before and after: bathroom renovation

I’m always amazed when I look back at the before photos at the end of a project. I kind of forget what things were like before the walls came down and floors torn up because soon into the start of a project the end result is already in my mind. The photos speak volumes to the changes and confirm the decisions made along the way to better the space. This project is no exception. A long time client of mine recognized it was time to not only update her basement bathroom from a style perspective but create a space far more efficient and practical then what she currently had.

The ‘before’ bathroom was a divided space, a sink/vanity area out in the open (notice the carpet!) and through the door, a shower, toilet and additional sink. Not practical and certainly lacking in style, my clients requested a makeover.  On the list: create a stylish, yet practical bathroom with tub, shower, vanity AND storage. With the bathroom 6′ wide by 10′ long and still a rather small space, decisions had to be made carefully and thoughtfully. We also needed to take into consideration the grandchildren who would use this space as it is close to the ‘play room’ and TV watching area of the home.

If you’d like to see our initial concept please visit the bathroom reno sneak peek.

AFTER!

The tub was one of our first selections, a Victoria & Albert free standing beauty. We offset the white tub with black granite tiles on the wall to create a dramatic visual from the doorway as well as a surface with easy maintenance for any splashing from the tub. After all, creating drama in a space need not compromise practicality.

We opted to make the surface area of the custom vanity smaller in order to accommodate a pantry style unit, floor to ceiling, offering the space a huge amount of storage. To give a more spacious feel we lifted the vanity off the floor allowing the tile to continue to the wall. This a great tip in making spaces feel larger!

Because this bathroom is in a basement we needed to deal with a foundation wall we could not move. Embracing the ‘issue’ we created a ledge for display and decorative storage. Renovations do bring about surprises but finding creative solutions will often yield great results.

The bathroom is also a mix of masculine and feminine touches and rich textures. We used cafe mocha colours along with dramatic black, yet softened the space with finishing touches of pinks and a hint of red. Along with the graphic black and white geometric prints, three custom canvases from Bijou et Boheme‘s shop Wink of Pink add the perfect amount of softness in the space. If you’re not familiar with Christine’s new shop you must check it out. Please!

We used a mix of natural stone and porcelain tiles, a give and take approach to the budget. The natural stone mosaic ‘area rug’ is surrounded by less expensive 12″ x 12″ porcelain tiles to offset the costs and allow the carpet to take center stage. Natural stone in the shower adds texture and interest, a great visual through the glass shower walls….

….which is another way to create an open and spacious feel in a small bathroom. This way the site line is not impeded by walls and the flow of natural light carries throughout the space, even with such a small window.

Let’s recap: Here are 5 tips for a small space bathroom renovation

  • use glass to create an open feel and let natural light flow through the space
  • lift vanities off the floor to make the floor space feel larger
  • use height to your benefit with ledges, shelves and floor to ceiling storage
  • custom cabinetry yields the ideal size and depth to suit your space
  • bring drama and impact into a small space by mixing textures and adding high contrast such as black and white.

I’m pretty thrilled with the results, as is my client. And that my friends is a great feeling!

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

colour inspirations: jcrew fall 2012

Have you started Fall shopping yet? During our trip to Santa Monica I definitely took advantage of being near a few stores we don’t have here, or at least close by. JCrew, of course being one them. I nearly died when we first walked by the store on the Promenade only to see the windows covered with a sign saying, “we’re renovating”. It’s seriously one of my favourite stores, ever! so I held back my tears and moved on. Thankfully it opened a few days later so I was able to feast my eyes on lots of new pretty merchandise. Needless to say I did a little damage.

Admittedly some of the outfits JCrew styles and puts together are out of my comfort zone, however I sure do appreciate the mix and match approach with unexpected colour combos and decorative details.

This ‘berry coloured” vignette caught my eye and of course very on-trend for fall in home decor. Love the bright colour combinations and pretty details of polka dots, florals and sparkly touches. Why not add this same feel to your home this fall? Here are some simple ideas and inspirations for you to update your room, JCrew style.

1. Ohau grape pillow from Weego Home 2. Daff merino wool felt box in colour mallow from Provide 3. Rina Menardi low bowl colour blue from Provide 4. DVF ikat blanket 5. Ralph Lauren Dustin Dodecahedron table lamp for Circa Lighting 6. Kate Spade “make headlines make mischief” mug 7. “How I Remember” watercolour on paper by Diane for Serena and Lily.

Paint colours: Benjamin Moore Wenge AF-180, Benjamin Moore Peony 2079-30, Farrow & Ball Buff 20, Benjamin Moore Midnight Navy 4012

Paint colour images via: House Beautiful

Image via: Elle Decor

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

 

 

 

blanco: cerana series fireclay sink

The detail in interior design is wide spread. It starts from the concept. Whether a decorative project, full scale renovation or new build, the decision making process begins at the onset and continues right through to the final styling stage. There are choices made for function, some aesthetic and others where both are top of mind.

With stainless steel being the most popular choice, a sink is typically considered a utilitarian object, one that serves a purpose rather than a decorative detail. Not necessarily a focal point of the kitchen, one decides upon width to fit the existing cabinet, bowl sizes and depth as function prevails over the overall look.

Ready to think outside the box?

Blanco has introduced a fireclay sink called CERANA. A modern approach to a century old technique, Cerana has a unique ability to suit modern and traditional design styles with the flip of a side, all while boasting the durability of a surface that won’t stain, chip or fade. Brilliant if you ask me!

Blanco has created a video to share more about the process of this versatile apron sink. You’ll see more of it’s craft and gain an appreciation for the handmade quality of each piece. If you’re in the midst of, or considering a kitchen renovation, this sink is worth a second glance as it offers a functional size and depth while keeping style at the forefront.

Unlike decorative objects that come and go, a sink or faucet is a purchase to stand the test of time. Making a classic choice without compromising design and style is always the perfect choice.

While Blanco carries a wide variety of sinks and faucets for your kitchen and bathroom renovation needs, this sink in particular is one of my new favourites. Now, who’s ready for a kitchen renovation so I can spec this sink?!

Here’s how you can stay connected with Blanco: Canadian website, American website, UK website, facebook, twitter, pinterest and of course they’re a huge supporter and sponsor of BlogTour.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

project sneak peek: soft, sparkly and classic kitchen

I embarked on a kitchen renovation earlier this year with clients who were moving to Calgary. We jumped into the project with both feet doing most of the preliminary work from afar. The goal: create a family friendly, classic kitchen that’s feminine (but not too feminine!), with a hint of modern.

You can’t get much more classic than white cabinets and carrera marble counters. We combined marble on the perimeter with a heavy duty granite on the island to be the work horse of the kitchen. Looking for a touch of colour, we incorporated a bold blue in the eating area along with a soft, water-coloured drapery fabric. Sparkly touches in the lighting and hardware are the perfect feminine additions to the room, not to mention the mirrored backsplash, a beautiful element of shimmer.

Adding a hint of modern, Benjamin Moore gray owl oc-52 is the wall colour throughout the main floor with the exception of the powder and dining rooms. This soft grey and warm white colour palette infused with cool blues will be a welcome reprieve from the brown hue my clients first laid eyes on when purchasing the home. Can’t wait to reveal more! Here’s a quick conceptual sketch I did in the early stages…

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

fabulous finds: encaustic tiles

Ever been on the lookout for something special to add to your decor? Perhaps an item with history or a global vibe? Of course you have! Look no further than encaustic tiles. A ceramic tile, where coloured patterns are inlaid with a beeswax-based paint, fixed with heat. Dating back to the medieval ages, encaustic tilmix is easily into today’s modern and traditional decor, and because the colour is inlaid into the body of the tile, the pattern remains even if the tile is worn down. Bring a sense of history into your home. A little, will go a long way.

5 ways you can bring encaustic tiles into your home:

  • Use as 1 or 2 as a trivet or hotplate.
  • 5-7 work well as accents in a backsplash or fireplace surround
  • A decorative hearth or fireplace surround of encaustic tiles is sure to had impact to a room
  • create a permanent ‘area rug’ on the floor of a bathroom or front entry using 100 – 150 tiles
  • a backsplash or wall niche would welcome a hit of pattern and colour

Poppytalk recently blogged about a kitchen with a clever use of encaustic tiles. Pop on over to get your creative juices flowing!

I found these gems at Traders of the Lost Art in Calgary. Items from years past are ready to be found and given new life in today’s decor. Keep your eyes peeled for antique shops, flea markets and tag sales to find your perfect treasure.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

blogtour 2012: london

London calling! I’m counting the days until my departure to The London Design Festival along with 13 other design bloggers for ModenusBlogTour 2012. I’ll be arriving in London two weeks from today. Pinch me!

The is the first of many posts related to my visit, a preview to say the least of what we’ll be experiencing. If you’re not familiar with BlogTour it’s a highly interactive experience of design related shows and tours as well as exposure to what’s new and notable in the world of interiors. What that means is while we are in London, we’d like you to be a part of the experience as though you were there too. You’ll be able to follow along on the journey in several ways.

Our blogs of course are a great way to stay connected, after all, it is BlogTour! You’ll find the list of design bloggers attending London on the Modenus site as well as blog updates. Follow along with social media via Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #BlogTourLDN. I’ll be on instagram as well sharing photos (find me @nylafree). I can only imagine the inspiring content coming from our many excursions and site seeing opportunities. I have a feeling there won’t be much sleeping going on!

Above are a few of the events and shows we’ll be visiting: Tent London, V & A, London Union Jack image, Blog Tour, The London Design Festival, 100% Design, Design Junction

I hope you’ll follow along and stay tuned for posts on my experience at The London Design Festival!

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

experience: santa monica

As summer draws to a close in the next few weeks and the school bell is ringing today, I’m getting back into the swing of things after a wonderful few months of having my girls off school. The summer was busy. We didn’t experience too many lazy days and I’m not one to get excited about ‘back to school’. Truthfully I could use a few more weeks. But alas it has come to an end which means it’s time for me to hit the books (or laptop) as well.

I’ve got several posts, updates and exciting things going on so I hope you’ll visit often as I share sneak peeks, before & afters, inspirations and many more.

To get the ball rolling I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite photos from our family vacation to Santa Monica. I love California so much! What summer fun did you get up to?

A quick visit to the beach as the sun sets.Lifeguard post on Santa Monica beach.
The colourful Santa Monica Pier.Closeup of the ferris wheel on the Pier.

Beach view from the top of the ferris wheel (at dusk).Beach houses.Pacific Coast HighwayA bike ride along the beach.Couldn’t resist…A visit to wine country.

A game of table tennis outside Jack Spade.One of my favourite restaurants for the decor, food and view ~ Asia de Cuba in the Mondrian Hotel Los Angeles CA.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.