lighter and brighter in Jersey

I guess 9 times out of 10 Anisa and I are bringing more light into a space instead of the opposite (We went really dark in our new home, though…in some rooms.  I’ll post soon!).

We love new, larger windows, white tongue-and-groove ceilings, sconces & table lamps & chandeliers galore, and, at times, a new coat of lighter paint on kitchen cabinets and exterior siding.

Such was the case with our clients in New Jersey.  We have tackled their home, room-by-room, over the years.  Recently, the kitchen and the exterior got a face-lift:



Their neighborhood is fairly traditional, so they wanted to keep it classic.  What we went with?  Well, a good cream of course.

New simple sconces flanking the door…and the paint colors are BM Swiss coffee (body), BM Iron Mountain (shutters & garage door), and Farrow & Ball light blue for the door  (respectively below)













photo-101This is their “six-year home”, they said, so they went for a cosmetic upgrade to their kitchen instead of their desired complete gut.

The choices for the kitchen?  gray cabinets (BM Fieldstone–thank you, Sally Wheat :), antique brass 8″ pulls for hardware, Carrera marble tops, polished nickel Rohl faucets and a fireclay farmhouse sink.  They both declared the hood had to go, so we replaced it altogether with a clean-lined, industrial one.  The walls and ceiling were all given a bath in Swiss coffee like the exterior, and oyster gray grout proved to be a perfect contrast to the subway tile.   Oh, and don’t forget the honkin’ brass pendant!









new shade for texture:


New breakfast nook….








I have never met this family, but I feel I know them so well!


Want to share another family’s home with you.  My grad school friend is selling their suburban Atlanta home (in Marietta).  I think you’ll like it.  I wish them the best on their new adventures in Colorado!

Her home has a website below:


Here’s a peek:


house for webBACK YARD -10



house for webHOUSE PICS 2011 -15






house for webKITCHEN AND PLAYROOM -6


house for webHOUSE PICS 2011 -25


house for webHOUSE VIEW


There are more pictures as well as Mandy’s contact info on the site if you like!






before & during

Hi.  Just wanted to check in and share what we’ve been up to.

We are nearing the completion of the renovation of the home below (’70s ranch in the Atlanta suburbs).  And while the family is darling and have been such a joy to work for, this kitchen was a tad needy.

It needed much attention and demanded all of our brain-power and creativity.  It wanted Anisa to sketch her not once, not twice, but about twelve times.  It is the oddest and longest kitchen we’ve encountered, but we think we’ve set her straight.


We made her taller and painted her green.  She’ll be wearing a little brass, too, when we are all done.


We didn’t think anyone needed a kitchen quite so elongated, so we planned for a banquette near the back where all the windows are.  We are quite taken with this banquette (and the pink–our client loves pink & color of any sort, really)


We try to salvage what we can in any kitchen (or room, really), but she required a total extreme makeover.  All appliances and wonky cabinetry had to be sacrificed.

photoThe new kitchen will boast this Craigslist find:


And they saved enough on the fridge that they could swing for the white Viking range (with the white knobs!)200811-a-mm-viking-rangeThe color of the cabinets is tea light by Benjamin Moore


Their four (and growing…) children will loving this long great room, just like Anisa’s little one, Ava

Most of the progress pics we send back and forth have a kid or two in them

Here is my Wyatt modeling their new master bathroom:



This room was the former owner’s master bedroom:


The former formal living room is now their new bedroom (who receives houseguests in a formal living room anymore?  anyone?), and now this bedroom will have two walk-in closets, a freestanding tub, two custom vanities and a separate shower.


The tub will go in between the vanities, and, yes, we will have blinds on the windows (our contractors…again….think we are crazy).


We wouldn’t recommend hardwoods in a kids’ bath, but we think they are great for the parents’ bathroom.


We chose BM Galveston Gray for the paint above the 1″ x 8″ boards.  It is such a rich & warm gray. modern-paints-stains-and-glazes


I’ve gotta share my favorite gray of all time, I think.  Anisa introduced me to it–BM Sparrow.

All of the interior doors are now this color (and will be in our new home, too!)

4755225342_c1d38966bbMost of the ceilings are blue, too (why not?  So much better that boring flat ceiling paint.)

photo-31Sorry this post is so long…..but want to share some other “during” photos of our other client who already had a beautiful home before we showed up.

Her sun-filled dining room is coming together….


As well as her playroom/ keeping room…


I remember reading in House Beautiful that Roland Alonso of Commune Design in LA said that hot pink is a neutral (or rather that he learned that from Issac Mizrahi).  I love that and think I agree.


I think mostly that clients hire us to ask permission.  ”You sure a mint green kitchen isn’t too crazy?”   No!!!   “You sure you can mix navy and hot pink and teal?”   Yes!!!   It is like trying on an outfit before a date and asking your girlfriend, “Do I look cute?”  Don’t we all want to ask someone?

Thanks for listening to my design ramblings on this rainy summer Sunday….Our power went out when I was writing this post.  I love when that happens….especially on a Sunday.



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