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 Princess and Two Princes of Air, Water & Earth, A Children’s Bedroom Design Story”. Chapter 2: “Prince of the Water”

As our story continues…..Our next Royal Family, a King and Queen, had two beautiful  children with incredible artistic talents fueled and inspired by the Water & Air. This is the story of the eldest, the Prince of the Water. He played melodic Jazz tunes on his saxophone, calming wild mythical creatures, and his Latin beats even got the kitchen staff to boogey. Although rather young, this boy had a sophisticated creative eye, the soul of an artist, with an appreciation for the unusual. (This was all pre-PLAYBOY, by the way).

Our Prince wished for a room where he could display his own artistic pieces, listen to “cool” music, play his saxophone, watch his favorite kid programs including Much Music, chill after a hard day at school learning how to rule his land and slay a dragon or two, and go to sleep under a lovely night sky that reminded him of the sea. He had a 1920’s radio that he cherished. It had been given to him by his late Grandfather, the Big King, and would serve as inspiration for his unique teen boy’s bedroom design.

The Design Fairy Godmother was called upon, three times, and on arrival she began to envision a bedroom for this Prince that would fulfill his wishes, blend his interests, give him storage space for his entertainment, and grow with him. Out came the wand and in came the most talented carpenters, artisans and artists in the land.

She found a brilliant illustration of a sea nymph resting on a rock in the middle of the ocean under a beautiful “sea” sky, by artist, Maxfield Parish. Ahhhhh…the colors! This was the perfect inspiration to paint a “sea” sky on his cove ceiling topped off with a gorgeous “star “ light fixture. He’ll love it!! The treasured 1920’s radio was refinished, and became inspiration to redesign an antique oak 1920’s cabinet into an entertainment/book shelf/ clothing dresser, hand-painted with an art deco burl design as in the classic radio. It was lined with silver lurex “radio” fabric as in the radio, and two pillows were made for his bedding design in this same amazing material. A 1940’s oak desk chair was found and refinished to work with a vintage desk. Shelves were put up to display the Prince’s art with more of his art decorating the walls. A hand-painted custom mirror from Picture It Framed was placed strategically over the fireplace mantle to reflect the details of this innovative teen space (and for the Queen to sneak a peak at her beloved son). The wall color, Benjamin Moore, Ginger Root, was placed below the plate rail to accent the sky above. The Prince of the Water’s pet gargoyle, Bert, sat comfortably on his mantel. The fireplace was filled in and used as a backdrop for a 1920’s headboard, found at the Royal Family’s country estate. Custom “art deco” style bedding, hotel sheets, leather pillows, leather and suede curtains and hello! King Arthur’s Beard!!– A masculine, watery, artful space that would grow with our young Prince!

Our young royal would lie on his bed and gaze at his sky each night, surrounded by things that he created and loved. His friends would come over too, lie on his bed eating Airheads and O’Henry Bars, and yes, admire the sky. Later when the Prince became a young man, he finally left his nurturing space to travel the world, ride unicorns, photograph voluptuous sea nymphs, play the occasional gig, and then came back to rule the kingdom—in his own poetic way of course! But when he went to sleep, he could still see in his mind, the beautiful “sea” sky above his head.

THE END of Chapter 2….now to Chapter 3

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2012 Andrea Carini

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

A Transformation: The Prince of the Water’s Edgy Teenage Boy’s Bedroom Retreat

BEFORE: A cove ceiling with plaster issues, dark gum wood trim, a non-functioning ugly fireplace in the middle of the room--Where do you put a bed?

BEFORE: A cove ceiling with plaster issues, dark gum wood trim, 
a non-functioning ugly fireplace in the middle of the room–Where do you put a bed?

DURING: Inspiration comes from this Maxfield Parrish illustration to create a beautiful "sea sky" on the cove ceiling. 

DURING: Inspiration comes from this Maxfield Parrish illustration to create a beautiful “sea sky” on the cove ceiling.

DURING: These Benjamin Moore paint swatches we used in glazes to create this spectacular art ceiling.

DURING: These Benjamin Moore paint swatches we used in glazes to create this spectacular art ceiling.

AFTER: An art deco teen boy's bedroom with tons of personality!

AFTER: An art deco teen boy’s bedroom with tons of personality!

AFTER: An antique 1920's cabinet is rebuilt and redesigned with shelves for books and entertainment, and 5 drawers for clothing and storage. A Maxfield Parrish Sky, Starburst light fixture, custom bedding, and his own teen art make this an adolescent sanctuary.

AFTER: An antique 1920’s cabinet is rebuilt and redesigned with shelves for books and entertainment, and 5 drawers for clothing and storage. A Maxfield Parrish Sky, Starburst light fixture, custom bedding, and his own teen art make this an adolescent sanctuary.

AFTER: custom, handpainted mirror, strategically placed above the fireplace mantel, reflects this "sea sky" in all its glory!

AFTER: custom, handpainted mirror, strategically placed above the fireplace mantel, reflects this “sea sky” in all its glory!

AFTER: Grandfather's 1920's radio that was the catalyst for our design!!!

AFTER: Grandfather’s 1920’s radio that was the catalyst for our design!!!

The Tale of “The Princess and Two Princes of Air, Water & Earth, A Children’s Bedroom Design Story”. Chapter 1: “Prince of the Earth”

Once upon a time, there were two Royal Families blessed with beautiful children, possessing special talents and powers only the Design Fairy Godmother could understand.

One Family, a Prince and Princess, (who have their own tale), gave birth to an adorable, baby Prince with flaxen hair. He loved all animals and they loved him, and he was happiest surrounded by the woodlands and their creatures, as he cooed in his cradle. Time for this royal child to have his own room, reflecting his Earthly sensibilities! A royal crib complete with a mattress that would be fit for his Mom, the Princess (and her Pea, as you all remember), is imperative! Storage space, perhaps a royal closet would be fitting for his many toys, clothes, practice swords, blankies and any future hidden “pets”— like baby dragons. Also, the Prince, his Dad, had a penchant for 1960’s memorabilia, which he wished to share with his precious offspring, so this too must be incorporated into this princely bedroom space. Who could possibly blend all of this into one harmonious space? Uh Huh…you know who.

The Design Fairy Godmother tuned in to our little tyke, waved her wand and her Merry Man appeared to build the perfect closet she designed, with an organized interior. She found a sixties car fabric to create a window seat for the little Prince to later play on. Two lovely shades of green from Benjamin Moore were used on the walls. The right furniture and mattress of course graced the space with a cool rug from IKEA. His Dad, the Prince laid his 60’s toys at his child’s feet and they decorated with pizzazz. And the best part…the Design Fairy Godmother whispered her artful design thoughts into the head of Canadian artist, John Nobrega, and he created an incredible fantasy children’s painting with a 60’s style streetcar, two potato heads in the sky, alphabet blocks and a billboard featuring a Radio Flyer red wagon!

The little Prince drooled with pleasure and excitement, as he clapped his hands with Daddy Prince’s help. All were pleased as their Little Prince of the Earth would grow into this space, become a teenager and eventually rule their kingdom, their kitchen, and yes, with all his hair products — their bathroom!

The END of Chapter 1…now to Chapter 2

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2012 Andrea Carini

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

The Prince of the Earth and His Awesome Baby Bedroom Reno

BEFORE: An angled ceiling, no personality, no closet, little light, and seemingly relatively no space! Used before as a guest room. How welcoming is this? Help!

BEFORE: An angled ceiling, no personality, no closet, little light, and seemingly relatively no space! Used before as a guest room. How welcoming is this? Help!

DURING: Photo of John Nobrega's custom children's painting in the works at the studio.

DURING: Photo of John Nobrega’s custom children’s painting in the works at the studio.

AFTER: Two shades of Benjamin Moore green define this space and serve as a lovely background for artist John Nobrega's Retro Fantasy Children's Painting.

AFTER: Two shades of Benjamin Moore green define this space and serve as a lovely background for artist John Nobrega’s Retro Fantasy Children’s Painting.

AFTER: Custom closet built with an interior organization design. French doors installed with mirrors placed on the inside to create the illusion of light and space as this is a dark room.

AFTER: Custom closet built with an interior organization design. French doors installed with mirrors placed on the inside to create the illusion of light and space as this is a dark room.

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!!