| Family Room |

Accessorize: The Renovation Issue

I still wake up in shock that we’ve moved in. I don’t know if it’s because I aim to activate gratitude, or by default, after experiencing stressful experiences, those moments of appreciation linger. It’s probably both. 

People love discussing the arduousness of home updates, eyes rolled, all-knowing. “Gooooood luck.” The truth is, they’re right to warn you. Snags will arise, no matter how efficient you are or how precise your team is. 

After many, many months of setting the functional stage so the aesthetics could shine, when we finally got to painting, it felt our imagination was crystallizing. On a gloomy Monday, our jovial paint team descended on the house to begin. 

The first week, I checked in on the house daily, beside myself with excitement to see progress. Nary a wall had been covered. One door had been painted — with the orange-peel effect every designer fears: subtly bumpy, rough to the touch. I was told, “Mrs. Lady, just wait!” 

Fast-forward three weeks, and the only thing that had been crystallized was that this team was not up to the task. We let them go and looked for another crew. 

The following week, my husband did his morning round at the house only to find it completely flooded. There was only one working water hose at the time, solely for the painters’ usage. This lone hose had been turned on overnight, and then clamped through a door at the perfect angle to create maximum damage. From attic to basement, moldings, drywall, our kitchen cabinetry, tile — all damaged. It was clear our painter had not taken to being fired quite as well as we’d hoped. 

Months later and comfortably settled, it’s now a story we tell, warning our friends to get reliable references on not only the skill set but also the character of the tradesmen they allow into their home. “Do some research and find out if they have a history of vandalism,” we laugh. 

And, at this point, the only orange peel I’m confronted with is the one deskside as I write this letter. I think we’re doing just fine. 


Editor, Family Room


I’ll keep saying it: update your glass vases with terracotta, clay, and unglazed ceramic.




Zellige tiles are far from a new concept, but their signature rippled, imperfect style has become prominent in the design world in the past six to seven years. There is a variation of color and texture to each set of tiles, and I love their relaxed yet nuanced look.  




Storage is not a given when renovating a bathroom. This bathroom cabinet does triple duty as a piece of art, a mirror, and a storage piece. 




I know it seems like a small touch, but little cocktail tables next to a reading chair are almost more useful than a side table. They fit a mug perfectly and can easily be moved for maximum proximity. It’s a hug in a table. 




(Originally featured in Family Room, Issue 26)

Oops! We could not locate your form.