My Condo - Farewell

I have lived in the greater Seattle area for nearly 18 years. The last 12 of them have been spent in this wonderful little gem that I slowly remodeled one bit at a time. I replaced all the flooring with engineered hardwoods and through body colored tiles. Installed radiant floor heating. The windows are all brand new. All the cabinetry updated and all the countertops honed finish Caesarstone. Brushed brass cabinet hardware and light fixtures. And to top it all off, it’s wired for an electric car. It was sad letting this place go, but I know it will be well loved.

How to remodel your home

Remodeling a home can be stressful, even if you’re a professional and especially if you’ve never done it before. There are so many things to think about, consider, so many choices to make and things to buy and pay for.

So where do you start? Google? Ask a friend who they used? You’re best bet is to have a plan of action but to keep in mind that overly strict adherence to this plan will most likely cause more stress. My advice is to trust a professional to help guide you. This is what they do for a living and more importantly this is their passion. This is also why I use Life.Cafe for guiding my clients through the process. It’s free for both Revel and them and I can give them the best advice through the platform in any language. Life.Cafe allows me to expertly guide my clients on any device. Nothing to download. They just log-in and follow my outline and steps and we connect all in one place.


Here are the steps to remodeling a kitchen. This step-by step guide will help you no matter the size of your kitchen. Small kitchens might have less square footage but have all the same features as a large high end one.

  1. Timeframe - Having a date in mind for completion is key. But keep in mind things happen. My advice here is to add a buffer of 3 weeks to your project. Trying to cram in a remodel before the holidays is very unwise and I do not recommend it. A full kitchen remodel can take up to 8 weeks if there are delays such as cabinetry delivery or emergencies or contractors getting sick. These things happen, and it’s better to plan ahead than to regret a breakneck schedule.

  2. Budget - Depending on the scope of work you can expect a kitchen remodel to range from $4,500 to $50,000. A lower budget remodel take a little more planning to pull off to stay on target. You will not be able to find new cabinetry for less than $8,000 and painting cabinets the correct way isn’t much cheaper than getting new. Consider your end goals and really look at what you want to put into your kitchen vs what you’ll settle for.

  3. Team - Your team is what will help ensure your success in a project like this. There are three routes to take for doing a remodel. DIY, General Contractor and a combination of both. If your’e doing everything DIY, you’re still going to need advice, resources and often times a second pair of hands. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you tackle a job like this alone. If you’re hiring a general contractor, make sure you look at their portfolio and references not just reviews and pricing. A portfolio will tell you a lot about their quality and references will tell you a lot about their dependability. A good rule to go by is “You get what you pay for” and this is very true. Sometimes the least expensive quote is that way for a reason and you might now want to find out why.

    Team to hire - Interior Designer, Project Manager, Flooring installers, Drywall, Painters, Tile installers, Plumber, Electrician, Cabinet installer, Countertop installer, Window installer or a General Contractor.

  4. Create a Schedule - Believe it or not, there is an order of operations to the madness that is remodeling. If you are doing a simple facelift there is less to do but the full scope of work should follow this order. Your remodel calendar really starts once the cabinetry order has been placed. You will have a few weeks of design and selection that needs to be done before this clock starts ticking. One of the reasons I recommend you add 3 weeks buffer to your remodel end date.

    Overall design meetings with an Interior Designer and finish selections such as colors, granite, flooring, paint, lighting and hardware. Pull permits if needed.

    Place your Cabinetry order and Window order. Demolition. Framing. Insulation. Siding. New electrical wiring. Window installation. New drywall and painting. Flooring installation. Cabinetry installation and cabinet hardware installation. Countertop installation. Backsplash/Tile installation. Appliance installation. Plumbing installation. Lighting fixture installation. Cleaning.

  5. Finishes - This is an industry term for all of the pretty things you see. Like the paint color and the color of the cabinets, the tile design and even the flooring and plumbing fixtures.
    Some homeowners have a good eye and can probably do it themselves but it is always best to get a second opinion on this. A remodel on a house that isn’t going to be sold can be as eclectic or contemporary as you like and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If the remodel is for the purpose of resale then make sure you pick finishes that are not too trendy. A trend “dates” a home and they are harder to sell later. It is worth it to hire a designer. Check their portfolio and their references too. Some designers might have a better sense of your style than others.

  6. Initial Design Meeting - Go over your goals, budget and timeline. 1 week

  7. Review Design Meeting - Go over floor-plan, cabinet design. 3-5 days

  8. Additional Design Meetings - Countertop design, depending on your designer, this might come before the cabinetry design. Selecting exotic stone for your home is one of the most fulfilling parts of doing a remodel. There are stones from Brazil and Italy that will blow your mind. There are also textures and edging profiles to consider when selecting stone. 3-5 days

  9. Final Design Meeting - Select Appliances. Select and sign-off on finishes such as colors, flooring, paint, lighting and hardware. 2-3 days

  10. Pull permits if needed - Permits are not always needed. This does not mean you should do work with out checking. If you start work and a permit is needed you can be forced to stop and the project can come to a halt. Check with your city on the rules. Permits include things like electrical work, framing and windows. If you are doing an addition your plans must be approved by the city and can take up to 6 months depending on the cities planning department and their backlog.

  11. Place your Cabinetry order and Window order - These take the longest and will dictate the entire schedule. Go over every single detail with your designer and contractors. Sign-off on everything. These can take up to 6-8 weeks to build and deliver. If it’s “flat pack” cabinetry it’s usually in stock but will be much lower quality. Custom cabinetry is made to order and takes time to build.

  12. Demolition - If you’re doing a full remodel then you’ll need to demo everything. Not always down to the studs, but sometimes. Doing demo yourself is also not always recommended because you can damage things that would need to be fixed and will add onto the cost of the remodel. 1-2 days time.

  13. Framing - If you’re adding a wall or knocking something out you’ll need to make sure everything is built back properly. This takes about 2-3 days depending on how much needs to be done.

  14. Insulation & Siding - New exterior walls will need insulation. Interior walls don’t usually require it, but if you want to reduce sound travel it is worth it. 1-2 days

  15. New electrical wiring - Depending on the scope of work, it might be advantageous to do this before the insulation and siding. Such as adding outlets to new exterior walls. Other electrical such as new lighting plans or new kitchen layouts shouldn’t interfere as they are internal walls.

  16. Window installation - Window installation and siding of your home will happen at the same time. Scope of work will vary and could be 2-7 days.

  17. New drywall and painting - Once all the electrical wiring is done you can close up the walls. This is the part in every remodel that is the hardest emotionally. Drywall takes a long time and only a little bit of work gets done each day. It’s messy, it’s hot and humid and it feels like the whole job has come to a stand still. I promise once all the dust is cleaned up you’ll feel 1000% better. 3-5 days

  18. Flooring installation - Each type of flooring takes different amounts of time to complete. Pre-finished hardwoods vs un-finished hardwoods vs Tile (and depending on pattern) vs laminate vs poured flooring.

  19. Cabinetry installation and cabinet hardware installation - Delivery of cabinets will take up a ton of room and the need to acclimate to your home for a couple days. After delivery, the job can take 1-5 days depending on the level of complexity in the millwork

  20. Countertop installation - Countertops need to be templated before they are cut. So after the cabinets are finished you can have your countertop fabricator measure the exact size and layout. 3-7 days turnaround depending on the complexity of your countertops.

  21. Backsplash/Tile installation - If you’re using the same material as your countertops then this can go in at the same time. If you are doing a tile backsplash your design will dictate the installation. Install can take 1-3 days if each tile is hand placed and then grouting and sealing can take 1-2 days after that.

  22. Appliance installation - Most of the appliances are electrical and should be able to be installed in one day. If your appliances are high-end like Viking or Subzero and need a water or gas line hooked up then it will take a little longer and have overlap with the plumber.

  23. Plumbing installation - I cannot stress enough that you use a professional for this. You will need someone who is licensed bonded and insured. If something leaks, water or gas it can have serious consequences. Nothing is more heart breaking than having a slow leak that ruins the brand new remodel you just did.

  24. Lighting fixture installation - Home stretch! Putting in new outlets and new light switches and lights is one of the last things that you have to do. 1-2 days

  25. Cleaning - 1-2 days worth of dusting, polishing and cleaning.

  26. Enjoy and show off your new home! Don’t forget to invite your help! #lifecafe #actionplan #expertguidance #stepbystep #howto #remodelingahome #interiordesign #funfacts


NYBFW - Designer Focus - Adi Shlomo

Adi is a true couture wedding designer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. What separates her from most designers is the wonderful fact that she still creates and produces the dresses in her studio in Tel Aviv.

Not only does she have full control of the design and manufacturing process she also cares deeply for each bride she creates for. This year while attending New York Bridal Fashion Week she will be doing something other designers never do. She will be meeting with a few of her custom brides!

Measuring, sizing and confirming the details for their custom orders Adi will be bringing the couture touch to a usually industry only event.

Q: What is your favorite thing about designing dresses?


A: Why do I do it? First I love every thing about fashion, and with bridal I feel excited for each dress because I feel like I am getting married again and again in each dress as I create them. Fabric is where I get the inspiration for each dress. I first know the shape I want from the fabric and then I go and find out the details. If I was actually getting married again I would absolutely pick from my newest gold collection. I would do 3 dresses for the big day.” - Adi

Her current collection - Gold Collection - brings layers and options to every dress. Capes, detachable sleeves, and changeable skirts are a consistent theme for this collection. Sequins, feathers, textured and tactile flowers as well as beading are also details you’ll find. So whether you like ethereal tulle, flowing chiffon or silk and satin, this is a dream line for any bride!

For wholesale inquiries please contact or text 206-715-7025

The story behind the flowers


Since the beginning of our recorded history, flowers have captured our imagination and our hearts. Ever since humankind could use language to attach a meaning to symbols, we've associated feelings and emotion with beautiful things. Flowers fully embody that ancient poetic soul. 

Ancient Egypt
The earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians were decorating with flowers as early as 2,500 BCE. They regularly placed cut flowers in vases,[1] and highly stylized arrangements were used during burials, for processions, and simply as table decorations. Illustrations of arranged flowers have been found on Egyptian carved stone reliefs and painted wall decorations.

Flowers were selected according to symbolic meaning, with emphasis on religious significance. The lotus flower or water lily, for example, was considered sacred to Isis and was often included in arrangements. Many other flowers have been found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, and garlands of flowers were worn by loved ones and left at the tombs.[2] These included blue scilla, poppy-flowered anemoneIris sibiricadelphiniumnarcissuspalm treepapyrus and rose.

Ancient Greece
The Greeks[1] and the Romans also used flowers. The ancient Greeks used flowers and herbs for adornment. They did not often use vases, focusing instead on garlands and wreaths. They would place plant material, such as olive branches, in terra cotta. The leafy branches were probably used for weddings. They also tossed petals onto floors and beds. Like the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans had preferences for the flowers and foliage they used.

The most popular foliage used by the Greeks and the Romans were acornsoak leaves, laurelivybay and parsleyLaurel wreaths were presented to winners of athletic competitions in the ancient Olympics; these wreaths were also awarded to individuals winning competition in poetic meets, while in Rome they symbolized a military victory and crowned the successful commander in honor of his triumph. The garland wreath was a symbol to the Greeks of power, honor, allegiance, dedication; it was awarded in honor of athletes, poets, civic leaders, soldier, and heroes.


The preferred flowers include roses, hyacinthshoneysuckleviolets, and lilies. Other flowers such as tulipslarkspur, and marigolds were also selected for their shape, color, and form.

Wealth and power led the Romans and Greeks to the greater luxury in the use of flowers which, like the Egyptian, were used in religious rites. At banquets, roses were strewn on the floor to a depth of one foot, and the flowers "rained" from the ceiling. The fragrance of so many roses was almost suffocating. The Romans used the roses at many meals and because of its overwhelming fragrance it[vague] was known as the "Hour of Rose"

Ancient China
The Chinese were making flower arrangements as far back as 207 BCE to 220 CE, in the Han era of ancient China. Flowers were an integral component of religious teaching and medicine.

Practitioners of BuddhismTaoism, and Confucianism placed cut flowers on their altars, a practice which dates back to 618-906 CE. They created paintings, carvings, and embroidered items with depictions of flowers. The paintings can be found on vases, plates, scrolls, and silk, while carvings were done on wood, bronze, jade and ivory.

Buddhist teachings forbade the taking of a life, so religious practitioners worked sparingly when taking cuttings from plants. Flowers and leaves that were used to make basket arrangements were selected based on their symbolic meaning. For example, the bamboo, the peach tree, and the pear tree symbolized longevity. The tiger lily, the pomegranate, and the orchid symbolized fertility. The most honored of all flowers was the peony. Considered the “king of flowers”, it symbolized wealth, good fortune, and high status.

During the period 500CE to 1453CE, the Byzantine Empire made its contribution to floral arrangements, which typically included a cone shape design. The foliage was placed in chalicesand urns, which were further decorated with brightly colored flowers and fruit. Flowers commonly included in these arrangements were daisies, lilies, cypresscarnations, and pine. Ribbons were also commonly used, and leaves and tiny flowers were set in arching lines to give an twisted effect to garlands.

De divina proportione

"On the Divine Proportion", is a book of mathematics written by Luca Pacioli and illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci, composed around 1498 in Milan and first printed in 1509. Its subject was mathematical proportions (the title refers to the golden ratio) and their applications to geometry, visual art through perspective, and architecture. The clarity of the written material and Leonardo's excellent diagrams helped the book to achieve an impact beyond mathematical circles, popularizing contemporary geometric concepts and images.

This is where Revel Design Studio drew its inspiration for its logo.  The Architectural Alphabet was hand drawn by Leonardo with a ruler and a compass and is composed of 23 capitol letters. 

In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. The figure on the right illustrates the geometric relationship. Expressed algebraically, for quantities a and b with a > b > 0,

a+ba=ab =def φ,

where the Greek letter phi (φ or ϕ) represents the golden ratio. Its value is:

φ=1+52=1.6180339887….  A001622

As humans we respond to this golden ratio or golden section as it is often called, very well. It appears in nature as fractals in plants, seashells, snowflakes and crystals as well as others.  It is something that offers peace and balance on a subconscious level. 


Jackson, WY project

Traveled to WY with Venetian Stoneworks to advise an ongoing new construction project they are working on with Teton Builders.  This home is a beautiful blend of Modern and Rustic.  Minimal materials used to the fullest capacity, brings the design of this home to the forefront of innovation.