Video Tour Of One Of Our Recent Projects! Master Suite

Video Tour Of One Of Our Recent Projects! Master Suite

I am so excited to show you the transformation of this master bedroom and bathroom space that we recently completed. Our homeowners were troopers as they were both working from home in adjacent bedrooms during the construction of their project.

When I first met with these homeowners and toured the master bedroom and bathroom, it became clear to me that they were looking for a much more luxurious master suite space.

The bedroom was dark, and my homeowners wanted to update everything, including adding a luxurious master bath. The original master bath was very small and dated with a very small window and a very small master shower stall with no light. After reviewing all of my client’s needs, I created a design that would transform the space into a luxurious master bedroom and bathroom suite.

We needed to create some additional storage space in the two existing small closets without adding to the room’s space. We added some additional space by incorporating a small jut out in the bedroom that currently held a dresser. So, we had to do our best to create useful storage and meet the needs by reconfiguring and customizing the space.

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The master bedroom design included additional lighting, fixtures, a new color scheme, new carpeting, custom window treatments, custom bedding, and new furniture. This beautiful blue and white color scheme is classic and has created a restful environment for the master bedroom suite. When designing custom bedding and window treatments, we can design all the details of every piece, including trim, cording, filling, and the exact size of every pillow. We could bring in color, texture, and pattern that complemented the design by choosing beautiful designer fabrics. In the Master bathroom, I wanted to create the feeling of a luxurious spa-like bathroom. Beautiful porcelain tile was used on the flooring. I created a custom shower with the same porcelain tile, designed niches for storage, shower seat, and added beautiful gleaming chrome fixtures.

I designed the vanity with plenty of storage and included quartz countertops, under-mounted sinks, beautiful high-quality lighting, and tall mirrors to elongate the space. Custom window treatments here were designed to tie in the custom fabric work in the adjacent bedroom. Of course, my team of highly skilled craftsmen pulled together to implement this design with high-quality artistry, right down to the final details. I am so happy to share this quick video tour to show you the transformation of the space. Check out the before and after. My videographer added in my quick “demo day before video” to show you the transformation.

Also, I am thrilled to share this quick testimonial from my lovely client:

“A renovation project can be a daunting task, but Gia and her team make it as easy and painless as possible! Starting from the initial tour of our space, Gia was extremely knowledgeable, professional, and equipped with ideas on how to best reconfigure our space to meet our needs. At every phase of our project, from design to planning, selecting fixtures and finishes, construction, and more, Gia was always accessible, communicative, and kept the project on track, on time, and on a budget! Her team was highly skilled and respectful of our home as they worked keeping things neat and tidy despite the typical construction environment. We are beyond thrilled with our finished project and appreciate how smoothly and professionally Gia and the team got us to the finish line. I especially loved how Gia guided my choices on fabrics and other finishes without imposing her own preferences; she even said, “I can tell you if these will work together, you have to decide if you like them!” and that allowed me the space to choose finishes I really loved, knowing that the overall design would still work. I highly recommend Designs by Gia!” …LC

Thank you, LC, for the great testimonial! I enjoyed getting to know you and your family and enjoyed creating this luxurious space for you!

Until Next Time,
Gia

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Tips For Surviving Your Bathroom Renovation

Tips For Surviving Your Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to renovating, the bathroom is one area that homeowners are excited about transforming. When designing a bathroom, many homeowners find out that having a well-thought-out professional design is the key to a successful project.

Unfortunately, some homeowners realize this once their renovation is well underway and their project takes longer than necessary. Either way, a bathroom renovation can take a toll on your everyday life. Here are a few tips to surviving your bathroom renovation.

broken floor tile

ONE

Do not start construction unless you have a professional design. A bathroom renovation is complicated, oversimplifying the process because you don’t know all of the details you need to know to design space can cost homeowners enormous additional time and money. The best way to succeed with the bathroom renovation is to capitalize on the experience of the pros and know that your design will work and accomplish your goals.

TWO

Prepare for the fact that you will be without a bathroom for the entire renovation. In past blog posts, I’ve talked about the process of deciding where to start in a home renovation. A second-floor bath renovation might require plumbing and electrical work that affects the downstairs rooms under the bathroom. So if you have two bathrooms aligned on the first and second floor, any work you might’ve done on the first-floor bath might be affected when you’re renovating the second-floor bath. So if you can start upstairs, most of the time, that’s your best bet. If you can do one bathroom at a time, this will still leave you with a working bathroom throughout your renovation project. If that remaining bathroom does not have a shower or a tub, you’ll have to make plans accordingly.

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THREE

Many of my clients decide to do a few bathrooms at the same time to be more efficient. This is an excellent option if you can live offsite for the duration of the project. If you have that option, consider doing more than one bathroom at a time, making the process more efficient, which could provide some cost savings in the long run.

FOUR

Don’t underestimate the amount of time that it takes to do a bathroom renovation. Most people assume that because the bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in their home, that it will be a quicker process than it is. Your bathroom is put together like a jigsaw puzzle. One element goes in, and then the other element fits into place; only then can the next step be taken. So numerous things really cannot be done at once. Also, you can only have a few people working in the bathroom because of the amount of space that there is. This makes the project more labor-intensive, causing it to take more time. Also, elements like a custom shower require several steps. Templating a custom glass shower enclosure can only be done after all of the tiles are in place, then those custom-sized tempered glass pieces can be cut and sized accordingly before installation. So there is some waiting time between templating and the installation. These elements make the process take longer and can be frustrating when you don’t understand the logistics that go into a bathroom renovation.

FIVE

I understand that you might see lots of framing, plumbing work, and electrical work before you start to catch a glimpse of the finished project. All of these elements are necessary to complete a bathroom renovation, and they take time. Understand that you will not see the transformation in the early stages of your renovation.

SIX

Your bathroom renovation might affect some areas in the rest of your home. We’ve already talked about adjacent areas being affected by the possibility of plumbing and electrical. However, the process of renovating a bathroom requires space. A bathroom usually doesn’t have a lot of additional floor space. Therefore tools, materials, and lumber needed for your project cannot all be stored in the bathroom space while the renovation is happening. For our bathroom projects, we time our deliveries knowing exactly what we need on-site to save space and keep things organized; however, even under the best circumstances, carpenters need lots of tools and supplies to do their job. We always discuss with our clients before starting our renovation to let our clients know what to expect and prepare the job site to minimize the impact on our clients.

SEVEN

The idea of a beautiful new bathroom can be very exciting. You will be tempted to buy accessories, towels, and all kinds of elements to go into your new space throughout the process. Your designer would be glad to assist with these details, and this will provide you with the best possible finishing touches to your project.

EIGHT

Renovations take time, and sometimes unexpected elements pop up during construction and demolition. These things can extend your project time. When starting the bathroom renovation, don’t give yourself unnecessary deadlines. If you plan on having house guests for Christmas, a wedding, or any other hard deadline, you should begin the process of talking with a designer at least a year or so ahead of that deadline. You are allowing time for the design process, contractor scheduling, ordering materials, and of course, the actual renovation processes. You don’t want to be rushing the final finishing when investing in a bathroom renovation.

NINE

Enjoy the final results. Your bathroom renovation is something that you will enjoy for years to come. With proper planning and implementation, your bathroom project will exceed your expectations.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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Tips For Starting Out Fresh In A New Home

Tips For Starting Out Fresh In A New Home

As an interior designer, I’ve had the privilege of assisting numerous clients in getting settled into a new home. Whether that is an existing client or a new client, people consider hiring a designer to figure out their new spaces. It’s an exciting time to start fresh, but it could be a monumental task. Not only are you weary from the process of shopping for a home, buying the home, and packing. You now have to think about how you’re going to use that new space and how it will work for your family.

The design of the new home might be very different from your existing space. And you might not have spent a lot of time in this new home as of yet, so it can be hard thinking about how you want to use the different areas and how they will function for you. You also might be thinking about how you can use existing furniture pieces in your home. Do you need to buy new things? Will your area rugs fit in your new furniture arrangement? What about window treatment? If you have time, should you attempt any projects before moving in? These are questions that run through every homebuyers head when thinking about making that transition to a new property.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

ONE

Thoroughly document your new home. Take photos and measure rooms; look at the existing condition in the new home so that you can make a plan before you move. Create a plan of where things will go and what needs to be done in each space. This will help you wrap your head around the numerous tasks that need to be accomplished before transitioning to your new home.

TWO

Decide how you want your daily life to function differently in your new space. Perhaps you have a larger kitchen in your new home and want to new space to be more of the heart of your home. Will that kitchen function the way you need to function as is, or are there other changes you will need to make in the space. The kitchen is one of those areas where numerous tasks are performed daily. Additional space in the kitchen, a larger room, doesn’t always add up to a more functional kitchen. Think about what you are trying to accomplish in your new home and whether or not it could be done with the existing kitchen, or you might require a renovation.

THREE

Look at the storage in your new home. Again larger spaces don’t necessarily add up to better storage. You might have to rethink the way that you store things in your new home. For instance, your existing home might have a large linen closet. Your new home might be larger but without a needed linen closet. You might have to make up for that storage by adding a closet or a piece of furniture that will function as that much-needed linen in storage.

FOUR

Involve a pro before you make expensive mistakes. The most common costly mistakes are jumping into a renovation without a design, purchasing random pieces of new furniture without a well-thought-out plan, selecting new paint colors before you know what will be in the space. These are just a few examples of mistakes that new homeowners make in the early stages of homeownership. It’s understandable because it can be exciting to anticipate moving into your new space, and you want to design and decorate as quickly as possible to settle into your new home. Time taken to review and think out an overall design plan could save thousands of dollars and could produce a more remarkable result in the end.

FIVE

Once you move into your new space, it might feel and function differently than you initially thought it would. Don’t rush to make significant floor plan changes before moving into space, or at least until spending a considerable amount of time in the space.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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Selecting The Right Paint Finish For Your Project

Selecting The Right Paint Finish For Your Project

You’ve spent weeks or months agonizing over selecting a paint color only to realize that you have another decision to make. What finish do you want your paint to have? The finish is important because the paint finish or sheen that your finished paint project has is just as important as the color selection. Paint comes in all types of finishes, a flat or matte finish, a pearl finish, eggshell finish, semi-gloss finish, and high-gloss finishes. Depending on the brand of paint that you are using, those finishes could be called by numerous other names and can be broken down into different finishes.

For instance, Benjamin Moore has a flat finish and an eggshell finish. Somewhere between that falls their pearl finish, slightly less sheen than the eggshell, somewhat more sheen than the flat. All of these various finishes can be used to create a different result. If I wanted a wall to have a more velvety look and texture, I would choose something with less of a sheen. If I were painting a room filled with new custom cabinetry, I might opt for more of a sheen in my finished paint. The cabinets will reflect more light and give you a much different result and a flat or finish paint.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

So how do you know where to start in the selection of a paint finish?
Here are a few tips:

ONE

What are you painting? If you are painting trim in a room and you want to wash it, you would choose a paint finish with more of a sheen, as flat paint finish will not easily wipe down without creating marks or scuffs.

TWO

In what condition are your walls or other items that you are painting? This is a crucial question when painting your walls because just about any paint finish can be used on a wall and will create a different look. However, when you use some of the glossier finishes, they usually work best on a wall with a limited amount of imperfections. If you’re going for a sleek high gloss finish, that finish will not give you the desired results if your walls are bumpy, rough, and imperfect. That high gloss will only highlight those imperfections. However, if you do have an older wall and it’s not in excellent condition. You’re not going to skim coat and improve the condition of those walls. It’s best to go with a flat or matte finish as it will not have a reflective quality, and it will hide those imperfections much better than a higher gloss finish.

THREE

What is the desired look? When I choose a paint finish, it’s usually part of preparing an overall design for a client. Every decision that goes into a room is made very deliberately, whether it be wall color and paint finish or the trim on a sofa, or the smallest detail on the window treatment. Everything is planned to come together to create an overall desired result. When I’m looking at a paint finish, that decision is not independent of all of the other finishes that I’m choosing for the room. Suppose my space has a lot of flat finishes. For instance, a velvet-textured sofa or heavier fabrics, I might want to break up the look of that with a higher gloss on my trim. Depending on the look I’m going for, the condition of the trim, and the type of trim used. I ask myself, do I want it to stand out, or do I want it to take a backseat to some of the other elements in the room?

As you can see, the decision for a paint finish is just as important as any of the other choices that you make for your space.

Until next time,
Gia

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What Are The Two Biggest Mistakes That Homeowners Make During A Renovation Project?

What Are The Two Biggest Mistakes That Homeowners Make During A Renovation Project?

The design and renovation of a home is a complicated process. Homeowners often feel discouraged when some of their ideas or attempts at design and renovation fall flat, even after spending a lot of money on their renovation. However, it’s not the homeowner’s fault. We are given the impression from the media and advertising that it is all quick, easy, and simple and wraps up beautifully in a big reveal after 60 minutes of well-edited renovation. As many come to realize, this is far from the truth.

During my many years of designing and renovating homes, I have spoken to countless homeowners, many of whom shared their experiences with a former renovation; I can tell you that many of these failed, nightmare renovation projects had two things in common.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

What are the two biggest mistakes that homeowners make during their renovation project?

ONE

They start construction without a detailed design – You’ve likely heard me talk about this before, so many unsuccessful renovations start construction without even having a design. What does this mean? That means you do not know exactly what you are building, which means you are forced to design space while in progress. You have now put yourself in the position of making design decisions in the order of the construction process, which is not a good way to design a space. Why? Because the order of the construction process is different than the order of the design process. For instance, when I design a space, I choose certain elements before other elements. I might choose fabrics for furniture before selecting a paint color, so my paint color can now be precise and deliberate to what I am trying to accomplish. If I have no design, finishes, colors, and materials are chosen according to how your contractor needs those elements, “I need a tile choice because we are ready to install the tile.” Never a good way to design a space. Projects always take longer, and it is next to impossible to quote a project without a design. Any numbers that your contractor gave to you will certainly increase now that he knows that you want a porcelain farmhouse sink instead of the simple stainless sink that he was envisioning you choosing.

TWO

They try to manage their project on their own. – Homeowners assume that managing a project should be easy. “I’ll call a bunch of contractors, and they’ll know what to do and work together, right? “Unfortunately, no, that’s not the way it works. Many feel as though they should be able to do this easily. But as most people quickly realize, it is far more complicated than it looks and needs industry experience to pull this off. This is where some homeowners stop and call for help, distressed, overwhelmed, and feeling defeated. Many homeowners perceive their design problems and contractor problems to be unique to their situation. However, I can tell you that many missteps can be made during the planning project, and they are common issues that most people will step into without the experience and knowing how to avoid them. Many of these renovation “nightmares” result from inexperience in the project management of the project or lack of a buildable, professionally developed, detailed design.

When designers, contractors, electricians, and other tradespeople assist you with your project. Numerous details overlap and must be coordinated between the designer, contractors, and other tradespeople and artisans—a job of whoever is managing the project, not the contractors you have hired. If you do not have a project manager you have hired to manage the project, the project manager is you. Some contractors are hired to manage the project and build, but this needs to be established initially, and the contractor should be compensated.

What happens when there is no project manager? Problems are not headed off and will arrive. Everything that goes on behind the scenes in a renovation project is what people don’t see. Things that you will see chaos, expensive mistakes, and problems if they are not happening. I do most of what I do on a normal day as a designer/project manager to communicate information and head off problems to tradespeople and contractors. Knowing who needs what information and when it is essential, there are nuances in the construction field unique to the industry. If you call the plumber into your project and he gets there and tells you the project needs several things before he can do the finish plumbing, don’t expect him to be able to drop everything when you do figure out when you need to call him in. All tradespeople manage numerous projects at once. When he’s called in, and you are not prepared, he has to leave someone else waiting and will now have to re-configure his schedule to get back to your house. You can also expect additional charges from tradespeople when they are called in to do a job and the job site is not ready for him to do what he needs to do. This point is an important one as it takes experience to know when and when not to proceed with certain tradespeople. An area that homeowners can quickly add on additional costs and extend the overall duration of a project.

These are just a few examples of how a project goes astray. Design and construction should be left to the pros, and don’t worry, part of our job as design professionals is to ensure your needs are met with the design. Renovations can be costly, and you want to be sure expensive mistakes and poor choices don’t leave you feeling disappointed with the results in the end.

Until next time,
Gia

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Choosing A Paint Color For The Front Door Of Your Home

Choosing A Paint Color For The Front Door Of Your Home

Choosing a color for the front door of your home seems to be a decision that can cause a lot of confusion. Whether you use your front door often or not, it is still architecturally an important focal point from the exterior of your home. If you stand back and look at your home, you want the eye to be led towards the front door. So making that front door, a focal point should be your goal.

What could be complicated is how exactly to do that with the other colors and finishes going on with your home. I like to start by making sure the rest of the colors on the home have been chosen first. Then you can begin to think about that front door.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

Here are a few tips:

ONE

Your front door should be the focal point of your home architecturally; this means making the garage door the same color as your front door does not work. Your eye is drawn towards the garage door since it’s so much more prominent. The front door can be different from the other doors on the exterior of your home. I feel this gives you a welcoming entry and makes the focal point on the front door as guests approach your home.

TWO

Choose all the other exterior colors first, the body of the home, the trim, any accent trim, shutters. With all these elements chosen first, you can now select a front door color that looks great with all other finishes and colors.

THREE

Choose a color that either harmonizes or contrasts the rest of your home. Either way, the intensity of that color should work well with the rest of the colors. For example, if most of your home is painted muted colors and tones, choose a contrasting color for the front door. Make sure that the intensity is also muted and similar to the rest of the tones on your home.

FOUR

If you’re like me, you like to decorate your entry with wreaths and flowers and other Decor items throughout the year. Think about the colors of all those decorative items and choose a background color that will make all that stand out. I live in a brick home, and my door is a beautiful shade of turquoise green. The shade I chose complements the color of the old brick. It also makes an excellent background for all my seasonal Decor, either red in the winter or bright pinks the rest of the year. Think of everything in the front entry and how it works together.

FIVE

Choose a color that makes you happy. When you drive up to your house and see a beautiful color on your front door, you’ll want to see a color that makes you happy!

SIX

Think out of the box with color. Red doors are great on certain houses, but they don’t work on every home, consider all colors and various shades and tones. Sometimes just varying the hue or the intensity of the color can create just the right shade for your front door.

Until Next Time,
Gia

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