Hi to you…First I want to say, as I often to do, thank you to each and everyone who reads this blog. I cannot express the sheer amazement and pleasure it gives me to know that so many people actually read it and even better, like it and find it inspiring. I appreciate your understanding during my recent hiatus…. I've missed you. It's so good to be back.
A little background for those just tuning in… My daughter Lily is 14 and has had the same bedroom furniture since she went from a crib to a bed. She was long overdue for a room makeover, so I decided to surprise her (actually she weighed in on most decisions) while she was away at camp. The big reveal was HGTV worthy -complete with jumping, squeals, etc. Needless to say she loves it and the added bonus – she has actually kept it tidy so far!
The color scheme before was lavender. Her beds were a purchase from ebay from years ago. I bought one bed and when I went to pick it up, the bidder on another bed never showed, so I scored both! Lily was a toddler and still quite content in her crib, but I loved them and figured someday soon she would be ready. The seller had shabby chic'd them, as you can see below.
I painted the beds gray (I didn't actually do the painting, but you knew that :-). I will look up the color and give it to you in a later post. Incidently, a reader emailed me recently requesting my favorite shade of gray. I realized as I walked through my house counting all the things I had painted in various shades of gray, that it is hard to pick just one!
When we were under construction and replacing all the windows in the house, I had the window in Lily's room moved from off to the left to where it is above – centered in between the two beds.
The nightstand and matching desk are available through the trade. They are sold in many home furnishing stores around the country. If you are interested in purchasing click here.
The nightstand and desk came with different pulls – brass, circular and rather large. They didn't work with the feel of Lily's new room, so we bought these pretty glass knobs at Anthropolgie. Click here for the link.
I had a pair of these lamps from Z Gallerie. We replaced the lampshade with this gray one.
The fabric is by Clarke & Clarke. Click here for the link. Lily wanted the colors in her room to match her bathroom, see it here, so once we found this fabric that has grays and dark pinks, the rest of the accessories became easy to find.
We used it for Roman shades and pillow shams.
Floating shelves, gray storage box and pink desk organizer are from here.
Awhile ago I posted about a project I was working on for clients who wanted to completely renovate their kitchen as well as redecorate the attached family room space. The client's style preference is contemporary with a little 'glam'. I enjoyed the challenge of stepping outside my personal aesthetic and tapping into what they really wanted.
Here are photos of the kitchen 'before'.
Here are the kitchen 'afters'.
The island is painted in Benjamin Moore's Fusion.
In the family room, the biggest task was figuring out what to do with the fireplace surround, since it's the focal point. It goes up to the pitched ceiling and needed some dimension. The client did not want a rustic look, so no stone or reclaimed wood. Ultimately, the rug inspired a similar geometric pattern that was applied with 1" x 1" trim to the sheetrock.
Here are the family room 'before's'.
The raised geometric pattern being applied to the fireplace wall.
The colors for the furnishings were gray and violet. Some paint options we were considering…
We had the windows enlarged and framed all windows in both the family room and kitchen in a simple trim detail. That made a huge difference!
Here are the family room 'afters'.
The Parson's tables (one on each side of fireplace) are from Bungalow 5 and are lacquered grasscloth in white. The x-benches are from Ballard Design, with fabric we provided. They turned out great didn't they? So easy to work with them, I was really happy with the customer service. I had an actual name who knew the status of the order at all times. Would highly recommend them.
A couple of months ago I was interviewed for Luxe magazine – Pacific Northwest edition, asking me for my favorite places in Seattle. Here's the article along with a hilarious cartoon of me!
Recently I completed a small, sweet project I've been meaning to show you. I met my client when she came into the shop a few months ago. She and her husband have three young children and just bought their first home which overlooks the water in Belvedere, CA . She likes the farmhouse style, but wanted to weave in a coastal vibe since the home has water views from almost every room.
The scope of the project was to furnish the living room and solve what to do with the off-center fireplace wall.
We wanted to make the shiny black granite disappear and at the same time make the fireplace and tv not feel so off-center.
The wall color is Restoration Hardware's Charcoal. The beam is an old, reclaimed piece that my wood working guru had buried in a pile behind his shop. It was sanded and sealed to perfection (just luck that it ended up being a close match to the coffee table).
Here are more photos…
The home doesn't have a mud room or coat closet. With three kids, things were piling up around the front door. As a temporary fix, the homeonwner used a coat rack for hanging items, but there was no place for shoes and other miscellaneous outerwear.
I had a custom bench made based on the size of three vintage-style wire baskets my client purchased at the shop. One for each child.
Hooks mounted on wood planks replaced the coat rack.
Below is the other side of the entry.
The homeowner found this great industrial piece (I forget where, but Carrie if you are reading this maybe you can put the source in the comments?) We thought this trio of mirrors (sold individually) makes a much more interesting vignette than just one.
The living room was a blank canvas. It's the room you see first upon walking into the house. We started with the striped wool dhurrie rug and pulled the colors from there.
A new sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams replaced the old one (very similar, but new one is less modern), a Belgian style coffee table and a few new accessories finished off the space.
The chairs were purchased previously, but the home owner was not fond of the contemporary lines, so we added vintage grain sack pillows and matching throws to soften the modern style.
We're still filling in a few blanks, like this corner…
Everything is new in this space. We're considering different chair options that can serve double duty for extra living room seating for parties, and we'll move the zinc accessoires to a new spot.
I hope you like the tour of this coastal farmhouse!
This past November I finished working on a very special project. I mentioned it briefly here, but haven't shown 'after' photos since it took almost a year to put all the final touches into place. In December I had the space photographed by the incredibly talented Sean Dagen of whom I've been a fan since I first noticed his work in the Serena and Lily catalogs. During the shoot, Sean's agent Traci mentioned that she knew the ladies at Rue Magazine and wanted to show the photos to them!
Fast forward to today — I am beyond excited to say that the project was included in the March/April 2012 issue! Thank you Rue!
For those not familiar with online design magazines, they have filled the void left by many of the shelter magazines no longer in print. Once you subscribe (by clicking the button on the front page) you will receive a copy in your inbox. The great thing about online magazines vs. print is the 'click thru' capability. If you see a product you like, often you are able to click on it and be directed to the source. It's also so easy to forward photos or articles to facebook, twitter, Pinterest, etc. You can check out Rue and subscribe by clicking here.
Traci, Sean and I setting up.
To see the rest of the Sausalito apartment and article click here.
I thought you might like to see some before photos of the apartment. Keep in mind it's a rental, so there were limitations in what we could do to the space itself.
The budget was not big, but there were specific higher end pieces that my client really wanted. When we splurged, we had to find a way to cut back somewhere else. It's amazing how many inexpensive but stylish options are out there. You just have to dig around!
There were pieces that just had all the right elements and for those there was no compromising. Some of the higher end items…
Eames Chair – Design Within Reach
Dining Chairs – Bungalow 5
Blue Writing Desk – Chelsea Textiles
There were some pieces that we were able to find at substantially lower prices because they were not authentic, but the remake was so close that even a trained eye wouldn't know the difference. Some of the lower priced alternatives…
(Faux) Saarinen Dining Table found on ebay
(Faux) Noguchi Coffee Table found on ebay
We filled in with some pieces that could easily blend in...
Daybed- West Elm
Bed - Ikea
Many of the accessories and accent furniture were found at antique stores, estate sales and flea markets.
Please let me know if you have questions about specific pieces. Happy to share the sources. Again, the link to the article and photos is here.
A few weeks ago I received an email from real estate developer and designer, Jason Urrutia, letting me know about a house he had completely rebuilt in an 'urban farmhouse style' in Mill Valley, CA. It had just been put on the market. When I saw the photos I was completely blown away by the home's new look and how beautifully it was furnished and styled – ALL by Jason. I know you will enjoy soaking up every detail of this dramatic transformation as much as I did. And by the way, the house sold immediately!
Go get yourself a cup of tea (or wine) – this is a long one…
before – stair landing/sitting area
after – stair landing/sitting area
before – den
after – den
before – bathroom
after – bathroom
before – exterior back
In addition to designing the house and overseeing the construction, Jason also designed the interiors, selecting all the furniture and accessories to be sold with the house. Many pieces were custom, such as pillows, benches and ottomans and some upholstered furniture. Others were vintage that he had restored. The homeowners didn't purchase everything, so if you see something that you like or are curious about, contact Jason – it might still be available!
A couple of months ago when we added our kids' bathrooms, my son Luke's room had to have some walls moved and reframed. He's turning 16 this summer and has had the same bedroom furniture since he was three. It was an ideal (and long overdue) time for a new room. I interviewed him to get a little direction. It went something like this:
me: "honey, do you have any thoughts on your new room?"
son: "yeah, I want a small couch – you know for two people – and a table in front for snacks, and an old school turntable."
me: thinking to self 'for two peop…?!'"well… what about colors? what colors do you want?"
son: "no colors."
Realizing he was describing a nightclub and not a bedroom for relaxing (alone) and doing homework, I decided I better just take matters into my own hands.
There aren't many sources of inspiration for teenage boy's bedrooms out there. For some reason they don't make it to the glossy pages of our favorite shelter mags… Over the past year or so I've been collecting images of rooms that I thought my son would like. (To see my other teen boy inspiration rooms, click here.)This room from the Ace Hotel in Portland (via Remodelista) turned out to be one of our favorites and the inspiration for his room.
The built-in drawers and closet had to be taken out in order to move the wall to accommodate the bathroom. In total, the room lost about 8 inches of floor space. The closet was relocated to the opposite facing wall. Instead of a dresser, we installed an Elfa shelving system from The Container Store inside the closet .
after from same perspective as above
after from same perspective as above
We took the window out and added the closet to the right. Luckily we had open space for it on the other side where a future powder room will go. Rather than a headboard, I had a piece of cork attached to the wall to create a giant bulletin board. I enjoy seeing what Luke puts on it, and imagine that by the time he leaves for college (sniff) it will be filled with pictures, notes, ticket stubs and other mementos from his high school years.
There wasn't room for a bedside table and frankly since it was always messy, I wanted to find another -tidier- option. This platform bed from West Elm has three drawers on each side, which was the perfect substitute for a bedside table. It's been great to have no clutter! I found this gooseneck LED reading light was perfect for the space since it mounts on the wall and can be bent any direction. I contemplated adding a small shelf along the side wall for an alarm clock, but he uses his cell phone which charges overnight on his desk anyway, so there was really no need. I'm realizing I didn't hide electrical cords…
We kept the old pine desk we bought at a garage sale years ago, but painted it Restoration Hardware Charcoal. After it was painted I thought it looked kind of disconnected to the room just by itself on the long white wall, so I decided to paint part of the wall the same color. We still need to hang some record albums Luke's collected along the wall, but just haven't gotten to it yet! The orange Eames chair is from Room & Board.
You might have noticed the basket of legos on the desk? If there is one toy that reminds me of Luke's childhood it's legos. He lost interest years ago, but I kept them anyway – stored in a giant plastic tub in our basement. For nostalgia, I thought it would be fun to make drawer pulls out of legos to replace the knobs on his desk. I suggested it to him and he adamantly refused. I get it and let it drop. I did leave a little basket of legos on his desk, just in case…
Hope you like it!
Paint – White is Benjamin Moore Atrium White. Gray is Restoration Hardware Charcoal.
Platform bed and wall mounted shelf – West Elm "Storage Bed"
Striped duvet – West Elm
Wool blanket and Gray pillows – Pendleton for Room & Board (machine washable!)
Light fixtures – Harold's Lighting (based in Seattle)
Hi, and welcome! I’m so glad you landed here and I hope you find this to be a place you visit often.
I started this blog in 2008 as a way to chronicle the remodeling of our nondescript Northern California house into our dream home. While that did happen, so did a lot of other things - life and all the messy, glorious, complicated, wonderful things that go with it. As such, in early 2017 I decided to change the focus from the house itself to the life that happens inside.
My wish is that this blog provides beautiful inspiration, creative ideas, connections to other like-minded folks, as well as stylish products for your home, to wear and to give.