Archive for Reuse

Graffiti Knitting – an interior craft gone exterior

It began last winter with me knitting a scarf for my youngest daughter. A friend had knit a scarf with pomp-a-doodle yarn and said it wasn’t that difficult to do and it actually didn’t even take that long to knit with this particular type of yarn. Fast and economical fashion – count me in. And so it began – it started with that scarf, then two more pom pom scarves this holiday season for my other daughter and her college room mate, then a cowl for myself (again with the pom pom yarn), then creating a scarf with the pom pom yarn mixed with a fringe yarn, and the latest, a scarf with a “ruffle” yarn. I can’t seem to stop and I have only created neck attire!

I posted the images of my creations on Facebook and inquired if there was a way to somehow connect my new hobby with my blog postings. Several friends weighed in with interesting thoughts-

Kate: Are you working with eco-friendly yarns (non-toxic dyes, natural fibers, etc), which would give you a link to “green” material choices for interiors — or maybe there’s a fun way to use knitted pieces as a design element? Or maybe there’s a metaphor in the whole process of knitting — you untangle a mess of yarn, and turn a single strand of wool into a unified piece (like working with disparate design elements and turning them into a pleasing and unified room design)?

Donna: Have you seen Norah Gaughan’s book Knitting Nature? Very “green” and fascinating way to design- reminds me of Bachelard’s book The Poetics of Space on home design.

I liked both of these suggestions, but it was Leah’s reply that captured my attention: Check this out- I just saw an article on it recently. I’m not entirely sure as to how it would tie in, but it did pop in to my mind… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn_bombing.

According to Wikipedia: Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth rather than paint or chalk.

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How cool. Yarn bombers target anything they find from sleeves on parking meters, trees, statues, to cars and buses. Like most graffiti artists, this group of knitters often tag in the middle of the night. Some troupes wear crocheted masks while they work, and although it is technically illegal, the police have yet to make any knitter arrests.

In researching images for this blog, I discovered an artist that goes by the name OLEK (Agata Oleksiak) born in Poland living in NYC. ​”Crochet came to me as a result of being totally broke. I had to make a costume in NYC and I had no cash for a sewing machine. I used any materials I could possibly find…I even cut my sheets into strips to make pieces. Being resourceful is in my blood as you can see. Crochet is for poor people…that’s why you can find it in almost any culture across the globe.”

I was fascinated to see how much art Olek has produced in recent years. I have LIKED her Facebook page, bookmarked her website (http://www.agataolek.com/), and I look forward to seeing her work in person in the near future.

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          Olek creating The Cube

Some of Olek’s work both in galleries as well as on the street:

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I am not sure if I connected urban knitting with green interior design, (other than showing some interiors covered in knit and crochet slipcovers), but I did share an art form that is gaining in popularity and world recognition. Hopefully, you have seen something unique and inspiring and find it as interesting as I have. If you have any knitting/crocheting queries, please feel free to contact me at design@lmkinteriorsltd.com. I will try my best to be of assistance.

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One catalogue–so many great finds for your home

There are a few catalogues that I look forward to receiving. Mostly they are related to home, decorating or objects of interest. Every once in a while I receive a catalogue that stands out. The first time I got one from Sundance, I had so many pages dogged eared, I might as well have said – I want everything and anything in this! Anthropologie is another one that I love to thumb through over and over again. This season I received one from uncommon goods. Talk about some unique and cool items. Since I have been shopping for the holidays these last several weeks, I thought I would share some the items I found interesting. Perhaps some that might be appropriate for your home. I have limited my selections to home goods, they offer so much more! I have kept the product descriptions as quoted from the catalogue because I thought they were appropriate. Please go to their website to view the following as well as many more items. www.uncommongoods.com

Wine Barrel Bench“Old wine barrels can be used for lots of things, like these sturdy Vintner’s benches, which are made from reclaimed wine barrel staves (the bent planks that make up the barrel’s sides). Perfect for the mud room, porch, or back-door entrance, each bench is handcrafted and uniquely aged and patinaed. No two are alike. Handmade in Texas.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Skateboard Stool“Add a kick of street style to your home with this sturdy, compact seat that features a creative reuse of of roughed-up skateboards. Broken boards are byproducts of skate culture and decks are usually destined for the landfill once they’re cracked. Inspired by the consistent way many skateboards were busted, artist Jason Podlaski collects shattered skateboards from skateshops and skateparks in the US and Canada and turns both deck and truck into a hybrid, high-quality piece of furniture that’s built tough. The scrapes and scars on the decks create a beautiful veneer of use over the original graphics. Every deckstool is meticulously built, reinforced and finished by skilled craftsmen in Pennsylvania.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Magnetic Pallet Chair“Lovingly reclaimed and refurbished by hand, this Adirondack-style chair was once an industrial storage pallet. Each sturdy, one-of-a-kind piece is handmade from repurposed pine and oak with rare earth neodymium magnets that transform its design into a functional modular piece.
Embedded magnets allow the chair to collapse back into an easy-to-store pallet shape. Naturally endowed with a gorgeous patina, each piece is made to play elegant host to backyard soirees for years to come. Handmade in Ventura, CA of reclaimed wood, glue, neodymium magnets, paint, VOC compliant exterior varnish & sealant.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Recycled Tire Basket“You won’t have to tread lightly around storage with this industrial tote, hand-sculpted from scraps of recycled tires in Milwaukee. Ideal for multi-purpose storage, its tough and roomy road rubber frame was born to haul it all–from firewood to fresh-picked fruit. A natural bin for your home or garden, this basket goes the extra mile: All one-of-a-kind pieces are handmade in a job skill workshop by people with disabilities or limiting conditions. Handmade in Wisconsin.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Recycled Wine Barrel Side Table“Whether or not the wine born from this wine barrel had an earthy flavor, this side table has an earthly quality. Made from recycled white oak wine barrels – they’re usually discarded after a few years – the side table has a shelf and splendid iron accents. Handmade in Georgia.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Distortion Candlesticks“Add a burst of life to your table setting with this curvaceous candlestick. Designer Paul Loebach gives his creation its unique twist by using state-of-the-art technology: from computer design to special 3D printers to the final result, these whimsical candelabras are the embodiment of delight, pure and simple.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Geometric Candles“Each candle takes the shape of a bold, nearly two-dimensional shape with a textured surface, and rests in a brushed aluminum stand. But in spite of their futuristic aesthetic, the process of making them is decidedly old fashioned. They are entirely handcrafted, from the forming of the molds, to the trimming of each wick, and every detail in between. The candles are made from 100% triple-pressed palm wax, an environmentally friendly, renewable material. Palm wax melts with little or no dripping, and its high melting temperature ensures they will maintain their shape as they burn. The candles are unscented, so you can enjoy them at dinner without overpowering your meal. Handmade in Bloomington, IN.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Recycled Glass Tree Globes - Relationships“Celebrate those dearest to you with elegant 100% recycled glass globes, featuring an interior glass trunk that branches out to support vibrant splashes of color. Handmade in Canada by artist Stephen Kitras. To make these pretty globes, artist Stephen Kitras first has to receive a shipment of broken glass from a supplier in Seattle that makes windows for cars, homes and offices. They send their broken shards to Kitras, who then melts them down in a furnace for 12 hours before creating his signature pieces. Globes come with a plastic hang tag that is designed to be used for hanging the globe, either on the display stand specifically designed for the globe or from a different location.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Personalized Family Pillow“This embroidered pillow piles the whole family onto the couch without cramping your style. The ultimate creature comfort, featuring customized figures for all the characters under your roof. Handmade of cotton and flax by Mary and Shelly Klein in Grand Rapids, MI.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Phuzion Series Sushi or Cheese Tray“Your guests are sure to be impressed with this eye-catching glass sushi or cheese tray. Artist Orfeo Quagliata designed this vivid colored tray using his own handcrafted opaque glass that he creates in his glass studio in Mexico. Striking, sturdy and versatile, this tray can be used as a modern centerpiece or to showcase your scrumptious hors d’oeuvres or sushi.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Bike Chain Bowl“Since he was a kid, Graham Bergh has been making things out of found objects. After getting his Master’s in Economics and Environmental Policy, he wanted to become an innovative recycling professional when he got a flat tire on his bike and said, “Hmmm…interesting material…” So he got to building creations by hand out of recycled bicycle parts, and soon gathered a team of artists to come up with new ideas and assemble the ideas they had. The results are distinctive accents like this bike chain bowl, which is perfect for keys, change and more. Handmade in Oregon.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Labyrinth Bowl“Show me your ways… teach me your paths… guide me in your truth.”
~ Psalm 25 (engraved on bottom of bowl)

“Symbolic of a spiritual journey and personal discovery, this beautiful labyrinth bowl encourages you to contemplate your own path through life. For a calming and contemplative practice, hold the cool pewter in your palm and gently run your finger tip down the path from the outer edge, trace the path to the center and then back out again. Handmade in California by Cynthia Webb. Lead-free pewter.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Large Mexican Papaya Bowl“Made from dried Mexican papaya, this parchment bowl is a stunning centerpiece and guaranteed conversation piece. Artisan Margaret Dorfman hand builds each fragile bowl out of parchment made from slices of papaya through a 12-day process that includes curing, pressing and aging each piece. Place a glass votive candle inside the bowl for a warm orange glow or fill it with fragrant potpourri. Handmade in California. Each is one of a kind and will vary.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Flip Flop Mats“More flip for your flop, these colorful doormats are made of scrap foam rubber from sandal factories in the Philippines that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Lobster Rope Doormats“Float-ropes are used by lobstermen to tether their lobster traps. Unfortunately, float-rope entangles Northern Right Whales (an endangered species) which swim in the same waters. In order to protect these whales, lobstermen are now required to turn in their old float-ropes and switch to sink-ropes instead. 300,000 pounds of float-rope was destined to go to landfills and burning facilities in Massachusetts before it was re-purposed for projects such as this.

Extremely durable, these doormats can handle the toughest weather conditions and are resistant to mold, mildew, salt water and sun. They do not absorb water or harbor insects. To clean, just give it a good shake. Handmade in Maine of 100% recycled materials. Includes card about the project.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Hand Blown Recycled Glass Rectangle Vase“This multicolor hand blown recycled glass is so gorgeous, you may decide to display it au naturel. Of course, it also looks great filled. Try your hand at a centerpiece of daffodils, colored marbles or even jelly beans. The possibilities are endless thanks to the generous splashes of color. A unique gift since no two vases are exactly alike. Handmade by Canadian artist Stephen Kitras.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

Buddha Bowl“Enjoy a moment of Zen with the handmade Buddha Bowl. Nestled naturally in your palm, this bowl allows you to enjoy rice, soup, cereal and hot cocoa with ease. Its comforting shape washed in soothing color, this dish brings a touch of tranquility to your daily routine. Who knows-maybe you’ll find enlightenment in your morning latte. Available in many colors: olive, pacific, aubergine, black bean, tofu, and butter. Created by Flavour Design. Sold individually. Handmade in southern California.” (uncommon goods, 2011)

“Bring nature and relaxation to your life with this engaging bonsai garden kit. More than just a potted plant, this is a grove of miniature trees that you foster along, from seedling to sprout to bonsai forest.

These tiny trees are actually ancestors of the giant California redwood. Called Dawn redwood, they were thought to be extinct until the 1940s when one was discovered growing in a rice field in central China. And even though its towering relative is an evergreen tree, the Dawn redwood is one of only two known deciduous conifers. In the fall its leafy needles turn from green, to yellow, to copper, bringing the pageant of the changing seasons to your desk or kitchen window.

Kit includes: tree and moss seed, recycled steel seedling training pots, seed starting wafers, growing medium, bonsai scissors, rake with spade, river stone, and directions. Handmade in the USA” (uncommon goods, 2011)

All of the above items can be found at uncommon goods. www.uncommongoods.com

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season – here’s to a Happy and Prosperous 2012! As always, if you have any design queries, please contact me at design@lmkinteriorsltd.com or 978.335.1140.

Peace,

Lisa Kawski

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Transforming the High School Teacher’s Lounge

                             before: Hamilton Wenham Teacher's Lounge

Would I be interested in helping to update the high school teacher’s lounge? That was the initial email regarding the “surprise” make over that a group of parents wanted to provide to show the teachers/staff how much they appreciated the work they provided for their children and within the community. I received this email on November 17, with the intention to execute the transformation over the Christmas holiday break (December 27 – 30). Basically, one month to raise funds, make selections/specifications, order/purchase and install during the busiest time of the year: between Thanksgiving and New Years. Naturally, I said I would love to help in any way I could. I have two children currently in the high school as well as a graduate, so I figured this was a volunteer effort that was within my comfort zone.

before: Hamilton Wenham High School Teacher's Lounge             before: Hamilton Wenham High School Teacher's Lounge

A small group of us met with the principal to clarify any conditions that we needed to be made aware of and any restrictions. He informed us that we needed to use low VOC paint and that was about it. I thought it would be a great opportunity to also bring in a recycled flooring option that I have specified, FLOR carpet tiles. After assessing the situation, my thoughts were to:

  • paint the walls, trim and bookcase (Sherwin Williams: Harmony)
  • stain doors and cabinetry woodwork
  • remove the existing carpet and install FLOR carpet tiles
  • reupholster the chairs surrounding the large conference table and make upholstered seats for the wood chairs
  • purchase new sofa and loveseat (since the existing ones were hand-me-downs that were falling apart)
  • purchase new end tables
  • purchase new table lamps
  • accessorize the wall unit shelves

An initial email went out to as many families as all of us knew sharing our intent and asking for donations of money towards the cause as well as time to volunteer to implement the design. We were stunned by the response within the first few days. As I had begun making selections and pricing out the costs, it looked like the donations would cover most of the expenses. I would pass my design discounts on where possible to help us reach our projected budget goals. I was able to do this on the paints/stains, FLOR carpet tiles, fabric for upholstering and labor costs for reupholstering and even on the tables from Bed, Bath and Beyond when a woman handed me a 20% discount coupon while in the check out line when she heard what the tables were going to be used for. The table lamps were donated by Timeless Interiors.

With everything specified and ordered before Christmas, we planned the schedule of installation. The carpet tile had been delivered to the custodial room and were being hidden under blankets. I had picked up the fabric yardage and was storing that along with the lamps at my office. I spent Christmas weekend assembling the end tables. The plan was that on Monday, the carpet would be ripped out and the walls and woodwork would be prepped for paint/stain (to be the messiest day of the week), Tuesday we would paint/stain, Wednesday we would install the carpet tiles, and Thursday we would have the sofa/loveseat picked up at Jordan’s and delivered and do final clean up and accessorizing.     

Well- Mother Nature decided to throw a rather intense snow storm that Sunday into Monday – so the whole schedule was thrown out the window and we came in Tuesday to do our best to make it all come together with whatever volunteers showed up. The first issue that day was that the carpet was glued down for so many years – it took two very strong teenage boys along with some strong Dads to pull most of it up. There was an 8’x 8’ patch that would not budge. Luckily, the custodian walked in and mentioned a flooring company the school uses and perhaps they could help us out. Wednesday morning, Paul Ritchie of Paul Ritchie Flooring in Beverly and crew showed up to remove the remaining carpet patch and INSTALL the carpet tiles for us. I had intended to spend the day, along with volunteers doing this task. I am forever grateful that professionals did it!

during: Hamilton Wenham High School Teacher's Lounge             during: Hamilton Wenham High School Teacher's Lounge

Everything was coming together beautifully. A few on-the-spot decisions regarding paint vs. stain when the old wood would not stop absorbing the stain and it wasn’t looking any better than when we started. Apply paint!

I ran to Christmas Tree Shop on Thursday to see what I could find for adding some colorful accessories (on a strict budget!) to put on the shelves. As soon as I walked in, I hit the jack pot. $70 for all the decorative pieces of glass, ceramics and metal baskets. Sofa/Loveseat delivered Friday morning along with a handful of volunteers to move in all of the other furnishings. Chairs will be reupholstered in the coming weeks. (My upholsterer was on vacation.) Coffee table will get a crackle/antique finish applied in the coming weeks as well. Otherwise, we were able to make this transformation happen on time and within budget.

The added bonus: Monday morning, when the teachers returned from vacation – they entered their lounge in awe. I received wonderful emails and phone calls throughout the day expressing their gratitude for the time and money donated to this project. They said, “This gesture of kindness has improved morale, fostered collegiality and provided a space that is comfortable, welcoming and professional.”

after: Hamilton Wenham High School Teacher's Lounge                            after: Hamilton Wenham High School Teacher's Lounge

                             after: Hamilton Wenham Teacher's Lounge

A rather nice way to end 2010. Here’s to a new year of rewarding projects. Always feel free to contact me at lmk interiors, ltd.

 design@lmkinteriorsltd.com or (978)335-1140

Happy New year!

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De-cluttering

I’ll get to it when I have time… just keep re-organizing the piles…procrastinate…overwhelmed… we are having friends come over– hide everything! Oh yeah, perhaps we should just de-clutter.

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At some point, is it possible to have everything in it’s proper place and have the home or office close to what we see in the magazine? Yes, the photos showcase staged environments at their best. But, with some planning and lots of organizing, I believe we can live and work in a space devoid of clutter.

As a designer, I sometimes find that what I design for my clients does not always translate into my own living space or office area. I create cabinetry, cubbies, shelves, closets, organizers and storage capabilities so that there is a place for every item in their kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath. When I look around my house, I find the pile of bills, the items I have read, but am not sure whether to file them or keep them out to review yet again, the clothes from the day before draped over the chair at the foot of my bed, the basement a receptacle of items that simply “can not” be discarded just yet. And that is just me, there are four other people plus a dog and two cats living in our home! The list goes on and on. In a perfect world, one would move into a home and have a pre-determined place for everything. Well, I am here to share that even I do not have this mastered.

That is why we have Professional Organizers, the Fly Lady, blogs to help us learn how to de-clutter, Container Stores and lots of books on de-cluttering as well. I would like to share a few bits of information that I have gathered to assist all of us with our battle against stuff.

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www.flylady.net:

According to Marla Cilley (aka The fly Lady), “Taking 15 minutes each day to de-clutter an area and clearing your hotspots are among some of the most powerful tools you can use to create a more peaceful home. Remember: You cannot organize clutter – you can only organize the things you love!”

  • When to De-clutter: Decide how often you are going to de-clutter a zone. Do a little every day – use a timer. But be warned – this can become compulsive! Once you get started you will want to clean like a banshee! Don’t burn yourself out! Only do small amounts at a time. The house did not get dirty overnight and it will not get clean overnight. When you set the timer you can only do two sessions at a time. This goal may seem unattainable right now, but you can do it in little pieces. In a couple of months, the whole house will be de-cluttered.
  • De-cluttering Equipment: You will need garbage bags, boxes, magic markers, and a dust rag. Label the boxes “Give Away”, “Throw Away”, and “Put Away”. Line the “Throw Away” box with a plastic garbage bag.
  • Set your timer: for 1 hour (or 30, 15, or 10 minutes – it doesn’t matter how long). Just do the job as fast as you can and do not pull out more stuff than you can put away in that length of time. This means just one drawer, one closet (or even one shelf in one closet), one magazine rack, or digging under just the furniture in the zone. Not all of them at once!
  • Start at the entrance to the room: Then, work your way around the room clockwise. Do not skip a spot. Whatever happens to be next, just do it.
  • De-clutter Away! With boxes at your feet and dust rag in your waistband, start off by cleaning out and getting rid of the things that do not belong in this room. Put garbage in the “Throw Away” box, donations in the “Give Away” box, and stuff that goes somewhere else in the “Put Away” box. Don’t worry that you do not have a place for everything right now. By the time you finish you will. That’s a promise from FlyLady!
  • What to de-clutter? Things to ask yourself as you get rid of your clutter:
    • Do I love this item?
    • Have I used it in the past year?
    • Is it really garbage?
    • Do I have another one that is better?
    • Should I really keep two?
    • Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?
    • Or does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see the item?
    • Cleanse this room of everything that does not make you SMILE.
  • Sing this song: “Please release me, let me go” as sung from the stuff’s point of view. It needs to be loved by someone and if you don’t love it – GET RID OF IT!
  • Get rid of the garbage! When the “Throw Away” box gets full, pull out the garbage bag, close it, and put it in the trash can, the pickup truck, or wherever you keep your garbage. Put a new garbage bag in the “Throw Away” box and keep on Flying until the timer goes off.
  • Donations: When the “Give Away” box gets full, seal it off, and put it in your car. The next time you are out, you can donate to the area thrift shop. Do not save your clutter for a yard or garage sale, you will be blessed by giving it away. The value can be deducted on your income tax. Remember you are trying to get rid of clutter – not relocate it somewhere else in your home. Now, grab another box, label it “Give Away”, and get back to work.
  • “Put Away” Stuff: When the “Put Away” box gets full, take the box in your arms and run around the house (good thing you have shoes on – right?) and put the items in the room where they belong. If they have a place, put them there, if not put them in the room where they logically belong. By the time you have finished you will have a place for everything and everything will be in it’s place.
  • Timer Goes Off: When the timer goes off, you have to put away all the boxes, but first you have to empty them all. Go as fast as you can.
  •  Another great website overflowing with information on de-cluttering and getting your life organized is www.zenhabits.net. Leo Babauta shares his personal story and provides simple steps to follow that are similar to the Fly Lady’s but add a Zen flavor.

    David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done (GTD) has some insightful methods of de-cluttering at www.zenhabits.net/the-getting-things-done-gtd-faq/ as well as his book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

    Some of my clients have asked for initial help by a professional to get them started when planning to organize and de-clutter. I often refer clients to Professional Organizer, Nancy Black of Organization Plus to assist. She offers an initial 3 hour consultation service that helps when taking the first steps to achieving a more balanced existence. http://organizationplus.com/03_threehourtransfomration.html

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    With the holidays upon us, this is the time when most of us put forth a great effort to clean and organize our homes with the added incentive of company coming to visit. If that is what it takes to motivate us for the big push, then so be it. But for the every day living amongst our possessions, I do recommend finding that balance with some of the tips mentioned above. Happy de-cluttering and if you find you need someone to share your situation with, please feel free to contact me at design@lmkinteriorsltd.com or (978)335-1140.

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    Sometimes, all it takes is a photo: Before & After Images

    A great way to share the wealth of services I can provide to a client is usually accomplished by showing my visual portfolio of completed projects. Sometimes, they have been to a home where I have worked my magic. They then have seen “in person” how a room can be transformed either in it’s entirety or with the addition or elimination of a few items. Often, seeing that visual image reassures them that they too will be able to make changes within their own home; with the assistance of lmk interiors, ltd.

    I thought it would be useful to share some before and after images of some of the work from lmk interiors, ltd. I am not showing entire rooms; more specifically items within the rooms that have been reused, reworked or refinished. To see more room views that have been transformed, go to my website at: www.lmkinteriorsltd.com.

    Reworked Window Treatments

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.   after, lmk interiors, ltd.

    We reworked these existing window treatments in a Master Bedroom. The sheers in the left photo were suspended from a wooden rod by wooden rings. They appeared outdated and saggy (about one foot of extra fabric pooled on the floor). The fabric was salvageable, so we redesigned the new treatments with that in mind. We used a traversing metal rod that was mounted into each corner, this created a “wall” of fabric when they are closed. Adding a bronze banding fabric to the top and bottom finished it off with a clean, sophisticated appearance. No more droopy fabric puddling on the floor nor off the mounting rod.

    detail, lmk interiors, ltd.

    Detail of top design and banding.

     

     

     

    Replacing Window Treatments

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.after, lmk interiors, ltd.after, lmk interiors, ltd.

    As in the example above, we had something to work with in order to ruse it in the redesign. In this case, the wooden blinds in the photo on the left had been damaged by too much use and could not be repaired. They also did not provide enough warmth when the family sat down in the wintertime to eat at the table. We removed the existing window treatments and designed new thermal panels that not only provided room darkening capabilities, but also provided a blanket of protection against the elements. They are on a vertical channel system mounted on the sides of the window frames that allow the treatments to be in either an “up” position or “down” position (as shown in these photographs). A coordinating striped fabric window seat cushion was made to provide comfort for seating on the bench as well.

    Sometimes There Is Nothing There

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.  after, lmk interiors, ltd.  detail, lmk interiors, ltd.

    This kitchen showroom space at NorthShore Kitchens Plus was not only transformed by the addition of the window treatments, but also the faux wall finish and glass tile backsplash. For the showroom space below, playing with contrasting colors for the window treatments and wall finish made for an interesting transition from a contemporary kitchen vignette to a more traditional one within a shared space.

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.  after, lmk interiors, ltd. detail, lmk interiors, ltd.

    Reusing Family Heirloom Furnishings 

    One of my clients redesigned her kitchen/dining room and family room area. I was engaged to transform her heirloom dining set to fit with the new environment. We reupholstered the side chairs along with the arm chairs. We also created a decorative valance for the window treatments above the sliding glass doors; coordinating all of the fabrics as well as adding a coordinating area rug.

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.  before, lmk interiors, ltd.  after, lmk interiors, ltd.

    The images below showcase a guest bedroom redesign. It began with reupholstering a family arm chair. Bedding, window treatments, faux painting on the walls and a whole bunch of decorative pillows followed!

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.    after, lmk interiors, ltd.

    Do We Buy a New Sofa or Reupholster Our Comfy Favorite One?

    Honestly, depending on the fabric selected, a new sofa can cost the same or less than reupholstering your existing one. It is a matter of personal choice. If it has served you well and is showing wear that is beyond repair, it may be time to purchase a new one. But if it is a matter of adding some new padding to your seat cushions and covering it with some fresh fabric, than that is the way to go.

    before, lmk interiors, ltd.  after, lmk interiors, ltd.

    My Amazing Team             

    After beginning my residential interior design business eight years ago, I was quite lucky to find amazing resources early on to assist with the execution of my designs. I have been working with this team for 6-8 years now and value the incredible quality of their work as well as the integrity they demonstrate in their businesses. I look forward to many more years of using their services to provide quality, and unique designs for my clients.

    Upholstering: Julio Cruz of J.C. Upholstering  www.jcupholstering.net

    Window Treatments: Cathy Crist of Refinements, Inc.

    Faux Painting: Julie King of Samarra Faux Painting www.samarrafaux.com

    As always, please feel free to contact me regarding any of your interior design needs or questions at lmk interiors, ltd. (978)335-1140 or design@lmkinteriorsltd.com.

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    back to school… again

    It all started with my Dad. He decided it was time to retire the sofas that have been around since I was a child and purchase some new, more comfortable sofas for his den. The first call I made for him was to a store I knew of in Cambridge called RESIDE (www.resideinc.com) to see if they might be interested in purchasing them. They specialize in classic mid 20th century modern furnishings. They buy, sell and consign furniture. Unfortunately, after sending them digital photos of the sofas, they felt they could not sell them for us. The next step was to ask family and friends if they were in need of some sofas. There were no takers, except for my son, August. Last spring he found himself along with three friends looking for an off-campus apartment for this coming school year at Rochester Institute of Technology after losing out to on-campus apartments through the lottery. Two, free, six foot sofas would be an ideal addition to an apartment. Especially, when it needed to be fully furnished! They were disassembled on the first of September and moved to upstate New York via U-Haul Labor Day weekend. August's Apartment

    As we moved August into his apartment, I looked around and realized how many items had come from the four roommates’ homes. Whether it be furniture, cooking utensils, clothing, or modes of transportation, they were all playing a part in reclaiming, recycling and repurposing much of the things in their new space. Even their apartment used to be something else before it was transformed a few years ago into an apartment complex. It was a carpet showroom! Upon moving August into his apartment, my husband Jim noted how he used to drive to school on this back road and remembered going by the showroom. Jim and I attended and met at Rochester Institute of Technology, 27 years ago.

    After we dropped August off, we headed down to Dunkirk, NY to visit with Jim’s Dad. We recently moved him into an assisted living facility and we are in the process of selling his home. While there, we looked around for anymore finds that might work in August’s apartment. In the basement we discovered six bar stools. Jackpot! The guys had a high counter separating their living area from the kitchen, begging for some stools. We snagged four.

    august's apartment

    august's apartment

    In August’s junior year of high school, he purchased his first car. We mentioned to a friend that he was beginning to look and she told us a friend of hers was considering selling her car. It was an Acura 1995: good price & good condition. Having a car has been great, but for less cumbersome access to campus and for general riding around, he and his roommates thought having bikes for this year would be good. August began and ended his search using Craig’s List (www.Craigslist.org). When he mentioned that one of the bikes he had found was labelled “vintage”, I told him to keep looking. Instead, he headed up to Gloucester and purchased a classic French 1970’s Motobecane. Again, good price & good condition. A quick tune up at the local bike shop and a new cable and he was on his way.

    Some other items taking up residence in August’s apartment include:

    •  two clothing dressers that I had purchased years ago at a yard sale. (He repainted them with metallic paint for the tops and left over paint from his bedroom for the base)
    • his bed frame from home (Jim went in and set up one of our daughter’s bed frames the day we came home from Rochester because it felt odd not having one in the room)
    • His roommate’s old television cabinet, television and end tables
    • Another roommate’s old kitchen table and chairs, floor lamp and cooking pans, dishes, glassware and utensils

    august's apartment august's apartment August's Apartment

     

    August and his roommates have discovered several thrift and discount shops around Rochester. I am sure that if they require additional items, they will make their way to the local Salvation Army & Goodwill stores which are located fairly close by. (www.salvationarmyusa.org & www.goodwill.org )

    As for my Dad, his new sofas should be delivered within the coming weeks.august's apartment

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