Happy August 31st, i.e. my kids' first day of school!  They were so excited to see all their friends, and are ready to tackle 2nd and 5th grade.  This school year is a little bittersweet for me since it is the last elementary school year for my older son.  It will also be the last year that both of my boys will be in the same school together... at least until their freshman and senior year in high school. #growinguptoofast

Anyway, back to the actual post topic - our floors!  The new hardwood floors have started to go in.  We are "FLOORed" with how they look!  What a transformation already...

SLCC Milky Way Collection Venus modern farmhouse interior design house remodel

We actually hit a little snag with the wood; but in hindsight, it proved to be a "better" and more "timeless" result.  You see, the floor boards that arrived are a darker hue than the sample wood we based our selection on.  We did expect some variation with the hue typical unless wood is stained onsite; however, the planks that came were darker than expected.  So, although we were inclined to install a lighter tone for this house, we went ahead and installed these floors and they look amazing.  We love their "rich warmth", and they definitely look more classic.

With the floors underway, the appliances can be scheduled for delivery, and the kitchen kick plates and cabinetry baseboards can soon be installed.  We can also start thinking about the moldings that will run the span of the house...

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The "Non" Gallery Wall

Gallery walls are quite popular, and rightfully so.  When properly curated, they can make an artful impact that connects various collected pieces.  While I do love a gallery wall, I also appreciate the simplicity of having just a single piece of artwork make a statement on the wall.

Designed by Arent & Pyke

Designed by Tamara Magel Studio

Designed by Leverone Design

Designed by Sally Carson Interiors

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Sharing Recent Finds

A huge part of pulling design plans together is sourcing items, whether it be fabric, accessories/decor, lighting, or furniture.  I thought I'd share a few things that I've come across and have my eye on!

I love the "live edge" organic detail of the wooden legs on these tables.  So much texture too...  I am also a big fan of nesting tables, so this is a win-win piece of furniture in my book.

I love the exposed natural wood frame and non-traditional "wingback" design of this accent chair.  If you're on the hunt for an accent chair, this one is currently on sale.

Copper/gold accents is trending big-time in interior design.  Pick up one or two of these pendants and you'll be stylin'! :)  These wood and steel pendants would look great above a kitchen island or as an alternative to bedroom table lamps.  They provide so much texture.

A bench is a great alternative to traditional counter stools not to mention unexpected.  I like the antique brass nailhead trim detail of this one, plus you can customize the upholstery based on a wide selection of fabrics.  This particular fabric is called "Belize Taupe".

European Oak Floors

After months of sourcing and bringing home different wood samples, we finally made a decision on the new hardwood floors.  We definitely took our time with the selection since the new wood will cover all of our common living areas - living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, entryway, hallways.

We selected a 7 1/2" wide-plank European oak engineered hardwood.  The planks are nice and wide, exactly what I wanted.  The hue is a mid-tone brown - neither too light nor too dark.  The planks have some variation, so the floor should provide lots of warmth, texture, and dimension.

Installation is scheduled for the end of this month.  Needless to say, I am quite anxious to see them installed.  Follow me on Instagram for more frequent updates on our renovation progress!

Engineering the Kitchen

Well, hello there!  I am back after a family vacation last week.  Every year, our little family goes on a spring and summer trip.  Although we weren't sure if we could squeeze one in this year, we managed to get away despite the renovations happening in our home.  It was just what we/I needed.  Renovations are stressful enough, but living in your home during the process can take its toll...especially if enduring a kitchen renovation!

Today, I wanted to talk about what makes a kitchen truly function, i.e. the appliances!  I consider appliances to be the "engine" of the kitchen.  Without them, a kitchen doesn't function.  I know this first-hand.  Prior to our renovation, we lived without a working oven or dishwasher for two long years.  Lacking a dishwasher wasn't a big deal, but not having a functioning oven was.  Toaster oven to the rescue sorta!

Anyway, when my husband and I would talk about renovating the kitchen, I kept showing him my "dream" appliances.  Ha!

CAD INTERIORS kitchen renovation appliances

He had to pick up his jaw off the floor after seeing the price tag! :) But I knew that the appliances were going to be the largest expense in this reno aside from the custom cabinetry.  Read here about our kitchen priorities.

We ultimately compromised on our appliance package.  Darn budget!  We didn't take advantage of those "appliance bundle specials", but we did compromise.  We spent some time researching the "best" appliances we could afford relative to reliability, durability, functionality, aesthetics, and cost.  We ended up purchasing a combination of professional grade and "regular" appliances.

Here is a preview of our appliances:


CAD INTERIORS kitchen renovation appliances interior design kitchen design

Deep in my design heart, I knew I wanted a 36" or 48" professional grade range. :)  It cooks/bakes well, looks great, and we don't intend to replace it.  We are quite frugal and practical by nature, but are willing to "invest" where we see fit.  The "upgrade" to a professional range in our remodel is also consistent with neighborhood comps.

Tip:  When selecting appliances and materials for a kitchen, make sure your decisions support the neighborhood and general area in which you live.  Be careful about overspending or cutting corners.  You should see a return on your renovation investment if you make wise functional and aesthetic decisions.

We didn't end up with the Wolf range, but got the Thermador 36" professional convection gas range instead.  (Side note: I really wanted the 48" range (for the second oven), but the cost...oh my!)  We had narrowed our choices down to the Wolf and Thermador lines from the very beginning.  Both had strong reviews, consumer satisfaction, and reliability.  Thermador's promotion at the time, however, helped sway our decision.  Keep reading to see what we got for free!


This is where we went the "regular" route.  My husband and I both wanted a built-in refrigerator/freezer for its completely integrated appearance, longevity/durability, and proven refrigeration qualities (supposedly keeps food like fruits and veggies fresher longer).  But the price tag was just too heavy for us (>$10k for the size we wanted).  Instead, we took advantage of a "flash" sale and bought this refrigerator for $2,799.00 (normally retails for ~$3,500-3900).

CAD INTERIORS kitchen renovation appliances interior design counter depth built in refrigerator

When searching for a refrigerator/freezer, we preferred a side-by-side unit over the popular "french door" styles.  It wasn't an easy search since side-by-side units seem to be more limited these days (especially counter-depth options), plus I was also particular about the handles.  I wanted it to look "professional" and consistent with the handles on the other appliances.

CAD INTERIORS kitchen renovation four dour refrigerator interior design appliances

Enter the Samsung 4-door refrigerator/freezer.  What a complete 360!  Not what we had envisioned at all...  Have you ever seen a 4-door refrigerator/freezer?!  It is fairly new in the United States, but very popular in Europe.

This Samsung unit has a "triple cooling" system that is supposedly similar to the refrigeration characteristics of traditional built-ins.  Its counter-depth design also allows us to recess the unit into the cabinetry to achieve a built-in look.  The unit is also taller than other counter-depth units, which is a nice trait.  The upper compartments actually open to a "french door" concept, so I'll be able to store large platters and such as necessary.  It also has efficient LED lighting that illuminates the inside.

CAD INTERIORS kitchen renovation appliances interior design counter depth refrigerator

Perhaps one of this refrigerator's most unique features other than having four doors is that one lower compartment can be used as either a refrigerator or freezer.  This can prove handy if you want to use it as a wine/beverage refrigerator when entertaining. :)

Speaking of wine/beverage refrigerators... We actually planned for a built-in beverage refrigerator in the kitchen island.  One of the cabinets was customized to the dimensions of standard beverage centers.  An electrical outlet was also installed ahead of time.  A good beverage refrigerator is quite expensive (>$1k), so we opted to hold off on buying one for now.  In the meantime, I have other plans for how the cabinet will be used!


CAD INTERIORS kitchen renovation appliances Bosch stainless steel

Remember the Thermador promotion I mentioned above?!  Well, we scored a FREE built-in Emerald Pro dishwasher with our range purchase.  Yay!  I mean, the range (and refrigerator) was no drop in the bucket, so every bit helps.  This pro dishwasher is actually made by Bosch, which is a Thermador sister company.  I love that the handle matches that of the range!

I can't wait until our appliances arrive and I can start cooking again!  The kitchen is in the home stretch, and I cannot wait to "move" back in. :)

P.S.: Thanks for your understanding for the limited blog posts this summer.  It's been crazier here, between the kids being out of school, persevering through this round of home renovations, and keeping up with ongoing design projects.  I'm hoping to get back to a more regular posting schedule in a few weeks.

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Design Trend: "Cone" Light Fixtures

Cone-shaped light fixtures are one of the most popular trends in decorative lighting these days.  The inverted "cone" shape is certainly striking.  Their simple shape works well with all design aesthetics, ranging from traditional to contemporary.

kitchen island lighting modern transitional traditional interior design decorating rejuvenation butte cone pendant

butte cone pendant rejuvenation black accent kitchen lighting modern traditional transitional interior design decorating

Cone lights come in different variations of styles, colors, and materials.  Here are just a few options...

industrial modern transitional lighting kitchen dining interior design decorating

modern transitional industrial traditional kitchen accent lighting interior design decorating

modern transitional contemporary cone lighting interior design decorating kitchen dining accent lighting

brass lighting accent lighting modern transitional contemporary interior design decorating

brushed nickel modern transitional contemporary kitchen dining accent lighting interior design decorating

Cone pendants are a unique option when hung above a bedside or end table.  I personally really love how they look over a kitchen island...

white cone pendants kitchen dining accent lighting modern transitional traditional interior design decorating
image via Home Bunch

... or dining table!

modern transitional contemporary accent light fixtures dining kitchen interior design decorating
Monolithic House designed by Brain Factory

A single, oversized cone pendant can also really make a focal design statement in a room!

large scale light cone shaped accent lighting interior design decorating modern traditional transitional
Designer: Geoffrey de Sousa

Cone-shaped lights are certainly contenders in my hunt for the perfect kitchen island fixtures!

*Some affiliate links used

Designing with Ikea

Ikea has really stepped up its game lately.  I am quite impressed with some of its recently launched furnishings and decor.  Ultimately, Ikea does "simple and streamlined" quite well, a quality of Scandinavian design.

ikea furniture and accessories home decor interior design e-design interior decorating

I pulled together a mood board that shows you how you can create a comfortable, colorful, and casual living space using only Ikea furnishings and decor.  This top-to-bottom living room design is also very friendly on your wallet!

ikea interior design decorating home decor accessories e-design

Everything in the design board sans tv is from Ikea - accessories and plant included!  Total cost was approximately $2,188.00.  Realistic.  Affordable.  Doable.

On a side note: We personally don't have many Ikea pieces to have a strong opinion either way; however, from a quality/price standpoint, the Ikea products that we do own have withstood the test of time and have proven durable.

eclectic modern ikea interior design decorating home decor accessories e-design transitional modern seating

I added a fun accent seating area that put the FUN in functional.  A small chest of drawers, which was used as an end table, is not only practical, but it also brings a happy dose of color!  The orange table lamp adds unexpected whimsy, and ties in the color of the orange from the wall art and sofa accent pillow.  Adding the sheepskin rug layer over the larger black and white area rug helps segment the sitting nook while adding softness and texture... and more of the unexpected!

My favorites from the room design are probably the blue locker-style storage cabinet (which also comes in other colors) and woven rattan pendants.  I also love all the pillow covers! :)

Interested in a customized room design?  Feel free to contact me for a quote.

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