Emily Hendersons Kitchen Featured on The Design Confidential

I have been thinking quite a bit about the bones of a home and how difficult it can be for a person to strike a balance between style and keeping the design timeless - and at least moderately appealing to the masses - so as not to completely compromise a home's value. You guys... it is haaaaarrrrrddd. This is of course my least favorite response to anything - because I am a doer and an utter optimist. I come from a place of yes and absolutely anything is possible, in my mind.

Jenny Komendas Kitchen Featured on The Design Confidential
Lauren Liess Kitchen Featured on The Design Confidential

As a designer, I see hundreds of gorgeous kitchens roll across my desk each week and even more through my obsessive pinterest browsing. You too? Join me over there and we can pin our glorious hearts out together... My visual access to beautiful kitchen designs is officially off the hook, and my voyeuristic design enthusiast self could not be happier. But let us be real for a second, It is not technically that hard to create a beautiful kitchen. The. End. In fact much about design works this way. You see, if you throw enough money at something, and happen to pick some timeless or beautiful fixtures, there is a very good chance your space will end up being moderately fabulous. So this is not an article about how these brilliant design bloggers created fabulous kitchens for meellions of dollars. Nope, because that would be boring. This is about how three gorgeous gals (no seriously... all gorgeous) created amazing and gorgeous spaces that are equal parts well designed and perfectly personal and to their specific taste. You see... creating a kitchen with style - and I mean actual, wonderful, and chic style that is oozing with personality - outside of the choices for surfaces and fixtures, is actually pretty tough to do. It is 100 percent hard to infuse individual and unique style and personality into a fairly standard set of items in a fairly standard set of colors and choices.

Each one of these lovely ladies has done something totally and completely different and totally and completely their own. I am so inspired by their choices and the small details that make these spaces stellar.

Emily Henderson of Style By Emily Henderson Kitchen Featured on The Design Confidential White Brass Wood Gold Marble

Emily has an abundance of white and bright and brassy goodness. So basically she designed this space just for me. The fixtures, hardware and accessories are wondrous and the art, well just stunning. Admittedly she has already changed things up substantially from her Domino shoot and the images you see here (from her site right here) and I cannot wait to see what she has done. I am chomping at the bit my friends... no joke. Brass grout? Oh em gee. A gal after my own heart... gotta love brass. No really... you have to, because I said so? And that baby, oh my squishy lovely manly man of a baby! I could eat him up. And I just might, so she should probably keep him at a safe distance, just sayin... Of course they are the most adorable family and it is just wonderful to see shots of a happy family gathered round an actual working kitchen, with actual food. I know nothing of this, it is quite foreign to me most of the time.

Jenny Komenda of The Little Green Notebooks Kitchen Featured on The Design Confidential Black Concrete White Cabinets Neon Tray Copper Bertoia Chairs

Jenny made some fantastic bold choices in her space that I adore, and is also admittedly nowhere near finished in total, but for now she has rocked out a fun and chic look that works around many of the kitchen's less than adorable features, so says she. I personally love a good white painted brick, and painting her flooring instead of changing it out entirely... genius, which makes it all the more adorable in my mind. That fabulous neon tray she is sporting in the image you see here, might seem a bit familiar to those of you who follow along with my shenanigans on Instagram and you may remember I have a little something similar in myLiving Room and formerly my Family Room which I still haven't shown you yet. I guess you could say great minds think alike and all that, but that might be a stretch to put myself in the same tier as any one of these girls, ha! But I sure do love a pop of neon, goes such a long way on the interest train! Her black concrete counters are another of her daring DIY accomplishments and I think it was a wonderful choice here with the cabinetry and painted brick. So bold and glorious.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Homes Kitchen Featured on The Design Confidential Black Open Shelving Landscape Paintings Reclaimed Wood

Lauren rocked this kitchen out. It is stunning and as far as I know, finished! Maybe. So it goes for a designer in their own home... things change often. So I have heard, anyhow. The details and personal touches combining a modern aesthetic with vintage pieces - oh she had my heart at first glance.... Her custom open shelving in that matte black finish, to die for. When you are not blessed with a bay window above your sink with room for an indoor herb garden, a fabulous arrangement of landscape paintings is obviously the next best thing. Except I like it so much it might actually be the best thing. Who needs windows anyhow? Not vampires... or folks with amazing art collections! So it is obviously perfect.

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of personal touches in the kitchen or do you prefer a clean and uncluttered work space? What stylish choices have you been making in the kitchen lately? Inquiring minds want to know! And of course by inquiring minds, I mean me! Let's chat kitchen decor!

Blue Retro Beachy Comfortable Nesting // One Piece with Three Different Style Personalities

Close Up of Blue Retro Room for Nesting // One Piece with Three Different Style Personalities

Target Room Essentials items for this space // Nesting tables / Scholar lamps / Mug

For this look I channeled my global granny self, added a bit of that hipster handmade vibe with a dash of Copacabana thrown in, for a Beachy Brazilian touch. Yep, totally random, but oh how happy I would be in this space.

We will call the gal who lives here “Babs,” and she is a veritable 'Girl from Ipanema' (World Famous Brazilian Bossa Nova song)and boy she has lived quite the life. She loves to reminisce about all of the memories she has made along the way and throughout her travels. She could sure tell you a tale or two about her go-go dancing days, but your mother probably wouldn’t like that much. But now she is settling down a bit and prefers to stay closer to home where she can sip her hot cocoa in her big cozy chair and knit blankets for her grandkids – or the new neighbors down the street.

Black and White 80's Glam Space for Nesting // One Piece with Three Different Style Personalities

I channeled my inner 80’s glam girl self, with a punch of black lacquer and brass, and then threw in some beachy natural texture to the mix for the perfect 'Barbie and the Rockers' goes to Big Sur design moment. Ya, I kinda love a look that is equal parts chic and yet still totally weird.

Close Up of 80's Glam Space for Nesting // One Piece with Three Different Style Personalities

Target Room Essentials Items //  Nesting tables / Bathroom tray / Desktop Storage 

I call this gal Gemma and she is a true downtown girl who loves the art scene and can be found at every hip new spot in the city. From art gallery openings to coffee shops, she is constantly on the move and never stays in one place too long. She wears black like it’s her uniform and loves the way her red lipstick pops against her pale skin, especially when her hair is pulled back in a sleek low slung ponytail. 

Red Orange Yellow Retro Happy chic Space for Nesting // One Piece with Three Different Style Personalities

Meet Zoe, my inner flower child babe with a quirky fun loving outlook on life. This gal is a bit more feminine, and fresh out of college with her first real world job. She loves to hit up the flea market when she isn’t driving down to visit her parents in Connecticut, for the weekend.

Close Up for Retro Happy chic Space for Nesting // One Piece with Three Different Style Personalities

Target Room Essentials Items // Nesting tables / 3x4" candles / 3x6" vanilla candles / Embroidered Pillow / Wire bins / iPhone dock / Kitchen towels / Bubble tumbler / Dinner Plate 

She’s a single gal who loves her nephews and can’t wait to start a family of her own one day. For now she is content with her two cats, though she thinks she may have over done it in the mothering department, since they are a bit on the bratty side. They absolutely never do as they are told. Zoe loves to listen to music and sing along with the broom handle as her microphone, but of course she always sounds better in the shower… who doesn’t?

So which look resonates with you most? Are you more of a downtown girl or a flea market vintage loving gal? Maybe you love to knit and travel is your favorite pastime! 

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Room Essentials to make modern life easier.

Piet Boon Bath for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

Wow, what a summer it has been so far! I hope you all are enjoying this break from the school year and the warm weather is kind to you. Maybe you are even making the most of things and wandering with a carefree mind. Regardless, I hope you make amazing memories wherever you may go. As for me, I am knee deep in projects and living vicariously through gorgeous images on pinterest and a complete and utter room envy. The places I find myself drawn to most, right now, seem to bring the lovely tranquility of vacation and travel into the home environment.

Piet Boon Atrium View for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

One // In my past life, I was a makeup artist. And by past life, I simply mean my former life, but the one that feels like it is so remote and distant now, that I hardly recognize it as my own. But, a makeup artist I was indeed. I used to do makeup for weddings and photoshoots, even for the Kings Royal Court Dance Team - which any of you who follow sports might know is our NBA team's group of dancers (cheerleaders of the professional dancy persuasion for the Sacramento Kings). I was fortunate enough to get to head out to the arena prior to each home court basketball game and style the girls for the night, then watch the game from the tunnel. We did touch ups either before or after their halftime performance and would be very up close and personal to the team goings on, heading into and out of the locker room (this is where the tunnel leads essentially), and with any celebs that were getting a bit of in person hang time with the team without having to be center stage out on the floor while they are watching the game. It was quite fabulous, if I do say so myself. 

Two // I wasn't always in an artsy profession. After my stint as a makeup artist, I worked in the Commercial Real Estate industry with an emphasis on Retail. This would be shopping centers and restaurants, all the places you shop essentially. I worked with a team at CB Richard Ellis, which is one of the largest commercial brokerage firms in the world, and certainly one of the most esteemed. We did both leasing and sales, and we worked a crazy amount of new development projects from the ground up. This basically means we did quite a bit of dirt dogging and land assemblage, then found the developer that would best suit the project and worked the sales of pad buildings and leasing of inline space throughout the entitlement process. My team also had quite a few tenant rep accounts which means we were instrumental in creating their roll out plan for entry and expansion into new and existing markets. So, all those stores you love to see come to your neck of the woods, that is because of a group like mine that helps plan out the retail tenant's master plan for locations in an area. 

Piet Boon Bedroom for Room Envy // The Bathing Sophisticate + 5 Things

Three // I'm scared of the dark. Yep, I know... It's like I'm 5 years old with this one, but I truly don't like the dark and I have a bit of trouble seeing in the dark to top it all off. I have difficulty seeing the various shades of black and gray and discerning uneven pavement or ground if I am walking at night outside... like through nature.  I'm sure you can guess how often I do that, pretty much never, but I have in the past and it's a bit of a nightmare. 

Four // I'm also terrified of things that are vast especially if they involve water, like the deep ocean or extremely large creatures that live in the deep ocean. The book turned movie, Life of Pi, would be my worst nightmare ever... In fact, the whole Tiger aspect of the story line would be way less scary to me, than being adrift on the open ocean. I know, go figure. 

Five //  I'm utterly fascinated with the concept of space, the universe, and the beginning of time as it relates to our existence. Though there is something of a fear that I associate with this since it registers as one of those things that is vast and frankly blows my mind a bit, but I absolutely love hearing new theories on this and learning about the new tidbits we discover and either prove or disprove about this subject in general. 


Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

I clearly have dreamy resort spaces on my mind, there can be no doubt at this point. You can see that proof in our last Room Envy installment. This isn't really a surprise given how much is happening right now in my life, its natural to want to escape or seek vacation like spaces. I want to bring this feeling into my own spaces so very badly right now it's ridiculous.

By the Pool with Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

So here goes... 

One // I'm so completely excited that Domino Magazine named this blog as one of the Best DIY Blogs! I am up there with some amazing talent, including two of my favorite gals Mandy and Cassity (seriously heart these girls so much), lots of other folks who you will definitely recognize, and others I am not familiar with yet, but can't wait to explore. Of course there are so many amazing DIY Blogs out there, and I know as these things go not all of them are recognized each time, but I like to think it goes around in a bit of a cyclical way.

Two //  I hired a gal to work alongside me here and she started this last week! It's such a relief to have an extra set of hands, especially this month. I have worked with people in the past here and there, but this is the first time I have brought someone on who is local and comes to work real office hours in real life and I think both the hubster and I are breathing a collective sigh of relief at what this will mean. I will share more on this later, for now I'm super happy and I'm hoping to lighten my load, increase my output, make the changes and put the ideas into play that have been circling for quite a while now. He is glad to hang up his DIY hat and no longer help with my projects. Not that he ever actually helped much, but man does he dislike all things home improvement and anything that involves doing things in and around the house or yard. We are a complete role reversal there. 

Model Couple in Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

Three // My little seester is getting married in a month and I am hosting a bridal shower here at my house for her next weekend. It's one of the major things on my list of June activities along with her Bachelorette Party the following weekend and I can honestly say that the wedding itself will feel like a bit of a vacation for me since it isn't something I'm in charge of or hosting. It's pretty exciting though and I love a good reason to throw a party, but it always seems like when it rains it pours, no? I could use a bit of spacing out with my TDC projects and wedding tasks and there is absolutely no chance of that. Eek.

Four // We are having a hard time with my older boy at the moment. He is 6 going on 16 and while he has always been an independent spirit and a bit high energy, it seems like we have definitely entered a new phase of behavioral stuff that I'm not entirely sure how to deal with. I know some things pass with time, but other things I feel are very important for nipping in the bud, so to speak, and in truth I am completely lost when it comes to finding a way of communicating these life lessons with him at the moment. I am a true believer that every child and person is completely different and unique and why shouldn't this apply to how they take things in and absorb them. I have been in tune with him for so many years that it shocks me to see this departure from that for us and my personal loss for finding this new way of communicating with him at this new age and level of understanding. I'm pretty sure he turned 6 and lost his damn mind, and with it all sense of reason and rationality so it's frustrating to be sure. Of course as a parent it's essentially my one and only job to help him grow and care for him so it's up to me to find this once again and I have tried so very many things that I'm not even sure what my next move is... gah

Five // I'm thinking about getting back into the design game. Honestly, I'm not sure if there is much time for this outside of projects and collabs for the blog and my personal portfolio. But, its something I enjoy so much, it's right up there with making things, so naturally I wonder if I should bring it on back a bit. They say do more of what makes you happy, right? Perhaps I should simply expand this portion of my work for the site and it would accomplish the same thing? In fact I'm sure it would, maybe more so than working with clients which is decidedly hard and doesn't allow me to express myself artistically in the same way. Yes, good idea... so if any of you have a good collaborative project for me, hit me up, I'm obviously in need of doing some design and styling projects for my mental state... but not till July or August please. 

My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes here at the House of TDC to actually complete many of the spaces in my home. Working full time as a DIY + Design Blogger quite frankly leaves your home in full time project mode virtually all of the time if your pipeline is even marginally full. For those of you who happen to do what I do for a living you know this first hand, but for those of you who don't, this is chaotic on the best of days and completely wild and untamed when things are busy.

Sitting Area in My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

I mentioned in my latest Room Envy article that I obsess about function and this is true even for a makeover of this nature. As I overhaul a space like this and I'm thinking about making it gorgeous, I'm completely focused on adding the function my little family needs to survive without getting burried alive in clutter, toys and garbage. We seriously produce so much garbage, I really have no idea why, especially since I'm a borderline hoarder with my 'I might use it for a project one day' mentality. Or laundry. Though I'm still working on the laundry part of this whole scheme. I wish it could just put itself away. With a house full of boys, everything must be washable and not precious. Toy storage options and things to climb on that won't cause your children to die need to be an actual part of the thought process, so it's not the easiest thing to make a space pretty and keep the maintenance fairly low at the same time. It can be an all day job just to keep up with a young family so making this as easy as possible for everyone involved is an absolute must, and of course by everyone, I mean me. There isn't much in this space that isn't easily moved, used for another purpose, or easily cleaned when my Demon Seeds smear something sticky on it. Just to be on the safe side, where at all possible I have attempted to make those mystery sticky spots blend in with their surroundings while they wait to be found, because sometimes it takes me a while.

Chair and Pouf in My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

While I am in no way a girly girl, I am the only single solitary female in this entire house, and this is really the only space where it is not going to be an issue to use peach or pastels. So of course I needed to have at least one pale moment where I can have all of my girly things and not deal with the backlash of that. My color palette for this room is perhaps a bit surprising with a nice mix of drab and fab - always my go to choice for a color palette, it's just well balanced this way. I have a nice mix of army green, pale gray blue, and peach with pops of navy and mustard all tied together with some graphic and bold black and white. It's hard to show the palette in all it's glory on screen, but in person it's quite amazing.  

I will be posting all of the Sources + Details early next week along with a few other projects that went into this space. Stay tuned for those... and I can't wait to share my latest oddball obsession with you guys, there are 2 in this space and yep loving them! 


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Room Envy // The Stone Cold Fox + 5 Things

I have decided that my favorite spaces take me someplace mentally. Is it this way for you? Maybe not quite a full frontal 'take me away' moment, but at a bare minimum they give me a feeling, a suggestion of something I like, or of something I would love to like if my life were different... if I were different. That doesn't necessarily mean I want to be different, don't think I'm getting crazy on you or waxing philosophical.

Room Envy // The Stone Cold Fox + 5 Things

So I hope to ease into things with this Room Envy series and see how it goes... I would love some feedback if you have the time. In the meantime let us envy this space and how tranquil it is since my own life is nothing of the sort and we can chat about some other things that aren't so deep and that I bet you didn't know about me. Or maybe you did and you secretly have that ESP thing happening. Or not, and I just took it to a weird place. 

One // I adore period films and shows (a la Downton Abbey for an easy reference). I always have. I have been a Master Piece Theatre addict since well before there was even a glimmer of Downton Abbey and while I think DA is good, it's actually only marginal in comparison to some of the others they have produced over the years. Some of their reproductions of the classics (Austen, Dickens) are also knock your socks off good (some could use an update). 

Two // I brush my teeth every couple of hours. I do not like the way dirty teeth feel. I know that this is not normal because other people don't brush this often or complain of this, but it bugs me and so I brush. If I eat, I brush. If I drink something other than water, I brush when I have a chance. I like my teeth to feel clean. If I am going to be gone for an extended period of time (like at a conference or all day thing) I will bring my toothbrush and toothpaste with me in my purse. So... there's that.

Three // I am obsessed with functionality. I use functionality as my greatest design challenge when I'm working on a space and I actually think about the functionality of things on an almost constant basis. I will not design a pretty space that is not utterly and completely functional, to the best of my ability and knowledge. Ever. It's a good thing I like a challenge. 

Four // I have crazy bad allergies. I am allergic to something insane like 98% of all environmental things. It sucks big time. I'm currently sporting one heck of a sinus infection and it's taking me down several notches at the moment... ugh. Also, it has me revisiting a few things in my home which I will be sharing with you next week; one in particular was a bit of a shock so it should make for good blog fodder. 

Five // My Blakey Love just graduated Kindergarten. Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know this, but it's a bit of an interesting thing for me since I feel equally happy and sad all at the same time. I have a tendency to dwell on things and my baby growing up too quickly is no exception, hence the entire beginning of this post, duh.

Sometimes I'm so clever I out smart myself, ha. But I like that I managed to come full circle with that last one and so I shall leave you on that note and hope you might leave me some feedback on getting a bit more personal here and expanding our topics just a tad. Of course that assumes you actually made it past the pretty pictures or the first sentence. Probably not. Crickets I tell you... 


Calvin Klein Home - Philip Dixon House


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