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 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!!

The Tale of “Contractor, Contractor, Where Art Thou?”

This is not a story for the faint of heart. Listen well and learn my children.

Once upon a time there was a goodly homeowner who wished for a beautiful new bathroom. One that would never leak into his living room ceiling, damage his floors and put him out of his home for many a moon, as the current old washroom had.

Now, my dears, this is a story known to many unfortunate folk and told again and again until the cows come home. Moo!

Some folks call a friend to discuss the problem and seek advice. Some call their reliable contractor with whom they have an established working relationship. And some call their favorite Design Fairy Godmother (Me!!!) who comes armed with her magic wand, her happy binder for project management, a great contractor and band of merry men (tradesmen and tradeswomen, that is).

Our goodly homeowner, having gotten advice from friends, decided to be his own contractor. Now this could work for those at home weaving flaxen cloth, with time to spare for trades scheduling, and project management. However, most  have fulltime jobs answering to a sometimes grumpy Duke or Duchess who won’t allow the time off.

After many moons, and truly heroic and exhausting attempts at trying to work fulltime and organize this domestic disaster, our goodly homeowner, brought in his Design Fairy Godmother (ME!), as he could no longer stand the plaster dust, the inactivity, or the black Troll Gob he blew into his tissue at night. YUK!

The Design Fairy Godmother (Me!), blew the plaster dust off her wand, designed a lovely new washroom, called in her Contractor Chieftains, and organized all other tradespeople to demolish, reconfigure, renovate and custom build “The Most Beautiful Bathroom in the Land”…….or at least on the street.

Custom cabinets and vanity were designed and custom built, with chrome knobs and handles from Restoration Hardware, granite countertop from ARISTON Marble & Granite LTD; Coach and spa lights from Union Lighting highlighted all features; tub and shower faucets, spout and shower heads from Dupont Plumbing, were lovely sculptural details; gorgeous glass, marble, and granite wall and floor tiles from OLYMPIA Tiles warmed the space; and a custom mirror and framing of original art from Eclectic Gallery decorated the space with sparkle.

The goodly homeowner, moved back into his Sacred Castle. His first shower, in his spectacular new bathroom was an experience like Nirvana, that satiated his wishes and was his dream come true—and there was still a little fairy dust left behind………….

THE END

© 2012 Andrea Carini

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

The Goodly Home Owner’s Bathroom Reno, A Transformation into a Princely Space.

BEFORE: A Tiny Space, where the door opened into the tub and grazed the sink counter. Okay for Rumplestilskin! Time to re-think, design & reconfigure.

DURING:…And they came with their trusty Hammers, Crowbars, and all other Weapons of Destruction to tear down what was and to  build what will be…

AFTER: A soaker tub with “step for bath supplies and storage niche above with glass shelves.

AFTER: Left; A feature wall, with glass tiles, half shower glass and gorgeous contemporary faucets and shower pieces. Right; Custom Vanity & mirror, Original Art Photography, & tile detail.

AFTER: Left; The original small window removed, transformed into a longer, larger light source created with glass block. Steel Blue glass tile combined with a “frame” of handpainted glass feature tile, harmonize with a black granite (used in floor), lining on the inside of the window.
Right; Granite & marble Floor in diagonal pattern creates an optical illusion of more space. Custom cabinetry utilizes all “dead space” into practical space that fully functions.Design of all cabinetry inspired by  original cabinetry in this 1920’s home.

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM:

  • VERY IMPORTANT! If you can’t take the time to be there ALL the time, DON’T try to do it yourself—HIRE SOMEONE competent.
  • IF you have a favorite Interior Designer, she/he would most likely have their own professional Goodly Contractor, and tradespeople, and  he/she will also project manage. If you don’t have one, call or e-mail me …or say my name 3 times and I’ll appear.
  • Make sure your Goodly Contractor has insurance and a license. If he comes highly recommended through someone you know, who has actually had work done by him, then you can pretty well be assured of the contractor’s skill, experience and integrity. Ask to see the work.
  • A really good contractor is usually someone you have to wait for. So be patient and get in line. It will so be worth it!
  • Always get references (at least 3), testimonials and see a portfolio of the Goodly Contractor’s work. His reputation is a valuable asset.
  • A Goodly Contractor will give you a proper written estimate, a complete proposal, broken down with a list of all work he will provide you. Should there be additions or changes, the price will also change. Be aware of what you ask for and be very clear of the scope of your job.
  • A professional contractor will never ask you for 50% of the money up front. Initially it’s about 10-15% for materials up front, depending on the job, so he  can get started.
  • Should you be interviewing Goodly Contractors, meet several and get their estimates. DO NOT take the cheapest deal!!! A Goodly Contractor will not budge on his price as it is based on facts and professional experience. Choose SKILL OVER PRICE…..you will be relieved you did.
  • A most important asset for your Goodly Contractor is his ability to clearly communicate with you, the Goodly Homeowner, and his understanding of the value of this. With this in place, few if any misunderstandings will occur, and constant feedback will help to produce a successful renovation and a good working relationship!
  • Now that you have found your Dream Contractor or Designer, stay with him/her as you already know they are great! Get ready for your next Magical Reno!!