Monday, August 31, 2009

design star: episode seven

episode seven was a tease. the four remaining designers were presented with the challenge of transforming a gigantic 10,000 square foot backyard into a plush outdoor oasis. i certainly think this was accomplished, especially since the dust bowl is no longer occurring in the client's yard. but their redesign left me wanting more.
they chose smart plantings, created socialization areas, and installed a beautiful sod lawn. they didn't design and create any of their own pieces. dan vickery and antonio ballatore have been the most talented craftspeople this season. if you've got it, flaunt it. don't spend $10,000 on a vinyl pergola; design a sick wooden one ala william hefner and create it yourself. all in all the yard is a HUGE improvement, i'm just not quite sure it's huge enough.

next week: the final three, dan vickery, lonni paul, and antonio ballatore, spice up celebrity homes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

redone: concrete lofts

the canadians have wowed me again. klondike contracting is a vancouver based firm that does it all. (seriously, they're the ryan seacrest of design and construction.) they combined two concrete two-story lofts into a single, grand residence. while creating an open floor plan and choosing warm materials and finishes (hello, wenge flooring and espresso stained rift sawn oak bar), the former concrete boxes transformed into a rich, functional home. the stunning view of downtown is literally visible from every room due to the knock-your-socks-off floor to ceiling windows, wow. i'm considering relocating to vancouver, who's with me?

i'd especially like to thank kelly at klondike contracting for taking the time to send me the goods for this before + after; please check out their website and follow them on twitter!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

redone: baltimore row-house

i am fascinated with people who are naturally rad. people who dress neat and have great taste in music. people who blow their noses and i'm all, "wow, that was amazing." that is exactly how i feel about alter urban, the maryland based design collaborative. their mission as a firm is to empower clients, creativity, and the human experience with broad collaboration through a process where design leads new solutions to traditional and non-traditional challenges.
a prime example of their oozing coolness is the overhaul of this baltimore row-house, a project they call "the atrium." the building once contained six small apartments with limited natural light and poor ventilation. the new 3,300 square foot home boasts double height spaces, skylights, and an open staircase that makes me want to sashay down the stairs donning a glamorous ball gown. see, i told you they were rad.

i'd like to give a big thank you to mr. adam bridge at alter urban for taking the time to send me photos and stories about this baltimore renovation. i'd also like to credit curtis martin for shooting their stunning afters.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

revived: swedish mora clock

jenny of pearl street interiors is a talented interior designer and an amazing interiors blogger. she recently recreated her mother's living room featuring a large swedish mora clock knockoff. a few years ago they scooped the clock at j&k furniture in phoenix for less than $50. it sat sad and idle until the living room makeover, when jenny was finally able to carefully sand the entire piece. she painted the body in martha stewart's bedford gray while accenting details with a velvety white. i LOVE it. i want to paint my body bedford gray and accent my details with a velvety white and be this clock for halloween.

want to show off a before + after you've worked on? email me with photos and your story and i'd be happy to display your hard work on raenovate!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

redone: the little home

today's before + after comes from ron marvin, a talented interior designer with the world's largest heart. his story of this before + after is so touching that i want y'all to read his rendition rather than my feeble attempt at recreating it. so grab some tissues and get ready to be wowed by a tale of friendship, love, and great design.
"attached you will find some "before/after" shots i did for a friend of mine. he was living in what he called "the box", as you can see from the pictures. it was a tiny 10x15 studio apartment with one window and no view. he had just gotten out of a bad relationship, and this was his new apartment. you can imagine that it was very depressing in there. so, one weekend, when he went away, i took over his apartment and gave it an update. we discussed beforehand some very general colors, nothing specific. he gave me a budget of $800. he then left for the weekend and i took over!
it took me three days on my own to paint, hang the sconces, the curtains, the artwork, and to style the apartment. when he came home at the end of the weekend, he couldn't believe it. he was moved to tears. his "little box" had become his "little home". the line of photos, going down the wall, we called "the wall of love". i filled the frames with photos of people who love him and treated him well. and when he laid in bed at night, or got depressed, all he had to do was look at the "wall of love", and remember that there are people in his life who cherish him."

Monday, August 24, 2009

design star: episode six

design star just wasn't the same without nathan galui, but the show and the blogging must go on, so here we go. in last night's individual challenge the five remaining designers were given $5,000, twenty hours, and the help of a skilled carpenter to redesign a children's room. my favorite client was five-year-old connor who was not only cute as a button, but also hysterical. antonio ballatore, connor's designer, noted his affinity for dinosaurs and created a stegosaurus clad "little man cave". i'd live to thank antonio for realizing and admitting that every man need a cave; somewhere they can go to deflate, and somewhere they can go to leave us alone.
jason champion's show was cancelled for redesigning (and i use the term loosely) a girl's bedroom that frankly was more appealing pre-makeover. besides the "little man cave" the afters just didn't cause me to leap up and down with excitement. head to HGTV to check them out.

next week: team backyard rehaul

Friday, August 21, 2009

revived: pineapple lamp

pineapple is definitely one of my top five favorite fruits. it's sweet and juicy and very good for women. this renovated pineapple lamp is also a favorite; it's modern and whimsical and works in any interior.
kelly of high street market, the greatest vintage home goods shop on etsy, performed the lamp's revival. a few coats of glossy white paint and a spanking new shade and voila it's a modern masterpiece. i'm planning on eating pineapple while browsing her shop and blog for the remainder of the day. you should do the same.

then + now: mom and dad

on august 21, 1976 my parents exchanged vows and became husband and wife. thirty three years later they are more in love than ever and still looking good. their love has taught me that relationships are tough and require butt loads of work, but if you put in the time and energy, the payoff is grand. here's to another thirty three mom and dad! i love you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

redone: north vancouver home

since starting up raenovate i've had the wonderful opportunity of meeting and emailing with super talented designers. some of the cheeriest designers i've met thus far have been from canada. these designers are so delightful that i'm tempted to hop on a plane, fly to canada, and run through the streets with a giant maple leaf flag screaming, "I LOVE CANADIAN DESIGNERS".
maria killam is one of these designers. as the principal of maria killam colour and design, she specializes in creating warm, comfortable, and inspired spaces that gracefully marry colour, cultures, and styles. she even worked for benjamin moore as a paint/colour specialist creating exterior and interior palette for architects, developers, builders, property managers, and homeowners (and now i'd like to be that when i grow up).
so feast your eyes on the north vancouver home she revamped. not only are the colours spot on, but the accessories are simply perfect. oh canada!

i'd especially like to thank maria for sharing her portfolio with me; you must check out her website, peruse her blog, and follow her on twitter. i'd also like to credit anna beaudry for shooting her afters in the cheeriest of fashions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

revived: darling octopus decor

i love etsy! i've planned christmas gifts through 2018 exclusively from esty sellers. while making a list and checking it twice i found darling octopus decor, a wonderful shop featuring unloved furniture pieces that have been given a new life by designer karen guard.
discovered at the salvation army and in an alley near her home, karen saved this chair and stool from a life of despair and ugliness. with fresh paint and modern fabric (the stool is upholstered in amy butler fabric, yes!) these pieces have morphed into stunners! i adore the color palette; gray and turquoise are my absolute favorties. please, heart her shop, follow her on twitter, and add her items to your christmas list because darling octopus decor is a gem.

revived: terry's ikea step stool

i'm a huge fan of ikea. in fact i saw a special once about a nebraskan family that went on their summer vacation to ikea. they literally packed up their kids, drove through several states, and shopped, shopped, shopped. all i could think was thank goodness i live in new jersey. there are more ikea's in the tri state area then there are in sweden. if i lived in nebraska my honeymoon would be to ikea. my children would never experience the magic of disney world; they would only ever experience the magic of ikea.
so when i found out that terry of princeton had made over ikea's super scandinavian bekvam stool, i immediately demanded photos. she transformed the plain and simple step stool into a luxurious beauty. painted black and upholstered in the same leafy fabric as her duvet, the stool is the perfect addition to her bedroom.
want to show off a before + after you've worked on? email me with photos and your story and i'd be happy to display your hard work on raenovate!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

redone: bunny nursery

i watched a show called hoarders on a&e last night and was both horrified and mystified. hoarders are amazing freaks and i am officially hooked on this new series. on that note, this nursery pre-makeover looks as though an amateur hoarder was taking up residence. fortunately alicia friedmann of alicia friedmann interior design stepped in and transformed the cluttered bedroom into the most darling nursery ever. the bunny fabric and framed prints are perfect, so very sophisticated baby. FYI, i love bunnies; i am a grown woman and the lamp on my night table is a ceramic bunny. i also shriek with excitement every time i see a wild bunny, which is about seven times a day.
alicia has hit the nail on the head with this nursery. it's the perfect shade of pink, has a wonderful mama/baby chair, oodles of storage, and did i mention bunnies?

i'd especially like to thank alicia for taking the time to send me photos from her fab long beach, california firm.

Monday, August 17, 2009

design star: episode five

there is no easy way for me to say this, so i'm just going to come right out with it; nathan galui's show was cancelled last night. the six remaining contestants were split into teams of three to redesign the homes of two deserving families at ventura county's naval base. nathan, jason champion, and lonni paul transformed the maldonado family's bland house into a warm and welcoming home. nathan selected mid-tone bamboo flooring (which really livened up the space) and designed and constructed the fabulously modern entertainment center. he was hounded for focusing too much on the entertainment center, but come on, these things take time; i took woodshop in high school and it took me half a school year to make  a paper towel holder! in the end, the maldonado's loved their space and couldn't say thank you enough.
if vern yip doesn't think that nate is the design star, that's okay. he totally rocked and showed america what he's made of. so watch out nate berkus, there's a new nate in town and he's here to stay!

Friday, August 14, 2009

news: oh, hello friend weekly roundup

danni over at oh, hello friend (one of my can't-live-without daily reads) included raenovate in her weekly roundup! if you're not already one of her faithful readers you must check out her blog and become one. thank you danni for the great post which prompted me to leap out of my desk chair and jump around in circles while cheering loudly!

revived: vintage renewal

i think that 'indie furniture re-designer' is one of the coolest job titles i've ever heard. jeanne connolly, indie furniture re-designer for vintage renewal (an online green furniture boutique based in denver) has graciously shared some of her favorite masterpieces with us. these chairs come straight from vintage renewal where she focuses on blending both classic and modern pieces to create one-of-a-kind usable art for the home. the neatest part is that the rescued furniuture is upholstered in fabric that is typically vintage or recycled also; thus making vintage renewal greener than green. please check out her website, peruse her etsy store, follow her twitter, and always remember to "be green, buy vintage, buy handmade"!

ps. the green apple chair is currently for sale, wouldn't you just love to welcome it into your home? also, do you want to show off a before + after you've worked on? email me with photos and your story and i'd be happy to display your hard work on raenovate!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

redone: boulder kitchen

it is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home; based on that belief i would say that this boulder home has a healthy, cardiologist approved heart! while understanding their clients color palette, o interior design recreated this kitchen and breakfast nook. warm woods, autumnal accents, and stainless steel appliances create a balanced aesthetic, while the addition of armchairs, a rug, and a wall of bookshelves allow the space to function as not only an eatery, but the ultimate hang-out spot.
if your kitchen has high cholesterol and poor circulation, consider a kitchen redesign and give your home the heart it deserves.

i'd like to give a big thank you to miss leah dicarlo at o interior design for taking the time to send me photos and stories from her denver, colorado firm.