, that was actually not true. So I found someone who was willing to work with us and have since done this about five or six times for other clients. We literally just added to the heights of the cabinetry. So they were envisioning this beautiful, glamorous kitchen, and we just did new door fronts and we added a row of cabinets at the top, and we added a decorative backsplash and redecorated some things, and it looks like a brand new kitchen. And it's really not that big of a change in many ways I saw this actually one of these TV design shows and someone who moved into new happiness and I really don't like the kitchen on the designer said, Well, look, you've actually got a fantastic kitchen or we need to do is change the doors and it transformed it. And in the let My last home on way looked at my kitchen. I think yesterday it again, I'm gonna have a lot. So if you're loving this, if this is your favorite part of what we've done for three days, you're gonna love the next course because we're really going to get into this, Which is that function piece and really that the architectural detail ing and the bones of a house. But but certainly there is usually a fairly simple way toe upgrade spaces that you already have. And I've done this many times, even in my own kitchen. So keep all the boxes of the cabinetry that are attached to the wall, but just re face them new doors, new drawers, a coat of paint, new hardware. Ah, lot of times your vision is really lives. In a lot of the details, the things that make it look beautiful a lot of times with the things we get most excited about. So yeah, it needs to function. But things like the backsplash, the fabrics. Another thing I love about this project and I do this often is I added the built in bench or bank it at the end of the island as a space. Safer because the client had the kitchen island, the kitchen table and then a living room. And we wanted to combine a couple of those spaces because they're really wedding room for all three. So added the bank it to the end and covered the seed and leather and had the print fabric because I wanted some pattern there. I had a vinyl coated had there's companies out there who will vital coat. We talked about this, I think, even in the color course, so it's very, very durable. They have Children that are going to sit there potentially, even with messy hands, and they don't have to worry that I have to pick something really plain and boring to be durable. No, we had it vinyl coated, and it can just be wiped. Damn eso. It works really well from a function standpoint again, any thoughts or questions about the space. I just think it's, you know, it's so often when you're in the kitchen that spice, that the cupboards go to a certain height because they were pre made and you have all that space above that collects all the junk and him. Dustin, I just love how much cleaner it looks. Even though you've gone for something quite tread looking so clean to not have that spice above the couple, I agree. And it was very much a trend. Ah, while back 10 years ago, toe have the open space above the kitchen. And maybe it was because it was pretty. They were pretty finished cabinetry and and people were getting away from the trend before that. Even 20 years ago, everyone had what I would call a soffit. Some people call it a for down but a drop, you know, a recess of the sheet rock and the cabinets would start underneath. I even prefer that look toe open cabinetry above. But it became the thing to do to decorate the top of the cabinets, and this is when people would go out to the local home store and just fill the car up with things that meant 90 nothing to them. Chomsky's baskets accessories and thinks. Now it's one thing if you have a collection. Mom has a beautiful collection of baskets, and they look great, displayed on the top of cabinetry. But if it's really just to fill it, fill it with things. You could probably add cabinetry for not much more money. Then you would spend going and buying tons of accessories. That really meant nothing to you to put up there. And then you have to climb onto the cabinetry once a month and dusted all off, right. It's just it's just a desk collector. So any of you have any of you had a scenario where you did decorate the top of the cabinetry like that to fill in that space you have? Can I ask you a question? So where the table is, do you have to walk all the way around to the very end to like, is that the only woman go all the way around that the island on all sides And it's not It's not that far. It's not as big as you think. So, coming from the rest of house people usually come and walk right in front of the refrigerator to get into this part of the kitchen. Are you gonna walk straight? There's cupboards cross on the other side for storage. There's actually a desk with a computer on the other side, so this is a really family like they have four Children somewhere now in college. But at the time it was eating zone Homework zone work zone, Mom in the kitchen, TV in the next room, and we had created functions that everybody could be doing, really at the same time, I imagine when you saying Diego, he's like to take arrest of raw space and really just take it over and get the householder out of Central. I imagine the kitchens and bathrooms are areas where you're really limited into what you can actually do when you can't clearly come about putting what you'd like to see. Is this something you had a real challenge working around? Yes, the kitchen is the hardest part for us always. We always change the fixtures because people who buy their homes seem to keep him for years and years. The lighting fixtures or the faucets, some faucets, fixtures. We work with a company where they can go in and put, I was telling, I think Sally granite on top of the old counter. We can go in and redo. The Adam will redo the floors if need be. So the kitchen's always are big job. Yeah, and it's one of the most expensive places in the house, obviously, kitchens and bathrooms, but they also have the most impact on the resale value. So a lot of times you get a lot of your money out of kitchen and bathroom. Yes, also, the room people seem to want to tackle more often, you know, your kitchen remodel seem to happen more often the life cycle of a house and perhaps other rooms. I think that's probably true, too. But I also think that that a kitchen that's not dated scares a lot of people away from buying a new house, too, because it seems like one of the biggest, most stressful jobs, like there's not. They feel like there's not an option to just re face the cabinetry when sometimes there is, or just paint things that fills overwhelming to some people, I think actually especially family. I think you know there's gonna be a period of time when you come prep anything you know. And then I guess it be different. If you didn't use it it off and then you could just jam it out and ate out for away. Not a lot of people want to move into the upstairs like former that of, like tiny refrigerator and a microwave, right? It's It's a big It's a big undertaking. I think about my mother's lived in her house now, for it must be nearly 50 years, and she's no intention of ever moving. But the kitchen in the bathroom of the two rooms she keeps redoing when I think about the number of kitchen she's gone through. So it's just something I think people really like to tackle. Yeah, well, and it's also an area. I think, that gets dated. Some are obsolete from a technology standpoint, fairly often, so appliances, and they're constantly coming out with new things. And I've had many discussions with people that years ago appliances were made toe last many, many years, and now it's not that way. They're made the last few years, maybe Ellen, because people were remodeling, and it was hard for people to go. I don't really there's nothing wrong with this, and I feel guilty ripping it out said Stainless steel appliances have already gone lifecycle of trends in the kitchen and also the life cycle of the working appliances air a lot shorter than they do. You put some really pretty flowers in this picture. That's flowers of things I think pop up in a number of your pictures. But, you know, talk about plants every What's your feeling on plants? Flowers in just a moment. Get either on you're going to see him, and everything in this really alludes to that. But details for me or everything. So one of my must have design ideas is really focusing on the details. So when you look at designers, work a professional designers work with professionally photographed images. One of any think Oh, that's so beautiful and it looks so finished and so complete. That's my dream room. I think probably what's really making you fall in love with it that's different from your own home could be in the details. For one thing, dry pary. I use window treatments so often because I think they really complete a space. But I know they could be very expensive and even taking that a step further. Several of you have mentioned in my work. What's the embroidery detail you put on the edge of the drapery? Or what's that little like? This is just a contrast banding. But a lot of times I would. He's like the grow grain ribbon, these chairs. I have a contrast welt and an embroidery pattern on the back of the chairs, those air things that anybody can do. They just don't think about doing them. So when I take the these were actually chairs that belong to the client. They were in all different fabrics around the house, and I collected them all together. And I said, Well, six of them have the same style. Two of them are different. Perfect. Perfect. I'll use those two on the end. I'll use the other six around the table, but I'll a pollster. Them all in the same fabric in the same detail ing. And then I took the fabric to my pollster, and I said, Would you cut out the backs of the fabric, the chairs so that I can then take them to the local embroidery shop and have a pattern put on the back of them. So all of these air tips and things that people could do, even do it yourself projects. You could do this. You just aren't thinking with that sort of a critical eye to detail. But somebody that's into fashion, like some of you are, you're noticing those details on other things. Like we were saying the lapel of a jacket. You have to just try and your eye in your mind to start thinking of your interior in this way and going, What can I enhance? What can I do to these pieces? Is there a welt? Is there a pleat? Is there something else that I can really draw the details out in this space? Also, we do it by adding molding. And so in this room you can see that in the back, added the trim work just on top of sheet rock. They're not paneled walls or sheet rock walls, but we just added some molding and painted it in a contrast detail on all of a sudden, this room has depth and interest that it didn't really have before. So what kind of what kind of questions do you have, or how can I help you really start focusing on the details of your home in a different sort of way? Do any of you do these sorts of things? Any of you think about things that simple is adding ribbon to the top and bottom of a lamp shade or adding trim to the bottom of a sofa? You can literally do this with a hot glue gun. And again, I always jokingly said, Be careful. We don't want to create a lot of craftiness that that goes awry. But there are some very simple things that you can do to store bought products to make them reflect your own personal style. Did any of you did? Yes. Well, I just have found that upholstery and draperies and window treatments, in particular have always been the most intimidating to me because, first of all, they are so expensive and there's just doesn't seem to be any alternative. It's either very high end, right? Really cheap. Yes, and it's so hard to find anything in between, and there's no way I could, so I just don't have any just so anything like that. So, um, for example, most of our windows simply have cellular blinds, cellular shades, just a few windows with some nice drapes. I would like to do more, but I just feel like I guess it's one of those things that you save for you make it a priority and yet and part of that, and becomes the value system of the people that are living in the home. So you know how some people you may have a lot of money are a little money. But even so, we see people that don't have large budgets, and we will see them walking around carrying very expensive handbags or things that were a priority than they would rather you know, eight Rama noodles for a few weeks and by the handbag is supposed to, you know, not having the handbag. And on the flip side, we see people who will invest in big screen televisions and the latest technology or countertops or a stove, but not value putting money into window treatments. So you just have to change your thought process a little bit. And goat, is this really what's making my home not meet my vision or my dream like the last tip said. Don't stop short of your dream vision. So maybe if it is, you have to start saying OK, I know it's expensive, but I really value them. They're going to change the whole space. It's gonna feel cozier. It's gonna feel more feminine or beautiful or whatever you're going for, and then you just say for them and invest in good ones. And if you invest in the right thing, they could last for a long time. And even thinking about tricks like we said earlier of white cotton duck with a black cotton piping can be super chic, but a lot less expensive than a fabric that's, you know, 80 90 $100 a yard, which can get very expensive really quickly. But I think you're right. The quality. This is an area where you cannot scam you can not skimp on quality. Store bought drapery is really difficult. You end up spending almost as much money because you you're gonna buy panels from a retailer. You need to buy three or Ford for each side of the window instead of just one to get the the width and the fullness, and then you probably have to have him sewn together and you have to have them lined. And then you have to buy the hardware. You really almost be better off starting and doing quality window treatments to begin with. So I really believe in them. I think they are one of the key details that makes my work look really finished and really polished. Anybody commenting on Linda treatments, I know there's. There's two people who don't like them at all and people who like them but just don't feel like they can invest in them like you're saying. I think they can be very expensive that way actually had a question yesterday from Lati, which we pulled across to wait till today talking about window treatments for rooms with two story ceilings and windows light. I has an offending area in the family room, would like to do floor to ceiling drapes, afraid it might be too much and unfortunately made some sort of window covering to cut down the line. That's tricky well, and I I deal with this often and it is very challenging and it certainly also when we have visuals and are in our function and form. Of course, we could have an actual visual of this, and I'll try to remember to do that. But a lot of times it does really make the most sense from an aesthetic sampling as far as looking beautiful to go all two stories. Plus, that may be the only way she can really control the light. And a lot of times in those giant rooms the big soaring ceilings. You don't want to just create a line across the middle of the room and stop your draper. It's almost equivalent toe having like your pants too short, you know, like a high water thing. It's reversed, but it just it really doesn't enhance the whole reason that the room was built in a two story style to begin with. Plus, what time do you have a lot of other things happening, like the doors stop the windows or one height, the doors or a different height? The cabinetry is a different height, and the last thing you want to do is introduce a whole nother horizontal line that lines up with nothing. So those get to be very, very tricky in fact, when I have clients who want me to help them, when they're purchasing a home and the outside, can you come look at this house? We're really interested in, Ah, lot of times. I encourage people to not go for those rooms that are so challenging to decorate their expensive to decorate. And I say, you know, think about the same size home, but one that had maybe a nine or 10 foot ceiling, which is still really nice but had a whole nother floor upstairs cause it's so much easier to decorate two rooms and you get twice the function in dealing with those really giant rooms. Their very, very challenging. It's interesting if we have got quite a few comments on drapes and on window furnishings, etcetera and make came up with the idea, she said. She actually just got simple like here drapes, but she made them longer more interesting because she added two types of fabric to so on them like a long him and then several times that I wanted that to fun times Jackie 2000. They ordered that as well. And remember in the color course, Sally, I showed that picture of my work, and I can't remember about heaven in here where I took solid fabrics and I said them to had might. Well, I didn't. But I had my directory working so them together in 24 inch high pieces. So it became these horizontal stripes all the way up and really enhanced that, too. Really tall ceiling like that. It brought the scale of it down. Really, really good idea to do. And if you are going to buy store bought drapes and if they do still save you some money, think about at least splurging and buying more than one panel, because a lot of times they're very skimpy and with. But you could so two or three of them together on each side of the window and add a lot more dimension and they would look more expensive. Okay, so in thinking, we've been talking about collections, we've been talking about all sorts of vintage finds and going out and looking for things I love. One of my favorite design ideas is to use what you have every single day, So if you're storing tons and tons of China because it's it's sentimental, it was your grandmother's or have been Is it been handed down? Or even your own wedding? China. If you have not gotten it out since you got married and you've been married for 22 years, what in the world are you waiting for? Use that. Stop waiting for a special occasion. I get so much pleasure out of using the things that I own. And if you're gonna take up valuable space in your house that you could be using for something else, really make sure that you're using it. So what can you think of what comes to mind that you own, that you're not using that you're going to go home now and think about using on a regular basis? And what are you waiting for? I was ruthless when when I moved to New York, I packed everything from here and took it. And when I got it all, that was looking with stuff, saying I haven't touched the stuff in years. What did I pay for all this to be moved? So when I moved back, I was ruthless, and I, now in many respects, owned very little. So you were ruthless in getting rid of I love this stuff, but I haven't touched it in 20 years. And I got you made some nice money selling it. I have so many clients who, literally, once we have these discussions, this discussion are embarrassed to say that that I've been married for 18 years and I literally have not gotten my wedding China out of that little zippered pouch that I paid money to store it in. And are any of you doing this to any of you? Yes, What do you case keys for me? It's my grandmother's silver. I just don't feel like clean. I just don't feel like polishing it. And I remember as a kid sitting down my grandma and we would polish the silver. And I just don't want to do that with a like silverware, like dinner like forks and spoons and knives and a tea set. And they're beautiful, but I just don't so a couple of things here. I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a trend right now. Toe. Let your silver be tarnished and use it that way. So if you start paying attention, or of you even go type fat in on Pinterest tarnished silver, you'll see. And I just did this in a client's home and it looked great, hung a whole bunch of their inherited pieces of silver, and some were even purchased at flea markets. And it's completely tarnished and hung is a collection on the wall, and it has a little bit of that rugged, kind of like that, Um, Roman and Williams look, that masculine look that we were looking at earlier. And another thing is this for the silverware you can just for any drawer, any cabinet you can buy the inserts that come like in China cabinets with the felt that keeps the silver from tarnishing. So I keep my own silver. I have sterling silver flatware and I keep it in my China hutch, and it has happens to have one of those brown felt liners. And so it doesn't tarnish or at least takes a lot longer to tarnish. So there are some things you can do, but that would be fun to start easing anybody else and have anything that you want to start using, that you're inspired these Well, I got a question of similar subjects on this. This to me, this image here looks I don't know spring like it underway. Maybe it's the green and the yellow think. Do you shift what you're using throughout the different seasons of the year? Do you tend to have, like a full pattern that you used because of our? Is asking that from there in Russia, where I'm sure it's incredibly cold and dark right now? Saying, What about seasonal decorations there? Certainly, the home is like their star. But do they? Do you adjust for the citizens? Should they? It's a fun thing to do, and Table Top is a great place to adjust seasonally and linens. And so this is a custom tablecloth I made out of one of my fabrics. It's a focal off at work. That's my own design. But in the same way I say, Think of the life cycle of a product before you buy it. If I'm going to invest in something like a custom custom tablecloth, I take it home and take a fabulous fabrics. Watch home and I'm I'm really guilty of collecting a lot of China. I really, really love it. My mom and I both do, and so I have several sets, but I really really used them, so I'll get the plates down from each set and lay them out. And make sure that I'm gonna invest in this custom tablecloth that two or three different looks will work with this. But this color of this pattern. And then I also think about different occasions of how I could use it for fall or spring or summer room. You can even think about something at Christmas Holiday could be used in for some of the summer holidays, like 1/4 of July something or even something for Valentine's Day. If you like to entertain that much, so thinking of ways that if you're gonna purchase something that you can use it with different looks and mitt mix and match is a great idea, and it's also going to encourage you to use it more. I think if you have, if you think Uh oh, that's really only appropriate once a year, and it's just not worth getting it out. But I keep all of my China collections in my kitchen cupboards. I make sure that my kitchen holds them, and I use little risers that you could just get from the container store that allow me to stack more pieces that way. I literally, if I went home today, I could pull the party together. And it's not about going to the attic and getting our cupboard and getting all of the stuff out. It's right there at arm's length. So if you haven't thought about doing that, try to store your things where you will actually get them out. I know not everybody has room to keep everything at arm's length, but maybe that's also a little bit of the litmus test to say. If I don't have room to keep this at arm's length, maybe I need to go ahead and get rid of it or do something else with it. Okay, so it's those air, really. As faras design ideas go, I have some product ideas that I want to show you. But these are some of my favorite things, so editing, using what you have and really loving it, not getting stopped from your designed vision because you think it can't be done, Um, and then really, that function pieces so important? Those were really my top five must have design ideas, anything that any of you have that air your really philosophies on design that you make sure that you do that you'd like to share with us before we move to products. Is there anything that you all do like in this kind of idea of using the good china or, um, using your space in a certain way or design ideas that come to mind talking? I dio I am. My favorite is the bedroom. I love decorating a bedroom and like having the pillows and like having just making it look really, really beautiful, very classy and very simple. And that's my favorite. So, do you decorate the bedroom in something that's a more formal style, or is it more of a hotel style or what do you do? What do we owe one Where that it was black and white, do they? And then I got uhm pink and orange pillows and black and white polka dot pillows and just put all the pillows on the bed and then at the bottom had a pink Coverlet folded over and then on the side, just like very Chris Sands with um, really big lamps and just everything was white and crisp and then, like orange candles to pick up the orange pillows and said, The bed is really a place that you expressed yourself through fabrics and textiles. Yeah, yeah, it was the use. A lot of times, Then do you keep the rest of the room wrapped in neutral? So it's in smaller elements, and then that's also back to that idea of. It's easy to change. So if he got tired of the pink and orange, it can go away. And you could have black and white with green or blue or some other color to you and I have a pillow problem. I love buying pillows, and so I never know where to storm well, and that's a heart. And, you know, one of the tricks that I love about buying pillows is a lot of people buy store bought pillows that are less expensive, but they don't have zippers in them. So what I try to do is make sure that I'm buying pillows with zippers or that I open them up and have a zipper added to them, and I also think about the size of them. So if you always buy 24 inch or 22 inch pillows with a zipper. The only thing you have to store is the pillow cover, and you keep using the same insert. And pillow covers are just like really flat pieces of material that could all be folded up and put into a little basket or the linen closet. So think about that, because it's really the stuffer that takes up all the room, could open a clock. Like Mom said when I was a kid. Don't open any closet because you could get killed. Everything would fall out on, Well, that's what we're going to kill. Pillows wouldn't kill you, but you have to clean them all up because they're so bundle some to store. So think about just storing the pillow covers. I have any of you ever thought about that, just taking the covers off and then switching amount seasonally or something. That's a great tip