The Tale of “The Princess of Fire”, a Teenage Girl’s Bedroom Design Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIN (THE END!)

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

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

A Teenage Girl’s Fiery French Hideaway

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

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

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

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

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

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Chair, table & stool compliment each other.

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

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

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

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

A collection of antique mirrors and personal art in composition.

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

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

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM:

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

The Tale of “The Lady of the Lake Goes Condo”. Chapter 2: “The Mermaid Guest Bathroom, a Small Space Design”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE END of Chapter 2….now to Chapter 3

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

AFTER photos by Claire Louise Foster

INTERIOR DESIGN by Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors

A Guest Bath Fit For Any Mermaid Or Merman!

BEFORE:

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

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

This original shower is so cramped and tiny!

This original shower is so cramped and tiny!

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

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

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

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

THE PLAN!

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

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

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

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

IMG_3388_3385

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

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

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

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE END of Chapter 1… now to Chapter 2

© 2013 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

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

The Lady Of The Lake’s Condo Transformation!

KITCHEN /LIVING ROOM
BEFORE:

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

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

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

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

DURING:

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

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

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

FLOORS
BEFORE:

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

DINING ROOM
BEFORE:

Lacking all things inviting……

Lacking all things inviting……

AFTER:

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

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

STONE OFFICE WINDOW
BEFORE:

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

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

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

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

CUSTOM CONSOLE TABLE
BEFORE:

B8

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

MASTER BEDROOM
BEFORE:

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

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

AFTER:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE END

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2013 Andrea Carini

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

HALLWAY/STAIRCASE

BEFORE: In construction

BEFORE: In construction

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

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

LIVING ROOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

KITCHEN/DINING ROOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN FLOOR WASHROOM

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

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

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

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

STAIRS/HALL, 2ND FLOOR

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

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

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

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

MASTER BATHROOM

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

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

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

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

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

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

3RD FLOOR HALLWAY/LANDING

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM

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

The Tale of “The Princess and Two Princes of Air, Water & Earth, A Children’s Bedroom Design Story”. Chapter 3: “Princess of the Air”

Our story continues with the fairest little Princess in the land………..

The youngest child, of exquisite angelic beauty, Princess of the Air, commanded all the wind currents, all the winged creatures, all dreams and all with a very feminine attitude. Her voice like a beautiful bell, when she sang, soothed all beasts, including her Father the King after a bad day at the office.

She loved the sky…ahem…of course, and wished to greet each morning in her bedroom and adjoining playroom, with her own sky that said, ”Have a wonderful day, Princess, and don’t forget your wings!” She loved roses, kitty cats, fairies, butterflies, and anything that sparkled, as did her late great Grandmother, another wonderful Queen, and wanted these special things to decorate her room. Being a Princess of course, she had quite the jewelry collection, –a little Elizabeth Taylor in fact–with tons of crowns, rings, and necklaces. Her motto was (just like her Mom, the Queen), MORE IS MORE!!! She loved to perform in front of a mirror (or people), singing, dancing, acting and giggling for her royal audience. She loved to draw winged creatures, usually fairies, and she could often be seen by the townspeople riding her little bike with her own fashionable wings on. In fact she wore them ALL the time with her tutu and had a collection for any occasion. Her nursery school teacher created a dream circle, (inspired by our little Princess), beginning the class each day with the Princess of the Air, in full regalia, sharing her last night’s dream with high drama and passion! Other children wanted to get in on her act, sharing their dreams as well, some making them up as they went along, and delivered with vim and vigor!

The new Princess bedroom, in this tired old castle was in dire need of magical transformation. Our Design Fairy Godmother whipped out her trusty wand, tons of sparkle! And began to call in the Merry Forces.

First, new electrical wiring replaced the old knob and tube. We included a light in her closet to help the Princess coordinate her wings and outfits any time of day or night. A beautiful 1940’s light fixture with green leaves and roses was miraculously found and hung from the original plaster rose medallion on her ceiling.  The floors were refinished! Covered with three layers of linoleum from different eras, black tar, and white glue, the beautiful oak floors were preserved but suffocating underneath. Sanded, stained with an off white paint glaze (a light airy look called “pickling”) and finished with satin verathane, made this floor fit for the Princess’s tiny royal tootsies. A beautiful morning sky was painted on her ceilings with paint glazes in an impressionistic style. Her walls were also glazed in an Italian faux fresco style, with a peachy rose color not unlike her little cheeks! Antique bedroom furniture with gilded leaf accents, custom bedding, custom curtains with ties and crystal/pearl details, rose garlands and pearls strands were added to complete this child’s bedroom story. Kitty cats, fairies, and butterflies found their home with this little Princess of the Air. And of course, an ancient enchanted mirror was placed in the right magical spot for our royal one to practice and perform her astounding routines! The Design Fairy Godmother chuckled with delight as she watched the little Princess jump up and down with happiness, squealing with excitement!

And as the Princess grew and sparkled, so did her multiple artistic talents. When she became a teen, her passion for fashionable fairy wings soon evolved to a fashionable shoe collection, although she never forgot how to fly. Her jewelry collection grew– of course, and she kept her last (and favorite) pair of fairy wings, safely in her closet, ready for action whenever she chose. The Princess of the Air acquired through her talents, determination, and some good luck, a real audience to entertain and her imaginative dreams became a reality…… except the one about the Kitty Cat Fairy Dragon.

THE END
…..and should you be wondering about THE PRINCESS of the FIRE, well that my dears, is another story………………….

© 2012 Andrea Carini

© 2012 Andrea Carini

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

BEFORE: An absolute mess to demo & redo! New electrical, plastering and removing the layers of "history" from this floor to reveal its hidden beauty. The walls an ugly fleshy color--this is no a room for a Royal!!! (1-before pic with window & door------2- before pic of ceiling medallion and hanging knob/tube)

BEFORE: An absolute mess to demo & redo! New electrical, plastering and removing the layers of “history” from this floor to reveal its hidden beauty. The walls an ugly fleshy color–this is no a room for a Royal!!! (1-before pic with window & door——2- before pic of ceiling medallion and hanging knob/tube)

AFTER: A lovely room fit for any little Princess! Pickled Floors, Italian Fresco Walls, Antique Heirloom Bedroom Furniture, Designer Bedding, Roses, Pearls, Kitty Cats, & Fairies! 

AFTER: A lovely room fit for any little Princess! Pickled Floors, Italian Fresco Walls, Antique Heirloom Bedroom Furniture, Designer Bedding, Roses, Pearls, Kitty Cats, & Fairies!

AFTER: An impressionistic sky tops this airy space and a gorgeous 1940's light fixture is the "icing on the cake"! Simple elegant window treatments let the light shine through!

AFTER: An impressionistic sky tops this airy space and a gorgeous 1940’s light fixture is the “icing on the cake”! Simple elegant window treatments let the light shine through!

AFTER: A Princess Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!

AFTER: A Princess Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!

AFTER: A Magical Playroom with a view of the garden! Sky above and a "pond" floor below! A Princess storage chest for all her lovely dresses and crowns is accented with two vintage stain glass windows from 1915.

AFTER: A Magical Playroom with a view of the garden! Sky above and a “pond” floor below! A Princess storage chest for all her lovely dresses and crowns is accented with two vintage stain glass windows from 1915.

ANDREA’S DESIGN PEARLS OF WISDOM:

  • When designing a child’s room, consult and get to know your child, Prince or Princess. The space should reflect their individual personalities, and interests, not those of their parents, interior designers or cookie cutter cartoon character. Ask questions. Find out what they like AND don’t like. AND LISTEN.
  • An Interior Design Professional (or fabulous Design Fairy Godmother) will LISTEN intently, and skillfully blend/harmonize your child’s wishes, dreams, interests and personality into their special space. Not only should a child’s bedroom be functional, but must also encourage him/her to be and express themselves comfortably in their own personalized environment, conducive to their healthy growth.
  • Children should be partners in the design process of their own bedrooms. They must own their space. What colors do they like? Allow him/her to express their imaginative and creative ideas! The design-challenge? Make it all work!
  • Don’t follow trends. These have nothing to do with who your little Prince or Princess is. If you must as a result of their current interest, then represent these trends in decorative items, accessories, you can use and later remove and sell on Kijiji. Remember as the child’s interest changes, so will those accessories!
  • A child’s bedroom should grow with them. They will not remain 4 years old forever!  After the baby stage, choose furniture that has multi-functions and can organize the space with lots of shelves and storage. Someday your child will be a teen and will need places to put things– other than the floor—or at least have the option!
  • A child’s needs for their new bedroom design includes; a place to sleep, a place to play/entertain, a place to do homework, a place to relax, and most importantly a place to feel safe.
  • Don’t be afraid to paint the ceiling with a lovely relaxing accent color, or even a sky! Lying on the bed, a child can look up and be inspired.
  • Great Lighting is important for your child’s space. Make sure to have soft light, and a lamp for reading. If possible, install dimmers to control the brightness in the room (actually great for all bedrooms). Have an interesting light fixture as a focal point. Remember lighting affects our moods—even children—to read, play and relax.
  • Place your child’s art in their rooms. Frame their artworks, and display them proudly.
  • HAVE FUN! A child’s imagination is unlimited and has no boundaries!

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!!!