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 “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!!