Modern Beauty in a Living Room Niche

Tomorrow we begin the installation of an ultra modern fireplace niche in Scottsdale. I am so excited about this one for many reasons. First- we are working with my FAVORITE design style- contemporary and even more so, Ultra-Contemporary. Second- we are using a product which I love and have been dying to use in a residential application- 3-D Wall Art wall tiles.

The beauty of Ultra-Contemporary design is in the simplicity of it's minimalism. Cabinets are sleek and contain everything inside. Shapes are geometric and accessories are sparse. Lines are clean and color possibilities are endless. The home that we are working in emulates this style perfectly with strong angles, slick, linear marble floor tiles and modern touches throughout. NO TUSCAN HERE!

The fireplace goes 20' up from the floor.Here is the before pic.

Here is the basic drawing of what will be done. I am old school, so I still hand draw basically everything outside of my kitchen designs. (I just quickly colored these in for a better understanding of what we're doing. My client got the good colored version of this previously uncolored version). The fireplace on the left is getting wall tile running up the entire front and side, dying into the back niche wall. The wall tiles have a raised design embossed on them, making them an appealing 3-dimensional piece of art on your wall. They will be sprayed a charcoal gray.

The niche wall that recesses to the right of this fireplace will be painted a beautiful, soft plum. Fitting perfectly in this niche is a custom, wall mounted cabinet which sits 9" off the floor. It will be a high gloss red, a favorite color for my clients and apparent throughout their home in accents everywhere! The cable box will be hidden in a drawer and activated by remote through a 'red eye' system. This system allows full access to electronics which require sensors by placing a small sensor dot on the front of the drawer, allowing your remote to beam signal to the dot, which then transmits to your cable box. It works with virtually any electronic device, from cable to stereos and home theater systems. 

Above the custom cabinet will be three floating black shelves to tie in the black from the fireplace trim. The shelves are staggered to allow space for large artwork or finds for my clients. The red custom cabinet will be made by my talented husband Jay at J&M Custom Millwork & Remodeling and I can't wait to see the results! I'll be sure to post the after pictures when the job is completed.

The next project in their home will be a 27' wide mural of NY city above their patio doors (a strong desire of the homeowners, who are from NY, a couple after this NYer's heart!) 

Forzastone- The Newest Name in Luxury Bathroom Design

Travertine is one of the most luxurious and most popular surfaces for bathroom remodels in the last decade, but it has not been without it's flaws. Being natural stone, to try and get it to look like this picture was a labor intensive and highly expensive feat. Slabs of any stone are extremely heavy, therefore costly to purchase and install, requiring several men just to lift and put your stone in place. Then there's the typical, lighter but not so less intensive method of application- travertine tile. While beautiful and offered in thousands of styles, patterns and colors ranging from lower cost and lower quality Mexican travertine to the costlier Turkish variety, owners of this beauty had the horrors of natural stone maintenance to contend with. Travertine is an extremely porous stone, with random veining and pitting allowing bacteria to fester in any moist environment. Tiled showers also have grout lines which, even when sealed, change color from dirt, mildew and age. 
Forzastone offers a beautiful, affordable solution to homeowners who seek the luxury of travertine, with the ease of maintenance available in a standard shower surround. Forzastone is a lightweight, natural travertine or marble panel that installs with NO grout and in less than a day. It comes in six varieties of travertine and two different marbles, offering you endless looks when combined with a decorative tile border, like the shown here with a marble mosaic.
Forzastone is comprised of many layers, blending the highest quality natural stone with the best in technology to bring you luxury for your bathroom that boasts a LIFETIME WARRANTY. The stone itself is a sealed 5mm slab mounted on a reinforced metal alloy, which is then mounted on a 4mm reinforced plastic ply laminate, which is mounted on another reinforced metal alloy. Cleaning and maintenance are a breeze because each panel is pre-sealed and 100% waterproof, and I have to say it again... NO GROUT! 
Forzastone cannot be purchased by homeowners, as it must be installed by a certified installer, ensuring proper installation of the product and no void of your warranty. As a designer, I'm having fun creating unique bathrooms with interesting combinations of Forzastone and porcelains, glasses and other natural products on decks, counters and walls. For more information on this phenomenal new product and their range of colors, please check out their website at Clients in the Phoenix- metro area interested in this product for their homes, I'd love to work with you to create a luxurious lav with old world appeal or cutting edge modern looks. Please reach me at 480-227-1832 or use my Contact Me page on this website and let's begin your journey into maintenance-free world of Forzastone. To all of my friends in the trade interested in using Forzastone in your own projects, please contact Jay Dunbar of J&M Custom Millwork & Remodeling. He's a certified installer who has done several installations throughout the valley. He's fast, professional and will make working with your clients on their bathroom a joy! He can be reached at 480-206-9183 or at his website at


Reface Your Kitchen & Make It Look Custom For Less

You HATE your kitchen! If it wasn't for the fact that you'd starve and die if you didn't cook there, you'd never even enter the room... or maybe your dislike is not quite as extreme. Perhaps you'd just prefer it look a little less dated or maybe you despise oak and long for a more modern feel. Maybe your dream kitchen is a Tuscan villa with ornamental details and a massive crown molding. You just wish you could change those cabinets but you know that ripping them out for the quality that you desire is just too expensive. BUT, what if your cabinets can be redressed as the cabinets that you desire and you could save thousands of dollars doing it? Maybe that dream kitchen is not so far out of reach after all, with the right partner in your remodel. 

J&M Custom Millwork & Remodeling has been in the dream kitchen business for over seventeen years. My company, Fashion House Interior Design Co, LLC works very well with them creating full custom kitchens to refacing kitchens in Arizona. Not only do they offer custom cabinetry to span your home, but they've perfected the refacing project in every way. Most refacing projects take between 3-5 days to complete and cost 30-50% less than replacing your cabinets. Once completed, your kitchen looks like full custom cabinetry, yet not one cabinet has been removed.

Before, this client's cabinets were lifeless natural maple with recessed doors. They had just redone their countertops, thinking they'd love their kitchen once they added them...but they didn't!
They were just too plain, too blah! Had they decided to replace their cabinets, they would have stayed with the exact same layout (there's really no other way to design this space and their storage was more than enough for their needs). They just hated the look. They longed for a Tuscan retreat that fit in with the rest of their home's decor. They got a price from Home Depot's refacing division and it was $18,000 to reface their kitchen, without the bells and whistles they desired! Even worse than that, at Home Depot you have to pay 100% up front. Sure, you can put it all on a credit card (if they approve such a charge), but you'll accrue interest and turn your kitchen into a major expense. 
Together, my client and I designed the details of the kitchen of her dreams and with minimal additional expense we added an overly dramatic crown with corbels, full extension roll out shelves in all base cabinets and appliques to create her look. Most stock and semi-custom cabinets have a recess on the sides (used to flush out your cabinets when attaching to a wall) Custom cabinets are completely flush. We add plywood panels to achieve a look of full custom cabinetry.

And here is the end result! Gorgeous and rich, this once 90's modern maple kitchen is reborn as a Tuscan paradise.

She loved it SO much that we then removed her island and created a custom piece to complete the transformation- for just $2,200. Oh, did I forget to mention... this kitchen refacing project cost my clients just $8,500 plus their custom island. NO ONE in this area can do this size job for this price. My clients know, they tried!
You too can have such a transformation to your space for far less than you ever imagined! Take a look at another one of my client's remodels and see if you may just need the high quality that J&M can offer you! Natural oak raised panels before...
Chocolate shaker panel after... with glass and marble mosaic tile and new granite for just under $10,000! That's 42" high cabinets, new tile splash, new granite counters and a higher height bar counter at the island, new stainless undermount sink and new 6" stainless steel pulls for their doors and drawers.
Need help to put your look together? Contact me at 480.227.1832 or call Jay at 480.206.9183 to schedule your no hassle, free consultation today. In less than 4 weeks, your kitchen can look just as fabulous!