Design Board “The Turtle Shell”| SF Bay Area Interior Designer

I’ve  said if before and I’ll say it again, designing for older kids can be so much fun!  Especially when they are teenagers and are all into their funny inside jokes.  A couple requests for this room were that he wanted it to be called “The Turtle Shell” and he wanted ocean art because he surfs.  A really large scale wave canvas will sit over his bed in lieu of a headboard.  The walls will be painted in Sherwin Williams-Maxi Teal.  The room has a lot of light with window on 3 different walls so the room can totally withstand such a deep color.  To brighten it up, I’m using pops of white in the bedding and desk.  The ceiling will also stay white.  From the ceiling will hang one of his surfboards as decor.  Since we want this to be a cool hangout for him and his friends to enjoy, we’ve added this sofa that will also fold down into a bed for any overnight guests.  I’m pretty happy with the results and can’t wait to get working on it!

Job Progress-Dear old Dad’s Place

Back in April I posted about some of the details of my Dad’s bathroom remodel. You can read about that HERE.  Being that we are nearing the end of this project and my Dad is only a couple weeks off from his move in date, it was about darn time I showed you some progress photos of his house!  Although the major overhaul was the Master Bathroom, we made improvements all over the house as well. I’ll walk you through them.

This is track home so we have the standard, oak cabinets, white cultured marble top and lighting bar that could give you a tan!  We stuck with a double vanity but raised it to a more current vanity height.  We opted for a medicine cabinet over each sink.  The quartz backsplash will be TALL.  It will go up and wrap the medicine cabinets slightly.  The faucets are tall at around 12″ so the taller splash works well with that height.  Over each medicine cabinet will sit the Princeton Wall Sconce by Schoolhouse Electric. We aren’t doing the shades as shown in the photos but a white glass one instead. That allowed an LED bulb to be used without it showing.

The shower, again, your standard cultured marble.   It was a shower/tub combo and Dad wanted to convert it to a shower…and larger one at that. I concurred as my Dad is getting older and I wanted this design to work for him long term.  So we ended up eliminating that wasted space between the vanity and tub and taking the shower to there.  This allowed us to add a bench (also great when you are thinking long term) without the standing room getting too small.  Another thing we did to make the space feel larger is take the tile to the ceiling.  The ceiling angled upwards so I was a little worried it would get too tall.  But nope, it looks fantastic and I definitely recommend you do it.  I even wrote a story about just this concept for Houzz if you’d like to read it HERE.


The current home was done all in warmer golden tones and we switched the new design to cooler.  Except for the rustic wood floor, which we’ll get to in a minute.  So although the current fireplace was re-done fairly recently, it had to be removed to go with the new scheme.  We chose a Limestone called Bateig Blue.  It was our second choice after the original was having trouble at the Quarry. I was a little worried at first that it was more flat and had less variance than the original selection.  But I was wrong!  There was plenty of character and it even had some slightly warmer tones that tied in the hardwood quite well!  This limestone didn’t come in the 1×2 mini bricks like we had wanted, so we had a local source take 12×12′s and cut and mesh them for us.  It was a little pricier to go this route but in the end…was so worth it!

Here are a few more details.  Dad wanted a slate look for this shower so we used this Porcelain look alike made by Surface Art. They are 12″x24″ that we ran horizontally and staggered.  They have a warm and cool toned mix to them which I love.  Many people fear gray and end up using all warm tones in their home.  Sometimes, that can lead to a very flat look with not enough contrast.  If you have been open to trying cooler tones, but can’t get over your fear, this is the way to do it!

We also added a full height linen cabinet to the hallway and took the warm, extremely rustic wood floors throughout the house.  My Dad has two dogs so whatever floor was going in had to stand up to the abuse of dog nails!  This distressed hickory should do  just the thing and even it they do end up scratching it, I’m quite sure it will just blend into all the existing character. 

So there you have it. Glimpses of the progress…all taken from my iPhone.  I assure you,  when I take the completion photos, they will be much more clear and entire room shots!

And a huge thanks to the crew of Ashley Interiors for all of the construction!  They’ve done a fantastic job. They have showrooms in both Newark and Livermore so be sure to stop in to see them if you have any home projects coming up.

Big Girl Room

So the problem with waiting too long on getting a design done is that your kid gets older…and gets opinionated!  You may remember back when we first moved into our apartment, that I was going to do the room around a certain Marimekko print?  She used to love it and would talk about it all the time.  Well times got busy and I never went through with the original  plans I had for the room.  In the mean time, my kid got a year and a half older and wiser apparently because “blue flowers are SOOO a year and a half ago Mom.  I want a rainbow flower room now!”  Well, my 3 1/2 year old didn’t say it just like that…but that’s how I heard it. The problem was, that I was so excited to use the extra wide black and white stripe and wasn’t ready to part with it.  I searched and searched for some multicolor floral bedding that had some black in it to tie in the stripe fabric.  Finally, I struck gold one day and found the Ayana Miranda Floral quilt by Cynthia Rowley on Ebay.  It had a rainbow of flowers to make my kid happy, and had sort of an Anthropologie look to it so I could go with an eclectic look like I wanted.

For sheets, I found the Bazaar sheet from Land of Nod that I’m going to order soon.  I was going to just do white…but my kid said “no white!” so more floral motifs it is!

Another change from the original design is I’m changing the use for  the stripe fabric.  I’ll be using it on a custom corner headboard instead.

Premier Prints-Vertical Black/White

I fell in love with the concept after seeing it done for this bed by Designer: Annsley McAleer (Photo: Ben Gebo)

With talk of a second child in the mix, most of the pretty beds I had found were not going to be feasible with 2 kids in a room.  So I had to double dip with my furnishings and a bed/dresser combo was really the best choice. I chose a white platform bed with 6 drawers underneath it.  I’ll then do the corner headboard and I think it will be adorable!


While out shipping at Homegoods with my little one, she spotted this rattan head…cow…not sure?  Anyways, she wanted it.  At first I was laughing and then, after some thought, I thought “hey why not!”  It would add some texture to the space.  I can already see the future of the head in the room though.  Pretty sure I’ll be removing it from the wall after it scares her during the night.  But hey, we’ll try it out.  I think it will nice with the Bamboo shade I’m using.  I’m going to get it made with a blackout liner since the mini blinds let light blare on through so much.

So there you have it.  My plans for the big girl room.  I’m waiting on the bed and new mattress to arrive and am getting antsy!  My kid has no interest in staying put in her room during bed time right now so I’m hoping this new space will bring her a reason to stay put!  I’ve been talking to her about her new room and trying to include her in some decisions her and there.  She told me that she wants to stay at Grandma’s and then I do her room and then she come back for the surprise.  Yes, she wants a grand reveal!  Definitely the daughter of a designer.

In The Works-My Client…Dad

I’m currently working on some remodeling for my Dad’s new home.  He is moving back closer to us (YAY!) and finally found a home after months of bidding wars.  He had just completed a bath remodel in his current home, so to leave that already, was bittersweet.  We are moving one of the main design elements to this new bathroom. Porcelain tiles made to look like slate.  It’s not the same exact tile, but similar.   And for the rest…designer daughter stepped in!  Free of charge of course.  Yet somehow I think I’d have to remodel 100 houses to repay him for all he’s had to do for me…poor Dad.

The tile was the starting point.  It has warm and cool tones which is great.  I pulled out one of the grey tones and used that on the counter-top.  I’m doing a tall back splash at almost 14″ high and will actually run itself up into the medicine cabinets partially.  And let’s talk about the medicine cabinet.  Originally, I was going to use the Chenowith medicine cabinet from Rejuvenation.  I was all set.  Then, realized it was so darn wide that I couldn’t use side sconces as I had hoped for.  Then, I realized that the mirror itself,  was actually pretty small.  So back to the drawing board.  I couldn’t find a comparable style with better dimensions so ended up switching to the Stella from Pottery Barn.  I’m going to first try it out with the wood. I actually like the warmth it is bringing to the design. Buts still, in the end, side sconces were still not in the cards for the dimensions.  So we ended up adding an extra can light in the room so that we could use only a single sconce over each mirror and still have enough light.

The shower will be nice and big and I’m using the 12×24″ slate tiles both for the walls, and the floor.  Slate, can be BUSY.  Using the larger tile will help with that.  Since it won’t be repeating to and entirely new tile every 12″ but instead 24″ my hopes is that the grain won’t get too out of control.  I’m only adding a grey contrast tile for the shower pan and that’s it.  No accent tiles for the walls.  I think my eyes would die if I went any busier….they would most definitely.

So there it is in a nutshell.  I’ll try and get some better before and in progress photos for this job.  I’m not the best at keeping up with those, so I will try harder.  It’s really great to see the transformations that way.  Stay tuned!




In the Works-Chop Chop…We Have a Move In Date!

It isn’t every day that you start a design in one house and finish up in an entirely new one!  Back in the beginning of the year, I was working with my client on her Dining and Living Room design.  We had just finished and were ready to start ordering when they bought a new house.  It was something they had wanted for a long time.  The stars finally aligned so they went for it!  So what to do with the designs we had already? Well, many pieces still worked so generally it stayed the same.  But some big changes came when they decided for almost a compete overhaul of the home.  A Kitchen remodel, new flooring, paint, tile, bathroom addition, custom built ins, fireplace reface, new furnishings….the list goes on.   Oh and did I tell you, all of this needs to be completed by their move in date which was originally in two weeks but has now moved to the beginning of December?!?!

So between myself, the contractor, my assistant (I haven’t told you about her yet!) and the homeowners, we’ve busted some tail specifying, demolishing, building, painting and shopping.  We must make a good combo because I will say things are falling into place and we are staying on track time-wise.  Go TEAM!

Here is the family room.  Before there were two funky arched shelving holes in the wall.  We conjoined the two and are adding 3 towers of custom built ins.  They went in today and I cannot wait to see the results.  The fireplace will have floor to ceiling stacked stone tiles that wrap the side walls.

We originally wanted some larger stones but were having trouble finding the right color in the texture and size that we wanted.  We went for the sample on the right board, top left.  It’s a grey but has a little brown in it as well.

The island was ripped out and will come back larger and in and espresso finish.  The back wall of cabs will be white shaker style.  We chose two types of quartz for countetops  The white will go on the island and the concrete look goes on the back set of cabinets.

We are using this marble black splash.  It’s called Danby by Quarry Collection.  We had planned on the smaller mosaic on the bottom but are still deciding if we want to do larger subways.  For lighting I wanted to bring in a little more worn edge so the kitchen didn’t get too classic.  The decor is pretty modern, eclectic with some global hints so we needed to make sure that the kitchen could stand up to that.

My office for the last two weeks.  My desk at home looks just about as messy…

The dining room had some strange angled soffit that we knocked out and straightened it up.  Crown will be added to the top.  The ceiling portion will painted the same as the walls which will be a dark brown with a red undertone.  Sherwin Williams Hot Cocoa.

Hot Cocoa will carry on into the Living Room as well.  They sit parallel to one another with the entry in between them.  We really needed to create balance with the rooms being they face each-other.

Hot Cocoa is the left set of paints, darkest tone.  I wanted something with a slightly red undertone to it. The set on the right went too red.  The red keeps the brown warm and from getting too dark.  The same value of brown on some of the other charts gets really dark and fudgy.   You have to be really careful of pink undertones though. When lightened up, you can get very pink walls.  And light-beiges  with pick undertones are amongst the hardest to match things to.

So we come back to where things all started.  The original Living Room design that found a new home.  Walls were painted today, hardwood is going in next week and then we can finally get the furniture in which has been sitting in the warehouse waiting patiently.


Sneak Peak

I just cannot keep this project a secret anymore.  It is coming together so well and I cannot wait to see the end result!  My clients hired me to work on this family room.  The home, as it sits, is very Traditional…towards Tuscan I’d say.  Although my clients love Traditional design this was not quite their taste and wanted a change for their new home.  Being they are a young couple with a toddler I wanted to create a space both child friendly as well achieve a really modern looking Traditional for them.

The fireplace will be re-done and well as new carpet, paint and drapes.  A complete new set of furniture as well.  We have some decisions to make on what to do with that old TV hole in the built ins.  Gotta love those!

The current space is very red and gold and we are taking on a much softer palette with the re-design.  Spa Blue, Ivory, Chartreuse and Grey is where we are headed.


We specified the Jeri Sofa by Taylor Scott for them.  A new line I’ve taken on and absolutely love their product.  We are doing a linen look that is a Polyester so it’s cleanable.  We are also doing it in a slip cover so it can actually be thrown in the washing machine.  If you have kids or pets,you can certainly understand the amazing-ness of this?!?!




Interior Design Concept & Process

Many times when I first start speaking with clients, they don’t exactly understand the design process, how I work, or what they really get for their money.  I really like to educate my clients on what they are investing into their spaces as well as me.  What a designer can bring to the table can be invaluable for clients.  We not only provide a beautiful and functional room in the end but also eliminate stress and mistakes that homeowners designing their own spaces many times go through.  We guide you through the endless amounts of furnishings and accessories available nowadays and find the right pieces for you.  We do much more than pair pretty things together, we manage your project from start to finish.

Now every designer is going to have their own design process and ways of managing their projects but I thought it would be fun to share with you how I work.

Initial meeting with the client::  After a client knows for sure that they want to hire me, I meet with them in their home, measure, take photographs and develop a scope of work.  I am also interviewing them and am really trying to get a feel for what they want out of their space.

Design Concept::  After I’ve gathered all the necessary information, I get to work on their design.  I normally gather items and use Pinterest to bookmark the image and website of the possible item.  You can see the Pinterest board that goes along with the below mood boards { HERE }.  I usually over gather items and then widdle down.  I then present what my favorites are for the space.  The great thing about having the extras is that if a client doesn’t like one of the choices, I already have backups that I can pull up quickly as alternatives.  I create mood boards with the final items and have my drafter do the space-planning in CAD with those specifications.

Here is an example of a mood board and its floor plan to go along with it.  The mood board isn’t always going to be the exact outcome of the room but is more so of a general design idea to present to my client so they can understand the overall concept and get my vision.


Design Presentation:: It’s now time to present the design concept to my client.  I provide a binder to each client with all of their mood boards, floor-plans, spec sheets for each item and a budget.  This binder is for my clients to keep which is great for them to take a long to check out any items in person and it also creates a record of their room.  Along with the binder, I bring along loose samples to show colors in person.  This can include fabric, paints, rugs, leathers, window treatments etc.  After the presentation, we either make changes right then and there or I let the design resinate before they make final decisions.  Every client is different so I like to allow them the time they need to feel comfortable in making decisions.  If changes need to be made, then we go over them.  Below is an example of some changes that were made after the original presentation.  The chairs and coffee tables were swapped for other items due to both taste and budget.


Design Procurement:: After decisions have been made on all of the larger items, we get to ordering.  While waiting for furnishings to arrive, I get to work on finalizing the smaller details like accessories, art etc.  I shop and collect tons of goodies to complete the room and really set off the design. This is also when any painting, or installation of lighting would be done.

Design Install::  On the day of install, all furniture is placed, art hung and accessories styled.  It can take a good portion of the day to complete one room many times.

So that’s it…I gave you the condensed version.  There are actually what feels like 5 million additional steps in this process but many are for me to worry about while my clients sit back and dream about their beautiful new room.  And as you can see, I do not sit around eating bon bons all day as my husband likes to tease me that I do!

Jennifer Bishop Design offers both Full Design and Design By the Hour.  We also specialize in paint and color consultations as well as custom draperies.  We offer a variety of designer fabrics.   If you are ready to make a transformation in your home we’d love to help!  Please contact us with further questions. 925.858.1882 or

Sneak Peak-Natural Sanctuary

I wanted to share a design board and sneak peek photo of a job I completed today.  With a baby due in just two short weeks we were under the gun for completion.  Today was the final step of installing the draperies.  I cannot wait to share more of this job.  It was by far the tiniest room I have ever worked on and it was a Master Bedroom. The paint transformation alone was amazing!  It is now so warm and inviting and I’m happy this couple will have a sanctuary away from the kids.

In The Works-Tween Room

I haven’t spoke much of this project but it’s a big one!  I am slowly working through the entire house and wanted to share a few update photos that are just from my iPhone but you’ll get the idea.  This was such a fun room for a sweet tween-aged girl.  Her family just had moved to the Bay Area when they hired me and we really wanted to make it special for her so she had something to be excited for during a tough transition.  Amongst her requests was a comfy chair to cozy up and read in, a canopy and a garden!  When I went back recently to hang the drapes I was pleasantly surprised to find she had been taking such great care of her garden.  I was so proud of her…my young grasshopper!

See that Moroccan print on the drapes….that will be repeated in the room in a really fun way but you’ll have to stay tuned for the results.


Next on the list to finish up the room is to hang the art.  I worked on getting just the right frames for each print and had some custom mattes cut to accentuate a few of them. The black frame with the dog face will have to be painted.   I can’t wait to see the end result.  She is an animal-ocean-reading lover so the wall is a collection of many of her favorite things.


Client Progress-Tape It Out First

I am thrilled to announce I am a new contributor for Houzz! I will be compiling Ideabooks for Houzz weekly bringing you tips & tricks, sourcing great design finds and discussing beautiful designs. I could not be any more excited. Houzz is a great source for you to gather inspiration photos. Their database is filled with tons of photos and DIY projects and you can save them to your own Ideabooks to keep them handy for your upcoming projects. You can search by photo, product ideas, ideabooks or designer. You can also upload your own photos by adding the the “Bookmarklet” button on your toolbar.  Products and be added without permission but not completed designs.  Give it a try it’s a great design tool!

My first featured Ideabook discusses the importance of a great space-plan and how you can check your furniture placement prior to ordering furniture by laying out your space with painters tape. It took place at a current family room project of mine, post painting and receipt of the area rug but prior to any furniture being received. I was determining the proper placement of the flat screen TV that was to be installed the next day. I hope you find it and all my future Ideabooks to be helpful an/or inspiring!

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