The Evolution Of A Kitchen


When I first started working with Lisa her kitchen had the bland, generic look that was (and still is in some cases)  so common in new homes.  Not much in the way of personality, but when a young family is moving into their new home many times there just isn’t a lot of money for upgrades and beautiful detail work.

Phase 1


So it was light beige walls, light beige countertops, light beige back splash, light beige floor tiles and plain light golden oak stained cabinets.   Generic colors that didn’t limit her as far as adding color in her accessories, but also didn’t contribute much in the way of personality to the space either. 




 So years ago she called me to do some re-decorating in other parts of the house and help ramp things up a notch in the kitchen, but on a very limited budget.   To cozy up the space I had the kitchen painted red and added some interesting accessories to the top of the cabinets and countertop.   Not a lot – just a little touch to cozy up the space.

Phase 2


Pardon all the junk on the countertops! – I didn’t actually take these pictures until I went back to completely gut and remodel the kitchen entirely so it’s not exactly “staged”.  But this is basically what it looked like for a few years (minus my purse, portfolio, papers and junk!) - just a bit warmer with color and accessories,  until they could afford to really get the kitchen of their dreams.


As they (and their children) got older they toyed with the idea of moving into a bigger, newer home and spent considerable time looking around.  In the end they decided they really liked their house and their neighborhood and made the decision to stay put. 

They were now in a position financially to really make some serious changes.  And with David, her hubby, currently going back to school to be a chef (wives out there – can you imagine how wonderful that would be?!!) - a state of the art kitchen was definitely in order.


So out went the boring cabinets, the boring back splash, the boring countertops and the boring floor.  In came a state of the art “chef’s” six burner stove and oven, surrounded by this beautiful cabinetry,  Santa Cecilia granite, tumbled stone back splash with metal accents, and hardwood floors.  We extended the depth of the upper countertop in order to add an eating area for the kiddo’s with these saddle seat bar stools.


The red walls gave way to textured walls with a faux finish in paint and glaze.  New updated window treatments replaced the old.  (Sorry you can’t see them very well.  They are beautiful.)


I had them combine two stain colors, the cream and the dark stain to create interest and make their incredible cook top area stand out as it should.  All new hardware was added to the cabinets.


Stainless steel appliances replaced the old white ones and rich gorgeous hard wood floors replaced the insignificant beige tiles.  I recycled some of the old accessories and incorporated some new ones for the cabinet tops.

After years of waiting this precious family finally has the kitchen of their dreams, fit for a king and perfectly suited for a “chef”.

So much fun!

Happy Decorating!


Do It Yourself: “Fresco” Faux Finishes


Most of you at this point have heard of the term “faux finish”.  And many of you have seen different versions in model homes, offices, restaurants, etc.  Maybe you’ve even thought to yourself how nice it would be to have something like that in your own home.  But, what you might not know is that places like Sherwin Williams have come up with some new step by step techniques and guidelines that enable those of you who are willing to give it a go a great way, an easier way to create the look yourself at a price you can afford.   Love that!

Check out some of these great “Fresco’s” and follow these steps for each one.  All the supplies are listed for each project as well as pictures of the step by step process.  Also, notice at the beginning of each project the time you can expect to spend on each one and what steps to take before you begin:

 Textured Fresco


 Rich, warm, beautiful! If you like this look follow these steps below: 


  Step 1


Step 1B


 Step 2, 3A 


 Step 3 

 step 3b



 Smooth Fresco


   Gorgeous, classic.


 Step 1


 Step 2A, 2B



High Polished Fresco


  Sleek, sophisticated.


Step 1


Step 2A, 2B, 3



Three great looks!  Do you feel motivatedInspired to try it yourself?   Faux finishes are a great way to cozy up a space and give it richness and depth.  What was once a difficult, painstaking, expensive process is now something that is much more attainable and affordable.  If you’d like to have the actual pamphlet in hand (with all the tips above)  go to your local Sherwin Williams store and pick one up.  Talk to the professionals there with any questions you might have.  Most of them are pretty knowledgeable or will direct you to someone who is. 

If you’re not comfortable tackling this yourself – consider hiring a professional (If you’re local – feel free to contact me for one of my sources) to create the look you want.  It’s a look that is well worth spending a little extra money on to get it right.  But for those of you who are ready and willing…..choose your favorite “Fresco”, select your color scheme and go for it!

Be confident!  Be brave!!  You can do it!

Happy Decorating!!!!


Design Details: That’s What Makes The Difference


 If you’ve wondered what it is that designers do that makes such a difference in the way a space look I’ll let you in on the secretIt’s all in the details.  Designers pay careful attention to detail. All the details in the space in every corner of the room.  From the drapes, to the walls, to the ceiling, the lighting, the furnishings, the accessories, every nuance and detail.  Everything that goes into the space is important to the designer.  Extremely important.   There’s not a pillow or an accessory that doesn’t matter.  If it doesn’t work, well then, it doesn’t belong. 

Take a look at some more of these amazing rooms I was fortunate enough to see at the Kaleidoscope of Homes in Southlake a couple of weeks ago.  Make note of all the extreme detail in each space.  It truly is the details that makes a difference.

IMG_8683Notice the walls, the unusual furnishings, the lighting…….all of it!  All in the details. 



 Love these iron balusters.


Notice these incredible chairs!  Fabulous! 



Everything in its place…..a place for everything.  The clean lines in the simple drapery panels compliment the clean lines in the chair.  The carefully placed bench in front of the fireplace adds an interesting, cozy touch.  The simple floral dresses up the table without competing with the amazing lighting above.  And a simple, uncluttered mantel lends a subtle, understated quality to the space.  Very classic and classy.


IMG_8687The two tone cabinets with their interesting design look amazing with this beautiful granite.  The backsplash is elegant, yet simple and compliments the granite as well.  The lighting over the island adds depth and flair.  Details, details, details.!



Look at the detail work in this ceiling and this copper faux finish on the walls.  Stunning!

Yes, the design is in the details.  And the details are soooooooo important.  One screw-ball accessory, the wrong color on the walls, an inferior window treatment on the windows in the space can throw a wrench in the entire room.  So when trying to pull a room together with that “designer flair” pay careful attention to all the details in the space.  Better to have nothing in a space than the wrong thing in a space. 

So if your are currently working on a project be sure to take your time.  Think the project through and remember it’s the details, details, details

Happy Decorating!



Refinished Old Screen To Place In Corner Of Room

Fabric Covered Night Table with Fun Accessories
Painted Closet Black – Faux Brick
Small Desk Acts As A Night Table and Vanity

I Created A Faux Fireplace With This Mantle, Candles and Grate

Iron Canopy Bed With Warm Colors, Cozy Drapes and Bedding

This is my Tuscan Guest Bedroom.  Once my oldest son’s room (who has since grown up, moved out and gotten married) I now have my first formal guest room since moving into the house.  Yes, I must admit it was very fun designing and decorating this space! With it’s textured, faux-chipped brick walls, the black and copper bedding, the faux fireplace and iron bed my guests now have a cozy space they can call their own.   It started as a serious challenge though.  I needed to find fabric to match the drapes I had already had custom-made for my son’s room when he was still here.  They were done in black and copper but had a masculine look to them.  It took some serious patience trying to find the right pieces to make the transition from 21 year old college student to cozy guest room.  I finally found my starting pieces with a collection of pillows that I purchased on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Love those 50% off sales! Beautiful, rich velvets with wonderful glittery beading.  My friend, Becky, donated the mattress and box springs from her college son’s old room.  My sister donated a floor lamp that just needed a new shade and a tassel.  I covered my late grandfather’s stool with some extra fabric for a vanity seat.  I added some gold rub to an old desk and turned it into a night table.  For the bedding I purchased two bed-in-a-bag sets, turned one with the black lining up for contrast, used the other one at the end of the bed with the face fabric showing to match the pillows that came in the same bag.  In the bag were some drapery panels (they would have been way too whimpy for the windows) that I cut and made into the canopy drapes by sewing them to some ready made copper velvet drapery panels I found.  I stumbled onto (well, actually, my friend Diane found it first)  the mantel at a showroom at the World Trade Center they were selling off the floor.  It was the perfect style, color and fit.  The iron fireplace screen was a sale purchase I got at Gardenridge.  The original color was antique gold which wouldn’t do so I sprayed it black and then dabbed on some gold metallic rub.  After much patience and effort the room finally came together.  It is now a warm, cozy, inviting space for my guests.   And, best of all it’s always clean!


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