April 22, 2014

My Portfolio (partial) Reveal! Master Bedroom Before & After

Yippeeeeee!!! I can hardly believe the day has come to share these photos. As I've mentioned, I plan to launch my website soon. In the meantime, I've decided to share my portfolio photos with you, one project at a time. You may have noticed that I've also added a Portfolio page to the blog, where you can  check out completed projects as they're photographed. (We have just a few to go, including our house :)) What I'll share in the blog posts are 'before' photos as well as details about the process, sources, etc. So, without further ado, let's go!

The starting point was a fairly small bedroom with and awkward shape and furniture that didn't fit the space well. My clients also wanted to brighten up the room and incorporate more efficient storage. Here are a couple of 'before' shots...
And here it is now! We didn't paint the walls, but by adding crisp white linens, a mostly neutral color palette, and a more efficient furniture layout, the room feels larger, brighter and so much cozier! Let's talk about some details...

You may have noticed from the views that we're not at ground level! This compact condo is on the eighth floor of a modern building in the SoMa district of San Francisco.

I knew right away that I wanted to place the bed in front of the windows, and was so happy when the dimensions confirmed a bed would fit here. The super soft runner at the foot of the bed (scroll up to top photo for a good look at it) stretches out ahead of you when you walk into the room, and the effect is that it kind of pulls you in. It also invites you to sit on the floor as it's sooooo soft!

The wardrobe you see above is actually a standard Ikea model on which the doors were customized with wallpaper on the front. The really nice part is that I found it this way on Craigslist! We were able to benefit from the added texture, which was very much appreciated by me. And the additional storage space is being put to use, of course.

To keep with the neutral, cohesive theme, we went with two mirrors as wall art. The wood-framed piece above is also functional, almost as good as a full-length variety. (An awesome HomeGoods find.)

My clients had the bookcase already (and it can be seen in one of the before photos, above). I feel like it's been given new life when paired with this dresser (which I sourced from overstock.com last fall, along with the platform bed). These dresser drawers provide a lot more storage than their old dresser, which had clunky construction with lots of wasted space. Tip: mixing woods is such a simple, great way to add visual interest when sticking with a neutral color palette (and might help you reuse an existing piece!).

This project was quite a transformation, and so rewarding. Please do comment with any questions you might have. Thanks for coming along on this little tour.

As I mentioned, more photos of this room (and others) can be found here, and I'll share details about additional projects as soon as I can! 

photos by Ruth Sonza of Tris Photography

If you're interested in working together to make your home a place you love, contact me for more info: katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com. Thanks!

April 2, 2014

some master bedroom updates


If you follow me on instagram, you know that I've been in Michigan for the past week. The main reason for the trip was to work on my new website with my dad (yaaaaayyyy!!!), but of course there was lots of family time as well. (Hoping to launch the website later this Spring :)) It was a great time, and of course it's always good to be back home! Happy to be working away in my office this morning...

I'd love to share some recent updates to our master bedroom. It's not finished, but I'm trying to be better about sharing progress, rather than wanting everything to be perfect. :)

Last Fall, I shared plans for this room, and they haven't changed a whole lot. Over the past couple of months, I've gradually and diligently been working away at this room. It's been neglected far too long, and it feels so awesome to see it finally coming together! It's not finished, but we're getting there. Last fall, we purchased a rug for the room, which was a great jumping off point. Then, over a long weekend in February, I cleared my calendar and painted the room. This was looooong overdue (as in, four years or so!). Ah, the magic of paint.

In the above photo, you can kind of see the old wall color. It was the same as most of our house when we moved in -- a yellow-y cream-ish color which I am not a fan of, especially with the yellow tones in our floors. Sorry I can't find a better 'before' photo, but let's move on to the fun stuff!

These are super inexpensive Ikea sconces, spray painted gold. (I can't find them on the Ikea website, sorry!) This is a FAST, high-reward DIY. I know the visible cords are not for everyone, but honestly, they don't bother me. We previously had lamps on the dresser, and while I loved them, the dresser surface was just too cluttered with all the jewelry. The sconces free up surface space, and double as jewelry storage. I'm happy with this budget solution, at least for now!

Back to the paint color...as you can see, I decided against the lavender which I'd originally planned on. When it comes to our house, I always have a few moments of extreme indecision just before pulling the trigger, and this was no exception. I considered going reaaaallly dark (as in, the darkest charcoal gray or midnight blue)...but in the end decided to keep it light and bright.

This room doesn't have a lot of natural light, so it's tough to capture the true color! It's a very pale green. I wouldn't say mint exactly, although some friends have called it that. :) Either way, it's very pretty. Because it's such a light shade, it acts as a neutral, but has just a little more depth and presence than white. You know I love my white backgrounds, to layer the color and pattern over, but this gives me the flexibility to layer OR keep it a bit cleaner, calmer. For example, the wall that runs next to the bed -- if the walls were white, I think I'd need to hang something there, but this slight bit of color makes it okay to keep it empty, which works better in the space. I like keeping things less maximalist in this room. 

I'm planning to add trim to the roman shades. Haven't found the perfect thing yet, but I'll know it when I see it.

And as planned, the lantern moved from the dining room and I love it in here.

So, as you can see...not quite finished, but huge amounts of progress, and I now love spending time in this space which really is the best reward!

I'd love to work together to make your home all it can be! Email me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for more information. 

March 26, 2014

Project: Back Fence

Along with many of  you, the arrival of Spring has me thinking a lot about sprucing up our outdoor space. At the moment, I'm trying to stay focused on more practical and realistic changes. I'd love to furnish the deck with an outdoor sectional, table & chairs, etc... but I'm not sure this is realistic this year. But, I am convinced we can make some significant changes with a little elbow grease and creativity! Let's check out some inspiration...

Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'd love to have our home's exterior painted in neutrals. While this may not be happening in my near future, I'm thinking that a neutral paint color is a good idea for the fence bordering our back yard. It's likely that I'll eventually incorporate color through cushions and such, and similar to my approach to an interiors, I tend to prefer a neutral backdrop which allows colors to really stand out. 

And since our interior already includes quite a bit of color, and looks out directly to the backyard, I don't want the two competing with one another. Already, we've kept most of our plants in the green and tropical family, which we both love. My preference would be to have a few larger palms spreading their branches over our yard, but those puppies are expensive! In looking at these photos, I'm thinking we need to incorporate some other types of (more inexpensive) lush foliage to define the borders of the deck and yard (until the tropical plants all grow huge!). The first step is painting the back fence - some instant gratification to keep me motivated. I primed it this past weekend, which gives me a sense of how it would look painted white. I'm also considering a dark color, to create a cozy, closed-in effect. We'll see what happens! 

March 25, 2014

Our House... The Exterior!

It's funny -- you've seen so much of our home's interior, but unless you know us personally, the exterior is an unknown. This is about to change! 

There you have it! Our home is a traditional Italianate (a little different than a Victorian, which most people are more familiar with), build in the late 1800's (it survived the massive 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which is pretty reassuring!). The interior has all been renovated in recent years, but most of the original character still exists on the exterior. 

I may have mentioned this before on the blog (sorry - I don't remember!). The exterior needs to be re-painted soon, so I've been spending a lot of time thinking about our options. When most people first see our house, they're not surprised by the bright colors, and assume that I chose them. I didn't, and they're not my favorites. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE our house and thank God for it every day. And now that we have the opportunity to select paint, it will be something different. :)

In general, I love contrast ... juxtaposition ... mixing the unexpected. I think this helps explain why I would paint the house all white, if it were up to me. The expected treatment for this type of detailed facade is to highlight every nook and surface with different colors. To me, this feels like traditional + traditional. I prefer traditional + modern. To me, all white would be a fresh and modern take on a traditional home. And ideally, I'd plant huge palms all around the white exterior. Think New Orleans. Ahhhhhh!!! Anyway... I know this won't make sense to some, but it's the best way I can think to explain it (and I'm okay with the fact that not everyone will agree with me!). :)

Now, when it comes to interiors, my husband pretty much lets me have free reign. Very rarely does he weigh in. However...he seems to have stronger opinions about the outside, and he loves the idea of using multiple colors to highlight the detail on the house. So, we're working on a compromise. :)


I LOVE these dark exteriors with the white trim. But I don't think this is what he has in mind. So, next step is for me to find some exteriors which incorporate color, and see if we can get closer to the same page. Fortunately, my city has no shortage of inspiration here. I need to walk through certain neighborhoods and get the wheels turning. As always, I'm excited about the idea of a change!