Chicago Bathroom Remodel Progress Photos… post #4

As I said in my last blog, I wanted to post some progress pictures from the bathroom remodel that is going on in Elmhurst (a Chicago suburb). I’ll keep this short since I just blogged yesterday.

View looking towards the master closet wall

View looking towards the master closet door

Tile shower- grouting in process (linen closet doors to the right)

Tile shower- grouting in process

Vanity wall- framed out for medicine cabinets

After the second coat of paint is complete and the shower is grouted, the vanity will be set. After the vanity is set the plumber will come back to install the fixtures and the electrician will be back to hang the lighting fixtures. This is one of my favorite stages of a project, things will come together very fast this week! My site visit today reminded me of why I love what I do. It is so great to see the vision that I have had of this space for weeks now, turning into a reality. Keep posted for the final after pics.

Chicago Bathroom Remodel… fixtures (post #3)

Hello everyone, sorry it has been awhile. Justin and I just got back from a trip to Los Cabos with our great friends. We had an awesome trip! Keep posted for trip pics and the design inspiration that came from our travels.

I will be making a job site visit tomorrow to see how the bathroom is coming along and drop off pendant fixtures. I will try and snap a couple of progress photos so that you can all see how the space is coming together. Today I wanted to show you the fixtures we picked out for this bathroom.

Here is the double vanity we are using from Pottery Barn:

Who would have thought you could find such a great piece at Pottery Barn?! This vanity fit our size requirements and we loved the open airy concept. The carrera top and chrome accents fit perfectly into the design of this room.

Here are the Price Pfister faucets in chrome:

Price Pfister is a great plumbing fixture brand to go with if you are looking for quality at a great price. Their fixtures are well designed for a fraction of the cost of the leading designer fixtures. You don’t always have to sacrifice great design when working with a budget! These are not your grandma’s traditional faucets…

We are having two James R Moder clear crystal pendant fixtures above the vanity area:

Wait until you see how these sparkle! I just finished trimming these mini crystal chandeliers tonight. These will definitely be a focal point in the space.

This job is scheduled to be complete by the end of this week. Hopefully I will have “after” pics up for you next week. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and if you would like more design inspiration, check out my interior design portfolio.

Money Saving Bathroom Remodel Tips… post #2

I thought it would be fun to share the more technical side of this project today and talk you through the layout. After reviewing several different ideas, we decided to eliminate the huge tub area and turn that into the master closet. In order to keep the natural light and the detail of the vaulted ceiling as part of the main bathroom space- we separated the closet off with a partial wall. This allows the light to pour into the bathroom from the skylights, while at the same time hiding the closet clutter. See the drawings below…

New floorplan for master bathroom

New tile pattern for master bathroom

Closet wall elevation

Elevation of the new shower

New electrical plan for master bathroom

Money saving tips to consider while planning your new bathroom:

1. Keep all plumbing fixtures in the same location wherever possible- this will DRASTICALLY cut down on your plumbing bill! In this project- we kept all main plumbing supplies in the same location to help with the budget. When remodeling a bathroom, let the original layout guide you to your new bathroom layout. In most cases, it is better to invest in better plumbing or lighting fixtures than to pour needless money into extra plumbing.

2. Get creative with stocked tile sizes of natural stone. This client loved the look of a white carrera marble, but hated the look of plain 12″x12″ tiles. Her budget did not allow for the smaller hexagons or the special cut brick pattern tiles. 12″x12″ tiles are around $7.00-$11.00 per SF depending on the quality of the stone, while fancy cut carrera ranges from $35.00-$55.00 per SF. To solve this problem, we ordered 12″x12″ tiles and are having our tile installer cut them in half and lay them in a brick pattern. Ta Dah!!! All of the sudden we have a high end look at less than 1/3rd the cost!

3. Install a semi-frameless shower door instead of a completely frameless European glass door. You can use a semi-frameless door with a lower finish grade (we are using chrome in this bathroom) to create the same custom look without the high-end price tag.

4. Use a standard finish on decorative bathroom hardware. The industry has led everyone to believe that oil rubbed bronze hardware= high end. You don’t always need an upgraded hardware finish to create a high-end look! In this space, chrome works beautifully and helps shave hundreds of dollars of the final bill when all is said and done.

5. Install a free-standing vanity, instead of large cabinetry. We are using an open, free-standing piece in this space to create a clean, airy look. This look is refreshing and cost effective at the same time. Bulky cabinet vanities aren’t right for every situation and you should always consider your options before making a final decision. We will add a couple of cute storage bins to the budget that will finish off this light, minimalist look.

Construction starts this weekend on this project!! Check back later to see the lighting and plumbing choices and the space evolve…

Until later,
Erica

Master Bathroom Remodel… post #1

I am currently working on a bathroom remodel project in Elmhurst, IL. This client recently purchased the home, knowing that they were going to update this space. I have had a great time over the last couple of weeks dreaming what this space could be and creating a clear design vision within a budget. Here are some before pics:

View looking into the bathroom: Before

Vanity Area: Before

Tub Area: Before

Shower Area: Before

It is a fabulous space, but in desperate need of an update. There is plenty of square footage to work with, natural light that is to die for, and architectural interest in the vaulted ceiling. Can you see the potential?! The complicated part of my job is balancing what I would like to see in the space and what the client needs. After meeting with the client, together, we decided on the following goals…

Goal #1: GET RID OF FOREST GREEN AND OAK.
Goal #2: Find a spot for a walk-in master closet.
Goal #3: Create a classic, but updated space to keep the bathroom consistent with the rest of the home.
Goal #4: Keep costs down!!

Subscribe to my blog if you would like to be updated on the fixture and finish choices, new layouts, and after pictures. That’s it for now…

Erica

Welcome to my blog!

Hello world!! I have wanted to start an interior design blog for a loooooooong time, so here we go… I am a young interior designer located in Chicago who is just going through the process of starting my own design company. After three years of working for 2 interior design firms, I am ready to have the creative freedom and flexibility of working for myself. I am thrilled to be starting my own book of clients and ready jump into the Chicago market. I know this road will be long and challenging, but I am up for the task.

I think many people have a misconception of interior design (imagine that!). My job entails a whole lot more than picking out paint colors and accent pillows! I plan on filling you in on the down and dirty details of my career and proving your misconceptions wrong 😉 Keep posted for fun interior design tips, photos and updates on ongoing projects, insight into the interior design world, tips on fun home-goods websites to visit, and more. I am always on the lookout for the next biggest thing related to interior design, and I will fill you all in as I find it. I will always be looking for fun topics- so feel free to let me know what you would like to read about. That’s it for now… until we meet again.

Erica

Chicago Apartment Design Tips

So many of us find ourselves in the same decorating boat – a home filled with a few family heirlooms, flea market or tag sale finds, and maybe even one or two treasures from a successful dumpster dive. You love them all, but how do you combine high and low design pieces to create a unified and polished look for your home?

First says Marjorie Marcellus, an interior design instructor at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco, forget about the cost of a piece. “A successful interior is not determined by the cost of its components. For a space to work, it needs to have balance and harmony,” says Marcellus. Finishes and home furnishings, even kitchen rugs should relate to each other as part of an overall design scheme, but “that doesn’t mean they have to match, be of the same era, same price or quality,” she explains.

For example, says Marcellus, “I placed an expensive slab of marble onto a salvage-yard industrial black metal stand and then added four black bargain stools from Pottery Barn.” The similar finishes of the materials made it work. The result? “A custom kitchen table for my client’s urban loft. Topped with a delicate antique vase, fresh wild flowers and colorful cloth napkins from IKEA, the outcome was unexpected and delightful,” says Marcellus.

Suzanne Wilkins, an interior design instructor at The Art Institute of New York City, is another proponent of mixing both high and low design elements. A basic rule of thumb, says Wilkins, is to avoid having a less expensive item next to a more expensive similar item.

“Too many similarities invite comparison, and may make the less expensive things look cheap,” she says. Instead, pair precious things with inexpensive finds by following two rules of thumb: keep it simple and clean lined, or keep it funky. According to Wilkins, simple clean lines naturally look expensive, and we associate clean lines with a more modern and expensive look.

On the other hand, she says, funky items can often stand alone and speak for themselves. But use them sparingly. For example, a nice grouping of African masks can add a lot of texture and color and can be found inexpensively in flea markets. To make it work, don’t use more than three or four or in more than one location, says Wilkins.

Dan Noyes, chairman of the Interior Design department at The Art Institutes International, Minnesota, loves to combine modern pieces with weathered antiques, “to create a wonderful gypsy chic look.” Whether high end or low end, an antique’s patina and unique character flaws can set it apart from a great, modern piece of furniture, he says.

Furniture pieces themselves can combine the best of both high and low end design features says John Gambell, chairman of the Interior Design department of The Art Institute of New England. For a stylish-looking dining or end table, Gambell suggests taking a simple and inexpensive parsons-styled table (Ikea is a good source) and add a made-to-order stone top of either slate or marble. ” A small ‘reveal’ between the base and the top wood appear to make the top float,” says Gambell.

A few final words of wisdom about mixing high and low end design from the experts: When shopping at stores like Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn, pick a few pieces from each instead of outfitting an entire room with one look. “Mix it up,” says Wilkins. And remember, be patient and shop around. What makes a room look rich and expensive, no matter what the budget, is time.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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