Master Sanctuary Before & After

I recently had the opportunity to work with a lovely couple and family on a design project.  The busy family originally called me for help with a complete renovation of the first floor of their home and master bedroom. Renovations are exciting and fun but sometimes they can also be overwhelming.  Because of this, I suggested that the couple kick-start their renovation by starting solely in their master bedroom (which I often refer to as the “Master Sanctuary”). 

I just love suggesting this to clients who have a big renovation ahead, because a restful and beautiful Master Sanctuary is so important.  It is even more important when a main living area in a home is being renovated.  A peaceful Master Sanctuary gives a coupe a place to retreat and relax without any chaos.  Starting with and completing the design of a smaller room, like a Master Sanctuary, before the start of a bigger renovation feels amazing and fulfilling!  It’s one room that can be checked off the list of a bigger design plan scheme! 

This project was so fun to design and implement.  We hope you enjoy the before and after photos!

Happy Designing!

Xo,

Sérendipité

 Master Bedroom - before photo

Master Bedroom - before photo

 Master Sanctuary - final reveal! 

Master Sanctuary - final reveal! 

 Master Sanctuary - final reveal (reading nook)

Master Sanctuary - final reveal (reading nook)

Who Is Your Paint Mixologist?

In my opinion, paint is one of the most important mood-setters in a space. Selecting the perfect colour can be an overwhelming process, in my experience, and the feelings of doubt constantly get the best of me when I am selecting paint.

 I have much experience in making recommendations on the perfect hue and I have been successful 99.9% of the time.  Although, this week was a game changer for me. I was sure I had helped select the most delightfully, crisp, and classic paint colour for my fabulous new client. The doubt never came over me until I received that call - the call of doubt from my dear client after the painter started painting.  All of these worrisome thoughts came over me and setting my ego aside I knew I had to face this design challenge head on.  I will do anything it takes to get a job done, and done right. 

I immediately went back to the client’s home with my treasure chest of paints including all my favorites from my beloved Farrow and Ball to Benjamin Moore. I reviewed additional options with the client and we narrowed down the re-select to three hues. 

I went to Ganhal Lumber at 8 am the next day to order five variations of the re-select colours (3 colours at the full value and two at 25% less or should I say 75% of the color value). Off I went to the client’s home with 5 cans to sample on the freshly painted walls that happened to come out way too cool for the clients loving. 

As I was anxiously waiting for the paint mixologist, my friend Simon, to mix these lovely and classic colours he suggested this thought;  “Valerie,” he said, “you are always dead on with paint. Did you consider that the paint may have been mixed incorrectly? Perhaps the paint chip you worked from was outdated and the new formula in the system has changed. It was then that it occurred to me that there are so many variables in this process. I am not going to give you paint 101 or paint do’s and don’ts because we have heard it all a million times. However, I will shed this light on the journey of paint to hopefully help at least one person avoid any paint mishaps. Here are 4 simple steps to ensure you get the correct paint color:

Step one: When you select a paint colour take the paint chip to your favorite paint/hardware store and have them match the colour off of the chip that you and the client fell in love with.  Before purchasing gallons of paint, have a small sample size can mixed.

Step two: Have the paint mixoliogist sample and dry the mixed colour on the top of the can to be sure there is a colour match.

Step three: Sample the newly mixed colour in several locations in the space to be sure the light compliments the colour.

Step four: After you have sampled the paint in the space and you have chosen the perfect color, have your painter mix the actual gallons of paint based on the “sample” can of paint that you had mixed. Make sure they get the same brand, finish and use the same store.

Stay tuned for the final colour selection and success of the colour that we selected!


Happy designing!

xo,

Sérendipité


Restful Retreat

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It has been an exciting summer for us here at Sérendipité and it is only July! Continuously inspired and blessed with fabulous clients we have revealed a wonderful collection of fabulous rooms and new homes recently.

We are excited to share another photo collage of a beautiful retreat for lovely clients in Tustin Ranch. This couple is just beautiful and we loved getting to know them and their adorable kids.  This couple needed a place to escape, a place to rest and to enjoy each other without the chaos. Having two little ones is a lot of work and at the end of the day, how dreamy is it to unwind in a peaceful sanctuary with your partner?

We would like to share the unveiling of this restful retreat, photographs courtesy of the fabulous Melissa Brandman.

Happy Designing!

Xo,

Sérendipité

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Curb Appeal: Red, White & Blue

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July is such a wonderful time of year! Summer is underway and the days are long and warm. BBQ's and beach days are on the agenda. Fourth of July is the perfect holiday to kick off the start to summer, celebrating our great country, catching up with friends and family and relaxing outdoors.

Get in the spirit of Independence Day by giving your home patriotic curb appeal. The traditional American flag is always a necessity but we searched for some of our favorite creative Pinterest ideas to help red, white and blue your house up.

We would love to see how you decorated your home’s façade this Fourth of July!  Send us a picture.

Happy Fourth of July & Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

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Home at Last

Ladera_Ranch_016- I had the pleasure and honor of meeting a super savvy couple a few years back while I was doing consulting for Chateau Interiors. I was meeting with this delightful couple helping them make interior selections for their first home in the Stonegate community in Irvine, California.

Fast forward two years later and they decided to move-up into a larger, even more beautiful home in Ladera Ranch. This home has so much potential and our dear clients did a fabulous job furnishing and repurposing what they currently had into their new home.

They recently contacted me to help with the design of the living room, which was the only completely empty room in the new home. This hardworking couple have very demanding jobs but they just love to entertain family and friends in their free time! Their dream was to turn their living room into a swanky, bright and airy lounge. This type of design project is my wheel house so I loved every moment of the design process!

The big reveal happened this past Monday and we could not be any more excited about the final presentation. Have you ever had that feeling that you did your very best on a project at work and you say to yourself (with your inside smiling), “I could not have done any better than this!” Well, I love that feeling and I truly feel that we made this room feel like a giant hug!

Please enjoy the professional photography by my dear friend, Melissa Brandman.

Happy Designing!

xo,

Serendipite

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Project California

Shoreline Deveoplers and Crew

The "crew" at Shoreline Developers

Our newest project is in the Port Streets neighborhood in Newport Beach, California!  We have the great honor of doing the design renovations and project management for a beautiful family relocating to California from the Mid-West. This delightful family just purchased a home in one of the most desirable communities in Orange County, commonly referred to as the "Port Streets".

Sérendipité and Shoreline Developers have teamed up to create a dreamy sanctuary for this lovely family of five.  Demolition started last week and in just a few days the progress is unbelievable. Among the removal of a few walls to create an open family room/dining concept we are doing a lot of updating to this charming home that was built in 1970. The overall design style we are trying to achieve would best be described as classic California with a nod to coastal inspiration.

Stay tuned for more updates as this exciting project is slotted to be move-in ready June 25, 2014.

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

A Family Heirloom in Palos Verdes, California

Symons view Symons kitchen before We have a fabulous new client that has the most energy in a person that I have ever met!  This lovely gal grew up helping her dad build this lovely home with breathtaking views in Palos Verdes.  Let us just say, it was a labor of love and there are many memories here.

Annette and her husband Dick are renovating this home as it is the 50th anniversary of being built. Sérendipité is helping with the plans and the overall design to create an updated look with some modernized conveniences.  Walls are coming down, windows are being replaced, bathrooms are being re-designed and a completely new kitchen design is in the works.  Last week we went to Pirch to get some ideas swirling in our imaginations and Annette is literally digesting, making decisions and really opening her heart to all the possibilities.

We are so excited and thrilled to be along for this journey… stay tuned for progress!

Happy Designing

xo,

Sérendipité

World Market, Las Vegas 2014

LV Market 2Market Barbara Barry

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It was with great pleasure that I was fortunate and blessed to visit Winter Market in Las Vegas this past week.  For those of you who are not familiar with The World Trade Center in Las Vegas, imagine three very tall buildings 16 floors high, each filled with everything you can imagine for home furnishings.  Just imagine, dream, wish…it is almost like eye candy for the design aficionado!

I was thankful to arrive just in time to hear my design icon, Barbara Barry, sharing her words of wisdom with grace and absolute beauty.  I am smitten over every word that comes out of Barbara’s mouth!

The main purpose of my visit was to shop with a lovely client that needed to furnish her beautiful vacation home in Encinitas.  I had so much fun, learned a lot and rally soaked up all the lovely furnishings that made me really fall in love with some of the recent projects we are working on.

It is a perfect time to start a design project; there are so many wonderful textiles, furnishings and accessories waiting to find a home to settle into as we are moving into Spring.

Happy Designing!

Xo,

Sérendipité

cozy fireside nooks

 

  

A room with a fireplace is a warm and cozy place to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa on a cold night. So this fall (fitting for the weather we are having), we urge you to create a cozy fireside nook with your favorite comfy chair and a warm blanket to retreat to and reenergize your soul.  

The fireplace is typically the focal point of the room it is in so make sure it looks stunning at any time of the year. Freshen up your fireplace mantel and give it the love it deserves with a brand new re-style. Really think about the look you would like your fireplace to convey.  Re-arranged and re-purpose accessories, create your new look with either symmetrical or asymmetrical design in mind and think about if you prefer a classic and simplistic or eclectic and layered look.

If you don’t have a fireplace, create a quiet corner with your favorite chair and a variety of candles to create a calming environment.

Happy Designing & Happy Fall!

xo,

Sérendipité

 

eclectic & casual

  
Photos courtesy of Melissa Brandman Photography
One of the best comments I have received recently (as far as design goes) is that I created a styled space that looked just like my customer. This lovely and inspiring client entrusted us with the fun opportunity to renovate her adorable home in Rossmoor village. This charming single story home had so much character and was a fabulous palate to really get creative and do some serious updating. The remodel consisted of a renovation of the master bath, opening some walls, new hardwood flooring throughout the house, countertops and fresh paint just to name a few. We really wanted to honor the integrity of this home built in 1957 so we kept the existing cabinet doors, added a fresh coat of paint and painted the fireplace bricks while enhancing the existing stained mantle among a few other unexpected kisses of the old meets new.
Once the renovations were complete our homeowner (and friends) took a deep breath and decided to tackle another design project, the great room. We customized new furnishings from several of my favorite vendors; Witford, Isabella Morgan and Bassman Blaine, all located at the Laguna Design Center. To take the design to the next level we went to the Pasadena flea market to hunt for some-one-of kind treasures. We stumbled across some gorgeous Mongolian wedding quilts from Asia; of course we made pillows out of them! Thanks to Cheryl Thoreen at Thoreen Designs these vintage treasures are now chic beauties!
Creating a room where this wonderful family can really live was a highlight of mine this past year and a room I will always reflect on as being one of my favorite rooms I have had the chance to be a part of.
Enjoy the photos that were shot by the fabulous homeowner herself. 
Happy Designing!
xo,
Sérendipité

   

 

     

 

 

touch down!

  
   
Well, ladies, it’s that time of year that your hubby, boyfriend or fiancé has been waiting for. You guessed it, football season!  
Each week I make a list of topics that we can share with our readers to blog about. So, on our Sunday walk George and I were chatting about this week’s topic and he suggested I write about “man caves.” What a genius idea! Ideas quickly began to swirl in my creative imagination. 
 
Here are a few tips to make your guy’s room or personal space extra special! What is your man’s favorite team or sport? Use this as inspiration as far as color, a theme or lead for the space. If your guy doesn’t love sports, what is his favorite drink, car or hobby? Create a wine cellar or cigar aficionado inspired room. We suggest you really embrace this as inspiration and use this as what we refer to as a “lead” in interior design. Consider using these inspirations as wall décor, or repurpose these items into accessories such as pillows.
 
We have a man cave work in progress at my home for my dear George. Now that Haley has flown our nest, George has totally inspired me to surprise him with some stylization for his man cave. George is the ultimate sports fanatic and has been counting the days backwards and probably forwards until College Football opening day. Although I was the Co-Captain of the Varsity Yell Squad that is about where football started and ended for me. I completely embrace George’s love of the game. I really want to make this season special for him so I have lots to do… stay tuned for a make-over that may bring George’s team some extra luck or team spirit. This season will be extra exciting as he has two new teams to root for, USC and TCU! 
 
Are you at a loss how to make your room special or not too busy…we can help!
 
Happy Designing!
 
xo,
Sérendipité
 
    

home sweet dorm

  
 
For many of you, you may recall that this was the big week, or should I say, send-off for my sweet daughter, Haley, who is flying the nest. Haley is off to college so visions of creating an adorable and personal feel for Haley’s new dorm room are heavy on my mind.  I wanted to help Haley create a space where she would feel inspired, cozy and not-so-far from home. 
The trick for me was staying focused on what Haley wanted. Haley is the kind of girl that keeps things simple (not discounting her larger than life personality). She is much more laid-back, practical and not too interested in fluff. With that said, growing up with a mother that never cooks the same meal twice and pushes furniture from one side of the home to the other almost weekly, must have created chaos for my sweet girl as a child. Haley lets me be eccentric and seems to love my bold and wacky ideas, however, this week she gently reminded me that this dorm room was her new space and that I should let her make the final decisions.
 
We did not know what to expect as far as dorm size, arrangement or location.  What was the chi of this place, I pondered?  How can we create positive energy? What did the windows look like? I began to worry. As it turns out, Haley is in a co-ed dorm and it is really new, so we got lucky! Haley and her roommate discussed bedding ideas via text and among whatever social media sites these darlings refer to and arrived at the concept of coordinating bedding - not matching. They decided that they wanted each of their unique personalities to set the vibe for their individual bed and side of the room while still harmonizing with the other roommate’s side of the room. 
 
After moving the beds, “lofting” them at all levels and rearranging the desk placements a generous nine or so times, the final placement was set and the girls could begin to unpack into the private quarters of their 12’x14’ space. We were provided a check-list from the school which was helpful, however there was SO much more to consider.  Luckily Haley really kept things in perspective for me or I would have really gone a bit over board… no, me over the top?  Knowing I had to really make this space special for my darling and knowing that this was the topic of our blog this week, my imagination ran wild! Yet again, Haley reminded me that she loved what we created and to not worry too much about the small details. 
 
We’ve decided to share a few must haves for what we believe makes the biggest design splash in a dorm room and the final “ta da” of Haley’s tight quarters. We would love to see your dorm room ideas, style and creativity. Please share your tips with us!
 
Happy designing!
 
xo,
Sérendipité
 
       
 
      

beach cottage inspiration

Master Bedroom Inspiration
 
Back on May 28th we posted the “Town-home Remodel” blog and introduced you to our clients Robin and Steve who bought a beautiful town-home situated in a picturesque beach community. To update the look of the home and make it fit with the seaside style they love, contractors have been busily remodeling for the past 3 months.  Today the custom, kitchen cabinets are being installed and soon the remodel will be nearing an end.

With that being said, last week was the perfect time to presented Robin with my overall vision for the furnishings and textiles in her home. This is the fun part and I am excited to be working with Robin and Steve on this design journey all the way through so they can really put their creative stamp on their beautiful new home and make it everything they have dreamed and more!

Happy Designing!

xo,
Sérendipité
 
Living Room Inspiration
 
Dining Room Inspiration

A Room of Her Own

As an interior designer I get asked all the time what the interior of my house looks like. My home is filled with meaningful objects and pieces I adore - both big and small. It is a mélange of two of my favorite designer’s styles, with a little bit of French flare (because I love everything French!). 
 
Lately, I have been anxious to re-style my family room with a renewed look, although, with my busy schedule sometimes the updates I want to make on my own home get put on the back burner.  As much as I love my job and being a creative soul, I had the bright idea of having my fabulous design assistant, Melissa, invoke on the journey of pinpointing a fresh, new design style for this space with a new color palate and furniture layout, including re-upholstering existing furnishings, new window treatments and throw pillows and the addition of a few new furniture pieces. Take a look at the Inspiration Board she came up with...a room of my own!
 
Happy Designing!

xo,
Sérendipité

 

finishing touches

 Tuscan style kitchen
Hello friends! We have taken a few weeks off from sharing the progress of Jim and Karen's design journey with you. We are back and boy are we excited to report their home is more magical than we had dreamed!

The wallpaper and draperies are hung, their custom rugs have been rolled out and the furnishings are perfectly placed in their rightful places. Last week we went on an accessories shopping spree to gather those oh-so-fabulous finishing touches.

With just a few more things to take care of, our “to do” list is dwindling. We have plans to do a bit more shopping for plants, and for a few wall pieces. Karen and I have been on the hunt to find the perfect collection of clocks for the clock gallery we are creating in the dining room.

All of the details, from the custom pillows that add the zip to our zippy, to the artful accents in the tile and stone work and the lighting that creates the perfect ambiance, bring me so much joy every time I cross the threshold of their front door. This design journey with Jim and Karen has been so fun and inspiring! Karen has such a flair for design and always an open heart to my crazy ideas!

Jim and Karen’s home is magazine worthy and I am so delighted with the way every detail of their home turned out! I could not wait another day to have it professionally photographed because I have been anxious to share it with my blog readers. So, we had a mini photo shoot last week. What do you think so far?

Happy designing (and dreaming)!
xo,
Sérendipité
 
 
 

White Box Challenge

What do you get when you pair a handful of talented interior designers each with a different artisan pastry chef and showroom vendor from Stonemill Design Center who provides the designer with one “inspiration piece” and ask them to design an 8' x 10' innovative and unforgettable room? You get The White Box Challenge! 

 
Sérendipité is thrilled to announce that we have been chosen as one of eight Orange County interior designers to compete in The White Box Challenge sponsored by the Orange County Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Riviera Magazine and Stonemill Design Center. This real-life competition is based on the popular TV show The White Room Challenge on HGTV. Each designer has been paired with a different local pastry chef and vendor who will provide the designer with a piece of inspiration to create a unique room vignette.  The trick…the room must be completed in a 24 hour time frame!
 
Yes, that means once again I will be reverting to her college days and pulling an all-nighter (bring on the coffee, please!!).  Valerie is very excited to have been paired with sponsor vendor Cosentino/Silestone (quartz surfaces) who has provided a wonderful piece of inspiration to complement the room.  She has also been paired with the renowned Anaheim White House Restaurant who will be masterfully creating a dessert to correlate with her room design and grace her distinctive space.
 
To share in this excitement and to see what we dreamed up for this challenge, please join us June 6th, 2013 at the public event “Design & Desserts” at Stonemill Design Center to see her vignette up close and personal. Attendees of the “Design & Desserts” event will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite White Box Challenge Designer & Pastry Chef team.  We can’t wait to see you there!
 
Stonemill Design Center
2915 Red Hill Avenue
Costa Mesa, California
 
Happy Designing!
 
xo,
Sérendipité