Category Archives: My Designs

Secret Favorite Clients|Kitchen Reveal

I covered this kitchen’s before a long time ago and never posted the afters. I figured since it is featured on HGTV’s Fresh Faces of Design and you can vote for this kitchen (you just click on this kitchen scroll though the 8 images and click ready to VOTE) that I should share a little about it’s process. I posted the before’s here and shared this image on Pinterest:

Kitchen Reno


Well let’s get to the after’s shall we?? Sometimes I am amazed how much it looks like the original rendering. In this case it’s pretty EXACT. So we kept most of the original cabinets, all of the cabinets along the wall are the same, as well as the sink cabinet and dishwasher. The layout of the kitchen worked so there was no reason to replace any cabinet that we weren’t changing and that freed up some money.  HGTV Fresh faces Rebecca Zajac

To create the new massive island I designed, I had my cabinet maker fabricate 3 new cabinet boxes. We added a trash pull out per the clients request, and two more large boxes to give the island it’s new square shape. We opted to do the seating area on two sides so it allows for good conversation. When part of the island was drywall, all that space under the seating area was wasted. Now what looks like paneling under the stools is actually storage and makes a great spot to store holiday items you don’t need access to all year long.

HGTV Fresh faces Rebecca Zajac

The butler pantry was enclosed and became a regular pantry. The cabinet that functioned as the pantry before, next to the refrigerator, was fitted with interior pull out drawers to address the lack of drawer issue we had in the previous layout. We didn’t reface the cabinets, we simply re-doored all the old boxes with a simple shaker style door and since they were just partial overlay cabinets we tried to make them look more custom by closing all the gaps between the pairs of doors. In a perfect world we would have done full overlay or inset but since we kept the original boxes we made what was there work. Overall I am very happy with how the doors came out. We also added soft close so it feels like all new cabinets.

HGTV Fresh faces Rebecca Zajac

Some doors got glass and we moved up the cabinet above the range to make room for a professional hood. We relocated the microwave to inside the walk-in pantry. Countertops are Caesarstone Frosty Carrina and I like how they have grey marble like veins with out trying too hard to be faux marble. Marble is beautiful but high maintenance, Caesarstone is a great alternative and isn’t trying to hard to be somethings that it’s not.

HGTV Fresh faces Rebecca Zajac

The backsplash is a custom color Granada Tile and white tiles were added in to break up the over all pattern and give it an organic feel.

HGTV Fresh faces Rebecca Zajac

I think I linked most of the resources in the post. The stools are from Crate and Barrel and the cabinet color was a lacquer color matched to Sherwin Williams Peppercorn.

And I’m not begging, (maybe a little) but please take the time to VOTE on HGTV’s FRESH FACES OF DESIGN for this kitchen. Remember the vote button won’t come up until you scroll though the images or this kitchen and the adjoining dining room that I haven’t revealed on the blog yet.  KitchenRenoDesignbyNumbersPinterest


Secret Favorite Clients | The Fireplace

Let me introduce you to the strangest fireplace ever.


Again, photos from the MLS listing. At first glance the fireplace doesn’t look so bad. However look closer. There’s an odd height step that goes across causing the TV built in to look like it’s FLOATING! It’s so strange. Besides the floating media cabinet the television is also extremely high. The ideal height for a TV is eye level when stilling down, and if you need to mount it a little higher be sure to angle the TV down a little. A high mounted TV like this is like sitting in the front row at the movie theater. It hurts my neck just thinking about it. So the challenge was to save budget by keeping fireplace box in the same location, but re-design the fireplace surround and also design an adjacent media unit that complements the fireplace and balances the wall. I’m not a fan of those build-in media niches but sometimes you gotta just figure out how to work with it.

Secret Favorite Clients| Fireplace

The plan is to use a mid-century inspired brick veneer and go floor to ceiling around the fireplace and that weird step has got to go. The media unit is going to be simple cabinets with pretty knobs, and a simple modern mantle will tie the two together. Wanna see!? Secret Favorite Clients | The Fireplace Boom! Looks so simple but that design had me stumped for a good 5 hours trying to figure out how to make the existing placement work and look intentional and balanced. We could mount the TV but it really didn’t need to be mounted, and call me weird but I think it looks better on it’s stand in this situation. All the media equipment will be hidden behind those pretty white doors and an RF reader allows you to control the equipment without seeing it or having to open the doors. I’m not one to try to hide the TV because I think it’s unrealistic to pretend like we don’t watch it. If your lucky enough to have a separate living room, by all means omit the TV from that room, but in a family room just design around the reality that if you try to hide it behind door those doors will always be open and looking a mess. Rant over. Above the TV lends a perfect spot for some pretty leaning vintage artwork. I was aiming to keep this design simple and pretty, a nod to the mid-century without screaming MID-CENTURY. I really think the world eclectic has been overused about as much as the word epic, so I hate to say this home is “eclectic,” but it really is a modern mix of cozy, relaxed and all things pretty. Want to see the rest of the family room!? It’s coming I promise, along with the living room, dining, bathroom and laundry room.

Secret Favorite Clients | Fireplace Re-Design

Secret Favorite Clients | The Kitchen

Has it really been since Valentines day that I have posted!? Oh man does time fly. Well I’m excited to introduce a new series covering the redesign of my new secret favorite clients home. I call them my secret favorite clients not only because they are awesome, but because their style is so close to mine it’s like designing my dream home. So, I’m going to start the series off with their kitchen. This may be the most exciting kitchen redesign I’ve done to date. Not just because the after is going to be amazing, but because we are working with a lot of the existing kitchen making it a more affordable, realistic kitchen reno as compared to a full gut. So let me introduce you to the before:

Kitchen MLS  Listing Kitchen MLS  Listing Kitchen MLS  Listing These pictures are from the MLS listing on the house and in no way reflects my clients style or taste. The house is currently very beige and bland. The wall color, although looking olive in these pictures, is like a peanut butter beige The floors are white 18″ tile and the cabinets are an orangey cherry wood. It isn’t terrible, it’s just very builder grade feeling and the design is very 90’s. So whats the plan?

kitchendemo This picture is more true to color than the MLS listing, check out those orange beauties. Some major things happening are all new flooring though out the whole home. We are also removing the weird wing wall attached to the island and giving the island a complete overhaul. Since we are keeping the cabinets I plan on just reworking the island once the rounded drywall and dated granite is removed. Plumbing will remain in the same spot. This kitchen functions well and no need to spend budget on rearranging anything. That odd “butler pantry” will get a door and become a regular pantry and the pass though to what is currently the formal dining room will be closed off. We are also moving the microwave into the new walk in pantry and moving that upper cabinet up and installing a hood giving the cabinets a bit of a more custom look. We are not “refacing” the cabinets since we are painting them, we are simply redooring them to a timeless shaker door some with glass inserts and the entire kitchen is getting a coat of medium grey paint. Also a new lighting plan with pendants will be installed. Are you having a hard time picturing it? No worries, check it out!

kitchen rendering It’s like a completely different kitchen, while not really. The biggest difference is the island will be a normal rectangular shape, removing the weird wall opens it up and the pendants add personality. OH and that backsplash!? We did splurge a bit on custom colored cement tile and I mixed in some solid tiles to break up the pattern a little and make it feel a little more organic. It gives the illusion of wallpaper with the durability of tile. I’m obsessed.

Demo starts next week so be sure to follow along. I’ll be covering the great room design, new dining room, and formal dining converted to living room design before this week. There’s also a laundry room, full bath and powder room in the mix.

Kitchen Reno

DIY Valentines Photo Backdrop

Here’s a sweet little Valentine backdrop that’s super easy to make, and the photos make for awesome Valentine gifts. All you need to create this backdrop is red fabric or background paper. I purchased this red muslin from Amazon for only $16.99. You will also need white cardstock (you want something a little thicker than regular paper) scissors and white duct tape.

Step One DIY Valentine Backdrop

To start, just cut out a bunch of different sized hearts. First fold your paper in half and cut out half a heart. That way your heart is symmetrical and has a crease down the center. I cut out 4 different sizes and then used those sizes as templates to make the rest of the hearts.

Step Two DIY Valentine Backdrop

Next step is to tape your red backdrop to the wall. I used red duct tape but any color duct tape will work. I also let my baseboard show since I thought it provided a nice transition to the wood floors. If you don’t have wood floors you can use a fuzzy rug or faux wood floor photo mat. After your red backdrop is up, add a loop of duct tape to the back of one side of your hearts.

Step Three

And last step is to tape the one side your heart to the wall so the other side “pops” off. Make sure you use white duct tape for this so that way the color of the tape doesn’t show though the white heart and it’s strong enough tape your hearts don’t fall off.

DIY Valentine Backdrop

I have photography lights but if you have a room with a good window, natural light is best. I only use my lights when I don’t have daylight. You can also use a flash, you don’t need a fancy setup to make these photos look awesome. DIY Valentine Backdrop

Then just make prints of your favorite photos. One of my favorite places to get prints is Minted. They add a bit of elevation to ordinary prints and turn them into “Art.” They are also offering awesome Valentine inspired prints. My favorite that goes great with this backdrop is the XOXO print. And they are also offering free 2-day shipping on art and gifts over $75 with code VALENTINEFS2.

MInted XOXO Print

Also be sure to check out Minted Art Gallery as well for awesome prints. I love using Minted Prints on my Custom Gallery Wall designs. The prints are made from Independent Artist and I can always find great prints that reflect my clients personality.



Master Bedroom Sneak Peek

I’ve been neglecting my blog, again. I still haven’t found the balance of working on spaces for clients and then posting content for readers. Anyone have any tips I’m all ears 🙂 Anyways, I just wanted to share this sneak peek of my master bedroom. It’s been a work in progress since 2010, I just couldn’t get the balance of elements right. Although it’s still not finished, I still have to re-paint walls, add molding to windows, and switch out the dresser situation, the view of the bed is almost 100% complete. And when I say 100% complete, I mean I’m still swapping out those drapes. When your a designer, and it’s your space I have to say you are never done but now that I feel happy with the bed area, I am happy to share it.  Rebecca Zajac Master Bedroom The wood wall is pine shiplap. My husband and I installed back in 2010 when wood walls were trending HARD. I think I saw a wood wall somewhere, wanted one, installed it, and then when the reclaimed walls were EVERYWHERE I wanted to rip it down. I was just sick of seeing them everywhere, but my husband opposed, he loved it and I felt determined to make it work and not feel too trendy. It’s not reclaimed wood, so I felt like I could make it work without it feeling like I jumped onto the reclaimed band wagon. The floors we recently installed and happened to match the wall pretty well. Read a little bit about operation rip out carpet here. I designed the end tables, and made the top, my husband welded the base but by popular request we are in the process of making and listing some of them for sale. Speaking of sale, be sure to check out my items on Chairish. I don’t have an e-commerce site for my vintage and handmade goods yet but I really enjoy selling them on Chairish. They do the advertising, take a little percent of the sale, and take care of shipping. I am more than happy with that kind of online relationship. So speaking of my Chairish shop, I made those pillows on my bed and I have similar ones for sale on Chairish. I will have more indigo pillows made soon, if you are interested in purchasing anything you don’t see just email me. The stools from the end of the bed are from Wayfair. I didn’t like how shinny and new they were (it’s actually two benches even though you can only see one) so I used a deglosser on the wood to take some shine off and I’m distressing the leather by leaving my wet towel on them daily. The bedding is a white linen duvet, you can see my recommendations for white bedding here. The rug is Potterybarn and it’s much bluer like my picture, not dusty blue like the Potterybarn picture. Lamps are West Elm but I added a larger whiter shade. And the draper are vintage West Elm, but I am going to replace them with simple white panels. So if you interested in those existing panels they will be for sale, I own 8 panels and they are about 104″ tall. I will share the DIY for the wood wall in an upcoming post and I will share the remaining images of the room when It’s complete.


A New Years Tablescape


New Years Eve Tablescape

New Years Eve Tablescape

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. It’s that time of year we reflect back on the year and come up resolutions for the New Year. I like to keep my resolutions simple, so I don’t feel guilty for breaking them. So my resolutions are to continue growing my business, and try to do my laundry once a week so it doesn’t get completely out of control. To celebrate this New Years Eve, I wanted to design a simple tablescape using mostly items I had around the house. I don’t like to go too heavy with themes for parties, that way I can reuse elements the future. I started out this table with a simple color pallet of blush, black, white and metallics.


For this tablescape I reused the Target runner and ball garland hung on the chandelier I had picked up for Christmas. The blush and crystal glassware are vintage. However, the good news is I’m going to be listing those items for sale on Chairish. They are a great site for sourcing vintage items, so if you love these exact items they could be yours! (when the listings go live I will update the post with links) A similar set of crystal stemware can also be found here. The dessert plates are vintage china,
and yep, you guessed it those will also be listed on Chairish as well. The cake stand is also vintage and was a gift but you can find a similar one here.


The rose gold and pewter cantle sticks will be going on Chairish as well. Seeing a trend yet? The white vase is Dwell studio. I normally use that vase on my table with some dried Billy Balls, but I did a simple blush arrangement of peonies and leftover Christmas greenery. The tea light holders are West Elm.

New Years Eve Tablescape

The black vase is West Elm and napkins are Target. Since I was mixing all metals; gold, rose gold, and silver I just used my normal day-to-day silverware. There are pretty gold and rose gold sets that would have looked nice as well. The mini party hat is from an older OhJoy for Target collection but sadly are no longer available.


The mini copper pitcher is vintage and will be the final item from this tablescape I’m listing on Chairish. I know I said I like to reuse items for future parties, but I also have so many items I’ve collected over the years, doing this post and listing a curated collection seemed fitting since I’ve already photographed these beauties.

New Years Eve Tablescape

I really like how this tablescape turned out. It’s collected and a perfect mix of vintage and new. I like to encourage people to collect some special items to go with their day to day kitchen wares. Things to look for are pretty salad or desert plates, special occasion stemware, pretty cake stands or serving trays, and candle holders. These items can be mixed into basic place settings to create a beautiful tablescape.

New Years Eve Tablescape

And because I created this table a few days early to share with my readers, don’t worry I wasn’t too lonely setting up a party table by myself.

Party Chihuahua

I had my little party animal to enjoy the party with! Cheers to a New Year!

A Stairy Situation

We have a few projects underway at my house. And ripping up all the builder grade carpet is #1 on the list. While I picked out new flooring (which will be shown on a later post) the stair situation is a whole project on its on. Right now the stairs are super not awesome builder grade (aka cheap) beige carpet.

Stairs Before Stairsbefore2

You can see in the second picture, project rip up nasty carpet is fully underway. Well I didn’t want to lay the new flooring on the stairs because: 1 it’s expensive to do the stairs, and 2 I wanted to put a runner and stapling holes in newly laid flooring wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do. So my thought was to paint the stairs a pretty white, like this inspiration:

White Staircase


Pretty, white, with a nice stair runner. However, whats not so pretty are my stairs treads are not paintable. They are OSB or “chipboard” and will soak up paint like a sponge and no amount of paint will hide the texture of the OSB. So I’m going to have to purchase new treads and replace the existing OSB treads. Thats about $130 more and an additional day of labor. So it’s kind of a bummer but not a plan changer. I have builder beige tile downstairs that is staying, I don’t love it but I can live with it because there is just too much of it and too labor intensive to rip it up. So painting the stairs white and adding a graphic runner is a nice way to transition from the downstairs to the upstairs. My interior doors are Ben Moore Graphite, a “not quite black” and my trim is white so I figured a pretty white and black diamond pattern would look nice. I found this rug at RugsUSA.

It’s the Paddle Rug. I bought 3 5×8 rugs and it came out to about $336 for all three. I’m going to use one to carpet the landing, and the other two I can having cut into runners and bound. (so they wont fray)

So that’s the plan for now. I will be posting updates as the project progresses.


Retro Revival Kitchen

So today I’m sharing a retro revival kitchen. I didn’t design this kitchen per-say. It was “designed” in the 50’s before I was born, but I gave my opinion on color and finish choices. The kitchen has been restored to its original glory down to the original (still working) ice-box and restored stove.

Retro Revival Kitchen

So this kitchen actually belongs to my mom. When she purchased the house, the kitchen still had the original cabinets, but the countertops were redone (badly) and it had an inexpensive range from the 90’s and same for the refrigerator. (sorry I don’t have a before image)

Retro Revival Kitchen

The original stove was too small for the space, because it was designed for a wider model. My mom found this amazing restored vintage 50’s stove and it fit perfectly. She had her heart set on the scalloped trim above to hide the small vent fan. Sure a modern replica stove would be more accurate on temperature and more efficient, but no new replica would have the charm of this stove.

Retro 50's Kitchen

Same goes for that refrigerator. Its been repainted and re-chromed, but whats more amazing is it still works. It just goes to show how well things were made back then. I will have a “shop this room” post on Wed showing off some of the modern replicas you can purchase now to get the look.

Retro 50's Kitchen

The open rounded shelves were added to the original cabinets and are reminiscent of the 50’s kitchen style. My grandpa built those additions.

Retro 50's Kitchen

The table and chairs are vintage as well.

Retro 50's Kitchen Retro 50's Kitchen

The window box was an addition and the perfect place to grow herbs. A small dishwasher was added a few years ago for modern convince. It was able to be retro fitted into the original cabinets.

Retro 50's Kitchen

This kitchen is a great example of how something that appeared dated could be restored back to its original glory without being gutted. While granite and stainless seem to be the top of most peoples list, sometimes it just refreshing to see original appliances and tile countertops and appreciate the beauty of the past.

Retro 50's Kitchen

Retro 50's Kitchen

Planes Trains and a Baby Boy | Virtual Makeover

So this week I’m going to feature a nursery from about a year ago, but it’s still one of my favorites.

Inspiration for this nursery was a vintage travel theme. Although nothing in the nursery is truly vintage, every piece gives a vintage nod. We started with a custom Virtual Room Makeover.

The room is pretty small, about 11′ x 11′ but thats still enough space to design a perfectly functioning nursery. In fact, I kind of enjoy designing smaller spaces, you just have to find smaller scale furniture. We started with the Land of Nod yellow rag rug first. I don’t believe that rug is available any longer, but I will provide a link for a similar rug when I post the “Shop this Room” post laster this week. The random stripes in the rug inspired the random stripes painted on the wall. The wall color is Grey Owl from Ben Moore. The Blue is Smokey Blue from Behr, the same blue that was used in Mom and Dads room. I’m sorry I don’t remember the yellow or black paint color in the stripe.

Mom really loved West Elm’s Patchwork Dresser and while it’s an expensive piece for a nursery, it’s not a dedicated nursery piece. We decided to use it as a changing table by placing (securely of course) a changing pad on top. It can be used as a great piece beyond the need for a changing table, which justifies the price.

I designed a virtual gallery wall with all the sizes and frames Mom and Dad needed to compete the look. Mom had a bunch of photos of all the family members that were, or are pilots. We changed all the photos to a vintage sepia look and created that darling sentimental gallery wall.  This gallery wall service will be offered on my Virtual Makeover Packages in a few days. I also have a YouTube video on How to Hang a Gallery Wall.

Virtual Gallery Wall Design

Mom also found these vintage airplane sheets from Restoration Hardware Baby. I love it when clients add their own touches to their Virtual Makeover Plan.

Mom also shot her newborn photos in the room. I hope baby enjoys his Nursery as much as I enjoyed designing it. (Newborn photos by Megan Port)