A Classic Navy & White Baby Nursery (Our Own)!

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BIG news! We had a baby last month and we're loving being new parents. I'm proudly designing rooms with sleepy eyes and spit up on my t-shirt. We love this little guy and enjoyed crafting a space just for him. Okay, maybe not just for him. We all know new mama's spend lots of time in nurseries, so I must admit that I probably enjoy some of the design details more than he ever will. 

Anyway, it’s been a while, friends! Welcome to our very own baby’s nursery!

Before getting started, it’s important for me to share where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to lately. The past ten months have been unique and it’s been hard to find time to write and reflect. I learned I was pregnant the day Hurricane Harvey hit here in Houston. Everything was closed and the roads were blocked, but we did manage to make it to Cracker Barrel in our friend Phil’s XL truck. By XL I mean the tires are taller than me. 

When Houston flooded, I doubted my ability to serve the rescue and recovery efforts. With no medical or emergency rescue training, I felt as though I had little to offer but still wanted to help in any way I could. It was soon after that I realized something: homes. The memories. Their possessions. The places where they feel safe. Gone. While material items can be replaced, the feeling of ‘home’ is something we all need to feel secure. That’s when I knew that there was an outlet for me: flood renovation. We partnered with William David Homes and also Seven Mile Road Church to restore homes (more on this one day in the future). The families we got to work with will always be so special to me. They are so strong

All of this is to say that this became a top priority this year and was worth every second (even with a giant pregnant belly). It did leave little time for writing, though. I’m excited to catch you up to speed on what we’ve been up to lately! 

I tried to find ways to select pieces that will last a while but wouldn’t break the bank (because diapers cost money. As does college). Priorities, am I right?

Here’s the scoop:

For starters, this room was originally turqoise. It had belonged to an awesome teenager whom we had the pleasure of meeting! When we moved here we changed the walls to a neutral beige for Bryan’s office. He got to have his ‘corner office’ for about one month before we found out we were expecting a baby. Time for another color change!

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I love neutrals, always have and always will! There’s something special about a light and airy nursery. At the same time, the color navy wouldn’t leave my mind. Navy is classy and a versatile color, but I didn’t want all of the walls to be painted dark. Our solution was 3/4 high board & batten paneling. Bryan and his friend, Tom, conquered this project together. I was there only for moral support. The white paneling still lightened the room and made the space feel more open, while the navy packed a great punch of contrast. We used Simply White (satin) and Hale Navy (flat) from Benjamin Moore. We used satin so we could clean off any future crayon art projects on the wall :). 

 The inspiration board we made before purchasing anything for the room.

The inspiration board we made before purchasing anything for the room.

 Art by  Blakely Made ; Schooner Letterpress Print

Art by Blakely Made; Schooner Letterpress Print


Let’s talk about this rug. You want to know the glorious thing about it? I can take it outside and spray it down with a hose when it gets dirty! It’s an indoor/outdoor rug but isn’t prickly. It feels like an indoor rug. Winning! This is actually the underside of a rug. The top side’s pattern was too busy for the room so we simply flipped it over. It was a great clearance buy from Land of Nod (now Crate and Kids)! 

 Rug from  Crate and Kids


Moving on to the bookshelf area. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the navy & brass trend these days. It feels like an old library and I love that. I found this Visual Comfort light at a Habitat for Humanity ReSale shop at a fraction of the cost! It sat in a cabinet for a year before I had a place for it. The Bible verse below is one that is special to us. It also has our son’s middle name within it! We just typed this on engineering paper and had it printed at Office Depot. The shelves are filled with special books we were given, framed shower invitations, and beautiful ceramic British soldiers by Tricia Lowenfield Design (we still have more of her wonderful art to display)!

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Other details throughout the space include a classic dresser with brass knobs, a linen rocker/glider, handmade quilts, and art that is special to us: a Blakely Made letterpress print from my best friend and a Washington, DC pennant because it’s where we met. 

 Bryan and I met in the DC area. Our first date was in Georgetown. We got burgers and gelato and then walked around the monuments.

Bryan and I met in the DC area. Our first date was in Georgetown. We got burgers and gelato and then walked around the monuments.

 We swapped out the hardware with brass knobs to keep in style with the rest of the room.

We swapped out the hardware with brass knobs to keep in style with the rest of the room.

My advice when designing rooms in your home: use pieces that MEAN something to you. Don’t just fill it with ‘filler art.’ Wait until you find the right pieces of furniture, art, and decor that truly reflect your personality and stir up sweet memories from your life. 

If you’re about to design a nursery, I do have one good hint for you! Look beyond places that market themselves as ‘nursery’ items. It’s great to blend things together that are geared for nurseries and things that aren’t. For example, it’s imperative to have a crib that meets safety standards, so you can’t really stray away from nursery goods in this regard. However, art, pillows, lighting, and so on are great to find elsewhere (as long as the materials are safe). Secret: you will probably save a lot of money, too! 

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I hope you enjoy! Thanks for visiting! 

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All That Glitters is Gold...Hardware

 
 Construction: Doug Blake of BlakeCraft Homes; Design: Laurin White of Cambridge Row

Construction: Doug Blake of BlakeCraft Homes; Design: Laurin White of Cambridge Row

 

Brace yourselves. There are so many exciting transformations to this home and I can't wait to show you the process. 

Meet Erin and Jeremy

You know those families that are just cool without even trying? That's Erin and Jeremy. They have a way of discovering the most intriguing art, traveling to special places, and caring for the cutest pup in the world (she'll make her cameo in a minute). Even more impressive, they do all this while crushing it at their day-to-day life of raising kids and working hard. I've known Erin for a couple of years and was flattered when she called about their kitchen/living room renovation. Because they’re so art-savvy, it felt as though we were all one design team. I have to give them credit - they came up with some incredible ideas and design solutions.

Let's talk about what this space was before we reveal what it is

When we met for our first consult, I knew immediately why they were ready to renovate. While the entryway and dining room were up to date (with fresh colors and industrial materials), upon entering their kitchen, it felt like a different house. The stained wood cabinets, travertine floors, and dark green granite evoked a very different mood. It’s true, this style could fit someone with traditional tastes, yet it wasn’t them. So, we started brainstorming and made a few changes. Okay, we made a lot of changes. 

We started with the kitchen. Upon entering, your eyes immediately fell on the pantry in the center. While it worked, we knew that this particular space was longing to steal the show. We relocated the door to the bar area and replaced it with a 48” oven range, featuring a cement tile backsplash, satin brass pot filler, and shaker vent head (credit goes to Jeremy for identifying the door’s new location).

See how dark the kitchen felt? The cabinet/counter combo almost made it feel like there was a barrier between the chef and guests. It closed off the space in a way that left it feeling less approachable. Our goal was to lighten this space up with softer, lighter materials and updated hardware. The room's aesthetic changed completely.  

 
 EXISTING KITCHEN 

EXISTING KITCHEN 

 
 
 NEW KITCHEN

NEW KITCHEN

 

Next up: are you wondering where the pantry door went? Jeremy had a brilliant idea and discovered, by looking at their house plans, that there were a few other options. One included the idea of removing cabinets in the butler's bar. See below:

 
 Proposed location of new door. 

Proposed location of new door. 

 
 
 Remember where the old pantry door was? Here's the new one- surrounded in encaustic cement tiles. 

Remember where the old pantry door was? Here's the new one- surrounded in encaustic cement tiles. 

 
 
 Pantry access is now where the cabinets were. 

Pantry access is now where the cabinets were. 

 
 
 The fresh, new wet bar with dark charcoal quartz and brass plumbing fixtures. 

The fresh, new wet bar with dark charcoal quartz and brass plumbing fixtures. 

 
 
 The satin brass added a great punch of contrast!

The satin brass added a great punch of contrast!

 
 
 Hey, Millie!

Hey, Millie!

 

Here are some other before and after views around the kitchen.

 
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 We replaced the existing cabinet fronts with new, shaker panel doors. 

We replaced the existing cabinet fronts with new, shaker panel doors. 

 
 
 Marble & brass - Such a pretty combination!

Marble & brass - Such a pretty combination!

 

Let's talk about the living room. 

Erin and Jeremy really wanted a more crisp, clean, and functional approach to the living room. While the stained wood was beautiful, it seemed to darken the whole space. Not to mention, the built-ins limited the room’s flexibility. By removing these we were able to create room for an industrial shelving system. 

 
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The fireplace’s existing paneling was removed and we designed a new, custom fireplace with white paneling and Calacatta herringbone marble tile. The hearth is quartz stone, almost identical to cement. 

 
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Finally, by changing the paint to soft gray and updating the furniture, the room was transformed into a beautiful new space. 

Final thoughts

This was an exciting project to be a part of. By making the adjustments mentioned above, we were able to help the family's personality shine in the spaces that once bored them. That's one of my favorite parts about this renovation: watching the new space unfold while developing a friendship with them along the way. Erin and Jeremy, thank you for this privilege!

Have questions or comments on this project? Email me at laurin@cambridgerow.com

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BRIGHT & AIRY KITCHEN RENOVATION

 RENOVATION PHOTOGRAPHY:   Melissa Parsons Photography

RENOVATION PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Parsons Photography

Happy (almost) Friday!

Admittedly, I am brand new to the concept of blogging and I'm not even sure where to begin except that I love my husband, peanut butter, Virginia in the fall, and the opportunity to transform rooms into spaces where people love to gather. We created Cambridge Row in September of 2016 after I completed graduate school. Entrepreneurship has always been an intriguing idea to me, but it took a while to come around to that becoming a reality. In fact, I ignored the idea for a long time because it seemed to stray far away from the "business track" I thought I was supposed to follow. Last year, Bryan and I prayed consistently about what was "next" after finishing graduate school. The only thought I couldn't shake was the idea of starting a business. Over time it became clear that Cambridge Row was the right "next" thing for us. So here we go...

Since this is our first blog post, I feel as though it's fitting to share a little bit about what's going on in the life of Cambridge Row and our family. This past spring has been filled with many exciting projects that we can't wait to share with you. My favorite part is that every project is so different: a wedding venue, a local jewelry showroom, several major kitchen renovations, an entire home renovation, a new construction concept, and more! It is so humbling each time our phone rings with another potential project. We're grateful for the opportunities we've had in our first year of business and look forward to what's ahead.

The reason for this blog is to tell you the stories of each space: how it was once used, the potential we saw in it, and what it has become. We look forward to the storytelling aspect of interior design, because these projects don't happen overnight, either. They take time, special planning, and the ability to "see" something that does not yet exist.

On a personal note, Bryan and I are attempting to bring our own home up to date, but we're realizing that "DIY" doesn't happen overnight. Instead, it happens over, well, six months and counting! To be honest, I still have several paint color samples on our bathroom walls from the day we moved in. This past week, Bryan lovingly spent hours ripping the carpet from our stairs and giving it a new, fresh look. Photos coming soon! Our puppy, Pippin, really likes the idea of helping with said projects by eating paintbrushes.

On to what this post is actually about: a dramatic renovation!

A dear woman I know, Kathy, kindly introduced us to one of her coworkers who moved to the area in February. After realizing that we both moved from the Washington, DC area recently, I felt an immediate connection. I just love this family, and their dogs, too! It is so special when a renovation project turns into a friendship.

This couple has great taste and knew they wanted a fresh, new kitchen before officially moving in. They selected an amazing home in The Woodlands but the kitchen was outdated and cramped. That's when they called us. It was our job to reevaluate everything about the kitchen. Here are just a few pictures of where we started:

  A before picture of the kitchen. The rest of the home was already beautifully updated before they moved in, but the kitchen needed some work. You can't see it here, but the refrigerator is to the right and there isn't much space between it and the island.

A before picture of the kitchen. The rest of the home was already beautifully updated before they moved in, but the kitchen needed some work. You can't see it here, but the refrigerator is to the right and there isn't much space between it and the island.

  Pardon my purse and measuring tape! This picture is to show how tight it was between the island and the   refrigerator. Its placement made the whole room feel very closed in, so we took the whole wall away (scroll down to see more). 

Pardon my purse and measuring tape! This picture is to show how tight it was between the island and the refrigerator. Its placement made the whole room feel very closed in, so we took the whole wall away (scroll down to see more). 

  "BEFORE" This is where you'll see the   refrigerator and upper cabinets in the "AFTER"

"BEFORE" This is where you'll see the refrigerator and upper cabinets in the "AFTER"

We met together to discuss ideas, styles, and strategies for transforming the space into one that had a character of its own. The minute we arrived, it was clear at least one change needed to happen: access to the kitchen. When entering the home, guests veer to the right and approach a pretty dining/seating room. The existing kitchen was peeking through a tiny, 36" opening. It needed some "oomph", you know what I mean. That small entry became a larger cased opening with views into the kitchen. 

  "Before" Dining Room Area Looking Into Kitchen. The fridge was behind this wall before we knocked the wall out and made it a cased opening. It is now where the double ovens are shown in the image.

"Before" Dining Room Area Looking Into Kitchen. The fridge was behind this wall before we knocked the wall out and made it a cased opening. It is now where the double ovens are shown in the image.

  This plan shows our proposed changes to the existing layout.   We widened the island, created a cased opening into the dining room, and relocated the refrigerator. 

This plan shows our proposed changes to the existing layout. We widened the island, created a cased opening into the dining room, and relocated the refrigerator. 

Below is an image of what the space looks like now that we opened it and made a large entryway. It added more interesting views and better daylight. That's what we call a win-win!

  "After": The opening was extended to provide views into the new kitchen.

"After": The opening was extended to provide views into the new kitchen.

Our main goal was to create something more functional and beautiful at the same time. The couple loved the idea of a light, neutral kitchen but didn't want it to be too "gray" since gray paint covers most of the walls in their home. We went with a green color that still feels neutral. They seemed to love the combination of some classic and some modern elements. You'll notice this throughout the space with the subway tile, the industrial lighting, the polished chrome hardware/stainless appliances, and the soft, soothing colors. I love blending old and new together and feel it truly makes a space have character.

 Industrial Lighting. Photography by the amazing Melissa Parsons.

Industrial Lighting. Photography by the amazing Melissa Parsons.

 View of the farmhouse sink & quartzite island. 

View of the farmhouse sink & quartzite island. 

In the picture above you might be able to notice a slight variation between the perimeter counters and the island counters. The perimeter is a Caesarstone Quartz while the island is Super White Quarzite. Though the picture on their website shows a yellow tint, it's a nice, soft white in person. This complemented  the gray & white quartzite nicely! 

Fun Fact: We went to Israel last August and happened to pass the Caesarstone manufacturing center where quartz is made. It's in a very unexpected place (almost adjacent to ancient ruins of Caesarea). If I had known, I would have asked to take a tour! 

 

Here are a few images of other kitchen details: inset cabinets, subway tile, and more. 

 The kitchen from the perspective of a child. The microwave is built into the island. Our amazing contractor, Rodney Tesch crafted such amazing cabinets!

The kitchen from the perspective of a child. The microwave is built into the island. Our amazing contractor, Rodney Tesch crafted such amazing cabinets!

 Inset Cabinets & Farmhouse Sink with a Polished Chrome Faucet. 

Inset Cabinets & Farmhouse Sink with a Polished Chrome Faucet. 

 Pretty Cabinet Details. 

Pretty Cabinet Details. 

 Here's the new refrigerator. Also, in this picture you'll notice that we took the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to add more storage. 

Here's the new refrigerator. Also, in this picture you'll notice that we took the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to add more storage. 

 Island View

Island View

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Cambridge Row

That's a wrap! Thank you for reading!