Thursday, May 3, 2012

INTERIOR IDEAS: Quick & Easy Changes To Welcome Spring and Summer.

Spring is here and Summer is in queue.
The flowers are blooming, the air is abit warmer and the sun is shining brightly.  As you fling open those drapes to welcome in the light, you turn around and find......the living room needs the Easter Bunny to deliver alittle bit of something to spruce it up.  For the last few months we've all probably have stared at the same ole rooms more than any other time of the year.  Just like the new season, we all feel like it's time for a change.  Some folks can greet Spring with a brand new interior.  But now-a-days, fully redecorating even just the living room with a new sofa, rug, lamps and art just doesn't seem economically feasible.

So how do we give our spaces new life without replacing everything?

You don't need huge changes to create a completely new feeling or look.  Here are some simple changes that can create small or big impact, depending on what you are hoping to acheive.

Make an inexpensive sofa look custom by recovering the seat cushions and/or pillows.  In this home we turned a pre-fabricated sofa into a custom piece by doing just that.  The wall sconces were a find on the internet and a bench was turned into a coffee table.

Pops of color always brings a room to life.  In this living room, the main base color was a yellow-beige.  The dark wood is a great balance but its the red that adds that bit of spark.  By simply adding in elements of fire in pillows, drapes and even candles, this neutral room is now ready for a fun time.

Along with color, patterns can add alot to a room.  In this guest bedroom, the client's wanted to play with that, on a limited budgeted.  Our solution, was to  paint the room a strong orange using their existing bedding as inspiration.  The art work compliments the new color scheme and makes the room a forever spring/summer space.  The clients can also tone down the feel by replacing the bedding with more neutral pieces.

Sprucing up this breakfast nook was fast and easy.  The built-in banquette, table, chairs and flooring were all existing.  Taking inspiration from the artwork, we found some inexpensive blue fabric to make a cushion for the banquettes and to simply recover the chair seats.  Throw pillows from a home store and a $60 pendant found on the internet rounds out the group.  

When we first saw this guest bedroom the walls were stark white, the bed was on the right hand wall and it was poorly lit.  The clients had some various drapery they had stored away in the house that we found and used as the starting off point for the newly designed room.  We picked up a "bed-in-a-bag" at a home store along with the table lamps and the pendant.  We stole one of the nightstands that was being unused in another room and paired it with the bed and the existing nightstand.  Wanting color, the clients said yes to the bright yellow.  Now the room is a balanced and functional room.

Hopefully we've given you some ideas on how to spruce up your home without breaking the bank.  Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a room, but sometimes fabric or even a lamp or two can do the job too.  So how will you tackle your next project on a budget?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PROJECTS: Edwardian Kitchen & Bath Remodel

 How can we fit a kitchen, add a second bathroom and a laundry area, keep access to a back door (per code) and make the design blend with the rest of an Edwardian flat all in a space less than 300 square feet?  That was the challenge when tackling this project in a turn of the century home in San Francisco.

The city by the Bay, mostly built after the great quake of 1905, is known for small spaces built vertically with many residences occupying entire floors better known as flats.  These homes typically contain small rooms all connected to long narrow hallways, that makes modern living, and remodeling, a daunting task.

The solution in this flat was to convert an existing dining room into a new kitchen, change the old cramped kitchen (that was once a mudroom) into a small bathroom with a laundry area and a small hallway that connects a set of back stairs to the main hallway of the home.  With some thinking, HERMOGENO DESIGNS came up with a space plan that checked off every one of these requirements and gave the clients a few extras.

Comparing the before and after plans above you can see just how HD gave the clients what they wanted and needed.  The surprise came in the form of an eat-in area in the kitchen as well as creative wine storage.  

Check out the before photos below to see what HD began with.

BEFORE:  A corner of the former dining room housed a wet bar to be replaced by cabinetry and the refrigerator.

BEFORE:  The former dining to be converted into the new kitchen.  The doorway to the former kitchen to be closed off.

BEFORE:  This long unused wall in the dining room to turn into storage and seating for the new kitchen

BEFORE:  The former kitchen to be turned into the new bathroom, laundry area and small hallway.

Now check out the finished rooms to see how they were transformed.

AFTER:  The long wall in the former dining room is given new life with a work-storage station that includes a microwave and glass front cabinets.

AFTER:  Opposite from the work-storage station is the prep and cooking zone that made use of the rooms awkward corner angle.  The clients chose their own finishes that include white shaker style door cabinets, Caesarstone countertops and high end appliances.

AFTER:  The eat-in area includes built-in seating and clever wine storage that made use of every bit of space.

AFTER:  What was once part of the kitchen is now a space saving bathroom with a shower stall and laundry area to the left.

Thoughtful use of space is key when remodeling a relatively small area when you have a big list of wants.  Who knows, what you want and what you're limited to can sometimes be the same thing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

INTERIOR IDEAS. Grey Scale. The New Neutral.

Beige.  Off-white.  Tan.
For years and years, these colors were the go-to's when trying to decorate a room with minimal or no color at all.  Just like the names of the colors, they have become bland in today's world.  As times and styles evolve, so does the need to find alternatives to these shades of brown.  White can be too stark and cold.  Black is just too, well black.  So what is the alternative?  If we mix these two colors together we get the perfect neutral: grey.

From transitional to modern.  From heather grey to steel grey.  From tile to drapes.  Check out how HERMOGENO DESIGNS uses this new neutral.

Subtle and sophisticated, this dining room takes grey in a light approach.  The light grey wall color, that has a beige undertone, pulls out the silvery greys in the drapery, the upholstered ceiling and the place settings.  Even the mirrors have a silvery grey look.

This modern bathroom's color scheme of grey and white is exactly what the clients were looking for.  Clean and simple lines of the vanity and the subway tile tub surround all in grey balance with the stark white floor tile and Caesarstone countertop.  

Grey was a great way to balance the dark, wenge like cabinets and coordinate with the blue glass mosaic backsplash.  The floor tile, the same that is used throughout most Apple stores (a nod to the client's countless years as a computer engineer) have a concrete quality while the speckled grey Caesarstone countertops help integrate the stainless steel appliances together to create a harmonious balance.  The grey walls and ceiling round out the look.

In the living room of this bachelor pad, dark grey walls and mosaic tile on the fireplace surround coordinates with the ale inspired drapery and throw pillows, brown tweed sectional sofa fabric and the heavy wood furniture to create an intimate space.

Showing you just a few ways HERMOGENO DESIGNS has used grey, don't be afraid to try it out in your home.  Where will you start first?