Monday, June 5, 2017

Rtown Lane Fireplace Built In Project

I have so many design project to share with you guys. If you follow me on Instagram, you see little snippets every day of where I am at with certain projects, but I would love to do posts about each project to explain to you the longer thoughts on the decisions that are made, why we made them, and of course just to share pretty photos. 

A project that I am currently working on is in Reynoldstown, here in Atlanta. I have a cool young, hip couple that brought me on to help decorate their kitchen/living area on the main floor of their home. The house is a town home, and it is tall and kind of narrow. It's about 9' across and I think 16' long. Considering a couch is about 3.5' deep, that is not a lot of space! I actually did design work for their neighbors down the street a few months ago, so had similar challenges in that space (which I need to blog about, too!), but we came up with a totally different way to address this space. It's fun doing something different in similar spaces! Anyway, they wanted to add an electric fireplace and bookshelf wall. They loved the idea of traditional bookshelves, but with the house being a modern/transitional style, and the narrowness of the space, we couldn't get away with just a simple bookshelf design. Here's a photo of when I first visited them:

Where the sofa is is actually the bookshelf wall now. Anyway, these are family pieces that they own, and while we ditched the leather chair, side tables and coffee table, my clients wanted to keep the sofa (and there's a matching side chair) so we are having them stripped and stained a dark gray with new upholstery. It was a challenge to see them as anything other than what they are now, but I'm actually really excited to see them transformed. You guys know I appreciate history and holding onto treasured pieces, so I am all about working with family pieces to make your own. The fabric we chose is a nubby gray/cream stripe (little stripes) that feels like a nod to what was probably on there before, when the pieces were made in the 1950's, but a much more modern color story. We chose a clear tempered glass waterfall coffee table to keep from taking up too much visual space. The other tables and accessories are still TBD!

Anyway, back to the bookshelves. 

This were my (crappy) sketches:

they look better in real life. Haha!

Paddy, carpenter to the stars, came and helped make our vision a reality. Here is the day that he taped it all out for us - making my job way easier ;)

Anyway, I came up with the idea to add brass rods on the ends instead of traditional bookshelf walls, so that when you turn a corner (when you come into the room, the bookshelves are immediately on the wall beside you) you don't feel that the shelves are closing you out. Instead, you can see through them. My clients didn't want to do floating shelves over the doors, and I thought this would be a good way to give the feel of a more solid, built in piece without closing off the edges. 

Here it is in the flesh, baby:

Can you believe it! I love it! The shelves are very shallow - I think around 14-15" deep? I can't remember what we finally ended up with, but we wanted to make them as shallow as possible without it looking like a movie set or being unable to decorate them. I love the brass. 

The railroad tie mantle has significance too, which is a nice personal touch. We heavily treated and sealed it before using it indoors as a mantle piece, don't worry. You can see the hardware for the doors sitting on top of the cabinet in this pic. I love the brass plate detail as well.

We are also doing a built in bar and banquette in the kitchen! 

My clients have a fun bright orange accent wall here in their kitchen, across from this and on that wall we are doing a fun blue and white Ikat. So, we wanted something to coordinate but not fight with that over here on the bench. We ended up going with the small dotty-looking fabric that is second from the left on the middle row here! This grouping was after we had narrowed it down by about 50%. :)

Can't wait until this is all said and done and I can show you guys some more pictures. We are doing a white tulip table here as well, and the brass chandelier will be centered above it. Will follow up with more updates when I have them! 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bathroom Reno Status Update

I have huge progress on the bathroom reno! I would say it's actually about 90% there? 75?

Everything is complete except for the glass for the shower door comes in Saturday, and the linen closet has yet to be built. Also, I still don't have the towel bars (and haven't even ordered them yet -- whoops). Otherwise, though, done!

As a refresher, this is what it used to look like. The tub was on a throne because they didn't want to have to break through several inches of concrete for the plumbing, so they took the cheap/easy way, which created all kinds of problems (mainly headaches to look at, but also danger when trying to get clean).

I talked about it in my last post, but I completely rearranged the entire layout of the bathroom. Even the entry door moved. 

I ended up doing a standard tub/shower combo, because I like to take baths, and am not a "giant shower" person. I decided I wanted the part of the footprint that could be used for a huge modern shower to be instead used for a linen closet that will create lots of storage in this 1100 SF house. YES! Much better, in my opinion. 

So, here is the new view when you walk into the new door! I moved the door because if I did, I could get a 48"w vanity instead of a 38" -- like I said, the more countertop/storage, the better! 48" is a great size and there is plenty of room for things when you are trying to get ready. 

It's a dark/rainy day (all it does is rain in Atlanta now...), so it was really hard to get good pics, and I didn't bust out the fancy camera for this, so that'll have to wait until it's all said and done! for now, you get halfway-decent iPhone pics.

I surprised myself and the night before painting the room, I decided to go navy. Not sure what came over me, but I love it! I got the mirror from Homegoods, the vanity light from Lamps Plus, and the vanity (which includes cararra marble countertop) from Amazon. I love all of them. The light is hung about 4" too high, which yes, drives me nuts. They didn't ask me where I wanted it, and just assumed, and it's way high. I might move it, but have a lot on my plate right now, so it's on the back burner. 

I ended up going with the white/black basket weave tile from Floor & Decor. I didn't do marble because it was going to be about $1800 for the entire floor and that came out way higher than I wanted, eeks. So, I went with the classic black and white version, and love it just as much. In fact, I think I like it better with the countertops also being marble. And it was about $200 for the entire bathroom... much better! 

The place I decided to splurge was on the Kohler faucet. I have loved this faucet from their Purist series forever, and have used it with clients. It feels so nice to turn on and off, and the design just can't compare with other similar versions. I tried to make myself love a cheaper version, and I just couldn't do it.

The vanity came with brushed nickel pulls, which wasn't the look I wanted, so I replaced them with these brass ones from It was really hard to find pulls this size- they are 6.25" spread and that's big! So, I had to do fairly modern pulls, but most everything in the bath is pretty traditional, so it's okay. The knobs for the doors will be in soon. 

I did a mix of brass and silver tones. I wanted all the silver tones to be polished nickel, but I couldn't find a shower/tub faucet locally, so I had to do chrome. It was a good place to save a buck, and you don't really notice from a distance. I think that one was only around $125 from Home Depot, and it looks pretty good. I like mixing metals and you guys know I love brass, but I kept all the "permanent" elements (faucets, glass door hardware) silver toned, and all the ones that can easily be replaced (hardware/light fixture) in the silver tone family,  since I think most people (aka future buyers after me) think that is a bit more standard. 

I love the tub, which is clean lined and squared off - a bit more modern than your average tub. I got it at Home Depot, too. At the last minute, I decided to add penny tile to the background of the niche and it's a fun little addition :)

I know this view is a little lacking right now, but to the left here, is where the linen closet will be. I also got a new traditional looking low-flow toilet which I am very happy with. Also from Home Depot. Toilet paper for days. haha. This is also where the old tub used to be! It's hard to get a photo from the vantage point that it used to be, because the door moved.

This is the kind of look I'm going to go for with the linen closet. Probably will look like a combo of built-in and standalone furniture. 

Mine will have doors, and most likely no drawers. It will need to hold a lot and act like a normal closet.

That's it for now, I guess! Wish me luck with the rest...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bathroom Renovation At The Westview House

So, I'm jumping around, and this post also has nothing to do with any work I've been doing, but instead more documenting the house I bought and the renovations I'm doing.

I showed you guys the weird bathroom: 

The back part, where the tub is, used to be part of the patio. The current laundry room is also part of the converted patio. So, since the tub area was over concrete (patio) the guy who owned the house before me, wanted to put a tub there without having to drill through (what I learned was 8"thick) concrete. So, he LIFTED the tub on top of the concrete, and in order for it to go there, it had to be raised. hence the hilarious stairs. It has been really funny taking showers in there. You have to walk UP, then step back down. It's actually pretty dangerous, but at least I have a handrail. haha! It's all pretty awful, and the tan travertine tile just isn't my thing. Neither is the vanity. 


Here is what it looks like now:

I decided to move the door over to the right. It used to be on the left of where it is in this photo. Can you see? I did this in order to have a larger vanity. I could've only gotten a 40" one before, if I'd done the vanity to the right when you walk in, but now I can get a 48" one, and a better view, in my opinion.

So this is what the old floor plan looked like:

And this is the new floor plan (except the linen closet and toilet are not that far away from each other. Probably only like 3'):

And a very quick sketch of elevations I drew really quick for you guys. I know some people aren't visual, so my words may not make sense. Hopefully this helps.

I'm getting way more storage, and I feel like this floor plan makes a whole lot more sense than the old one did. They were trying to cut corners by not drilling through that concrete, which I guess makes sense, but in the long run, just drill through the concrete - it's worth the couple hundred extra dollars! Especially when you probably spent that building the lovely staircase ;)

After we started gutting it, the contractor told me that there were not one but TWO layers of tile on the floor, and that the porch floor was 8" thick, so not fun at all to drill through. Poor guy. But they did a great job. Tomorrow the rough ins for plumbing happens.

I selected this faucet:

I bought it in polished nickel. I have used it a lot in brushed brass and I do love that look, but decided that this one was probably better for a fickle designer like me :) I can do brass pulls on the vanity to get my brass fix. And I do love polished nickel. 

I plan to change out the hardware to something brass. 

Today, I selected tile. I'm going to go with this one (which I have loved and used a lot for clients, too):

Here it is in the space. I have also marked out the tub and vanity here! Initially, it was going to be a regular wall, to the ceiling where that 2x4 is. But, last night after the contractor left, I had an epiphany which is to do a pony wall there instead, then do glass shower doors on the front and side, to let all that pretty light filter in to the rest of the room. Call me crazy, but I do love a shower curtain and I wanted to do that in here. However, practicality is going to win out so that we can get some sparkle and light in this bathroom. And yes I know glass shower doors are nice and pretty, too :)

Glorious shot of the tub! ha. I do like it though, because it's squared off and not round.

Going to go with this cheap classic in the tub. 

I guess that's it for now... standby! I will post more. Also, feel free to follow along for more progress and also some Insta-stories at my Instagram handle, @kfddesigns.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Hey! I have made some updates to the house, and wanted to document here, so I can remember what things used to be. Everything feels kind of slow-going, but really it's been a lot, and I feel like money is just flying out left and right. Haha. However, I have planned and saved for this, so it's really excited to finally be doing it. I want to enjoy each decision and change, but it's very easy to get caught up in the mind set of "I want it all done NOW!"

Anyway, some progress! When I first bought the house, I didn't move in until about a month after closing. Like I said in my last post, I did a lot before move-in (like paint all the walls, paint the doors, put in a privacy fence in the backyard, lots of handyman check list stuff, etc etc). 

One of the changes I made early on was this semi flush mount in the hallway. I plan to paint a fun "wallpaper" look in this hallway, but not until after the bathroom reno (Which is the door to the right in this photo. It is moving a few feet down to the right. That bathroom reno is going to be intense).



Another thing that I have been really excited about is to replace all the doorknobs (previously cheap, builder-grade brushed nickel looking ones) with brass knobs that make more sense with the 1930's home. I ordered these Schlage ones and they came in (after being delayed shipping and I waited like a month and a half) and are NOT the color they looked to be online. Such a disappointment! was kind about taking them back, and I have since ordered these. 

Here are the old ones that came in in the wrong color, boo:

The biggest change is that I TOOK DOWN A WHOLE WALL. Well, I didn't take it down, but I hired some guys to take it down. 

To jog your memory, this is what that view used to look like:

I had to work all day the day that this happened, and so I came home to quite the change. I was really excited! A lot of people that follow me on my instagram were worried about the floor plan change in such an old home. I understand, and am not always all about changing the floor plan to open open open, but in this case, I think it really helps with the flow (that little vestibule before was pointless) and also creates more light and a bigger feel.

I really love it!

Here it is this morning. The drywall was repaired and a new piece of (old) moulding was added. I think they had to buy it at some kind of moulding salvage place to match the existing old moldings, which I loved. There had to be a 16" header where the support beam for the house is. The other option was a hidden beam, but that is so much more expensive and invasive. I opted for the less expensive version, but still love the openness.  I can deal with a little header, especially with everything all painted white. 

new-old piece of moulding. I also am mad at myself because I never took a pic, but on one of the 2x4's that was on one of the old doors from when the house was built, someone had written "DOOR" really big. Old, scrolly hand writing from almost 100 years ago. I loved it. Now it is buried again for someone to maybe see in another 100 years. Probably when they're adding a wall back where I took one down. haha

Next, is a kitchen reno. No, I didn't mention this before, because I was initially going to wait on it. But, after talking to lots of people and having so many great vendors that I know and love from having worked with them on clients' homes, I decided to go ahead with it, so that I can enjoy a beautiful new kitchen for the whole time I live here, vs only a few years or something (who knows how long I'll be here). 

The layout of the kitchen will essentially stay the same, because I don't want to deal with moving water, electricity, etc. Plus, I just installed the dishwasher (another thing I've done! Well, had someone do...). The 2 major changes are that I'm going to add a peninsula to the left side of the stove that will come out 5', and include a little bar area with 2 stools. I will also be taking down the open shelving (cute but not functional) and the deep counter there and doing a shallow (15") wall of pantry/shelving (STORAGEEEE!!!) that will also include a built in microwave. Freeing up lots of counter space, and where I am losing counter space where the existing open shelving/cabinets are, I will be gaining it (plus some) where the peninsula is. So, I will have 3 working counter areas, which is enough for me (I'm no chef).

I'm also taking out the tile floors and putting in matching hardwoods in the kitchen area.

Here are elevations:

New pantry wall. I mean, so much storage, and since it's shallow, it'll make the floor space in the kitchen larger and less "galley-feeling", I'm hoping. 

New front elevations of kitchen! YES! I'm also really excited to be back in the world of hidden trash and recycling. It's the little things. haha. You can see that there will just be a new vent on top of the stove - no more tiny cabinets up there (pointless because they're hard to reach, and also feel dated to me). 

I am really excited for the cabinets to go to the ceiling, as well as the cased in box for the fridge. It's going to be such a cute little kitchen, and so much more functional than it is now. I'm hoping to not only enjoy the prettiness and functionality, but really be improving my home's value in the long run. The cabinets I have now are white and don't look too rough in photos, but they are actually old gross cabinets from who knows when, that were painted with what I think is primer. There are drip marks and brush marks everywhere. As a former cabinet painter, it drives me nuts! Plus, they were hung really high, so I can barely even reach the second shelf. 

 Other ridiculousness I've been up to is decorating (of course). 

The other day I had to go to Homegoods for a client and came home with lots of new bedding for my bed. Ha. 

My cart below. I have been coveting those Serena and Lily (the tan ones) pillows for months, and they are now on clearance and live on my bed. Such amazing quality and on clearance for $18.

I also bought this fun Kate Spade (not on clearance, but not bad for $50 at Homegoods vs who knows what originally!) pillow that's in front. I love the juxtaposition of the two elements. The pillow reminds me of some of Kate Roebucks paintings. I also bought the blue and white striped quilt which sits on top of my white duvet from Crane and Canopy from years ago (So soft, I love it).

 I also bought a custom HUGE bamboo shade for the master bedroom. So much easier than moving two shades up and down all the time. I bought it from and really really love it. I plan to add curtains to either side as well. I'm actually headed to Lewis and Sheron today for several clients, and going to look for fabric for myself, as well.

And here is the living room as it is now. Of course I want to change everything, but it's not bad. :) I was worried the chaise on this sofa would stick out too far, but it's actually fine. So, I probably won't change a whole lot for a while... I have enough going on! Of course I say that now... you guys know how I am... 

I do plan to add some built in shelving to the left of the fireplace. That's happening soon.

 last but not least, I found some really great thrifting scores recently at the Goodwill in Buckhead. YES! It's fun to shop for my own house again. For so long (like 2 years) I was really uninspired to buy anything for my house, because it wasn't permanent so it didn't feel as important. It's so fun to be making this place my own and feeling like adding my personal, quirky touches to such a sweet traditional 1930's house is what I was always meant to do. I feel very connected to this home and really love it. Also! I love the new neighborhood. It's called Westview and there are SO many beautiful homes over here. If you are in Atlanta, wanting to live inside the perimeter, near the Belt line, I do encourage you to check it out. Minutes from downtown and all the places I have been frequenting for the 15+ years I've lived in Atl (I'm old). Anyway. That's a post for another day. Have a great Thursday!

thrifting treasures