NEW PROJECT: Bathroom Retreat for Mom of 4 Boys

A wonderful mom to four crazy/sweet boys with an equally wonderful hubby that is overseas fighting for our country, and a successful business owner (read: busy all the dang time)... if she doesn't deserve an hour of relaxation at the end of the day I don't know who does.

Just a quick peek at what they have lived with for the last six years... 

 
Before Shower - Meridian Abbey Interiors
Before Tub - Meridian Abbey Interiors
Before Vanity - Meridian Abbey Interiors

It has gotten them through, and you know that tub holds some very special memories for them (all of the boys are under 10).  But it is time to update!  She is done with the dark walls, and the tub - regardless of the good times - has got to go.  There is another tub in the boy's bathroom, so they won't be without.  She needs more linen storage and the space really needs better lighting.  Oh, lord does it need better lighting!

First, concept.  Then, design.

Just a quick run-through of the plan in its early stages...

 
 

She really loves the blush, gray, and copper palette, but she doesn't want a formal space.  To keep it from feeling stuffy I focused on texture and natural materials like the honed marble, river rock, and wood-look porcelain tile.  Matte and glossy sheens keep it interesting. I also love the porcelain that resembles textiles.  It hasn't been around that long, but there are some really convincing patterns out there!  

I showed her others that would look just as good in the mix: an off-white and tan matte glass 1x1 mosaic, a raked marble field tile, and a beveled honed white marble 3x6 tile.  All of these would look good together in almost any combination.  She realized as I was unloading all of these pretties onto her dining room table that she has white and gray hexagon tiles that would probably fit right in, as well.  

It turns out she has 20 boxes of these hexagon tiles left over from the major renovation she did of the place she now has her store.  She owns Sophia's Bridal, Tux & Prom on the south side of Indy.  Speaking of beautiful spaces - if you are in the market, or just in the area, I highly recommend making a quick stop in to see this strikingly gorgeous, modern boutique.  She took a 20 year abandoned post office and transformed it into something beautiful.  She created a space that provides especially memorable experiences for her customers.  Its no wonder Sophia's has grown into what it is today.  There isn't anywhere else to go in Indianapolis that comes close! 

Anyway, part of this reno obviously included the bathrooms and that's where the hexagon tiles come in.  We have 20 boxes to play with.  :)  This is what it looks like installed.  Please keep in mind this photo was taken with a cell phone and in artificial light, because in-person they are ideal for our palette.

 
 

Ok, so you see the various materials we are going to play with.  Now the drawings.  These are preliminary drawings, but since this isn't their forever home we won't be moving walls or major plumbing.  The finished product will likely be very close to this...

As always I am excited to watch this project come together!  I'll keep you posted on the progress as it comes. :D

It is now time for me to pack up for the weekend.  Nothing too exciting this week - volleyball in Bloomington.  But it will be a nice change of pace.  Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think of her bathroom retreat.

 

Have a great weekend,

Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis, IN - Interior Designer
 

On The House (its free!): Ethnic Chic Kitchen Concept

It started with the mosaic.  Then I stumbled upon the hexagon tile.  That was all it took.  I dropped my bag and coat, quickly pulled a great cabinet door from the displays (oh, I forgot to mention that I was out shopping for a client at one of the trade resources in town.  I made myself at home with all of their goodies), and hunted for the largest piece of white marble I could get my hands on to represent the countertop.  I would probably go for Thassos in real life - polished or brushed, I can't decide.  Or a white body quartz for durability.  This large carrara tile was the best I could do at the time, and for an on-the-fly conceptual presentation, it does the trick.  Anyway - this the just to get you started on your own Ethnic Chic kitchen design!

Click to enlarge.

How comfortable are these spaces?  And interesting and inviting and so very livable.  No worries about having a dog.  Or kids, for that matter!  Invite people over and they may not want to leave.  You wouldn't have to stress about it until you got sick of them in your house.  Understandably, that may not take very long, so keep that in mind before doling out invitations. ;) 

 

I can't get enough of that mosaic.  Natural and organic but with a little flare.  And I really just mean a little.  Silver and I go all the way back to my toddler years and pierced ears, but too much bling makes me squirm.  This has just the right amount and is balanced even more with the otherwise rough texture, and the medium-dark stained wood cabinets.  

I have the hardware, lighting, barstools, and accessories all selected.  Need the dining and living rooms pulled together?  Ok!  I have that, too!  Unfortunately though, that isn't on the house.  A girl's gotta make a living, but if you're interested in a mood board or a shopping list for these things to make your own home Ethnic Chic - email me.  That is what my E-Design service is all about. :)

 

Have a great weekend,

Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis, IN - Interior and Kitchen Designer
 
 

How to Make Your Powder Room a Stunner

 
How to Make Your Powder Room Stunning - Meridian Abbey Interiors - Interior, Kitchen, and Bath Design; Indianapolis, IN
 

What makes for a stunning powder room?  Easiest answer ever - and I would bet my right arm 90% of my designer friends would agree with me - wallpaper!

Obviously, more is more, but the initial shock value that an all over pattern, color, and/or texture provides is the most effective place to start.  The definition of stunner is: "a strikingly beautiful or impressive person or thing."

Need help finding "strikingly beautiful" wallpapers?  Well, here you go...

This isn't a close-up.  In fact, they may have had to shrink the image down.  Ellie Cashman's designs are over-sized and perfectly overwhelming.  I need to pull a mood board together with this wallpaper.  It is extraordinary.  The space just completely designed itself in my head.

 

Click to enlarge because these are two over-sized murals, as well.  Brought to us by Phillip Jeffries, these multi-panel (indicated by the vertical lines) scenes are calming and serene.  I recommend using this in a powder room with the largest wall opposite the doorway in order to see the most of the image.  Beveled glass tiles on either or both short sides of the room (or perhaps just on the ceiling??) would be an equally stunning addition.

 
 
 

Wallpapers made by hand with real feathers.  Oh, yes - it's real.  Strikingly beautiful and impressive.

 

Yesterday I walked away from a dark green, antique, pagoda style console table.  It was not an easy decision.  I stared at it for 15 minutes arguing with myself - there HAD to be a way to incorporate it somewhere.  In the end I gritted my teeth and soldiered away.  

Today I recalled the ideal wallpaper for the table and now I need a client to make this little dream of mine come true.  If you are out there, please email me.  I have a stunning powder room for you!

 

An updated version of the banana leaf/palm tree prints of 2015/16.  You could say that green is my signature color, so this would be more than welcome in my home.  I think the hits of blue instead of black where shadows would be is a great detail.

 
 

More green and blue with Fragment Moss from West Elm; a mural that would do splendidly in a small space. Continue the angular element with sharp lined lighting and plumbing, a console vanity with a rectangular vessel sink, and a minimalist toilet.  Stunner!

 

I know this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it is mine!  I LOVE this wallpaper. And it's removable, for you commitment-phobes out there.  I suggest adding a white or pink lacquered vanity, cobalt blue sink, an antique chandelier dripping with crystals, and fresh flowers with plenty of greenery.  STUNNER.

There are SO MANY amazing wallpapers out there.  And powder rooms are a perfect space to play with lots of color and pattern (says the queen of neutrals and solids.  Don't worry - the irony is not lost on me).  If you're having a hard time selecting a great wallpaper, or need a different way of livening up your tight spaces, give me a shout.  The possibilities are endless!

Have a great weekend,

Abigail Reames - Interior Designer - Meridian Abbey Interiors - Indianapolis, IN
 
 

Fine Art Photocrappy

I have had an internal debate regarding modern fine art photography's use in interior design for the longest time.  Stemming from my own preferences towards painted works, I can't seem to make the jump to using straight images from everyday life/pop culture un-softened by brushstrokes and interpretation.

Janet, for example, will never make an appearance in any of the work I do...

Janet
Janet

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Stranger still is imagery that I can't understand wanting in any part of my house.  Ever.  I realize that as art, these images are intended to make the viewer think.  The designer in me still feels that anxiety inducing need to maintain a... feeling (at the very least).

great bathroom ugly tv
great bathroom ugly tv

That photo makes me physically uncomfortable, like I'm choking.  WHY???  Why put THAT photograph there??  An incredible antique vessel sink (originally part of a fountain), solid slab counters and stone floors, and that beautiful wood screen - give them something exotic.  Give them seductive.  Give them tranquil.  Hell, give them humor!

Give them anything but an old t.v. in the corner of an ugly room!!!

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(Deeeep breath.)

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On the up side, I do enjoy family photos.  Just not the ones straight from the point-and-shoot.  I am a huge fan of Photoshop.  Crop, edit, enlarge - manipulate away!  Make it black and white and I'll put it just about anywhere.

Machiel Botman, Guzman
Machiel Botman, Guzman

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Since I have known for some time that fine art photography and I are not always real chummy, I've been practicing.  I created a board on Pinterest where I collect images of anything I can imagine framing and hanging in a room someday.  Favorites...

white zebra
white zebra

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daniel jackson
daniel jackson

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newport
newport

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Schutzs golden
Schutzs golden

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silhouette
silhouette

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duck feet fullerview
duck feet fullerview

(this cracks me up!)

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This one I found and fell in love with while living in Newport, RI.  The photographer is Alexander Nesbitt.  I didn't know that before I moved away so I only recently re-found the photo...

alexander nesbitt crosses
alexander nesbitt crosses

See it matted and framed at Sapo Freaky Burrito at 16 Broadway in Newport, or click the image to purchase a print.  Believe me when I tell that in person, this is amazing.

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I react when I look at these images with feelings ranging from fondness to love, experiencing awe and hilarity and wonder.  This is my pre-requisite for art in someone's home.  They must react positively.*  Professional artwork is an investment (read: freaking expensive) so it better mean more to you than just a pretty picture!  And if it makes you feel like you're choking (the way that stupid tv does me), or repulsed, or depressed, or self-critical - drop that thing like a bad habit (metaphorically - remember this stuff is expensive), because who wants to feel like that every time you look at it?

Do you know what I mean, people?  Can I get an amen?!

What's your definition of photocrappy and does anyone respond to art like they're choking?  This one really took me by surprise.

-A.

*Disclaimer: I am aware that art is personal and subjective and that not everyone would look at a photo of a tv in an ugly room and react like I do, but I just don't see how you couldn't.  And I really hope that the designer of that bathroom or the photographer that snapped that photo never happens to land on my little blog.  But if they do, please know I mean no disrespect!

Headlong into Fall

I don't know about where you are, but Connecticut has rushed headlong into fall.  I woke up on Monday and the drive was covered in leaves.  It smelled like fall and I needed real shoes and another layer of clothing.  Immediately I thought, "Ok, its time to re-decorate!"  The grocery must have been studying their almanac because they set up a table of those tiny pumpkins and clusters of dried cornstalks at just the right time.

Autumn is the time of year that I don't remember that I love until its here again.  I dislike that it is the end of warm and wonderful summer, but then again, it is something of a relief to turn off the AC and snuggle under the covers with the windows open at night.  Plus, it is so beautiful.  Vibrant, saturated ruby and mustard colored leaves are shockingly surreal.  (They were just green!!!)  

Of course, the weather will break for at least another week and we will again be in summer, but it will be short lived and Autumn will fully encompass us all.   It isn't too far now.  Are you ready?

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 It is nearly time for apple orchards and decorative gourds and Hot Toddies.

valscrapbook bird with apples
valscrapbook bird with apples

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Falling leaves and rosy cheeks,  football and tailgating.

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katedaviesdesigns
katedaviesdesigns

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Flannel blankets and plaid shirts, thermoses and apple pie.

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kirtsy
kirtsy

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Sweaters and scarves and boots and wool socks.

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milenachka
milenachka

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Earth tones and natural wonders.

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randy orourke
randy orourke

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I'm ready, if a little sad to see this summer go.  Maybe an extra Hot Toddy to push this bittersweet feeling away.

Yes.  That's exactly what I need.

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My Favorite Hot Toddy:

1 good sized mug

1-1/2 oz. Jameson

1 bag of Lipton black tea

Top with hot water

2-3 lemon slices

honey to taste

Sip for about 10 minutes then feel the warmth that reaches all the way to your toes.

MMMmmmm.....mmmmm....mmmmm

-A.