The Tale of “The Raja’s Daughter’s Design for Love with Her Raja Spa”, a Tale of a Sexy Master Bedroom with Ensuite!

Once upon a time, there lived a Raja who had a beautiful daughter named, Annapurna. Her name chosen by her mother, the Raja’s wife, for Devi Bhagavati, the Goddess of Food. Food was the Raja’s wife’s personal obsession, particularly junk food, and namely, tootsie rolls. Thankfully, she didn’t name her daughter Tootsie!

The Raja’s wife, Annapurna’s natural mother, a sinister soul, compulsive tootsie roll eater, addictive television watcher (1940’s & 50’s musicals), and an all round wicked (step) mother, was extremely jealous of the Raja’s loving attentions given to their daughter. And it was told that she cursed young Annapurna when she was two years old. Unbeknownst to the Raja and Annapurna, the Raja’s wife cleverly hid the big curse until “The Ripening Time”, a first success or first love.

The little girl grew into a true beauty inside and out, with multiple creative talents, a sensual nature and a comedic outlook on life. She made everyone laugh with her antics and warmed hearts with her gentle nature.

After many attempts to marry Annapurna off to purposely unsuitable partners, goofballs, control freaks and classic crazies, who would surely guarantee much marital unhappiness, the Raja’s Wife forced her daughter to leave. (One suitor actually came a’ callin’ wearing a big chartreuse lizard cowboy hat, a big cowhide money belt, and not much else).  “There is no room for two women in this palace!” the Raja’s wife cried most melodramatically. She forced Annapurna out and told the Raja he had been grievously disrespected by his daughter. Presenting her “paid witnesses” to him, the Raja was devastated, crushed and then sadly died.

The Raja’s daughter, Annapurna, sorrowfully made her way into the world, and with hard work became a successful sari designer and artist. With her first success, triggered her mother’s curse. This curse brought with it unhappiness, bad luck, strife and struggle. Oh Yuck!

One day, our fair Annapurna met a young man, fell in love and married. What Annapurna didn’t know was, with the curse now in full swing, the young man was really an old loveless miser transformed by evil magic. Annapurna’s marriage was terrible, the more she tried, the worse it got. She tried cooking delectable curry dishes to tantalize her spouse–but that didn’t work. She Pinesol-ed herself into a stupor with all things sparkling, like diamonds and rubies to welcome her husband home. Nope. That didn’t work either. Mr. Clean himself could not have done a better job, or any other cleaning Gods.

Finally she decided to make the third floor of their home a most beautiful Master Bedroom with Ensuite to bring Love back, in the most passionate of ways, and give thanks to her Buddha. Cupid would have been proud!

Annapurna hearing of the Design Fairy Godmother, decided to summon her in desperation. She also knew this magical lady loved to travel!

Working tirelessly, the Design Fairy Godmother hired the best contractor, trades, artisans and artists to create Annapurna’s “Design for Love” featuring the Ensuite “Raja Spa”.

Walls came down between the two rooms opening the space completely. The ceiling was heightened with three skylights from RONA added to bring in the heaven energies. A silly and most dysfunctional walk-in closet for a very short creature was dismantled to make way for a sexy Ensuite that would “spill out” into the Master Bedroom. With angled walls, the space was tricky but she made good use with storage space on one side and new built-in closets on the other side, complete with antique French doors, and mirrors attached. This reflected light added even more sensuality.

The floors were stripped of four layers of old linoleum, white glue, tar and some nasty old newspapers to reveal an extraordinary wide plank subfloor saved through time. Using MIN WAX oil-based floor varnish in high gloss, each plank was lovingly brushed with many coats until it shone like glass and glowed with many different shades of amber tones. Warm & Delicious!

The finest mica stone from India and China slate were used to create the Ensuite. A stonewall with a falling water faucet greeted a molded iron “lotus design” vessel sink with sculpted iron cage, both from KOHLER. Above the sink, a custom design/built black and gold mirror medicine cabinet with Indian-style arches was installed. Two hand-painted black and gold “lotus “ sconces on either side, from LIVING LIGHTING, kissed the cabinet.

A European caste iron soaker tub was completed with a stone skirt and hand-cut mosaic stone pattern. Gold and Black faucets from KOHLER, true works of art, graced the tub with sheer elegance. A wall niche was created to hold the precious perfumes and salts needed to sooth the soul–and the mighty beast–surely fit for the finest Raja–a true Raja Spa.

A toilet from TOTO, and a hand-painted black and gold freestanding paper holder completed the fixtures. The floor, in the blackest of China slate, had gold brass decorative tiles from Spain inserted in a central pattern creating a striking floor design that was so subtle, so lovely.

A Sir BENJAMIN MOORE palette of burnt orange, gold, cream and off white, created a color design of fiery intention. Who could resist that?

A King size bed, mattress from KINGSDOWN, the softest of sheets, and a painting of Buddha by artist JOHN NOBREGA positioned above it, would welcome the lovers.

The Raja’s daughter’s attention to detail with the Design Fairy Godmother was like no other. Annapurna wanted it to be perfect. She wanted Love and Happiness in her marriage.

Ah, but the Design Fairy Godmother knew she deserved better so she added her own deep magic to this new sacred space to conjure help. She truly glimpsed into Annapurna’s heart and her loving intentions.  Besides, Annapurna was a real babe!

And so it was done. Excited and with anticipation, the Raja’s daughter brought her husband up to the new third-floor Master Suite. He held no expression. There was nothing but a grunt, and then he turned and went back to his man cave.

Annapurna wept that night alone in her big bed and prayed for guidance. Suddenly, the painting above her swirled and came alive, Buddha stood in front of her, and her father, the Raja’s spirit, stood next to him. “Fear not child, light your candles and when they burn out at daybreak, we will lift the curse of your mother.”

The Raja’s daughter lit the candles. At daybreak, her husband turned back into an old decrepit miser, looking every bit as ugly on the outside as he was on the inside. She was shocked to see the truth. He went back to live with his extremely old miserly mother, the old coot, a friend of the late Raja’s wife, Annapurna’s mother. They too, wasted away their time watching television and gorging on tootsie rolls.

After divorcing, the Raja’s daughter went back to creating her sari designs and art. Annapurna found laughter again in her work and friends.

One day, as Good Karma would have it (and a little deep magic!), a tall, very handsome, sexy man came into her place of business. When he saw Annapurna, he was drawn to her. He made jokes and they laughed, realizing they had the same quirky, twisted sense of humor, and get this– they both enjoy raw blended kale drinks.

They soon fell in love, and lived together in bliss for a time in her home (before moving to their new palace), enjoying her  ”Design for Love” Master Bedroom and Raja Spa. It is told that they even wrote a few new steamy chapters to the Kama Sutra!

Well, my dear ones- ah hem! When the chemistry’s right—it’s right! And of course, they lived happily ever after.

THE END

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

AFTER Photos by Michael McDonald
INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

A Sexy Master Bedroom With “Raja Spa” Ensuite to Feed the Passion Lotus!

“The Master”
BEFORE:

A third floor with two rooms both with sloped roofs yearned to breathe! One dark small and narrow room with a tiny window shouted “Prison Cell”, while the other was an average size space with a walk in closet fit for Yoda. So dear ones, walls came down, we demo’d to the studs and utilized EVERY BIT OF SPACE WE HAD in this exotic design! Layers of history, including many eras of linoleum, white glue, black tar and newspaper including a scandalous article about Errol Flynn (I do wish we could have saved it!), were removed to reveal an incredible floor! A wide-plank Oak subfloor aged to perfection!

BEFORE: A third floor with two rooms both with sloped roofs yearned to breathe! One dark small and narrow room with a tiny window shouted “Prison Cell”, while the other was an average size space with a walk in closet fit for Yoda. So dear ones, walls came down, we demo’d to the studs and utilized EVERY BIT OF SPACE WE HAD in this exotic design! Layers of history, including many eras of linoleum, white glue, black tar and newspaper including a scandalous article about Errol Flynn (I do wish we could have saved it!), were removed to reveal an incredible floor! A wide-plank Oak subfloor aged to perfection!

AFTER:

A sexy suede comforter with luxurious bedding, an original wide plank amber-toned floor that shines like glass, a custom his & hers closet with mirrored French doors, more custom closets built into the sloped roof, an original oil painting by Canadian artist John Nobrega, and beautiful decorative pieces enhance this sensual space.

AFTER: A sexy suede comforter with luxurious bedding, an original wide plank amber-toned floor that shines like glass, a custom his & hers closet with mirrored French doors, more custom closets built into the sloped roof, an original oil painting by Canadian artist John Nobrega, and beautiful decorative pieces enhance this sensual space.

Simple and elegant décor accompaniments! A spacious deep closet yields tons of space for lots of saris and shoes!

AFTER: Simple and elegant décor accompaniments! A spacious deep closet yields tons of space for lots of saris and shoes!

Three skylights were added-2 in Master-1 in Bath, skillfully painted and detailed with a peacock and burnt orange feathered pull! Two seats for two lovers to commune, relax, read, and hold hands!

AFTER: Three skylights were added-2 in Master-1 in Bath, skillfully painted and detailed with a peacock and burnt orange feathered pull! Two seats for two lovers to commune, relax, read, and hold hands!

A hand- carved obelisk shaped antique gentleman’s bar graces a corner with Buddhist calligraphy. A “secret” library/office claims a tucked away corner.

AFTER: A hand- carved obelisk shaped antique gentleman’s bar graces a corner with Buddhist calligraphy. A “secret” library/office claims a tucked away corner.

A stunning Color Design creates depth, light, and optical illusion. The fiery and sensual color palette set a passionate tone!

AFTER: A stunning Color Design creates depth, light, and optical illusion. The fiery and sensual color palette set a passionate tone!

“The Ensuite”

This dramatic Ensuite with black and gold accents (including the hand-painted paper holder!) beckons any couple to soak in it’s luxurious deep caste iron tub, wrap up in the coziest spa towels and feel the rapture!

AFTER: This dramatic Ensuite with black and gold accents (including the hand-painted paper holder!) beckons any couple to soak in it’s luxurious deep caste iron tub, wrap up in the coziest spa towels and feel the rapture!

A European, caste iron, 24” deep soaker tub is surrounded by a stunning hand-cut mosaic tile design in Indian and Chinese Stone.

AFTER: A European, caste iron, 24” deep soaker tub is surrounded by a stunning hand-cut mosaic tile design in Indian and Chinese Stone.

Black and Gold Kohler Faucets artfully grace this very seductive tub!

AFTER: Black and Gold Kohler Faucets artfully grace this very seductive tub!

AFTER: A falling water faucet, springs from a stone wall, as a caste iron lotus design vessel sink catches the gentle water stream, adding even more romance! An iron Indian doorknocker is playfully used as a hand towel holder. A custom designed, medicine cabinet, is inspired by a found arched detailed mirror and all is painted black and gold!  Two lotus design sconces also hand-painted in black and gold enhance the titillating atmosphere of the space!

AFTER: A falling water faucet, springs from a stone wall, as a caste iron lotus design vessel sink catches the gentle water stream, adding even more romance! An iron Indian doorknocker is playfully used as a hand towel holder. A custom designed, medicine cabinet, is inspired by a found arched detailed mirror and all is painted black and gold! Two lotus design sconces also hand-painted in black and gold enhance the titillating atmosphere of the space!

AFTER:  Every inch of space is utilized even adding a niche in the bath for precious oils and other pampering products! Mmmmmmmmmmm……Imagine the possibilities!

AFTER: Every inch of space is utilized even adding a niche in the bath for precious oils and other pampering products! Mmmmmmmmmmm……Imagine the possibilities!

Let’s not forget the Floor Detail! The Blackest of Black Chinese slate is used for the floor (and bath mosaic detail). Gold brass Spanish tiles embossed with a lotus flower design are mixed with the slate tiles into a loose diamond pattern. A warm and lovely sensation for the tootsies!

AFTER: Let’s not forget the Floor Detail! The Blackest of Black Chinese slate is used for the floor (and bath mosaic detail). Gold brass Spanish tiles embossed with a lotus flower design are mixed with the slate tiles into a loose diamond pattern. A warm and lovely sensation for the tootsies!

Namaste Lovers! A sensual haven and sacred space!

AFTER: Namaste Lovers! A sensual haven and sacred space!

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM:

  • FIRST THINGS FIRST! The Master Bedroom/Ensuite MUST EMBODY the SPECIFIC WISHES and needs OF THE COUPLE inhabiting the space—-not the designer or contractor! It’s a magical place when both partners should radiate The Happy Face!
  • EMBRACE THE BASIC NEEDS of the space and here they are; ROMANCE, REJUVENATION, REST.
  • Decide on your PERSONAL STYLE TOGETHER, a combination of looks to reflect your PERSONALITIES IN HARMONY. Whether it be a Traditional, Contemporary, Victorian, Eclectic, Industrial Chic, Country Tuscany, Caribbean Beach Haven, Art Deco, Metro Hotel Chic, City Sophisticate, Zen Minimalist, Hollywood Den, any Cultural Influence, or your own creative innovation, like my favorite– Hawaiian Gypsy Fairy Princess Spa!…anything goes!
  • The BED IS THE FOCAL POINT! Not your TV. Your bed should say,” Come in, lie down, relax, get comfortable, bask in this luxury, express your sensual nature, connect with your partner, pamper each other and sleep peacefully!” Spend $$$ on some cozy, comfy, soft sheets that will envelop you in comfort. Spend $$$ on lush pillows and bedding to create your mood and entice you to enjoy!
  • CREATE ANOTHER WORLD. This is your own personal space that is your sacred space, your hidden sanctuary, the “get-away” and escape from work, kids, commitments and the outside world.
  • CREATE THE RIGHT ATMOSPHERE WITH COLOR. Choose a color palette that makes YOU BOTH feel what you want to feel. We’re all different! According to a study in the UK, blues and greens help you get the most sleep and rest, yellows and gold are second, while caramel colors stimulate the most sexual activity (and you thought it was red!!!).
  • HIDE THE TV! In an armoire, chest, dresser behind a picture or mirror….keep it a secret. Get out your own magic wand and make it disappear!
  • CREATE AMBIANCE WITH LIGHTING. Beautiful Bedside lamps, or a few pot- lights positioned above the bed can give you the optimum light for reading those love letters to each other! A dimmer switch (one of the best inventions in my opinion) gives you the ability to control your own lighting moods!  Wall sconces create soft light. A sexy overhead light adds personality.
  • DECLUTTER…I don’t have to explain this one—no work stuff please—shove the laptop in a drawer—OK?!!
  • BEDSIDE STORAGE IS GREAT TO KEEP DOWN CLUTTER. Choose night/side tables for your bed that have drawers or doors to make things disappear, like books, glasses, massage oils and any other necessary items……..ahem! Remember the Magic Wand Theory folks!
  • THINK EVERY INCH FOR STORAGE SPACE. Whether you have the room for His & Hers Closets, or just get creative as in our Fairytale by utilizing space in angled roofs to create storage closets. Use your space wisely and with flair!
  • USE MIRRORS TO CREATE PORTALS OF LIGHT. Use mirrors in “dead corners”, dark walls, above dressers, and even as we did in this story, behind glass doors, to create expanse and the optical illusion of space. A Master Bedroom should never feel claustrophobic (nor should any room!). Your private lair needs to breathe!
  • ART FOR YOUR MOOD! Choose art for your walls, and even above your bed, Choose carefully for your sacred space as the art will serve as inspiration, and affirmation of your own personal message about your space.
  • MUSIC is another detail that helps influence the emotions in a positive way, so have your electrician install a sound system, should you be inclined …….or if not, hide a small radio behind a potted plant!  Remember Bolero?!
  • WINDOW TREATMENTS should complete your look in your spoken style and be functional to give you he privacy you need.
  • THE ENSUITE IS AN EXTENTION OF YOUR MASTER bedroom in feeling, design and mood. Decide on how many pieces you wish in your bath, and its usage for your space.  Create the same ambiance whether it is a closed door or open concept. It’s your fantasy! Fill it with plush towels, and products to tantalize! When choosing a tub, choose a deep soaker for two for a delicious relaxing bath—sink into it and have fun!
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The Tale of “The Princess of Fire”, a Teenage Girl’s Bedroom Design Story

Once upon a time, the Design Fairy Godmother had a dream of a beautiful little French Princess with big crystal blue eyes that glittered with fiery moon sparks, as she danced and danced within a glowing ring of Fire, on top of the glorious world, which transformed into a beating heart, and then magically became a ballroom studio with high arched windows, deep red velvet curtains, cherry floors that looked like glass, an ebony baby grand piano and a big puce colored silk couch with tufting and…..

Now Dear Ones, we are all aware of the Design Fairy Godmother’s creative imagination and her attention to detail can be ( oh yes!) over the top. But lo and behold, truth be told, this very child existed, and grew into the most beautiful, passionate and graceful teenage dancer the world had ever known. They called her The Princess of Fire! And yes! She was French!

The Princess of Fire Cha Cha-ed, Rumba-ed , and Samba-ed every chance she had, including practicing while brushing her teeth! She Waltz-ed, and Tango-ed in the shower of her royal chamber! Her acrobatic Jive dance ignited the King’s court in an uproar, upstaging the overpaid and under talented court Jester, Harry Kerry. As the Princess’s skirt whooshed, her hair flying and eyes darting with fiery passion, the Queen’s knickers were in a knot—in fact, many knots. Blazing through her dance repertoire, the Princess of Fire’s burning steps left scorch marks on the Queens new hardwood floors. Oh My Stars!

This Royal Family called in the Design Fairy Godmother, in a desperate attempt to contain their daughter’s glowing expression and try to save what was left of the castle flooring.

After lengthy discussion with the Princess, the Design Fairy Godmother came up with a plan to create a bedroom space to nurture (while still containing) this teenager’s fiery creativity. It would be a place where the Princess could dance, entertain, create art, do her homework, play music, read from her vast lamb-gut book collection or just rest her weary little head after a long regal day.

First the wall color was chosen, like the inside of a flame, a beautiful indigo blue. In fact, two shades were used to create depth in her space, with ivory white trim to “pop” the color, both by Sir Benjamin Moore. Next, her handy Mom, the Queen, made her beautiful curtains and valance, with a salmon colored damask material, and ivory sheer, found by the Design Fairy Godmother at Designer Fabric Outlet. A French toile bedspread was purchased for her royal bed with custom pillows found in various couture and artistic places.

The Princess herself strung beautiful sparkling beads and hung them in her window to catch the moon sparks. Art from local artists was purchased and hung to inspire the teenage dancer. Gilded mirrors were added, with a large one specifically to aid the Princess in her movement practices. A favorite bookshelf was painted in ivory white, while her much loved salmon leather chair was adorned with a handmade fur blanket and pillow, fashioned by the Queen Mother herself. An antique stool was recovered and skirted with a French floral print. A special place was designated for her guitars (yes she is very musical too!) and fun antique decorative details accented her room highlighting her passionate personality. The Design Fairy Godmother fireproofed this woman-child’s room with a magical chant—which was eco-friendly of course! Voila!

The Princess of Fire embraced her new chambre, her lovely big blue eyes alive with excitement as she engaged the flame of her very being in her new abode, and also— she found it very cool.

Her Royal Parents rejoiced! In time they refinished their floors, leaving one scorch mark shaped like a heart, a sentimental symbol of their talented, passionate daughter!

The Princess of Fire learned to contain her explosive moves and direct them energetically in artistic loving form. Her power and focus found its way into every aspect of her life, as she danced and twirled happily and easily through each “chapter”, trailing sparks wherever she roamed!

FIN (THE END!)

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

AFTER Photos by Claire Louise Foster
INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

A Teenage Girl’s Fiery French Hideaway

There are some things that could not change in this space, rather they needed to be enhanced in a magical way! Most of the wood was “painted out” in a Benjamin Moore Ivory White #CC-130.  This small narrow space was instantly uplifted. The walls were painted in two shades of a beautiful French Indigo Blue. With the two end walls painted in the lighter shade, an optical illusion was created to give the room a wider dimension! Salmon colored damask fabric framed the large window in a dramatic window treatment with padded valance made by the Queen Mom! A French Toile bedspread graced our Princess’s bed with custom and art pillows, made and found.

There are some things that could not change in this space, rather they needed to be enhanced in a magical way! Most of the wood was “painted out” in a Benjamin Moore Ivory White #CC-130. This small narrow space was instantly uplifted. The walls were painted in two shades of a beautiful French Indigo Blue. With the two end walls painted in the lighter shade, an optical illusion was created to give the room a wider dimension! Salmon colored damask fabric framed the large window in a dramatic window treatment with padded valance made by the Queen Mom! A French Toile bedspread graced our Princess’s bed with custom and art pillows, made and found.

The Custom Window Treatment: A salmon colored damask curtain and valance, paired with a ruffled ”floral burnout” sheer curtain. Sweet Elegance!

The Custom Window Treatment: A salmon colored damask curtain and valance, paired with a ruffled ”floral burnout” sheer curtain. Sweet Elegance!

The big leather salmon chair, a fave of our Princess was a must save fixture in her room and so, we matched our curtains to the color, made a fur blanket (by Queen Mom) and pillows to add a comfortable feeling and look. A French Gold Antique mirror added to the wall with candle sconces fed her theatrical nature! A white sconce held her sheet music for practicing her guitar. Two Pottery Barn shelves added to hold many dear objects for our Princess. A pull out guest bed/chair is ready for fun times! An antique stool was recovered in a French floral!

007

Chair, table & stool compliment each other.

012

A close-up on the antique stool upholstered in French flowers.

A small antique table in ivory and gold with a French flavor, was placed by the Princess’s favorite chair for her reading.

A small antique table in ivory and gold with a French flavor, was placed by the Princess’s favorite chair for her reading.

These bookshelves had to stay but were two different colors. Bring out the paintbrush and here comes the Ivory White!!! The doors had to remain the natural wood. A treasured collection of mirrors and art were composed to create interest and harmony. We created place for everything, and everything in its place.

A collection of antique mirrors and personal art in composition.

Custom & Art pillows, A Gold Mirror reflects the Princess’s precious jewels, and an artful Bonsai is at home in this fiery but delicate space!

Custom and Art pillows, a Gold Mirror reflects the Princess’s precious jewels, and an artful Bonsai is at home in this fiery but delicate space!

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM:

  • When designing a teenager’s room, consult and get to know your woman-child or man-child, Prince or Princess. The space should reflect their individual personalities, passions and interests, not those of their parents, interior designers or granny-nannys. Ask questions. Find out what they like AND WHO THEY ARE. AND LISTEN.
  • BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER! NO DECISION ON ANYTHING IS MADE WITHOUT YOUR TEENAGER!
  • These Royal Teens have a lot going on! Their hormones are ranging, body changing, emotions flowing and this is actually a very exciting time in their human development! Their interests and thinking can take you to places you have long forgotten. This is a very creative period and they want to be in charge! They will come up with ideas from places you couldn’t imagine—-so encourage their ideas and co-create them! They must OWN their space!
  • A Gifted Interior Design Professional (or fabulous Design Fairy Godmother) will LISTEN intently, and skillfully blend/harmonize your woman-child’s (or man-child’s) wishes, dreams, interest and personality into their cool space and express it WITH THEM.
  • Teens need to stay organized—and it’s tough. So to make things easier, give them places to put things– other than the floor—a wall unit with drawers, shelves, desk and other brilliant storage ideas!
  • Not only should a teenage bedroom be functional, (plenty of places to help organize them), but must also be a place to escape and hang out with friends.
  • Don’t follow trends. Believe me, they have their own ideas. If you must as a result of their current interest, then represent these trends in decorative items, pictures, art, accessories, and later when they are sick of it, sell it on Kijiji.
  • Great Lighting is important for your teen’s space. Make sure to have soft light, and a lamp for reading. If possible, install dimmers to control the brightness in the room (actually great for all bedrooms). Have an interesting light fixture as a focal point. Remember lighting definitely affects our moods.
  • Now Royal Parents, do keep this in mind. Everything is temporary. A black wall can be repainted, crazy posters can be replaced, everything can be changed and will change as your teen evolves and has new interests. The most important thing is your woman-child or man-child will feel welcomed and inspired by an environment they have put their own imprint on. And that is pure Teen Magic!

The Tale of “The Lady Of The Lake Goes Condo”. Chapter 1: “A Living Space for Mermaid & Dragon”

Once upon a time, there was an extraordinary woman, The Lady of the Lake, beautiful and brilliant with a powerful ancestry including a mermaid grandmother and a fire- breathing, flying dragon grandfather—yes! Another Tale for sure! The Lady’s Mother, not unlike the little Mermaid, but with a few “extra paternal powers”, fell in love with an earthly mortal, a fine Duke, who was a kind and just businessman, dynamic swordsman, and also a purveyor of the finest chocolates in the land, (her Mother’s absolute weakness, as her seaweed delicacies just became monotonous!) Her Mother lovingly welcomed her life of both worlds–Water & Earth, and shared this love with her precious daughter, The Lady of the Lake! She also shared her fire breathing talents to create for her daughter, The Lady, the best S’mores she ever tasted!

The Lady of the Lake with eyes like the sky, twinkling with fire, grew strong into her “unique abilities”, wielding all the magical and practical talents of her gifted family. Her love and command of the elements Air, Water, and Earth, Fire, were evident in a passion for all she did. Like her father the Duke, she became a great business leader, and managed her inherited golden sword with mindfulness, creating inspiration and generosity for all. The Lady loved the children and showered them with her gourmet treats fired with her breath of kindness and a few Reese’s Pieces!

Drawn to water, actually compelled to water, (as were the women in her family), she moved to a condo, on the Great Lake of Ontario, high above in the sky, satiating her flying dragon soul! During the day she wrestled and tamed grand Creatures of Business, but during the night she calmed her pure nature by deep meditation transforming magically into her essence, The Lady of the Lake.

The Lady wished her new home to bring all the elements of her rich past harmoniously together, and create a space that would warmly welcome her magical family, her friends and esteemed business associates. She also imagined an enchanting place to practice her miraculous powers bequeathed her, and to breathe, and be……..in the company of her spiritual ancestors and guides. And then Our Lady made her bidding call to……………The Design Fairy Godmother, knowing of The Lady of the Lake’s goodness, took great pleasure in granting this lovely Lady’s selfless home, Beauty & Harmony. Out came her wand and in flowed the magic!

First, creating a color palette based on The Lady’s own essence, The Design Fairy Godmother brought sunshine into her Kitchen/Living Room/Dining Room/Office Space; water and air into her Guest Room; and nature’s sun-kissed green in her Master Bedroom with the magic of her favorite paint from, Sir Benjamin Moore.

Next, fixed design elements combining earth energy and water energy were achieved by mixing tumbled stone tiles in shades of taupe and light mocha from TILES PLUS, and watery glass tile inserts from CIOT, where the colors matched the exquisite lake below. This “castle/villa wall’ created the division between the kitchen and the rest of the living space. The Design Fairy Godmother and her Merry Men of Mirth, and Tile Magic also created a “frame” in the same tumbled stone and glass, to surround a window featuring a glorious view of the lake, in The Lady of the Lake’s office area.

Then deep cherry wood floors were laid, the front door stained to match the floor’s stain and a watery wave design was cut into the flooring where the kitchen tile meets the wood planks. Ahhhhhhhhhhh…… now this is lovely.

The kitchen was revamped by removing cabinetry over the counter (completed by a Merry Woman!) to open the space to the living room. The remaining cabinets were painted a gorgeous warm Ivory White, BM #CC-130, to lighten and brighten the space. The Design Fairy Godmother waved her wand and placed custom stainless counters in the kitchen, including the counter ledge. Watery curved stainless handles were found at HOME DEPOT and replaced the old hardware.

Then………a stroke of artistic genius…………. The Design Fairy Godmother would create a movable console/counter table for this kitchen/living area. She called upon a French Dragon she had long ago encountered in her travels to the fiery realms of Anvilla. He was brilliant with iron design, and his fiery breath could forge the epitome of iron art. She took her sketch forth, and soon this French Dragon created a piece that no one could equal. Next she visited the Crystal Phoenix at CASCADE CRYSTAL an artistic master, of crystal and glass. She gave him a pattern design for a long undulating wave that would grace the top of this iron table and included a color to paint under the wave glass to match one of the watery tiles used in the stone wall. The effect perfect! Fini!

The wave console fit elegantly into the space and The Lady of the Lake found counter stools she loved.

The rest of the décor featured an array of art and decorative elements, collected by The Lady, tying in all the elements of Earth, Fire, Air & Water, with sculptures of trees, paintings of water and skies, fiery red accents, and rich chocolate brown wood furniture. Bravo!

And then………….The Lady rested and enjoyed……………and the Design Fairy Godmother went on to work her Magic for others until, one day, The Lady of the Lake called upon her again…………….

THE END of Chapter 1… now to Chapter 2

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

AFTER photos by Michael McDonald
INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

The Lady Of The Lake’s Condo Transformation!

KITCHEN /LIVING ROOM
BEFORE:

The Kitchen & Living Space, although painted in the dirty contractor’s off white, was dark and dingy. It’s kitchen, suffocated with extra cabinets hanging down into the counter space, creating only a tiny “slot of air”. It lacked personality, detail, and Design Magic!

The Kitchen & Living Space, although painted in the dirty contractor’s off white, was dark and dingy. It’s kitchen, suffocated with extra cabinets hanging down into the counter space, creating only a tiny “slot of air”. It lacked personality, detail, and Design Magic!

The Blue Fairy was NOT here. These gray/blue cabinets had no sparkle! Without a budget to replace the cabinetry, we needed to transform them….. And the countertops…and a new backsplash……and more!

The Blue Fairy was NOT here. These gray/blue cabinets had no sparkle! Without a budget to replace the cabinetry, we needed to transform them….. And the countertops…and a new backsplash……and more!

DURING:

One of our Merry Mermen worked his artistry with our tumbled stone tiles and our  “watery” glass tile inserts, placed in diamond formation! The tumbled stone wall and glass insert placement was designed by Andrea Carini  (the Design Fairy Godmother)!

One of our Merry Mermen worked his artistry with our tumbled stone tiles and our “watery” glass tile inserts, placed in diamond formation! The tumbled stone wall and glass insert placement was designed by Andrea Carini (the Design Fairy Godmother)!

More artistry with a backsplash that coordinates with our beautiful stone wall. This lovely detail brings warmth and The Lady’s personality into this once bland space. All the counters and appliances were replaced with stainless steel!

More artistry with a backsplash that coordinates with our beautiful stone wall. This lovely detail brings warmth and The Lady’s personality into this once bland space. All the counters and appliances were replaced with stainless steel!

AFTER:

The Ahhhhhh factor. All the elements come together with lots of Pizzazz!!

The Ahhhhhh factor. All the elements come together with lots of Pizzazz!!

The cabinets are transformed in ivory white for a gentle airy quality. The stainless counters and appliances reflect soft glow. Wavy, watery details in cabinet handles, counter console, art and even glass food containers adorn this space!

The cabinets are transformed in ivory white for a gentle airy quality. The stainless counters and appliances reflect soft glow. Wavy, watery details in cabinet handles, counter console, art and even glass food containers adorn this space!

FLOORS
BEFORE:

Old carpeting, linoleum and “condo concrete” weighed everything down with the UGH FACTOR!

Old carpeting, linoleum and “condo concrete” weighed everything down with the UGH FACTOR!

AFTER:

Beautiful cherry stained wood floors replaced the carpeting the concrete! New tile floors were installed in the kitchen! And the “piece de resistance” a Wave Design was cut and curved into the wood and tile, to marry them in this harmonious meeting of fixed elements.

Beautiful cherry stained wood floors replaced the carpeting the concrete! New tile floors were installed in the kitchen! And the “piece de resistance” a Wave Design was cut and curved into the wood and tile, to marry them in this harmonious meeting of fixed elements.

DINING ROOM
BEFORE:

Lacking all things inviting……

Lacking all things inviting……

AFTER:

Two shades of a tender golden yellow kiss the walls, new dining room furniture placed happily- now entertain the invited and loved!.....and a painting, dear to the Lady, brings to her table, the intimacy of a warmhearted spirit and culture. This feeling truly permeates her space!

Two shades of a tender golden yellow kiss the walls, new dining room furniture placed happily- now entertain the invited and loved!…..and a painting, dear to the Lady, brings to her table, the intimacy of a warmhearted spirit and culture. This feeling truly permeates her space!

STONE OFFICE WINDOW
BEFORE:

An unbelievable view of the lake needed to be featured and framed in Beauty!

An unbelievable view of the lake needed to be featured and framed in Beauty!

No this is not a photograph or painting…but the REAL DEAL! A gorgeous view outside the office area window! We “framed” this view in out tumbled stone & glass combination, bringing this design detail into yet another area of the condo space.

No this is not a photograph or painting…but the REAL DEAL! A gorgeous view outside the office area window! We “framed” this view in out tumbled stone & glass combination, bringing this design detail into yet another area of the condo space.

CUSTOM CONSOLE TABLE
BEFORE:

B8

With two shades of a golden green placed strategically, this small space now breathes expansion! A “Water Dragon” quilt emanates scales in watery colors! Deep espresso furniture grounds the space, and a wooden dragon reminds The Lady of her nature. Strong yet peaceful, this bedroom is her sanctuary!

Rough Design Sketches with detailed notes (and an actual size paper pattern for the wave glass) are given to the artists to create this amazing art piece, the moveable Console table!

AFTER:

The Console Art Piece finishes our functional and beautiful dwelling!!! Sea Urchin Martinis, anyone? Conch Fritters?

The Console Art Piece finishes our functional and beautiful dwelling!!! Sea Urchin Martinis, anyone? Conch Fritters?

Forged, Twisted Steel, and Under-painted Thick, Tempered, Undulating Glass, create this watery fantasy Console!

Forged, Twisted Steel, and Under-painted Thick, Tempered, Undulating Glass, create this watery fantasy Console!

MASTER BEDROOM
BEFORE:

In Need of a place to rest, relax and rejuvenate………the Dragon waits.

In Need of a place to rest, relax and rejuvenate………the Dragon waits.

AFTER:

With two shades of a golden green placed strategically, this small space now breathes expansion! A “Water Dragon” quilt emanates scales in watery colors! Deep espresso furniture grounds the space, and a wooden dragon reminds The Lady of her nature. Strong yet peaceful, this bedroom is her sanctuary!

With two shades of a golden green placed strategically, this small space now breathes expansion! A “Water Dragon” quilt emanates scales in watery colors! Deep espresso furniture grounds the space, and a wooden dragon reminds The Lady of her nature. Strong yet peaceful, this bedroom is her sanctuary!

The Tale of “The Emperor’s New Home, a Manly Palace”

Long Ago there lived a very Kind and Successful Emperor who ruled his kingdom of real estate and medical practices with the sharpest of wisdoms, the strongest of convictions and the biggest of hearts. His astute business mind was surpassed by none — as well, no one could top the Emperor’s own secret recipe for the world’s best seafood chowder!

His generous ways were known throughout the land and beyond, for he shared his wealth among those he loved and cared for, and as well was a sincere patron of the arts.

This kindly Emperor decided to leave his old palace and build a new one! He had no need for a moat or drawbridge, as he did not wish to keep his welcomed guests from entering his new home with ease, nor becoming an alligator’s lunch!

Searching far and wide, the Emperor found the Perfect downtown location and what he thought was the Perfect Builder to work on his architectural masterpiece. It was to be an exquisite creation to rival any wizard’s magic including Merlin! It was too be as strong and sturdy as the three little pig’s handy work, just in case a big bad wolf decided to huff and puff a little too close for comfort! It was to be…. well, it started out to be……..but then, went from bad to worse.

Now let us remember dear children, palaces are big budget, and the client, our kindly Emperor, should be respectfully regarded. The Builder didn’t think so. Deadlines were dismissed, information was skewed, missing, not the truth or became riddles to rival Rumplestilskin’s!

Our Emperor, unlike the one in the story who wore invisible clothes (very naked) down a public street so many years ago (no relation by the way!), was not about to have the invisible wool pulled over his eyes! Instead, he said the three magic words “help! Help! HELP!!!! And with a flash of blinding light, the Design Fairy Godmother appeared waving her magic wand, Ninja style. She was a friend and admirer of the kindly Emperor, and came swiftly upon his frantic call, ………………….to kick ass…….…up against the palace wall!

Now the Design Fairy Godmother loves a challenge—but this Builder reminded her of a peddler she once encountered in a marketplace in the tiny town of Sheisterville, who, a few hundred years ago, tried to sell her a monkey that would clean her garderobe (toilet), shine her fairy shoes, while at the same time entertain her by grinding an organ (um……the musical kind). She of course, dismissed him and his demon monkey, with a wave of her wand and choice words from her lovely fairy lips.

And back to our story – the palace foundation was finished, structure built, walls up, and then … the rest. Three stories of home plus finish basement, to design, including four washrooms, and a kitchen.

All the fixed design elements were to be found, designed, and chosen first. Flooring, tiles (many from CENTURA), cabinetry, lighting design, baseboards and trim, doors, windows, carpentry, stairway, etc. etc. A luscious Color Design for all four floors was prepared and executed brilliantly, using Benjamin Moore paints.

Frustration would have been the operative word for a mere mortal designer, where even the smallest of elements were difficult with this Builder – kind of like dealing with a trickster troll from the depths of Impossi-ville. But for our Design Fairy Godmother, armed with her powerful wand, design expertise, brilliant e-mails and sheer hutzpah, she was able to achieve with her dear kindly Emperor, his manly new home.

Without a tear shed, they finally bid the Builder adieu, The Design Fairy Godmother then began the magical interior design transformation of the Emperor’s new palace!

Blending the Emperors, collection of 1960’s teak furniture, vintage art deco furniture, and an amazing art collection, with new purchases, decorative pieces and fabulous new lighting, the palace became an extraordinary place filled with his personality, and fit for his lifestyle!

Vintage 1960’s teak bookshelves found at a cool Queen Street antique store, to hold some of his vast collection of 1960’s German pottery; vintage style lighting from Sescolite graced the ceilings; designer blinds from Dodds Interiors, dressed the windows; and many other earthly and fairylike details were purchased or conjured with delight.

The palace now complete, the kindly Emperor was thrilled to enjoy and share his new beautiful home.

He happily gave a celebration inviting all his dear family, friends, the goodly neighbors, of course his Design Fairy Godmother, the magical realm including the unicorns and other fair creatures (no monkeys–sorry.) and served among other delectable dishes………….you guessed it! ……his world’s best seafood chowder! Mmmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmm. Good!

THE END

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

AFTER photos by Claire Louise Foster
INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

HALLWAY/STAIRCASE

BEFORE: In construction

BEFORE: In construction

AFTER: Luxurious walnut, stained floors and staircase stained to match, with a color palette of complex neutrals in taupes & grays for a warm welcome and the perfect canvas for art display. Here featured, an art collection of vintage black and white portraits.

AFTER: Luxurious walnut, stained floors and staircase stained to match, with a color palette of complex neutrals in taupes & grays for a warm welcome and the perfect canvas for art display. Here featured, an art collection of vintage black and white portraits.

LIVING ROOM

BEFORE: This short wall makes no sense trying desperately to divide the front foyer from the living room space. Hard to believe that this will become a cool living room space fit for an Emperor!!!

BEFORE: This short wall makes no sense trying desperately to divide the front foyer from the living room space. Hard to believe that this will become a cool living room space fit for an Emperor!!!

AFTER: 1960’s Teak Furniture collection, more fabulous art and a clever custom wood shelf unit atop our short wall, holds a German Pottery collection, while now defining and harmonizing two spaces.

AFTER: 1960’s Teak Furniture collection, more fabulous art and a clever custom wood shelf unit atop our short wall, holds a German Pottery collection, while now defining and harmonizing two spaces.

AFTER: No matter what angle you perceive this space, it is inviting!  1960’s Teak Furniture, black leather vintage couch, vintage lamps and accessories, custom shades and of course art! Sexy, manly, delicious!

AFTER: No matter what angle you perceive this space, it is inviting! 1960’s Teak Furniture, black leather vintage couch, vintage lamps and accessories, custom shades and of course art! Sexy, manly, delicious!

KITCHEN/DINING ROOM

BEFORE: In construction…Kitchen and Dining Room…Oh my stars!!

BEFORE: In construction…Kitchen and Dining Room…Oh my stars!!

AFTER: A blend of Art Deco meets 1960’s meets contemporary kitchen! Eclectic & Enticing!

AFTER: A blend of Art Deco meets 1960’s meets contemporary kitchen! Eclectic & Enticing!

AFTER: Handsome & Elegant, like our Emperor (!), this kitchen is a marvel for any fine chef!

AFTER: Handsome & Elegant, like our Emperor (!), this kitchen is a marvel for any fine chef!

MAIN FLOOR WASHROOM

BEFORE: Um….Small enough for one of my Pixies! How to fit it all in!

BEFORE: Um….Small enough for one of my Pixies! How to fit it all in!

AFTER: Ahh now……fit for any royal guest! And a gorgeous vessel sink!

AFTER: Ahh now……fit for any royal guest! And a gorgeous vessel sink!

STAIRS/HALL, 2ND FLOOR

BEFORE: ConstructionLand through the eyes of spindles, balusters and dust – not the fairy kind…

BEFORE: ConstructionLand through the eyes of spindles, balusters and dust – not the fairy kind…

AFTER: Stairways and Halls …the veins of our home’s body! Here we have a strong yet graceful walnut stained staircase, where vintage art leads us from the main to the second floor. This serene hall space directs us to a home office, as well as bedrooms and a 4 piece bath. Art & 1960’s distinctive collectibles invite any guest to wander and explore.

AFTER: Stairways and Halls …the veins of our home’s body! Here we have a strong yet graceful walnut stained staircase, where vintage art leads us from the main to the second floor. This serene hall space directs us to a home office, as well as bedrooms and a 4 piece bath. Art & 1960’s distinctive collectibles invite any guest to wander and explore.

MASTER BATHROOM

BEFORE: Yes, Virginia……this will be a spa!!!

BEFORE: Yes, Virginia……this will be a spa!!!

AFTER: An incredible Master Ensuite space to Relax, Rejuvenate, and Reward!!!

AFTER: An incredible Master Ensuite space to Relax, Rejuvenate, and Reward!!!

AFTER: Glass tile inserts and trim in smoke, taupe and aquamarine accent the sand/gray tile for shower and bath.

AFTER: Glass tile inserts and trim in smoke, taupe and aquamarine accent the sand/gray tile for shower and bath.

3RD FLOOR HALLWAY/LANDING

BEFORE: A space in need of royal importance as it leads to a lovely private exterior deck and the Master Suite.

BEFORE: A space in need of royal importance as it leads to a lovely private exterior deck and the Master Suite.

AFTER: Vintage photographs from a private collection beckons us to the third floor landing of the Master Suite. A 1960’s teak bookshelf holds a collection of vintage German pottery, while the art on the wall from a distinguished downtown gallery, creates a playful yet chic ambiance.

AFTER: Vintage photographs from a private collection beckons us to the third floor landing of the Master Suite. A 1960’s teak bookshelf holds a collection of vintage German pottery, while the art on the wall from a distinguished downtown gallery, creates a playful yet chic ambiance.

AFTER: A happy Design Fairy Godmother, Andrea, takes a short rest after a job well done!!! Until the next Magical Tale!!!

AFTER: A happy Design Fairy Godmother, Andrea, takes a short rest after a job well done!!! Until the next Magical Tale!!!

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM

• Building a New Home is a PARTNERSHIP! Check out the Builder before signing any contract. Research his/her work, and reputation. Make sure he/she is a good communicator. Seek references. Does this Builder belong to a local Home Builder’s Association? You don’t want a trickster troll for a partner!
• What warranty does your Builder offer? Does he/she belong to a New Home warranty program?
• Make sure the Builder is completely familiar with the building site as well as your house plans, and plan changes, BEFORE the final price is quoted.
• Retain an attorney experienced in reviewing building contracts to thoroughly review your contract before you sign.
• Try to make selections as far in advance as possible to avoid unwanted delays. Give enough time for custom orders.
• Be clear about what you want and your expectations with your Builder.
• Any changes during construction can add to your cost. However, don’t be afraid to make them now, as you won’t want to be living in a construction site changing things again later.
• VISIT the SITE!! Check the progress frequently to catch any mistakes and quickly solve these issues in writing for your builder. Additionally, you may also be needed on site to answer any questions for the builder or his/hers subcontractors.
• Hire your own Interior Designer or Design Fairy Godmother to make your life easier, and act on your behalf with your Builder.
• Put all changes and corrections in WRITING! Include full details and costs when applicable. Do this even if you discuss changes with your nice Builder and he says agreeably, “No problem”. People forget.
• Make sure after the project is complete, you provide written notice of items requiring repair or corrections. And make sure it is taken care of before you pay your final bill.
• It’s a lot of work but GET EXCITED! This is YOUR NEW CUSTOM PALACE!!!

The Tale of “The Peasant Hovel Turned Princess Dream Home Castle”

Patience my children, for this tale is long and limitless as is True Love.

There once was a handsome Prince who married his Princess, and wanted nothing more than to please her, as he loved her beyond the moon & stars, and his childhood hockey card collection.

His fancy downtown condo was simply not enough for this fair-haired maiden, and so he ventured out with his treasured Princess to find the perfect first time castle.

Alas, they came upon the Village of Roncesvalles, which was in sad need of a new ruling Prince & Princess, (as the last royal couple moved to a new faraway land too difficult to pronounce and somewhere in New Jersey).

The Princess, a true royal (as her mother-in-law, the Queen, discovered prior to the couple’s marriage, with 20 Mattresses and a single Pea —remember that story?), had impeccable taste- very French in fact, with a cutting edge sensibility, as did her fine Prince.

Their new castle had been previously renovated rather poorly by ignorant Peasants, without taste or regard for the lovely bones or details of this sacred space. In fact, these lowly rogues created havoc behind the castle walls, causing electrical & plumbing issues, which would have forced renowned knight, Sir Mike Holmes into a royal coronary. As well, the Peasant’s design crimes, resulted in butt ugly features, and I’m talking Boor butt, the worst kind.

As they feared, the Prince and Princess felt devoured by the Ugly Monster who resided throughout the MAIN FLOOR space. The royal couple did what they were compelled to do, and summoned forth their Design Fairy Godmother, Andrea. She listened intently to their design woes and their design dreams. “Ahhh! Yes!” said the Design Fairy Godmother with a twinkle in her eyes.

This peasant’s fiasco met with it’s reckoning, as she slew the Ugly Monster! And with a wave of her trusty wand, the merry men and women of artistic labor appeared and did the Magic One’s bidding.

With a new Interior Design, walls came down, ugly glass block removed from the living room entrance, partition walls went up, custom stairs were installed to match those original to the castle, new electrical and plumbing, a lovely lighting design plan implemented with gorgeous new fixtures, cool custom ceiling medallion in the living/dining room, added fixed architectural details, hall closet organization rebuild, demo-reconfigured- reno of main floor bathroom with cool custom accents and antique icebox vanity, old family room mantle replaced with a custom birch contemporary fireplace mantle – complete with limestone insert and black slate floor, custom shelves built to display the Princess’s collection of antique memorabilia, unique new furniture and decorative pieces added – with an Industrial Chic meets SteamPunk flavor. All rooms custom decorated in the Royal’s personal style, including the redesign (silver gilding and beautiful upholstery), of their precious antique dining room chairs, plus a new color design in 5 shades of sexy gray!

All technical problems found practical (and magical) solutions in the hands or uh…wand of the Magic One. PHEW! This would tire out any other Design Fairy Godmother, but not Andrea and her abundant supply of interior design magic!

The Prince and Princess were overjoyed, and the Village of Roncevalles had their new rulers. As well, the townsfolk were elated as their real estate values increased due to the royal couple’s new castle renovation. All rejoiced with wine and song!

What was once a peasant’s nightmare hovel, was now transformed into a Princess’s Dream Castle! And the royal couple lived happily ever after, later giving birth to a little prince…and that is another Designer’s Tale…………

THE END

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2012 Andrea Carini

AFTER photos by Claire Louise Foster
INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

The Royal Couple’s Main Floor Reno from Peasant Hovel to Princess Castle

BEFORE: A front hall disaster with someone else’s bad reno ideas. Authentic stair railings yanked out for trash, unnecessary new walls, an ugly door and meaningless glass block impose themselves creating this dark welcoming!

BEFORE: A front hall disaster with someone else’s bad reno ideas. Authentic stair railings yanked out for trash, unnecessary new walls, an ugly door and meaningless glass block impose themselves creating this dark welcoming!

AFTER: Now open, welcoming and very cool!

AFTER: Now open, welcoming and very cool!

BEFORE: An enclosed living/dining area feels ultra claustrophobic even with the glass block accents, which are ill placed. Original period details have been brutally stripped away and “bad contractor special” track lights, and two strangely placed pot lights are the only light sources.

BEFORE: An enclosed living/dining area feels ultra claustrophobic even with the glass block accents, which are ill placed. Original period details have been brutally stripped away and “bad contractor special” track lights, and two strangely placed pot lights are the only light sources.

AFTER: High drama when using 4 shades of gray for this sexy main floor space! An open concept space, with surprise added period and architectural details. Stair railings and post were replaced to match the original. New ceiling medallions were designed using ornamental tin and moldings to create a contemporary feel for this period detail. They were the perfect backdrop for our European lighting. A strategic mirror brings light and life into the space. 

AFTER: High drama when using 4 shades of gray for this sexy main floor space! An open concept space, with surprise added period and architectural details. Stair railings and post were replaced to match the original. New ceiling medallions were designed using ornamental tin and moldings to create a contemporary feel for this period detail. They were the perfect backdrop for our European lighting. A strategic mirror brings light and life into the space.

AFTER: An industrial chic side cabinet, originally a machine cabinet, is beautifully placed. The antique dining room chairs became art when silver leafed and reupholstered with a geometric design jaquard. A “bubble light” hangs in the living room throwing  the most unusual and lovely light shadows.

AFTER: An industrial chic side cabinet, originally a machine cabinet, is beautifully placed. The antique dining room chairs became art when silver leafed and reupholstered with a geometric design jaquard. A “bubble light” hangs in the living room throwing  the most unusual and lovely light shadows.

BEFORE: A lovely shade of contractor beige did nothing to feature the interesting lines in this lovely extension. A dated fireplace mantle, cheap shelves, no storage, and drum roll please ….a “clothesline” track lighting system!!!?

BEFORE: A lovely shade of contractor beige did nothing to feature the interesting lines in this lovely extension. A dated fireplace mantle, cheap shelves, no storage, and drum roll please ….a “clothesline” track lighting system!!!?

AFTER: High contrast gray tones create the illusion of a larger space and accentuates the “bones” of the structure. A new fireplace mantle is designed, with new insert and silver details grounded by the new black stone floor.

AFTER: High contrast gray tones create the illusion of a larger space and accentuates the “bones” of the structure. A new fireplace mantle is designed, with new insert and silver details grounded by the new black stone floor.

AFTER: A new shelf and coat hook is designed to showcase a collection of unusual antiques. New kitchen lighting that you can’t hang your laundry on!

AFTER: A new shelf and coat hook is designed to showcase a collection of unusual antiques. New kitchen lighting that you can’t hang your laundry on!

BEFORE: The door to the bathroom opened awkwardly cutting into the already small space. A shower monopolized the entire room, looking absolutely huge in comparison to the toilet and pedestal sink. And then here was the yellow sponging wall treatment.….

BEFORE: The door to the bathroom opened awkwardly cutting into the already small space. A shower monopolized the entire room, looking absolutely huge in comparison to the toilet and pedestal sink. And then here was the yellow sponging wall treatment.….

DURING: The client wanted an unusual vanity. Well, I found this antique Ice Box! My carpenter cut the top of it down, re-trimmed it, gut the original aluminum inside and finished it with two shelves. We then stained it to match the door and “wood” tile feature shower wall. Voile!

DURING: The client wanted an unusual vanity. Well, I found this antique Ice Box! My carpenter cut the top of it down, re-trimmed it, gut the original aluminum inside and finished it with two shelves. We then stained it to match the door and “wood” tile feature shower wall. Voile!

AFTER: Reconfigured, with contemporary elements meeting funky antiques. Looking spacious with a soaker tub, shower, toilet and new “ice box” vanity! We kept this glass block window as it brought in lots of light! A feature wall in the shower looks like wood plank. The gray floor/tub skirt tile  looks like aluminum.

AFTER: Reconfigured, with contemporary elements meeting funky antiques. Looking spacious with a soaker tub, shower, toilet and new “ice box” vanity! We kept this glass block window as it brought in lots of light! A feature wall in the shower looks like wood plank. The gray floor/tub skirt tile  looks like aluminum.

AFTER: Custom shelves made to “mirror” the square sink and other square elements. Antique lighting creates an expressive mood, while a sliding door on an exterior track gives tons of interior bathroom space. Functional and beautiful! 

AFTER: Custom shelves made to “mirror” the square sink and other square elements. Antique lighting creates an expressive mood, while a sliding door on an exterior track gives tons of interior bathroom space. Functional and beautiful!

AFTER: Gorgeous faucets and handles look amazing against the small white subway tile, which also accents our wood plank tile feature wall.

AFTER: Gorgeous faucets and handles look amazing against the small white subway tile, which also accents our wood plank tile feature wall.

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM:

  • Get yourself a great Design Fairy Godmother with her best Merry men & women!!!
  • When doing multiple types of renovation in your home, as in our royal couple’s main floor, seek out those professionals who are expert in very specialized areas. Remember, not all contractors do everything well! In the Prince and Princess’s case, one contractor was used for the bathroom as he was the best in the land, and another was used for the rest of the main floor reno, as he was a gifted in it’s specific needs for structural issues, bracing, rebuilding, expert carpentry and possessed his father -the Duke’s- wicked sense of humor. Ah……. Such Fun!!!!
  • It’s all in the Prep & Planning!!! Have an Engineer take a look at the walls BEFORE they come down!! If needed, have him/her (along with your architect– if you are using one—and your Design Fairy Godmother), prepare drawings for your contractor. Make sure your contractor is present if possible, in your meeting with the Engineer, as he/she will be better prepared by asking additional questions, and be made aware of any unique circumstances or particular materials/special orders to coordinate.
  • Each floor of your castle must flow in design and color, as should one room to the next including your transition walls and hallways . In the case of this main floor design, there was a “color story” prepared, along with a very specific design focus and style.
  • Look through magazines, books, art and even movies for what inspires you and the style you wish to live in. Start a design file for ideas and feeling.
  • Connect with things you possess that are meaningful and incorporate them into your design. Your design homework will help your design professional to realize your wishes. No one knows better how you wish to live than you!
  • Don’t be afraid to insist on your dream, as the “authentic” Design Fairy Godmother, (and the Merry men & women), will LISTEN, keep her/his ego elsewhere and offer their professional guidance. With their magic wand in hand, they will manifest YOUR VISION into your Dream Castle!!