One of the more unique projects that we’ve worked on recently is this dental office makeover. The office was stuck in the past with dated décor and a need for some major overhauls to get the place feeling fresh and clean for years to come.
Running with the Florence Dental Branded Blue, we created a design that is colorful and playful yet tailored and sophisticated.
Phase 1 of this project was to work on the entry stairwell, the waiting room, and the employee breakroom.
The original foyer featured a strong blue painted handrail and an old worn carpet. We updated the space with fresh paint, a new handrail, and a new carpet. The décor was modernized with this farmhouse wood sign featuring a cute saying brush, rinse, smile, and the Florence, MA zip code.
Entering the waiting room, we updated the entry door with a glass door to let in as much light as possible. The vinyl wallpaper made for durable and easily washed walls and gave us a place to provide color and interest. Just inside the front door, a wall of hooks and an umbrella stand provide a spot for patients to hang their coats. The TV console gave us closed storage to hide brochures and magazines that don’t need to be out so that the space feels organized.
A variety of seating provides plenty of space for patients to wait. The blue vinyl pops nicely against the wallpaper and is easily cleaned from spills and such. The office provided these fun pieces of “dental art” that give a playful aesthetic to the room.
The breakroom also was given a major facelift. Since we were keeping the existing blue cabinets, our palette was determined. This grey wallpaper with a fun geometric pattern acted as our art for space. The rest of the room was about streamlining the needed storage so that the room felt clean and organized yet pretty.
We love how this office came out. It was a fun challenge to work with building codes and other compliance needs that were outside of our normal realm. No detail was overlooked in this project – we even ordered the cups, and plates for the kitchen!
We’ve now entered phase two of the project working on the operatories and bathrooms. We can’t wait to see the whole space come together!
This family room project is one of our recent favorites – calm and restful with a soothing color palette. But in order to get to this beautiful room (or any of our gorgeous afters!), we have a few key steps to follow to get us there.
The very first thing we do for any project is have the new client fill out a questionnaire. This helps the client articulate what their goals are for the room, along with defining the budget, needs, and other specifics that are important to the process.
For this family room, two of the most useful answers toward creating the design were:
How will you determine whether this project was successful?
Feel happy and relaxed when we walk in the room, the style of the room will reflect our style, the pieces will coordinate
Think fast: what’s your favorite color?
Husband: blue. Wife: green
Floor Plans and Drawings
Following the questionnaire, we set the first appointment to come out and measure the space to create drawings. Drawing floorplans ensures that we choose the right items in the right scale for the room for flow and function.
This family room had a few options for layout, but ultimately we went with option A which allowed the furniture to focus on both focal points: the TV and the fireplace without needing to mount the TV over the fireplace.
Following drawings, its time for the fun part, picking items! Using our floor plans as a shopping list, our design team works to find items that will fit the client’s aesthetics along with the needs of the room.
Once items have been selected, we create a design board showcasing our top picks for the room, but we always have backups that will work in the space in case the client doesn’t like a certain item.
Everyone’s favorite day is install day. For the client, they have been anxiously awaiting their new room. For our design team, we are so excited to see our vision come to life. No detail is too small on install day from hiding cords, to placing accessories, to having the movers move that table three inches to the left before it was just not quite right, we handle everything so the client can just come home and enjoy it!
It feels like getting outside and soaking in some sun is more important now than ever before.
We know that summer vacations won’t look like they have in year’s past, but a family beach house is an ideal way to get away together while staying safe and socially distant.
This beach house was designed to have plenty of room for cousins to stay and enjoy the sun and sand.
We love this bright and colorful bunk room. It can comfortably sleep four kids. The bright chevron rug pairs nicely with the marine-inspired bedding.
Down the hall, we have this cute little crib room with a fun design. This was a tight space, so wallpaper was a great way to make an impact.
Sticking with the ocean theme, this school of fish rug provides a playful touch.
This room provides a nice place for one parent or sibling and a baby to sleep.
How are you planning on enjoying the summer weather?
The weather this weekend definitely feels like summer which has us dreaming of the Cape house renovation we completed last year.
Tell me this master bathroom doesn’t feel just like the beach on a sunny day? From the sand-colored tile floor to the beach glass herringbone backsplash, the whole thing reads “serene day at the beach.”
Let’s start with this tile. We took a beautiful beach glass inspired tile and ran it in a fun herringbone pattern behind the sinks. We then took that same tile and ran it as an accent in the shower. This is a great example of how you can take a simple 2×6 subway tile and make a splash with a geometric herringbone pattern instead of a standard subway tile design.
Repeating the tile in the shower creates continuity in the design and provides a fun detail. We’ve been loving a vertical accent rather than a horizontal accent lately. It gives the allusion of higher ceilings by drawing the eye up. The full wall of backsplash rather than just a 1ft splash at the counter serves the same purpose.
Double Vanity Dream
This gorgeous white double vanity is a dream. With three banks of drawers, there is plenty of storage. The bright white finish keeps the bathroom feeling warm and airy. We love how the white looks with the beach glass tile. It plays well with the day at the beach theme. Plus the warm floor paired with cool tones balances the space and keeps it summery.
This beach house was designed to age with our client, so a zero-entry shower was important. To provide a delineation from in and outside the shower, we varied the tile used. The small squares pair very nicely with the large sand-colored tiles we used at the main bathroom floor. It was finished with a glass shower enclosure which makes the shower feel spacious.
These oversized glass cabinet pulls make a huge impact on the space. We really believe that cabinet hardware is the jewelry of your room, and should be treated as such. These pulls are simple but elegant.
When it comes to staging a bathroom, you don’t want to overdo it and clutter the space. These large leaves provided a gorgeous pop of green off the soft palette we created. Just a few leaves give us all of the decor we need to allow the design of the bathroom to speak for itself.
When the tile layout is this interesting, you don’t need to make a big impact with the mirror frame. But this simple mirror is still gorgeous with the rounded corners, the frame’s depth from the wall, and the faux hanging knob at the top.
We hope this gorgeous beach themed Cape Houe bathroom has you feeling ready for summer, even if we can’t head to the beaches quite yet.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
We love a hobby that also helps spruce up your home, especially right now. A new pop of color can be just the thing to chase away the quarantine blues.
Gardening is a great way to get outside, enjoy the sun and fresh air, and also give your home some new life. Both flowers and vegetable gardens can be very rewarding. This past weekend, I built a raised-bed garden getting ready to plant vegetables in the next few weeks. We’re looking forward to enjoying tomatoes and cucumbers right from our yard this year.
There is also nothing quite as rewarding as driving up to a house with a beautiful flower bed. Now is the time to think about what you want to plant, and as we push through hopefully the last really cold weekend, we will be able to put annuals in the ground and see beautiful colors out our front door.
Pull Out a Paint Brush
Putting brush to paper is a relaxing way to pass some time. Whether you enjoy watercolors or acrylic paint at your medium, give painting a chance. If you’re feeling like you aren’t an artist, and you wouldn’t know where to begin, invest in a paint by numbers. There are kits for adults where you can mimic famous paintings or beautiful landscapes. I’m working my way through a paint by numbers of the Eiffel Tower. It may end up on my wall, or it may end up in the basement, but it has been a fun evening activity.
Once you get the hang of it, knitting is a mindless activity that you can do while you binge Netflix, listen to a podcast, or chat with your spouse. There are so many videos on YouTube to teach you the basics. We love the idea of a colorful new throw for your living room or the foot of your bed. Or perhaps you would rather learn to crochet? Either way, all you need are a YouTube video, a few tools, some yarn, and time to kill.
Any easy creative outlet is hand-lettering. All you need is a pen and paper. You can make it more or less complex by introducing markers, calligraphy pens, or colorful pens.
I enjoy doodling in a bullet journal – sometimes that is a todo list for the day, and other times it’s a colorful quote and picture. There are lettering tutorials online, or you can buy a howto workbook.
A way to incorporate hand lettering into your home decor is a fun chalkboard. Put an inspirational quote or your week’s dinner menu and play with different fonts.
A remnant of wood and a few stencils are all you need to create a fun wooden sign. Recently, I made two pieces for my son’s room: a decorative sign and a growth chart ruler. The boards are a fun alternative to a piece of art and incorporate a bit of my personal touch into his room.
What hobbies and creative outlets are you finding yourself using to pass the time during social distancing? Have any of your hobbies also helped spruce up your home decor? We’d love to hear about it.
Rain, rain go away! As if quarantine wasn’t hard enough, this weather sure has been putting a damper on things. I am looking forward to the dryer weather that looks like it should start on Sunday, but while we’ve been stuck inside, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to ways to warm up the interiors to make your home feel sunny and bright even on a dreary day.
Here are a few tips and ideas to make your home more cheerful today and every day.
We’ve said it before, but we will say it again – indoor plants! Bringing the outdoors in warms up a space and makes it feel cozier. Real plants help to filter the air and boost the oxygen levels in your home which will make you feel better in general, but if you don’t think you can keep a plant alive, fake plants will still help with the aesthetic of making your home feel bright.
The next time you suit up to tackle the grocery store, buy yourself some fresh flowers while you’re out. Nothing brightens up a room like a vase of flowers.
I love to go seasonal with my flowers getting daffodils in March followed by tulips in April. Two of my favorite flowers in the summer are hydrangea and peonies; it doesn’t take too many stems to give you a huge bouquet!
If you have a green thumb, you probably have some flowers in your yard that you can bring inside.
Mirrors are a great way to reflect daylight in the dark corners of your home. Whether a functional mirror or simply decorative like these sunburst mirrors, they will go a long way in warming up your home one a dreary day by reflecting the little bit of daylight that is coming in.
Pop of Color
We love incorporating color in our designs. It makes your home feel cheerful. Plus color can have a positive effect on your moods.
Blue can be calming, yellow is cheerful and energizing, green can help calm anxiety, purple sparks creativity, orange brings a burst of energy and enthusiasm, red is romantic, and pink has a calming effect on the nerves and helps relieve feelings of anger, aggression.
Did you know that the color or temperature of light bulbs range from cool blue to warm yellow? Color temperature is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000.
At the lower end of the scale, from 2000K to 3000K, the light produced is called “warm white” and ranges from orange to yellow-white in appearance. These give that warm sunny day feel.
Color temperatures between 3100K and 4500K are referred to as “cool white” or “bright white.” Light bulbs within this range will emit a more neutral white light and may even have a slightly blue tint.
Above 4500K brings us into the “daylight” color temperature of light. Light bulbs with color temperatures of 4500K and above will give off a blue-white light. This feels cold and more industrial.
Typically, LED bulbs fall on the cool blue side of things, but they have come a long way recently. We always advise that our clients use warm bulbs falling around 2700K as far as temperature is concerned. This will go a long way in the atmosphere of your home. We sat down to talk about LED lights and the importance of color temperature with Mass Save.
Its quarantine day 41 in case you lost count! While some of you have been enjoying the outdoors all along, for those of us in New England, its been long days of very little outdoor time due to the lingering cold weather this spring.
But good news! Warmer days are just around the corner, and its time to start thinking about dusting off the patio furniture and making your backyard an escape for you and your family.
We believe that the outdoors are just an extension of our home and deserve special attention to make them fabulous. From outdoor dining to lounging by a fire, we love creating places for families to enjoy. And while we social distance, having a place to escape outdoors at our own homes feels more important now than ever before.
Outdoor Living At My House
I am in the process of planning and having a patio laid at my own house. This is the perfect project to do while social distancing since contractors will work outside and require no face-to-face interaction on my part. As you know, my mudroom interior is finished, but with the facade of my house changing completely, it was time to also upgrade the old sidewalk and create a better aesthetic at the entrance.
Our big outdoor projects for the spring are the patio and new front doorstep, a patio in the backyard with a fire pit, raised bed gardens, and a swing set for the kids. We will certainly be busy over the next few weeks getting things in place, but we’re looking forward to really enjoying the yard this year.
The Front Porch or Patio
Who doesn’t like a front porch? It’s a great place to sit and read, have your morning coffee, or your end of the day wine. While I don’t have a porch, I am looking forward to having a patio with two chairs and a table. This will be the perfect place to sit while my kids play in the driveway.
We’ve been loving seeing the Front Porch Project all across social media. A fun way to spread joy during this time of uncertainty.
The Back Yard
Outdoor living in the backyard means different things to different people. For some its an outdoor dining room. A place to host family and friends when social distancing is over and a place to enjoy meals with your family.
This cream patio set looks beautiful against the greenery providing a lovely contrast.
When the weather allows, we eat most of our dinners outside. Straight off the grill to our plates. Dinner outdoors feels like such a treat.
For others, outdoor living is a comfy outdoor chair around a firepit. There is something peaceful about the sound of a crackling fire, especially at the end of a long day.
We haven’t decided yet if we want a gas fire pit for the ease of use or a wood-burning pit for the sound and smell. Either way, I can already taste the s’mores that we will make this summer!
The Pool Deck
For those of you quarantining in warm weather by a pool, it must be nice! We New Englanders are dreaming about pool weather.
If outdoor living for you means poolside, then you want to invest in some quality lounge chairs. We suggest a Sunbrella Fabric for its durability. It will stand up well to chlorine, sun, and all of the outdoor fabrics.
If you have space, poolside is also a great place for a table and chairs and a fun little bar cart. Even if you don’t use the cart for adult beverages, it’s a great way to bring snacks in and out of the house.
Part of outdoor living is the landscape around you. If you have a view, that is a head start, but planting trees, shrubs, and flowers will also go a long way in making your yard a beautiful escape.
This year, we’re taking our garden one step further by adding raised beds to plant vegetables in. Since we are trying to minimize our grocery store visits, planting food is a great way to feed your family over the summer months without needing to leave your home.
What does outdoor living mean to you? We’d love to hear how you use your yard.
Basements are often underutilized, overly cluttered, and unattractive spaces in our homes. But when you cant create more square footage on the main floors of a home, your basement is ready to be transformed into what you need.
In this Longmeadow home, the basement was transformed from a standard unfinished basement into a game and craft room, pantry, workout area, and laundry room.
You won’t believe this is the same space from the before to the after.
Basement Space and Lighting Plan
The first step in any project is to draw it. We need to take a look at the available space and determine how to best use it. In this basement, our goal was to fit in a laundry room, a craft and game area, a TV spot, a workout area pantry storage, and basement storage. Some of the other items on the wish list were a full sized-fridge, a mini-fridge for drinks and a large table for games. Take a look below at how we made it all happen!
Once drawings are approved, we dive into the magic of design. The goal was to create a relaxing spa feel in the laundry room, so this soft teal, beige and blue palette did the trick.
In the adjacent “family room,” we wanted a more colorful and playful design but kept the teal to create continuity from room-to-room. A funky wallpaper, bold area rug, and orange Roman shades really provide pop against the white cabinetry.
To start, we updated the small basement windows with large dug in windows to give the room tons of natural light and to make it feel as if you were on the main floor of the house. That change alone made a huge impact!
The second thing that we tackled in this transformation was built-in storage. This wall shows the toy, game and arts and craft storage. These drawers were designed for an easy way to tuck away items and keep the room feeling organized. How pretty do the bright colors look off the crisp, white cabinetry?
In designing the new space, we relocated the TV so that we could create a basement TV nook separate from the craft and game area. While the opposite wall features a lot of color in items on the shelf, the TV wall was lacking on the color pop, so we added an accent wall. This bright teal is pulled right out of the area rug.
Luxurious Basement Laundry Room
Laundry does not feel like a chore in this new laundry room. It went from straight utilitarian to beautiful and relaxing. One of the big changes we made was spraying the ceiling white. While we needed to leave some of the ceiling open to access pipes and vents, painting it white minimized the appearance of it almost making it all disappear visually.
We also replaced the slop sink for a gorgeous porcelain farmhouse sink. You can still soak your stained items in here, but aesthetically, it gives you a feeling of not being in the basement at all.
In the before, the bi-fold doors were almost never closed contributing to the feeling of clutter. Now, there are pullouts and cabinets of varying sizes to suit every storage need.
Updated the Stairs
Gone are the utilitarian basement stairs and in their place are beautiful stated wood treads and a lovely runner.
We love how this basement turned out, and we know that it’s getting a lot of use right now during COVID lockdown. Not a bad space to need to shelter-in-place. Our client said in a recent email: “Thank goodness we have had the basement in all of this.” And we couldn’t agree more!
Check out more photos of this project in our portfolio.
Today is day 28 of social distancing for us. Other than a few trips to the grocery store and daily walks, we really haven’t left our house in 28 days. I had to go back and count because truly, I’ve lost all track of time.
In the last post in our quarantine series, we talked about Making Your Home a Retreat During Social Distancing. Today, we would like to continue that theme by talking about organization and small design projects you can tackle at home to make your space feel more inspired.
Before we dive into our organization tips, we’d first like to acknowledge that not everyone has more time on their hands right now. Some of us are parenting small children or signing into Google Classrooms for multiple kids while trying to still do our jobs from home. And to those people who are barely surviving each day, we’d like to say: we see you, and you’ve got this. This article is not for you.
But for those of you who are bored at home and have already binged your way through Netflix, Hulu, and Disney +, here are some ideas to make the time go by while making your home more beautiful and functional from restyling your bookshelves to cleaning out a junk drawer.
Restyle your Bookshelves
Just moving around the items on a bookshelf to present them in a new way can make a room feel fresh, invigorated and organized. Incorporating decorative boxes is a good way to have storage without the shelves feeling cluttered. Take the time to inventory your whole house – if you’re like me, most of your home is a similar color palette thanks to open concept so accessories move easily from room to room. Consider adding color to the back of your bookshelf either by painting or peel and stick wallpapering the back panels.
When you begin to place items, start with some anchor pieces that are tall and eye-catching to take up a lot of visual space. Let some items stand-alone with “white-space” around them while combining others into a small collection or groupings. Make sure to vary the scale of items. Smaller objects can be made to feel important or more substantial by placing them atop stacks of books.
Try a New Furniture Layout
When I was a child, one of my favorite past times was to rearrange the furniture in my room. Something about the movement of items gave me a fresh perspective and felt like a whole new space. A new layout will allow you to consider the best way to organize all of your belongings to reduce clutter. You can try playing around with new layouts, or take advantage of digital design services and bring us on board to draw you some new layouts. When you’re bored with the layout of your home then it can really make you feel bla! Revitalizing and rearranging a room can actually make you feel revitalized as well. Plus rearranging a room will force you to do some cleaning and reorganizing making space feel better.
Clean out Your Bathroom Drawers
To me, clean drawers arethe best way to organize your home. This is a good opportunity to throw away expired medicine and beauty products (did you know makeup has a shelf life?) and think through the best way to organize what is left. You open those bathroom drawers every morning – think about how much better the start to your day would be heading into an organized space. This was one of the first projects that I tackled during my quarantine. I wanted to take an inventory of medicines we had in case our family became sick. I then used what I had to organize the space pulling up bins from the basement and putting like things in Ziplock bags to make my cabinets feel less cluttered.
Tackle the Closets
If you’re like me, you often just close the closet door after shoving clutter inside so the rest of your house feels neat. But after a while, those closets become out of control and need some TLC. If you’re up for doing some online shopping, you can order some closet system pieces to really up your organizational game or just make the best use of the space you have. Start by taking everything out of the closet, get rid of what’s no longer used, fits or is needed. If you have clothes to donate, check out a site like Thred Up where they will send you a clean-out bag, or check out the Salvation Army’s site to schedule a pick-up or find a drop off location – no socialization needed. Next, clean the interior floors, wipe down shelves and get it ready to put stuff back. If it’s a clothes closet, sort your clothes by category and be sure to hang delicate items and stack thicker things like denim. Put your most-used items at the front, while seasonal or rarely used pieces can go up higher or in the back.
Don’t Ignore the Laundry Room
Anyone else wonder where all this laundry is coming from since we’re all just living in sweatpants? Somehow, my family continues to produce mountains of laundry even though were not leaving the house. Having a organized and pretty space to do that laundry in makes the chore a bit more tolerable. Start by cleaning the space and evaluating how much room you really have. Incorporating wall storage for laundry supplies can leave you more space for folding if your laundry room is small. Consider adding shelves to unused corners, and putting supplies in baskets or storage containers to make the room feel less industrial. Then focus on small ways to make it pretty. Perhaps a peel and stick wallpaper (we can order that for you! ) or a fun sign can make the space feel fresh and personalized.
Clean Out the Junk Drawer
Don’t even try to act like you don’t have a junk drawer! We all have that space usually in the kitchen where every miscellaneous small items get stashed. My junk drawer ranges from screwdrivers and flashlights to post-it notes and keys. I find that a few times a year I need to empty out the drawer, throw away a few things, and reorganize the space. I like to use bins from the dollar store to group like items together. What’s great about this project is that really, it will only take you 15 or 20 minutes, but you will feel so accomplished!
We know that the list of home projects can feel endless right now while you are sitting home staring at them, but these are a few good places to start. We always say the hardest part is starting. Even if you only use 20 minutes a day, you can make a big difference in your home and you will feel accomplished as you breathe new life into your space.
We’d love to hear about how you are tackling home projects during this tough time.
Spring is here! And just as the days are becoming longer, and the weather is getting warmer, the CDC tells us that we’re all supposed to stay home. We know it can feel inconvenient, frustrating and boring, but staying home during this pandemic is a small action that you can take that will potentially benefit many while we try to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
So while social distancing plays out for a few weeks, we encourage you to look at it as a joy to get to spend time in the home you’ve created with the people you love rather than seeing it as being stuck.
Now is a great time to tackle a few small house projects and turn your home into a retreat for you and your family. Here are a few of our tips that we are all trying to put into action.
Start and End Your Day with a Chore
Begin your day by throwing in a load of laundry and tackling one other chore from your list. Maybe it’s cleaning out one drawer or closet? Don’t try to tackle too much – just one small thing. End your day by putting everything back where it belongs so that you can start fresh in the morning. Moms – this means putting your kids’ toys away each night even though you know the playroom will be a mess again the next day. Get them involved as part of their bedtime routine. Having a few minutes of a clean home each day will help you feel more at peace in your space. Pinterest is a great place to find chore charts where you can check things off to feel accomplished!
Bring the Outdoors In
House plants are a great way to brighten up your home. Indoor plants aren’t just pretty, they also make us feel good both mentally and physically. Plants help to boost your mood. They also help clean the air in your home by absorbing toxins (like that pesky virus), increasing humidity, and producing oxygen. And who doesn’t want a natural home air filter right now? Especially one that you like to look at!
Make Your Bed Each Day
Making your bed is a simple step you can take each day to feel like you’ve transitioned from one part of the day to the next. Just like its recommended that we still get up, shower and get dressed while social distancing, making our bed will immediately make our home feel more put together. I’m reminded of the saying “a messy home, a messy mind” – you’ll feel more productive if your home is clean, especially if like me, your bedroom is now your home office.
Create a Space to Workout, Practice Yoga or Meditate
You don’t need a lot of space to create a home workout zone in your home. If you already own a piece of cardio equipment, that’s awesome, but if not, all you need is a yoga mat. The standard yoga mat measures 68 inches long and 24 inches wide. Find a place where you can unroll a yoga mat, and your space is created. Want to take it a step further? Make room for a few weights or bands. I also like to have a mirror so I can see what I am doing and make adjustments. Bodyweight exercises like pushups and burpees are great exercise while social distancing, but there are also a lot of digital resources that are offering free subscriptions right now to help people stay active during this period of distancing.
Add Some Color to Your Home
Color does a lot for our moods, so now is a great time to brighten up your home with a pop of a color you love. If you’re like me, you have a basement full of paint cans from old projects. Take social distancing as a chance to dust off one of those cans and paint a piece of furniture that needs a facelift, update that powder room or maybe add an accent wall? No paint in your house? You can order some peel and stick wallpaper online or call up your local hardware store and see if they will mix up some paint for you and pull some supplies together. Ask if you can pay for over the phone and if someone will run it out to your car when you get there. Local businesses need our help right now, so I’m sure they will gladly accommodate you!
Get Some Fresh Air Every Day
No one said that social distancing means you have to stay indoors. Now that its spring, there is even more of a reason to dust off that porch furniture and get outside, even if it’s only for an hour! Put on a warm jacket and have your coffee on the porch. Head out for a dose of the afternoon sun. Or maybe grab that yoga mat and move your workout outdoors. Your porch and backyard are en extension of your home. Make sure that you have a space to enjoy!
Have other ideas to share? We’d love to hear how you are making your home an enjoyable place to be during social distancing in the comments.
Needing a little help to get your home feeling fresh and relaxing? We’re here to help remotely. Give us a call in the office to see how we can help!