A few weeks ago, Elise and I were invited to attend the Dazzling Design event hosted by Momtrends. At the event, we were able to tour the home of interior designer Maria Drattel and hear her design tips as well as those from fellow interior designer Jill Vegas and visual artist Sam Simon. As part of the event, the attendees were asked to submit their design dilemmas, two of which would be chosen for a live design consultation. Not one to pass up design advice, I submitted my kitchen design dilemma and was selected! I thought I would share with you some of the great advice I got and some of the tips I learned from the event.
For my design consultation, the backstory is this: our kitchen is in relatively good shape having been renovated only five years ago by the previous owner. Since moving in, we have repainted, upgraded the lighting, replaced the dishwasher and refrigerator, changed the cabinet hardware and done this project. But for someone who loves to cook, I find the counter space to be lacking. I've tucked away what appliances I could but the storage space is a bit limited as well. Lastly, we have done little to decorate this space and make it feel like home.
Maria's suggestions and a few of the items she recommended:
- Add an island for instant counter and storage space (Pictured: Cossatot Island by Bradley)
- Paint cabinets off-white to match back to stove and reduce amount of wood finishes
- Add textiles for warmth and personality (Pictured: Heraldic Wool Dhurrie Rug and Savita Runner by Sundance)
- Move memo board to an interior spot to minimize visual clutter
- Upgrade phone to something more emotional (and equally functional) (Shown: Retro Rotary Phones by Grandin Road)
- Add shelving or cabinetry (Shown: Varda shelf by Ikea)
Images courtesy of Grandin Road, Ikea, Bradley Furniture and Sundance Catalog.
I'll be investigating these recommendations over the next few weeks. I have already been taping out some space on the kitchen floor to see what size island we can fit. I'm also super-excited about painting the cabinets. I'll be back with updates as they come!
And as for the words of wisdom we heard at the event, here are my favorites.
Top tips from Maria:
- Painting. Semi-gloss paint makes doors, door frames and mouldings stand out and hold up better than flatter finishes. Use eggshell for painting walls for a tiny bit of sheen.
- Taking Your Time. Buy one great thing a year and take your time collecting your pieces. Have an emotional connection to everything. It's so much more interesting when you acquire pieces it slowly.
- Quality. Quality is so important. Don't just buy a brand name. Buy the best quality you can afford. Her example: buy the best doorknobs and sit on the floors for a year because you're opening doors all the time and it needs to feel good.
- Retailers. Some of the retailers that she recommended were: Design Within Reach, CB2, Home Decorators, Shades of Light, Sundance, Garnet Hill, Viva Terra and Conran
Top tips from Jill:
- Passion. Everyone has their passion in life. It's important to nurture and pursue that.
- Seeing the Potential. You need to be able to see past your existing furnishings to see the bones of your room to understand its full potential.
- Furniture. Find a way to translate your personal style to your furniture so that it reflects who you are. Mix up styles. Invest in pieces that will last and the less you have, the better.
- Dressing the Walls. Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to make a change. Try wallpaper. Start small with a single wall if you're tentative about color or wallpaper. Be creative about how you get art and support local craftsmen and artisans. Use mirrors to bring light and shine.
- Banish Beige, Use Color. Paint the inside of a bookcase. Shellac the inside of a closet hot pink. Adding color is adding a breath of fresh air.
Top tips from Sam:
- Focal Points. Use a room's architectural details or art to create focal points. They direct the eye and give a room purpose.
- Color Palette. Use only three colors to keep a room from getting too chaotic and visually cluttered. (This lesson was learned courtesy of a cake baking class!)
A great time was had by all. Please check out our Facebook page for more photos from the event including some highlights from Maria's stylish and comfortable home. A hearty thanks go to Maria, Jill and Simon for their words of wisdom and to the fine folks at Momtrends for having us!
The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone. I was invited to submit my home design challenge to Momtrends for the event and they selected me. I was not compensated for writing this post.