Divine Design: A recipe for relaxation - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Divine Design: A recipe for relaxation

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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:34 am | Updated: 3:06 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

When Damon and Jodie bought their house, they focused all of their energies on renovating the kitchen so they could start a catering business. They spent many hours uncovering the room's beautiful brick and building a restaurant-inspired island with lots of cooking space. But now that they have a great kitchen, all they do is work.

The couple were longing for a refuge to which they could retreat at the end of each day, when the stoves were turned off and the pots and pans put away. They were hoping their third-floor bedroom could function as such a space, but the cold attic - with its dark corners and crumbling brick - was anything but relaxing.

With a limited budget, two pet dogs and no storage to speak of (Damon's shoe collection took up a good part of the floor space), I had to be creative. So I called in my crew and got set to create the perfect recipe for a rustic yet chic oasis where Damon and Jodie could be far away (in spirit) from the demands of the kitchen.

I started by painting the exposed brick a crisp white, which went a long way toward turning the dusty attic into a fresh new space. I painted the other walls in a beautiful putty shade and then installed a few faux beams that add architectural interest and incorporate some much-needed lighting.

I then got to work on organizing the attic. The room had a lot of awkward angles, and the existing furniture did not maximize the usable space. So I moved the couple's dark-wood bed away from the windows and into the center of the room, between the two new beams and against a fresh white wall. On either side of the bed, I put in small tables with seven-tiered pendant light fixtures above.

Next, I got to work on the storage problem. I repurposed the existing cabinetry by adding new doors and hardware for a clean look that works perfectly with some store-bought cabinets that I customized with grass cloth, glass tops and new handles. I even added an out-of-the-box shoe solution for Damon -- a cabinet that ties in with the rest of the pieces, but is just for footwear.

I also created a little fireside lounge for Damon and Jodie by using the room's existing chimney as a backdrop for a new stainless-steel, ethanol-burning fireplace. Around the fireplace, I put a moss loveseat and beige chair in dog-friendly fabrics; a rustic, wood coffee table; and a heap of brown, pear and white pillows.

On the room's one window, I put up pear-linen drapes with woven grass blinds for light control. I then added a host of accents and accessories, including several dark-brown wall decals, a great area rug and some funky artwork.

This once dull and unsavory space was a recipe for disaster. So I lightened, brightened and added warm, cozy comfort to make it a rustic, chic retreat for two chefs who need time to escape the heat of the kitchen. Now that's divine!

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