Modern Plug in Swing Arm Wall Sconce Set of 2- https://amzn.to/3R3Sgft
Mellanni 100% Faux Leather Pillow Cover- https://amzn.to/3woznKI
Decorative Pillow and Sham Stuffer for Bed- https://amzn.to/3Xy7Hin
Mellanni Extra Deep Pocket Sheet Set- https://amzn.to/3D9qb0E
ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner- https://amzn.to/3kwr8cV
ChomChom Pet Hair Remover- https://amzn.to/3H8Ffgm
Zober Premium Wrapping Paper Storage Container- https://amzn.to/3CLltGa
Quility Weighted Blanket- https://amzn.to/3IGUXl8
CAROTE Nonstick Granite Cookware Sets- https://amzn.to/3GEz5nJ
Simple Modern 30 oz Tumbler with Lid and Straw- https://amzn.to/3khbrq5
BSOD Rechargeable Light Bulbs with Remote Controller- https://amzn.to/3WewLJU
Koopala LED Wall Sconce- https://amzn.to/3ZDd69l
Nathan James Beacon Modern Storage- https://amzn.to/3Xt0ik1
ROVOGO Shower Panel Tower with Rainfall Waterfall Shower Head - https://amzn.to/3CCb9A6
PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlights- https://amzn.to/3Iv58Js
Loloi II Teagan Collection Denim/Mist- https://amzn.to/3W2lOuS
Home Techpro Rug Pads Grippers- https://amzn.to/3Grq9SA
Zinus 6 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress- https://amzn.to/3VTNRfX
Extra Small Silicone Chair Leg Floor Protectors- https://amzn.to/3XiF3kV
Brightever LED Outdoor String Lights 100FT- https://amzn.to/3Cde4yX
Rebound Patch (prevents hangovers)- 30 Patches- https://amzn.to/3VGeogT
Leulan Kitchen Cabinet Handles- https://amzn.to/3VFHxbX
GenSwin Flameless Ivory Taper Candles- https://amzn.to/3vz7nDG
6 pc Soft Bedding & Pillowcases Set- https://amzn.to/3CeqjM0
1. BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Cleaner- https://amzn.to/3I83Y6p
2. COSORI Air Fryer- https://amzn.to/3Vwno8b
3. Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine- https://amzn.to/3CuSJ4zBeckham
4. Hotel Collection Bed Pillows- https://amzn.to/3jz735p
5. Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra Robot Vacuum and Mop- https://amzn.to/3Vu52oe
6. Fullstar Vegetable Chopper- https://amzn.to/3FUqYmG
You probably spotted those gorgeous beams from my last blog post. How great do they look!? Guess what, they are faux wood! The kitchen and dining/living areas of my “Design To Own” project were lacking architectural character. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to put in some kind of detail on the ceiling. I originally was going to create faux beams out of wood but the cost of wood is still really high. I found faux beams made out of high density polyurethane from Outwater. Their Medium Oak Hand-Hewn beams are a perfect complement to the existing hand-hewn wood floors.
Photo Credit: Outwater
Outwater faux beams are lightweight, easy to install, and relatively affordable. They have a few different collections so you are bound to find a style that works for you. Also, you can customize their beams with gel stain or paint if their stock colors aren’t exactly what you need.
Outwater also offers accessories for their beams. I used these Beam Straps that are made out of rubber to add another layer of texture and detail to the beams. Honestly, unless you climb up on a ladder or chair, you can’t tell the beams or straps aren’t real.
Photo Credit: Outwater
A few other ways I've added more architectural interest in past projects include adding paneling to walls, building out faux or ethanol fireplaces, and installing wood slats on walls/ceilings.
For my Edgemont project blow, I combined two architectural features to create a very warm and inviting living room. Simple panels painted green and a black ventless ethanol fireplace created a focal point that this room desperately needed.
Sometimes just adding simple crown molding is all it takes to add visual interest to a space. For the duplex project below, I took it a step further by adding another layer of molding about 16 inches down from the crown molding, and painting it all black. The modeling really pops and draws your eyes up and around the room.
Probably my favorite way to add architectural interest to a space is with wood slats. In my own home below, I took cheap furring strips you can get from any hardware store, and added them to the ceiling for an unexpected modern element. It adds SO MUCH texture and actually distracts you from the fact that the ceilings aren't all that tall.
I mean, talk about some major transformations by just adding some simple architectural elements!
FYI, Outwater has a showroom in Phoenix for those of you that want to go check out their products in person. They are located at: 4720 West Van Buren Street.
What is your favorite way to add architectural interest to an existing space?
You all know about “Design To Sell” where I go in and help homeowners get their homes ready to sell at top dollar by doing updates and staging. However, did you know I also do “Design To Own”? Basically, I help you fall back in love with your home by doing some design updates. Recently I helped some local homeowners with a refresh of their kitchen and family room. They knew what they liked but just needed help with the planning and execution of a design.
Today I want to talk about what I did in the kitchen. There are several ways to update/refresh a kitchen without doing a full gut remodel. One thing that you can do is update the countertops. However, you don’t necessarily have to replace all of the countertops. For this project I only replaced the island countertop with HanStone Quartz. This kitchen had a two-tiered island with faux stone on the back side that just made the whole kitchen feel outdated. The rest of the countertops were in good shape and contrasted well with the white cabinets that didn't get touched.
To make the island more functional I made it all counter height and substantially increased the size. I was able to keep costs down by reusing the same base cabinet. To cap it off, I painted the island Chinchilla by Behr to contrast with the new slab of white quartz.
When deciding what countertop to put on the new island, I knew I wanted to balance out the dark countertops that remained in the rest of the kitchen. So, I chose a lovely slab of Calacatta Venato by HanStone Quartz that I sourced locally from ESI Arizona. Calacatta Venato quartz is light and bright, has subtle veining, and a touch of warmth that pairs well with the existing black countertops and freshly painted island.
A few additional updates to the kitchen included reorienting the pendant lighting to match the length of the island and adding a fourth light, installing a white zellige tile backsplash, adding black cabinet hardware to the island, gold pulls and hexagon knobs to the other cabinets, and sourcing some leather barstools.
Now the kitchen has a very fresh and updated feeling that also functions better.
If you need helping falling back in love with your home, head to the “Services” section of my website to see the virtual design services I offer.
I love well styled shelves but I get it, it can be hard to get it right. I had a ton of fun styling all the office shelves for the high-rise condo project. So, today I want to go over the basics of styling shelves with some Do’s and Don’ts sprinkled throughout. Before you know it you will be a pro shelf styler!
The first thing you want to do when styling shelves is remove everything that is currently being displayed. It's best to start with a blank canvas so you can better see the space as a whole. This also gives you a chance to take a look at everything you have and see what you might want to add before beginning. The high-rise condo didn't have any existing built-in shelves so I used four of these Stairway bookshelves from CB2 to create an entire wall of shelving in the office. So many shelves to play with!
What Items To Use
You have an endless number of options when it comes to objects to style shelves with. Chances are you have most of what you need already. I recommend shopping your own home before buying new pieces.
This is an obvious one! However, there are a few ways to style books. Don’t just stack them vertically with spines out. Lay some flat either individually with another object on top, or in stacks. Also, try to spread the books out so they aren’t all clustered together on one shelf. I like to vary the size of books I’m using. Art books are an easy way to add larger books and you can typically find them for cheap at secondhand bookstores or thrift stores.
Something new I did when styling the condo shelves was backwards books! It's a modern way to style a bookcase in a space where you don't want color to steal the show. These books were my Mom's and all of them were in my childhood home growing up. I've used them for staging over the past few years where you've seen the other side of them, but now they've found their new home for a while and it's time for the pages to enjoy the view!
Artwork, Framed Photos, Mirrors
These items are great to add into the mix because they tend to be bigger and are great to layer with. I like to first place a piece of artwork or framed photo in the back of a shelf and then add smaller objects in front in order to build some dimension. You can also hang artwork or even a mirror on the front of shelves for an unexpected twist. I got this large Sunburst Mirror from At Home and I think it was the finishing touch the wall of shelves needed.
Greenery and Flowers
You can literally add some life to you shelves with plants! Plants and flowers are a great way to incorporate texture. If your shelves don’t get much natural light, faux plants or dried flowers are the way to go. Target and IKEA usually have a selection of good faux plants. If you want to splurge a bit for more realistic looking faux plants, head to Afloral.
Truly you can use pretty much anything to style a shelf. I often use ceramics, sculptures, and baskets. The key is getting objects of different sizes so when it comes time to place them, you have a variety of different sized objects to work with. Also, don’t be afraid to add in an unexpected item or two. I added a Himalayan Salt Lamp which creates a nice glow in the condo office.
How To Style
I try to keep to a general color palette when styling shelves so there is a cohesive look in the end. I recommend spreading out all the objects you are considering using on the floor and look for any repeating colors. Try to keep your palette to two or three colors and then mix in neutral colors like white, cream, and gray. In the condo I kept the palette to whites and creams so everything popped from the black walls. Whatever your palette ends up being, make sure to spread out the color across all the shelves.
Don’t just consider the color palette of the objects your styling, also keep in mind the color of your shelves and walls (if visible). I wanted some contrast between the white shelves and objects in the office so I painted the walls the color Broadway Black by Behr. You could also wallpaper the backs of shelves for some fun visual interest.
The end goal of styling shelves is to have a cohesive and balanced look. I always start out by placing large pieces or the 'anchors’. I can then build from there with other objects. What you don’t want to do is have a lot of repetition. Mix things up on each shelf by varying the height, size, and color of objects. Making groupings of items is an easy way to create visual interest. The last tip I have for laying out shelves is switching up the placement and number of groupings or items on each shelf. For example, if one shelf has one object centered, the shelves below and above should have more than one object or grouping, and be placed off-centered. This creates a path for your eyes to follow from shelf to shelf. The image below shows this well. P.S. how cute is that Cynthia Marble Writing Desk from Living Spaces?!
The beautiful thing about styling shelves is that nothing is permanent. You can have fun rearranging as you get new stuff or for the holidays. What is your favorite thing to display on shelves?
In my not so humble opinion, (This is 'The House Judge' blog after all) countertops can make or break a kitchen design. They are the workhorse of the kitchen, being used and abused daily but have to look good at the same time. One of the most, if not THE MOST versatile countertop materials is quartz. I’m excited that I’ve been able to develop a longtime partnership with my favorite quartz countertop manufacturer HanStone, and thrilled to reveal to you today the high-rise kitchen design in which I used HanStone throughout. I'm going to just touch a little on what quartz is and how quartz countertops are made, and then take you through the kitchen design.
First off, what is quartz and how do you make quartz countertops? In short, quartz is a natural occurring mineral. When you mine quartz, crush it, and combine it with resin you can form quartz countertops. It is one of the hardest surfaces you can find for countertops, even harder than granite. Out of a scale of 1-10 on Mohs Hardness Scale (used to identify hardness of minerals) quartz comes in at a 7, and granite 6. Marble is way down at between 3-5. So yeah quartz is a pretty darn tough countertop material.
For the high-rise condo my over all design goal was modern elegance. In the kitchen I opened up things as much as possible to maximize views and create as much counter space as possible. I used continuous lines to elongate and elevate the space to make it feel more luxurious. The star of the show in this space is really the Montauk quartz countertops from HanStone, which I sourced via ESI. The color is ever so slightly warm with a soft marbling pattern. Have you ever hugged countertops because they were so beautiful? I haven’t either ;).
Did I mention how versatile quartz is? Why stop at using it for countertops when you can also use it as a backsplash and exhaust hood. How good does that quartz wrapped hood look over that Viking induction range?
With a lot of gray from the floors, and white in the quartz and painted ceiling, I wanted to bring in some warmth to the kitchen via the cabinets. I selected two cabinet finishes from Better Homes. For the perimeter cabinets I chose this gray/taupe finish that has a subtle textured pattern on it. For the island cabinets I choose walnut as a way to pay homage to the mid century vibe the entire building has. I've always loved incorporating two cabinet colors or finishes into my projects.
Another cool element I brought into the kitchen is a limestone wash backsplash from Limestrong, which is actually a continuation from the fireplace on the other side. Stay tuned for the living room reveal!
Every kitchen needs a sink (obviously) but I couldn’t move the location of the sink for this project. Instead I utilized a generously sized white under mount sink from Kraus, which blends pretty seamlessly with the countertops. The sink before was a stainless steel farmhouse sink that stood out like a sore thumb. The crowning jewel of this whole sink area is the Kraus faucet. Chefs kiss, don’t you agree?
Finishing kitchen touches include an amazing chandelier from CB2, table from IKEA, custom art from Juniper Print Shop, cabinet hardware from Amazon and barstools from Living Spaces. What is your favorite part of this kitchen?
Photo Credit: Emily Henderson
Back when I talked about the best paint colors to use to sell your home, I asked if it would be helpful to talk about how to pick white paint colors. A few of you said yes! So, today I’m telling you my two big tips on selecting white paint colors, showing you my four favorite white paints to use, and giving some other tips for picking any paint color.
My biggest tip in selecting a white paint is to take cues from the rest of the space and pick a white that plays off the color tones of everything else. Every white paint color is going to have some sort of a color undertone. For example if your room has very warm and rich wood floors, and furnishings, you’d want to pick a white that has a slight warm undertone to it (red, orange, yellow). Creating a spa bathroom with cool colored tiles? You guessed it, select a white that has a cooler undertone (blue, green, purple). If you keep this basic principal in mind, you’ve already pretty much won the battle of picking a white paint color.
My second big tip is in the vast majority of cases you don’t want to use a pure bright white paint color. Why not? Well, it will feel too stark and cold, or if you’re painting a dark room it will look blue and dingy. Pick a white paint that is a shade down (darker) from pure white.
Some of my favorite white paints are used in the images below. Normally I’d just show you a swatch of each paint color, but how boring would it be to just look at one white swatch after another?
Oxford White CC-30 Benjamin Moore
This is a good neutral white that can be used with both warm and cool tones.
Image Credit: sfgirlbybay
Polar Bear 75 Behr
Another neutral white that leans a little more on the warm side.
Image Credit: Behr
Paper White OC-55 Benjamin Moore
A brighter white with a gray/green undertones
Photo Credit: Benjamin Moore
Alabaster SW 7008 Sherwin Williams
A creamy white with a slight yellow undertone.
Photo Credit: Studio McGee
Hot Tips On Selecting Any Paint Color:
Personally I love the crispness of an all white room. There is so much versatility in how you can design the rest of the room. Do you have a favorite white paint color you swear by? Let me know down in the comments below.