Featured Blogger: My Design Playbook
Sanda Stojakovic’s interiors feature glamorous textures and details that excite the eye and invite you to take it all in. Her website, My Design Playbook, highlights all of her interior projects, including a recently renovated powder room for the One Room Challenge. This project incorporated the Crystal Baguette knob into its fancy design scheme to add glam and luxury. Read on to learn more about Sanda, her fun projects, and her style.
What inspired you to join the One Room Challenge?
A lot of people struggle with completing a room. Everyone is good at starting a project but finishing a project can be challenging because life gets in the way. The One Room Challenge provides participants with support and enthusiasm to finish the room in the allotted six weeks. When you have a whole community of designers cheering you on, you complete your project because everyone is excited to see it. I highly recommend people participate, especially if they are struggling to complete a project. Not only will you meet some amazing, talented people, but you will have fun in the process.
Where do you find design inspiration?
I read a ton of interior design books. Every Sunday, I have an interior design book review where I go through an author’s thesis, read about their tips and tricks, and of course, browse the gorgeous images. I’m interested in the designers’ approaches to various projects and always find new things to bring to my projects. This year, I have been swooning over deep, rich, bold colors and patterns. I am officially obsessed with wallpaper because it is the quickest and most impactful way to add color and pattern. Sometimes simple items like curtains or color in wallpaper or a pillow can inspire me to renovate a whole room. Of course, I also browse Pinterest, Instagram, and books, but it has always been the small details in a project that inspire me to create something entirely new.
How do you organize and plan your design projects?
I always start with one piece that inspires me to create – it has to be included in the design, whether it is a pattern, paint color, etc. In the last renovation, it was the Heron bird wallpaper. Once I have this item in mind, I use a mood board to layout the remainder of the design items. I spend a ton of time creating the mood board, so I don’t deviate much from it once it’s finished. I’m very obsessive with research; being informed about everything that is out there makes me more confident in executing the overall design.
While remodeling your home, were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others?
My husband and I love updating our home ourselves. He has a degree in construction management and a career in construction, so he is very handy. He has taught me how to use many tools, my favorite being the miter saw because it allows us to install beautiful trim work throughout the house. We are not yet close to finishing our full home renovations but have completed several rooms so far. With each project, we learn a new skill that we carry on to the next project.
Renovating each room has so far required a new skill. In the first room, we had to learn how to use a miter saw and cut various angles to install crown molding, wainscotting, etc. After we learned that, every other renovation that involved installing trim work was easy.
Our latest powder room update was a challenge because it was the first time we installed wallpaper. I’m predicting all future projects with wallpaper will be easier after this one, especially if we choose peel-and-stick wallpaper.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project?
I spend a ton of time researching items to include in my design. I knew I wanted the powder room to embody a luxe feel, and what stood out to me from the Grandeur Hardware is the elegance of the knobs. Hardware is not something I typically get excited about, but I felt like a kid in a candy store when I found the Grandeur Hardware collection. The Baguette Crystal knob looks like fine jewelry. I was so impressed with the crystal knobs and plate. The detail of each knob is exquisite.
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home? If so, why?
Absolutely, Grandeur has such gorgeous knobs! The moment you touch the hardware, you feel the quality. I also love the vast selection and combinations of hardware and finishes. I can make it work with any of my future projects, whether for my house or a client, regardless of the style. I’m currently crushing on the Baguette Amber Knob because it is stunningly unique. I’m always looking for unique pieces that spark a conversation, and that knob is definitely a unique conversation piece.
Did you learn any tips and tricks about door hardware along the way you think would benefit others?
I had no clue how to measure what size of hardware I needed until I did some research and learned about the backset. The two standard backsets in North America are 2 3/8″ and 2 ¾”. After that, everything was easy, and installation was simple.
What are your tips for choosing a house to buy and renovate?
Besides location, which is the most important because we all want to purchase a house in a desirable neighborhood with great schools, I have two other requirements. The house must have good bones, and it must have curb appeal. I focus on these two because trying to fix either one or both would take a lot of money, reducing the potential profit.
What are some recommendations for readers who want to do an extensive remodel project in their home?
For large projects, I recommend writing down all the items you want to update and talking to a contractor to figure out the cost. I’m lucky to have my husband, who can estimate any remodel costs and provides suggestions for alternatives. The alternatives can sometimes save you a lot of money if you have the flexibility. I also recommend taking your time and making decisions slowly. After sleeping on options, I have noticed that it becomes clear to me which one would work the best. Sometimes your mind needs more time to chew on ideas.
What are some tips for readers who wish to transform their entryway?
The easiest way to transform an entryway is with paint, textiles, hardware, and artwork. Paint and art can instantly transform a space. New hardware for the entryway door, for example, can completely change the entryway.
Please give us some more details on your Instagram account. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart from the rest?
I started design.playbook as a way to share my home projects with friends and family. The more projects I did, the more I wanted to share, so it has become my creative outlet. The design community is hugely supportive, and I have gotten to know many great people who share the same passion for interiors and DIY projects.