Winery Patio Refresh

Everyone needs a little design refresh every now and then. It happens to the best of us. Even our favorite hangouts.

I was SO. EXCITED. when I got an email from my bffs at Jonathan Edwards Winery this spring. Their patio and deck needed help. The tired old furniture just wasn’t making the grade anymore. It was time for a refresh! If we’re being honest here, I’ve been dying to get my hands on this space for a while. It is really thrilling to be actually working on it!

Here’s what we were working with:

patio before collage

(photos via Jayme Designs and Jonathan Edwards Winery)

The Design:

The patio has had a lot of amazing work done to it already.  (Believe it or not, what was once grass and dirt is now a beautifully landscaped stone patio). Obviously, all that hard work (the landscaping, the stone work, the custom built tasting bars) would stay. What had to go? The weak old furniture. Though lovingly tended to and carefully repaired, the old iron furniture was on its last legs. Dainty and delicate-looking, it wasn’t letting the patio live ups to its potential. I won’t mention the silver mesh furniture on the back deck that I’ve been fighting with for years. The existing furniture and layout read “mismatched”, “unorganized”, and “wobbly”. (Sorry guys, it’s true).

The mission? Replace that old furniture with something that completely matches, is modern, and serves a better function. Seating more people in more defined, yet transitional spaces was key.

We immediately knew that we wanted to replace the round tables with square ones. This will allow the space to be rearranged into larger tables without the awkwardness of two round tables being pushed together. We also knew that we wanted the majority of the tables to be the same size for the same reason. A new and fun idea that Jon (Edwards) had was to add in large square tables that could seat 8. Large groups tend to congregate on the patio. These big tables will be a cool new way for them to hang without needing to move tables around (which can be both loud and dangerous).

We created a new layout that allowed us to fit in larger tables with a few more seats than were existing before. But, we needed a new “wow” piece. Something custom and unique. Enter: the new bench.


The space was previously home to two small tables. But it was begging for something more. We decided on a custom bench made to match the existing tasting bars. It provides an easy place to pop down and enjoy a glass of wine for those who don’t need a table. We added in arm rest dividers to create both visual and physical division. It’s a perfect new place for couples to sit and relax. (Plus, it’s in the coveted shady-spot of the patio.) It was custom made by neighbor/fellow farmer/friend/crazy-dancer, Brian. Isn’t it a beaut?

The final piece of the puzzle was something for people to talk about. Something to make people say “wow”. Our answer? Fire pits.

The amazing firepit tables that we selected double as coffee tables during the day and ‘wow-piece’ at night. Fueled by propane and filled with sparkly glass, they’ll be easy to care for and amazing to sit by.

The After


patio collage 2

patio collage

Doesn’t it look a million times better, already? We broke it in last week with a bottle of wine and cheers all around! There’s more to come on this amazing project in phase 2. Stay tuned!

Thanks to Jonathan Edwards Winery for collaborating with Jayme Designs on this amazing project. In New England and want to check out the new patio and have some amazing wine? Check out JE here. You’ll probably see me there.


Worst Client Ever

So there’s this girl. She wants to redesign her office. Her only real requirement: it must be amazing. That’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to deliver. What does that mean, anyway? Is it amazingly functional? Amazingly bold? Amazingly inexpensive? Well, she isn’t sure. She’s the hardest person I’ve ever designed for.

One minute she wants something bright and feminine (because it’s her space after all…)

…then two seconds later she wants something dark and dramatic…something with a little industrial flair.
There’s no pleasing this girl! She just can’t make up her mind. There’s no talk of compromise. There’s no budget in mind. No overarching inspiration. No solid ideas of anything. She knows a lot about the design world and that just makes it all the harder! She loves velvet and ruffles just as much as she loves reclaimed wood and glass.
It will be interesting to see where the project lands. It’s certainly the most challenging design project I’ve ever undertaken. The worse part? She wants to do her entire house.
I’m stuck with this client, though. So, I suppose I’ll muster through. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
You must be thinking: What a TERRIBLE person! Why would she ever so openly discuss a difficult client?! Well….I’d never dream of it! I can’t imagine. This client, is different, though. You see….
This bad client? She’s me.
 I am the worst client I’ve ever had.
Figuring out what would delight my clients is easy. Figuring out what I want…well that’s a whole different story.
And THAT my dear friends, is why hiring a designer is such a good idea. It can be so. hard. to get out of our own heads and past the ideas that might not be right for us. If you’re feeling the same way I am about your own house, reach out! I’m here to help. (And I’m actively looking for distractions from my own house projects!)
We’ll figure this out together!

Kitchen Renovation, It’s Getting Out of Control

I mentioned briefly that we’re renovating our new kitchen. We thought it’d be cute and fun to paint the cabinets and then save the rest for later. I’m a designer. I should know better than that. New-homeowner-optimism really has a hold of us right now. The cabinets are a really great quality…the rest is junk. The thing that I just couldn’t live with was the color, though. So, we just paint the cabinets and then do the rest later, right? Right?! Of course not. That’s not how renovation goes, peeps!

Here’s the before:


Pretty bad, right? To be fair, we had already started tearing stuff apart when I had the foresight to take a before picture. The color doesn’t look that bad here, but it’s mint green. The counters are weird laminate with a wooden trim. The floors are cheap shit sheet laminate. The thing we can’t understand is why they’d go to the trouble on putting in such great quality cabinets and then give up on the rest!

Here’s what we want it to look like:

kitchen reno inspiration

(Clockwise from top right: 1, 2 unknown, 3)

Yep! Black cabinets!  My dream is coming true!

The grand plan (and what went wrong)

  • Paint all the cabinets black. Easy enough, right? Well, we picked the wrong black. More on that later.
  • Remove microwave cabinet and replace with stainless hood. We can’t put up the hood until we tile. We can’t tile until we do the counters. We can’t afford to do the counters right now. Whoops.
  • Remove cabinet to the right of hood. This wasn’t in the original plans, but it turns out that thing was attached to the microwave cabinet and was only being help up by one screw in that picture above. There’s no stud to attach it to and it was difficult to get it to attach to the ceiling. Plus, the side of that cabinet will be exposed…and crown has to go on it…so it was just a mess. Our solution? Ditch the thing. We’re going to put up shelving instead, secured to the opposite wall. (This was secretly my plan all along, this was just a convenient excuse for me to start removing cabinets.)
  • Install new propane range.  Please, renovation gods, let this happen soon.
  • Replace flooring with tile (tile TBD). We haven’t even gotten to shopping for flooring yet. Who knows what problems we’ll uncover! Fingers crossed for none.
  • Replace counters. We’re leaning towards concrete! Weee!!
  • Install white subways tiles. Everywhere. Floor to ceiling subways, baby. I’m so pumped about this.
  • New hardware, lighting, and artwork, oh my! The grand plan is to do this when we can in between the big purchases. Adding in some new fun elements will keep us happy until we can finally get this all finished. We’re going with polished chrome fixtures and big appliance bar pulls on the drawers! It’s going to be amazing!

black cabinet

So far I have the frames and drawers finished! They look amazing, if I do say so myself. It looks a million times better already! The doors are next on the list. I’ll be posting a tutorial on painting cabinets (along with what I learned NOT to do…the hard way) shortly! Stay tuned!



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