A TOOL EVERY KITCHEN SHOULDN'T BE WITHOUT...ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER.
A cherry pitter!!
One of my favorite things to do when we are on vacation is to stroll around a downtown to find a great kitchen store. I love to rummage through looking for a unique tool that I can add to my collection. I have been doing this for years and have some tools that are so extremely useful and some are just fun to use once a year. It’s so fun to look around my kitchen and to remember all the wonderful trips we have taken over the years.
I have always loved cherries...and last year up in Maine I finally bought a cherry pitter. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have one before. It is by far one of the best tools in my kitchen! It’s so easy to use and eating a cherry without the pit is just so delightful!
If you don’t have one…go grab one at a local shop!
DARK PANELING IN YOUR BASEMENT?
Growing up in Florida, I had no clue what a basement was. When I met my husband Jim in high school I remember thinking how cool it was to have an extra room in their house that was designed just for the kids and in most families the laundry room too. I am noticing that a lot of homes up here in New England that were built back in the 50’s have basements that are covered in dark paneling.
I am always asked the question…what do I do with this?
The Answer: Paint it!
One of my clients in Arlington, MA wanted me to come up with a design for their old dark paneled basement into a playroom for their adorable 7 month old little girl and their rambunctious puppy.
Below is the first concept I presented.
Go bold...Go bright...and have fun with this space!!
Stay posted for prictures to follow.
THE ROOM THAT GOES UNNOTICED... THE LAUNDRY ROOM!
One of my dearest client in Florida recently contacted me to help her update her laundry room. We have redesigned and updated most of the other rooms in the house, yet the laundry room has gone untouched.
In her house this room has become the main entrance into the house by her family (including her three grown boys) and close friends, It’s the first impression you get and she wanted it to look like the rest of the house. We worked hard to think about every detail including charging stations and drawers for her printer to keep cords out of sight. We removed the existing fridge, but added custom freezer drawers and lots of storage.
Another request was to have a large sink to bathe her so very cute King Charles Spaniel. I included a large apron sink with a great expandable faucet that will be the perfect bath tub for the little pup. I did shelves above the sink up high to give more head room when standing there. I also raised the height of the counter to make it more comfortable to work at the sink.
The Laundry Room is one room in the house that you spend so much time in. Give it an update and it might make it more enjoyable to be in.
Here is a peak into the design process for this job.... Hope it gives you some inspiration!
NEW ENGLAND PREPPY
Coral and navy was a must for this Master Bedroom in this beautiful renovated barn in Topsfield, MA. The house is located in the countryside, but has that modern farmhouse feel right on Main Street. The exposed beams and large plank wood floors were the perfect blank slate for me to work with. I love that my clients were so open to fun bright colors which I call "New England Preppy". Stay tuned for pictures when it all arrives on installation day.
The custom bedding fabrics are so luxurious. The Euro Shams are a perfect shade of coral and natural white with a print that is so classic and timeless. Its Schumacher Chenonceau, and comes in other beautiful shades too. I paired the coral with a soft quilt type fabric (Duralee 36130-736) for the King Shams and custom fit bedspread. The next in line on the bed is the 18" pillows. This taupe and off white fabric by Schumacher (Betwixt) has a wonderful texture that gives some dimension and softness to the bedding. This also adds another color to bring it all together. The 24" custom bolster with a textured trim in a plush blueberry velvet will finish up the line-up. (Duralee 36208)
The bed skirt is going to be pleated at the corners in the same fabric as the draperies. A beautiful sturdy woven fabric from Duralee.
The Chaise in the corner is the perfect chair to relax in. Because the ceilings are so high in the room, this is the perfect fit for not only the space, but for a tall husband to feel comfortable in as well. The fabric is in the same blueberry velvet as the bolster. Can't you just imagine their three little girls all cuddling up on the chair to read a book. The Chaise is from Lee Industries...one of my favorite furniture companies.
The custom bench is being upholstered in one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever used. Its a Jane Churchill from Cowtan and Tout. It has a velvety blue polka dot on top of a natural taupe/grey background...its going to look great at the end of the bed and across from the Chaise. They will compliment each other so seamlessly. The bench is also from Lee Industries.
I am adding the same blueberry velvet as a band to the drapes. The drapery fabric is a solid woven that will be perfect for years to come. I always like to keep it simple with the drapes and window treatments. I feel like the pillows and bedding can change over the years, but because of the investment of the treatments...you want to keep them classic.
The closet is any girls dream...so spacious with a large wooden island in the middle. There is only one window in the corner, so I am doing a Flat Front Roman in the same coral fabric as the Euro Shams.
I am so excited to see it all come together! These fabrics just make me happy. I hope they do the same for my clients for years to come.
One of the favorite parts of my job is to see designs transfer from a thought in my head to a design on paper and then to the real thing. I have been working on a Master Bath/Bedroom renovation in Newburyport and its almost complete. All that is left are the final touches of accessories, custom bedding, and my clients personal items. Below are a few shots of the progress.
I moved the bed to the the other wall, added windows above with a great navy and white striped roman shade, added paneling, new wall color, recessed lighting, and a 70" custom bench. The only thing left is the custom bedding.
The bathroom was enlarged to fit a stand up shower - we extended one of the walls in the bedroom. We moved the toilet to another wall, added a two sink custom vanity, and beautiful tiles throughout.
MAKING A BED...From head to foot
A cozy properly made bed is a must!! Its one of the easiest things you can do to keep a bedroom looking fresh and updated…and can be so comfortable. Change your pillows out for the different seasons and add some color!
There are no rules, but here are some guidelines that you can follow that I use in every bedroom I design. Have fun!
Oh...a bench at the end of the bed is also a must to keep the pillows off the floor at night.
Full or Queen size bed
- 2 Sleeping Pillows
- 2 Euro Shams (26 x 26)
- 2 Pillow Shams that match the Duvet
- Sheets in Ivory or White
- A bolster or interesting pillow
- A Matelasse or solid Quilt on top of the sheets (tucked in and sheets folded back) I love the pick-stitch quilt from Pottery Barn. http://www.potterybarn.com/products/pick-stitch-quilt-sham/?
- A duvet in a cover that matches the shams
- Bedskirt with a box pleat depending on how formal of the room, you can pleat it every few inches, or have fewer pleats for a more masculine or contemporary look.
This was bedding I had custom made for a client on Anna Maria Island. I love the punch of orange mixed with the blue and green silk pillows. So beachy yet sophisticated. This is the pick -stitch quilt and shams too.
This is a bed from one of my favorite Coastal Designers Erika Powell from Urban Grace Interiors. I love the muted colors and soft print on the pillows.
I had a bolster like this made for my bed. I just have to keep my sons from using it like a weapon with they are wrestling!
I followed the same rules when designing my son Thomas's room. Get your kids involved with making the beds in the morning. I have Thomas karate chop his Euro Shams. He thinks its great!
Notice the Pick-Stitch Quilt here too...
I recently made these selections for a modern master bedroom I am working on in Belmont.
Sitting around the Thanksgiving table a few weeks ago, my son Thomas had an assignment from school that we all participated in. It was a wonderful idea and really got me thinking.
He had a paper bag (of course decorated like a turkey with his hand print on the top) and some torn up white pieces of paper that everyone was supposed to write on what we were thankful for. We put all of our answers on the paper and put them in the paper bag...including my brother and sister-in law’s dog.
During dinner my niece Megan picked out one piece at a time and read what we were all thankful for. As she started reading all of our answers there was a constant between all of us around the table.
We are all thankful for our FAMILY.
With all of the material things we have in our lives…the one thing that means so much to all of us are the ones that we love and want to be with, especially this time of year.
When designing our homes, a great way to keep those special smiles and hugs in our hearts is to display pictures.
There is nothing better to bring a smile to my face or to remember a special moment than to glance at a picture on my wall.
Photographer Kristina Young in Topsfield captured a life changing event in my life…my son John’s first steps. It’s a moment that I will cherish forever.
Surround yourself in your home with things you love especially your family.
As said in my favorite holiday movie (It sound better when Hugh Grant says it with his English accent)
“General opinion started to make out that we're living in a world of hatred and greed. But I don't see that, seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually IS all around.”
Start with your Christmas tree. Every year I add a picture ornament to the tree.
My hope is to have a Christmas tree full of pictures of our family. The boys love to look at the pictures every year.
I love a picture wall! This is a design from one of my clients in Florida...the wonderful David and JoAnne Klement. JoAnne wanted to showcase pictures of her late parents. Be free with the design and have fun putting it together.
Always use large chunky frames. I buy a lot of my frames for the picture walls I do for clients at Ikea. They come in large sizes and included great mats.
Instead of hanging a large amount of small pictures on your walls. Choose a few of your favorite ones. Have them printed really large ( I use mpix.com) and put them in a really large frame.
Also don't be afraid the hang the frames lower on the wall.
So simple...yet so classic. Love groups of three.
So this year add some LOVE to your home. Hang a picture!!!
A SNEAK PEAK...
I was on site today to check in on a master bedroom/ bathroom renovation that I am working on in Newburyport. I was so excited to see all the progress that has taken place in the last 4 weeks. I thought I would share a few pictures to show you a little inside of how the design process works. I love what I do, and feel so excited to see a design that I sketched out on a piece of paper come to life!
IT ALL STARTS WITH A FLOOR PLAN
The existing master bedroom had a tiny little bathroom that was really outdated.
My clients goals where to create a spacious bathroom, a work area that felt separated from the bedroom, and a place for the king size bed.
I changed out the existing one window on the wall where the bed is now to three smaller windows that are higher on the wall. This way the room still has a lot of light coming in as well as creating the perfect space for the king size bed.
I pushed out the existing walls in the bathroom to make room for a stand-up shower. I moved the window that was currently far to the left on the exterior wall to the center to create a double vanity and moved the toilet to the other wall.
I added lots of new electrical work to accommodate the new office space needs, Lots of recessed lighting... a must in any of my designs, and a space for the large screen TV near the closet. The closet is also getting a makeover with new custom shelves and drawers.
I added beadboard on all the walls and a new custom bench for the end of the bed.
MY FAVORITE STEP...THE PRODUCTS!!
Love this mosaic tile from New Raveanna!
The work has started and the builder is doing a fabulous job. The chunky beadboard with the good size chair rail adds that custom look that I just love!
Today we picked out our final paint selections.
The job should be done in the next couple weeks. So excited for my clients to have their new master bedroom before Christmas! Can't wait to show you how it all came together...
My name is Anne and this is my blog. I am a wife, an interior designer, and the mother of three rambunctious little blonde haired boys, Thomas, John, and Nate. I am passionate about design, my family, gardening, antiques, traveling, and spending time at the beach or anywhere near the water.