The Tale of “The Lady Of The Lake Goes Condo” Chapter 3, “The Grand Dragon Bath, A Clever Master Ensuite Design, for A Small Space”

Our Lady’s story continues from the Grace of the Water to the Power of the Dragon’s Breath………………Summoned again, the Magic of the Design Fairy Godmother!

In honor of the Lady’s grandfather, the Grand Dragon, the Lady of the Lake wished to satiate her Dragon nature in a space that would calm the mighty beast in earth, air and smoke.

Her Zen Dragon inspired Master Lair already completed by you know who’s Design Magic, must now be complemented by a Master Ensuite to sooth the Flying Dragon’s Fiery Breath and also house a bevy of mighty hot toiletries and sexy French perfumes, all in one very small room. OOH LA LAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggghchhhrrrrrrrrrR!

The Lady’s Condo Ensuite or Privy Chamber wish list included—lots of storage space- PLEASE! Create a low maintenance space with: a larger vanity that actually functions, a deep soaker tub, a new chamber pot, new medicine cabinet, a place to put towels, soothing colors, no muss-no fuss tile, new plumbing & electrical and overhead light, new lighting fixtures, new floor, a bit of a masculine edge, and an atmosphere of serenity to move the fire of the day into gentle smoke and……oh yes…….can you make it look bigger?!!!.” Hmmmmmmm, another miracle”, said the Design Fairy Godmother, not ever wanting to scorch the Lady’s dreams, nor the dreams of others, pray tell.

With little “Wing Space” here, (for Dragons or Design Fairy Godmothers), out came the faithful Magic Wand—uh— very carefully and with extremely directed movements not needing too much elbowroom!

First, the wand brought forth the Design Fairy Godmother’s team of Merry Men of Mirth & Reno Magic. Arriving in a puff of smoke, in pure Draco style, they crowded into this small space- the contractor, plumber and electrician- and soon began to demolish the old and rebuild the new, following the magical design plan, and trying hard not to bump into one another -not unlike the Three Stooges.

Then the Design Fairy Godmother conjured a most enchanting design for a beautiful new custom vanity (with TONS of storage!!!), matching mirror by ECLECTIC GALLERY, and matching combination medicine cabinet/towel closet/storage unit that would hang above the new chamber pot (uh….toilet). These pieces were stained a deep espresso brown as in the Master Bedroom furniture, and they featured beautiful art glass cutouts with a warm gray smoky texture right from the Dragon’s mouth, as well as sharp masculine lines.  A beautiful taupe colored countertop in CEASARSTONE from ARISTON MARBLE adorned our vanity, as did a square shaped under mount Mirabelle sink, and the AQUABRASS faucet in chrome, both from TAPS. The Square handles from LOWES and the square knobs from LEE VALLEY TOOLS in chrome gave it a sparkle!

For the Lady’s fiery French perfumes and sensual body butters, we created yet another storage space right by the sink, a Niche in the wall with crystal glass shelves from CANADA GLASS & MIRROR CO. Not an inch of space in this Grand Dragon bath was wasted on the Pixies!

A gorgeous three light chrome vanity fixture placed above the custom mirror, and a square chrome flush mount light fixture overhead, both from UNION, added even more radiance!

Using a feature edge tile, from OLYMPIA TILE, horizontally around the room, we created an optical illusion of breath and width—more space. This tile reminiscent of Dragon scales, was made of greenish/gray smoky colored glass with small square inserts of brown/beige marble, A medium taupe 6X6 square ceramic tile brought an earthy feel to the walls below our edge tile and around the room, creating high color contrast, with a little “Dragon cave quality”. The wall paint color from Sir BENJAMIN MOORE, in Hazy Skies#OC-48, a warm gray, gave us the air and dragon smoke above the tile to complete the optical illusion.

An American Standard soaker tub from TAPS was installed, with luscious square designed AQUABRASS chrome faucets, spout and shower head, from DUPONT PLUMBING. A feature wall of 2X6 greenish/gray smoky glass tiles from CENTURA, were placed vertically to create a feeling of a smoky underground waterfall.  Another Niche was built inside the shower area complete with a crystal glass shelf for all the Lady’s bath and beauty supplies. We also added a rounded Hotel style shower curtain rod and curtain, request of our precious Lady.

Lastly, to finish this “spacious” look, square floor tiles in greenish/gray porcelain with brown speckled texture also from OLYMPIA TILE, were laid diagonally.

No Flying Dragon in their right mind would pass up the chance to soak their scales and sooth their fiery breath with a luxurious bath in this sensuous lair!

The ravishing Lady of the Lake was pleased again and each time she relaxed in her new Ensuite, she was reminded of the Grand Dragon, her royal blood grandfather, her mother’s Dragon breath with her freshly fired childhood S’mores, and a particularly very cute Parisian of Dragon blood ancestry, who was responsible for many of her delicious and enticing perfumes……………..but that is another Tale…a Fairytale…………..although one I shan’t tell……….Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my dear Children!

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 Condo’s Master Ensuite to Sooth Any Beasty Dragon’s Fire!

BEFORE:

A crowded sink , tiny vanity with no storage space, a minimalist’s medicine cabinet, multiple light switches & plugs placed “willy nilly “wasting space, a huge mirror above the sink extends to toilet- wasting more precious space, and tons of things crowd the wrap around counter!  HELP!!!!

A crowded sink , tiny vanity with no storage space, a minimalist’s medicine cabinet, multiple light switches & plugs placed “willy nilly “wasting space, a huge mirror above the sink extends to toilet- wasting more precious space, and tons of things crowd the wrap around counter! HELP!!!!

This vanity couldn’t be more basic –actually substandard. There are no shelves or drawers inside, just a cramped open space. Not for an organized individual!

This vanity couldn’t be more basic –actually substandard. There are no shelves or drawers inside, just a cramped open space. Not for an organized individual!

A wrap around synthetic counter inviting tons of clutter, and a very short wide toilet (that leaked too) fit for a plump little gnome instead of a Grand Dragon! The first thing you see when the Ensuite door opens is……a towel rod. No tiles with the exception of the tub area and a dated contractor gray tile floor.

A wrap around synthetic counter inviting tons of clutter, and a very short wide toilet (that leaked too) fit for a plump little gnome instead of a Grand Dragon! The first thing you see when the Ensuite door opens is……a towel rod. No tiles with the exception of the tub area and a dated contractor gray tile floor.

Ah here are the contractor gray tiles! The shower area is crowded with hanging racks of beauty supplies and toiletries. There is a false bulkhead which does absolutely nothing but trap the moisture inside and create scum and mold! Additionally the ceiling inside the shower is not tiled and there is some water damage! This bulkhead has got to go!

Ah here are the contractor gray tiles! The shower area is crowded with hanging racks of beauty supplies and toiletries. There is a false bulkhead which does absolutely nothing but trap the moisture inside and create scum and mold! Additionally the ceiling inside the shower is not tiled and there is some water damage! This bulkhead has got to go!

A small shallow tub with rusted jets sits surrounded by equally tired faucets, downspout and showerhead. Hey! Next, the tile stops here! And abruptly! Notice the tiled wall above the tub, a space with no storage function but soon there will be a fabulous storage Niche!

A small shallow tub with rusted jets sits surrounded by equally tired faucets, downspout and showerhead. Hey! Next, the tile stops here! And abruptly! Notice the tiled wall above the tub, a space with no storage function but soon there will be a fabulous storage Niche!

DURING:

Yea!! Demolition! Remove those dastardly tiles, badly done electrical & plumbing and unsightly walls!!! Send back the old tub, toilet & sink to the Gob Trolls (who adore a good used toilet!)!!

Yea!! Demolition! Remove those dastardly tiles, badly done electrical & plumbing and unsightly walls!!! Send back the old tub, toilet & sink to the Gob Trolls (who adore a good used toilet!)!!

Demolition of the tub/shower and the perfect wall for our tub Niche and shelves! The Niche is framed, dry-walled and ready for tile by our Merry Men!

Demolition of the tub/shower and the perfect wall for our tub Niche and shelves! The Niche is framed, dry-walled and ready for tile by our Merry Men!

And what a difference a tile makes! Our smoky “waterfall” glass tile is installed in the tub/shower area, while the taupe ceramic tile completes the shower wall. The “Dragon Scales” glass edge decorative tile and taupe ceramic tile are placed around the rest of the space giving it the appearance of a much wider room.

And what a difference a tile makes! Our smoky “waterfall” glass tile is installed in the tub/shower area, while the taupe ceramic tile completes the shower wall. The “Dragon Scales” glass edge decorative tile and taupe ceramic tile are placed around the rest of the space giving it the appearance of a much wider room.

To create a Niche storage space by the sink, we first removed the small medicine cabinet ( more Gob Troll fodder!), enlarged the cavity, reframed it and then finished with drywall, The sloppy electrical display was reconfigured for a clean and tidy usage of space.

To create a Niche storage space by the sink, we first removed the small medicine cabinet ( more Gob Troll fodder!), enlarged the cavity, reframed it and then finished with drywall, The sloppy electrical display was reconfigured for a clean and tidy usage of space.

Ahhh! And now the finishing touches! Toilet paper roll, towel rack, hand towel holder and away we go!

Ahhh! And now the finishing touches! Toilet paper roll, towel rack, hand towel holder and away we go!

THE PLAN:

The Elevation drawing for The Grand Dragon Ensuite.

The Elevation drawing for The Grand Dragon Ensuite.

The Designer Fairy Godmother’s rough sketch for Vanity & Cabinet.

The Designer Fairy Godmother’s rough sketch for Vanity & Cabinet.

AFTER:

The Grand Dragon Ensuite Transformation!

The Grand Dragon Ensuite Transformation!

The tub/shower magical makeover reveals a Niche storage area with crystal glass shelves, a Hotel Style curved curtain rod, a deep Spa soaker tub, and sparkling chrome faucet, spout and showerhead in a contemporary square design!

The tub/shower magical makeover reveals a Niche storage area with crystal glass shelves, a Hotel Style curved curtain rod, a deep Spa soaker tub, and sparkling chrome faucet, spout and showerhead in a contemporary square design!

The allure of a harmonious and interesting tile combination! Our “Dragon Scales” decorative edge tile combines curved glass with natural taupe & brown marble stone, and accents the taupe ceramic tile beautifully. The floor tile, a color combination of the smoky greenish gray with brown speckles compliments all of the different tiles used. The wall tiles gracefully transition into the shower’s feature wall, an “underground Dragon Waterfall” glass vertical tile.

The allure of a harmonious and interesting tile combination! Our “Dragon Scales” decorative edge tile combines curved glass with natural taupe & brown marble stone, and accents the taupe ceramic tile beautifully. The floor tile, a color combination of the smoky greenish gray with brown speckles compliments all of the different tiles used. The wall tiles gracefully transition into the shower’s feature wall, an “underground Dragon Waterfall” glass vertical tile.

The Niche storage area by the sink, complete with crystal shelves, is gently reflected in the custom mirror.

The Niche storage area by the sink, complete with crystal shelves, is gently reflected in the custom mirror.

A contemporary chrome lighting fixture for the vanity placed above the mirror, and a square design overhead light fixture on the ceiling brings the right light ambiance into the space!

A contemporary chrome lighting fixture for the vanity placed above the mirror, and a square design overhead light fixture on the ceiling brings the right light ambiance into the space!

A square under-mount sink is paired with a taupe Ceasarstone counter top and accented with a shimmering chrome square design faucet!

A square under-mount sink is paired with a taupe Ceasarstone counter top and accented with a shimmering chrome square design faucet!

A Custom vanity, stained an espresso brown, designed to hold many items, has a huge amount of space. Inside is a large drawer with a chrome pull, and a shelf for maximum organization. The doors have an art glass geometric insert in a smoky gray, and it is highlighted with chrome square knobs.

A Custom vanity, stained an espresso brown, designed to hold many items, has a huge amount of space. Inside is a large drawer with a chrome pull, and a shelf for maximum organization. The doors have an art glass geometric insert in a smoky gray, and it is highlighted with chrome square knobs.

Vanity Detail, art glass insert and lovely chrome square knobs!

Vanity Detail, art glass insert and lovely chrome square knobs!

The custom designed Medicine Cabinet/Towel Closet & Shelf piece is hung over the toilet with the matching mirror hung above the sink, all stained in espresso brown, to match the Master Bedroom furniture. Lucky Dragon!

The custom designed Medicine Cabinet/Towel Closet & Shelf piece is hung over the toilet with the matching mirror hung above the sink, all stained in espresso brown, to match the Master Bedroom furniture. Lucky Dragon!

The Cabinet has the same art glass insert detail and chrome knob as in the vanity. Inside the deep cabinet, there are two shelves for storage of towels and room for other items. In fact there’s so much space, you could throw in a Gnome or two!

The Cabinet has the same art glass insert detail and chrome knob as in the vanity. Inside the deep cabinet, there are two shelves for storage of towels and room for other items. In fact there’s so much space, you could throw in a Gnome or two!

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS of WISDOM:

  • When Designing/Renovating your Condo Bathroom, first review your Condo Rules & By Laws. There may be restrictions on changes to plumbing, electrical wiring, roof and exterior of your Condo, and be aware that these rules vary from place to place. This info will impact on your creativity, so get your facts straight from the King of Condo Rules and a Great Bathroom Design will follow!
  •  New King & Queen Bathrooms in your Condo, magically increase the value of your real estate! So while you are luxuriating in your new soaker tub, know that your investment is getting richer!
  • Make your space feel LARGER by creating Optical Illusions with your bathroom design! Be clever with your paint choices and tile colors!  Run a horizontal tile edge around a narrow space to make it look wider as in our Mermaid Bath. Use a darker tile on the bottom and a light paint color on top to “lift” your ceilings. Lay tiles diagonally to create breath in the space as in our Grand Dragon Ensuite.
  • You do not have to paint a small space white to make it look larger! COLOR has a dramatic effect on every space. Whatever feeling you wish to achieve, be it bold or serene- make a statement with your Color Design! Whatever visual effect you wish to create- be it cozy, cave- like, expansive, can also be achieved with your strategic Color Plan!
  •  Your Condo Bathroom needs every bit of space utilized cleverly for storage! NICHES are NICE: Build Niches in your shower area or by your sink, as in our Mermaid & Dragon Bathroom Designs. Display your beauty regime! OVERSIZED MEDICINE CABINETS: Purchase or Custom Design an oversized Medicine Cabinet, like one that is fully mirrored as in our Mermaid Bath, or our Custom Cabinet with multi-functions designed for our Grand Dragon Bath. Great Ideas for tons of storage space!
  • CUSTOM VANITY:  A Must! A good vanity is already an expensive investment so why not get one custom designed to not only fit your space but also include features for the ultimate in organization and storage! While you’re at it—mix in your personality for that extra Pizazz- as we did in our Condo Mermaid & Grand Dragon Bathroom Designs! Interesting handles and knobs can also add sparkle & charm!
  • Replace a shallow tub with a lovely deep soaker with or without jets. It’s a Spa like feeling and there’s always room for one more! Add a glass “half wall” for the shower or a hotel style curved rod with a very chic curtain of your choice!
  • A Custom Frameless Glass Shower is a great choice for small Condo Bath spaces! Thick glass panels and hinges, gives your bathroom a wide open feeling. The glass comes in many different textures as well as clear AND you can design your own sandblasted pattern should you wish. No little pixies please!
  • Don’t be predictable in your Bathroom Design! Here’s an opportunity to reflect your personality and style! Knight? Court Jester? Wood Nymph? Mythical Creature? Elfin Queen?!!!
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The Tale of “The Lady of the Lake Goes Condo”. Chapter 2: “The Mermaid Guest Bathroom, a Small Space Design”

And so it was done………..the Lady of the Lake called once again upon her Design Fairy Godmother.

This time, our Lady wished to create two new Bathrooms in her Lake condo, one for her Mermaid Water nature and one for her Dragon Earth nature.

Our Tale is about the Mermaid Guest Bathroom, watery in feeling, and custom designed to the wishes of, The Lovely Lady of the Lake.

The guest bedroom ensuite, for our Lady’s many guests, was also to be used as the main bathroom for welcomed visitors, as it had a second door conveniently leading to her main living space.

Unfortunately it was long and very narrow with little room to navigate for a magical guest with extra tails, legs or tentacles! The vanity had long oversized doors, which when opened, took up most of the small space. And inside the vanity was the Black Ink Hole of no return—things disappeared into its depths unless you had a flashlight or a deep sea, electric eel’s head. Finding Nemo would have been next to impossible! The shower was very narrow, enclosed by solid walls and built for one slim fish—at a time!

Shimmering water, mother of pearl, shells and sand, frothy foam, ocean waves, mermaid tails, and an awesome Lady of the Lake inspired a new serene space….and that dear ones, is a true magical transformation………

The Design Fairy Godmother arrived with her Merry Mermen this time, contractor, electrician, plumber and carpenters, as much of their work would be done while gurgling bubbles and following the condo rules.

They demo’d everything, taking down the walls of the shower too, so they could create the Design Fairy Godmother’s new roomy bath design. They added feature pot lights, shower light, and repositioned a new vanity light. The Mer-Plumber reconfigured the shower faucets, controls and showerhead to another wall to accommodate the new design, as well he fixed a deep oceanic condo plumbing problem—taming a dripping beast.

The wall tile was artfully placed to create an expansive feeling of more width. Square white tiles were placed from floor to 2/3 of the way up the wall, continuing around the room. A small, rectangular, brick style, edge tile of natural shell, white glass, and mother of pearl was inserted at the top of the white tile to further define a horizontal line.  Now our space is breathing air and ocean.

The floor tile was a “sand” colored rectangular shape with a subtle wavy linear texture. Our contractor Merman laid our tiles across the narrow width to give an illusion of more space and also staggered them in brick formation. Ahhhhhhh…….. more breath…………….

A Glass shower designed by the Design Fairy Godmother was installed by SHOWER DELUXE to give a larger inner space, using sandblasted glass for privacy. The textural effect was like sea froth, and the color- like the sea. A chrome towel bar/handle was installed on the glass door. Inside the shower a feature wall was finished with combined square white tiles and white glass subway tiles in brick formation.  Additionally, a niche was built in, with glass shelves to store shampoo, creams, crustaceans and all things necessary for a clean, happy and presentable mermaid. Placing the glass where a thick wall used to be, gave a good 4” in the width of the new shower, tail and tentacle room to spare!

All faucets, knobs, controls, showerhead, lighting, towel bars, robe hooks and even vanity handles were in a silver chrome finish to create a watery light feeling.

A calming wall color was chosen, by matching a color in our Lady’s seashell art pieces. A warm gray with aquamarine undertones, BM Gray Cashmere #2138-60 was the perfect choice above the white wall tiles to continue the illusion of depth and breath. This color was harmonious in the flow to the guest room and to the hall of the living space. Ceiling, doors and molding were painted in BM Oxford White #CC-30.

A custom vanity, designed by the Design Fairy Godmother created space and order for all the generous and much needed supplies for the Lady of the Lake’s honored guests. Custom built by IGOMATT INDUSTRIES INC., of Toronto, and painted in BM Oxford White #CC-30, with two generous doors, shelves and three drawers, this roomy vanity had a light airy look. An asymmetrical wave pattern was designed for the doors, and accentuated by a wavy vertical handle design from LEE VALLEY TOOLS. A CAESARSTONE custom countertop from ARISTON MARBLE & GRANITE LTD., in “sparkle” white adorned the top of this water fantasy vanity and glittered like a mermaid tail!

A spacious mirror from KOHLER, was placed above the vanity strategically to create a window of light and depth. A rectangular mirror from LOWES was hung above the wall tile across from the shower to create an illusion of width in a very tight space.

Two “Hotel Style” Towel shelves in chrome were installed over the toilet, so her guests’ towel supply would never run out! …and a great use of small space!

Decorative seashell embroidered towels hung from The Lady’s towel bars. The Lady of the Lake’s own framed artwork of shells and star fish were placed across from the vanity mirror. Whoever gazes upon them, will be gently reminded of the sea………………

And……..whoever enters the Mermaid Guest Bath will be gently touched by watery memories of the ancestry of. ……………………….The Lady of the Lake………….

THE END of Chapter 2….now to Chapter 3

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

AFTER photos by Claire Louise Foster

INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

A Guest Bath Fit For Any Mermaid Or Merman!

BEFORE:

A typical 1970’s condo style bathroom needing serious updated renovation! (Before the Lady was ready for full renovation -“in between stage”- and to make the space more “livable”, we initially painted the walls & vanity to “lighten” the room, which you will see in the following BEFORE & DURING pics.)

A typical 1970’s condo style bathroom needing serious updated renovation! (Before the Lady was ready for full renovation -“in between stage”- and to make the space more “livable”, we initially painted the walls & vanity to “lighten” the room, which you will see in the following BEFORE & DURING pics.)

This original shower is so cramped and tiny!

This original shower is so cramped and tiny!

A thick wall that closes in the shower and houses all the plumbing, will be removed.  The old shower floor and walls show its “pretty” time has past….years ago!

A thick wall that closes in the shower and houses all the plumbing, will be removed. The old shower floor and walls show its “pretty” time has past….years ago!

Original Track Lighting…..Ugh!….and just not functional……but with our team- we will  re-configure the electrical to suit our client’s needs!!!!A PLAN

Original Track Lighting…..Ugh!….and just not functional……but with our team- we will re-configure the electrical to suit our client’s needs!!!!A PLAN

THE PLAN!

A rough elevation sketch for the new bath design and placement of fixtures by Andrea Carini.

A rough elevation sketch for the new bath design and placement of fixtures by Andrea Carini.

A new curvy vanity to replace the old! The inspiration rough sketch by Andrea.

A new curvy vanity to replace the old! The inspiration rough sketch by Andrea.

IMG_3388_3385

Demolishing the old— including that shower wall, and installing the new wiring!

The electrical design plan reconfigures the fan, vanity light, adds 3 feature pot-lights, including one in the shower, and all new plugs and switches. Yea!

The electrical design plan reconfigures the fan, vanity light, adds 3 feature pot-lights, including one in the shower, and all new plugs and switches. Yea!

The shower plumbing was completely reconfigured to the guest bedroom wall. Because of the electrical found in this wall, there were limitations as to how much we could add or do—so sorry! no additional handheld shower!

The shower plumbing was completely reconfigured to the guest bedroom wall. Because of the electrical found in this wall, there were limitations as to how much we could add or do—so sorry! no additional handheld shower!

AFTER:

A stunning renovation for a very small and narrow bath space! Tons of storage was incorporated in this smart design to organize and welcome any guest-land or sea!

A stunning renovation for a very small and narrow bath space! Tons of storage was incorporated in this smart design to organize and welcome any guest-land or sea!

A Custom vanity with wavy curves and storage to the max (3 full drawers and inside shelves)!... glittery, Ceasarstone custom counter with rounded profile, double medicine cabinet with more mega storage,  new lights-feature pots, wall sconce and new “neat” electrical plugs & switches!.. chrome decorative details …lovely tile choices including a shell, white glass and mother of pearl horizontal tile insert, makes this bathroom serene and welcoming.

A Custom vanity with wavy curves and storage to the max (3 full drawers and inside shelves)!… glittery, Ceasarstone custom counter with rounded profile, double medicine cabinet with more mega storage, new lights-feature pots, wall sconce and new “neat” electrical plugs & switches!.. chrome decorative details …lovely tile choices including a shell, white glass and mother of pearl horizontal tile insert, makes this bathroom serene and welcoming.

Curved faucets & handles grace the top of our vanity like a bird on the sand.

Curved faucets & handles grace the top of our vanity like a bird on the sand.

“Hotel Style” chrome towel racks add more convenient storage while our medicine cabinet mirror reflects the other side of the bathroom. The opposite wall hosts The Lady’s own” sea art”, while an additional mirror hangs in the shower area creating the illusion of light and air! The horizontal, decorative tile winds all the way around the room, further deceiving the eye--- Wider Space? Hmmm!

“Hotel Style” chrome towel racks add more convenient storage while our medicine cabinet mirror reflects the other side of the bathroom. The opposite wall hosts The Lady’s own” sea art”, while an additional mirror hangs in the shower area creating the illusion of light and air! The horizontal, decorative tile winds all the way around the room, further deceiving the eye— Wider Space? Hmmm!

The mirror reflects another view of the glass shower in relation to the rest of the space. The shower design, completely tiled inside, leaves “breathing space” at the top for it’s glass shower wall & door.

The mirror reflects another view of the glass shower in relation to the rest of the space. The shower design, completely tiled inside, leaves “breathing space” at the top for it’s glass shower wall & door.

The shower’s Sandblasted Glass finish allows privacy, but still gives an airy & watery feel. The new glass shower wall added much more space inside the shower and was placed outside the tile floor step for maximum space.

The shower’s Sandblasted Glass finish allows privacy, but still gives an airy & watery feel. The new glass shower wall added much more space inside the shower and was placed outside the tile floor step for maximum space.

A Niche was built inside the shower with a glass shelf to hold all one’s necessary beauty products. A white glass subway tile (matching the glass in the tile insert) was added to the shower interior for design interest and texture. The shower door opens another very calming perspective.

A Niche was built inside the shower with a glass shelf to hold all one’s necessary beauty products. A white glass subway tile (matching the glass in the tile insert) was added to the shower interior for design interest and texture. The shower door opens another very calming perspective.

This beautiful shower angle shows an elegant, clean, sophisticated style expressed in a small space!

This beautiful shower angle shows an elegant, clean, sophisticated style expressed in a small space!

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!!