The Revealing Truth About Happily Ever After

magic wand So often in design magazines, you see the completed project, a beautifully designed, perfectly styled room – created almost magically.  Most shelter publications wouldn’t dare show a pitiful before photo on the same page as their exquisitely remodeled room.

In my opinion, nothing quite tells a story like side-by-side BEFORE & After photos.  Once upon a time there was a sad and dreary room, that longed to be beautiful – a beautiful room that upon entering,  made people smile with a twinkle in their eyes and a sigh in their heart – and so the story goes – each room, searching for it’s happily ever After.

The REVEALING TRUTH is in the before image – it BEGS to be seen, never to be forgotten, so the true beauty of it’s final tale can be appreciated all the more.

Discover six Happily Ever  After bathroom stories, revealed and DESIGNED by PCL Interiors.

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One. My client decided to renovate the basement 2 years after moving in as a much needed multifunctional area for the entire family. (Pictures of the living area remodel will be posted separately).  This shell of a bathroom beckoned to be fanciful yet practical. With dual entries to the bedroom and main area,the design had to couple as a private yet public space.

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BEFORE  –  Basement Bath-Preconstruction-Vanity

After

 

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BEFORE – Pre-construction, shower and water closet combination.

After

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Two & Three.  Here are two bathrooms that went from happily ever after to happily ever After After. There wasn’t much wrong with them before I redesigned it except the client wanted a different look that included converting traditional tub and shower combo to just showers. The move in date was quickly approaching, so this was a major rush job (so no time for a photo op.)

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BEFORE – Once upon a time there was a bathtub, which was later converted to a shower. After 
New flooring, wallpaper and shutters were also added.
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BEFORE After
New wallpaper, flooring, shower and tile design

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Four.  In this next story, notice the difference in the shower curtain length. A quick fun fix, was to purchase another shower curtain with the same measurements, crop the end and attach with Velcro.  The Velcro can be easily removed when its time to drop the white curtain in the wash.

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BEFORE – New construction, modern, cherry cabinets, black granite, great design- longing for the finishing touches.

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After

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Five & Six.  Commercial spaces spin tales of great abuse and use. With strangers, customers, employees and the like taking, taking and never giving.  All they want is to be loved and fluffed and pampered as well.  This Japanese restaurant Men’s and Ladies room finally received the attention they  so yearned for.

MEN’S ROOM

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BEFORE – Totally utilitarian, the client knew it was time to make a statement. The entry door remained.

After

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BEFORE – Notice only the flooring remained. Not photographed, but the grout lines were later stained dark brown to restore the depth of it’s original color

After

LADIES ROOM

Also inspired by Japanese design, materials for both restrooms contained strie’d patterns and linear lines.  The earthy tones create a tranquil respite from the dining room hustle and bustle of this express restaurant.  By the way, the food is soooo flavorful! If you are ever in Lancaster, SC give them a try.

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BEFORE
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Proposed layout
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During
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After

And that’s the story of these bathroom transformations. They all looked and functioned Happily Ever After.

First Ladies Guide to Furniture and Accessory Shopping

Cotswold Marketplace had their “Friends and Family Night” last night AND my dear dear friend and fellow designer, Rosa Dest celebrated the opening of her new home furnishing and accessory retail space. I was a newbie to the Marketplace so I had a blast, along with meeting some wonderful NEW friends.

(Pictured Left to right) MarketPlace owner Melissa Vandiver, Multiple Blessings owner Caroline Simas, Dest Interiors owner Rosa Dest and Traveling Penny

Here I am with (left to right) Cotswold MarketPlace owner Melissa Vandiver, Multiple Blessings owner Caroline Simas and my friend Rosa, owner of  Rosa Dest Interior Design.imageSo what does shopping have to do with Michelle Obama?  Last night, I shopped, celebrated, worked and took photos, all while “bearing” arms – literally – in the middle of winter. Just like Mrs. Obama, I jumped at the chance to show off my “guns”.

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After arriving, I made a bee-line to Rosa’s space. The first thing I noticed was the striking reddish orange wall – Tangerine Tango, which is the “it” color for 2012. Ough-la-la…It’s vivacious, sophisticated, warm and inviting.  On the focal wall, Rosa taped off alternate blocks in a matte and gloss finish which created more depth and interest than just a solid color.

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The rooster behind me is an original oil painting – the details and colors are Ah-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I’m photographed with the artist below. Why does this space resonate with me?  It’s not just one style but a beautiful blend of modern day elegance peppered with a liberal dose of global character.

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Congratulations on your NEW venture Rosa!

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After I left Rosa’s space (with my new bag) I had to check out some of the other spaces and THAT’s when I met Caroline with Multiple Blessings. She has a niche market, creating original inspirational products in unique packages for companies as well as designing and painting them.

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Her work sings “goodness and sunshine”.

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Caroline! You are a Rock Star Girly! Your designs make me happy. Maybe too happy – I just fell in the candle holder) and that’s before the wine))  Umm, cozy!

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This is a shoppers haven. At every turn there’s more to feast your eyes upon.

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Modern, graphic, oversized wallpaper designs for sale.

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Thanks again for the invitation Rosa.  Trust me, I will be back))))

Charlotte Nibbles, pay them a visit – 200 North Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, NC 28211

Later last night….

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Bringing out the Artist Within – While Contributing To A Worthy Cause

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Project Art Aid

is celebrating the the permanent installation of the “One-Heart” Mosaic, created in 2011 by Project Art Aid
artists in support of the American Cancer Society and their “Making Strides
Against Breast Cancer” Campaign.  Presbyterian Cancer Center will host the
unveiling in its new lobby area.  The installation features the “One-Heart”
Mosaic of 100 6″x6″ canvases, and a plaque honoring all of the artists that are
featured in the mosaic.  This event is free to all, artists and families are
welcome and encouraged to attend so that we may honor you and your contributions to the project.

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February 9th. That’s TONIGHT at 5:30!!!

The Presbyterian Cancer Center’s new lobby
entrance and parking area are located off of Caswell Rd., between Randolph Road and 5th Street, adjacent to Presbyterian’s Emergency Department.

I was delighted to contribute a 6” x 6” canvas for the project. While I don’t consider myself an artist (although designing interiors is my canvas)), I gave it a try.  It turned into more of a fun craft project but it was accepted and now I’ll forever be positioned beside some of the most talented artist in Charlotte…all for a worthy cause.

See if you can locate my canvas “Free Spirit” based on my progress photos.

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Inspiration photo taken from a tile catalogue.

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Materials used: Fabric, beads, acrylic paint

Did you find it?

Traveling Penny goes to High Cotton Home

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The showroom is a remarkable display of the casually elegant style that defines HCH’s customized product line.  If you like furnishings with distinct character, classic, timeless and modern appeal, then High Cotton Home, is the place to shop.  Located in  the Dilworth community of Charlotte, it’s over 7,000 sq feet of pure design heaven.

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The best way to accessorize a bedroom with dark wood is to use light bedding – as shown here. This set leans towards the British Colonial style with its darker wood tones and wonderfully hand-carved bed posts. Is this your style?  Decor To Adore wrote a great post on this styles history.

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Would this dining set look the same with white, solid upholstery? Absolutely not!

Meet the creative powers behind some of HCH’s collections

High Cotton Home is a tightly-edited collection of highly customizable, American-made furnishings from designers such as Thom Filicia, Annie Selke and Michael Weiss, all through  Hickory’s Vanguard Furniture .  YES Nibbles, I said American-made. That alone is an excellent reason to buy from them.

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Thom Michael Annie

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How mod!  What a stunning console. The details remind me of one my mom had that housed a stereo and speakers. It just takes me back to a time when I was about 7 and my siblings and I would hold dance contest to the beat of James Brown and Marvin Gaye. Even the lamps have a fun retro vibe.

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 A new shipment just arrived. Great timing.  It’s like Christmas.

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Dual purpose space saving technique – store benches out of the way until you need them AND fill the void (beautifully) that 2-leg sofa table often has.

More upholstered goodies – notice how bold graphic pillow fabrics take a life of there own on solid sofas.

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I could not resist trying out this bed. ORANGE is my color.  Did you know that if orange is your favorite color you tend to have a carefree, go with the flow,  F-U-N personality?

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And you are charismatic, friendly and normally a hit at parties. Okay, I could go on and on about me – but enough already…

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As you see, High Cotton Home has a little of everything – even a little bit of country.

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 Among others, here are three upholstery fabrics I picked up to show my client.image

They work because her style is transitional with a balanced mix of earthy tones.  Kathy’s a repeat client. I first designed her space about 7 years ago and now she’s ready to update a few of her older pieces.  These fabrics have an everyday feel and are not overwhelming in pattern, scale or color.  I preselected some furniture options as well.  I’ll share those once we’ve finalized the selections.

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That’s Rodney behind me.  He’s the owner of High Cotton Home, as well as Furniture Connector, where they sell designer market samples and close-outs straight from the manufacturer. Located not too far from here – be sure to visit both when you are in Southend.

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Don’t forget to accessorize after you have all your larger pieces. Every home should have at least 1 star burst mirror – it just glows with personality)))

Family Room 2

  Notice the coffee table accessories from a previous project I completed. I picked those up from High Cotton for my client’s family room. They look like wood vases but they are actually ceramic. Perfect fit.

Time to wrap up this buying trip.

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See you next time Mr. Hines!

Focus on Feathers For Your Nest

Some may say feathers are so last year…well I say if you love it – make it work for you.  I happen to still like the many uses of feathers, especially as a focal point for your room. Traditional African headdresses are being used more and more to adorn our rooms.

Traditional African Feather “JuJu Headress

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images via 1st Dibs

This headdress measures 32” across, traditionally worn by medicine men.

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via Harry Daniell

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So I know this post is about feathers, but look at the room below and tell me that this headdress would not look nearly as dynamic without the strong black framed art piece above it!!!  I love the two of these paired together.

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Images – thanks to Moffly Media

I’m so feeling the spirit of these Aztec dancers! I have a feeling the appropriate “attire” is just as important as the moves; hence, the spec—ta—-cular HEADRESS!

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Inspired by the beauty of headdresses and motivated by a smaller budget,  here’s a project I had soooooo much fun “crafting” for a client  The idea was born after she shared her inspiration for her desired color palette.  It was an island vacation photo she and her fiance took with a native dance troop, not too different than the capture above.  To have a piece of her vacation memories visible daily, she agreed to mounting a custom feather piece on the wall space above the fireplace mantel. I captured images step by step of the finial product.

2 purchased two feather wreath

I found two feather wreaths in green and plum tones.  The webbed mirror I found will add support as well as a sculptural effect.

1. purchased starburst mirror

The actual size for the frame is 32”x27”.

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5 creating support frame 2

Two fabrics were used. The base fabric added a hint of color and the overlay was a silk burlap design wrapped and secured with a staple gun.

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close up of silk burlap fabric

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10 basic look of mirror overe wreath

I placed the first wreath on top of the silk fabric, the mirror was then laid on top. For extra depth, the second wreath was disassembled and the feathers were laced and secured around the center mirror.

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11 thread disassembled feathers through mirror

All done! The finished project mounted squarely within the preexisting picture molding over the fireplace.  It’s quite the conversation piece.

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Evonnes after (30)

Want to experiment with other materials?

Follow  instructions to make another great faux headdress with yarn.  You will still get the beauty and benefits of an authentic piece, at a fraction of the cost.

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Most of all have fun with it like I did and get creative.   I think accessorizing with feathers will be fashionable for a long time. If it goes out, trust me, it will return in even more daring ways.