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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE END of Chapter 1… now to Chapter 2

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

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

The Lady Of The Lake’s Condo Transformation!

KITCHEN /LIVING ROOM
BEFORE:

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

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

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

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

DURING:

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

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

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

FLOORS
BEFORE:

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

DINING ROOM
BEFORE:

Lacking all things inviting……

Lacking all things inviting……

AFTER:

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

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

STONE OFFICE WINDOW
BEFORE:

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

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

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

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

CUSTOM CONSOLE TABLE
BEFORE:

B8

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

MASTER BEDROOM
BEFORE:

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE END

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

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

HALLWAY/STAIRCASE

BEFORE: In construction

BEFORE: In construction

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

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

LIVING ROOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

KITCHEN/DINING ROOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN FLOOR WASHROOM

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

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

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

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

STAIRS/HALL, 2ND FLOOR

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

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

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

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

MASTER BATHROOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

3RD FLOOR HALLWAY/LANDING

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM

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

The Tale of “The 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!!

 

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time in the faraway land of Toronto the Good, a fair maiden, with raven hair and ruby lips, named Andrea Carini, touched the lives of many with her talent, wit and designer magic.

Some say she was a distant cousin of Snow White, as her connections with the descendents of the seven dwarves, her tradesmen and artisans, were at her beck and call and would magically appear, whistling while they worked.

Others say she was Little Red Riding Hood’s niece 10 times removed, as she could easily tame the savage wolf and beasties within her respected clients, by feeding their appetites with knowledge from her enchanted basket. This empowered them with the confidence to make solid design choices, instead of choosing in haste to make her their lunch.

And still others thought of her as an innovative mystic, a design philosopher, a psychiatrist, a wish-granting water nymph, a life coach and a best friend. But most of all the kinsfolk suspected in secret that Andrea was their Design Fairy Godmother. She carried her magic wand in her back pocket ready to bring it forth in a moment’s notice—bibbitty-bobbitty-boo!

Henceforth Andrea Carini, of Your Sacred Space Interiors and her gifted team of merry men and women were known and celebrated throughout the land. News traveled of her spellbinding designs to distant lands and far-off shores.

Andrea’s interior designs pleased the townspeople from shepherds to merchants, dukes to kings and many queens.  As the roses bloomed, everyone rejoiced and made merriment in their newly designed castles, homes, cottages, offices, caves and condominiums. Happy endings and happy nests!

And now turn the page to reveal, Andrea and her Designer’s Tales…………..

© 2012 Andrea Carini