Archive for the ‘Bathrooms’ Category

A Bath Reborn

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

With the anticipated arrival of our child, it was time to update the basement bathroom so that it could accommodate storage.  Here are the before and after photos.  We are very happy with the results and have so much storage space…who gets to say that in New York!?

Although the bathroom is small (3’6″ x 6’5″), there was way more potential than what was currently there.  Here’s what we did to make it larger visually and provide lots of storage.  The before:

The after:

What we did:

  • Update the floor from a dark navy/turquoise octagonal tile to white carrara mosaic.
  • Replace the pedestal sink with a custom vanity to store toilet paper, toiletries, medicines, etc.  It’s a bit taller than the pedestal so it is super easy to wash your face and hands; bending way over is not required!  We also added an outlet under the sink (inside the cabinet) to charge toothbrushes out of sight.
  • Update the 3-hole faucet with a single-hole faucet.  This creates less visual clutter.
  • Remove the wall mounted medicine cabinet and replace with a custom sized mirror to open the space.  The new mirror does not protrude into the room so you don’t feel as squished.
  • Remove the ceiling mounted light fixture and replace with two recessed cans.  The ceiling is already low so keeping the lights in the ceiling helps to open the space visually.
  • Update paint from beige to a soft gray-blue that works beautifully with the tile and marble countertop.


  • Paint – Farrow and Ball Pavilion Gray
  • Cabinet – Artistory
  • Slab – White marble, from found remnant
  • Faucet – Grohe
  • Lav – Elements of Style
  • Mirror – Custom
  • Knobs – Du Verre

A First Home in Denver

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I had hoped to be ready to post some “preliminary” shots of our new house, but didn’t want you all to think we are total slobs.  We have been in the new house for just over a week.  Step one was getting things out of boxes and into piles.  We have succeeded at that, but the next step of finding everything a home has been a bit trickier, so here are some photos to give you a feel for the space, but none of the belongings in the pictures are ours. Hence, my personal disclaimer:  I am going to cheat a bit with the first photos of our new home today.  These are the photos taken by the realtor and whoever staged our home prior to us buying it, so none of the furniture it ours – also, please note they used a wide angle lens so the spaces feel slightly larger than they really are.

I love this picture – our new place has tons of windows and light.  As you can see the space is long and fairly narrow – I can’t wait to paint and get some really fun carpet on the stairs.

Once in the door, this is your view directly to the right.  I am thinking this will be where our TV has to go and maybe a small chair in the corner by the window.

This is your view to the left of the door, essentially our living space.  It looks clean and simple with this furniture, but our pieces are slightly larger so I am going to have to play with it a bit.  A bold patterned rug is something I am looking for and a new light fixture or fan – I am undecided if we actually want a fan in this space or not.

This rectangular table fits nicely in the space, but ours is round.  It will be interesting to see how it fits.  We also have a large armoire that we want in this area to serve as a pantry since there isn’t one in the kitchen.

I love the island in the kitchen and the huge sink!  Our biggest issue is the limited number of cabinets and drawers.  We only have eight cabinets and five drawers.  Storage solutions will be my initial focus in this space.

The half bath downstairs is enormous and a poor use of space.  Down the road I would love to reconfigure it and add a pantry and coat closet.

The master bedroom has doors or windows on every wall, which makes using the space a bit more challenging.  I am hoping to get a dresser, two small night stands, and a little vanity table in here.

I will post another update in the next few weeks once our belongings are settled.  We are in the process of picking paint colors so I will keep you posted on that progress.  Until then…


A New Home in NYC

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

As some of you may know, my husband and I have recently moved into a new place in New York City.  We are thrilled to have an updated, warm and quiet space.  I wanted to share  pictures of it in progress and then I’ll post the afters as they happen.  I’ve found that it’s WAY HARDER to do my own space.  I know too many great vendors and want to use them all!

A bit of background on the place.  It was built in 1910 and the last owners updated the kitchen & dining area before moving.  It is a duplex, which in NY means the unit is two floors, not side-by-side.  It has a great layout for entertaining our friends and family.  The first floor consists of the kitchen, dining, living, main bath and a great little patio out the back door.  Down a tight, little  spiral staircase is the basement consisting of two bedrooms and a half bath.

Giang and I live very casual lives.  We love being home and entertaining which means lots of cooking.  We tend to use what we have until it falls apart.  We don’t like having lots of tchotchkes around and prefer a pretty low maintence home.

The kitchen is small, but we have a Wolf!  It beats our last stove that was so uneven that we had to prop up the burners with aluminum foil “pads” so that the pans would be level.  I probably won’t be doing much with this room but it needs a rug and a shade to for the window by the dishwasher.

The dining room is one of my favorite rooms.  It’s large and comfortable.  I love that they hide the refrigerator in the wall of cabinetry (far left).  The center of the cabinetry was this strange, large cabinet.  We didn’t want a TV so we made it into a bar.  I painted the inside red and built the small bank of drawers to store more utensils and charge our iPad.  The dining table was built by yours truly out of reclaimed NYC water tower wood and I found the legs locally.  The last bit to do here is find art for the wall.  We painted the core color a pale yellow you see pictured.




The living room is probably one of the few rooms that came together quickly.  Our furniture came with us from Denver and we added the coffee table by Palo Samko.  We plan on relocating and hiding the TV in a wall at a later time.  The wall of photos were taken by Giang and I on our travels around the world.  We selected pictures that are serene yet graphic.  Some of the shots are recognizable, some are not.


The main bath will become more of a powder room (without removing the shower) once we finish the basement bath.  The basement bath will add much needed storage for all our toiletries so we can remove them from the main bath that everyone sees.  I plan to put carrara mosaic on the floor, install an interesting vanity with some storage, add better lighting and replace the mirror and toilet.

Our little staircase to the lower level.

This is where it happens!  The dreaded office.  It’s only dreaded because it is the room I spend the most time in and will likely be the last to be complete.   I thought about doing a large built-in but they realized I wanted the space to function differently so the plan is:  I want to make this room come to life.  It’s DARK!  There isn’t much natural light so color and accessories are where it will happen.  I’m currently making a long desk to replace the existing one we have.  This will split my husbands space from mine and not protrude so far into the room.  I’ll also be making new storage pieces to replace the plastic ones.  Also on the drafting board is a plan for a large magnetic chalk board with a high gloss white frame so that I can post even more inspiration pictures.  And let’s not forget, we need wallpaper or paint!  Behind the door is a little temporary book case made out of wine boxes.  I recycled a shoe storage rack on the back of the door for storing fabric samples, samples and paint decks.



The master bedroom is also a work in progress.  We have two bikes that are currently residing in here and I need to find them a better home.  Art above the bed is a must!  Another project is building nice night stands…but, as we all know, all in time!

Basement bath as is.  The cabinet is being made and I’m selecting the top today.  This should be done within the next few weeks.  Yippeee!

It’s patio season.  We are working to finish the patio in the next couple of weeks as well.  We’ve found some dining chairs, have all our pots, have a rug ordered so now it’s just a matter of planting all the greenery.  I’ll post pictures on Facebook and Twitter as these projects come to life.


Room Re-do Contest!!!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Post pictures of or write about your LEAST favorite room in your home on our Facebook page for a chance to win a room re-do between now and February 20th!  Leave a brief description about what you dislike and why. Encourage friends to “like” your post.  The person with the most “likes” will win. The winner will be announced Monday, February 27th. Details are below!

5 Easy Steps:

1. Log into your Facebook account.

2. Find us on Facebook at:  

3. Click on “Photo” which is write next to “Post”.

 4. Select Upload a Photo

5. Click “Choose File” to select the image you want to upload

Contest Details:

- Submit photos of one room – post via your computer or phone to Facebook.

- Encourage friends and family to like your post and picture.  The person with the most “likes” will win.

- There are no restrictions on the location of the property.

*Winner will receive a room re-do. We start by rearranging your existing pieces of furniture to make the space more functional and visually appealing.  Next we can help you select paint colors, accessorize, and fall back in the love with your home!

- Winner will be announced February 27th via Facebook and our website/blog.  Pictures of the before and after will be posted on our blog upon completion.





Quick Fixes for Your Home

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Bored with your home?  Looking for some easy, affordable ways to freshen things up?  Look no further!  Here are some quick fixes to update any room in your home.

Option 1: Paint

Get rid of the boring beige.  Below is a great example of how a little color on the walls can brighten up a space and make it feel larger.

 Work to find the right balance of light and dark.  This will prevent a room with dark walls from feeling small.  The light floors, cabinets, and ceiling are a beautiful contrast to the navy walls.

Don’t be afraid to try a bright color.

That said, neutrals can also make a statement when the right hue is used.  Notice how crisp this color looks with the white trim.

Try a pattern to make a bold statement in a small space.

Consider putting the pattern on the floor.  It is a great way to provide color and visual interest in any space.

Option 2: Revamp or upgrade a light fixture

This is a great example of how an old brass chandelier can have a new life if you have the time for a little DIY project.  Try a spray paint with a gloss finish.

I had to throw this in.  I made a wine glass chandelier to go with my thesis project back in college.  It took 36 wine glasses, fishing line, and a single light bulb.

I love using chandeliers in different spaces such as bedrooms, closets, or bathrooms.  They add a touch of nostalgia and intimacy to a room.

A funky grouping of fixtures can make a dynamic statement.

Option 3: Make your bed the throne of your bedroom

Reinvent your headboard.  Try a found material like the one below made of old plank floor boards.

Consider reupholstering an antique headboard with a bold color or pattern that draws the eye.

If you don’t have room or the budget for a headboard, consider a wall decal.  They are an inexpensive, fun way to give a room character.

Option 4: Reupholster or refinish

Find a piece of furniture that has good bones but is in sad shape.  Give it some TLC and the end product can be stunning.

This console has an old school finish, but a carefully applied coat of paint gives it a lovely new life.

Option 5: Invest

Invest in ONE “statement piece” of furniture per room.  It can be a piece that you lovingly refurbish or one that you choose to splurge on.  Whether a chair, desk, mirror, accent piece, table, or rug, the choice is up to you, but one thing is certain – it must steal the show.  What is your eye drawn to in the images below?


How to Spice Up Your Bathroom

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

There are two spaces in a home that people want to remodel most: the kitchen and the bathroom.  Unless your home is a new-build, it is highly unlikely that you love every nook and cranny of your bathroom.  For most of us in older homes, condo’s and apartments, there are a number of things in this space we would like to change, but don’t have the budget or ability to follow through on.  Before you decide to blow up your bathroom and start from scratch, take a look at some of the beautiful abodes we found and our tips to take your bathroom from ho-hum to your personal sanctuary.

Warm and cozy, the collection of unique mirrors in this bathroom are tied together through a simple coat of paint.  Try finding a few mirrors that have interesting frames at garage sales or thrift stores, spray paint the frames to match, and voila, your own wall-feature is complete.

Mirrors also help small spaces feel larger and reflect the colors of their surroundings so there is less need for artwork.  The use of reclaimed wood, likely from a wood shop table in this case, offers a touch of nostalgia.

A chandelier can completely change the feel of a space.  I love this wire one, it adds dimension and a touch of the whimsical to the already soft color palette.

Are you a bookworm?  Then bring some of that love for literature into your bathroom.  These backlit shelves give a very simple room color and personality.  Accessorize the shelves with a few objects that pull out the brightest color in the space.

This look is clean and fresh.  The vintage wall-mounted mirror offers some open storage, as the pedestal sink and subway tile create a balance between matte and glossy finishes.

Love the use of an antique armoire and bold colored claw foot tub.  To get a little extra spice, try adding a cool printed paper, wallpaper, or fabric as the insert panel in your storage unit.  The one shown was likely a china cabinet with glass panels.  Try painting the outside of your old claw-foot tub.  Both are easy weekend DIY projects that could transform you bath quickly.

Yay storage!!  To the women reading this, show off your shoes and handbags!  They are works of art in their own right.  This will give you a place to store them and admire them.  I also love how this bathroom makes use of the vertical space, and who doesn’t love a charming ladder.

A very easy way to change the feel of your bathroom is with a fun new shower curtain and a floor length mirror.  The chunky frame on this mirror is the perfect opposition to the ethereal shower curtain and playful tub.


This was too clever not to show.  What a great way to reuse an old bike and give a pedestal sink a little bit of storage for hand towels or other necessities in the bike’s basket. It feels funky and retro.


A great use of color and asymmetry.  This is a great idea for a small space.  You get a full length mirror, sink with vanity mirror, little bit of counter space, and 2 drawers all in one wall-mounted piece (gotta love the one leg!).

 An organic or sleek ledge is a beautiful, easy accent to add to a bathroom.  Put it on the longest wall to help elongate the space.

Storage is key in most bathrooms.  Pick a wall and turn it into a sort of apothecary cabinet.  Keep colors the same and hide unruly items like hair dryers, etc in boxes or baskets.

Ladders can be an great addition to any bath.  Simple and easy management for towels or magazines.

Uplift Collection Robern bathroom cabinet

If you have very little space, one of the best things you could do is add a recessed Robern cabinet.  They come in many configurations and depths.  I used to have one with interior electrical outlets in our old home.  This is brilliant because it can hide razors and toothbrushes while charging so they don’t clutter the bathroom counter.  They also have a mirror defogger which is great when you are in a hurry and can’t see your mirror.

We Won!

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Paradigm, in collaboration with Nest Architecture and BOA Construction, won a 2011 CARE award from the HBA of Denver for “Whole House Remodel” in the category of $500,000 – 1 Million.  This is the second award received for our Belcaro residence.  Click here to see more pictures of the winning project.


Special thanks to the homeowners for allowing us to work on their home and a shout out to the great team at Nest and BOA because we all know that a successful project is a team effort.

Kent Village Remodel – Drywall

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Drywall has been hung and wow, this residence has taken a night-and-day change for the better.  Below are some pictures. 


Above:  Looking into the den and out to the courtyard.  We opened the door from a small 3′ opening to a 9′ opening.  I knew light would come in but didn’t realize how much.  Light now floods from both sides into the living space. 


Standing in the den looking at the fireplace wall.  The last bit of drywall to be installed.


Looking at the front door.  To the left is the fireplace which has been covered to keep dust off the newly laid rock. 


Master bathroom.  To the left is the new shower footprint.  To the right of the half wall will be the vanities. 


Looking at the master bedroom fireplace wall.  This is same fireplace as the den. 


Looking at the garage entry.  Love having the stairs opened up. 


Standing in the living room alcove looking into the den and the entry wall that will be the cabinetry to include the bar, desk, storage and coat closet.  Note that the stair walls have been removed. 


Living room alcove where the baby grand will reside. 


The doors to the patio. 


Standing in the kitchen looking at the fireplace and den to the right.


Living room view looking into kitchen.  Note the new skylights.  Even more natural light. 


Guest bath shower alcove. 


Guest bedroom.   Door on the left goes into the bathroom; space in middle will become a closet.


From the garage entry looking over the stairs.

Project: Kent Village Remodel – Construction

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

The Kent Village project in the process of demolition.  Most walls have been removed but the old electrical and plumbing remain.  The pile carpet has been torn out to reveal old parquet floors. 


Looking from the living room into the guest & master bathrooms. 


Standing in the entry hall (behind the fireplace) looking into baths.


This may be one of my favorite pictures.  I love that the chandelier is still hanging in the guest bath/powder.  You can also see the old plumbing for the shower on the left.  Look how LOW that shower head is. 


Looking down the hall into the master bath and bedroom.


Looking from the fireplace and front door back at the dining room and kitchen. 


And a bit closer…Notice the framed stairwell.  That will be gone soon but it was discovered to be a load bearing wall.  So, for now, it stays until our metal beam is ready.  The wall to the left of the stair will be that great functioning wall of cabinetry.  Next up?  Selecting materials!

Project: Kent Village Remodel – Before

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

We all love before and afters so I wanted to start chronicling my projects.  This first one is a gut renovation of a ranch style home in Denver, Colorado.  The square footage is right around 2,000 on the main floor; basement is not included in the reno.  My client had purchased the house a while back and then rented it until they were ready to fix it up for themselves.  So on May 1st we began demolition by removing most of the walls in the public spaces.  Here are the photos that we took minutes before demo.


Kitchen with door to patio.  The door will eventually become a window.


Eat-in kitchen area.  To the left is an exterior door, stairs and garage access.  This corner will become part of the expanded kitchen.


Dining room from kitchen door way and looking into the living room.  The French doors lead to the patio.  All interior walls will be removed to open up the space.


Living room looking out to the patio.  Fireplace and the “wing walls” on both sides will be removed and the fireplace updated to a modern design.  No more brass here!


Guest bath/powder from doorway.  The shower is to the left through the dark doorway.  Layout will remain fairly similar; just a dramatic face lift.


Master bath layout will change however the vanities will remain on the same wall.  There is currently a large tub (see below) opposite the vanities.  The tub will be removed and a large walk-in shower will be on the far left of the vanities.  The toilet will be enclosed in it’s own room in the current tub location.

Toilet & tub


The den, which is off the living room, will remain the same foot print.  The bar and wood paneling will be removed and the entry way will expand from 3 feet to 9 feet so access can be gained through the living room not just the hallway.


The entry hall by the kitchen.  The left wall will be removed to expose the stairwell going to the basement.  The right wall will be pushed out into the garage and house a wall of cabinetry to include a desk area, coat closet, pantry and a bar.  Goodbye long, dark hallway.

Because we are now in June, I will post some of the construction photos next week untill we get up to speed.  Till then…happy remodeling!