September! And a Buffalo Plaid Floor – Should I? Could I?

It’s 6:04 a.m. on the first day of September, and I am rocking out on the sofa to Dancing in September, feeling jolts of seasonal joy. Welcome, welcome, oh beautiful almost-autumnal month.

I don’t know if it’s September’s promise of the cozy months to come, or my long-running love for black and white plaid, but I’ve gotten it into my mind that the floor in the new Camp Sterling laundry room should be classic Buffalo plaid, like a flannel shirt or a Ralph Lauren pillow, constructed of large single-shade tiles, like so:

Yes to the white subway tile (allllll over allllll the walls). Yes to the iron hardware, warm woods and black-painted millwork details. Yes to those glass light fixtures (with brass trim) you can see in the background. (And yes to this killer cute restaurant, The General Muir, in Atlanta.)

Are you seeing my vision? The restaurant above and below is the Hogshead Tavern, newly opened in New York City, buffalo check floor and all.

This flooring below is carpet, but ohhhhh. It makes me feel like I’m in Aspen, about to drink hot chocolate, while watching other people ski – which is my favorite thing to do in Aspen.

 

I’m pretty far gone for this idea. It can go country really fast, but I am devoted to keeping that firmly in check. (Hee.)

I’ve seen the concept rendered in porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, and even gray/white/black marble tiles. But to give it a little un-country edge – as well as that matte chalky finish that just can’t be imitated, I plan to make my plaid floor using cement tiles.

I laid out the floor below, to scale in a small laundry room, using solid -colored Granada Tile  in black, silver, and white. See the tiles here. I love the large scale.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.10.13 PM

Another option in cement tiles: the checkmate pattern by Cle Tile – it’s a smaller repeat, but quite cute.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 6.31.01 AM

 

Are you into it?

Buffalo Plaid is a classic pattern, but it’s also having a modern moment this fall. Target is launching a plaid-tastic capsule collection by Adam Lippes in a few weeks, and you’re about to experience my laundry room floor in every store in the mall. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pillow and plates (!) below from the Adam Lippes collection for Target, coming Sept. 27:

I ordered this fabric to make slightly more luxe autumnal throw pillows for Camp Sterling – Ralph Lauren Brookby Linen Check, $130 per yard, available through me.

It’s on the clothing racks, too. This skirt is from H & M. $34.99.

Cutest Chair at Schoolhouse Electric, $1500:

Major “hot for teacher” vibes in this dress by Kate Spade, $398:

For those frigid Arizona October nights, this Faribault wool throw is on sale at Modern Anthology, $80.

A small price to pay for plaid, this top is $19 at Forever 21.

I owned and loved this: Dash and Albert Tattersall Black Woven Cotton Rug – $390 for an 8 x 10 – available through me.

I love these little trays, $18 – $28  from the Brook Farm General Store:

Now back to my floor – I want the laundry room to feel just a little fun, so that I am enticed to go in there from time to time, you know? The plaid is definitely youthful, but classic, too, especially paired with black trim, lots of white subway tile, a little brass and some Paris-inspired glass:

(Above photo from the General Muir: that mini portrait will have me stalking eBay for months to come.)

So what’s your vote on my plaid floor – checkmark or check, please?

By | 2017-04-27T22:37:18+00:00 September 1st, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|0 Comments

Biltmore Heights Project: Before and After

Ready for a before-and-after that will seriously satisfy your brain? Hitting the market today: the beautiful Biltmore Heights renovation project I’ve been working on with Camelback Urban Development. The team includes realtor/developer Rob Kukla and his wife, architect Sandra Kukla — also known as She Who Designed Sky Harbor Airport. (!@#$!)  There’s an open house on Sunday from 1-4 p.m.(5125 N. 32nd Place, Phoenix) — but until then, come have a look inside:

5125-Arcadia-House-25

Our vibe was Arcadia Farmhouse — but with a modern edge. I’ll be breaking down the materials and finishes in posts to come — but don’t you love those wood floors (NOT tile), the ceiling detail, and wide open entry? I’m in love with the color palette: serene walls, crisp white trim, and rich gray doors with just a touch of black hardware to give that modern edge.

5125-Arcadia-House-50-Edit

The kitchen features the world’s largest island clad in goooorgeous honed Olympic marble. Note the chic fireplace and designer Visual Comfort Lighting. I selected the lights to help tie in the dark door frame and to make the farmhouse vibe feel a little more modern and fresh. Also, these lanterns are glass-free and therefore easy to clean. Dear future owner: you are happily most welcome. And can we be friends, so that I can come to parties here? Out that back window: a big view of Camelback Mountain.

P.S. The kitchen used to look like this:

32ndbeforekitchen

Yikes! And now it’s this:

5125-Arcadia-House-52-Edit

5125-Arcadia-House-48-Edit

5125-Arcadia-House-60-Edit

Before we got our hands on this house, the bathrooms looked like this:

32ndbeforebath

And now they look like this:

5125-Arcadia-House-19

And the master:

5125-Arcadia-House-40-Edit

5125-Arcadia-House-39

5125-Arcadia-House-41-Edit

I love this master bath  – so elegant and calming: there’s gray marble everywhere, paired with small luxuries like statement cabinet hardware, notched marble backsplash corners, cross-handle faucets, and Visual Comfort sconces with gray-trimmed shades. And it’s right next to the largest master closet I have ever seen in a flip — and by Classy Closets, even.

Exterior before:

32ndbeforefront
32ndbeforeback

And after:

5125-Arcadia-House-13

5125-Arcadia-House-6

Those red gooseneck lights were the first thing ever selected for this house – from Rejuvenation. Oh, and here’s a peek at the cute powder bath:

5125-Arcadia-House-27-Edit-2

That wallpaper!!!! I walked a few friends and clients through this house and they were all dreaming of this ikat in their lives. It’s paired with gray wainscoting and a custom gray wood mirror,  and gold fixtures and pendant lights to warm it all up.

Lastly, a tease of the laundry room and drop station – I love this crisp floor.

5125-Arcadia-House-30

dropstation

I’m thrilled with how this project came together and really loved collaborating with Sandy and Rob. This house is a testament to their work ethic and incredibly thoughtful planning and foresight. (There are like 4 hall closets – all enormous, featuring things like shelves sized to accommodate luggage.)

The listing is here (link updated!), if you’d like to see more — and everyone is welcome to the Open House on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Which room is your favorite?

Photos, as ever, by the wonderful Isaac Bailey.

By | 2015-08-29T07:39:21+00:00 August 28th, 2015|House Renovation|0 Comments

Sneak Peek at My House: The Hall Bath

This morning, I needed a sweatshirt to defend against the air conditioning. For a slight blessed moment, it felt like fall. Add in last night’s happy news from our contractor that our project just might start soon, and I’m ready to lose this summertime sadness. (Don’t you love that Lana Del Rey song?)

So, in celebration of all things changing and new, here’s a sneak peek at my design for the hall bathroom at Camp Sterling — soon to be “Camp” no more. (There aren’t enough emojis in the world for that joy.)

SterlingManorHallBath

It is easier to design for someone else – as any designer can tell you. We are our own worst clients. When it’s your own home, you think of alllllllll the things you love, and alllllll the beautiful tiles and wallpapers and faucets and mirrors that exist in the world, and you stay up at night building 18,000 design boards in your mind, which you want to talk through with anyone who will listen.  I’ve designed literally 8 different hall bathrooms this summer, likely driving my assistant/mother/husband/friends  insane, but this has emerged as my long-running favorite.

(And yes, I used a similar mirror for my client Casey Kadavy’s powder bath makeover earlier this summer, knowing I also planned it for mine, but that’s OK because I LOVE her.)

So let’s break it down – a little bathroom design 101:

MIRROR: In a small bathroom, it’s best to choose one item to make a big statement — a fun cement floor, or subway tile everywhere, or even a vintage rug. In this bathroom, it’s that killer bone inlay mirror or a version therof. Wisteria offers a pretty one.

jaipurmirror

VANITY: I wanted a gray-stained wood to bring in warmth, and furniture-style vanities add so much style.  This Restoration Hardware piece is simple enough to hang out with that mirror and adds a classic element to tie in with the rest of my classically-designed house. It’s also sized exactly right. (Hmmm, I wonder who planned that . . . . ) I’ll buy it without the countertop so that I can add a little more detail to my marble backsplash. I like notched corners and all that jazz, like so:

notchedmarble

FLOOR: Because the bone inlay is a natural material and carries with it that beautiful patina, I wanted a natural stone for the floor. But I also wanted the floor to be black. Slate has just the right amount of rusticity, and a herringbone pattern will add subtle interest. The grout will be black. Because black grout does not show anything, and is therefore the most glorious grout ever to exist in a bathroom to be used by actual people. I’m using Montauk Slate from Arizona Tile.

TUB: Clawfoot with a suspended shower surround – because it’s beautiful, and nods to the era of our home. Not the easiest for taking showers, but this is a bathroom for the children we don’t yet have, and the guests who will likely visit twice a year. I’ll probably do a black-skirted tub. Still hunting for the exact piece.

WALLS: I can’t do just paint on drywall in here, because I have issues, so I’m considering shiplap boards, wainscoting, or an understated grasscloth wallpaper just to add some texture. Stay tuned. Wainscoting paired with a very subtle grasscloth  has the leading edge. These aren’t quite the right colors, but you’ll see the idea:

wainscoting

FAUCET: Bridge style, because I love them to distraction. My choice is from Signature Hardware – from whom I’ve been ordering all summer to excellent result. The interior fittings are all brass.  (This matters: when you buy faucets from a discounter or a big box store, the interiors are often plastic, and eventual leaks are likely). Signature Hardware’s pricing is also more affordable than some similarly styled lines — and the faucet is available in the polished nickel finish I love. It’s just a little warmer than chrome.

329678-front-bridge-faucet-pn_1

LIGHTING: I’ll have can lights to do the heavy lifting, so the vanity sconces can be cute. I’m still searching for the perfect understated piece (the hardware needs a little more curvature), but this cute Schoolhouse Electric sconce might do the trick if I can’t find it.

ACCESSORIES: The Anthropologie hook I love, paired with my beloved Turkish Towels, of course.

Isn’t it exciting to have a vision come together? And wait ’til you see the before picture. Picture yellow linoleum floors paired with the original pink and gray tub tile. I’m showering in a washed-up Easter egg, people. Well, I would be showering in here — if the shower actually WORKED!

November 1, people. November 1.

By | 2015-08-25T08:07:17+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|0 Comments

What to read, wear, sip, shop

A few of the things currently crowding my attention span:

SHOP

Rejuvenation is now carrying these oh-so-cute Big Chill appliances — vintage inspired and so tempting for Camp Sterling. (Except, don’t you think they should have done something about the top freezer? I do hate a top freezer. There are some things about modern appliances to be revered.) A refrigerator is $3,499.

EAT AND DRINK

DeSoto Central Market just opened in downtown Phoenix in a historic building that used to be a car dealership. It houses varied local vendors offering eats, drinks and a cool vibe. I’m digging on the walls filled with subway tile and black and white signage.

READ

I’m practically the caboose of the The Girl On The Train fan parade at this point, but if you haven’t read it, do … or save it for a summer beach book. It’s a Hitchcock-esque mystery and I read it in a single day, transfixed. Read the NPR review here.

LISTEN

This is likely unbecoming at my age, but I just can’t care. I love few things more in life than to go out dancing, particularly when DJ Kaskade is playing. (And if I ever say that I feel too old to have DJ crushes or to go dancing, please kidnap me to New Orleans and remind me that life is supposed to be fun.) “Never Sleep Alone” is Kaskade’s newest single. If you see me dancing in my car on Camelback Road, do say hello. (And if you need fun summer plans, he’s playing at XS in Las Vegas in May and June. I can’t wait.)

WEAR

My friend Angela is one of the best-dressed women on the planet. (Really — think Valentino leather and Chanel lace on a freaking Tuesday night at Hillstone.) It’s exasperating, but also inspiring to study. She spends the whole of summer running about in a collection of crisp and breezy white tops and always looks perfect for every event. I’m thinking she’d wear this new Mantilla Silk Tunic from Anthropologie over her bikini to lounge about in Lake Tahoe,  and then put it on with light skinny jeans for dinner while we all shake our heads at her genius.

By | 2015-04-28T08:41:07+00:00 April 28th, 2015|Style|0 Comments

The Master Suite: Jen’s Modern Spanish Arcadia Abode

Jaimee Rose Interiors

Behold, the master bathroom at Jennifer Hendrix’s 1929 Arcadia abode. I’d be pretty happy spending life here. Like, I could sleep in that bathtub.

Yesterday, we covered part one of Jen’s remodel: the kitchen, dining, and powder. In Jen’s house, we were focused on staying true to the original Spanish vibe, but wanted to update it with some modern bohemian notes.

To us, this meant lots of vintage and handcrafted elements, like her bathroom’s Granada Tile floor.

Yes, these tiles are crazy popular. Want to know why? Here’s cement tile 101:

Sometimes called concrete tile, or encaustic tile, the pattern and color on these tiles comes from different colors of clay that go through the tile, instead of just sitting on top of it. So as the floor wears down over years of use, the pattern remains. And they take on a really cool look as they age — there are 200-year-old cement tile floors all over Paris, Morocco, and Spain that still look gorgeous, like so:

The cement tiles have a matte finish, which also makes them a great application for a shower floor. And anytime you can extend the bathroom floor material into the shower, you make your bathroom look that much bigger.

In Jen’s shower, she kept things simple with simple cream wall tile to let the floor be the superstar.

hendrixbath1

With the tile in place, we looked for ways to add vintage touches to the bathroom. And in a bathroom, unless you’re bringing in vintage mirrors or vanities, this can be hard. In master bathrooms, you generally need two matching vintage mirrors and vanities, and yikes. That’s hard. It’s time to look for lighting.

Jen found this vintage empire chandelier in town, fell in love, and hung it in her stairwell. Upon first sight, I began my crusade to get her to move it to the bathroom, above the tub, where it now lives. And neither of us can imagine this bathroom without it.

Jaimee Rose Interiors

Ready for the before and after?

Before:

HendrixBefore1
After:

hendrixbath2

And how lucky is this bathroom, because every day, it gets to hang out next to this master bedroom:

Jaimee Rose Interiors

The bedroom is Jen’s favorite room in the house, and for good reason. It’s her perfect bohemian-modern mix, with just enough Spanish underpinning. Not to mention wood floors that came with the house. The vibe is relaxing and pretty – exactly what a bedroom should be.

And can we talk for a minute about those nightstands? Jen wanted campaign-style nightstands something fierce, but all of the vintage ones are petite shrimps — far too short to reach the height of today’s boxspring-pillowtop-mattress situations.

When Jen sent me a photo of these nightstands in their original state, they were brown and short but fabulous. We had them lacquered white, and the collector who was selling them even built on that base to bring them up to the mattress height.

Hendrix-nightstand

The same vintage collector was the source of the turquoise lamps, which are probably our favorite lamps ever. We call him “Jen’s Furniture Drug Dealer.” He sends texts and photos late at night, and the source of his wares is always a mystery — but oh, do his pieces make us feel good.

A few other pretty moments in Jen’s home:

Vintage keys purchased from my dear friends at Vallone Design rest on her desk — the lucite bases kill me. (Seriously, though — those Vallones are kind, good, helpful, encouraging people — with amazing style and warmth, to boot. Love them.)

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Jen had these fantastic original built-in bookcases all over the house. She’s a pharmacist with an awesome collection of vintage mortars and pestles, and this bookcase was just the right place to show them off.

Jaimee Rose Interiors

 

Lastly, a fresh magnolia we brought in for the photo shoot that rests on a table near her tub.

(Do you want to know what a girl’s got to do to find a fresh and open magnolia blossom in Phoenix? You cannot buy them, which means you pack your garden shears, put on your tennis shoes, and go on an urban hunt. It’s dangerous and insane  — I assure you.)

 

Jaimee Rose Interiors

Big thanks to Jen for being my wish bone — the client I’d dreamed of finding. And I’m extra lucky, because our work together also brought me a wonderful and dear new friend.

Sources

Bathroom – Floor tile, Granada Tile. Countertop, Calacatta Gold Slab from Arizona Tile. Plumbing fixtures, Kohler. Bathroom chandelier, vintage. Bathroom sconces, Restoration Hardware. Bathroom Mirrors, One Kings Lane. Bathroom Side Table, Regina Andrew, To The Trade. Towel on Bathtub, Turkish T. Standing Vanity Mirror, Noir Furniture, To The Trade.  Bathroom cabinet pulls, Restoration Hardware. Wall color, Dunn Edwards Whisper.

Master Bedroom – Rug, nightstands, lamps, and bench, vintage. Bedframe, no longer available. Solid linen bed duvet cover and pillowcases, Restoration Hardware. Pink paisley pillow, custom by Jaimee Rose Interiors in a Peter Dunham fabric. Window shades, Smith and NobleWall color, Dunn Edwards Whisper.

 

By | 2015-04-17T07:47:23+00:00 April 17th, 2015|House Renovation|0 Comments

An Arcadia Remodel Gets a Boho-Modern Mix

Hello and welcome to my new website and blog!

It was high time we redecorated this blog, don’t you think? Today, I’m also sharing my design portfolio for the first time (eek!), along with fun new happenings all around this web domain of mine.  (Product of the week! Posts from my archives! Testimonials!)

And stay tuned — because a couple of my favorite projects are under wraps until magazine publication. (Hooray!)

I need the world’s most epic thank-you note for Isaac Bailey, my web designer and photographer. He makes my designs look wonderful, works like a mad fiend, and is the best kind of person to have in your corner.

Also, the beautiful Andrea Heser of Featherpress Design created my new logo, which I love.

And now, would you like to see one of my projects? Let’s start with Jennifer Hendrix’s 1929 adobe home in Arcadia. Today: kitchen, dining and powder room. Later this week: more to come.

Jen and I met because she needed help choosing that impossible thing: the perfect shade of white paint. We’ve been scheming and planning and stalking tiles together almost every week since. (We just finished house number two!) When she called me, her project looked like this:

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This was her kitchen:

HendrixBefore4

And the powder bath:

Jen is a fierce devotee of midcentury modern design, but she knew it was important to nod to the Spanish style of her home. Our design mantra became boho-modern-mix.

We used vintage pieces anywhere we could because nothing beats that authentic patina, but also because Jen has one of the world’s great soft hearts.

She likes to save things that no one wants anymore — sofas, animals, and even houses.

I love her.

We also focused on using materials with a hand-crafted, Spanish vibe and updating them with the modern twists that Jen loves.

And now her kitchen looks like this:

Jaimee Rose Interiors – Phoenix, AZ Interior Designer – JaimeeRose.com

Jaimee Rose Interiors - Phoenix, AZ Interior Designer - JaimeeRose.com

Jaimee Rose Interiors – Phoenix, AZ Interior Designer – JaimeeRose.com

Isn’t it cool?

The walls in the kitchen aren’t clad in just subway tile — that is hand-formed glazed Mexican terra-cotta tile that has the most incredible undulating texture in real life. Jen also chose the terra-cotta tile floor, and combined with the arched doorways, we instantly had a lot of that Spanish thing going on. For a modern twist, Jen went for the midcentury globe lights that she loved. (Don’t worry – sources to come.)

To add more texture and material integrity, we had a looooong discussion about Carrara marble countertops. Yes, they’re high maintenance. Yes, they etch and scratch and stain and dent, and you know what? They’re still beautiful. Marble is a material that stands up to a rough patina — it ages like Helen Mirren.

In the end, Jen took the plunge, and on the day they were installed, I got a text that said “The countertops are so beautiful I almost cried.”

Her dining room above features an incredible Bernhardt bone-inlay dining table that I ordered for her, along with a custom Canopy Designs chandelier in her favorite color. The chest is vintage, and she found the artwork in Paris. Jen found the chairs at Cost Plus World Market, and we had the draperies made.

Are you ready for the powder room?

Jaimee Rose Interiors – Phoenix, AZ Interior Designer – JaimeeRose.com

Can I get an amen?!

Jen’s favorite color is turquoise, and it’s such a great contrast with that killer black and white Granada cement tile. We kept everything else in the space quiet to let the tile do its thing: bronze fixtures, vintage lights that came with the house, and a seriously fab budget find mirror that we painted ourselves – even that gold bead around the edge. People love walking into this room.

And in case you’re wondering, the perfect white paint for Jen’s particular project and light was Dunn Edwards Whisper — crisp, Spanish whitewash-esque and just a little warm.

Come back tomorrow for a look at her master suite — and don’t forget to explore this new webpage of mine! I’d love to hear which space is your favorite.

SOURCES 

Built by Matthew Douglas Construction

Kitchen: Pendants, Schoolhouse Electric. Faucet, Kohler at Farnsworth Wholesale. Carrara slab, Arizona Tile. Barstools, Ballard Designs. White shelves, Ikea. Cabinet hardware, Restoration Hardware

Dining room:  Table, Bernhardt, to the trade. Light fixture, Canopy Designs, to the trade. Vintage mirror and console, to the trade. Draperies, custom. Chairs, Cost Plus World Market. Lamps, Arteriors, to the trade. 

Powder room: Floor tile, Granada Tile. Mirror: no longer available. Sconces: vintage. Cabinet hardware, Restoration Hardware

By | 2015-04-15T22:00:38+00:00 April 13th, 2015|House Renovation|1 Comment

He Says, She Says: The Window Debate

When we bought Camp Sterling, my husband promised that all design-related remodeling decisions would be left to me. And then we came to the subject of the windows, and whether they’d be bronze or white. The man FREAKED out.

Inspired by those glorious steel windows all over the internet and magazines, the dark bronze window has staged a comeback. It’s a beautiful contrast in light and bright rooms — as ours will be.

I particularly love the look from the exterior — all those black window mullions popping against bright white paint.

(Guess what color our exterior will be? Yep, you’ve got it. I know, that was really hard to figure out.)

A big worry on my list: I like these dark windows best when they are actual steel, as in the photo below, and not bronze-finished vinyl, which is more common and affordable. Steel windows = please send my money tree right now.

Tyson, however, says that dark windows make a house look “like an office building” and has refused to entertain any of my rationale.

He wants light and bright, like so.

And from the exterior — we are SO having a high-gloss black front door. With a lion’s head knocker, methinks.

At our house, this decision has been made. But, what do you think? Is the bronze window a trend to skip? Would you go with light, bright and classic or bronze and bold?

By | 2015-04-13T02:57:57+00:00 April 7th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|1 Comment

The Marathon Photo Sessions

We’re in mad rush mode here at the Jaimee Rose World Headquarters. (Ahem.) In prep for publishing our new website this month — along with my design portfolio, at last — my team and I have been working like fiends to photograph some of my work from the past couple of years. Today, we have packed 5 photo shoots into one looong day, with more staggered all week long — along with our regular client work.

(My team clearly loves me, and what a lucky lucky girl I am to have them.)

Photo shoots are insanity and a complete mess. Basically, the entire house is torn apart to make a room look absolutely perfect from one particular angle.

Fiction and lies, as my beloved Emily Henderson says. Room photography is always a lot of fiction and lies.

It also involves the questionable procuring of much plant life, not all of which is conveniently for sale at the flower market.

For example, to get my hands on the glorious flowering branches we used to style my client’s kitchen below, I went to a bank parking lot in the middle of the night and got out my tree trimmers. (And went home with my arms covered in cuts, but it was worth it. Just look at those babies.)

I have no dignity. Just vision.

Photo by Isaac Bailey

Isn’t that kitchen insane? I keep telling the clients that I want to sleep in the pantry.

Follow along on Instagram today if you’d like a few more sneak peeks. Happy Monday!

By | 2015-04-13T02:58:37+00:00 March 30th, 2015|House Renovation|0 Comments

My Decorating Don’ts: Part One

Thanks to the world spy organization known as Google,  my Facebook feeds are chockablock with decorating articles like “six things you must have in your bedroom if you’re a grown up” and “seven design mistakes that drive every designer mad.” I LOVE these articles. Sometimes they’re insanely silly and even off-base, but I cannot look away. And Google knows this. Such a stalker, that Google.

And hence begins a new occasional series detailing my rules for decorating. There aren’t many true absolutes in this trade, but each designer has a personal code. You might find some of my rules silly, too. But I thought they would be fun to pass along.

Don’t #1: The Wimpy Doormat

There is a conspiracy among the people who make adorable doormats — they’ve all agreed to save money on material by offering Barbie-sized specimens to the unsuspecting public.  When I reach that mythic day in which I design my own product line, I will unleash a doormat revolution. (Fascinating, isn’t it, the things that go through a crazy person’s mind?)

Your doormat is the first thing anyone sees when they come to your house, and almost all the time, the mats are small little sad things and out of proportion with the space.

Your doormat needs to be at least as wide as your front door. If you have glass side lights on the sides of your door, consider going even larger — try to find something as wide as the door and side lights combined.

This doormat is sized correctly.

This doormat is not.

This is my favorite doormat, because it comes in the right sizes for a standard door and for double-wide doors. And you can monogram it, add your last name, or leave it blank.

Don’t #2: The Dreaded Stubby Twin Drapery Rods

 

When considering the astronomical sticker shock that comes along with drapery rods — good drapery rods, especially, I understand how the Stubby Twins were born. Believe me. I have to give clients their custom window treatment proposals along with a paper bag in which to breathe.

Drapery rods are priced per foot, and if your panels are merely decorative, it seems a smart solution to buy two short rods and hang them on each side of the window.

Just please resist, because  I promise you that pulling the Twin Stub Rod trick is  akin to buying a pair of pants with holes cut from the thigh to the knee just to save money on fabric.

Design is about creating sight lines to direct the eye around a space. A broken rod = a broken line, and it draws the eye toward something you don’t want to highlight: a virtual poster that says, “Look, mom, I cheaped out!” OK, sorry. That was true mean.

Drapes are meant to close – or at least look like that’s a possibility. The rod needs to stretch across the window. Even if the wall is curved and angled, or the size of a Broadway stage.  Even if the window is arched. Even if ______________.

Yes. Even then.

These windows were done expertly:

These make me want to throw myself upon the doorstep of the Helser Brothers Factory in Chandler, where I will plead for the grace of a completed rod.

Do #1: The Double Grommet Drape

Since I’m being the evil queen of expensive curtain rods, I’ll share an easy trick for making store-bought drapery panels look better:  Use two panels on each side of your window. You’ll think you don’t really need it, but you’ll be floored by the difference it makes. These are Pottery Barn drapes, doubled.

One of the key differences between store-bought and custom draperies is the fullness of the fabric (see the custom glories below), and doubling them up is a simple little cheat.

This trick looks most crisp if you can find a grommet-top panel, since most store-bought draperies aren’t pleated, and it’s hard to make clipped-on rings or pole-pocket panels look professional. (Decorating Don’t #3: Pole pocket panels entirely.)

Grommets are metal rings inset into the fabric.

West Elm, Pottery Barn and even Ikea have decent grommet panels. (These gray Ikea panels look better than expected when doubled up.)

Also: make sure your rod and grommets are the same metal finish.

Do #4: Buy Lined Drapery Panels

One more for the road: if you can find drapery panels with lining, choose them every time. They’ll last longer, and they’ll look so much more like the professional window treatments we fussy designers favor — all of which are lined.

A good place to start: These Pottery Barn grommet-top panels are lined, and the white colorway is particularly crisp.

In review:

Don’t buy doormats that are too small.

Don’t cheap out in the rod department.

Don’t buy pole-pocket drapes.

Do double up store-bought draperies for high impact on a smaller budget.

Do look for lined draperies, whenever you can.

And please DO send me any questions you have about the rules of decor. I could play professor for hours. What do you think about this new series?

 

By | 2015-03-24T06:10:01+00:00 March 24th, 2015|House Renovation|1 Comment

Ugh.

If you don’t have a case of the Mondays yet, let me help you with that.

I’m depressed, friends. I worked for weeks to draw the perfect renovation plan for our house. It had everything a small family could want – a drop station, a shoe bench, an office for Tyson, a small living room, a large open kitchen and family room — even a fireplace in the master bedroom. I used every little inch of space I could find.

And then we received the construction quote to fix our house according to this perfect plan, and it was literally a knockdown and double our budget.

So I’ve been back at the drawing board, and it’s pretty maddening. (Goodbye, office. Goodbye, powder room. Goodbye, hopes and dreams.)

Also, it’s spring in Arizona. And I do not share the elation felt round the globe at the onset of spring. Spring means summer is coming. Spring means the heat is on. Spring means that yesterday we went to a park for a birthday party and I was miserable in the sun.

I have reverse Seasonally Affected Disorder. The brighter it gets, the grumpier I get. I like August better than April, because August means there are pumpkins in the store and October is right around the corner. April means that May is coming, followed by those jerks June and July.

All of which will be spent at Camp Sterling, which I am feeling particularly bitter toward at the moment.

Current mantra: if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me.

Tell me your sad renovation stories to make me feel better? Tell me your favorite pumpkin recipe? Tell me you know of a place where it is autumn year-round?

I’m going to eat more chocolate — which is not helping with my spring issues, by the way, because SHORTS! Sob.

By | 2015-04-13T02:59:01+00:00 March 23rd, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|1 Comment