Mfd Projects

Revived and Alive

Project #4

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Here’s the fresh NEW product

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stylish wall covering

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New and improved dining room

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spacious laundry room

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beautiful furnishings & accessories

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Clean, fresh & classic

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Laundry room needed to be reworked because it is always overworked…right moms?

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if it isn’t functional, it won’t be fun either

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Wallpaper, fresh coat of pain and new cabinets really make this space work for the whole family

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This is a BEFORE shot of the family room basement.

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not really inviting…but

NEW and improved entertainment center

that can all be fixed. Here is the NEW basement

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Project #3

For most designers, the “unveiling” of a newly remodeled or decorated home is the highlight of the project. But personally, it’s a toss up between the thrill of working a zillion hours a day to meet a tight deadline and seeing your clients reaction when they see the house for the first time. It’s exhilarating, nerve wrecking and worth every penny.

I am a firm believer in answering my phone and responding to people immediately. Thank goodness I practice what I preach. My phone rang in a noisy restaurant but I excused myself to take the “blocked” call. The voice on the other line was an unfamiliar british accent. The client was referred to me by a local real estate agent. The client(s) lived in London and they were looking to remodel and furnish a home in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada as their holiday home. The client hates the color brown and wanted to transform this home into her black & white contemporary holiday house…in a couple of weeks.

Little did I know the home was a traditional “brown” home (floor to ceiling). No worries, I love a challenge. I got straight to work and thank goodness for late night emails, texts and chats.  The final product was brilliant.  The clients love their new home and are able to enjoy the Las Vegas sunshine.  Here’s what the house looked like BEFORE I got my hands on it…

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Before

Before

 

BEFORE photo of  Dark and unassuming family room

BEFORE photo of
Dark and unassuming family room

 

THIS IS THE FINAL OUTCOME…FAB!!!!!

 

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AFTER: Bold, Beautiful & Stylish!!!

Now, an inviting space to entertain.

Now, an inviting space to entertain.

 

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NEW CONSTRUCTION (live and learn)

Remember, the memories you make while living IN a house makes it a HOME!

Remember, the memories you make while living IN a house makes it a HOME!

You know the saying, live and learn?  Who came up with that saying anyway?  They were right!  Boy, after going through a new custom home build (for my family), I sure did learn ALOT!!!! I have to say, it is so much easier building a home for others.  I don’t second guess myself when I am faced with making a decision on plumbing fixtures, or furnishings or what hardware would look best when it comes to “doing” for others. It’s not so easy when you are decorating your own home, by yourself.  You need to be able to bounce your ideas off someone.  Live and learn!

Anyone that knows me knows I like to “change” things around my house- often!  I’ve been known to change my furniture around. I like “tweaking” things just enough to make me feel like I have something new.  Isn’t that a great feeling?

Because I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by so many beautiful things, exposed to so many creative ideas, colors and styles, I think my next house will be…  WHITE, all WHITE!  I love white, always have.  Yes, I know it isn’t practical to have an all white house when you have teenagers, but why not?  If you like it, try it.  Slipcovered sofas are the key!   An all white kitchen, white sofas and a touch of blue throughout.  Ahh, paradise! Not sure if my husband will go for it, but I think he’s just tired of hearing about it by now so he may just cave and say, yes.  As long as it has a wrap around porch and it’s by water, Pat will love it! Yes, our next home will be our DREAM home, porch and all.

aaa

So, I got off track a bit, but wanted to share what I have learned from building our own home.

Sometimes you have to compromise.  Restrictions in our HOA prevented us from having a Spanish Colonial off white house, so we selected this color for the exterior.

Sometimes you have to compromise. Restrictions in our HOA prevented us from having a Spanish Colonial off white house, so we selected this color for the exterior.

Arches and french doors were important to us for easy access to the backyard.

Arches and french doors were important to us for easy access to the backyard.

Having a little spanish tile on the outdoor fireplace was a little reminder of California for us.

Having a little Spanish tile on the outdoor fireplace was a little reminder of California for us.

Keeping an eye on the workers' progress to meet our timeline is a must for any build.  Even if it means climbing onto the roof yourself to do it.  I did!

Keeping an eye on the workers’ progress to meet our timeline is a must for any build. Even if it means climbing onto the roof yourself to do it. I did!

Sentimental items are important in a home.  My grandfather hand carved this mirror.  Originally, it was a frame that housed their wedding photo from Argentina.  My parents gave us the frame and we had it made into a mirror for the powder room.

Sentimental items are important in a home. My grandfather hand carved this mirror. Originally, it was a frame that housed their wedding photo from Argentina. My parents gave us the frame and we had it made into a mirror for the powder room.

The master bathroom is probably one of the most important rooms in any house- besides the kitchen.  Make it your own.

The master bathroom is probably one of the most important rooms in any house- besides the kitchen. Make it your own.

Ah, the laundry room.  The room any mom spends the most time in.  Gosh do I miss this great big laundry room.  Ample storage, plenty of work space and a view, not bad.  The best thing about it was I had it located upstairs on same floor as the bedrooms.  No lugging dirty laundry down the stairs.  Yes!

Ah, the laundry room. The room most moms spend much of their time in. Boy, do I miss this great big laundry room. Ample storage, plenty of work space and a view, not bad. The best thing about it was I had it located upstairs on same floor as the bedrooms. No lugging dirty laundry down the stairs. Yes!

Watching my kids play in the yard on the first snow day- priceless!

Watching my kids play in the yard on the first snow day- priceless!

fun times!

fun times!

Not having neighbors felt like our own little block!

Not having neighbors felt like our own little block!

There are pros and cons living so close to BLM land.  At times it felt like National Geographic in the backyard.  Snakes, coyotes, tarantulas and more.  Yikes.

There are pros and cons living so close to BLM land. At times it felt like National Geographic in the backyard. Snakes, coyotes, tarantulas and more. Yikes!

 

REMODEL (Diamond in the rough)

PROJECT #2

Story:  The day I met my clients, the contractor on the project was walking out the door…for good.  It took about 60 seconds for me to realize the house was a mess.  My job was to hire a new contractor, collaborate on a floor plan that made sense, select all the finishes, purchase the furniture and incorporate the unique and exciting art pieces the home owners collected over the years.  What I didn’t know at the beginning of the project was the homeowners had a home filled with traditional Ethan Allen furnishings.  Problem was, this home was designed to be contemporary.  It’s always a good idea to get to know your clients at the beginning of a project.  But, with my luck, the holidays were around the corner and the owners had wasted enough time pouring over bad plans with a bad contractor.  It’s time to get busy.  No time to waste.  The solution…to gut the entire interior of the home.  But why stop there?  The outside wasn’t anything to write home about.  The kidney shaped pool was in a word, disgusting.  The yard had been neglected for some time and the entire home needed attention.  On board with my ideas, the clients agreed to let me move the pool, yes, MOVE the pool, redo the landscape and redesign the interior of the home.  I have to say, these clients put a great deal in trust in me and working on this project was good for the soul.  The final product was a beautiful home for a lovely family.

BEFORE: This is what I'm talking about…take the ugliest house on the block and ….

BEFORE: This is what I’m talking about…take the ugliest house on the block and ….

transform it into...

transform it into…

the BEST looking home in the neighborhood!

the BEST looking home in the neighborhood!

If the rooms on the inside of the house aren't working for you, change it.

If the rooms on the inside of the house aren’t working for you, change it.

Gut it and start over.  That may become my new motto!!

Gut it and start over. That may become my new motto!!

the Kidney shaped pool had to go.

the Kidney shaped pool had to go.

Let the games begin

Let the games begin

Make sure you have a great pool builder. I have the best in Nevada.

Make sure you have a great pool builder. I have the best in Nevada.

New pool is sleek and contemporary

New pool is sleek and contemporary

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Artificial turf and desert landscaping in our state is commonly used.  Cuts down on water bill and looks great all year long.

Artificial turf and desert landscaping in our state is commonly used. Cuts down on water bill and looks great all year long.

Outdoor drapes are just as important to complete a space as indoor drapes

Outdoor drapes are just as important to complete a space as indoor drapes

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Selecting the right colors for your exterior could make all the difference.

Selecting the right colors for your exterior could make all the difference.

REMODEL (A home is a man’s castle)

I learn something new with every remodel I do.  It’s definitely a ridiculously exhilarating process.  My most difficult task is getting the vision that’s in my head out of my mouth fast enough for my workers to keep up with me.  My feeling is CHANGE is GOOD!  The best feeling is when you are able to see the ugliest house on the block become the BEST looking home in the neighborhood!  I have my dad to thank for this “CAN DO” attitude.  The uglier the house, the better.  The harder the challenge, the better.  I’m not afraid to tackle difficult projects.  My parents have always said, “YOU CAN DO IT!” and so I believe it.  Note to self-I hope I’m reminding my own kids enough that they can do anything they set their minds to.  It’s an invaluable lesson.

What makes my projects even more exciting is I tend to gravitate towards clients who want a FULL remodel of their home in a remarkably small length of time.  2 weeks was my most challenging and gratifying project, thus far. I have an incredible crew that I can count on which definitely helps.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is important and crucial to surround yourself with good people.  My clients hire me for several reasons.  But I think the most important reason they hire me is because they know I am a bulldog with a bone.  I protect my clients and I fight for them.  Whether it’s negotiating on a price for material in an effort to meet their budgetary needs, or keeping a watchful eye on the workers…my clients know I have their BEST interest at heart. I work my tail off  to make it all come together for them.  My clients come first.

I’d like to share a few notable projects with you.  My family says I should write a book.  The stories are real and you just can’t make this stuff up.

PROJECT #1

Story:  My client handed me a little black box.  He said, Laura “here’s my life, put it together- you have 2 weeks.”  When I opened the box, it contained 5 pictures and a CD.  I didn’t know the first thing about this man, except  he was a bachelor and had several kids he adored.  His marching orders were short and sweet.  “Convert two apartments into one home and make it feel like Ralph Lauren meets African Safari.” Oh, and I forgot to mention the apartment was a luxury high-rise that comes with it’s own restraints and a long list of Do and Do NOTs.  A challenge, for sure but what a great learning experience!

BEFORE remodel.  I had to transform this black and red Asian themed apartment(s) into a stylish warm and inviting home...

BEFORE remodel. I had to transform this black and red Asian themed apartment(s) into a stylish warm and inviting home…

Turnberry Master Bedroom Before Remodel Turnberry Kitchen Before Turnberry Family Room Before ShotTurnberry Bathroom Before (2) Turnberry Remodel (2)

No that's a transformation!  Warm tones, lush furnishings and wha…la!

Now that’s a transformation! Warm tones, lush furnishings and wha…la!  I wish it were that easy, huh?  This sectional was the only piece of furniture my client wanted to bring over to the new apartment.  Only problem was it is 14 ft long and the service elevator in the building is only 10 ft. high.  Hmm, so I did what any normal decorator would do in a panic…I had the sectional cut in half by my upholster in the client’s rental apartment before I moved the sectional into the new apartment.  I then had the upholster build it back together and nobody could tell the sofa had been altered.  It was either that or have the sectional heaved up like a piano from the outside of the building and hoisted into the new apartment through the window.  Ugh, management didn’t really go for my idea so sawing the sectional in half was my only solution.  It worked!

The library.  A cozy reading area off kitchen #2, that's right, kitchen #2.

The library. A cozy reading area off kitchen #2, that’s right, kitchen #2.

I skinned the entry elevator doors with walnut finish, venetian plastered the ceiling and added a beautiful entry chandelier.

I had my incredible cabinet guys skin the entry elevator doors with walnut finish panel, venetian plastered the ceiling and added a beautiful entry chandelier.

The new dining room off kitchen #1

The new dining room off kitchen #1

Kitchen #1

Kitchen #1

It’s amazing what a little faux finish will do for a stainless steel vent-a-hood.

Kitchen #2

Kitchen #2

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I found this incredible one of a kind travertine custom vanity in client's storage unit. How can you pass this up?  Absolutely stunning in person and fit perfectly in new powder room.

I found this incredible one of a kind travertine custom vanity in client’s storage unit. How can you pass this up? Absolutely stunning in person and fit perfectly in new powder room.

Master Bedroom: CD contained photos of client's recent African Safari.  The custom framed photos on the wall depict an exotic and fabulous trip.

Master Bedroom:
CD contained photos of client’s recent African Safari. The custom framed photos on the wall depict an exotic and fabulous trip.

Oh, and don't forget the closets.  Since the old apartment didn't have much to work with, I had these closets designed for client.  The next thing the client wanted was a stylist.  YOUR wish is my command.  Kathy Brooks is an incredible stylist and friend, that was easy!  Getting the butler was tricky but doable as well.

Oh, and don’t forget the closets. Since the old apartment didn’t have much to work with, I had these closets designed for client. The next thing the client wanted was a stylist. YOUR wish is my command. Kathy Brooks is an incredible stylist and friend, that was easy! Getting the butler was tricky but doable as well.

“Mini” makeovers

BEFORE

BEFORE

New and improved.  A little love and paint and tadah…your new dining room

New and improved. A little love and paint and tadah…your new dining room

AFTER

AFTER

In today’s market, I have more and more clients who are staying put. They aren’t looking to buy a bigger and better home, they’re just interested in updating their current home. Let the mini makeovers begin! I’ve been really busy helping my clients do this. It is absolutely amazing how you can transform a house into a home with a few minor changes. Paint, wallpaper (by the way ladies, wallpaper is back with a vengeance and it’s better than ever…it’s no longer your grandma’s wallpaper), and some rearranging of your furniture and you too can have a brand new home (without the expense of moving). So, let me tell you- dining rooms, powder rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms are a few areas that will really make a difference and not break the bank. Kitchens are definitely worth the cost in updating since after all EVERYBODY hangs out around the kitchen island. But, if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider giving one room in your home a “facelift”.

BEFORE shot

BEFORE shot

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AFTER shot. As you can see, I left the granite counter tops, all appliances, cabinets and flooring. I refinished the exterior cabinets a darker/richer color, and changed color of the kitchen island to make it a focal point. The walls were painted a chocolate brown and there you have it. An amazing transformation!

All done!  Amazing transformation and kitchen is now updated with it's mini makeover.

All done! Kitchen is now updated with it’s “mini” makeover.

Before shot of bathroom

Before shot of bathroom

After shot of same bathroom.  Removed the standard large mirror, replaced it with a beautiful contemporary mirror, wallpaper for backsplash of vanity and fresh paint for cabinets and walls.  Spectacular!

After shot of same bathroom. Removed the standard large mirror, replaced it with a beautiful contemporary mirror, wallpaper for backsplash of vanity and fresh paint for cabinets and walls. Spectacular!

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