Completed Project: Elegant Casual Home

The story of this project began last Spring, when I was contacted by a friendly woman in Hawaii, looking for a designer to help them build their dream retirement home. We started right away designing the new build by Oakwood Homes.

Entry Table

Entry Table

"His" Office with sleeper chair for overnight guests

“His” Office with sleeper chair for overnight guests

We coordinated with the Builder’s design center to make many finish and fixture selections, including cabinetry, tile, interior doors, wall texture, plumbing fixtures, and the like. We also space planned and designed every room in the home, catered to their specific use. We took the keys the day of closing and got busy removing the inadequate and too inexpensive flooring the builder installed and replaced it with a beautiful pre-finished Hickory hardwood floor and appropriate pad and carpet. Then we had custom closet systems installed in the Master and office closets and the laundry room. We got to know these clients very well, and they became close friends. Jordan and I spent a week installing the furniture, window treatments, accessories and finishing touches. You find a sculptural table, round mirror and lamp in the entry.

The home office is a room in the front of the home that gives the couple a workspace, a sleeper chair for their young granddaughter and storage for office supplies, bedding and books and games.

"His" Office sleeper chair

“His” Office sleeper chair

The hall bathroom is adjacent to the office and is for guest use.

Office bath

Office bath






The home features an open great room plan. You enter the kitchen first and move into the dining and family rooms. The goal was to personalize this space as much as we could, while also providing enough new for a fresh start.

View of the kitchen, dining and on to the family room

View of the kitchen, dining and on to the family room

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Dining table surrounded by the kitchen and family room

Dining table surrounded by the kitchen and family room

View through the entire Great Room, from Family to Entry

View through the entire Great Room, from Family to Entry

Family Room showcasing the couples Hawaiian Tapa

Family Room showcasing the couples Hawaiian Tapa

Family Room

Family Room

Family cocktail table details

Family cocktail table details


Their Master Bedroom, Guest Room, Sewing Room and bathrooms were all designed painstakingly down to the smallest details.

Double sink vanity with quartz countertops, mosaic tile details and custom silver framed mirrors.

Guest Room Writing desk

Guest Room writing desk

Guest Room Nightstands

Guest Room Upholstered Bed and custom roman shades

Master bedding textures

Dining Table details

Designer Tip: Arc Lamps

One of our favorite lighting options for living areas is the arc lamp. Arc lamps are great for several reasons:

1. They provide better light than standing or side lamps. An arc lamp shade sits above a couch or chair and provides ample light. A table lamp can only light one side or corner of your couch. Even a larger floor lamp only provides either upwards or downwards light to a small space. In contrast, the arc lamp sits over your seating and provides full, warm light to everyone.

2. Arc lamps fill space that usually is left unoccupied. Arc lamps are interesting to look at and fill the space above furniture in a way that is unique and contemporary. This adds new depth to the space.

3. Arc lamps are spacially convenient. The base of an arc lamp hides behind large furniture while still providing great light and an interesting element of decor to any space.

See how D2D used an arc lamp to brighten up this contemporary living room: smullen 1 beforesmullen 1

Completed Project: Rustic Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

This is one of my very favorite projects.

Kitchen view from dining room

I was faced with a small square kitchen with a ceiling height of 7’6”.  There was an adjacent eat-in area that was now awkward due to a previously removed wall between the kitchen and dining.  The kitchen had little counter space and only allowed for one cook at a time.  My clients requested a brighter space with better circulation for their family of four.  They also had differing tastes.  One tended toward contemporary and minimalist design, and the other favored more rustic design with lots of wood.  Both homeowners desired a WOW factor and they were willing to take a risk to get it.

Kitchen view toward sink

I contacted a structural engineer to confirm we could raise the ceiling in the main part of the kitchen.   The new space plan included the old eat-in area to create twice as much space and open the circulation.  Materials were selected that combined both home owners’ tastes.  Contemporary Ikea cabinetry was topped with white quartz countertops except at the peninsula, where a beautiful remnant of granite was chosen for its color. A linear glass backsplash added more contemporary style and was highlighted by LED strip lighting above and below the cabinetry throughout.

Cable lighting

The ceiling in the main part of the kitchen was pitched and covered in reclaimed barn siding and then lit by cable lighting tracks. Acrylic globe pendants over the peninsula add shadows to the walls and ceiling. The floor tile gives the intent of wood with a dynamic color contrast.


The overall color story is soothing, yet energetic. The varied patterns and textures provides the WOW factor, and the consistent colors keeps it from being overwhelming.

You can see more images of this project here.

Completed project: Eclectic dining room and lounge

We had fun, vibrant, eclectic clients for this project. The front rooms of the house were meant to be the dining room, living room and office, were not being used.  The rooms all lacked purpose and style. Our client interviews revealed a need for a place the adults could congregate when they entertained, since the family room ended up being the kids’ hang out.  The solution was to design an elegant dining room they’d love to entertain in, a useful office with lots of storage, and a lounge for the parents and their friends.



As part of the office design, the custom desk and cabinetry was complemented with a small, custom fly-tying unit that organizes his tools and materials.


We removed the solid doors into the office, and replaced them with the French doors from the dining room.  We designed a new cased opening into the dining room using reclaimed barn siding.


The dining room was filled with a rustic contemporary table, and classic round backed chairs in a bright cotton print.


A hand painted sideboard that was made in Italy was topped with a rustic wooden mirror and two polished silver candelabras. Elegantly patterned draperies and a moroccan inspired mirrored chandelier on a dimmer provides adjustable, romantic light.


The new lounge/bar was designed with casual elegance in mind. The bar was a custom design by D2D Studio, fabricated locally using knotty alder in a clear finish. From the side it appears to be a slice of a sphere, with the top and sides curving into the back wall.


The eclectic mix of contemporary, classic and traditional furniture represents all of the home-owners tastes.  We used a colorful mix of patterns and solids to make sure there was no lack in fun style.



You can see more images of this project here.