Category Archives: Before & After

Sweet Nursery For Two…

IMG_1819Here’s a peek at a nursery project that  I’m working on for a beautiful family in Trestle Glen, Oakland.



Before:  A little-used spare bedroom needed to be converted to a nursery for the family’s just turned two-year old son and their soon to be born daughter.

IMG_4258The dark draperies needed replacing, fresh paint, and closet organizers.


Part of the challenge – to incorporate this glider which has  sentimental value…IMG_4254…while working with the existing bedding lovingly made by the child’s grandmother.  This was a particular challenge as the fabrics were purchased in Hawaii and finding fabric that would compliment and be appropriate for a baby girl would be challenging.

Perry Hettema Childrens Room-1


My proposal further developed the fun tropical vibe that the family had going for their toddler with some additional layers and textures.  I really wanted to use these gorgeous fabrics by Lulu DK for Schumacher which to me are sophisticated and fresh for either a boy or a girl.

IMG_1819After:  Some modifications were made to the design proposal to suit tastes and budget.  What remained…new woven roman shades, fresh paint, and whimsical rug that evoke a school of fish swimming present a cohesive envelope for the nursery.  Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress but I am delighted with the evolution thus far…


The glider and ottoman received new upholstery in Sunbrella cotton for durability with piping in the fun Lulu DK fabric to coordinate with the crib bedding.

IMG_1831The second crib with the Lulu DK “Lollipop” embroidered fabric.

There is still more work to be done in this room and we are converting the previous nursery into a guest room.  This is a good example of  how I can work with clients using their existing pieces while adding to and elevating the overall design concept.   Stay tuned for more from this project!






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KMD San Francisco Victorian Bathroom Remodel – Before & After

I’m excited to share some before and after photos for one of my favorite projects.  My clients’ purchased a charming circa 1900 Victorian in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights.  The home has a great layout and fantastic period details but the bathrooms were positively stuck in the 80’s!

We embarked to create a new master suite of their dreams.  Here are some before shots of the rooms in question…

Purple Bathroom

Before – Large Bath.  This was the “shared” bathroom with interesting purple tile and built in planter box…say what?  (This photo was courtesy of the real estate listing.)

The bathroom of my clients’ dreams would have to have a free-standing bathtub AND separate shower with shower system, radiant heat, and Toto toilet with all the bells and whistles.  It would harken the past with black and white flooring yet provide all of the most modern creature comforts.

To accommodate the “wish list” more space was needed.  Working with a wonderful architect three rooms were reconfigured to deliver an efficient master suite.

The larger bathroom sat between a laundry room and smaller bathroom ( that was considered the “master bath”).  There was a bonus room that was added on at some point that was next door to the laundry room.

Here is the laundry room:

IMG_4597Before – the laundry room.  Efficient, yet dark.

With careful planning, we plotted to make the bonus room the master bedroom and connect it to what was the laundry room and larger bathroom.  The laundry room would become a fabulous closet and part of the master bathroom.  A little space from the smaller bathroom shower would be carved out to make a larger master bathroom shower…

Victorian Bath Internet

After – the new and gorgeous master bathroom suite.  This view is looking from the fabulous built-in closet…

Victorian Bath Sink Internet

Detail of some of the beautiful fixtures, finishes, and hardware that KMD selected and specified for the project.

Because the smaller bathroom had some space taken for it, it had to also be redone.  The clients wanted it to go with the overall concept of the master bathroom remodel while providing a good overall value.

IMG_3198Before – “Master Bath”  Teeny, tiny bathroom with tile circa 1980’s…

Fornasetti Bath Internet

After – A classic black and white bathroom with whimsical Fornasetti wallpaper.  Fornasetti Shower nternet

Detail of the smaller shower – now perfect for a guest suite.

These amazing clients have a fabulous sense of humor.  The lady of the house came in knowing that the design would center around this fun Fornasetti wallpaper.  The finishes were selected with care to punctuate this awesome graphic pattern.

So what do you think?  The goal was to transform outdated and inefficient bathrooms to a modern-day dream inspired by the original 1900’s Victorian architecture.  Did we succeed?


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Bathroom Sneak Peak – Before & After

Forgive me blog-a-verse, for I have failed to post.  It’s been 100+ days since my last post (Yikes!).  I took the summer off.  Between design projects, a  wedding, honeymoon, etc…writing for the blog felt a bit overwhelming.

Enough excuses – I am rejuvenated for fall and I cannot wait to share more of my inspiration and project progress.

The following are progress photos for a master bathroom remodel in Piedmont that I am working on.  Please note, we are not finished as final inspection is this week (fingers crossed).  So pleased by the progress, I invite you to take a look…

Before photo looking into the master bathroom.  A little background, my client purchased this very charming home 1940’s home in Piedmont this spring knowing that she wanted to immediately renovate the master bathroom and kitchen.  The master bathroom is part of an upstairs addition circa 1980’s.

As a first time home-buyer, my client wanted to update the bathroom within the footprint of the existing space.  It is not the largest master bathroom so the goal is to make it appear as large and bright as possible.  I recommended to take away as many of the walls that create a barrier to the light as possible.  My client had a wish list as well – double sinks, subway tile, glass tile accents, and stone flooring.  Her design aesthetic is modern and clean.  Because this is a charming older home the design concept developed into a more classic style while incorporating modern touches that works well for both my client and the house.
With  careful planning we opted to remove the wall between the vanity and toilet area and remove an old linen closet next to the shower to allow for a larger shower.   After the presentation of materials and contractor selection the project was underway!
Here is the master bathroom as it looked this past Friday.  By removing the extra wall you can now see the window from the doorway.  This change in conjunction with the glass shower enclosure allow the light to play throughout the bath more freely.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in planning and sourcing was to find a double vanity that had the right measurements and proportion to fit between the window and the wall while still allowing medicine cabinets to line up with the sinks for extra storage.  I considered hanging one large mirror above the vanity to accommodate for the tight fit, but ultimately searched to find the right vanity that could align with medicine cabinets.  Keeping value in mind, I sought readily available retail solutions.  This one came from Restoration Hardware.  Fittings are Kohler.
The shower is now much larger and spa-like.  The client fulfilled her wish list for this shower – a bench, niche, and the materials that she loves so much all within budget.
I look forward to sharing the finalized project photos with you after completion!  So far, the client is thrilled and I couldn’t be happier with the improvements to the space.

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Before & After: Granite Bay, CA

I just spent the last few days at the San Francisco Design Center attending “Design San Francisco” 2011.  There is a great buzz among the industry that the market is picking up.  I heard through the grapevine that a certain high-end French range company has sold more ranges last month than all of 2010.  That is the kind of excitement and energy that filled the atrium and halls of the Galleria.

A large percentage of seminars were focused on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.  Obviously these tools are here to stay.  The power of social media is not a surprise to me.  One of my favorite projects of 2010 came from a Facebook referral.

I was contacted by a wonderful young family in Granite Bay, CA who appreciated my portfolio of work.  They asked for assistance to pull together an eclectic home.  The overall home’s architecture is Mediterranean inspired.  The family moved from the East Coast and most of their furniture was extremely traditional (Mission/Craftsman style). The client’s sought a more contemporary style with lots of color and budget in mind.  The goal was to keep and repurpose most of the existing pieces, while adding the right items to transition the home toward a more eclectic aesthetic.

I consulted on paint and furniture arrangement throughout the home.  I am particularly excited with the finished dining room and thought you would be interested too!  Here are some before shots.

The family needed new dining table to stand up to the activities of three young children and admired the styling of Hudson large plank tables with steel bases.

Originally from Canada, my client’s love the work of Sid Dickens.  We connected on admiration for this artist instantly.  They also wanted to add some of his newer pieces to their art collection.

Here are photos from the finished dining room.   You can see that the room is transformed by paint, furniture, and art.  The color is a fabulous Benjamin Moore Aura paint.  I highly recommend this line as it is low VOC’s and better for a healthy home.  Especially important for young children.

28 new tiles were selected for the focal point of the dining room.  I am greatly inspired by Sid Dicken’s latest work with the addition of vibrant colors and motifs.  The wall paint works so well with the tiles.

The end result is a comfortable and sophisticated dining room for the whole family…blending those attributes is the ultimate luxury in my opinion.  What do you think?

Another designer once said there are three factors when clients are selecting their designer.  Do they like the designer’s aesthetic?  Does the budget allow for the designer?  Do they connect with the designer on a personal level.  When the stars align it makes for a successful project.

I could not ask for a better project or clients.  This was a fantastic collaboration.

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Quick Fixes, Before & After

In times like these, some clients do not have the resources to re-decorate and yet they want to make some small changes that yield a large impact.  I received an email from my friend back in December.  She was due with her second son in at the beginning of February and hosting a party the first week of January.  She told me that she wanted some ideas on finishing touches and wall decor, without buying a lot of new things.  Changes that could be implemented before the baby’s arrival in February.

We met a few days before Christmas.  Here is a before view of the living room.  The room has  nice qualities…clean lines and well-proportioned furniture.

The built-in bookcase was a feature from the previous owner…

Here is the “after” shot of the living room.  The first recommendation that I made was the addition of window treatments to soften up the room.  Simple window panels make such a difference!  I also suggested moving the pair of upholstered chairs into the bay window and orienting the sofa in front of the fireplace to open up the room.

Originally, I suggested moving the mirrors over the fireplace to the bedroom and mounting the television over the fireplace.  Moving the television required professional help which the clients preferred to hold off on…

All of these changes were implemented within a week of my initial consultation!

An alternative “after” photo.  I recommended that the photos from my client’s honeymoon in Spain that originally hung in the hallway were relocated to above the sofa.

My clients likes light, bright colors and wanted to keep the paint throughout the same yet were open to small paint changes.  I selected a blue-gray paint for the back of the bookcases to coordinate with the existing rug.  The clients painted the bookcase themselves.  It is a simple way to add interest without changing the color of the entire room.

Accessories were edited and some accessories from other parts of the house were moved to the bookcase.  The red painting was another piece hanging in the hallway that I recommended be moved to the living room until my clients acquire more pieces.

I also suggested moving the desk to another wall in the living room but this requires moving wiring or going wireless so it remains a future project.

Here is a shot of the guest bath “before”.  My client/friend wanted to paint the room and try something different.

I selected a cool gray paint to juxtapose with the light tiles and fixtures and coordinate with the artwork selected for the bathroom.  The colorful tile picture was moved to the current wall so that when guest’s enter the room they see the art in the mirror.

Here are the  “before” shots of the master bedroom.  Not much to be done here…just editing and changing out some accessories…

The decorative plate on the dresser went to the bookcase in the living room…

More editing done with the accessories from this angle…

Now for the “after” photos.  I selected  a violet color for the bedroom to coordinate with the existing wall color and bed linens.  My clients were leery of painting the entire room this color so they tried an accent wall behind the bed.  This was a great option since they do not yet have a headboard.  I also suggested a tailored upholstered headboard for them in linen and taller lamps.  These may come in a later phase…mirrors from other parts of the house were moved above the bed.

Alternative view of the wall behind the bed.  Such a soothing color.

Another painting from the hallway was moved to the bedroom above this dresser.  I enjoyed the  paintings in the hallway but my clients did not have much artwork for the rooms that they spend the most time in.  To save money I suggested relocating the art from the hallway to these rooms so they can enjoy them until they acquire new pieces.

A “before” of the dining room.  My clients were not happy with the artwork and the overall feel of the room.  Drapery to soften the room and a painting that reflects their personality will create an inviting dining space.

“After” with the draperies and a print of the French flower of Provence with French writing…one of the clients is from France.

Isn’t it amazing what simple changes and tweaks can do?  My clients were pleased.  For a flat fee for 4 hours I provided them with lots of different ideas, suggestions, and paint selections.  They implemented the ideas that they liked themselves in a week or so.

I am delighted to consult with you on changes you can make by “shopping” in your house first.  Contact me for fixed fees for 1 -4 hour design consultations.

If you would like help creating the home of your dreams, email me about our design services.

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Wine Closet Project Update

My clients wanted to turn this small under the stair closet into a place for wine storage.  The closet opens up into the great room and kitchen area.

I spent time researching pre-fabricated components that might fit into the closet.  I came up with a plan for commercial racks mounted to the wall up the side and I found the tallest wine storage piece I could that would fit with the pitched room.  This was my design utilizing pre-fabricated components.

I also came up with a completely custom design that would fully utilize the height of the back wall before the pitch roof begins.  Shelves on the side line up with the back piece to create a rhythm in unity of the space in order to keep such a small space from feeling too closed in.  The bottles on the shelves to lie on their sides.  The “top shelf” is created to stand bottles of wine and alcohol upright.  Wood is finished to match the stain on the kitchen cabinets.

We contacted a local cabinet-maker for a proposal.  They offered competitive pricing and the choice became  clear.

The project was recently completed and installed.  My clients are thrilled with the results.  They already unpacked their wine supply and as you can see, there is plenty of room for more.

Now they can see all of the labels to assess exactly what they have and what they may need to stock up on.

It was a great project and wonderful collaboration with clients and contractors.


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Renew, Reuse, Recycle…While Keeping It In The Family

I’ve had this green console table for over 10 years.  I found it at Brown Dirt Cowboys in Russian Hill when I first moved to San Francisco in the 90’s.  Though it’s a great piece I felt it was a bit too rustic for my contemporary apartment building.  My mother had an amazing Victorian chinoiserie piece that hadn’t found the perfect fit in her new home.  I suggested a swap.  If a piece of furniture doesn’t work after a move, even though its great…why not swap with a family member or friend for a bit?

My green piece became a sofa table for my parents and the Victorian chinoiserie piece fits perfectly in my entry.  It’s tough to get a good shot of this piece so close in my hallway, but this is how it looked the day it was moved in.

Here’s how it looks today, view from my front door.  It’s now styled with my crystal pieces and a silver trophy found last weekend at the Alameda Antiques Market to bring out the silver details.  Now I’m on the hunt for the perfect pair of sconces for this space!  I think it adds a bit of sophistication to the entry.

Why not swap with a family member?  It’s a great way to try out new pieces and styles without spending more money.  You keep it in the family and continue to reuse and enjoy!


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