Projects in Process, Now on the Site!

I've added a new section on this here lil' website for current and e-design projects, because it makes me happy to look at all together....and so you all can keep up with what I'm up to. It also makes it easy to blog about them. First up is what I'm calling "Modern Ranch Reno (with plenty of pop!)"

I LOVE this project! It's a remodel that won't start construction until next year, but that is giving us plenty of time for planning. First step: INSPIRATION!

When the clients told me they love bold colors and geometric patterns, I wanted to cry. It was music to my ears! And no kids! Don't get me wrong, designing kids' rooms is fun (I have an enormous Pinterest board filled with ideas for kids' rooms just waiting to be used for inspiration), but it can sometimes hamper design for fear of accident and/or injury. This project is just the cool couple, their dogs, and their wine collection - no one gets that lifestyle more than me.

She loves to sew and loves textiles (YAY!!!) and he loves all things techy, so there is going to be some super fun opportunity here. Below are the initial mood boards I put together. We will be adding more yellow/orange tones, but you get the idea:

The house is classic ranch style, and we are going to open it up by removing the walls that divide the dining room and the kitchen from the living room, as well as moving the ceiling beam to the center of the house. I've got grand plans in the living room for a large bookshelf with sconces (inspired by the one created by my friend and fellow designer, Sarah Stacy), as well as a new handmade tile fireplace and walnut built-in for the TV.

The kitchen will be greatly expanded and the current bay window will be replaced with large black-framed metal doors and windows along the back wall, along with a bar surface and concrete planter. I'm also planning a live-edge wood breakfast bar on the living room side. Between the kitchen and dining room will be a cool bar/lounge for moody relaxation, and the dining room will be much larger and brighter with fun pendant lights. 

That's all for now. The whole house will be redesigned, and I'm working on the master bedroom, bathroom and closet now. After that will be the mudroom, complete with dog wash, and the powder bath.

Did I mention how much I love my job?

P.S. Do you have a design project coming up and want to have some fun in the process. Let's talk.



One Room Challenge Week 1: The High Contrast Design House Headquarters

You might call me delusional (which is true). You might call me crazy (also true). But I've always worked best when under a deadline, so I am throwing my crazy self into the One Room Challenge with everything I've got. Currently in its tenth season, the One Room Challenge was started by Linda from the blog Calling It Home as a way for bloggers and designers to come together and make magic happen in a short amount of time. The challenge is to make over a room in six weeks, documenting it on your blog once a week with your progress. It has been a year in the making, but I am FINALLY going to make my office a killer creative space. It's been a long time since I've been able to create a design concept for myself, and this one is SO ME.

So, for week one, here is my concept:

I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that I will be able to make the space 100% complete in the five weeks left, but a girl has gotta have goals, right? It's a lot of Ikea, a ton of DIY projects and even more blood, sweat and tears. 

Here's a little more info on my ideas:

  • Walls are getting painted pure white (no pigment) and the carpet is getting ripped out. I'm on a serious budget, so I'm laying down 12" x 12" black and white vinyl tiles in stripes. I'm in love with the round rug from NuLoom and I think it has the perfect wacky, boho vibe.
  • I'm moving my black dressing table from my bedroom in and using it as a desk, and also going to build a drop-down table out of birch plywood for another work surface on the other side of the room. I'm adding two Ikea Vittsjö shelves in white for storage and display. I think I'm going to replace the glass shelves with birch plywood too, but not sure yet, and I'm going to customize some boxes and baskets for hidden storage. I'm also adding an Ikea Alex drawer unit and going to gold leaf a couple of the drawer fronts.
  • I have an old light grey microfiber sofa in the room, and I'm trying to decide if I am brave/crazy enough to paint it...maybe even graffiti it. I'm going to add an Ikea Storsele Chair as another place to relax...maybe with a faux sheepskin.
  • For lighting, I really want to create a sprawling DIY fixture out of pipes painted black for the ceiling. I have a sconce to replace and need a bit more lighting, but I'm still thinking about that.
  • For art, I'm going to play with prints, washi tape, hot pink plexiglass, gold dinosaurs, and big vinyl Beastie Boys lyrics, cuz YEAH. There will also be curtains on one wall and lots of funky black and white fabrics (see the one with the Boston Terrier on it!) with some color thrown in.

Below you can see the plans for the space that I drew in SketchUp a long time ago and updated with the new design ideas:

So what do you think?? Too much, too little or JUST RIGHT? If you were doing the One Room Challenge, what room would you do? And click on the graphic below to check out all the other participants that are probably as crazy as me.

Wish me luck!

Housewarming at Central Texas Table of Grace with Trove Market

Every once in a while, I get to be part of something that takes my love of design to a place where great design wouldn't normally a place where design really makes a difference to those in need. I was so lucky to have this happen last fall.

I was invited by my sweet friend and amazing designer, Kelly La Plante, to be part of a team with Trove Market and eight other Austin designers to make-over a group home for kids in the foster system. Central Texas Table of Grace opened its doors in July 2015 with all the essentials - a place to sleep, eat and study - but the space was pretty sterile. So we went to work at making it so much more.

The foyer includes a place to store shoes, a table and chairs to study or create art and some cheery accents to inspire.

The central hallway's feature is most definitely this amazing mural, created by my BFF and artist, Honey Thompson.

I started this project like I do any project - creating a mood board. I was responsible for the core of the home - the foyer, hallways and kitchen. This was tough because all of the other rooms flow into my spaces, so I needed to keep it neutral but energetic...and I was excited to introduce COLOR! Since my areas were all transition areas and high-traffic, I knew I couldn't introduce a lot of new furniture but I could bring in a lot of art. I begged my best friend and artist, Honey Thompson, to help me make a big POW with a mural in the hallway...and boy, she brought it.

Some items were donated by gracious vendors (see below), and I hustled to get monetary donations from my very generous clients. These were the pieces I wanted to include in my design:

  1. Fairground Carousel Art, donated by
  2. Hall Tree, Ikea
  3. Wall Pegs, Ikea
  4. Shoe Storage, Ikea
  5. Bookshelf and Storage Boxes, Ikea
  6. Chandelier, Ikea
  7. Mural, designed by Honey Thompson (with paint donated by Treehouse)
  8. Locker, Ikea
  9. Rugs, Ikea
  10. Kartell Hi-Cut Chair, donated by Urbanspace Interiors
  11. Poufs, Donated by Rooms To Go Kids
  12. Table, Ikea
  13. Kartell La Marie Chair, donated by Urbanspace Interiors

Below are photos of the process, from planning the mural to the finishing touches. We had about 4 weeks to plan, shop and beg for donations...and only one day to install! Trove Market organized the whole project, and eBay provided over 100 volunteers to help us on the install day. It was an absolute madhouse of energy and excitement, and I loved every second of it. So many people pitched in to make this house a home for the owner, Stacey, and the kids that stay there. My feet hurt for days after, but my heart is still warm months later.

Take a look here and here for more about Stacey and her story, as well as all of the other amazing designers and the whole incredible experience.

Exciting News - Working with @Homepolish!

I am so very excited to announce that I will be working as a Senior Designer with Homepolish! In case you haven't heard about it, Homepolish is an interior design powerhouse, with hubs located across the county, whose mission is to bring talented designers and rad resources to a broader audience and make great design more approachable. They support all of their designers by taking care of billing, purchasing and all the other things that zap our time and allow us to do what we do best - DESIGN!

The best part is that I can work with Homepolish while still working hard to build High Contrast Design House. It's truly WIN-WIN!

After my initial application was approved, I was challenged to create a space for a hypothetical design client whose tastes are similar to mine. I pretty much used myself as a client, but myself about 13 years ago - before I was married and could make all of the decor decisions in my home (sorry, James). I created the floor plan, based on a combination of several typical condominium and townhouse plans in Austin, and then decked out the space from head-to-toe...and I stayed within budget by $11.72. 

This gives you a good idea of my design process, starting with the plan and then creating a cool mix of furnishings and finishes from a huge variety of sources...and how each room can have its own attitude while still creating a nice flow throughout. And more than anything, I wanted to show how I love to bring my client's personality and passions in their home.

Want your space to scream your personality? Hit me up and let's make some magic.