Whitewashed Painted Brick Fireplace

Nothing against natural brick, but I really like painted brick!  We had been living with this brick fireplace for over a year and it took that long to finally get up the courage to paint it white.  But once we did, it made such a huge impact on the space.  A dark corner was now a bright and beautiful centerpiece to the family room!


living room 3.jpg

I chose Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White, because it is a great neutral white with a hint of gray:


In progress:


Once I got going it actually went very quickly, since my intended look was “whitewashed” showing some of the previous color underneath as well as texture.



The crisp white brick makes for a great neutral backdrop to the pops of color from the accents.








A dark and outdated kitchen was transformed to a bright, beautiful and functional center of the home. The dining area and family room were also updated by repeating design details, patterns and colors; transitioning seamlessly from the kitchen.


Bright white cabinets on the perimeter with a dark espresso-stained island.


The island features a beautiful white quartz and the perimeter has a gorgeous black and white granite.



Cooktop and vent hood are framed by this gorgeous backsplash:


Adjacent dining room:


The kitchen opens up to the newly designed family room space:



Bold Curb Appeal

An outdated, dark and uninviting entry was updated to bright, fresh and welcoming by replacing the outdated glass with contemporary glass panels, replacing the brass hardware with bronze, painting a fresh new color, and creating a custom-made house number plaque made from reclaimed fence boards and metal numbers.




Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 5.47.13 AM

Spring Break Artwork Project

With spring break here, you and your family may be heading out of town for a warm weather escape from reality.  Or if you are like me, a “staycation” is happening, otherwise known as “getting stuff done / spring cleaning, while trying to entertain your kids for a week.”

My kids are constantly creating works of art and as the papers accumulate week after week, they tend to get thrown into a kitchen drawer for future filing.  A great way to showcase your young artists’ work is by putting up a gallery of picture frames in their rooms.  The more eclectic the frames the better so as to highlight the many styles of your kiddo.

Here is an example of how to showcase artwork along with a couple photos:IMG_8268

Another way to display artwork is to include one or two pieces with several other photos on a tabletop or dresser:


In this example, the frame opens up so you can quickly and easily change out artwork as their styles change:


What I always tell my kids is that in art, the only rule is to have fun!  So take out all those beautiful scribbles and stick figures and showcase them this spring break!

Just Add Color

Color is kind of scary.  It is hard to know what colors to use in your home, what colors go with one another, or what colors you may get sick of in a couple of years.  That purple accent wall might have been a fun idea a few years back, but your tastes change and now it is just an eyesore.

I always tell my clients to use color on accents in a room, such as pillows, rugs and vases.  They are relatively inexpensive when compared to larger items like sofas or wall colors that take a lot of time to paint.

In some rooms, one or two accent colors are all you need to add a little fun, but don’t be afraid to mix several colors to add personality.  Here is a before and after of a four seasons room.  The furniture we added has some color, but is relatively neutral.  We added pops of color with fun accent pillows.  With all the brown wood on walls and ceiling, the added color breaks up the monotony.

BEFORE: cabin

AFTER: Cabin

More projects found on www.Houzz.com/pro/ChadEsslingerDesign and www.ChadEsslingerDesign.com

Design Your Life

Hi there.  My name is Chad and I am a dad, husband, designer, and occasional triathlete.  This is my first blog post, and I really have no idea what I am doing, but here goes..

I have been designing for as long as I can remember.  From building my own Lego creations, to making bases for my G.I. Joe and Stars Wars figures, to sketching houses, castles, and space ships.   When I went to college I majored in Industrial Design after I realized that I wanted to get paid to “make cool things.”

For the majority of my professional life I worked as a designer and eventually design director for various wholesalers and manufacturers of home decor products. There have been several key points along the way when I was able to “design my life.”  4 years ago, just before our 3rd child was born, I left the corporate world to start my own design consultancy, CHAD ESSLINGER DESIGN.  My plan was to design products as well as help homeowners create beautiful and functional living spaces.

We recently moved from our home of 9 years and planted roots in a great new town, with great new schools and great new friends.  My wife and I had a vision to design a life for our family and a big part of that was creating a new home.  We purchased a house that was a “boring beige box” and are slowly molding it into our forever home.

Here are some images of the most recent updates to our home: the living room, the kitchen and the 4 seasons room which we affectionately call The Cabin.  I look forward to sharing the updates to our home as well as my professional design journey, and perhaps the occasional family story.  Cheers!

Living Room Living Room 2 Living Room 3 Kitchen 1 Kitchen 2 Kitchen 3 Kitchen 4Cabin