Author Archives: Laura Lee

One of my favorite spaces to renovate is the master suite.  Many of us are guilty of making the public spaces in our homes beautiful, but we wait until everything else is done before creating a personal retreat of our own.

For my clients, an impending plumbing issue was the motivation to finally renovate their outdated and cramped master bathroom.  Originally created as a Jack & Jill bathroom for the master and a secondary bedroom, this colorful tiny space had long since outlived its useful life.  The shower ceiling was barely over six feet tall and the inside dimensions were equally cramped.  A single sink with precious little counter space for the couple to share did not make getting ready to start the day an easy task. zeid before 2zeid before 5

My approach to this renovation was to remove the door to the second bedroom (which was converted years ago into a closet room) and incorporate another tiny closet into a water closet alcove.  We also opted for a large single shower and small make-up vanity area in lieu of the bathtub.

One other challenge in this bathroom was the stained glass window.  Between the colors and textured glass, the space was dark.   We opted to switch it for a plain glass window to increase the natural light.  A linen cafe curtain provides privacy while letting the light shine in the window.

 

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Having a dedicated space is such a luxury.  I carved a small dressing area for my client where the bathtub was located.  With sconces at just the right height and a beveled oval mirror, this is a perfect place to get ready for the day.

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The water closet alcove is just to the left of the vanity with the arched doorway.  We were able to add open shelving for additional storage in the alcove.  The custom vanity and marble shower complete with a rainhead and personal shower complete the space.

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Take the leap and get your master suite in shape.  Whether you need a total renovation or just some pretty flowers and crisp white towels to freshen things up, it will lift your spirit to start your day in a lovely bathroom.

Cheers,

Laura

 

 

When styling this window seat for a client, I was inspired by this intricate trim found at Samuel & Sons. Cream-colored hues framed by Grecian-style trim make this window seat as stylish as it is functional. Complimented by carefully selected pillows, this seat is certainly somewhere I wouldn’t mind kicking my feet up… So, imagine how thrilled I was when I was contacted recently by The English Home, as they were looking to feature my window seat styling as part of their carefully curated décor magazine!

Bench Seat

Find my styling, and many other gorgeous inspirations in the October 2015 issue of The English Home. The English Home celebrates English style. Taking a closer look at fabrics, textures, colors, and more, designers and home interior enthusiasts can relish thumbing through the glossy pages of this rousing magazine.

The English Home - October

Netgear’s remote switches have ended up to be famous because of their small effort and convenience of organization. Businesses learn them attractive, therefore, and also the ability to associate numerous PCs towards the Internet through one crucial organization. Netgear remote switches offer comparable with many Internet modems and remote connectors, plus some offer LAN groups notwithstanding the remote access. A Netgear rural N transition will help you incorporate adaptability along with your organization’s neighborhood.

Netgear WGR614 54Mbps Wireless Router

Begin setup of the Netgear Wireless Router by first perusing the instructions within the integrated information, and taking after their guidelines for linking to and in declaring they get to the point. The first couple of ventures in this information must agree with the data found in the manual, be that as it can we'll catch up with crucial knowledge on the simplest way to secure your remote reach point.

You have to access Router Admin page using 192.168.0.1 login Address to setup Router.

In the wake of encouraging up the change, employ an Ethernet connect to relate your personal Computer to one of the ports onto it placed 1 through 4. Next, open a web program screen to the associated Computer and kind to the handle bar and press enter. This will take you to the Netgear Login Smart Wizard welcome page, click OK to begin the look.

Default Login Address for Netgear Router is 192.168.1.1.

The switch will endeavor to acknowledge the type of relationship you've as well as the following message you receive ought to be Dynamic IP (DHCP) Detected, click Next once you see this.

Next, you will empower the distant capability of your change. Inside the drop-down box for your district where you've located select the United States in the explanation. On this screen, you need to likewise adjust the Wireless Network Name (SSID) from its standard an incentive to something extraordinary which means that your Base Station won’t be mistaken for another. Click Next.

Install a Netgear Wireless-N Router

You ought to now discover a message affirming your organization is functioning and remote is empowered. Be that as it might, your aren't secured yet. Perused the notes and break Done. At that point guide, your system to proceed with the design.

A window will fly up inviting you for the login and secret word, enter owner for your username and watchword for that secret word, then click OK.

If you have signed in you'll see the concept design page (appeared previously). Presently tap on the Wireless Settings in the left of the page. So as to secret word make sure your remote system select the WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) option beneath the Security Options and afterward underneath the Security Encryption (WEP) area that appears, select 128 pieces alongside Encryption Strength. Choose a secret word in the area of 6 and 8 characters and sort it into the Passphrase box under the Security Encryption (WEP) Key heading. When this occurs click Make. At long last click Use. You may similarly choose WPA security, however, not all program cards reinforce this, so check your documentation first.

Default login for Netgear Router

Unless your internet provider changed default username and password following login details should work for 192.168.0.1:

- Username: admin

- Password: password or 1234

A tough self-pushed gas cutter from Craftsman, this machine successfully mulches, packs, or releases clippings. The back wheel drive gives preferred footing over the front wheel. We were happy with the spring-stacked tallness alteration framework, which makes changing the stature of each wheel a basic procedure. While this is a genuinely boisterous trimmer at 93 decibels, it has an intense engine and variable drive that makes it simple to move over shifted landscapes. A reasonably estimated trimmer at $350, it likewise features a wide deck, making the cutting procedure go quicker.

Strengths

3-in-1 cutter mulches, packs, or releases clippings

Helpful spring-stacked stature change

Drive lever reacts rapidly as a crush handle

Drive belt is very much protected under the deck

Simple to fire up and handle

Raise wheel drive gives better footing

Mulch pack holds awesome volume

Weaknesses

Boisterous as a gas cutter

Grass clippings gather under the deck and where the mulch turns out

For quite a long time Self-propelled Lawn Mowers I have been battling with these shabby yard trimmers from the rebate stores. They would run OK for a year or two, however, even with oil changes and tune-ups, they would dependably begin giving me inconvenience - difficult to begin, hard to continue running, hard to push, inadequately designed haggles alterations. So in May of 2009, I chose to, at last, spend the cash and get a top-quality self-pushed trimmer that would keep going quite a while. My first decision was the $329 Craftsman demonstrate 37653 which is front-wheel drive. The businessperson at Sears said that front-wheel drive is better and that is the thing that he utilizes at home. I accepted his recommendation and got the 37653. After utilizing it twice I found that in my thick grass the front wheels slip a lot since they have almost no footing. I was pushing the cutter nearly as much as my old non-impelled model. Furthermore, as the pack loads with grass, more weight is set on the back, diminishing footing on the front wheels considerably more. Likewise, because of a design blemish in the 37653, when you pull it in reverse, the elastic diverter fold gets bitten up by the edge.

I took it back to Sears and with next to no bother, they traded it for the 37436 back pushed the show. They even offered it to me at a similar cost despite the fact that the RWD adaptation was ten bucks more. What a distinction! A lot of footing in even the thickest and heaviest piece of my grass, and as the pack fills, the footing increments. My yard has never looked better-the accuracy cut sharp edge makes for a smooth grass. The redirector on this model doesn't hit the edge, and there is a pleasant window in the highest point of the pack to see when it's full. Additionally, the battery isn't concealed like it was on the 37653, it's in a little battery box behind the motor. The Briggs and Stratton 700 arrangement Platinum motor has huge power- - this thing is a mammoth and never stalls. The electric key begin is astounding. Following one year I've just pulled the rope two or three times. Dissimilar to my different cutters, there is no gag, no preparing, simply turn the key and go. The variable speed is exceptionally pleasant - the harder you press the handle, the speedier you go. This enables me to complete my yard speedier, and I don't feel like I'm going to stroke out as I did in the wake of driving my old manual cutter around. Discharging the grass sack is simple - the entire thing is all around designed and thoroughly considered. To purge, stop the cutter, flip open the spring stacked door 'til it bolts, and lift the sack out. Dump it, bring down it back set up, and when you get the administrator bar, the door snaps down to seal the sack! A turn of the key and you're back to cutting. What a joy it is utilizing this machine. I saw where CR magazine gave the non-electric begin adaptation of this trimmer (37435) its Best Buy rating. That will spare you $40, however, I recommend spending the additional $ and getting the electric begin - you'll welcome it each time you need to stop to expel an appendage or purge the sack. Get this trimmer - you won't be disillusioned. Presently as opposed to fearing to cut the yard, I nearly anticipate it. Practically.

Friends, we are about to break ground!!!  Yippee.  It is an exciting time to commence construction after months of planning, editing and revising the project on paper.  Now, the fun begins. But, before the first jackhammer hits our yard, there are preparations that must be made.  Having been a part of many a construction projects both as the homeowner and as a designer, there are some things that need to happen.

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The construction fence will keep Lucy and Charlie, our sweet dogs, out of harm's way during our project

 

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The gutter downspouts on our house drain into an underground system.  The contractors have ensured that the construction area isn't flooded by rerouting the water into a drain at the base of the driveway.  Overlapping sheets of plywood were installed over our driveway to protect it from the equipment that will be used to dig out the foundation.

PHYSICAL PREPARATIONS:

Each project has a specific scope, but the following  will alleviate some stress from your life as you embark on a construction project

1)  Protect the construction zone.  Use a temporary fencing to separate the work area to keep children, pets and others out of harm's way during your project.  Your contractor should be well versed in how to safeguard your project.

2)  Access to your property.  Determine how your contractor will enter the property.  Consider a lock box with a special code just for the project.  Establish work hours and days of the week.  Check with your local codes as many cities prohibit construction on the weekends and in the evenings.

3)  An Ounce of prevention versus a Pound of cure.   Secure all valuables in your home to avoid the worry about special items.  This protects both your valuables and your contractor.

4)  Keeping it clean.  Before your project begins, determine the expectations for cleaning your job site both inside and outside.  Construction is M.E.S.S.Y. and there is simply no way around some of the dust and dirt that is going to occur.

There are barriers that can minimize the dust that will get into your home.  Discuss how this will be handled prior to groundbreaking.  If construction can be done before connecting to the existing house, that is ideal and reduces the period in which the work is happening in your space.

5)  Temporary provisions.  Invest the time, energy and sometimes a little money in establishing a makeshift space that will suit your family while the most important room in your house is under construction.  This is a BIG one, especially if your kitchen will be impacted by your project.

6) Protecting surfaces.  Make certain that flooring is adequately covered to prevent damage.  Installing barriers to rooms that are not going to be impacted will reduce (but certainly not prevent) dust and dirt.

 

MENTAL PREPARATIONS:

1)  BRING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR!  I really can't stress this one enough.  Many different workers will be a part of your project, even on a small project and keeping your perspective is paramount to the process.  Keeping your interactions positive and maintaining a good relationship with everyone on your project is a key to success.

2)  The unknowns and surprises.  With many projects, especially those on older homes, there are often latent conditions that are discovered during the construction process.  There should always be a contingency line item in your budget for these things.  I generally recommend 10% to 20% depending on the scope of the project.  Hopefully, they will not be significant in terms of cost or time to cure, but many projects are impacted by something not known at the commencement of the work.

3)  Establish a safe zone.  Try to create an area that is free from the noise and dirt of construction for each member of the family.  Whether that is a bedroom, playroom, office or another space; it is ideal to have an area to which you can escape the chaos.

4)  How long it is going to take.  While your contractor has likely done their very best to estimate the length of time your project will take, add at least a 20% cushion to that time in your mind at the outset.  Weather, damaged material, delayed inspections and a multitude of other factors can delay the completion of your project.  You will be far less frustrated if you begin with a longer time horizon in your mind.

5)  Project Expansion.  This is a dicey area in construction.  Once your project commences, it is not uncommon to hear the "While you are doing xyz, maybe we should abc".  Change orders may make total sense for your project.  I have seen the cost of change orders exceed the original cost of the total project.  Be mindful of their impact on both your budget and time horizon.  Modifying the project can really slow the process down.

6)  Eating out and cleaning up.  If finances allow, you might consider getting some additional support in keeping the dust at bay during your project.  Having a Friday cleaning crew work their magic so that your family can enjoy the weekend in a cleaner space may be worth the investment.  Most people find that they have less time and ability to cook meals during a construction project.  Scope out some healthy and cost effective take out solutions so you can pick up dinner on the days that cooking is not in the cards.  Spring and summer projects are a wonderful time to employ the grill and eating outdoors.

While I am on the subject of eating, I usually find that my contractors are so grateful for a treat during the workweek.  Some of my favorite ways to thank those who work on my projects include donuts, breakfast tacos, kolaches or even home baked cookies.  I will sometimes order pizza on a Friday to end the work week with a fun lunch.  No matter what suits you, thanking those hard at work is always a good idea 🙂

Cheers,

Laura

My home is a charming 1929 Tudor Cottage with loads of character...at least from three sides.  What I mean is that some unenlightened soul did a dreadful addition to our little abode circa 1980 and it is quite, well... UGLY.

That is all about to change though!  With the help of a very talent and even more patient architect, Kelly Stockie of Schaub & Srote in St. Louis, we are going to make some major modifications to the exterior elevation while adding a new family room, powder room, en suite bedroom for our teenaged daughter and a lower level covered patio.

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These before photos show some of issues with the inappropriate addition.  The lack of eaves over the west windows and north side of the addition has created wood rot at the drip edge and damaged several of the windows.   Where you see snow, there is rot all along the edge.  If you look closely, you can see several holes where a woodpecker has been busily stabbing the structure.  We are hoping the damage is limited to the exterior siding.

Here is the proposed plan.  Note the centered gable between the two original gables.  The new addition will have reclaimed clay roofing tiles as well as mimic the original stucco with half timbers that proclaim a classic Tudor home.  We have specified simulated divided light double hung windows like the originals and limestone on the lower level.

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I am so excited to see this transformation!  Stay tuned each Friday as we chronicle the progress of our project.

Cheers,

Laura

Window treatments are expensive.  Whether you are considering drapery, blinds or shades they are costly.  Make the very most of the dollars you investment by adding a little creativity to stretch your window covering budget.

In this client's "No Boys Allowed" TV lounge, I added major drama to the simple white linen drapery and roman shade with a large scale navy geometric border.  The vertical pattern was cut into strips and integrated into the panels for a wow impact at a fraction of the cost of using an extra wide tape trim.  For this treatment, I used a 7" border.familyroom2

Since there was not a privacy issue with the window behind the sofa, I used a faux roman shade.  Having a stationary shade required less fabric and I avoided the pricey mechanism required to make the treatment operable.   Adding some bright green fringe creates a cohesive look with the navy, hot pink and lime green story.

 

familyroom3There is also a small 1 inch band of green between the navy border and white linen for a fun little detail on the drapery panels.  While these drapery were custom made, you can use these fun ideas and embellish stock treatments to create your own drapery statement,

Cheers,

Laura

Helping clients remodel a bathroom  is one of my favorite projects.  Taking a dated, dingy space and transforming it into a well designed, crisp, clean and function space is often life changing for my clients.  If you have ever tried getting ready to start your day in a cramped poorly lit bathroom, you know exactly what I mean.  Depending on the specifics of the particular bathroom, plumbing and electrical costs can be significant.  Then, add to that the tangible things such as tile, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, counter tops and lighting to name a few.  It adds up to big dollars pretty quickly.

So....here are my top 5 tips on how to make the most of your remodeling dollars.

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(In this teenaged girls bathroom, we used a prefabricated vivavideo cabinet that included the black granite top and under mounted sink.  I changed the stock silver knobs to these charming hexagon crystal ones for a vintage vibe)

(1) Specify Chrome plumbing fixtures  (They are timeless, easy care and almost always the lowest cost finish)

(2) Find an accent tile and use it as a feature in a small quantity

(3) Consider white subway tile for the best soundbars under 300 dollars shower walls or tub surround.  (It can be installed horizontally with staggered joints, vertically for a more transitional look, in a herringbone pattern for a custom touch)

(4) If at all possible, leave the toilet in its current location. (The plumbing pipe for the toilet is much larger than the pipes needed for sinks, tubs or showers and it is the most costly fixture to relocate)

(5) Add color and pattern.  (This is a low cost way to add pizzazz to your bath. Create interest on the ceiling with a pop of color, fashion stripe with two shades of the same color or try a bold wall covering (make sure you select a paper that is rated for moist spaces) or even use a few colorful accessories to bring your personal style to the space.

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(This marble tile was quite pricey per square foot, but by cutting the 12" square piece into three 4" strips we only need two square feet to make a major impact on this classic black and white bathroom)

I hope these tips get you thinking about how to make the most out of your remodeling dollars!

Cheers,

Laura

April 15, 2015

I am so thrilled to be featured on the fantastic Tobi Fairley blog! Tobi has been my business coach since 2014, my mentor and a true inspiration. She is a phenomenal designer and I have loved working with her and her amazing team! This financially savvy creative mind understands imessage waiting for activation what it takes to run a business...take a look

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This is the week! Starting officially on April 18, the biggest thing in Interior Design begins...High Point Market. Designers from around the globe descend on the town of High Point, North Carolina to see the newest trends in design, connect with vendors, attend continuing education classes and see friends old and new. One of my first stops at this market is going to be CR Laine. Specifically, I am gushing over the Tobi Fairley collaboration that is debuting in a few short days. Tobi's signature style is Bright, Bold and Tailored and the preview of her fabulous collection doesn't dissapoint. The showstopping brass accented chair shown above is going to make its way into one of my projects very soon.

During this week, I will be shopping for a few projects on which I am currently working and looking for pieces to inspire the direction in a couple of others. One of the things I always do while at market is sit, sit, sit and open, open, open. What I mean by that is I check out key pieces in my vendors' offerings and make copious notes about how the upholstery sits and check out the workmanship and attention to detail. I open countless drawers and inspect the little details that tell the tale of quality. There is no substitute for having evaluated a line of furnishings in person and going to market gives my clients the inside scoop on furniture they purchase.

Stay tuned next week as I post my favorite finds from High Point....Happy Monday All!

Cheers,
Laura