The Kitchen Appliance quad-fecta

I rarely come across a kitchen renovation that doesn't need one or more new appliances.  My home's kitchen remodel is no exception. A new appliances package alone can sometimes make a dated kitchen feel updated instantly.

I'm sure you have heard the phrase "The kitchen is the heart of the home". If that's the case, our new home needs some serious cardio work! It is currently yellow and white and we just removed the floral wall paper boarder. While it is clean as a whistle, it all has to go! I called up Habitat for Humanity, and they are coming to take this well kept kitchen to a new home. 

Deciding on an appliance package was fun! One thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to go with black stainless appliances. That did help narrow our search down some. 

Counter depth vs Standard refrigerator. I am a stickler for counter depth fridges. Bottom line, they really help streamline a kitchen. it didn't take long hours for me to settle on our fridge. We were browsing options when I opened the KitchenAid French Door Counter Depth fridge and immediately fell in love! I imagine this thing filled with tons of pretty sparkling water and perfect party trays of fruit and cheese and finger sandwiches, then I remember I have two little ones and live a real life and I know it will be filled with milk, pickles, broccoli and left over spaghetti, but I am still happy! I mean look at this thing! After the fridge was decided on, it was a piece of cake to finish our appliance package.

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Slide In vs. Freestanding range. A freestanding range has the knobs on a panel on the back of the range, and a slide in range has the knobs on the front which provides a sleeker look. I am super excited to go from an electric range for the past 4 years, back to a gas range! I LOVE the look of our new KitchenAid range! 

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Moving on to the dishwasher; Sticking with KitchenAid they offer a peek through window option. It was tempting, but I figured I don’t need to watch my dishes get washed, so we went with the straight forward option that has the awesome modern handle to matches the rest of the appliances.

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Last but not least, while I wish I was someone who didn’t have a use for a microwave, I am not. KitchenAid offers a great convection option that does everything an oven can do, but we decided to save a few bucks and go with the straight forward microwave that completed the package. It's going to be in our dry bar area and we plan on building a custom wood hood for above the range. 

The black stainless is so mod and chic I can't wait to see it all come together.  

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Now to get my kitchen deconstructed and put back together! 

Feel free to leave any comments and questions about these or any appliances below.    

LX

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The kitchen I am currently working with, updates coming soon 

 

 

*All opinions expressed in this post are completely mine. This is not a sponsored post. 

Master Bedroom Recipe

 

 

 

Every room has a recipe when it comes to design. Alana and I speak at a lot of home shows where I break down rooms into recipes and I have had a lot of positive feed back from attendees. On that note, I have decided to go room to room and share my recipes with y'all. Starting with the Master Bedroom Recipe.

This list can help you create a bedroom that will have you dreaming about bedtime all day long. 

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  1. An upholstered headboard can help soften a bedroom and make your bed oh so inviting. 
  2. Night Stands aka Side Tables. If you want to be safe, matching side tables are and beautiful way to anchor your bedside.
  3. Table lamps and bedside accents. Here is a link to a detail blog entry about styling that bedside!
  4. Beautiful Bedding is a must. I always say if you splurge anywhere, bedding should be the place. You retire to your bed and wake up in your bed most days. I LOVE the look of an all white bed. It is just dreamy. If you are going all white be sure to introduce texture. Having fun with bedding is a great way to introduce color into a bedroom.
  5. Don't stop at bedding! You need throw pillows and throws to complete the look. Accent pillows that match or contrast with the bedding are a nice extra layer of design and the throw is the cherry on top. Throws are another great opportunity to add either color or texture, or both!
  6. Lighting! If your room has the ceiling height, put up a gorgeous chandelier! Updating lighting can be a way to give new life to a room without any renovations at all. 
  7. Wall decor: Art or mirrors are great above a bed or above your night stands. The possibilities for this are endless. My old master had mirrors above my night stands, and an awesome reclaimed wood piece we made from some old barn wood above our bed. Not sure what we will be going back with since one bedside has a window next to it and the other doesn't!
  8. If you have the room for a bench or a couple upholstered stools at the end of a bed, go for it! 
  9. Finish the space off with a plant (or two or three) They really help make a room feel fresh.

 

I am super excited to be getting my new master bedroom together! I just ordered this light fixture! Just have to patiently await its arrival, paint and done! Can't wait to share pics!

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The bedroom is the perfect place to find your design personality! Make it yours.  

Happy designing!  

 

 

New Chapter, New Home

I am so excited to announce that we have purchased a new home! My sweet sis, Alana, helped us close on the perfect little house that we will be starting a pretty substantial renovation on in the coming weeks! Eeek! 

One new kitchen, three and a half new baths, living room overhaul, master bedroom re-design, and two sweet kids room coming up! I have renovated homes for so many families in the past several years I am excited to finally be renovating and settling down in our own happy home! 

I will be posting progress and project details along with tips on how to get the designer look in your own home! I am excited to share this journey with you all and hope to give some helpful advice along the way!

I will say, so far this has already been a lot different than designing for a client. I have heard from many designers that designing for themselves is more difficult that it is designing for a client. I have fallen in love with so many of my different styles it has been hard to settle on a style for my personal home! But after 2 months of thinking and debating and changing my mind,  I have decided on a design theme! Will it be bright white and airy, or dark dramatic and moody? Stay tuned!!

 

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Home Sweet Home!  

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Alister was either so excited about our new home, he accidentally put on two different shoes, or he is trying to start a new trend. Hmmm..

 

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Considering my love of plants, this sunroom will most likely end up being my favorite room in the house. Can't wait to renovate this space!  

 

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I have always been more of an indoor plant kinda lady but this house comes with a killer garden filled with a variety of beautiful plants! We have wisteria and we even have our very own fig tree!   

Peaceful and Serene Neutrals

Neutral doesn't have to mean gray, beige or white. If you want to add interest to a room but you don't want to go with a bold bright color, try a colored neutral. I love using blues and greens that are super subtle and pretty much pass as a neutral because they are so easy on the eyes.

Here are some of my go to colored neutrals. I think they work perfectly in a bathroom, master bedroom, or any room you want to feel peaceful and serene in. Do you lean more towards neutral or color when it comes to paint?

colored neutrals 

colored neutrals 

 

 

 

Gray Paint Picks

Is it gray, or grey? One thing is for sure, gray is such a versatile color, it can work in pretty much any space. There are cool grays, warm grays, grays with an undertone of color. 

The following are some of my favorites from Sherwin Williams. Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the gray iceberg!

Repose Gray SW 7015. This is my go to gray hands down. It's the perfect slightly warm gray. And works almost anywhere.

Passive Gray SW 7064. This is a nice cool gray that makes a space feel clean and crisp. It has a slight blueish undertone. Here you can see the same space, painted Passive Gray, in different lights. Color can change so much from one angle to the other. 

Worldly Gray SW 7043. This is one of my favorite go to "greige" colors. For all of you wondering what on earth is greige, greige is a mix between grey and beige. It works when grey is too grey and beige is too brown.

Misty SW 6232. This definitely has a serious blue undertone, but not enough that is screams blue. It is quite subtle and soothing!  

Agreeable Gray SW 7029. Another great greige. This is the perfect neutral to re-paint your home when you want a blank canvas for yourself, or right before you sell. 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly Gauntlet Gray SW 7019. This is a great darker gray. It looks lovely on these cabinets and pairs beautifully with marble. 

The Power of Three

Three is the magic number when it comes to styling your interior.

Think tall, medium, small. Mix sizes, shapes and textures to add layers of interest. I love to cluster pretty vases together and fill just one with flowers. 

When you place accent pieces in threes it helps make the design feel complete. Here are a few detail shots from past episodes that highlight the power of three!

USB, it's where to be!

One of my favorite updates to add to a kitchen, or really any room in the house, that doesn't involve any demo, is swapping out an outlet for one that has a USB port.

It is such a simple update that you can do to add convenience to your space.

I am always on the hunt for a charger in my house. It is hard enough to keep track of the charger cord, especially with kids that are "borrowing" them for their tablets, iPads, or phones, let alone hunting down the cord and the wall plug. You can eliminate one piece of this treasure hunt by installing one of these receptacles in your kitchen, replacing your bedside outlet, or even swapping one out in your bathroom, depending on how often you need to re-charge!

You already have the outlet there, might as well up their function!

 

Planning a Remodel

When planning a remodel there are important steps to take to make the process as smooth as possible. To help minimize surprises during a renovation, here are a few key things to consider before the first swing of a hammer. 

Determine your WANTS and your NEEDS. These two things can be drastically different. And depending on your budget you may only be able to afford what you need. What is the reason for this renovation? If it is to customize your home for you and your family, your wants and needs are very important. If the remodel is to add value to your home so you can sell it quick, and for top dollar, a potential buyers' wants should be considered.

THE BUDGET. Know what you have to spend on your project. Have a contingency fund in case something unexpected comes up like: mold or water damage, termite damage, electrical or plumbing issues that you wouldn't necessarily know about until you start opening up walls. 

THE TIME FRAME. There is a lot of planning that goes into a reno. Are you going to be able to live in the space while the project is going on, or will you have to find accommodations? With my experience the better planned you are before you start demo, the better chance you have of staying in your predicted time frame. Pre-order items that have a long lead time. Cabinets, especially custom cabinets can take weeks to get in. Certain fixtures could be on backorder. Whoever is in charge of ordering things has to stay on top of it. Which leads me to the next important step.

THE CONTRACTOR and DESIGNER. Whoever you go with will be in your home like they are part of the family, so it is ideal if you like them! All the time I spend up close and personal with my clients, I end up becoming good friends with more than half of them. If you don't have a  go to contractor, interview a few, get bids from several and even visit one of their current job sites. You want to have someone that treats your home like they would treat their own. A clean job site is so important! And remember a good contractor is always busy! You may have to book them a month or more in advance. 

Finally, jump in and go with the flow. If you have a good contractor and designer you should be able to sit back, relax, and trust that the job will get done and done right. 

Happy Renovating! 

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Demo day  

Demo day  

After 

After 

Demo day 

Demo day 

After 

After 

Dining Lighting

To follow up with yesterday's post, here are some fab lighting options for above your dining table. There is a nice mix in here, long ones for rectangular tables, semi flush mount if you have 8 foot ceilings but still want the feel of a chandelier in your dining room. Updating your dining area with a new light fixture will instantly freshen up the space!

Roud Table Round Up

There is nothing like gathering around the dining table with friends and family. I love round tables for this. It almost feeling like you aren't only sitting next to one or two people, but you are sitting next everyone. You have a clear line of sight around the whole table. and conversation can flow much easier than sitting at a rectangular table. With that said, I have round up 10 of my fave round table picks. From splurge to steal, there is sure to be one here you could totally picture in your home! Which one is your favorite?

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1. This table is available on Bludot. It comes in this super fun green or a nice neutral black and 2 sizes to pick from.

2.  3. and 4. are all available from Arteriors. As you can tell, I have been swooning over all things Arteriors lately.

5. This is the classic Tulip Table. You can find it many different places. If you want to splurge then grab it at Knoll or a retailer that carries Knoll. For a steal, Dot and Bo makes a replica that is quite affordable.

6. LOVE this table by Jonathan Adler! So fabulous. Definitely a splurge, but well, well worth it. 

7. This is the Saxon table available at Dot and Bo and is a total steal right now. It is neutral and would look great in so many spaces.

8. This is a perfect round farmhouse style pedestal table from Belle Escapes. 

9. Find this table at Pure Home for a steal of a deal.  

10. The Traci table by CMI is a fave of mine. I have used it for several clients homes. There is a built in Lazy Susan in the center!! Enough said. You can find a local retailer on their website. Bliss Home here in Nashville carries this table. Of course every dining table needs light! Dining table lighting up tomorrow. 

Side Table Styling

Every side table deserves some style and personality. Whether it's your bedside table or a table by your favorite chair, make it pretty! 

It doesn't take much. Here's all you need: 

  • A lamp
  • Pretty candle
  • a cool accent item
  • notepad
  • and a little vase with flowers.  (I painted both of these vases myself from jars I had laying around my house)

This first table is the classic Eileen Gray side table. I LOVE how streamline the design is, and that it works well with many different styles. I started this table off with a black desk-style lamp. And of course flowers. The beautiful red roses add a huge pop of color. When styling a side table, or any table for that matter, flowers are a key component. Flowers can bring a space to life almost instantly. I love having them all about my house.  I finished off the table top with a couple trendy jacks and a leather notepad. And thats it! Tons of personality on the table without a whole lot of fuss.

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The second table I actually refinished earlier this week. It has that hollywood regency look with the gold frame and mirrored glass top, so I decided to go with gold accents and pretty white hydrangeas. A lamp is also a great kick off point. It can help you decide which style your table will have. This glass and gold lamp sits real pretty on this table! I threw in a candle and a small accent tray to finish off the look.

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Here are a few more sets of goodies to help inspire your side table style. 

Golden Goodness:

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It's Black and White:

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How to Mirror Glass

I had been meaning to refinish this simple metal and glass side table. I love that antique mirror look so I researched how to do it yourself. I found this spray paint by Krylon called Looking Glass. It's awesome, and the whole process is so easy and quick! The final product turned out beautifully. So I want to share with you how to make your own antique mirror out of glass. 

The table before. 

The table before. 

This is what you will need.

  • Krylon Looking Glass Spray
  • A spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Paper towels

*2 quick notes before starting:

1. The side you spray is going to end up being the back of the mirror. When it is dry and you turn it around, that will be the reflective side. 2. shake shake shake that spray paint before using. And shake in between coats. 

Be sure the glass is very clean before spraying it with anything.  Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. This will be used for antiquing the mirror finish, the paint doesn't stick to the spots that have been misted with the vinegar. 

Mist the glass with the vinegar, then spray with paint. Spray with even slightly overlapping lines. wait one minute, then dab the misted spots with a damp paper towel. Repeat the process, misting it with vinegar as you like. I misted mine before the first two coats, then finished the last three coats without the vinegar. I ended up doing 5 coats. It dries super fast.  

Spritz with vinegar

Spritz with vinegar

One minute after coating with spray paint dab vinegar spots with damp paper towel

One minute after coating with spray paint dab vinegar spots with damp paper towel

After 5 coats. 

After 5 coats. 

Et, Voila! 

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Table after!  

Table after!  


 

Fun. Fresh. Flowers.

We are well into spring, and my favorite part is all the flowers of course! Instead of your traditional vase and bouquet, here are a few fresh ways to bring all the floral fun of spring into your space. 

Most everyone has a jar or two in their fridge that will make a great vase. I hand painted these three jars with liquid gold leaf et voilà, trois vases! 

Hand painted jars make really pretty vases! 

Hand painted jars make really pretty vases! 

If your vase has a wide opening, cut flowers so they rest right on top of the vase to create a vibrant floral pouf on top!

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Single bloom vases are perfectly sweet. One or two of them placed about your space is lovely, or several narrow vases together create a really beautiful display of blooms. 

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White ceramic accents are a fave of mine. This fun fish is actually a pitcher, but doubles beautifully as a vase. Ceramic deer head anyone? Yes please! 

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 Have fun with spring, it comes and goes so quickly! 

 

Grand Opening!!

It's here! The grand opening of LAVA's online store. I am super excited to show off everything we have and post pics of ways to incorporate these items into your space! I will be adding pieces here and there, as I fine tune the store.

Keep an eye out for some custom pieces, coming soon! Alana and I have been brainstorming about different furniture we can't wait to get started on! Our first two end tables are just about done, and we have lots of other awesome things in the works! Stay tuned.

introducing LAVA

My name is Lex LeBlanc. I am an interior designer, home remodeler, and mom of two! I attended New York School of Interior Design where my love for all things interior design grew. After attending NYSID I was lucky enough to work for an amazing interior designer, in NYC, where I learned the ins and outs of how  to run your own interior design business, successfully. 

A big move in 2014 landed me in Nashville, one of the hottest cities on the map right now! While I am still a New Yorker at heart, I have found plenty of room to let Nashville in and am falling in love with it more and more each day. It is the perfect mix of city and country tied together with a big southern comfort bow!

I started LAVA Home Design in 2014, and have had the pleasure of working with so many great families in Nashville. From space planning, furniture selection, home staging, to kitchen and bath remodeling, I'm game for it all. 

I think everyone has a design personality, and I love helping them find it! I am excited to announce the opening of LAVA's home store next week! The place to shop to find the perfect pieces to polish off your space and let your personality shine! For consultations please email me: lex@lexleblanc.com