Saturday, August 27, 2016

Diary of a Kiawah Cottage Remodel and Introducing Hillary

Diary of a Kiawah Cottage Remodel

Kiawah, SC a sea island located near Charleston, SC. My husband and I have a cottage in the historic district of Kiawah.  In Kiawah you either have historic cottages or  new homes. This house came into our lives very unexpectedly through a friend of my husbands nine years ago.  It is a very comfortable house and in a perfect location on West beach. We have loved and enjoyed it to the max, but it is in need of being updated.  After much planning we have finally embarked on the challenge of our remodel. I invite you to follow the progress of the remodel over the course of the next few months.

Let me begin the story by giving you some background on the house. Built in 1976, it is an original Kuwaity house. A style typical of the first homes on the island. Ours follows the trend of the location with ranch style homes, usually three bedrooms, a large living space and a screen porch with a deck. 

A home remodel on every job begins with lots of planning.  Our planning began two years ago with big dreams of a complete remodel to enlarge the house in order to accommodate our large family. Our initial plans included adding a garage with a bedroom and bathroom above it, expanding the kitchen, redoing the bathrooms etc.

Reality set in after the bids went out and the contractors came back with pricing. Needless to say after two years we have scaled back the plans and we are now doing a face lift on the house as opposed to a complete remodel.

The packing is done and the demo has begun. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cool Designs for a Hot Summer

Rosa Plaza Dest, Associate ASID, IDS Professional

Cool Designs for a Scorching Hot Summer!
With temperatures over 100 degrees in many areas of the country, many homeowners are moving inside to enjoy cool air conditioning during the day, and they are waiting to host casual dinner parties Al Fresco once the sun has set.
If you enjoy backyard barbecues, this is a great time of year to do a minor renovation on your kitchen and family room to get ready for the holiday season. I know it sounds crazy to talk about the holidays, but we're half way through the year, and it is almost time to get the kids ready for school. Before you know it, you'll be planning your holiday parties and buying gifts.
There is still plenty of time through early fall to cook outdoors and enjoy the adventure of revamping your kitchen's function or aesthetics, so if you're considering a minor refresh, or major overhaul, here are some great cabinet styles you might consider:
Traditional (
Transitional. (
Contemporary. (
This year, we are seeing clean lines and minimal details in kitchens. The real key is to design the kitchen for easy maintenance and timeless design. Here are the "Before" and "After" photos from one of my recent projects.

As you see, we changed the countertop, backsplash, cabinet color and added a new island, appliances, and light fixture. Even though this was not a full-scale remodel, we were able to achieve our client's goal of updating the look of his kitchen by making simple material and aesthetic changes.

My favorite features include the black walnut table that became the island, and the contemporary light fixture that adds an industrial feel. Which are your favorite features? By the way, that's a great question to ask your spouse or friends to get your design projects in motion.

Whether you are planning a simple update or a full-scale remodel, engaging the services of a design professional will ensure that your results are spectacular and that your investment is carefully considered. If you are interested in a design consultation, contact Rosa at
P.S. If you love the idea of being your own designer and need advice from a professional to avoid making costly mistakes, I can review your selections and help you create a design solution that incorporates your vision!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Are You Contemporary?

Sleek clean lines, high sheen, natural finishes, dramatic or colorful finishes, and flat cabinetry are just a few signs you're loving a contemporary kitchen.  To nail this minimalist look your selections are key!  We especially love seeing this look in smaller spaces, as it serves as a highly functional look to maximize your space.  If you’re ready to take the plunge and update your own traditional look, here are a few good places to begin considering the transition.

Carefully selecting your materials can create just the mood you’re looking for.  Metal, concrete, glass, and wood veneer are just a few finishes that look fantastic in contemporary kitchens.  All are highly customizable to represent your tastes and lifestyle.  Selecting finishes with texture and movement can help warm up the more minimalist contemporary look.

This is your place to shine, pun totally intended!  Creating a total look can be achieved through carefully selected lighting fixtures.  Layering your lighting gives you both function and a noteworthy aesthetic that really enhances your space and keeps it from appearing cold.  Adding recessed cans for overall illumination and under cabinet LED strip lights to provide task lighting will help you achieve a thoughtful, layered look.  The minimal nature of a contemporary kitchen is an excellent opportunity to choose an oversized pendant or drum fixture and really make a statement.

Your finish selections here are are crucial to pulling off the look!  Sleek natural finishes and high sheen lacquers accented with frosted glass can help you create that contemporary feel.  There is also so much choice in color.  Think a daring chartreuse or bold cobalt!  And of course your hardware is another excellent way to personalize your kitchen with a variety of finishes in clean, sleek silhouettes.

Here in Charlotte we still love our decorative trim and faux finishes but there is a growing demand for contemporary kitchens, moving with the national and international design trends.  It’s exciting to really get to understand my clients’ and tastes and lifestyles and I always look forward to each unique project and their final unveiling.  Where do you land on contemporary kitchens?  We love to hear about your style!

Have a great day,