Posts Tagged ‘Kitchen Remodel’

Kitchen Backsplash using Pebble Tile

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

When you think about home values there are three critical areas, the exterior landscaping, the master bathrooms and the kitchen.

Ah the kitchen, it really is the soul of our homes. It is where the happiest moments of family life are spent and where celebrations are commenced and where almost every party ends up . Therefore, every single part of the kitchen should not only be functional but it should also be aesthetically pleasing. It should reveal the homeowners personality and complement the rest of the home’s interior design. Despite its importance, bathroom floors and patios become top priorities when we talk of remodeling and kitchen backsplashes somehow become irrelevant.

Saddly, most homeowners are unaware that kitchen backsplashes are a really cheap fix for brightening and updating a kitchen . They enhance the ambiance of the area and update a kitchen in about two days labor time. Mosaic tiles, glass, stone and ceramic plus stainless steel are the most common kitchen backsplash materials . However,  pebble tiles are a unique option that is not on most peoples radar and that is what makes them so distinctive.

The stones for most pebble tiles are found in Asian and in islands of Indonesia.  100% natural, they offer warm earthy textures yet are remarkably modern. More common for shower walls, and flooring,kitchen backsplashes  have become a new consideration amongst designers.

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Hawaian Designer Styles for Less

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Interior designer Chuen Yee uses surplus materials, online bargains outlets like Design-4-less.com and big-box fixtures to accomplish a million-dollar makeover on a St. Louis Heights home.

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 28, 2013

Interior walls and flat ceilings were removed during the remodeling of this St. Louis Heights home, creating a sense of spaciousness inside while also inviting visitors to look out and enjoy the panoramic view of downtown Honolulu.

COURTESY CHUEN YEE
The rectangular shape of the kitchen cabinets and countertops is accentuated by tile backsplash that designer Chuen Yee found online at Design-4-less.com.
The spacious master bathroom has hotel-standard accents, including an electronic window shade that lets you enjoy the view while bathing.
A bioethanol-fueled fireplace adds color and liveliness to the television nook, but doesn’t bake the screen.

The original structure had dark, small rooms that didn’t take advantage of the view.
Bargain shopping makes a luxurious home makeover more affordable.

Interior designer Chuen Yee and her client knew they had hit the jackpot when they came across a fixer-upper in St. Louis Heights.

The dilapidated, 1950s-era house opened out into a “million-dollar view” of downtown Hono­lulu and the ocean, said Yee, of MCYIA Interior Architecture and Design.

“Before he bought it he brought me here, and I was like, Oh, you have to get this.’ I saw the view and thought it had potential,” she said.

The house itself wasn’t much to speak of. Built on a steep slope, it had the typical-for-the-times flat ceiling and tiny, closed-off spaces for the kitchen and two bedrooms. The house stood on high stilts, with dirt underneath visible through a few slats, but there was no deck. Small windows were poorly positioned, in some cases providing a view “to nowhere,” Yee said. “It didn’t take advantage of any views.”

In what she called a “Tropical Modern Metamorphosis,” Yee transformed the house to take full advantage of the panorama and create a space suitable for entertaining, which were the prime objectives of her client. The house won an award in 2012 from the local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.

The total budget for the project was $325,000, but about $200,000 of that went for a major reconstruction project that involved removing interior walls and ceilings, adding structural elements to hold up the roof, building a master bedroom suite on the ground floor and constructing a lanai that towers over the backyard and makes the view feel even more commanding than it really is.

Yee’s client, an executive at Aulani, a Disney Resort Spa in Ko Olina, wanted a home of similar luxury standards but with a less extravagant budget. Yee was able to accomplish this by mixing and matching surplus material and searching the Internet for special deals, often finding odds and ends that went with custom features.

Yee, in a statement about her approach to the project, said she employed “a monochromatic palette of industrial and organic elements” to create “a balance of yin-yang with a masculine, clean-lined look.”

The cabinetry, for example, is oak stained a dark brown, with custom features such as small niches for flower vases or other knickknacks, and a special drawer for cellphones. That makes them “more like furniture than cabinets,” said Yee, a native of Thailand who specialized in interior design for the hospitality industry before turning to private residences.

Countertops throughout the home are white Caesarstone, a manufactured quartz product known for the purity of its color. While the owner negotiated a deal on the materials and the workmanship for the kitchen, Yee went on the Internet to find material for a suitable backsplash. She found tile patterned in brown, gray and white rectangles, which matched the color and shape of the counter and cabinets from Design For Less.

The bathrooms also feature Caesarstone counters, but those were made of remnants bought at a discount from local stone suppliers. Having the remnants installed in an unusual pattern added a unique touch of luxury, she said. The bathrooms are also tiled in the brown-and-white rectangular pattern, which Yee also found online.

“It’s cheaper on the Internet than here by sometimes half,” said Yee, who recommended Amazon and design-4-less.com for specialty tile, Lumens.com for lighting fixtures and chiasso.com and allmodern.com for accessories and furniture. (Be sure to check shipping costs, she said.)

For many other items, such as doors, faucets and light fixtures, big-box hardware stores were adequate, she said. On the ocean side of the house, for example, the owner originally wanted NanaWall folding glass windows that would have created a view unobstructed by posts or frames. Those would have cost up to $30,000.

“That ate too much of the budget, so this is all from Home Depot,” Yee said, motioning to more traditional sliding doors that cost a few hundred dollars each.

The dark flooring is solid wire-brushed and hand-scraped bamboo, which is inexpensive and sustainable yet also adds a touch of natural elegance to the open living room and kitchen, which during the day is filled with light. At night an open fireplace produces a warm ambience ” but it runs on bioethanol and produces no waste and so little heat that it doesn’t affect the flat-screen television mounted on the wall behind it.

Yee’s husband, Michael, an engineer who helped out with some of the structural details of the project, said the renovation shows what can be done with an older home and a bit of savvy from the owner and the designer.

“Ordinarily, a person would come to look at this, and wanting a semi luxurious house, they probably would have torn it down and started anew,he said. “This is really an ingenious way to  have that million-dollar look without spending a million dollars.”

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So are you dying to try a stencil?!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I came across this great post from our friends at I heart Nap Time about stenciling. If you haven’t heard of Royal Design Studio you have been missing out! They have fabulous stencils in an array of shapes and sizes that are so easy to use! I have been dying to try this at my own home! I heart Nap Time put the stencils to the test and the results are fabulous! Below you will find the process they followed to achieve this look:

Tools

I started out with the fabric damask stencil, roller foam brushes, painters tape (which I later replaced with duck tape), stencil adhesive and lots of paper towels.

Basically what you will do is spray your stencil with spray adhesive and then tape it to the wall (lining it up correctly). Then you’ll roll the brush in the paint. Make sure to roll some of the excess paint off onto the paper towels before rolling the brush onto the stencil to avoid bleeding.

I SO wish I had a picture of me and my husband trying to tape up the stencil the first time around. It was pretty hilarious. I was trying to hold the stencil standing on a little stool, as my husband tried to tape it up. We could not get that stencil to hold for the life of us. Our textured ceilings were making it very difficult. My neck and arms hurt so bad…. we gave up! The next night I gave it another try and decided to use duck tape. Our ceilings are so textured, that the painters tape just wasn’t cutting it. Once I got the stencil up with duck tape it really wasn’t too bad. So if you have textured wall use DUCK TAPE! ;)

Process

The hard part was trying to piece the patterns together.  I love this stencil because it gives you so many different marks to line up. It was a little difficult looking straight up trying to find the little marks…however, I’m sure it would have been A LOT easier if I was looking straight at it. Once I did a few stencils and got the hang of it, it really wasn’t that bad. I would paint one stencil, take a break for ten minutes while the paint dried and then move onto the next. I did this over two nights. I’m not going to lie… my arms and neck were hurting by the end of the night! LOL!

Final Result

However now that is is done I am in LOVE! It has already opened up that tiny space and added so much personality. Doesn’t it look so awesome?! I love how it turned out! I’m already dreaming up what to stencil next.

Final Result

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DIY: Make the Headboard From HGTV Green Home 2012!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I’m OBSESSED with HGTV Green Home 2012. The one and only downside to working at HGTV: I can’t enter to win this drool-worthy home. I could whine about it all day long, but that just means that you, my friends, need to get busy and enter twice per day, everyday, so I can come visit all the time. (HGTV par-tay!) In the meantime, if you’re dying to bring in some Green Home charm to your casa, why not take inspiration directly from the home itself? One of my favorite rooms is the master bedroom; it’s so soothing with a natural green, blue and brown color palette. The most eye-catching part of the room, though, is the raffia-upholstered headboard that goes all the way up to the ceiling. You’re dying to make it, aren’t you? We have the step-by-step instructions below, and you’ll be shocked at how simple it is.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom headboard

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Cut fabric into 16″ x 16″ squares. Lay a single fabric square down, center the padding on top of the fabric, and then center a 12″ x 12″ plywood square on top of the padding and fabric square. Press one side of the board down, sandwiching the padding between the fabric and the board. Fold the fabric over the side of the board and staple, starting in the center and working toward the edges. Leave 2 inches upstapled on each side of the corners. Continue stapling all other sides.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Staple the corners. Lay out five of your finished upholstered squares, face-down, edge-to-edge. Make sure the squares are perfectly aligned, and then add a 1″ x 4″ board on top of the seam between the two headboard segments. Place pilot holes (one per square) in the board, centered along the edge. Continue this process for the remaining upholstered squares. Follow the instructions for the French cleat packaging to attach your completed headboard to the wall.

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

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7th Street Residence

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Located in the East Village, this contemporary duplex apartment was designed by Pulltab Design. The clients requested that the 2, 400 sq ft space be renovated with unique architectural additions. What the clients wanted to achieve was a warm, open environment with unique detailing throughout. Some of the finishes selected in the space include Steel, Bronze, Stained Concrete, American Black Walnut and high gloss lacquer surfaces. The Living Room / Dining Room area are the heart of the apartment, a stunning planted garden wall was designed to create a focal point between both spaces. This garden wall is accented by a shallow reflecting pool below, which is designed to serve as an irrigation system. Simply Stunning!

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

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Domino Magazine Fans Rejoice!

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

For those of you that were heartbroken like me when Domino Magazine was shut down, I’ve got great news! Conde Nast has decided to bring back a special print edition of the magazine called Domino Quick Fixes. This publication will be a compilation of the magazines best home decorating tips, tricks and design stories. The publications will focus on the best ways to dramatically change the look of your home without breaking the bank. Domino Quick Fixes will be a great tool for anybody looking to create something unique in their space. Domino Quick Fixes will be available on national newsstands from April 17 through July 16 2012, for $11.00.  A second special edition scheduled for the Fall. Can’t wait!

Domino Magazine

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Design Find, Surrealist Scents!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Fornasetti’s second scent collection features a signature blend of thyme, lavender, cedarwood, and balsam in each candle. The ceramic pots feature orange-eyed owls and ruby lips, among other signature motifs, all of which make for chic keepsake objects once the wax has melted away. The full collection is available at www.barneys.com. LOVE, LOVE LOVE!

Fornasetti Candles!

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DIY Kitchen Backsplash Install!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

I have been getting a lot of requests for DIY kitchen backsplash guidelines. I found this easy to follow guideline that anyone can use!

Materials and Tools:

bucket
bleach
sponges
laundry detergent
rubber gloves
level
tape measure
grout floats
putty knife
wide trowel
toothed trowel
wet saw or tile cutter
safety glasses
grout
tiles
pre-mixed tile adhesive
caulk and caulking gun
grout sealer
paintbrush

Steps:

1. Clean the surface thoroughly first to remove all grease and residue. Mix together 1/4-cup laundry powder, 1/2-cup bleach and one gallon of water and scrub the wall with a sponge. Wear rubber gloves when scrubbing.

2. Use a putty knife to scrape off stubborn, built-up grease stains

3. Measure the length of the wall and mark the midpoint.

4. Dry-fit the tiles, starting in the middle to get an idea of how things will fit. If you’re fitting tiles in below a window, bring tiles up to the bottom of the window. Use a level to extend the window line along the wall.

5. Since the row just below the window will be made up of full tiles, measure the remaining space to the counter to determine how wide to cut the tiles.

6. Put on safety glasses and cut smaller tiles using a wet saw.

7. Spread grout along a section of the wall using a wide trowel. Go back over the grout with a toothed trowel to smooth everything out.

8. Start sticking tiles to the wall. Press and twist just a bit to set each tile in the adhesive. Stagger the tiles to make the pattern more interesting.

9. Once the last piece is in place let the adhesive cure overnight. Come back the next day for a grout party.

10. Apply the grout with a rubber grout float. Hold the float at an angle and force grout into the joints.

11. Don’t worry about smearing grout all over the tiles. Come back with a clean grout float and sponge and remove as much as you can.

12. Once all the joints are nice and full of grout, use a damp sponge to remove any remaining grout from the surface of the tiles.

13. Let the grout dry and polish tiles with clean, soft cloth to buff away any remaining haze.

14. Rub a damp sponge along the grout lines for the next few days so the grout cures properly. Also run a bead of caulk along the bottom and top of the tile backsplash.

15. After another week or so, paint the joints with grout sealer.

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Tigerwood Porcelain!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Tigerwood Porcelain is the newest addition to our already distinctive Porcelain Collection. If you have not seen these tiles, be prepared to fall in love! The first thing you need to know about this tile is that it is through-body, making them perfect not only for residential projects but also for commercial projects! The Tigerwood Porcelain comes in a 12″ x 24″ rectangular configuration, with a really cool striped pattern throughout. The best part? Prices start at $8.00 per sq ft delivered! I have attached the 4 colors it is available in and a couple of installation images below!

Birch Tigerwood

Ash Tigerwood

Almond Tigerwood

Black Tigerwood

Birch Tigerwood Installation

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Frosted Blanco Kitchen Installation!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Thank you to my good client Chappy from Corte Madera, CA for sending me these beautiful shots of his kitchen remodel.  Chappy used the Frosted Blanco 3″ x 6″ Subway Tile as a backsplash and it looks so chic! This project is one of our finalists for the quarterly installation contest, have you submitted your pictures yet? Time is running out!

Frosted Blanco 3" x 6" Subway Tile Backsplash

Frosted Blanco 3" x 6" Subway Backsplash

Frosted Blanco 3" x 6" Subway Backsplash

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