Wednesday, April 2, 2014

American Dream Builders w/ Nate Berkus ~ Week 2

Hello Wednesday!  How is your week so far friends? Spring has finally arrived in Toronto, and aside from busy wrapping out the interiors of #ProjectChris, I have started dreaming about a little outdoor oasis.  I have my eyes on a set of mid-century style outdoor set at HomeSense (spotted at the spring preview) and I can't wait for it to hit the stores!

Speaking about outdoor living and mid-century spaces, Week 2 of American Dream Builders with Nate Berkus is all about sleek, contemporary, clean-line designs and the creation of a to-die-for outdoor entertaining space is a MUST.

images via American Dream Builders
Fully staffed, Team Blue was set to tackle an open concept living/dining/kitchen space, a den, a guest bedroom, a master bedroom, and a huge backyard.  An open concept, multi-purpose space such as this one is quite typical these days, and the sharp color contrast between the support beams and the panelled ceiling has definitely attracted way too much of our attention.  

images via American Dream Builders
Can you believe this is the same space in 5 short days? The ceiling and beams have been painted the same warm white.  The beams are now an added interest instead of a distraction.  The use of grasscloth wallpaper throughout the space is a brilliant move to (1) connect the entire space (living/dining/kitchen) together, (2) add shimmer, texture, and sophistication, and (3) a quick way to hide minor imperfection on the walls and goes on faster than paint (consider the number the coats required to turn stark white walls into such rich, sumptuous olive).  

images via American Dream Builders
Keeping the mid-century theme in mind, all the furniture pieces selected are streamlined, tailored, tightly upholstered pieces.  The wire chair is such a classic icon and what speaks mid-century retro vibe louder than chevron? Wall sculpture was also a huge trend in the 50s and the team has incorporated similar sculptural element in the space.

images via American Dream Builders
The dark espresso/ stainless steel kitchen is actually slightly darker / cooler than my liking.  What I do like is the reconfiguration of the kitchen to improve its core functions: cooking and entertaining.  By removing peninsula and relocating the fridge, food is now much more accessible (from fridge to stove) and there isn't a big fridge blocking your access to the soon-to-be beautiful backyard.  The island serves as a perfect spot for both meal preparation and causal entertaining with friends.  I also like the use of quartz on as backsplash and counter for a seamless, modern look.

images via American Dream Builders
A couple other signature design elements from the 50s: bold patterns and bright colours.  Team Blue has injected the core mid-century flair into the bedrooms and den.  The silvery grey bedroom is light and airy with hits of black to ground the space (love that carpet by the way), while the vibrant teal made its appearance in the den and the bedroom.  I actually quite like the teal and yellow palette but the judges thought the room was over accessorized.  

images via American Dream Builders
Here comes my favourite transformation of Week 2: a dream outdoor oasis.  Before we get to the "after", here is the "before" outdoor space with not much going for it.

images via American Dream Builders
Darren has done a phenomenal job to turn the backyard from an uninviting, neglected space into this luxurious hotel lounge, cool hangout with sleek fire pit, for an ultimate outdoor sensation.  I can't believe all these happened within 5 days and I hope the grass will stay green in this climate zone.  Knowing my own black thumb track record, I don't know if I have can keep the lawn lush and neatly trimmed  for too long.

images via American Dream Builders
Despite my concern for maintenance (I am a super lazy outdoor person), I do absolutely love this space … really, who isn't right? #Bravo!

images via American Dream Builders
Now it's time to check out Team Red.  Short one member after Week 1 elimination, the team has transformed the open concept living / kitchen space, the master bedroom, and indoor/outdoor dining room + lounge.

Taking a polar opposite spectrum of mid-century design, Team Red created a bright creamy white canvas with a much more minimalist aesthetic to allow the materials and design quality of the furniture, lighting, sculpture/artwork be the stars of the show.  In this case, the ceiling was left untouched.  The natural wood adds warmth and makes this large white room feels more intimate.  An waterfall style island, Team Red already has my vote in the kitchen department! 

images via American Dream Builders
The master bedroom is rich in colour, texture, and it is cozy.  I have a light palette in my own bedroom while the bedroom at #ProjectChris is in a darker grey. I appreciate both approaches in bedroom but in this case, the judges found the dark palette being inconsistent from the rest of the house.    

What is your verdict friends?

images via American Dream Builders
The outdoor space also received a facelift.  From desert to green outdoor living, Team Red has delivered a whimsical and stylish space for the couple to hangout with friends.

images via American Dream Builders
Here is my favourite spot by Team Red, this indoor/outdoor dining room with a dynamite DIY lighting fixture (learn how to make yours here) and how it connects to the outdoor lounge.  Great work Lukas!

images via American Dream Builders
The community has voted for Team Blue and once again, a member of Team Red needs to go home.  Check here for the walk-through and elimination.

images via American Dream Builders
Nate also stopped by One Kings Lane to answer a few decorating questions.  Check this out!

image via One Kings Lane

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