External and internal decorations

"A designer knows when he has reached perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away."

Antione de Sainte-Exupery

Do you have that one room on your house that has given you nothing but headaches? No matter what you’ve tried, nothing seems to work. You add something, take something away, tweak here, rearrange there, add new curtains, take those curtains away, add lamps, move the lamps. All of that and more, and it just doesn’t seem to come together? If you’ve been around here long, you know that for me, my living room is that thorn-in-my-side room that I just haven’t managed to get right. I shared my most recent plans for that room in yesterday’s post. If you missed that, you can see it here… New Sofa, New Living Room Layout Never in the history of ever has a room given me so much trouble. That’s not to say that I haven’t redone things in other rooms, because obviously I have. But I have other areas of my house that I got right on the first try. My pantry is one room that I got right on my first try… You can see more of that room here… My Finished Butler’s Pantry — Before & After I also got my breakfast room finished the first go ’round. Although […]

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New gray chenille living room sofa

I bought a new living room sofa yesterday! And within an hour, it was delivered to my house. Y’all, I LOVE immediate gratification!! 😀 Okay, let me back up a bit. Y’all know how much I’ve struggled with my living room, right? In the six years that we’ve lived in this house, I’ve never once gotten that room right. And by “right,” I mean that it has never felt right to me. One of the biggest issues I’ve had is furniture arrangement. There’s a wall with a doorway into the kitchen, another wall with two windows and a fireplace in between, and another wall with three windows side-by-side. And then there’s the end with the front door, which is all still in the same room, but I’ve wanted to create a separation between that end of the room as an “entryway” and the other end as a living room. I’ve tried several different furniture arrangements in there. At one point, I tried placing the sofa so that when you walk into the front door, the back of the sofa is on the right, which created a faux “entryway” feeling. Here’s an old picture that shows that arrangement… I tried that […]

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Have you ever been startled awake at night with a thought — a sudden realization that comes rushing out of the recesses to the forefront of your mind with such force that in an instant, you go from sound alseep to wide awake? I hate it when that happens, especially because during the night, anxiety and worry are magnified. Things that seem easily manageable during the daylight hours seem overwhelming during the night. Anyway, that happened to me in the wee early hours of this morning, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. The thought that brought me out of my restful sleep? We have about one month before our bedroom and hallway remodel starts! ONE MONTH! And I haven’t done one single thing to prepare for it. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, we’re about to embark on Phase 1 of a remodel that will be done in three phases. During this Phase 1 remodel, the two extra bedrooms will be rewired, insulated, redrywalled, and will get new windows. We’ll also be moving around some walls that will affect the hallway, so we’ll also take that opportunity to fix the damage done to the hallway floor […]

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studio front wall with floral wallpaper coral cabinets and black pendant lights

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my studio cabinets, and exactly how I want those to look. I’ve got a lot of decisions to make before I can start building them. Do I want the upper part to be open shelves? Enclosed with cabinet doors? Do I want the two floor-to-ceiling cabinets on the ends to be one solid unit? Or do I want a countertop extending all the way to the side walls with the upper cabinet sections sitting on top of the countertop? But the main thing I’m trying to decide on is color. No, I’m not changing my mind on the color. I’m sticking with my decision to use the same Benjamin Moore Bird Of Paradise color that I have on my front door, as well as the side studio door. But I’m just not quite sure how I want to use that color. And the more I think about it, the more I think that using that color on ALL of the cabinets in the room might be overkill. In this case, too much of a good thing might, in fact, be way too much. The studio, when finished, will have a whole lot of […]

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I finally made myself mix new paint colors for the section of my bathroom wall that I had left unpainted for some unknown reason. I’m guessing that I ran out of one of the colors, thought to myself, “I’ll finish up tomorrow,” and then forgot and convinced myself that the walls were finished since that section of wall isn’t visible from the back entry. And now, it’s five months later, and I’m just now getting around to finishing up that small section of wall. I’ve already written a post with with the step-by-step instructions for creating this walls design, which you can find here… DIY Geometric Ombre Square Spiral Wall Design – Finished! But since I had to mix all new paints to finish the wall, I wanted to test out the colors on a scrap piece of drywall before putting them directly on the bathroom wall. Since I was doing this test design anyway, I thought I’d do a video and show y’all how I created the design from beginning to end. You can check it out here… Having trouble? You can click here to watch on YouTube. As it turns out, all of my colors were spot on […]

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half bathroom walls with picture frame molding and baseboards installed

I finally had time this weekend to make some headway on the trim on the lower walls of the half bathroom. While I didn’t get it all installed (thanks to blog technical issues that devoured hours of my time…ugh!), I still managed to get most of the picture frame molding, baseboards, and base cap installed. I still need shoe molding on these walls before I can move on to wood filling, sanding and caulking. I know some of you were concerned about how underwhelming the lower walls were compared to the vibrant upper walls, and suggested that the lower walls might need color. This is how it looked before… But I think that the addition of the trim helped to add some visual weight to the lower walls to balance what’s happening above the chair rail. And again, it still needs shoe molding, so that’ll add one more final detail at the floor. I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the wall under the window, but I ended up going with one large picture frame rather than breaking it up into two or three. I think multiple frames on that wall would have looked too busy. I really like how […]

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half-bathroom-progress-9-27-19-tile-wainscoting-border-installed-and-grouted

I ended up taking the whole day off on Wednesday, so I didn’t have a half bathroom update to share yesterday. But yesterday, I got busy and finished up the tile. I thought that I could get the tile finished and the rest of the trim installed, but I was so wrong! I have no idea why the tile took so long. It’s just a small border in a tiny room, and part of it was already installed. And yet, it’s the only thing I got done yesterday, and it took me a ridiculous amount of time to finish. Oh, well. Some projects are just like that. 🙂 But I’m so glad to have it finished. I always love seeing the big difference that grout makes on tile. If you’ll remember, this is what it looked like before… And here it is now, all grouted and bright. It seems like every time I install tile, there’s a pretty long lag between the install and the grout, and I get used to seeing the tile with the dark shadows between them that look like black or dark gray grout lines. And I always think, “Ugh, that’s not how that tile was […]

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We are on site at the Woolwich Town Hall where we are building a new office facility in the basement. The internal remodelling works on... Read more »

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New Cross, London, SE14 6NW Summary of Works: Internal remodelling and structural alterations of two science teacher training rooms to the 3rd floor of the... Read more »

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As our External and Internal Refurbishment works come to completion on the Alberta Estate in SE17 our Resident Liaison Officers have been actively strengthening our... Read more »

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London, SE17 Our Community Engagement! As our External and Internal Refurbishment works come to completion on the Alberta Estate in SE17 our Resident Liaison Officers... Read more »

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St. George’s Road, West Square, London, SE11 4SN Client: London Borough of Southwark Description of works: Installation of a new commercial kitchen with new equipment,... Read more »

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Works have started at Haberdashers House in New Cross for Centrepoint where we are undertaking internal refurbishment and remodelling works to provide living accommodation for... Read more »

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Can you believe it’s already September…and this month is almost halfway gone?! This year has flown by so quickly! And somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost sight of my overall master list of 2019 home goals. I’ve been focused on the studio for so long now (most of this year!) that other areas have been completely neglected. As much as I’d love to have the studio finished, I also need to work around our central Texas weather. Cabinet building (which is the one last huge project that needs to be done in the studio) can be done inside and during the winter. So with cooler weather on the way, I want to be prepared to get some outdoor projects done! Our temps generally stay in the 80s and 90s through September, but in October, we typically see some 70-degree weather at least on some days. And that’s the perfect time to get stuff done outside! I was looking over my 2019 home goals list to see what outdoor projects I had planned for this year. Here’s what I had on that list… Build and install five window boxes Add a watering system on a timer for the […]

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Thank you so much for all of your input on my post about solutions for creatives’ aging eyes. Your comments were very insightful, and I think what surprised me the most was how many of you love the monovision option! I hadn’t expected that at all. I had my eye appointment Tuesday afternoon, and I was so excited and hopeful that I’d find a perfect solution that would have me seeing with crystal clear vision at all distances. Sadly, that did not happen, and I’ve grown increasingly frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged since then. To be clear, it’s not my eye doctor’s fault. He’s amazing, incredibly patient, very knowledgeable, and I trust him thoroughly. The problem is my eyes. My crazy, frustrating eyes. After explaining my situation and how I spend my days working on projects, the first solution he proposed was monovision contacts. And after testing to see which of my eyes was the dominant eye, he put me in a contact for distance in my right eye, and a contact for near vision in my left eye. It was awful. 🙁 I know so many of you said to give it time so that my eyes can adjust, but […]

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half bathroom progress - 9-24-19 - new framed mirror

I had a rather productive day yesterday! I made a new framed mirror, installed crown molding, and installed the rest of the chair rail trim. You can see my progress here… Having trouble with that video? You can see it on YouTube here. So part of my day was spent redoing an item on my list that had already been done and crossed off — the mirror. But I’m much happier with version two of the mirror. That oval mirror I had installed was one that I received free for my hallway bathroom remodel back in 2015. But the scale just seemed way off to me, so I decided to make a larger mirror. I like this one so much better! To my eye, the scale seems much better with the vanity. It’s almost identical to the one I did in the hallway bathroom. You can see the details of that project here… Easy DIY Vanity Mirror With Sconces That mirror is incredibly easy to do. The nutshell version is that I purchased a 24 x 30 beveled bathroom mirror at Home Depot, attached it to the wall with double-sided mirror tape and mirror mastic, and then built the frame […]

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I didn’t get a whole lot crossed off of my to do list yesterday, because I spent quite a bit of time going over the to do list, making another list of materials and supplies I need to get everything done, and heading to Home Depot. That always takes longer than expected, but I did still manage to get some work done when I got home. You can see my progress here… Having trouble with that video? You can watch it here on YouTube. I finally have a ceiling light installed. For that light, I opted for a large, round, simple LED light that kind of looks like a solar tube. I also saw a vanity light that I really liked, so I swapped that out. I got the mirror hardware painted and installed the mirror, but I don’t think I like it. It just looks small and skimpy, and I really prefer the more substantial look of the mirror in the hallway bathroom… So I might wait a couple more days and see if this oval mirror grows on me, or you might see a post from me tomorrow showing a new mirror. 🙂 I got the vanity raised […]

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half bathroom - countdown to completion - the to do list - 5

Y’all, enough is enough. It’s time for me to get my studio half bathroom finished, and the only way I’m going to do that is by bringing back the daily accountability posts. Remember when I did those during the last few weeks of the pantry remodel? This happens in every room remodel I do. I get to a certain point, and I lose interest because most of the big stuff is done, and it’s nothing but the tedious detail projects that I really dislike, like the wood filling and caulking. Plus, in this room, there’s molding that needs to wrap around a weird pipe for the toilet that I don’t know how to do, so I procrastinate and avoid it altogether. The fact is that I’d rather be sewing pink draperies for my living room than grouting and caulking and installing challenging molding in a bathroom. But I need to put my big girl pants on and get this done. THEN I can reward myself with a fun project. So as of today, here’s what needs to be done to finish this room. I have a video walkthrough showing what needs to be done… Having trouble with that video? Click […]

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If you’re a regular visitor here, you know that I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for a while, and this past June, I invited people to join me on a 60-day keto challenge. Well, that challenge went great! We had an amazing group of people who saw all kinds of success — both weight loss as well as non-scale victories. So I wanted to share my own progress, as well as some testimonials from a few others (although I won’t be sharing names or other identifying information), because I have a new 60-day challenge starting this Saturday, and you’re invited to join! Now I know you’re thinking, “Kristi, why share this here and not on your keto blog?” Well, the main reason is because this blog has an exponentially larger audience, and I believe that this information needs to reach as wide an audience as possible. And that fact was driven home the other day when one of my favorite keto doctors, Dr. Ken Berry, posted a series of charts on his Instagram account showing the explosion of obesity in America. Just scroll through these and really let this sink in… I scrolled through those with my mouth hanging open […]

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new snow white quartz countertop for half bathroom

Y’all, I can finally get back to the studio half bathroom and get that finished up because the new quartz countertop was installed yesterday! And I absolutely love it. I had originally made my own DIY countertop out of MDF and resin. If you missed that project, you can check it out here… DIY MDF Bathroom Countertop For An Undermount Sink Here’s how that countertop looked… That countertop looked great until I decided that the resin I had used (which was perfectly fine and durable) wasn’t right for a countertop, so I ordered a different brand and did a second coat of resin. After a month of curing, that second coat had turned my beautiful bright white countertop into a horrible and yellowed antique white. You can see the original bright white color that I mixed into the resin compared to the month-old yellowed counterop here… Ugh. Horrible. Had I just left the countertop alone after the first resin pour, I think it would have been fine. But something with horribly wrong with that second coat of resin using a different brand. Anyway, as many of you encouraged me to do, I headed to a local countertop place and found […]

The post Studio Bathroom Back On Track! (New Quartz...

fabrics for living room with dark gray loveseat fabric

My living room has been neglected for quite some time now, left in a state of limbo where it’s usable but still not quite finished. And since it is usable just like it is, I really hadn’t planned on focusing on it any time soon. But if you know anything about me, then you know that when inspiration hits me, I have to respond. So the other day, I was sitting and scrolling through Instagram, just minding my own business. I had no plans or motives other than to entertain my brain for a few minutes. But then it happened. I saw a room with gorgeous pink draperies, and the thought hit me like a ton of bricks that THAT’S what my living room needs! PINK DRAPERIES!! Okay, so let me back up. If you’ve been around here for long, you know how I’ve struggled to pull my living room together. Never in the history of ever have I had so much trouble pulling a room together than I’ve had with my living room. After struggling for so long, I finally bought this amazing rug (which is still available, and on sale right now!) But the dark gray fireplace seemed […]

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diy-alcohol-ink-and-resin-coasters-closeup

This past weekend was all about easy and fun projects for me. This is the first of three that I’ll share with y’all this week — DIY coasters made from ceramic tiles, alcohol ink and resin. I had approximately 1,000 other things that I probably should have been working on this week, but as y’all know by now, I’ve been having issues with my eyes. If you missed that saga, you can catch up here… My Aging Eyes Revisited — Frustration and Dwindling Options The short version is that after trying out monovision contacts and realizing very quickly that those absolutely wouldn’t work for me, I tried the multifocal contacts. I’ve been wearing those every day for the last few days, and I think I might be getting used to them, but they’re still bothering me just a bit. My main issue is with my near sight. Anything the distance of a computer screen or dashboard on my car is fantastic. But closer than that, and things start to get a bit blurry, and small print still requires reading glasses. So I was doubting that I’d even be able to work on projects using these contacts without the headache of […]

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The Internal and External Refurbishment works are now complete to Grade II listed buildings at Webber Row. This project has been completed for the London... Read more »

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how to wood fill, sand, caulk and paint window and door trim 2

I spent some time working on the studio yesterday and trying to get the window trim finished. I installed the casings quite a while back, but they still needed wood filling, sanding, caulking and painting. And since this is a process that so many of you have asked me about, I decided to do a video of the products and the process that I use. But first, if you missed the tutorial on how I create my very simple window and door casings (no miter cuts!) that look fancy and custom, you can find that here: How I Trim My Windows And Doors (Easy DIY Window Casings With No Miter Cuts!) Even though this style of trim looks fancier than the standard door and window casings with the mitered corners, this is actually a much better style for someone with very little experience using a miter saw. Since all of the cuts require a simple 90-degree cut, and there are no mitered corners to deal with, it’s deceptively simple. Anyway, my trim has been installed for a while now, but I finally got around to actually finishing one window (and almost finishing the other two) yesterday. So if you’d like […]

The post How To Wood Fill, Sand, Caulk, and Paint Trim — My Process and Preferred Products [VIDEO...

I know this isn’t my usual type of post, but I’d really love any input from those of you who have been through this, have had to deal with your aging eyes, and have found a solution that works really well for you. I’d especially love to hear from those of you who are creative types who are continually working on projects, whether it’s sewing, painting, building, or anything else like that. The bottom line is that ever since I turned 40 (ummm…that was six years ago!), I’ve noticed my near vision changing. For a long time, it was just a bit annoying, but now it’s to the point that something really needs to be done because it’s affecting literally every single project I work on these days. In order to clearly see any project I work on that’s relatively close to my face (i.e., the distance between my eyes and the top of my new work table), I have to put my glasses as far down my nose as possible like this… …which is totally impractical because half the time, I’m working outside using my saws, and my glasses just slip right off of my sweaty nose. If I […]

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I’ve officially completed my first art project (and video!) in my studio using my new, awesome work table. Y’all, I’m going to have so much fun in there creating projects and videos to share with you. For now, I’m in the mood to do some easy and artistic projects, but the building, sewing and upholstery projects will be coming in the future, so if those are the things you’re interested in, stay tuned! But for today, I want to show you how I turned a simple serving tray (that I found on sale at JoAnn Fabrics) into a function piece of artwork using acrylic paints, gold leaf, and resin. Having trouble with that video? You can click here to watch on YouTube. Here’s what you’ll need for this project: Serving tray – you can use either metal or wood Acrylic paints in your choice of colors – I used six colors of craft acrylic paints and art acrylic paints Floetrol Water Mixing cups/jars Stir sticks Gloves Propane torch (or some people use butane) Water-based clear coat (I prefer General Finishes High Performance Topcoat) Pattern or stencil for design Painters tape Permanent fine point felt tip pen Extra thick adhesive size […]

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pendant light over office desk

Remember those cheap lights I ordered from China for my studio? To be clear, I didn’t know I was ordering them from China. I searched online for what I wanted, found a website that sold them at great prices, read the wonderful and glowing customer reviews, and then ordered them. Six weeks later, and with no update on tracking info, I was regretting my purchase. Several emails to customer service only returned not-so-helpful responses like, “Just be patient.” and “Your items are probably on a ship from China, and we can’t tell you exactly where they are.” *Sigh* When they finally arrived about two months later, I was very pleased with how they looked, but the wiring was skimpy and the canopies that attach to the ceiling were tiny. There was no way they would work, so they’ve been sitting in the corner of my studio ever since while I moved on to other projects. Well, I finally tackled those lights this past weekend, and look! They’re up! The fix was pretty easy. I picked up a couple of these pendant light kits from Home Depot. They’re actually a dark oil-rubbed bronze, but they look almost black. It would have […]

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DIY studio work table

The first of my two DIY studio work tables is finished. Here’s how it turned out… It’s green! I had originally wanted to paint it a light yellow, but it looked awful with the floor. So I gathered up some craft and art acrylic paints that I had in yellows and greens, and just started mixing them into the quart of yellow paint I had purchased until I ended up with a color that I liked. And I do love the bright, cheerful green against that clean white table top! So when I left off the other day, the base of the table looked like this… If you missed the building process, you can find the details here… Large DIY Craft Room Cutting Table — Part 1 After making the table top, I thought it still needed a little something to give it a finished look. After all, this table is for my studio, which I want to look nice and pretty when it’s finished. If these were tables for my (future) workshop where I’ll be using my saws and other tools, I wouldn’t be worried about it being pretty. Of course, I also wouldn’t waste money on laminate for […]

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I know this project seems to be dragging on, and if you follow me on Instagram and saw my stories, you know that I kind of had a rough go of it at the beginning. But I finally got the laminate table top finished on the first studio work table. (By the way, I’m gong to make a concerted effort to start sharing more progress on Instagram stories throughout each day on the projects I’m working on, so if you’re interested in seeing that, be sure to follow me!) Anyway, after having trouble with the laminate edges and not having enough laminate for a second attempt, I decided to use the laminate on the table tops, and then trim out the edges with wood. I was disappointed at first, but when it was finished, I was pretty thrilled with how it turned out! Y’all, that is a five-foot-square table top. That’s a glorious 25 square feet of work space right there on one large, durable table top. I’m pretty darn excited about it! 😀 And I still have another table to build, that will double the table top space. I did a video of the table top process, so hopefully […]

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Webber Row, London, SE1 8QP Client: London Borough of Southwark Description of Project: Internal & External Refurbishment Details of Project: Internal and External Refurbishment works... Read more »

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Garage Doors

Environmental Restoration

Asphalt Paving

Elite Fence

Floor System