Monday, October 10, 2011

Lifeworks Home Improvement Challenge 2011

I had the awesome opportunity to participate in Austin's 7th annual Lifeworks Home Improvement Challenge this year! My motto is promoting the wellbeing of others through the creation of beautiful spaces, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to help someone else through design. Lifeworks specializes in helping young adults who have been homeless at some point, are single mothers, or are growing out of foster care. They give them the tools to succeed and some deserving clients apartments to help them get on their feet. I had the opportunity to design one of these apartments with the help of other volunteers from Dell. It was super fun and our client was thrilled with the results. The apartment was studio like in style, with the Living and Dining spaces being shared in one room, one bedroom for our client and her 20 month old daughter, and one bathroom. The mother (Tre) and daughter (Ti'yanna) would be sharing the bedroom, which I saw as the biggest challenge. Tre really wanted a space that felt relaxing and peaceful, and her favorite colors were lavender and chocolate brown. She also liked African motifs and texture, and candles. I think we pretty much nailed the design aesthetic (according to Tre) on our very limited budget! It was such a rewarding experience :) We also won the "Keeping it Green" award for our use of environmentally friendly products, sustainable materials, and repurposed furnishings. I definitely see myself doing this every year!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Casa de Ales

Lots to update on- first- I am now the proud owner of Christen Ales Interior Design, which means I am no longer working for the old firm Bulhon Design Associates. I am officially a free bird and open for business! I work in the Austin area, but would be excited to work on any out of town projects as well and have e-packages available. The website is almost complete, but for now I'd like to share some pictures of my own home. And they are Before and Afters (which I know we all love!) Enjoy! Photography by my talented husband, Merrick Ales.



Things to note:
1. We changed the concrete floors to wood laminate-super durable by the way, even for dogs :)
2. Built a new wood mantle at fireplace (by Greg Brooks and Merrick Ales)
3. Everything else you see decorative and furnishings wise obviously, but I custom designed the console table which is made out of MDF and wrapped in grasscloth wallpaper, trimmed out with nailheads and topped with a piece of glass. (also built by Greg Brooks and Merrick Ales)
4. Bargain items: Wing Chair- $25 on Craigslist, Wooden side table on Craigslist- $75, Pair of stools-$40 at antique store (refurbished by me), Vintage pair of lamps-Ebay, Wood frame chair- Antique store
5. Hand made curtains by my mom and me :) 
6. Kilim pillows from Sukan on Etsy.
7. New paint color

Aka, the Christmas corner (puke :\)


Things to Note:
1. New furnishings and window treatment, obviously.
2. New light fixture- CB2
3. Bargain items- Midcentury hutch from Antique store- $125, Dining Chairs- $75 each from a local consignment store (awaiting a new fabric) 
4. Succulent planter by me
5. New paint color



Things to Note:
1. New paint color and cabinets painted light creamy white
2. New curtains, made by me
3. New floors- same as Living and Dining
4. New light fixture

TA DA :)

There are still many more projects to come, but we feel this is a good start.