What’s Happening At KMID

ASID Awards Gala

Last week, the KMID team and I got all dolled up to attend the 2016 ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Awards Gala. When I heard our friend, Michael Lee, was being honored as an industry partner for his career and work in photography, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a little team outing.

After arriving and enjoying a cocktail, we made our way into the main hall for the speeches portion of the evening. There, we heard from educator Rose Mary Botti-Salitsky from Mount Ida School of Design, interior designers, Jean Verbridge from Siemasko + Verbridge, and Genella McDonald from Stibler Associates, and industry partner, Michael J. Lee. Once all of the speeches had concluded, we settled in the main hall for dinner, followed by dancing and lots of photo-booth-fun.

It’s not often that we’re able to carve out time from our work to socialize with our peers, so it was fun to catch up with familiar faces, and meet a lot of new ones! As the warm weather approaches, I’m hoping we get the chance to do more outings like this. Check out all of our photos from the evening below!


{Above: Kristin Fitts of Leblanc Design with Elizabeth, Thiara, Alison and Stef}


{Above: the KMID team with Michael Lee}

Design is everywhere. Be inspired!

Kate

Friends of KMID :: Office Kitchen & Spinneybeck

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If you’ve been reading along, you may already know that KMID moved offices in November. Our previous office in Central Square was KMID’s home for over 10 years so it was certainly bitter sweet to say goodbye, spread our wings and move on to a new space.

I had been casually looking at larger office spaces for months, but nothing had felt quite right. Luckily I was in no real rush but when I entered the Highland office, I knew it was it. My eyes ignored the beat up/unfinished floors, unpainted walls and tiny bathroom, and just saw an empty shell with light flooding through the windows.

I plan on revealing a full before and after once everything is finished, but will be showing you bits and pieces of our renovation over the next few months. Today’s order of business: the kitchen!

The mere thought of having a designated kitchen space, after years of washing dishes in the bathroom, was such an upgrade! I wanted to keep things clean, modern and sharp here. Ikea’s look and feel {and price point} were a perfect fit throughout this office. We installed Ikea built-ins for the cabinets in a sleek, shiny grey finish. For easy maintenance, we ended up going with a classic calacatta Caesarstone countertop. It mimics carrera marble in its coloring and tones, but without the special care. It’s been holding up beautifully and I’m so happy with the results.

One of the elements that we wanted to have a little fun with were the cabinet pulls in the kitchen. For these, we used one of our favorite trusty sources: Spinneybeck.

Spinneybeck specializes in high end leather products- including wall coverings, rugs, and drawer pulls. Take a peak at some of their work…

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I’ve used their leather pulls in multiple projects now and they’re fabulous. They’re sturdy, handsome, and only get better with use. I went with a fun coral to add a pop of color and tie into the other colors throughout our space. Check them out in our space below!

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We’re going to be adding a Caesarstone shelf above the sink here for some extra storage. I also love our vintage “Ring the bell win a prize” sign that we picked up from Ramble Market in Waltham. It adds that KMID element and balances out all of the modern elements in the kitchen- I can’t wait to hang it up!

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Design is everywhere. Be Inspired.

Kate

Thiara is Running the Boston Marathon!

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We are proud to announce that our Senior Designer, Thiara Borges, is training to run the 2016 Boston Marathon!

Thiara is running on team Housing Families to support a cause very dear to her heart. Housing Families, Inc. is a Boston based agency working for close to 30 years to help thousands of families overcome homelessness. Housing Families, Inc. was established in 1986, with a mission to provide safe, temporary shelter and quality affordable housing to homeless and at-risk families. Last year Housing Families served over 400 families, including more than 600 children in the Greater Boston area. Massachusetts has the fastest growing rate for homelessness in the nation, the work being done by Housing Families is extremely important to help combat this epidemic. We are excited to support and help her reach her goal!

Thiara has pledged to raise $7,500 for Team Housing Families. The funds raised will directly sustain HFI’s programs: eviction prevention, tutoring, counseling, emergency and permanent shelter. Please click here to donate!

So it’s safe to say that not only is she fabulous, but she has a heart of gold as well. We interviewed Thiara about her inspiration and the ups and downs of training, and we’re excited to share her insight with you.

{And of course it wouldn’t be in true Thiara fashion without mention of Beyonce ;)…}

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What excites you the most about the HFI mission and representing us at the Boston Marathon?

I am happy to be fulfilling a long term goal to run the Marathon while helping HFI. In 2008, I started volunteering with kids at a shelter in Cambridge and got to see first-hand the devastating effects of homelessness in children and their mothers. Housing Families is doing such important work in a sector of our society that is so prominent yet so overlooked. Because the Boston Marathon is such an epic event in our city, this is not only an amazing opportunity to raise funds, but also awareness for this cause. HFI is a vital tool for families, I am so honored to do my part in becoming a small part of the solution.

What have you been doing for training? How has the winter weather impacted your training (if at all)?

I’ve been doing between 3 to 4 runs per week and trying to also fit in 2 days of cross and strength training. I’ve been trying to do my long runs on the course, it’s very motivating to see the other runners out there! Last week, I met two older gentlemen with many Marathons under their belt. They were nice enough to take a picture of me in front of the Johnny Kelley statue, but more importantly, they also gave me some invaluable advice as a first time marathoner (brisk walk up those hills and save your energy!) As far as winter, it hasn’t been too bad this year…. I did long run this past Sunday on the treadmill because it was -30 degrees out…. Many episodes of Lost, lots of water and gu. It was like a Boston Marathon training milestone, which oddly, made me kind of proud.

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What does the Boston Marathon mean to you?

I was 11 years old when I moved to Framingham from Brazil, the Boston Marathon was the first big event I remember attending in America. It was pure magic. Cheering on the runners became tradition for my family, we moved to Mile 3 of the course in Ashland when I was in high school. We make signs for the runners every year! I currently live less than a mile from Heartbreak Hill in Newton, I don’t stray too far from the course, the fact that I have an opportunity to run this year is so exciting, I am so proud, excited/ terrified!

When and why did you start running? What’s your favorite running route.

I started running about 7 years ago as a way to get healthy, it completely changed me. It was cool to realize that, with some work and persistence, I could pack on the miles. Running is more than a sport and has given me a sense of pride and achievement, but it also challenges and humbles me all the time. I love to run around the Charles River, it’s nice and flat :).

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What is on your playlist?

First and foremost, I punctuate every half hour with Beyonce’s “Formation” . Some of my other favorites that I rely on to give me a boost are; Outkast’s “B.O.B”, Jay Z’s “ Can’t Knock the Hustle”, The Roots’ “ Here I come”, Beastie Boys’ “ Body Movin’” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Renegades of Funk”.


We’re so proud of Thiara and all of the hard work she’s putting in to realize her goal. It’s fun to be along for the ride so to speak {without the sore legs} as she trains and prepares for the marathon and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re thrilled to support Thiara, and Housing Families, in their incredible endeavor and we hope you will too!

To support Thiara’s cause and Housing Families Boston click here.

Thiara and the KMID team all thank you for your support and continuous generosity. Marathon Monday here we come!

Kate

Chairish “Design Insider Guide” Update!

Chairish_BlogImage Those of you following along on the blog may have seen that our “Design Insider Guide” with Chairish was published yesterday! Also, if you’re signed up for the Chairish newsletter, you may have stumbled upon us in your inbox {wink}. I’m happy to say quite a few of the pieces have already been sold since then so hurry on over and take a peak before they’re gone!

Before our collection was launched, I sat down with Chairish to answer a few questions about what makes KMID tick. While some of my answers made it onto the post, I wanted to share the full interview and give you the inside scoop on some of my inspirations and favorite spots around town. Enjoy!


1. What do you love about designing with vintage decor?
I always express to my clients that my goal is to design a space that speaks to their personal aesthetic. Each piece should feel collected over time rather than a total overhaul from a hired designer. Using vintage décor is key to curating a space that feels authentic.

 2. What are you most inspired by right now? (i.e. color palettes, materials, designers)
I’m feeling a “back to basics” movement happening around me. Clients want spaces that function properly and designs that work with their daily lives. It sounds simple but stripping design down to the basics helps me to take a step back and really design spaces with a purpose that reflects the personality and lifestyle of our clients. This challenge is what gets me up in the morning and ready to create spaces for people to live their lives in comfortably.

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3. What is your golden design rule?
There are no rules.

 4. Trend you hope never makes a comeback?
By nature I don’t tend to like trends. I don’t know why but they have always seemed too mainstream for me. By the time they become a “trend”, they have been used too much and there isn’t anything interesting left. Chevron and animal prints are probably the two that stand out to me. I’m just not a fan.

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5. What’s your dream project?
I would absolutely love to design a boutique hotel. The idea of designing individual rooms that can all live on their own but be part of a larger collection would be such a fun challenge. Plus the risks you can take on a project like this would really get the creative juices flowing!

 6. Space you can’t get out of your mind?
I just finished designing my oldest daughter’s bedroom and I love it. She was ready for a “big girl room” when her little sister arrived in September. I wanted her room to work for her now but also grow with her. She has an antique Victorian pine bed that works perfectly with the antique dresser I inherited from my great grandparents. We freshened things up with a modern rug, ivory and orange floral curtains and a dusty pink wall color ties it all together. We salvaged the glass and brass antique chandelier from the dining room of our home during renovation and it casts the softest light when we cuddle up for books at bedtime.

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7. What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant (and what do you like to order there)?
We’re fortunate enough to live in a place where there are countless options…Highland Kitchen {right near our new office}, Cuchi Cuchi {tapas AND a fabulous interior} or Giulia’s near Harvard Square {for date night} are all favorites. We’re also lucky to have Rudy’s Cafe right down the road for when I need a Mexican fix and their fish tacos and Horny Toad margarita fit the bill every time.

 8. Who is your go-to florist?
Krissy Price of Boston Pollen has the most amazing way of creating magic with her floral arrangements.  I love collaborating with her for my photoshoots because her textural approach is a perfect match for my interiors. Not to mention her flower crowns that are irresistible! I’ve been known to rock one of those when hosting my annual holiday party {wink}.

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9. Where is your best local perch for people watching?
I grew up in Holliston so every year for the Boston Marathon my family makes it a point to be home to cheer on the runners. The sheer number of people running always amazes me! Not to mention how many are running for a loved one or a special charity. This year will be particularly special because our senior designer, Thiara Borges, will be running to support Housing Families, Inc. So inspiring!

10. Vice you will never give up?
Brimfield for sure! It’s like a magnet pulling me to Western Massachusetts three times a year. Even if I don’t need a thing I always leave there with something I just have to have. I’m addicted! Antique collecting at this show has become my secret weapon when designing for my clients. It helps me to ensure the “collected” look I long for when putting the finishing touches on a space.


You can check out the full collection here and read more about the pieces in yesterday’s blog post- make sure to let me know what you think!

Design is everywhere. Be Inspired!

Kate

Before & After :: Cape Cod Summer Home

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Winter is officially here in New England and there is a chill in the air that has me {already} dreaming of warmer days. Luckily in my business I have the chance to do just that…vicariously that is. Every January it surprises me to think that it’s time to start thinking about summer homes. We seem to have two deadlines in this business…Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. All our summer home clients want their homes fluffed and ready for the vacation season and July 4th weekend seems to be the kickoff. Guess what…that’s only 6 months away…the perfect lead-time to do the job just right. So time is ticking! Let’s start thinking about getting your homes beach ready shall we…


On that note, I thought it might be fun to share some before and after shots from a project we worked on last spring. This client purchased a home on Cape Cod {in January of 2015}, and came to KMID to furnish it so that they could be in by June {yikes!}. They wanted young, fresh, contemporary and family friendly without being overly “beachy”.

Living Room

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The living room is right when you walk in, and needed to be welcoming and multifunctional. This is a room that everyone is going to hang out in and congregate, so we wanted it to be colorful, inviting and fun. This American Leather sectional helps to divide the space from the adjoining kitchen and is extremely comfortable and practical. Paired with this large, round coffee table from Gabby Home, this makes the perfect space to relax and watch TV, or play boardgames. We mixed in a lot of fun pieces as well, like this accent chair from Lee industries {top image}, sconce from Pigeontoe Ceramics on Etsy, and what became known as the “tooth” side table from Pfeifer Studio.

Master Bedroom

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This bedroom is fun, young and most importantly, super comfortable. This Lee industries bed really grounds the space and brings in this beautiful turquoise color that we love {and that continues to pop up throughout the home}. The room is fairly small, so this sweet little bench from Four Hands was the perfect solution for the foot of the bed. I also love the combination of these Anthropologie nightstands paired with these silver Arteriors table lamps. The nightstands add much needed storage without being too clunky or weighing down the space. We wanted all of the rooms in this home to feel clean, fresh and bright, so we kept the art to a minimum in this space, adding two fun Norquay Co. paddles over the headboard.

Guest Bedroom

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We sure wouldn’t mind being a guest in this adorable guest room! Again, this room is fairly small so we had to use the space wisely and really create an oasis for visitors. Using light and airy colors, and making the bed the focus helped to keep the feeling soft and inviting. Of course, the bed was of the utmost importance. We worked with Kenneth Raye Workshops to make this simple and classic painted bed that we then dressed up with beautiful bedding by Les Indiennes. One of my favorite things in this room is this “Cyanotype Whale” by Longstreet Gallery which we chose to offset by placing it around a corner. This allowed us to balance the window placement in the room and help us really balance the headboard wall while adding visual interest to the space.

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Our clients wanted this room to function as both a study and a guest bedroom. To accomplish this we found this great sleeper sofa from American Leather. This bright yellow lacquered dresser from Anthropologie adds a pop of color to the room and provides great storage. We added this kitchy lamp from Dot + Bo to add additional interest to this little vignette.

Media Room

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The “media room” functions as a bonus living room in this home. It’s great because unlike the living room, it’s slightly removed from the kitchen and the rest of the house, making it more private and ideal for movie watching. We provided lots of seating with this Wesley Hall sofa in a textural brown and two Kristen Drohan Collection swivel chairs in a deep plum color. The leather ottoman from Jamie Young functions as a place to rest your feat, or an extra seat if needed. We love everything from Natural Curiosities and these “Harvey Seeweed” pieces were perfect for the room and the beachside location.

MediaRoom_Before MediaRoom_After  This portion of the media room leads out to the pool, so this West Elm storage cabinet is not only beautiful but also a functional spot to store rolled up beach towels. The Eliza Gran pompom pillow and mirrors from Roost Co. are a fun and playful elements that make the room sing.
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I love this Etsy print paired with this console from Anthropologie. Our friends at Art Applications helped us to customize the darker details on this piece, and the print serves as a breath of fresh air.


Summer/vacation homes are some of our favorite projects and we have so much fun creating a relaxing and functional oasis for you and your family . Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as I’ll be sharing some of our other vacation homes {something for you to look at as the snow starts to fall}!

For more photos from this project shot by Sarah Winchester check out Cape Cod Summer Home on the Portfolio section of our website or check out our Pinterest page.

Kate

Before & After :: Newton Colonial

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Happy New Year everyone! It’s safe to say that 2015 has been a whirlwind but I’m pleased to announce that I’m now back from maternity leave! Although it feels a little weird to leave the girls at home, I’m really excited to be back in the office. 2015 was a life changing year both for my family, with the birth of our second daughter, and for KMID, as we moved into our new office in Winchester. We have a lot of exciting upcoming projects in the new year and it feels good to be back in my work boots {so to speak}! So make sure to stay tuned on the blog for periodic updates about what’s happening at KMID.

Today I want to share a beautiful Before & After with you all! You may recognize some of these photos as the project was just featured in Sunday’s edition of the Boston Globe Magazine {or online here}. I have to admit I will never stop getting that “pinch me” feeling when I see our work in print! I wanted to share a little bit more about the project and how it all came together so read on for the juicy details…


This young family immediately fell in love with this beautiful old colonial home {built in 1900} in Newton. When they moved in, they brought with them a hodgepodge of family furniture that they had collected over the years.  So while their house was fully furnished, it didn’t reflect their style or feel like home to them.

They approached KMID to help them marry their youthful spirit with both the house and the classic pieces that they had inherited. We wanted to honor the bones of the home and its history, but also make it work for the homeowners and withstand the rigors of family life. To achieve this, we kept a lot of their antique furniture, and reupholstered it with more updated, fresh fabrics. This helped keep the traditional lines and curves, but with a more updated and fresh take. It’s a very beautiful traditional home, and the aesthetic embraces the history but also feels welcoming and casual.


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When these new home owners moved in, they wanted to highlight the thick original moldings and lovely wainscoting in the living room and entry. They started by painting the trim a cooler and brighter white to really highlight the intricate woodwork in the entryway. We then chose this gorgeous wallpaper from The Martin Group to make an impact and really set the tone for the rest of the home. The fun 1950’s Spanish metal light fixture from English Accent Antiques helps strike the perfect balance between modern and traditional.

Living Room

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You can really see the difference simply painting this space made.  We opted for a beautiful, dusty rose paint color {Benjamin Moore Sheraton Beige} to keep things neutral yet maintain interest and warmth. We really wanted to keep the use of color throughout the space, but by layering on a calmer palate in a more thoughtful way.

This beautiful Natural Curiosities “Gold Leaf Waves” print really draws you into the room and makes a bold impact. The tufted “Vivian” sofa from Emerson Bentley has traditional lines, but is updated when paired with red throw pillows and one in a suzani pattern from Etsy.  We also re-upholstered this antique Hollywood armchair in a fresh mint mini-print by Victoria Hagan. An oversize oval ottoman made of mohair and velvet by Lee Industries takes the place of a standard coffee table, while remaining versatile, practical and comfortable.

Living Room Nook

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This corner is in the living room, and we wanted to make sure it didn’t get lost in the space. This painting by Elise Morris from Jules Place packs some color and texture and draws the eye to this special nook. This “Samuel” wingback chair from Furnishings by Design grounds the corner of the room and balances the other furniture in the room. The clean and fresh white drapes and sweet blue and white floral window seat cushion make for a bright and relaxing reading nook.

Dining Room

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Once again, the bones of this room were beautiful. We replaced the red paint with a beautiful printed grasscloth by Berkeley House that immediately brightened and transformed the room. We loved the curves and shape of their existing dining room chairs, but reupholstered them with a metallic Nina Campbell fabric to give them an updated look. As for the window treatments, the vintage metal valances were a really cool and unique element that we wanted to keep.  We replaced their existing white drapes with these beautiful green wool window treatments by Brunschwig & Fils, adding some color and luxury to the space.

Hallway

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This stairway runner was in need of an upgrade. We updated it with a subtle print in a softer, calmer color. The result was still classic, but didn’t take away attention from everything else around it. The sculptural antique bench, found by the homeowners on 1stdibs.com, draws the eye to the detailed white woodwork. I love this Madeline Weinrib rug, with a graphic black and white print on a lavender field, because it brings a fresh modernity to the space. Finally, the painting by Duy Huynh from Jules Place adds visual interest in a soft way that doesn’t upstage the architecture.


For more photos from this project shot by Michael J. Lee Photography check out Newton Colonial on the Portfolio section of our website or check out our Pinterest page. You can also read about the project in this Sunday’s {1/3} edition of the Globe magazine {or online here}.

Design is everywhere. Be inspired.

Kate

Horizons for Homeless Classroom Design with Wayfair

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As we enter the heart of the holiday season, we feel blessed and fortunate for everything in our lives. We were so happy to collaborate with Wayfair on a project that would give back to our community and bring happiness to those who deserve it most.  With Christmas fast approaching, we felt this was the perfect time to share this project with you all.


Earlier this year, Wayfair approached me to be a keynote speaker at their Trade Services Workshop held during Boston Design Week. This was shortly after we rebranded and launched our new website so I was thrilled! It was the perfect opportunity to share our newly gained insight on the world of branding as well as start to build a relationship with a Boston-based design powerhouse.

Shortly after the event, we received an email from Jessica, the Marketing and Brand Manager at Wayfair, about an upcoming charity project they were working on in Jamaica Plain. The KMID team and I had just been discussing a way to get involved within the community and this project fit the bill perfectly! We wanted to help out in any way possible, utilizing our skill set in a way that would benefit the community around us. It was a match made in heaven.

Wayfair was planning to makeover a local preschool and was looking to partner with an interior designer to help them make the most of the project. The chosen preschool for the makeover was Horizons for Homeless Children in Jamaica Plain. The selected classroom cares for 15 children from local shelters while their parents are either working, attending school, or a work training program.

Wayfair has a large assortment of pre-k furniture providers on their site that they worked with to get the products donated or discounted. Our job was to layout the room to maximize function, and choose the furnishings, finishes, paint colors, etc. People are always asking us about our design process, so although this project was a little different for us, I though this was a good chance to give you an inside peek!

Our first step was to meet with the teacher, along with the Wayfair team, to discuss what goals she had for the new space. Above all it had to be functional for the teacher and students’ needs so it was imperative to walk through the space with her. Alison and I took rough sketches and notes as well as measured the space.

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Alison then entered these notes into sketchup, and worked with the room dimensions to create a layout that made sense. Wayfair guided us as to which vendors were participating and donating goods so we faced certain limitations as to what we were able to choose for our designs. Additionally, we had to ensure that all of the items we chose met the safety requirements for a preschool.

We knew we wanted to clearly define the different spaces in the classroom. Part of what created these divisions, were the cubbies throughout the room. We wanted all of these to be different heights depending on their function, but in the same wood tone so as to not distract from the more fun elements in the space. The rugs also helped to divide the areas; for example a star shaped rug in the drama area and a solar system rug in the science area.

Once we had a clear plan, Alison and I presented our design boards and floor plans to Wayfair…

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After creating and approving our wish list of Wayfair products, the Wayfair team procured all of the items. Once we had a timeline for when all of our purchases would arrive, we scheduled an install date.  On the weekend of installation, 18 volunteers assembled in Jamaica Plain to help with the installation.  The KMID team was on site and ready to get their hands dirty…except baby Julia, who was sitting pretty while we all worked :).  Check out some photos from the install below.

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We are so proud to have worked with Wayfair and Horizons for Homeless Children on this project.  Knowing that these kids will have a functional and beautiful space to learn and create is so rewarding and makes our job easy. We will be having a grand reveal in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more complete images of the final space!

UPDATE :: You can check out the full interview, as well as before & after photos, here.

Before & After :: Cambridge Retreat

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Now that things are finally starting to hit a rhythm post-baby, I’m excited to get back into a groove.  One aspect I’m looking forward to is getting back into the blog.  I love being able to chat with you all, read your comments and give you a sneak peak into our projects.

If you’ve been following along, you may remember I posted a few weeks back about this incredibly special project in Cambridge.  These clients, Jessica and Patrick, came to us following the Marathon bombing, looking to transform their space into one that is handicapped accessible and beautiful. You can read more about the project details and the story in our post ‘KMID and “The Meaning of Home” by Design New England’ {here}. You can also read the full article featured in the November/December issue of Design New England, or online here.

Although the shell of this home was beautiful, it didn’t work for Jess and Patrick.  We worked with the architects to create a home that they could easily maneuver through, while still being aesthetically pleasing.  Together we reconfigured cabinets, added an elevator, enlarged door frames, changed the stairway, and completed a lot of projects to make this space work for them. Then we layered on some wallpaper, window treatments, furnishings and accessories and this space became a home.

When we go places, it’s a constant battle of being creative about how you can adapt to the space.  It’s so nice to have a space adapted to you.  Not only aesthetically is that nice, but emotionally.  It’s a luxury to have all those accessibility features and know it can still be nice, so it’s not a constant reminder of your disability.

Today I wanted to share with you some before & after photos of Jess and Patrick’s “Cambridge Retreat”. All of the elements in this home came together beautifully and perfectly capture the spirit of the homeowners. It was such a rewarding and transformative experience and I’m thrilled to show it off to you all!

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Kate and Thiara really had to get in our head, our lifestyle, what we’re comfortable with, and what we’re not.  We were still getting used to these bodies and figuring out what works, what doesn’t and what makes us feel safe.  These were conversations that can be challenging to navigate, but they are eager to learn and we were happy to teach them.  They were so respectful and kind.

For more photos from this project {shot by Michael J. Lee Photography} check out Cambridge Retreat in the Portfolio section of our website or check out our Pinterest page.

Design is everywhere. Be inspired.

Prescott :: Decorating for the Holidays

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Prescott hasn’t made an appearance on the blog for quite some time…and what better time than the holidays to get all dressed up? Luckily we had a good reason as we were asked to be included in our town Holiday House Tour.

I have to admit I was a little nervous when we were asked to participate because that meant my house really had to be up to snuff!  We’ve been hard at work this past year, slowly checking projects off of our list, but welcoming over 200 people into our home was a big deal!  It was a good chance to look at my home through the eyes of an outsider and see what holes still need to be filled.

Another plus is I had to get my act together early on the holiday decorating!  It’s certainly a relief to have everything done around the house with weeks to spare until Christmas.  I decided to keep things clean and fresh this year, with loads of greenery, flowers and hints of traditional Christmas decor… {I see you santa} dispersed throughout.

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I picked up all of our trees at Mahoney’s Garden Center {which is huge and has a great selection of trees}.  Christmas isn’t the same without a beautiful tree- which we kept fun with colorful lights and ornaments, topped with a big white bow.

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I love the look of these boxwood wreathes tied to the back of the dining chairs.  It’s such an elegant touch that really elevates the space. We picked these up at Russell’s Garden Center and chose a pretty silk gold ribbon to attach them.

For the tablescape, I pulled out my wedding china and lace linens. I love the look of all of the white and green and wanted to keep it looking elegant and fresh.  The combination of roses, festive greens and berries make an unexpected and beautiful flower centerpiece.

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One of my all time favorite touches is the garland snaking down the stair railing. Plus, this was SO easy to pull together.  I picked up a 15 ft long cedar garland from the flower market, and simply attached it with green wire every fifth stair post.  It’s a beautiful and easy way to make a statement in your entryway.

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In our reading nook and the girls’ rooms, I used felt garlands to keep things playful {and avoid any messy greenery}.  I love the pop of green for this one against the Christmas books.

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Thank you to everyone who came out last weekend on the holiday tour! We had a great time touring everyone through our home and showcasing all of the details we worked so hard and lovingly on. We’ve come so far and it was great to share it with all of you.  Now, time to enjoy all of our holiday decor during the countdown to Christmas!

Design is Everywhere. Be inspired.

Kate

Meet the KMID Team

When I started my business in 2003 I was 25. I had a vision for an interior design business. I wanted to create a place where I could be surrounded by other like minded creative types who shared my passion for all things inspiring, unique and special. I also knew I wanted to be a Mom one day and that this business could be my ticket to having the best of both worlds. I am humbled to say my dream has been realized and I have these special women to thank. Cheers to 2016. Look out world…here we come!!
It is with such great pride that I formally introduce my team of talented {and beautiful} women…

Thiara Borges
Senior Designer

Thiara Borges joined KMID in the Summer of 2005.   As a Senior Designer, Thiara skillfully creates custom environments tailored to clients residing all over New England.    Over the past ten years in the firm, Thiara has continually learned all sides of the industry by collaborating with architects, builders, craftsmen and vendors on projects large and small.  With a bright aesthetic and creative approach, she believes in pushing clients just past their comfort zone to create unique and inviting spaces that beautifully reflect their inhabitants.  Drawing inspiration from her love of textiles, bold palettes, and antiques as well as her favorite artists, designers and architects, Thiara has forged a unique style within the KMID brand.

Thiara holds a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design with a concentration in Business Management from Newbury College in Brookline, MA.  Outside the office, she enjoys exploring museums, mountains and restaurants.  Thiara can often be found alongside her sidekick, a small pup named Earl.


Kelley Antonuccio
Marketing Manager

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After leaving successful Boston social media marketing start up, BzzAgent (now Dunhumby), Kelley has stepped into the role of Marketing Manager at KMID.

Since her start in January 2014, Kelley quickly focused her energy on the creative and fast paced world of interior design.  Using her marketing background, she worked closely with Kate and the team to formulate a clear brand voice that appropriately reflects KMID’s high-end residential projects.   Her innovative and enthusiastic approach drove the firm to develop a clear message and image along all platforms, on and off-line.  Her marketing initiatives have since been recognized by the likes of online retail giant, Wayfair.  As a versatile member of KMID, Kelley also works closely with the designers in managing projects on a daily basis.   She is eager to learn from the team around her as she progresses toward her ultimate goal of becoming an interior designer herself.

Kelley holds a B.A. in Marketing from University of Massachusetts. In her spare time, when she is not renovating her new home with her husband, she enjoys yoga, dance and fancies herself an amateur chef.


Alison Pruchansky
Designer

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Alison joined the KMID team at the start of 2015. As a designer and coordinator, she quickly put her technical skills with Photoshop and Sketchup to work, completely re-hauling the presentation style at KMID, conveying the vision to clients in a concise and clear way. Alison’s collaborative attitude, passion for design, and intellectual problem solving has quickly become indispensable to the growing firm.

Alison received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History/Religion with a concentration in Fine Art from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Her pursuit of the glamorous life of a starving artist led her to Washington, DC. There she founded AMPle art, a company selling her paintings while also working in a variety of museums and galleries, including The Phillips Collection and the Elizabeth Roberts Gallery.

Alison’s passion for art and design led her to complete a Master’s of Interior Design from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC with a concentration in Exhibition Design. After graduation she moved back to Boston and spent the following years working in Project Management and Business Development at Suffolk Construction.

She still enjoys painting and designing exhibits at the Winchester Museum.


Elizabeth Stone
Junior Design Assistant

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Elizabeth joined the KMID team at the start of 2015 as an intern and has quickly become a vital member of the tight-knit group of women around her.  In her ever-changing role at KMID, Elizabeth works closely with the designers, facilitating the timely completion of projects.  Her versatility and keen design eye are invaluable assets to the team as she coordinates the styling of photo shoots, manages social media platforms and photographs internal KMID projects.

Elizabeth graduated from Colby College in 2014, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art.  After interning for interior designers and fabric houses, she knew interior design was where she wanted to start her career.  In her free time, Elizabeth runs the lifestyle blog Stixandstonez, where she posts on interior design, fashion, food and art.  She loves exploring new spots around Boston (read: artisanal donut shops), and decorating her new (tiny) Beacon Hill apartment.


Stefanie Browne
Office Coordinator

Stefanie joined the KMID team in September 2011. Stefanie’s innovative methods and quick thinking has played a vital role in implementing a system that would aid in the development of a rapidly growing company.

Stefanie came to KMID with ten years of experience in marketing and sales, half of which she acquired in the Marketing and Client Services Division at Intercontinental Real Estate.

Stefanie holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Bridgewater State College. Outside the fast paced office environment she can be found at an even faster pace chasing after her two young children.


I am so thankful to have such a great team and such wonderful clients.  Team KMID couldn’t be more excited to forge ahead in the new year, continuing to design beautiful spaces for you all to enjoy.  We’re sending lots of warm wishes to you and your family on this holiday- Happy Thanksgiving!

Kate

KMID & “The Meaning of Home” by Design New England

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Oh, “Hello November.” What?! Where exactly did October go?! As you may have noticed I’ve taken a little hiatus from the blog due to some major changes for both my family and KMID.  My husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Julia, just a few weeks ago so we’ve been spending every possible moment with our new little bundle of joy. She even makes a cameo at the bottom of this post {wink}.

KMID moved office spaces! We’ve been on the hunt for a larger space for quite some time but the perfect space fell into our lap and we needed to jump on it right away. I may or may not have gone to see the space when Julia was just a week old {yikes}! So it’s safe to say it’s been a crazy fall but we couldn’t be more thrilled about all of the new developments! We’ll share more about the new office space soon enough!

Today it’s all about the work…and our special clients!

Jessica and Patrick came to KMID looking for a team to help them with the interiors of their new space. As Marathon bombing survivors, they were working through the new challenges in their lives and needed someone to help them navigate what that meant for the interiors of their new home. When I first got the call I was honestly apprehensive about taking the project. I didn’t have any direct experience with handicap accessible properties. All of those nerves were immediately flushed away upon meeting Jess and Pat in person. Our candid conversation landed us in a place where we agreed to “figure it out” together. What an honor it has been to learn from them.

We couldn’t have asked for more enthusiastic, down to earth and all around incredible clients on this one.  It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know them and helping them to create a space filled with beauty and joy that they could truly call home.

We are excited to share that this project and the story of its development is being featured in the November December issue of Design New England. Here are some behind the scenes photos {by our very own intern Elizabeth of Stix and Stonez} taken on the day of our Design New England shoot and an inside look at our roll in the project. Check out the story {here} for yourselves and enjoy this celebratory post!

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Meet Jess, Pat and their service dog Rescue. The smiles you see here are genuine and they have a way of lighting up a room and drawing you in. As soon as the project was completed we knew we needed to share photos of this happy place. We engaged a wonderful photographer, and now friend, Michael J. Lee, to help us tell this story. Michael immediately saw the beauty of this couple and the story they had to tell and was INSTRUMENTAL in helping us to find the right editorial team to help us share this story. We couldn’t be more impressed with how the final images came out and Michael captured the spirit of the project beautifully. The team at Design New England was immediately excited about the images and the story and it has been the perfect platform to bring all the pieces together. {Check out Michael J. Lee’s Photos on our website here!}

Living Room
We designed the living room around some of the clients’ major pieces.  Adding a wall mounted media cabinet {by Furniture Design Services} helped to keep all pathways to the patio accessible, as well as hide any unwanted clutter.  Partners in Design helped us with this custom-made, round ottoman, continuing the easy accessibility throughout the space.

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Because there were no rugs throughout this project, we used the patterns and colors from the wallpaper and drapes to really pack a punch in the space.

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Dining Room
This custom dining table was one of the most important commissioned pieces for the project.  It was important to the clients that their table fit a lot of people for entertaining and was easily accessible.  Walter Creek helped us create this beautiful piece, with attachable leaves to accommodate additional guests.

In an open floor plan like this, it’s necessary to have art that really makes an impact and commands the space.  The stunning art over the dining table was donated by Black Crow Studios and really creates a moment and helps to define the dining area.  {The flowers by Boston Pollen don’t hurt either!}

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This room was a real design meets function moment.  Jess and Patrick wanted the room to work as a guest bedroom, den, and office- all within a small room.  We took out the existing closet, which freed up space to create customized office storage {with the help of Bob Purdy}.  The sofa is a queen sized sleeper {by American Leather} for when guests are in town and it’s surrounded by cheerful wallpaper by F. Schumacher and a spirited art piece of kites on a hilltop by Paul Octavious Prints.

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Master Bedroom
Jess and Patrick wanted a calm and serene bedroom with punches of playfulness and color.  We designed these customized, large nightstands to store their prosthetics {by Tritter Feefer and finished by our friends at Art Applications}.

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We had so much fun during this shoot and everyone was in great spirits. The space and people were truly inspiring.   Check out some more candids from our day with Design New England below and make sure to check out the November/December issue {here}!

{You’ll even get a sneak peak at little Julia who was only 11 days old when she attended her first magazine shoot! Patrick, you’re a natural. Thank you for cuddling her while we were “working”. }

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This was one of the most meaningful and special projects we’ve had the privilege of working on and we enjoyed every minute of it.  This project would not have come together as beautifully as it has without the generous donations of the very special vendors below.

Welcome home Jess, Patrick and Rescue!

Builder: Bob Purdy of Purdy Construction, Winchester, MA; 617-733-4425, Architecture: Ellen S. Light at Donham & Sweeney Architects, Boston; donhamandsweeney.com, Joseph F. Fournier at JFF Design Architects & Planners, Waltham; jffdesign.com, Rosie Weinberg, Cambridge, MA; leahrosaweinberg.com, John Altobello at John Altobello Architecture, Cambridge, MA; johnaltobelloarchitecture.comBoston Survivor Accessibility Alliance (BSAA). Drapery and art installation: Jim Anketell at JA Installations, Southborough, MA; 508-485-5065. Wallpaper installation: Sarah Smyth at John J. Smyth, LTD., Medford, MA; 617-969-5986. Drapery and motorized hardware: Lily and Chuck Schultz at Reliable Fabrics, Everett, MA; reliablefabrics.comLiving room: Sofa: Jordan’s Furniture; jordans.com, Media cabinet: Chris Rice at Furniture Design Services, Peabody, MA; furnituredesignservices.com, Ottoman: Jim & John Sersich at Partners in Design, Newton, MA; 617-965-1950, Drapery Fabric: Tammy Couture at Kravet; kravet.com, Wallpaper: Jessica Duffy at Osborne & Little; osborneandlittle.comDining room: Table: Robert Hanlon at Walker Creek Furniture, Essex, MA; walkercreekfurniture.com, Art: Tracy Hiner at Black Crow Studios, Long Beach, CA; blackcrowstudios.com, Art Framing: Joe Caswell at Caswell Gallery, Quincy, MA; caswellgalleries.comBedroom: Side Tables: ML Littlefield at Tritter Feefer Home Collection, La Grange, GA; tritterfeefer.com, with customization and finish by Douglas Yeiter and Bruce Dallaire at Art Applications, Inc.; artapplicationsinc.comDen: Wallpaper: Lewis Paternoster at F. Schumacher & Co., www.fschumacher.com, Sleeper Sofa: Maggie Bates at American Leather, www.americanleather.com, Console: Douglas Yeiter and Bruce Dallaire at Art Applications, Inc., www.artapplicationsinc.com, Ottomans: Christy West at Furnishings by Design (Lee Industries), Berlin, MA, Pillow: Mary McDonald at The Martin Group, www.martingroupinc.com.

Boston Design Week :: Branding with KMID & Wayfair

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Last year I made the decision to hire a marketing professional as a part of my design team.  Having gone to school for business marketing, I always knew the importance of this piece of the business and I was finally in a spot to make this a real investment.

Kelley came on board with a fresh eye on all of our existing online platforms and marketing collateral. She assessed everything we had and then sat our team down asking us to describe our business in a word dump exercise.  Although marketing has always been an initiative for us in the 10 plus years we’ve been in business, we had never thought of ourselves as a brand. This exercise really helped me look at my business in a new light and put together a thoughtful, curated description of who we are and who we aspire to be as a design firm.

This exercise also sparked a larger conversation. Now that we know who we are and how best to describe ourselves, does that message read across all mediums we populate; the website, the blog, social media, printed collateral, etc.? NO!  Now I had an even larger project to tackle!

We attended a Design Salon panel where Jessica Maniatis Sutton of JSGD spoke about the importance of social media and SEO for designers.  Jessica owns and operates a unique graphic design firm specializes in branding, web development and graphic design all under one roof. She is smart, chic, confident and the perfect hire to redesign our website. We could not be happier with the finished product.

After a few months of operating with our shiny new tools,  I was approached by Wayfair to be a keynote speaker at their event held for Boston Design Week. Check out some photos from the event below!

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HGTV :: House Hunter Renovations :: Before & After

Excited to reveal the before and after photos

from my HGTV debut on House Hunters Renovation.  Such an exciting experience working with the production team and a big thanks to all the vendors that were able to partake in the adventure with me.

A special thanks to my friends, family and clients who have expressed their support throughout this journey.  I feel lucky to have shared this with all of you!

And without further adieu…  KMID_HGTV_3 kmid_hgtv5 KMID_HGTV_4 kmid_hgtv_2 KMID_HGTV_7 KMID_HGTV_5 KMID_HGTV_8 KMID_HGTV_10 KMID_HGTV_9 KMID_HGTV_12 KMID_HGTV_11

Project Details

Interior Design by Kate Maloney Albiani of KMID | Kate Maloney Interior Design

Contracting by Dan McCarthy of McCarthy Enterprises

Painting by Marc Culhane of Marc Culhane Painting

Disposal Services by Anthony Howard of ABH Services

Counter Stone by CounterEdge

Kraftmaid Cabinets by Carole Kitchen and Bath

Lighting by Currey & Company

Kitchen Backsplash by Discover Tile

Hardware/Cabinet Knobs by Anthropologie

Table and Chairs by Walker Homestead

Plumbing by McDonnell Plumbing

Window Seat Cushion by Stacy  Kruse with Hearth and Home

Window Treatments by Colleen Maloney of Window Elegance in Holliston

Window Treatment Fabric by Fabric Place Basement in Natick

HGTV :: House Hunters Renovation :: Behind-The-Scenes

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I’m still a little in awe of the fact that I’m about to be on television. We started this process almost a year ago and now the episode is about to air!!

My friend Tiffany of LeBlanc Design was the one to introduce me to this opportunity. She basically didn’t give me any choice in the matter and said, “Kate,  you’re doing this. I did it and now you’re going to do it too.” Love you Tiff!

Step one was an on screen interview with Pietown Productions…they are the folks that actually produce the show for HGTV. Once I passed that stage I was assigned my clients. Kate and Tom Hurley are a young local couple that recently purchased a Victorian home and the kitchen needed a complete overhaul. Enter “Designer Kate” to help them maximize the space and create a warm and welcoming kitchen for their growing family.

I presented my design schemes to Pietown and then to HGTV directly via Skype. They asked me for a floor plan, design concept board and budget. Here is my round one concept board…

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While they were thrilled that I wasn’t presenting a white kitchen, they also thought the yellow was a little over the top. They asked me to speak more to the “GRAND” style request from Tom and the “COMFY COZY” style request from Kate. So I tweaked the cabinet color and lighting selects and had a winning scheme!!

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With an approved design scheme and a timeline it was now time to build my team. I turned to my good friend and general contractor Dan McCarthy of McCarthy Enterprises to help me with this exciting opportunity. {We had also just hired Dan for the Prescott Project so we saw a lot of each other in 2014…and we’re still friends so that’s AWESOME!}

Day 1

I was SO thankful to have a friendly face in Dan on day 1. Neither of us had any idea what was about to happen so it was fun to have someone to share it with. Selfie on our first day of shooting. Let the games begin!

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Day 2

Demolition day…

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Day 3

HGTV asked me to come up with a “field trip” idea for the show. Then they said, “Have you ever heard of Brimfield? Maybe we can shoot there?” Well clearly this is all meant to be. It was pretty fun walking the fields with a camera crew. Certainly different then my typical entourage…

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Our Moms were fast friends which made the day just that much more fun! Plus our film crew is awesome and made us all feel comfortable from start to finish…

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Day 4

There were a few days of work in between filming days {to say the least} but this is TV and all you really want to see is the BIG REVEAL!!

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Stay tuned for our episode to air

Saturday February 7th at 10pm!!

 

I’ll also be sharing before and after photos on the blog after it airs. Stay tuned!

We WON Best of Houzz 2015!!!

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KMID of Cambridge Receives
Best Of Houzz 2015 Award!

 

Cambridge, United States, January 20, 2015 KMID of Cambridge, Massachusetts has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 12-year old interior design firm was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building,Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

Houzz has become a great tool to use with my clients to help better understand their design aesthetic.  Similar to Pinterest you can create design boards on Houzz known as “Ideabooks”.  These Ideabooks can be utilized for developing specific design solutions or as a jumping off point for creating a design vibe.
Houzz has also become a great resource for potential clients to learn more about our process through current client reviews.

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize KMID among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow KMID on Houzz

About KMID

At KMID we believe that good design is an organic process between the design team and the clients who know what they love. Our creative process stems from an open line of communication with our clients about the function of each space as well as the look, feel and overall vibe they are hoping to achieve. Our goal is to create rooms that are just as beautiful to look at as they are comfortable to live in. For over ten years now many families have chosen to work with us for our professionalism as well as our youthful spin on balancing form with function.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

Prescott Update :: Painting the town!

Selecting paint colors seems to be one thing that scares 99% of my clients. It’s so strange to me…it’s just paint! If you hate it, you repaint it! When selecting colors for an entire house the job may seem daunting but here are a few tips to help you make the right selection every time…and narrow down the nail bitters…

Tip #1 :: Trim

The trim color should be the same throughout the entire house. Done.

At Prescott we chose Benjamin Moore’s “Linen White”. Love it.

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Other tried and true trim colors by Benjamin Moore include “White Dove” {clean and crisp} or “Navajo White” {creamy and warm}.

Tip #2 :: House Neutral

There should be one “old reliable” color that works throughout the space. This color will show up in all your hallways and probably in a room or two. If you can see one room from another room then you should be sure the colors work together. The house neutral can help to bridge the gap here.

At Prescott we chose Benjamin Moore’s “Elmira White”. It’s a beauty!

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One other note here…painters are going to charge you more if you choose a bunch of colors so pick and choose your spots wisely and save yourself a penny.

Tip #3 :: Bathrooms

I consider bathrooms to be their own rooms. They are almost like their very own island. There is a door that can be closed and when you walk into these rooms they can feel all their own. If you want to take a risk with a color, a bathroom is a safe place to do that.

At Prescott we’re playing with color on the trim instead of the walls. The walls will be“Elmira White” but the trim {window, baseboard and door trim} will be “Mill Springs Blue”…ya know…just because…

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This is an image I’ve had in my Pinterest collection for quite some time and gives you a good idea of the look we’re going for. I think the color will be so fun with the mini yellow hex tiles we just had installed in here…

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Image by Apartment Therapy

Tip #4 :: Paint Finish

Trim = Semi-gloss {We’re taking it one step further with a High Gloss at Prescott}

Walls = Eggshell or Satin {We went with Eggshell}

Ceilings = Flat

Boring tip but you have no idea how many people ask me this

Tip #5 :: Go for it!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. It’s only paint!

I mean…why not paint your dining room mauve…

Yes. I did. “Deep Mauve” in fact.

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The rest of the colors you’re going to have to see in person…or in the “after” shots. I’m so excited to see these spaces finished and our art on the walls. I’m working with my local framer to get some special pieces framed as we speak! So exciting!

Remember this beauty from High Point? If not, you really have to start following me@kmidesign on Instagram {wink}. How pretty will she look on the mauve walls?! I can hardly wait!

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My wallpaper installer will also be at the house in the coming weeks {as soon as the woodwork and ceilings are finished in these rooms}. These details are really the ones I’ve been waiting for. I’m wallpapering three locations at Prescott. The Powder Room, the Kitchen and the Stair Hall ceiling from the entry to the 2nd floor landing. I honestly might start skipping when I see these in place!

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Sanderson || Clarence House || Harlequin

Have a great week everyone!

Prescott Update :: Solid as a ROCK

Of all the decisions we’ve made while building this house I’m going to have to say that the countertops ranks as the most difficult. I’m such a fan of a classic looking kitchen and I love the simplicity of a space that feels warm and welcoming and inviting. Stone is the opposite of all of those words.

When selecting your surface material there are a few things to keep in mind…

Granite

Granite is the hardest and most durable material on the market. My only issue with granite is that everyone has it {and you know how much I “love” that}. I could spend 5 posts talking about all the different types of granite and what I love {or don’t care for} about each. Instead I’m going with the cliff notes on this one…A granite slab will always have a black or dark fleck in it. Some will have more than others but this is the easiest way to identify what you’re looking at. Here is the granite we picked. It’s called “Colonial Ivory”. There is a minimal amount of that dark flecking I’m talking about….and these flecks have more of a burgundy tone to them which I love. The taupe and the blue tones sold me.

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Marble

Marble is a softer and more porous option to granite. It will be lighter in color and will not have the black fleck I’m referencing above. It’s gorgeous. Every high end, amazing kitchen you see probably has a marble counter top. The maintenance here is much more significant and you are certainly at risk of staining and etching if you go this route.

To start…I didn’t care…I wanted white counters. I even went so far as to tag actual slabs of Carrera Marble and I had convinced myself that I didn’t care that they would ware. When I asked my stone rep if he thought I was nuts and he said, “One party. One guest. One glass of red wine. One drip down the edge of one wine glass and you’ll have one red wine ring stain in your counter.” What? Really? Noooooo! He barely even knows us! {…and has never been to a bevy so clearly has no idea.} Can you imagine? Our house? 90% of the people reading this have been to our house and had a glass of red wine. Yowza! No marble for the Albianis. Let’s just take a moment to imagine how beautiful it would have been shall we…

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Quartzite

Quartzite has the look of marble but the durability of granite and has become wildly popular recently. The problem is that you can’t get it! If you see it, grab it! I’ve been hunting for a quartzite slab for the past 5 months and could never find one that fit the bill. Bummer.

Soap Stone

Soapstone is even softer than marble and {in my opinion} even more beautiful. This is an old school, classic look that is just lovely. There is a softness to soapstone that just takes you back in time. I love it. The tricky thing about soapstone is that it scratches. You see the ware and tare pretty quickly. Some people love this {ME!} but others can’t stand it. Certainly personal preference.

Manufactured “Stone”

Silestone is a man made material that is made up of natural pieces. It’s 95% natural quartz which is crushed and mixed with other materials. Since the quartz is crushed it tends to have a speckled appearance to it. It’s extremely hard and durable and certainly rivals granite as the easiest material to maintain.

Corian is a brand name for a solid surface material made of acrylic and other manufactured materials. It is one of the only “solid surface” materials that can be molded into shapes. You’ve probably seen molded sinks made of this material.

Concrete countertops are also starting to surface {surface…ha!}. This countertop option is literally concrete that is formed to the size and shape you desire. It can be used in kitchens and bathrooms and the material can be finished with a smooth or textured surface. I’ve seen concrete counters in every color in the rainbow and I’ve even seen objects set into them. Amazing stuff. Here is a shot from a visit to The Slab Lab that I took with a client awhile back…you can tell by the boarder on this Instagram shot circa 2012 =)

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So we purchased our stone through a stone warehouse called CBS Exotic Stones in Winchester. There are a number of warehouses in this area. Others I like are Marble & Granite and Stone Decor Galleria. Each supplier may have the same materials but they will all have different slabs so you can shop around for your favorite.

Once the stone has been selected then your fabricator takes over. We worked withCounter Edge for our installation. The first step will be for them to come to your house to template for the stone once your cabinets have been installed. The template looks something like this…

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Then they place the templates on your actual slab. You can move them around to capture the parts of the stone you love the most. I typically suggest clients start with the island so they can really showcase the beauty of the stone. It’s easy to bury sections you’re not as much in love with in the corners.

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Counter Edge will then supply you with a digital rendering of your template. {Which is awesome!} This guarantees that everything will be perfect when it is installed and nothing gets lost in translation.

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Then they cut the stone off site {including the hole for the sink} and bring everything ready to be installed. We always try to minimize seams {where two pieces of stone come together}. We were lucy enough to only need one seam in our layout. The stone is installed with this machine to be sure it is as tight as possible.

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We also had the master bath installed this weekend…which I’m also in love with…

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The Kids’ Bath and Powder Room will be installed this week and then the plumbing can be hooked up and the appliances installed and the spaces will be well on their way to being  finished!

We’re in the home stretch for sure!

Prescott Update :: The Heart of the Home

The kitchen is considered the “Heart of the Home” for many reasons. It’s not only the place where a family eats together but it’s where everyone gathers when you have a house full of people…no matter what size house you live in. When we start working with a new family at KMID we always start with the kitchen. Where is it located, what is the style and how does it FEEL when you’re standing in it. To me you can tell a lot about a house {and a family} by how the kitchen “feels”.

As soon as Mike & I knew the footprint of the kitchen it was time to get to work on the design. Cabinets always have a long lead time so the sooner you can get them ordered in your project the better. The plan will be tweaked and changed a million times before you’re finished so it takes some time to get everything exactly the way you want it. You know the expression, “hurry up and wait”…ya…that’s how a kitchen cabinet order will feel.

We chose Craig Brisbois from CJB Group Kitchens to help us with our cabinetry. We had the space, the function, the vibe and budget to contend with and that’s quite a combination. Craig helped us tweak the design until it was perfect for what we needed for OUR family in OUR home.

I’ve designed countless kitchens and every single one of them is unique. Every cabinet line has their own offerings so my first piece of advise is to work with a kitchen shop that will share their experiences and be willing to share some ideas with you as well. Here are a few key design details that were NOT obvious from the start but I’m thrilled we incorporated…

Appliances

I don’t typically get involved with appliance selection for my clients so this was actually a new category for me. A few tips to share here.

Refrigerators :: It’s obvious that these can be purchased in a number of different sizes and a number of different dimensions. What is NOT obvious {to me anyway} was the decision about what depth to purchase. You can either purchase a “standard depth” refrigerator {which averages around 30″-35″ deep} or you can select a “counter depth” refrigerator {which averages 25″ around deep}. The trade off is that the counter depth doesn’t stick too far beyond your cabinetry, while the standard depth gives you much more storage.

Our solution here was to take space from the hallway behind {I was planning for a pantry cabinet} and sink the fridge back into the wall. this was the best of both worlds. I ended up with a standard refrigerator that doesn’t come too close to my island. Success!

Stoves :: Your first choice here is for gas or electric. It’s personal preference in my opinion but I’m just use to cooking on a gas stove so that’s what we went with. Stoves can also be purchased as “integrated” or “free standing”. The integrated is gorgeous and certainly my first choice. Unfortunately the budget prevailed here because you can buy a drop in stove for about half the price. Here is a visual for you…

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Integrated Stove Image by KMID  || Free Standing Stove Image by Sears

Stove Hood :: The other tip Craig offered was to put a wider stove hood above our stove.  We have a 30″ stove and a 36″ stove hood. This widens the wall just enough to help you feel like you have a little breathing room while working at your stove. You can also put your microwave above the stove but I opted to keep that tucked around the corner since the stove is so centrally located in my kitchen.

Little Extras :: I added sponge storage to the drawer under my sink. My parents had this growing up and it’s an easy way to keep those sponges tucked out of sight. Love it.

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Sponge Storage Image

Lastly, {and this idea goes to my Mom for sure} is a pair of roll out drawers above the refrigerator. This cabinet is always wasted space so this solution was a must for us. My parents have stored cereal in one and booze in the other. {I get such a kick out of that.} We intend to do the same!! Ha!

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Progress Report

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1st Cabinets are installed. Check!

2nd Stone template is done {they will need the stove, sink and faucet on site for this}. Check!

3rd Stone is installed. Next Week!

4th Appliances are installed. Also Next Week!

5th Back-splash is installed last. Looking at the week of 9/26 for this! Just around the corner!

The painting has started on the third floor so I’ll have to share our paint color selects with you next. September is here so the pressure is on. Time to book the movers! Yikes!

Prescott Update :: Splish Splash

We’ll have three and a half baths at Prescott when we’re all said and done. The layouts of each bath were decided early on {during framing} and the plumbing fixtures also had to be one of the first things to be selected.

A small note about that…The trim you see in your shower is tied to what’s called “rough plumbing”. The brand of the trim has to match the brand of the rough. Therefore you have to decide on a brand pretty early in the process. You can decide on the trim and finish a little later but this is why contractors will ask about your plumbing fixtures earlier than you think they need the info. Anyway…back to the post…

Here is a look back at two of our baths and where we are today.

Kids Bath

The “before” layout on the left and the new layout on the right…

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The progress in this space to date…

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Generally speaking, when designing bathrooms I do like to keep the permanent elements extremely simple and timeless. It’s a lot easier to swap out a paint color, shower curtain and artwork than it is to swap out your tile. That being said, why not have a little fun with the decorative stuff!

Below is my concept image for this bath {far left} and a few of the finishes we’re planning to give this bath a fun and quickly spirit. There will be touches of modern elements throughout the house but these sconces take the cake.

We’re going with 4″x4″ white field tiles here and a grey grout color to give it a vintage twist. I’ll also be mixing finishes and going with chrome plumbing, antique brass door hardware and brass sconces with black shades. I love how eclectic this room is shaping up to be!

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Concept Image {Sara Gilbane} || Shower Curtain {Serena & Lily} || Artwork {Matt Albiani}

Master Bath

Here we took the two rooms in the back of the house and reconfigured them to create a master suite. Here are the before and after floor plans…

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The progress on this space to date…

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For each of our bathrooms we went with white wall tile in the showers but still wanted them each to have their own flavor. In the master I wanted it to have some charming qualities to match the spirit of the house. Here we stuck with the existing wood floor {which I’m in LOVE with} and went for a clean black and white theme on the tile. These subways have a raised profile to them and they are a little oversized at 4″x8″ which I also love. Add the traditional wood vanity and Carrara Marble details and it’s turning out exactly as I imagined it in my head.

I’ve had this inspiration image tagged on Pinterest for a very very long time. When I came across it while designing this bathroom I knew it was exactly the look and feel we were going for…

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 Concept Image || Vanity || Sconces

So we’re cooking right along {hint hint to my next post}. Which means the packing has also begun on High Street. Crazy! In only a few short weeks we’ll be MOVING!!!

Prescott Update :: We have walls!

The building process is long. There are more decisions than you can prepare for and it just seems to be endless when you’re in the thick of it. Then a crew comes along and gives you some walls and you’re instantly rejuvenated. Hallelujah!!

Our insulation, board and plaster crews seemed to work like a well oiled machine. It’s amazing to think of where these rooms started and how AWESOME things are starting to look. Here’s a look back at the progress in a few spots…

Kitchen

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Living Room into Dining Room

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{Those boxes have our Kitchen cabinets in them. OH YA!}

Second Floor Hall

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3rd Floor

{Look at little E in her bucket…smooch!}

kmid prescott walls 3rd floorThe bathroom tile is next. I’m keeping things simple, old school and timeless.

Stay tuned!

love kate