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"Not Your Mama's Formica"

I've been busy this week working on two projects, one nearing completion and the other in its beginning stages.  The latter is a home where we'll be sprucing up the dining room and making some budget-friendly upgrades to the kitchen.  It's a little early to share our plans for the space, but I do want to share with you a product we plan to use.

Several years back, as I thought about the prospect of updating my own kitchen, I stumbled upon a fairly new product by Formica called 180fx.  Formica's 180fx is a revolutionary laminate "with true-to-scale granite patterns that offer visual drama unmatched by any other laminate."

Here's a little sampling of what's available...

Don't get me wrong, I love natural stone as much as the next designer, but home improvements should be smart decisions, and that includes financially.  In this case, investing in a more expensive natural stone product, wouldn't likely yield any increase in the value of my client's home and since this isn't their forever home, they want to be smart about the upgrades they make.  

With over 25 colors/patterns, the options will have you awestruck at the possibilities.  Here are a few of my favorites along with some beautiful in-home applications.

Calacatta Marble
Kylie M Interiors

Simple Details Blog
Golden Mascarello     

Strata Olympico

via Formica

This one is my top pick for the project I'm working on.  I hope they like it!  
Crema Mascarello

What's cool about this product in addition to it's "look for less" qualities is the fact in 2012 Formica added new options for the counter's edges.  "IdealEdge® Decorative Edging offers decorative edges that bring a fresh look to laminate countertops, islands and more. What you see is a perfectly finished edge - and no more brown seam lines."

(Images via Formica) 

Pretty awesome considering the fact that I can recall the Formica countertop edging in the home I grew up in peeling off and flapping away at one time.  Unsightly brown seams and  telltale sign of Formica countertops no more!

After ordering a few samples and seeing this product in person, I'm totally convinced that these ain't your mama's Formica countertops (although ironically my mother actually has them).  I can't wait to use them in this upcoming project.  

Going Global: One Day Design Plus Reveal

Sometimes, one of the hardest things for clients to do is to pull together those final touches that make a room feel finished.  After all, design is in the details. As mentioned in my last post, our One Day Design Plus service is the perfect option for those needing help to bring it all together.

Somehow, in the hustle and bustle of managing a new full-time business, I neglected to share one of my projects with you guys.  It's a shame because it turned out so well.  The client had recently relocated to the Lake Norman area from DC Metro and needed help making use of many of the beloved pieces from the previous home.  The style was a bit mid-century modern with a global influence.

Let's take a look at the space before...

We were fortunate that the client also had some really great art that drove the direction for the project.

As a reminder, the benefit of One Day Design Plus is the quick turnaround and mini-makeover style installation.  Sourcing from retail locations and forgoing most custom items, clients are able to get a beautiful space pulled together in a matter of a few weeks.  

In addition to great art, the client also had great taste.  Having already eyed this beautiful chair from Crate and Barrel.

Crate and Barrel 

Given that I knew we wanted a global feel, I suggested this popular antelope rug from Ballard Designs.  
Ballard Designs 
Much to my delight, the client not only like the rug but the Lucite coffee table that appeared in the catalog with it.  Woohoo! 

We typically provide a general design board to give the client a sense of the project's direction.

While we typically don't do custom upholstery in our One Day Design projects, I knew that we needed an ottoman that would add texture, visual interest and continue the global feel we were going for.  As always, I reached out to Mark of Baity's Custom Upholstery and he delivered this beautiful ottoman made with a rug we sourced online.

With a number of the key pieces selected, we got to work sourcing the details.  It was a super fun project and the client couldn't have been happier with the result.  

It's been several months now, but I still love this one.  

"Girly and Glam: One Day Design Plus Reveal"

Well hello there!  I'm back today to share with you guys a recent One Day Design Plus project we completed. 

In case you're not familiar, One Day Design is our service
designed for clients that simply need a little help pulling things together.   Utilizing what clients already own or what we can quickly purchase, we transform spaces with designer touches on a budget in a matter of a six hour day.  One Day Design Plus is an upgraded service option for those seeking expedited decorating services for spaces that can be easily pulled together without custom selections and major furnishings. It's an offering that provides all the benefits of our One Day Design service, but also includes additional designer sourcing and an installation to bring it all together.

We were contacted by a client looking to spruce up the living room in her new condo on a modest budget.  The space was pretty much a blank slate with the exception of a sleeper sofa we needed to work with.


Just off the kitchen and adjacent to the living area was a small seating area with a wood-burning fireplace.

Soon after meeting, we got to work on the space plan and creating a general scheme based on the colors the client requested. 

*The dining area was not addressed in this project.

The design began with two Bernhardt chairs I happened to have in my inventory.  They were covered in a lush silvery gray velvet and were the perfect size for the small seating area off the kitchen.

Bernhardt Lancaster Chair

From there, we added touches of graphic black and white with a dose of girly pink and blush. Check out how it all came together...

The space was pretty narrow so this Lucite table was a great option to keep things from looking and feeling cramped.  The narrow width of this particular waterfall option was perfect.


The Michael Amini media console was perfect for the look the client wanted to create.  It was a total score!

In addition to the essentials, a few personal and decorative items were added to the étagère to make things a bit more homey.

As mentioned, the sofa needed to stay, but it was desperately in need of a facelift.  Since the client wanted a black and white scheme, we opted for a rich textured velvet and Baity's Custom Upholstery did it AGAIN.

A pretty drastic transformation, right?

*Custom upholstery is not typically offered with our One Day Design services, however the client
coordinated this service ahead of time.

I loved how cozy this little seating area felt.  The perfect place to kick your feet up at the end of a long day.

Not too shabby for a for a few thousand dollars and a few weeks wait.  Don't you think?

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