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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Parade of Homes 2017

Whew!  The journey to the completion of this AVB Parade Home resulted in an amazing house built for four.  Located on a sloped lot on Indian Lake, this "industrial farmhouse" is warm, cozy and definitely welcoming.  From day one, before pencil ever hit paper, the homeowners knew they wanted a home that offered lake living with incredible views, an open main level for entertaining and a walk-out for easy access to the water.  I was able to help them achieve their goal by working with the AVB architect and crew to come up with the perfect floor plan that met all their needs.  The must-have list included weathered brick, barn doors, wood floors, shiplap, and a cream-colored home from top to bottom, inside and out.  As I stroll through the photos taken by Connie Arnsman, I realize that this home is the dream home they had in mind!  So how did it all begin?
I am asked that question over and over again, and I absolutely love the answer because it is my favorite part of the house...the corbels! Looking at the picture it is hard to gauge how large they really are, but they are BIG!  I needed seven total for the exterior and I refused to buy brand new ones and even have some made.  I knew they had to be old, chippy and completely awesome!  My lucky day arrived when I was shopping at one of my favorite spots in downtown Kalamazoo, The Heritage Company, and I ran into a gentlemen who happened to have exactly what I needed.  After some sanding and a little paint, they are the crowning touch on this industrial farmhouse!  We also used a dark gray metal roof, board and batten cement board, weathered brick, metal chimney cap, black rain chain, house numbers custom made on Etsy, and black windows.  All those elements worked perfectly together to give this home a classic, yet very unique look, that is absolutely perfect for this young family!
Enough about the exterior, let's talk about the interior finishes!  The kitchen is the heart of the home, so my goal was to make it functional and perfect for entertaining.  The design was built around a custom island made by the Amish in Indiana, and painted the same distressed black that you will see throughout the home.  With the use of old doors, tin ceiling tiles and more old corbels, this island is a masterpiece!  The other major feature in this kitchen is the open shelves placed under the upper cabinets.
By adding these shelves and raising the cabinets to the ceiling, we created a convenient place for everyday dishes and glassware at an arm's reach.  They are made of solid butcher block and held by floating shelf brackets, as well as black brackets underneath for a touch of metal against the weathered brick.  Speaking of metal, the custom made wine rack tucked in the corner was the perfect use of this otherwise unusable space.
The warm tones of the hardwood floors under foot make the entire main level feel warm and comfortable.  Two different countertops were used, both quartz, giving the kitchen a lived-in look that is very pleasing to the eye.  The mismatched lighting throughout the kitchen, as well as the entire home, was done intentionally to make it appear as though the home was built over time. The walls and ceiling are painted in a warm cream, and the trim and cabinets are the perfect off-white.  By keeping those elements neutral, it allows the black windows, beams and brick to really pop! I also used cream curtain panels and cream shag rugs to help pull all the spaces together.  Most of the furniture in the home came from KalamazooKitty, of course, as well as some other local shops in and around Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The dining table and benches were custom made by the same craftsman who made the island.  This farm table is the perfect spot to enjoy dinner with family or play a round of cards looking out over the water.
Be sure to glance up while enjoying your meal or you will miss one of the greatest features in this home...the metal ceiling!  More cream walls and curtains, as well as another pair of old corbels, make this dining room feel light and pretty.  You may have noticed that the curtain rods are not your average, off-the-shelf rods holding up the curtains.  Instead, they are black pipe with pipe fittings attached to the walls to add dimension and texture up high.  They are actually "floating" along the brick wall so the brick was not harmed or altered in any way.
By-pass pantry doors and the coat closet door were made by the homeowner out of gray shiplap boards bought at a home improvement store.  A pipe handle was the perfect choice to adorn these incredible doors!  Looking for more space for guests, I designed a "sofa table" out of butcher block and black pipe that is counter height to accommodate more barstools. Natural woven rugs & seagrass barstools were added throughout the home for texture and comfort.
Powder Bath
Finishing off the main floor is the powder bath and laundry room.  Located just off the kitchen, these two rooms are functional and convenient.  More open butcher block shelving, as well as shiplap, make great use of a small space.  The MDF boards used for shiplap were painted and hung horizontally from floor to ceiling.  The powder bath vanity is yet another creation from down south, Indiana!  It is the perfect size and offers a little storage underneath on an open shelf.  The floor in this little jewel box is a patterned cement tile and makes my heart go pitter patter!
Master Bath
A black metal mirror and old ladder finish off this space perfectly.  The laundry room serves as a mudroom as well.  It is home to a bench and closet for coats, boots and umbrellas.  Open shelves above the washer and dryer add more storage, but in a pretty way!  Follow the arrow and head upstairs... however, it is for adults it contains just a master bedroom and master bath. This bedroom is both spacious and cozy as it overlooks the fountain spouting into the water below.
Master Bed
The homeowner wanted gray and cream in her bedroom, as well as a fan with "bling" that she ordered online.  A custom-made headboard adds texture and dimension to this room with layers of linens on the king-size bed.  I love the burlap fringed bedskirt I ordered online, paired with all the cream and gray in this expansive room!  The adjoining master bathroom has totally awesome sheet vinyl on the floor (yes, I said sheet vinyl!).  This bathroom is warm and full of charm.
Master Bath
A corner tub allowed us the room to have a vanity for each, as well as a storage cabinet from floor to ceiling.  The shower in the opposite corner is covered in classic subway tile with dark gray grout for easy maintenance.  My favorite part of this room has to be the chunky mirrors hanging over each vanity.  They are the perfect wood tone to add warmth and character to this somewhat large bathroom. Heading to the lower level, you will notice the black and cream staircase that winds its way through the center of the home.  This home, although you wouldn't know it from the outside, actually has 4 levels!  When heading down from the kitchen, you reach a small floor with a workout room, bedroom and ensuite bath.
 For the young lady of the family, I created a very casual, bohemian room that gave her the space to be creative and have fun.  A pallet bed and pretty chandelier set the mood for hanging out with her cousins and friends.  I maintained the simple color scheme of cream and gray, mixed in with warm woods.  The walls are a pale gray, while the ceiling remains cream.
Her bathroom is conveniently attached to her room and has the same sheet vinyl on the floor with cream cabinets and gray walls.   I wish you could see this vinyl in person!  A barn wood mirror and metal light fixture give her everything she needs to get ready for school in the morning.  Built-in shelves with metal bins are hidden behind the door and offer tons of storage for make-up and hairbrushes.  I love to hang a window curtain instead of a shower curtain to add height to a small bathroom.  Extra long, clear shower liners can be ordered online to keep the water in.
"Great" Room
Moving down to the last level in the home, you will find an incredible entertaining space with a pool table, mini kitchen and room for playing games.  With 16 foot ceilings on this level, we warmed it up by adding MDF slats around the room from floor to ceiling.  Painted the wall color, they make a subtle statement by adding character to the large expanse of walls.  The focal point of this room is the large wall covered in old ceiling tiles; another score at The Heritage Company.  A giant TV will eventually hang over the tile to give this family and their guests a great view from anywhere in the room.  Vintage lighting and more furnishings from KalamazooKitty finish off the overall feel of this "great" room!  Lastly, this level has a small laundry room for the kids and one more bedroom and bath.
The young man of the family will occupy this last bedroom.  Made entirely of old wood crates, this bed unit is loaded with storage all the way around.  The walls and carpet are the same as his sister's room, but the hall bath has a look of its own.
Hall Bath
With vinyl tile squares on the floor, this bathroom is a little more masculine, but is still in the gray and cream color scheme.  A metal mirror, long curtain and large vanity is all this young man needs to get ready for baseball practice.  A hidden closet full of shelves behind the door gives him some storage space and a place to stash a hamper.  Directly across from this hall bath is the door that leads to the backyard of paradise!  A paver patio with a firepit and built-in seating is the perfect place for this family to gather with friends on a warm, summer Michigan night.  S'mores, anyone?

For a look at all the professional photos and a few of my unprofessional photos, click here!

This is from you!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

KalamazooKitty Mini Market

With one successful KalamazooKitty Mini Market under our belts, I am now able to blog about it and clear up any confusion.  The Mini Market, previously called The Marketplace, has undergone some changes.  Aside from the name change, we also changed the location. 
Now housed at the KalamazooKitty West Main parking lot, it offers shoppers a day of hunting inside and out!  The store was open during regular business hours, 10-6, as well as the other KalamazooKitty location on Portage Rd.  Many eager shoppers spent the day browsing through the outdoor booths, grabbing a bite to eat from the food vendors, and then taking a spin through both locations!  Now that made for one fun day of shopping!  The last change made to the Marketplace was the most significant of all the changes...the price of admission.  Now a FREE event, shoppers can spend their money on goodies and treasures, rather than an entrance fee (who doesn't love FREE?!).  WOOHOO!! 
The second Mini Market is right around the corner...July 29, 2017!  Mark your calendar and remember that the outdoor booths open at 9am for all you early birds out there looking for the best worm!  We are connected to the Walmart parking lot for easy access to the outdoor booths.  Walmart has graciously allowed us the use of their lot for these Mini Markets, so please thank them by shopping at Walmart before you head home for the day.  Park at Walmart,
then walk toward the back of Walmart until you see our entrance. It is fast and easy, and eliminates the need to walk along West Main and 9th Street!  So now you know what has changed, and where to park, the next question is what to expect.  With markets popping up all over the place, most savvy shoppers know what to expect and what exactly they are looking for! 
So to keep up with the trends, Pinterest (of course) and my savvy shoppers, we are bringing you a huge variety of everything for your home AND your body.  Not only will the lucky pickers and hunters find a rare treasure or antique, they will also find painted furniture, rustic and vintage decor, signs and plants.  Not shopping for your home? 
We will also showcase local t-shirts,
boho style clothing, jewelry, soap, hats, bags and more!  All that great shopping is making me hungry just thinking about it!  You will surely be tempted with tasty treats and snacks, as well as incredible sandwiches and many more food truck goodies galore!  In the event of rain, the show will go on!  That is where the beauty of having the store onsite is ideal.  Step out of the rain, or sun, into a shop full of unique treasures and furniture just waiting for the right person to take them home!  KalamazooKitty offers a huge variety of items for the home that fit any style of living.  You will be sure to find the perfect piece for your home, perfect shirt for you or perfect gift for that wedding or party coming up this summer.  Enough said...see you on July 29th @ 9am sharp !

This is from you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Club Case...Come on Over!

Salvage Trim Wall
Welcome!  This is a personal invitation to tour a Kalamazoo home full of charm, character and detail.  Once an ordinary colonial in a extraordinary neighborhood, this home underwent a huge transformation...from top to bottom, inside and out!  Character is one thing it did not have, so my goal was to bring detail, architecture and interest to every room in this home.  Looking back to a previous post, you will remember the worn floors, corner toilet and lack of design.  A few months later and this home stops people in the street to come on in and take a gander!
Family Room w/Chippy Buffet
Starting at the front door,  I added a bench, rug and a new house number plaque...made by me!  Fresh paint on the shutters, trim, garage and doors make this home stand out from the rest on the street.  Speaking of the front door, it is new...I mean old!  New to these homeowners, but salvaged from an old home in Gull Lake by The Heritage Company in Downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, it brings light to the entry where it was much needed. 
Family Room
Just inside the door is my favorite part of the entire renovation...a salvage trim wall!  Oh my, oh my, oh my!  Hand-picked by myself and the homeowner, these trim pieces each have a story to tell.  Some crown, some base...some painted, some stained.  I love each and every one of them!  I installed them from the ceiling down, choosing each one carefully to complete the look I already had pictured in my mind. 
Family Room "Wall Unit"
A clear coat over the top to seal in the chippy paint, and it was complete, and exactly how I had imagined.  If you can take your eyes off that wall, you will notice the newly renovated staircase to the right.  The carpet was removed, the treads stained, a runner added, new spindles and the crowning old newel post found at KalamazooKitty!  I used Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint to give it a distressed, black finish to cap off the entire staircase design.  You may also notice the brand new Summer Harvest Hickory floors throughout the majority of the main floor.  This may be the most durable floor I have come across yet!  After stopping to touch the salvage trim wall, you can hang a left into a cozy & inviting family room set up perfectly for this busy family of 6 (that's 4 people and 2 dogs).  Resting nicely across from that fabulous wall is an old antique from the homeowner's family.  A small buffet, or possibly a desk, made of solid wood, is one of the most stunning pieces of furniture you will ever see (until you enter the kitchen, that is!).  Hand-carved lion heads act as drawer pulls, and the entire piece is covered in layers of the most beautiful, chippy paint you wish you knew how to re-create!  Rather than hanging new "art" over this piece, I found an old sign advertising, "Fresh Honey", that was the perfect color and fit.  I love it when I find exactly what I am hunting for! 
Family Room

A new sectional, lamps and rug serve as the "weight" of this room, while a 3-piece wall unit holds the ever-so-coveted TV on the opposing wall.  This 3-piece "unit" is actually three individual, non-matching pieces of furniture, all painted with chalk paint, distressed and waxed alike.  The buffet in the center belonged to the homeowners and the two mismatched bookcases came from KalamazooKitty
Family Room
Once painted alike, they look like they were always meant to be together.  And what would a room be without a floor mirror and a stool or two?!  But taking center stage is the old trunk that already belonged to this
Family Room Listening Chair
Dining Room
family and now serves as a coffee table perfect for holding drinks and resting feet.  Lastly, the piano and a listening chair finish off the family room at the far end.  Are you counting clocks??  You should be!  Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with clocks.  You will find many, many clocks of all shapes, sizes and colors in this home!  Old, new and everything in between.  Opening up around the corner of the family room is the dining room.  Situated in the perfect spot for family dinners and block parties, this room needed a large scale table that was durable and chunky.  Found at KalamazooKitty on Portage Rd., this table was the perfect fit all around! 
Dining Room
Rather than going all matchy-matchy on the chairs, I mixed it up with black wood chairs found at the West Main KalamazooKitty and an upholstered bench for texture.  What's that?  You have never seen a ceiling medallion like the one in this room?  That is because it is a piece of art!  I removed the metal center, which is hanging on the wall behind the shelf, and used the outside as a ceiling medallion to frame out the new chandelier.  Two for one!  Eight large woven baskets add more texture to this room and provide great storage for homework supplies, cookbooks and a deck of cards.
The curtains throughout the home are all linen, hung by rings on dark metal rods.  Simple and very similar in color to the paint on the walls, they keep the home feeling peaceful and pretty.  A dark, shag rug anchors the space and hides the occasional crumb that the dogs may have missed.  Peek just beyond the dining table through those french doors and you will find a hidden treasure! 
A room the homeowners seldom used before, is now their favorite room in the house.  Simple curtains frame the windows without blocking the view, and a cozy seating arrangement calls out to neighbors to stop by for a drink.  An adorable wood and metal bistro table tucked in the corner is home to morning coffee and a friendly game of dominoes (see first picture at the top of this post).  Speaking of coffee, and coffee the know where I'm going with this!  The kitchen is centrally located in this home, and wide open to the dining room, at least it is now
Kitchen Island
Once divided by a wall, the kitchen was small and closed off, but give the homeowner a hammer and a crowbar, and that wall never had a chance!  The amount of space gained by removing that wall allowed us to add the VERY most beautiful piece of furniture you have ever seen, to serve as an island and centerpiece for this kitchen.  It is the coordinating antique that you saw when you first stepped in the front door.  A chunky, hand-carved buffet in the same chippy paint with plenty of storage behind doors and drawers.  Again, a family heirloom just waiting in the garage for a new purpose and a little love.  Topped off with walnut butcherblock, this island is unique and special to this family alone.  Speaking of this is so full of detail now that I could talk about it for days! 
The oversized amber pendants above the island are nothing short of spectacular!  They cast a warm glow across both rooms, yet are bright enough for cooking and cleaning.  Exposed brick?!  How does someone get lucky enough to have exposed brick in their kitchen?!  And on an entire wall?!  Well not this family.  I added the brick for texture, architecture and age.  This isn't a new house, but it isn't an old house either.  That leaves it somewhere in the middle, lacking all character and charm. 
So when a kitchen is boring...add texture!  In addition to the brick, I added old corbels in the framed opening to the dining room, chalk painted the kitchen cabinets a creamy ivory color and added open shelves for interest & a place to show off dishes and platters.  Absolute Black granite countertops & trim on the soffit to draw your eye up, and this kitchen is a showstopper now!  Not sure what is hanging above the sink?  A unique pendant light, designed by me, casts the most beautiful pattern of light on the ceiling and cabinets at night. 
Kitchen/Dining Room
Made from a metal candle lantern, I turned it upside down, drilled a hole and added a pendant kit.  Just down the hall from the kitchen is the backside of the house.  The garage entry, closets for storage, a small bathroom and a warm & cozy family room fill the space.  But this back hall is no boring place!  Adorned with custom vinyl, it is no secret that dogs are part of this family.  Every dog name & nickname imaginable fill the wall in memory of a past dog, as well as the two canines calling this place their home.
Dog Wall
Powder Room
Powder Room
I designed and installed this wall "art" from matte, black vinyl cut at a local sign shop.  This is an easy way to fill a tight space without intruding into the walkway.  It also adds a personal touch that makes your house your home. Just to the right of the dog wall is a well-used bathroom that was in need of a major remodel!  With a corner toilet and very low vanity, this powder room was very inefficient and a tight squeeze for these tall homeowners.  After gutting the space, the toilet was centered under the window and a dresser-turned-vanity was installed over the most incredible cement tile floor you have ever seen! 
Back Family Room
A new mirror, well old mirror from KalamazooKitty actually, new lighting, a woven shade and privacy film on the window, were all added to finish off this tiny space that gets lots of use.  An old metal cooler with a lid makes a perfect waste basket next to the toilet, while keeping the dogs at bay.  Painted a grayish-blue, the walls highlight the floor and add interest to the rest of the house, which is done in monotone colors. Moving down the hall, you will find the last room on the main floor of this home.  This is where this family lives!  Game night, movie night and afternoon naps on the couch (Jericho!), this room does it all.  Using an existing sectional the family already owned, I created a cozy space for this family to be a family.  New carpet under foot, painted brick on the fireplace and a place for coats and backpacks, make this space functional and pretty all at the same time. 
The entrance to this family room serves as a much needed mudroom that this home lacks.  I made custom hooks from old wood I found in their garage and added an adorable, rustic bench underneath that I found at KalamazooKitty.  Placing their sectional near the fireplace to cozy up the space gave me plenty of room for a huge bank of cubbies, also snatched up at KalamazooKitty!  I filled most of the spaces with baskets to add texture and more storage space, then finished it off with a collection of books, old and new, but all in the color range of black and gray.  I always handpick books for shelves by spine color and page color.  The result is a full and pleasing bookcase, that isn't busy or cluttered. 
Painted Brick Fireplace
To balance out the weight of the cubbies, I created a photo wall using pallet wood, metal bins, old rulers and canvas prints on the back wall above the sectional. Rounding out the room is a wall of brick, original to the house, that I updated with fresh paint.  A few found objects on the mantle give the illusion that this room has evolved over time!  Old brass candlesticks, some well-read novels, a wood mold with candles, and last but not least...a clock, of course.  I also dug around the garage and found an old screen sifter that the homeowner uses in the garden and simply gave him a new place to store it...on the mantle!  When this family is ready to call it a night, they head upstairs and down memory lane all at the same time.  Stretching the full length of the stairs is a one-of-a-kind display of silhouettes of the family members and dogs alike. 
Silhouette Gallery
I created these pieces of art from family photos, had them cut on black vinyl, then adhered them to laser-cut wood plaques, painted the same color as the trim in the house.  Hanging from an iron pipe and black chain, this gallery of silhouettes showcases both sides of the family, including those infamous dogs.The landing at the top of the stairs serves as a great place to take off your shoes and get ready for bed.  An antique dresser for extra sheets and towels, a mirror made from barnwood and a tufted gray chair fit perfectly into the space created by the new stair railing, spindles and newel post. 
Going Down?
Notice that this new, yet old, newel post does not match the one at the bottom of the stairs.  Painted alike, they add symmetry and character that any basic stairwell would benefit from.  Although I remodeled the majority of this house, I did not touch the office, extra bedrooms, basement or hall bath upstairs.  So the crowning touch to this house tour ends in the master bedroom and bathroom.
Salvage Trim Headboard
A soothing blue on the walls, harlequin curtain panels and woven shades, make this room feel like a luxury hotel room every night of the week!  Headboard look familiar?  I designed this beauty and had the homeowner create it himself.  Made only of those salvage trim pieces, this king-sized headboard is an heirloom-in-the-making.  A soft gray rug underfoot, with simple bedding, create a relaxing haven that these hardworking homeowners can retreat to after a long day on the job.  The wall of mirrors in this master bedroom are, again, family pieces just waiting for new life. 
Antique Frames
I found all these frames in the basement of this home, then had glass installed to each one to create a focal point that this small room needed.  What better way to show off cowboy boots then showing them double...or triple...or quadruple! Mismatched side tables are the only way to go in my book. 
Master Bedroom
For this room, I chose an old sewing table painted a distressed black, and a tall green table with sexy, long legs.  I flanked the headboard with metal, accordion lamps for nighttime reading, and a round, metal mirror hanging above each table. 
Master Bedroom
A vintage clock (who knew?!) and some simple accessories, and this room is ready for 10:00!  The last stop on our tour is the tiny, yet charming, master bathroom.  The original floor tile had to stay because it is super cool, but the grout was not going to make the cut.  A few hours of "coloring" and this homeowner changed her grout from drab to fab using grout markers in the perfect shade of gray.  New subway tile in the shower with dark gray grout makes this bathroom simple and classy, all at the same time. 
Master Bath
A dresser the homeowners already had made the perfect vanity with large drawers for storage.  New light fixture, mirror and toilet freshen up this space and bring it up-to-date, yet appropriate for the age and style of this home.  I added small cubbies above the toilet to hold the homeowner's collection of essential oils, and a bottle drying rack for jewelry and towels.  "Last one is a Rotten Egg" hangs above the cubbies, and a small reminder of the time, sits atop.  Speaking of time...our time is up.  The tour of this bicentennial colonial is complete.  Want more?  Click here for the remainder of the photos...

This is from you!