Thursday, March 13, 2008

This one’s for you, Marianna—and next, on to Asia!

Recently we received an e-mail from Marianna. She attended our last Invitation to Design workshop but her husband didn’t, and they have a home that’s similar to the home I completely remodeled in our Applying the Fundamentals design lesson. Marianna asked that we post some photos because she wants to share the transformation with her husband.

The home I remodeled was a 70s-style house in really bad shape, with not a lot of color or texture. Beautiful koa ceilings were interrupted by an unnecessary skylight, the floors were covered with a cold white tile, and the living room opened onto a wraparound deck that was completely non-functional because it was only about 3’ wide, not even enough room to put out patio chairs. Even worse, the deck railing just outside the windows took away from the magnificent view of Diamond Head. It was more of a catwalk.

I removed the wraparound deck, popped a hole with sliding doors through the left-side wall of the living room and created a huge lanai out to the side of the second story. This lanai also fronted the master bedroom, allowing for a fantastic, unobstructed view not only from the living room but from the master as well.

So from an outdated space, by simply using some imagination and adding color, style and texture with warm slate flooring, wrought-iron railings, berber carpeting and new furnishings, I was able to create an inviting space to relax and enjoy the view.

Hope the photos help you, Marianna!

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since you e-mailed, but we’ve been in a mad rush again—seems like we’re always in a mad rush preparing for something! But at least this one also involves our families. Lissa, Kara and I are headed to Hong Kong on Sunday. We’ll be visiting the plant that manufactures part of our Style Kit as well as a few other factories. Then on Tuesday our families will be joining us for a much-needed and -anticipated vacation: husbands, kids and my parents—everyone who’s been so patient with our crazy workload this past year. For a few days we’ll get to take in the culture of Hong Kong and do some shopping, of course! We’re going to be at the Peninsula—just heard amazing things about it. Nicki and I love high tea, and we’ve heard they have the most fabulous high tea there!

Then we’ll board the ship. We’ll leave Hong Kong for Kobe, Hiroshima, Dalian, Shanghai, and we’ll be ending in Beijing. Of course the highlight will be the Great Wall of China—this will be a dream come true! After hearing about it all our lives, to actually walk on it will be the absolute highlight, I think, even for the kids.

It’ll be fun to share our experiences, all the wonderful sights, our shopping finds and culinary adventures with you. Be sure to keep checking this blog as we discover Asia together!