Taking Your Home To A Stellar Level



P.O. Box 2009 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352


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Image by Matt Artz
  • Dana D. McKee

Love The Home You Live In Now

There is something to be said for those who appreciate their home without it being Pinterest photo perfect. If you love design like me, then you start to feel a little angst when you see glossy photo's of luxury bathrooms, knowing yours falls way short. Or does it? When we did our reno last year, our main bath was on the list, but after the kitchen, windows, sliders, and prow glass were done, we were disappointed to learn that the bathroom would have to wait. Unexpected issues came up; a tree had to be cut down because it was a fire hazard, (I'm still mourning the loss of our glorious Noble Fir) and the outside electric panel needed to be replaced. Sexy stuff, I know, but it was necessary. We had a choice of making some bath improvements with the remaining money, but we decided on a new front door, instead. It was all or nothing for us. No regrets on the front door. I look at it every day and tell it how much I love it.

No reno needed here! Charm & style courtesy of Forbes.
The light fixture here is just like ours! Don't feel so bad now. Courtesy of Forbes

Almost a year later, I am ok with the main floor bathroom with its dated linoleum floor and eighties lighting. It's not a large bathroom and there are a lot of little details I've added to make it seem almost cool. New paint, an artsy vase with fresh cut greenery, a fluffy rug, small vintage art pieces, new towels and great smelling bath oils can actually be a good distraction for the little bath that couldn't. I'm actually glad we didn't do the reno because in order for it to be done right, meaning in keeping with the style of the house, that requires some time and thought. A bad reno is something that would wound me to the core, leaving a permanent black mark on my designing soul. A bit dramatic, I know, but I've seen my share of bad renos on Zillow and I think, "Wow, they just ripped out all the architectural integrity and character out of that one." It is something that you can't recoup and that would be harder to live with rather than not doing one at all.

Contrasting wallpaper in a small space can create a WOW factor. Courtesy of Forbes.

There are so many things you can do, small and inexpensive, that can be impactful and breathe new life into your home while planning a renovation. We painted all of our rooms white and could not believe what a difference it made! Yes, boring old white! It brought light into the room and just felt so much more spacious and clean looking. One exception for me is painting over beautiful wood. Consider the beauty of wood with all of its perfect imperfections, knots where there were once branches, and the faces you can sometimes see in them. Wood is magical to me. So many homeowners are painting white over natural wood ceilings and beams in our mountain town, taking the coziness that wood affords right out of the home. It's worthy of a thought, anyway. White can be tricky and there are variations in whites that can change the effect of the room. If you are thinking about painting a room white, everything you need to know is right here.

Courtesy of Don Pedro
May I have that chair, please? Courtesy of Don Pedro.

Mirrors are another easy add that can transform a room. I know, that may seem pretty basic, but it cannot be overstated and sometimes we forget those little tricks we were taught long ago. I did! We were living in darkness for two years before I contemplated it. We bought a large round mirror for our living room that faces our wall of windows - you would think a wall of windows brings in a lot of light, right? Not when they face west, as ours does. A mirror facing the windows made a HUGE impact, though. Yes, it really did, no exaggeration. Placing a mirror facing a window, again, basic stuff here, I know, can make a room seem lighter and bigger. And, there are so many different shapes and styles to choose from to add another layer of visual interest to your room. Speaking of incredible mirrors, I just have to share this interactive fur mirror created by artist Daniel Rozin here.

Stunning mirror courtesy of Brabbu.

Small details such as new hardware for drawers, cabinets, and doors can transform a room considerably. We have the hollow core oak doors from the 1970's in every room in our home, and I hated them at first sight. I wanted them gone almost immediately until my wise husband convinced me otherwise, telling me that they match the style period. Of course they do! Our Brady Bunch doors received a reprieve that day, but I'm currently looking for new modern door knobs just to give them the style punch they deserve. Switch plates are also a detail that we tend to overlook to upgrade. In our case, we removed our switch plates and ordered vintage 1970's brown switch plates to go with our home. It sounds ugly, but to me, they are epic coolness. Our home was built as a vacation home. Expensive switch plates would be totally wrong in our case. That's what I'm saying now, but that could always change. For now, it works.

Man handle courtesy of Oddee.
Welcoming door handle courtesy of imagireobit.

Door handles like the ones above are works of art and maybe they are not for every home. I wanted to include examples like these to stretch the imagination and to be open to all that is out there. A little weirdness is a good thing. Always.

The point of this post was to say your home doesn't have to be magazine perfect in order for you to love it. The process of creating is really the best part and there are so many things you can do now to elevate your space. You don't have to wait to enjoy it - I hope this post has been a positive read. It's meant to be that way! Please let me know your thoughts and thank you for taking the time to read this.

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