Susie Novak Interiors
Interior designer serving Oakland, San Francisco, East Bay and Marin California.

Design Blog

Lighter, Brighter Space!

This project kinda felt like we came in with one of those big paint brushes you see in a cartoon that paints an entire scene in one swift back and forth gesture. We didn’t do any major construction or decorating; we made cosmetic upgrades such as new paint and new finishes. It might look like an easy task but even when the scope of the project is just new paint, new light fixtures, and tile it can still be a lot of coordination and decision making between the designer, client, and contractor. All in all is was a fun project and turned out beautifully. 

A very difficult decision for any remodel can be painting over existing wood details like, in this case, fireplaces, a coffered ceiling, and wainscot. In it’s existing state it is beautiful old stained wood in good condition and once it’s painted you can’t go back. The issue was that this flat is a second floor flat and overall felt dark. It was slightly painful painting all this beautiful old wood white but in the end the space felt significantly brighter and happier. We used Benjamin Moore Simply White for the wainscot, fireplace, and ceiling and Benjamin Moore Frosted Toffee for the walls. 


The bathroom had these really thick tuscan type tiles that didn't fit the Georgian architecture or today's modern trends. It felt dated and was mixed with not so great fixtures. To save money we kept the toilet, sink basin, and shower faucet and replaced the tub, tiles, and sconces. We added a new mirror and Benjamin Moore Palace Pearl paint and voila! Fresh, up-to-date and functional! 

For the bathroom: White subway tile, paired with a white hex for the flooring, and Benjamin More Palace Pearl. I love the mirror and double milk glass scone from Restoration Hardware. 

The fireplace before was a plug in and the light fixtures throughout - though looked kind of cool - were actually all plastic and also didn't quite fit the look of the space. The new fireplace was a great find, it was a bigger ticket item but totally worth it. We got it at Victorian Fireplace Shop

The new light fixtures we picked were traditional but felt new, stylish and classy. The sconces in the hall are from Bellacor, the lantern pendant in the foyer is from Circa Lighting  and the cute faceted entry light is from Rejuventation. 

The End!