Once known as the somber, serious color of the decorating world, black now holds top rank in any room you put it in. Black goes with everything and the days of rules are over. With HGTV as my guide or a magazine I’m paging through, you can easily get the idea how this wonderful shade will whisper “classic” when used to puncuate a room. When you use a black lampshade, a simple picture frame or the fabric on a pillow it will help to ground the room. That black and white checkered floor in an entry just says country estate. Visions of owning a horse ranch (haven’t been on a horse in 20 years) and living that lifestyle comes to life in my mind and cooking in a kitchen that has a huge black island urges me to get in touch with my inner Julia Childs! With our special rubbed off finish it will give age and character. Kind of like you just found this amazing piece of cabinetry in an old country store. Only you didn’t, it’s a Stone Creek piece.
Just look around your home. Add a touch of black in a small way and the visual impact will surprise you. If you do this throughout the house it will feel united in a very subtle way. Chanel didn’t choose black for the classic little dress for nothing.
If it’s a kitchen or bath that you’re dreaming of , my complimentary 2 hour service can show you how to bring a touch of black into your new space. It will be so subtle, that your friends will wonder how you made this space look so incredible.
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Ahh… the smell of exhaust from a yellow school bus. What Mom doesn’t love that smell!!! After 10 weeks of summer vacation, countless trips to the mall, expensive water parks, tons of movies and a few side trips to cooler elevations, the sight of that bus last Monday was like an angel.
Maybe it’s just me, but that’s my signal to purge, organize and refresh. When I was a kid my Mom called it Fall cleaning. We don’t actually call it that anymore. Maybe it’s because Phoenix doesn’t have distinct season changes. That’s beside the point. Getting into my car on the day the kids went back to school, a note dropped out of my daytimer. (yes I still schedule my life from a daytimer!) It was my torn and wrinkled Spring cleaning list and the things that needed to be done around the house. The only thing that wasn’t crossed off the list was *clean out the pantry. Ugh! What’s wrong with finding a can of soup behind the brownie mix anyway. I’ll tell you what’s wrong. You can’t find it when you want it.
So after dinner that night I started clearing off every shelf. I got rid of small appliances (at the time of purchase I couldn’t think of a life without them) whose purpose still eludes me. All the “use by dates” were checked and anything out of code went bye bye. I then organized by category. All cereal and breakfast foods together, snack food in an easy to get to spot for the kids. Then all pasta and rice items. Since I bake at least once a week, I need 2 shelves for all the baking items. With lots of tall canisters for sugar and flour I had the perfect behind the scenes hiding spot to put that huge bag of chocolate morsels that my husband swears is one of the four food groups. He’ll never look there . Getting rid of all the “junk” made room for all my cookbooks and the bulk purchases of paper goods. I realized that if organized properly, you don’t need a huge pantry. You can design an efficient one right along with your new Stone Creek kitchen. With pull out shelves, easy to clean surfaces and bells and whistles to simplify your life , you’ll have just enough space to hide your midnight snack!
If a new kitchen and pantry is in your future, let me help. My 2 hours of complimentary design service will get us started.
When my husband and I started a family many years ago we both agreed on the importance of dinner around the table. Now that the kids are teenagers we still rely on that family time to talk about our day and debate many topics. The landscape of the table has changed. Our daughters boyfriend, Will, might be there ( that boy can eat!!!) or a friend of our sons might join us. The important thing is that we are sharing a meal around the same table.
Last week I was engrossed in3 Stone Creek kitchen projects. All were very different in feel and style. The table was littered with a colorfest of glossy glass tiles in a beautiful mosaic pattern in several colorways. The classic lines of a ceramic subway tile and the ever popular tumbled stone. Included in this mix was a variety of stain finishes that we offer on our cabinets and touches like paint samples and granite so beautiful that it makes the hair on your arm stand up.
Fast forward to dinner time. I ask the kids to set the table. Then I glanced at the table and saw how much time and effort it would take to move all of it and how much more time it would take to pair everything up again before doing my drawings for my clients. So I just asked the kids if we could drag out the 80’s T.V. trays. You would have thought I ask them to tear off their arm and chew on it. “It’s just this one time I said.” ” But Mom, what about sitting around the table together. Isn’t that what you say is so important around here. ” Can you believe that. All those years of preaching and it actually sunk in!
Needless to say, I get excited about every project I do. Big or small, each carries the same importance to me. I like walking past that table and thinking about how a certain space would make me feel if I lived there. Getting up the next morning, I look at that kitchen table and how I paired up certain elements to see if I like them as much as the day before. Most times I do, but other times I’ll pull an idea from one clients kitchen design and pair it with another for a totally different look. So if I’m helping you with a kitchen or bathroom design, chances are it will land on my kitchen table for a day or two. It’s like taking your kitchen for a test drive.
If your kitchen or bath needs a little sprucing up, I would love to help make it a reality. Fill out the form to get started.
Maybe it’s fabric swatches or paint chips that puts the chaos in your decorating mind. It stops you like a train and going forward seems daunting. Much like trying to decide on a flavor at Yogurtland without actually ending up with every topping in the store, and getting to the register with a $12.00 cup of yogurt. It seemed good while you were filling the cup but in the end is it really edible? And now you have to pay for it!
Sometimes I forget that my clients have never undergone a remodel of any sort. This past week I actually felt like the teacher in front of the classroom with a pointer showing all the wonderful choices. Some clients are all over the board . Sharing every exotic idea that comes to mind, or a certain look they saw on vacation. Then other clients have that glazed over look and I know to hold their hand a little tighter during this process. Then I show both, realistic choices that will stand the test of time (good design never goes out of style) and they get it. The lightbulb goes off and they see the warmth coming from their cabinet finish and how texture in a backsplash and tones from their granite slab really pulls it all together. Add in some stainless steel appliances and “poof” we have a kitchen.
Let me help you through this process and we’ll find the right touches to make your kitchen (or bath) your favorite spot in the house. Toppings included.
I just returned from a few days out of town with the kids. The 73 degree temps of Park City, Utah felt like a gift and each morning while mulling over the real estate listings, I was trying to figure out how to make a 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottage,(total gut job) work for a family of four. When I mentioned to my husband, on the phone that night, that the location was amazing and the pricetag was only 2.3 million, he told me to get back to Phoenix . So here I am back in 112 degree heat.
You wonder why I mention the trip at all. Well, everytime I venture out past the city limits of Phoenix, Az. it refreshes my design sense and helps me to interject different styles into my projects right here in the Valley of the Sun. I saw a mirror surrounded with twigs that was so chic. Hung above a Stone Creek console in an entry with a sisal rug underfoot you have instant comfort and a welcoming feel for your home. Top that console with a great lamp on one side, a fresh topiary on the other and maybe an old silver bowl to throw keys and mail. Instant charm.
Mirrors can be an inexpensive way to add space and bounce light around the room. I have a huge mirror in my entry way. It measures 5’x7′ and I have it propped against the wall, loft style. I found it in a second hand shop and besides a little touch up with a brown crayon it comes off as very expensive. It makes the entry feel special and for a few hundred dollars it’s a piece I’ll never get rid of. It sits opposite a window and the reflection is magic.
My girlfriend wanted to lighten up her dark kitchen and dining area and I thought the solution would be to mirror the backsplash in a huge rustic buffet. The juxtaposition of heavy worn wood with an elegant mirrored backsplash was the exact element it needed. She loved it …and that’s all that matters.
I used small round mirrors in various sizes in my daughters room. We hung them in a random pattern. It actually looks good against her apple green wall color . It reflects off the crystal lamp and other chrome accents in the room. P.S. That wall color is the first thing to go when she’s off to college!
When hanging a mirror be mindful of what it is reflecting. If it’s a window that shows off those beautiful trees in your backyard…bingo you have a winner. If it reflects your refrigerator please try another wall.
Another tip…The smaller the room the bigger the mirror. I had the opportunity to decorate my friends pint size 7’x9′ for Mom only space. The mirror seemed huge but once hung, it reflected the outdoors and gave a sense of space. It turned out to be a jewel box of a room and the only place in the house that doesn’t have golf clubs, strewn boxer shorts or shoot em’ up video games.
Now back to my husband. I come in the house from the trip. He runs to get his new passport picture and he’s not happy. Seems the mirror in our bathroom shows he has more hair than he actually does. When he got the passport photo back he thought he looked like a 54 year old middle aged guy with thinning hair. Maybe mirrors do have magic.
I can help add sparkle to your home. A little or alot. Classic or contemporary. Fill out the form and we’ll find ways to add visual vibrancy and life to your home.
The ceiling is the most overlooked area of decorating. Maybe it’s because it takes so darn long to decide on a wall color, that you are completely exhausted by the time you get to the ceiling. Of course the easy thing to do is paint it white. But wait a minute…….the ceiling is the 5th, forgotten wall. For years I’ve been throwing out the idea to clients that the ceiling needs the same attention as the walls. Sometimes they have an aha moment and other times I just get the look. The one that says “My husband will not paint the ceiling!”. I had stopped pushing the issue when just last week I decided I would start recommending it again.
I was back east and I was on one of those old fashioned gliders on my parents front porch. I looked up and there it was. That famous blue on the porch ceiling that I grew up with. What a special touch. A little surprise for your eyes on a hot summer day. The logic behind it was that bees wouldn’t build hives because they think it’s the sky. Not sure if that’s true but it sure sounds good. So I’m back to telling all my clients that the ceiling is just part of the paint job. Cutting the wall color by 50-75% works beautifully. You could even use a pearlized paint on the bathroom ceiling. It will add a litle shimmer and make all the fixtures sing. In a masculine den (with Stone Creek bookcases) you could put a rich chocolate color on the walls and include the ceiling. A very clubby, guys only kind of space. The right shade of yellow in your Stone Creek kitchen will feel like you’re inside a sunflower if you include the ceiling. And I can’t forget the ceiling that has a hint (and I mean just a hint) of pink. Sort of a flesh tone that makes us all look good. It softens those fine lines and makes us all think we’re 25 again. That would be pushing it ,but if the ceiling can add so much to the room why not just tell your husband to get out the ladder and you’ll get the drop cloths.
Helping with the paint is just part of the decorating puzzle when we re-do a room. If kitchen cabinets, an entertainment center, or office will freshen your home fill out the form and I’ll include the daunting task of helping with the right paint color.
Anyone that knows me well, will hear me say, “Simple pleasures are the best”. I can’t tell you what joy I find in getting up early on a Saturday morning, before the rest of the house is awake , and enjoying some time alone in my kitchen. Seems like the sunlight is perfect, the birds are chirpping at the right decibel level and the fresh air when I swing open the french doors is sublime. I start the coffee, pick up the newspaper in the driveway and decide if I want a a full blown omelet or just a simple bagel with cream cheese. Perfection. My kitchen is perfect for one…me!
Around 11:00 Katie pops in and we sit at the island pouring over camp brochures for the kids and take care of neighborhood gossip in one fell swoop. My kitchen works for two.
By now the kids (teenagers) are up and I hear them talking with friends and whose house they will hang out at tonight. Turns out it’s ours. That can only mean lots a girl drama and enough testosterone to go around the city of Phoenix. Add to that a ton of greasy teen food and you have a party. My kitchen works for tons of teens.
And at least once a month we try to host a small dinner party with close friends. You guessed it. We are all hanging out in the kitchen. Either perched at the island with a glass of wine or someone helping with the salad, this kitchen cooks. Recently, I watched my husband put the finishing touches on the bruschetta. He’s pretty much a grill kind of guy but watching him in our kitchen brought the whole marriage thing to a new level. This kitchen works for adults too.
By now you get the point. When you design your Stone Creek kitchen, think about how you will use the space. Make your kitchen really cook for one or one hundred.
I would love to help make your kitchen cook. Fill out the form and we’ll get started.
The words cheap, inexpensive, and frugal have come up alot this week. I think a homeowner used the term champagne on a beer budget but I prefer to call it budget savvy. I’m finding that after the dust has settled and our clients are enjoying their Stone Creek kitchens, they look into the Master bath and it comes off a little tired if you know what I mean. We all know you get a lot of bang for your buck when redoing this space so I have a few tips up my sleeve to keep it budget friendly.
I’ve seen everything from a postage stamp size bath to some that are bigger than my first apartment. No matter what the square footage there are ways to make this space live large and stay on budget. Your Master Bath should be hardworking morning and night and we can find ways to make it functional, beautiful and budget friendly.
1. The obvious is choosing the right cabinet style. I like to add as many drawers as the budget will allow. We girls have alot of stuff and we need to be able to find it during the morning rush . If we are trying to find the perfect shade of eyeshadow, while watching over our shoulder to make sure his tie actually “goes with the shirt” time is lost and once again you are out the door behind schedule. Get the drawers.
2. Add beautiful hooks for bath towels. You can match the finish to your faucet or cabinet hardware. The towel bar takes up too much wall space and you’re never going to get him to fold it the right way anyway!! The hooks will aid faster dry time and it looks like a retreat. Hang one next to the shower for your robe.
3. If you are re-doing the tile floor go ahead and create a tile rug just by outlining a rectangle on the floor and running the material a different direction to create the look of an area rug. This looks very custom and will make the space feel special .
4. Use your studs! Have your remodeler carve out unused space between the studs for your jars of bath salts and rolled towels. Glass shelves look especially great here since light reflection will make the space seem even larger. Photographs and artwork have found their way into the bath since ventilation is so much better than years past. Personalize the space to make it your own. Do the same between the studs in the shower area. Can’t tell you how many times this gets overlooked and the myriad bottles of shampoo and conditioner are now sitting on the new shower floor. Make sure it’s at a slight angle for water run-off.
5. Mirror, mirror on the wall. We can match your cabinet finish and style and design a mirror. Hung above the vanity sinks it will reflect light and bounce light around the room.
Got to run. A bathroom client is meeting me to pick out tile for her jewel box space of a bathroom and I want to really make it sparkle. Speaking of sparkle…put all the light fixtures on dimmers. Can’t preach this one enough!
Fill out the form. We’ll bring life to your bath and keep the budget in tact.
With todays economy, it is rare that folks are moving to a larger homestead. Most are downsizing and are asking that several rooms deliver multiple functions. We are squeezing every ounce of activity into rooms that once held only a single function. With downsizing comes the dreaded “purge” that is so difficult for many homeowners to handle. When I am assisting in a downsize, my mantra is:
1. If you love it and it works with the new space you can keep it.
2. Is it useful? Yes, coffee mugs are useful but you don’t need 30 of them no matter how cute . I have to keep reminding clients that they are downsizing, not craming everything they once owned into a smaller space.
3. Get rid of the clutter. Many parents can’t rid themselves of craft projects that their kids did in first grade!! The kids don’t want them (by now the kids are in their 20’s and 30’s) so my suggestion is to take a photogragh of the item put it in an album and then get rid of the item. Many gentle reminders later, and some” Mom” looks of how a clutter free environment will make them feel better and free them up for other things , a golf game, a relaxing lunch with friends , or simply entertaining in your new home. If you don’t have to rummage through 8 cookie sheets to get to the one you use all the time, you will feel like the kitchen is even larger. Speaking of the kitchen. Yes, it will be smaller in your new space but think how much less it will cost to make it your dream kitchen.
With 24 finishes to choose from and a myriad of door styles it can be the downsized dream of your life. Throw in my 2 hour complimentary design service and we’ll create a backsplash and choose granite that will make your new Stone Creek kitchen a peaceful, soul soothing environment. The form is to your right. Your kitchen can be the cozy hub of your new downsized lifestyle.
We tend to think of big box furniture stores as a relatively new phenomenon. Actually, they can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution when mass-production made it possible to create cheap imitations of fine home furnishings. At that time, an influential British designer and writer named William Morris worked to restore true craftsmanship to the home. Morris’ ideas shaped the Arts and Crafts Movement, the design revolution that gave birth to Mission, Craftsman and Bauhaus styles. Almost 100 years later, Ron Jones, President and founder of Stone Creek Furniture, began a simliar revolution right here in Arizona.
Stone Creek Furniture designs and manufactures fine hardwood furniture for every room in the home. From their first order for 80 chairs, Stone Creek has been committed to providing excellence through time-honored craftsmanship. At Stone Creek, standard features include all hardwood construction and dovetail drawers with full extension ball bearing guides. Now celebrating their 20th anniversary, Stone Creek has maintained an unshakable reputation for quality.
While quality distinguishes Stone Creek furniture from anything else available in the market, it is not the whole of Jones’ revolution. Jones firmly believes that quality can and should be accessible. So, as part of an innovative value proposition, Stone Creek markets their beautifully crafted furniture directly to the public at a true wholesale price.
Like Morris, Jones also believes that quality goes hand in hand with functional design. A functional design is purpose and space driven. For instance, a desk suitable for a home office is not as suitable for crafts. Similarly, a six-foot desk will not fit in a five-foot space. So while most furniture manufacturers offer generic solutions in a standard product line, Jones was determined to provide custom flexibility and to keep it within reach by providing free design services.
Stone Creek’s design services make it possible to tailor your furniture to your needs and space. If you want a cabinet to be taller, wider or deeper, or to include more drawers and shelves, Stone Creek can build it and will do so at their wholesale price. With Stone Creek’s broad selection of trims, finishes and hardware, you can tailor your furniture to your taste, as well.
Stone Creek’s custom capabilities are by no means limited to free-standing furniture, such as armoires and beds. In fact, Stone Creek is able to create perfectly fitted built-ins and to design whole environments, such as home theaters and home offices. Space planning, like custom furniture design, is complimentary.
This extraordinary service is now available for your kitchen and bath, too. Stone Creek not only builds furniture-grade cabinetry to your exact specifications, they also help you optimize space with a completely custom fit. You will never find a filler piece in one of Stone Creek’s kitchens, nor will you find a more meticulous installer. Every kitchen is pre-assembled in Stone Creek’s factory so that the precision of fit is verified before the cabinets are delivered and installed in your home. Granite countertops are handled with the same level of care.
William Morris once wrote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Ideally, thought Morris, the things in your home will be both. With Stone Creek’s hallmark craftsmanship, functional design, beautiful finishes and unbeatable price, they will be.
To learn more about Stone Creek Furniture, visit www.stonecreekfurniture.com, or, better still, see true craftsmanship with your own eyes at one of four Phoenix area showrooms.
– Besty Dell