Can You Go Back?

The other day, before I left Kitsap Kitchen and Bath, my last official appointment was with a lovely young couple that purchased the home my late husband and I built almost thirty years ago. Here is a drawing of the lovely 5,000 square foot home.  Drawing of Gordone.jpg

I wonder how other people feel when they go into a home that you designed, or built or bought and then sold and moved on.  It was lovely that they were such a nice young couple and loved the house.  It was hard, as over the years, the former owners had made significant changes to the interior and exterior that were very different from my initial vision.  The new owners were trying to repair all the things that were left unattended for several years.  My heart went out to them, as so many things need work.

Thirty years later my taste has certainly changed with color choices and was glad even back then, other than a pick tub & toilet in the master (now yucky) I had stayed with classic and beautiful choices.

Gordon front.jpg

This is the original exterior, but it is now light yellow with black trim, and the arches over the entry and the garage doors are now just a rectangle.  The architect was from California and good friend, but the arches and trim had to be repainted every year, as the V in the middle of the arch, opened the grain of the wood, so water got in the wood.  The lovely arch over the fireplace in the living room is gone and the antique Sheraton fireplace surround has disappeared that was above the master bedroom fireplace.  The trees are grown and beautiful!  There is a lot more landscaping that hides the front of the house a bit.

Gordon Living Room.jpg

This a photo from the living room looking into the dining room.  I had those two Captain’s chairs on the right for several years, but tired of them (still tired of them) and sold them ages ago. The columns are telling of the time it was designed and built, but classic lines are still lovely.  The new owners have had the floor refinished with exception of the entry where the last owner put black marble over the wood.  (yuck)  and the lighter color on the floor is much more up to date. I don’t have any photos of the kitchen, but it was a dream to work in, alone or with a party of people.

I would love to be the one redesigning their bathroom, but they did not contact me personally, so in the proper ethical and business since it is totally up to them.  But it does need to be updated, so I am glad they are taking it on.  I think it would be a very challenging, but overall fun project and would really add to the house.

How many of you have ventured back into a home you loved and what did you think about the changes?  Maybe as a design professional, it is harder for me to accept and love change?  How about you?

Can You Go Back?

Top 25 Renovating Mistakes

  1. Buying Cheap Materials

    “One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you’re going to get what you pay for.” “If you’re going to do it, do it. If you can’t afford to do it, wait.”

    2. Inaccurate Measurements

    An inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And if your dimensions are off and it’s not equal and symmetrical, you’re not going to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you’re not sure about how to measure or you can’t follow the directions, don’t hesitate at all to call somebody. Ask them to come over and take the measurement for you.

    3. Skipping the Prep Work

    Do it the right way, right away. You shouldn’t avoid your prep work. You want to take the time to do it right and right from the beginning.

    It’s a horrible, tedious process, and nobody likes it, but it saves so much time later on down the way. And that’s what you’re trying to do: save yourself money and time.


Top 25 Renovating Mistakes

10 Ways to Go for Color in the Bath

With bold hues, attention-grabbing tile, and creative details, the bathroom can be the most fun room in the house. Get inspired by these 10 spaces that aren’t afraid of piling on the color and pattern. Which do you like best?
10 Ways to Go for Color in the Bath

Design Basics to Help You Think Through a New Master Bath

These standard dimensions and layout tips can help you plan the deluxe bathroom of your dreams

Spacious master bathrooms have become one of the most considered spaces in home design. These often luxurious settings provide a refuge from hectic schedules and a place for pampering. In these spaces, we can be assured privacy in an increasingly public world and stamp our unique identities in their finishes.

By their nature, they allow a wide variation in creative design solutions and material choices. There are a few basic elements that each bathroom requires, and then there are the amenities that make it special to the owner. Let’s take a look at standard dimensions of essential fixtures and then investigate the options for other elements.

Design Basics to Help You Think Through a New Master Bath

  Master Bathroom Transformations

Thinking about remodeling your main bathroom? Get inspired by looking at these before-and-after bathroom photos from an article on Houzz.  A newly updated bathroom is always a treat to view, but when you get to see what it looked like before, you really get inspired. Start thinking about what you like or don’t about your own bathroom then think about what it could be.

  Master Bathroom Transformations


Here is a wonderful article from Kohler about designing a simple, but wonderful bathroom.

Veil Master Bathroom Suite from Kohler

Minimalist design centers around de-cluttering space and providing more room for both the mind and the body to breathe. Too often this design style is mistaken for being stark, bare or monochromatic—but that is a far cry from the inviting feeling of warm minimalism. Follow these simple guidelines to carefully curate your space and ensure your bathroom can feel both pared down and cozy at the same time.

Well-Rounded Silhouettes:
Minimalism has evolved from harsh corners to the gestural, organic rounded edges seen in the pieces of the Veil Collection. By incorporating ergonomics and asymmetric spherical shapes into the minimalist world, this collection forms a powerfully comfortable design.

Overhead view of the Veil freestanding bath from Kohler

Beyond White:
White fixtures are a staple of minimalist suites like the Veil Collection, but they instantly become more inviting by adding décor and paint colors in a neutral color palette. When a room utilizes these subtle accents of taupes and shades of white, it creates a subdued energy that’s perfect for rejuvenation.

Tantalizing Textures:
While the overall aesthetic of minimalism shies away from the extravagant, bringing in textured fixtures creates interest without becoming overwhelming. When seen from far away, pieces like the Artist Edition Shagreen Sink don’t steal attention but upon closer inspection, its fine details add eye-catching depth and shimmer.

Oyster Pearl Artist Edition Shagreen Sink from Kohler

Nature as Nurture:
Intentionally choose a few perfect pieces of décor like plants or other natural materials to add to your design in order to help your bathroom feel less bare. Wood accents can be painted over as a way to blend the outdoors into your color scheme and bring energy to a space. The contrast of treated wood or splashes of greenery soothe the environment and bring the outdoors in.

Layers of History:
Items with a lived-in vibe can actually enhance a clean, minimalist design. For instance, distressed and oxidized metal finishes like the Composed Faucets in Titanium Finish present as sleek and contemporary but still have warmth. These designs infuse a sense of charm and intrigue in a modern space.

Composed Faucet in Titanium Finish from Kohler

Stay Versatile:
One way to keep out the clutter in a bathroom and still provide function is to expertly choose pieces that are multi-purpose. For example, the Verdera Lighted Mirror has built-in lights which eliminate the need for additional light sources. Hidden storage inside of a vanity or mirror also keeps your grooming items close but out of sight. In this way, minimalism emphasizes quality over quantity—a sentiment that translates to more mindful living in general.

The Verdera Lighted Mirror with built-in Amazon Alexa

Invisible Technology:
Tech innovations should elevate your bathroom experience without ever feeling intrusive. The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror uses voice control to center your routine around mindfulness and immersing yourself in a relaxing escape from the modern world.

By following these warm minimalism trends you’re sure to create a space that feels as good as it looks.


Cleaning Secrets from Profresional Cleaners

Cleaning Secrets from Profresional Cleaners

Here are some great tile ideas!

This a wonderful and fun article from Sunset Magazine.  This might help you get a little more creative in your designs.


Luscious Texture

Hand-painting adds an artistic flair to each tile that’s impossible to match via industrialized manufacturing. The slight variations in texture—and, depending on the type of tile, sometimes even color or patina—add a tactile quality to the wall. This tile’s mountain-inspired shape was turned on end to create a subtle wave-like pattern across the wall.


Get the Look: Luscious Texture

We’re in love with the versatility of this Japanese-inspired pattern from Bay Area-based Fireclay Tile. The soft, organic lines fit a modern interior just as well as they do a traditional one.


Dressed-Up Herringbone

A herringbone-style installation is a surefire way to jazz up standard field tiles. This bathroom one-ups that already stylish look by scattering shades of neutral and white tiles throughout for an effect that’s almost like the tide coming in and out. Feel even bolder? A floor-to-ceiling application gets the most out of the design and protects the walls and floor around the tub.


Look-Alike Planks

Faux wood tile has come a long way in the last few years: The grain is more varied, the finishes more real-to-life, and the “planks” come in a variety of widths that more properly mimic a wood floor (with none of the rotting concern). This gray-washed style doesn’t steal the spotlight from the large hexagonal tiles on the wall above the bathtub, grouted in charcoal gray to draw attention to their groovy outline.


Out in the Dark

There’s that stunning herringbone pattern again, made all the more elegant by matte black tiles. Think of dark tiles as the cat-eye liner of a room—concentrate on one big flourish and keep the rest muted. Here, the ceiling-height installation makes the tub the star (though the brass fixtures are a close second).


High Gloss, High Style

Sky-high shine levels are a great way to make a neutral color sing. Field tiles (meaning, the primary tile used to cover wide expanses of a floor or ceiling, often in standard rectangle shapes and sizes) have lots to gain from luster: Gloss gives them character and texture.


Better with Age

Chalk up another win for hand-crafted tiles. These have a natural variation in color that give them a pleasing patina and, all together, add some visual movement to the backsplash. In an open-plan area, an intricate tile provides a natural focal point for the kitchen.



Geometric Perfection

The hottest trend in tile right now, geometric patterns turn forgotten floors into the centerpiece of a room. We love the look in small applications like bathrooms or fireplaces, where it’s contained enough to be energizing, not overwhelming. And even though this style has skyrocketed to fame, the simplicity of the shapes gives it staying power.


Get the Look: Geometric Perfection

Geometrics draw on lots of source material: Southwestern, Moroccan, or mid-century modern. There’s no getting it wrong with this bold X pattern, especially in classic black and white.


Perfect Penny

“Charming” is the adjective often used for penny tile and while that’s apt, this wee standard has a lot more range. In a matte finish, it’s contemporary. Multicolor versions are whimsical and so much fun in a child’s bathroom. On the floor or the wall, penny tile is a classic worth experimenting with.


Tile for Miles

This red Heath tile can’t stop, won’t stop—and that’s a good thing. With four walls of upright linear field tile, walking into this windowless powder room feels like stepping inside a giant ruby. In a small space, you have license to go bold; in a large space, a high-gloss white would be heavenly.


Whether you use them sparingly as accent tile or go all out, figurative tiles and patterns with some whimsy are making a comeback. The entire Fauna collection from Los Angeles-based Vidal Design Collaborative is chock full of delightful animal figures in 100% livable colors.

Here are some great tile ideas!