Condo Kitchen – Pick My Presto

Hi and welcome to another installment of Pick My Presto!

I went to randomly select another an email from my Pick My Presto inbox the other day and discovered that AOL had deleted all the messages that were previously in it. Zoinks!

I posted a quick shout-out about what happened on our Facebook page, and got an email from a gal named Nancy in my inbox a few minutes later. She has a condo kitchen-related design dilemma and here’s what her email said:

Help!! We’ve moved to a condo and we’re having trouble deciding what to do with our dining room. We removed the upper cabinets that separated the kitchen and dining room but we’re not sure what to do now. To me it looks obvious that we took down cabinets. I feel like it needs some architectural changes to add some character. We also haven’t painted yet as I cannot decide on a color. I thought having a new place to decorate would be fun but I’m paralyzed by indecision! Please help!

Here’s the kitchen photo Nancy sent me to presto change-o…

…and here’s the inspiration photo I found online that got my mind a’racin’…

(Milk & Honey)

Isn’t it pretty? I love so many things about that space!

I don’t know if it’s possible, or if this would even work for you Nancy, but what if y’all extended that wall at the end of your base cabinets so that you can create a long bar, like in the inspiration photo above. ? Kind of like this:

Move your cursor on and off of the photo below to see the presto change-o pic I put together in before-and-after action. (PS- Google Readers will have to click over to our blog to see it switch back and forth.)

(Note: My presto change-o pic is for inspirational purposes only, and the ideas shown in it are just that. Spontaneous, totally flexible, just-for-fun, ideas that may or may not actually work in the room. Boom.)

Here’s a still image in case you weren’t able to view the interactive one above…

Nancy: it might make more sense to turn your dining table the other way if you were to do something like this (?), but I left it the way it was because I wanted you to be able to see the bar stools I added.

Here are some of the design elements I cut-and-pasted while I was working on my presto change-o in Photoshop:

(1: Burlap Drum Shade Pendant, 2: Easton Stripe Pillow Cover, 3: Hayden Zig Zag Rug, 4: Refrigerator, 5: Artwork, and not pictured: Pantry Doors)

Thank you so much for sending me your photo to play with, Nancy! This was the first (and what seemed like the most simple) thing that popped into my brain, but there are lots of routes you could go, and I hope you’ll send us photos of whatever y’all end up doing! Congratulations on your new place, too. I agree with you, personalizing can be so challenging when you first move in. I’ve found that I need to just concentrate on tackling one task or room at a time, and I try to embrace the adventure as it unfolds in that way…slowly but surely-style!

Before I sign off, I also wanted to mention that theย ShootFlyShoot guys have recruited me to create a presto change-o class for their website. If you’re interested in taking it, you’ll need Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. (PS- I just found out you can actuallyย “rent” Photoshop for $20/month if you don’t want to purchase the program all at once. Pretty neat!) The class will be available on their website sometime within the next couple of months, and I’ll post an update about it here once it’s up and runnin’!

And speaking of ShootFlyShoot, the guys are releasing Photography 102 this coming Monday, so if you’re up to speed with Photography 101, and want to learn more of their photography-related tips & tricks- hop on over there next week for more info about the class!

Would you like to submit a photo for my Pick My Presto series?

Send an email toย PickMyPresto [at] aol [dot] com titled, “Living Room. (Replace the words Living Room with whatever type of room you’re actually submitting.) In the body of the email, include your name, your blog name (if you have one) your design likes & dislikes, and one photo of the space in question. (No links please.) It should be as crystal clear as possible, and measure at least 400 pixels high x 600 pixels wide. (In other words: at least 4″high x 6″ wide) The bigger the better though! Make sure it’s a photo you’re comfortable with me showing and writing about on our blog. Oh, and since I love surprises, I probably won’t email you to let you know I’ve “picked your presto” unless I have a specific question for you about your space.

PS- From time to time someone will send me an email asking how much I would charge to do a presto change-o of their space(s). Since they take several days to put together, I just randomly select ones to do (for free) whenever I feel like playing around in Photoshop. Thank you so much for asking though! I truly appreciate the kind comments about them!

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  1. Sarah says

    So cool. I keep mousing-over the picture. Back and forth. Back and forth. Trying to look at each changing detail. You have a gift, girl! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. says

    Your talent blows me away every time! That was a great presto change-o. I look forward to your sweet P’s room pics when the time comes. That will add a whole new dimension to your decorating genius!

  3. Elizabeth says

    I’ve opened your site in chrome and firefox. i can’t see any of the pictures :( and your pictures never show up in reader? is it just me???? sad!

    ps hope y’all enjoy the waters- such a great community. gump town represent!

    • Layla says

      Hi Elizabeth! I use Safari to go online. Do you have that? I’ve never had a problem viewing my photos in Google Reader. I wonder if your browser needs to be updated? That seems like it might be the issue. (I don’t know much about all that stuff- lol!)
      Thank you for the well waters wishes, too! We are enjoying being out in the country so much!

    • Kim says

      I used Chrome and don’t have a problem, either, so maybe an update like Layla said? Good luck!

  4. Gretchen says

    Hmm, just tried to do my own presto change-o on Elements, and didn’t get very far – any idea what you’ll be charging? I’m definately interested!

  5. Kim says

    Layla, This is so pretty! My hubby gave me a laptop for Christmas preloaded with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, so I can’t wait to start playing around with it! I will definitely be looking into your class, even though I don’t need to do presto-chango type things (don’t have a blog) but I figure it could help me learn the program and could be lots of fun! Now if I could just get a DSLR camera so I can take the other classes at Shoot-Fly-Shoot!

    • Layla says

      Hey Char!
      Just click on the link that leads to the burlap pendant in that photo. I’m sure they’re on Pottery Barn’s website somewhere, too! :-)

  6. Carla says

    Love this. You are so smart. I need to send you my living room that I can’t figure out how to arrange. I also use Chrome and I haven’t had any trouble seeing your pictures. I just love everything that you do.

  7. says

    Great job Layla! I just showed my husband the Shoot Fly Shoot website today and we’re looking forward to signing up for classes once we get our DSLR in!

  8. Nancy says

    I was so nervous to see this aaaannnnnnd…..I LOVE IT!! Thank you so much! You don’t know how much we (maybe I should say I — hubby just wants to get something done!) have been stressing over this! I took a quick peek at it on my work computer after seeing your FB post. I can’t wait to pore over the details when I get home!!! Do you ever loan out your magic wand? (Insert Happy Dance here)

    • Layla says

      YAAAAAAAAY! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m so happy you like it, Nancy! I can’t wait to see y’all do in there. Send pics! XO

  9. says

    I Love it! Their furniture looks so great in the space now! Can’t wait to hear more a Pick me Presto class, I am all over that!

  10. says

    Ooooh, Layla, I love your pick my prestos! I think that inspiration photo is just to die for. Love, love, love it! I’m really loving how you transformed Nancy’s space. I wold love to learn how you do this on photo shop. I just got a new camera for Christmas and am dying to take Shoot Fly Shoot’s online class. Just need to get some custom projects done first as I really want to focus on the photography.

  11. Sarah K says

    Oh, goody! I’ve wanted to know how you do your prestos for a long time! Can’t wait for the class.

  12. says

    Beautiful! I love this segment because it effectively demonstrates that sometimes all it takes are just a few simple changes! Great inspiration photo too! I would live in that kind of kitchen because it is so open and airy!

  13. says

    Number one, this Presto idea is hell-uh cool! Moving the cursor on and off the picture brings out my inner kid (before. after. dark. bright. hum drum. AWESOME!)

    And two, this makeover would look so amazing! You totally nailed it!

  14. erin says

    love what you did!

    What is the wall color you used?

    will definitely be interested in taking the presto-chango class! I need more help in photoshop on using it with home design. I just hope it’s not too much! need to pay for a wedding and buy a house! :o)

  15. Becky says

    Beautiful kitchen! Wonderful idea for a beautiful change.

    I took the Photoshop class the guys offered, fantastic class.
    Yes I would take the presto change-o class, hope it is ready sooner. lol

    I took the photography 101 class and these guys know how to teach photography to beginners. A great photographer is not always a great instructor, but they are fantastic for beginners. I have learned SOOO much and will be taking EVERY class they offer. THANKS!

  16. Diana says

    Layla!! GORGEOUS!! I am in the “mind” planning stages of redoing my kitchen.. It is an open room to the dining and living room… with an arch separating so am stuck on colors.. I LOVE the wall color in this presto!.. do you a suggestion of what it is.. whites and blues/grays are my favs!! THANKS!!!

    • Layla says

      Hi Diana!
      I’m not sure what color that wall color would be because I just used my eye dropper tool in Photoshop to grab a light gray.
      That said, our sunroom is painted Ben Moore’s “Gray Lake” and I love it!

  17. Rachel says

    I would be so tempted to paint that dresser/sideboard a really fabulous color! Love the room! I have an antique fridge with a glass handle, I love it so much! You cannot go wrong with a great fridge!~

    • Layla says

      Hi Rachel! I thought about that too, but I wasn’t sure how Nancy felt about painting it.
      I’m dying to see your glass-handled fridge!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Nancy says

        I’m all about painting things, but not sure my hubby would go for that. It’s not actually a sideboard. It’s a piece that’s supposed to look like an old ice chest. I had just been playing around with the mirror from an old dresser last weekend and decided to give it a try on the chest. It’s a little too wide, but I kind of like how it looks. If I could figure out a different place for that cupboard to go, I’d paint the dresser that the mirror belongs to and put it there. What color would you suggest? I do love pops of color!

  18. Annie says

    Seriously don’t understand how you design folks can see this stuff before it’s done. My hubby does, also, but I am always at a loss. :) What a great talent and gift!

  19. LaTonya says

    I really love and look forward to your “pick my presto” posts. This is amazing!! The changes you made are so bright and cheery. One question though … why are you still using AOL!!?? :-)

    • Layla says

      Thanks, LaTonya! And as for AOL- I don’t know. I guess it’s just what I know the best. #GmailConfusesMe ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • COEngrGirl says

        Well, as a fellow AOL user, here’s the deal on why I still use it…. it’s free, the interface is easy to use, it works great on my Iphone, and I’ve had the addie for literally 20+ years…. no compelling reason has come up yet for me to switch. #Gmailconfusesmetoo ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. says

    I love it. That would make an amazing transformation. I would love to send you a picture of our living/dining area. I need so much help figuring how to make the best use of the space.

  21. Chella says

    Honestly, of the millions of things to do on the internet – pick my pesto is my favorite!!!! I LOVE your work!!!!! SOOOO FUN!!!! I always love your style and all your choices!

  22. says

    So excited about a Presto Change-O class!! I have already tried and failed (for the most part), and it would be very cool to learn!

  23. says

    I love this presto change-o! It confirms my plan to do my kitchen/great room in all white and soft colors. SO happy you’ll be doing a Presto-Change-o class ….can’t wait!

  24. says

    Hi Layla! I love seeing your transformations on Pick My Presto! I was so inspired, I have a few of my own photoshop transformations on my blog! Can’t wait to see what you will be ‘shopping next!