Saturday, February 26, 2011

Update: Builder to Custom

I hope you don't mind crappy iPhone photos, because on a jobsite, that's about as good as it gets! I managed to snap a few pictures of some of the recent progress that's been going on and I'm happy to say that a lot happened last week. Hooray!

Gosh I wish this photo was better -- hindsight is 20/20. You can see that the cabinets are in and that the statuary marble is up, but not grouted and the newly milled shiplap is installed on the back wall. We're breaking up the wainscotting that is everywhere so that the bathroom has a breather. Plus, wait until the mirrors are hung and the three sconces are up -- so excited to see it painted and installed.

The new wall that faces the keeping room off the kitchen. Remember what it looked like before? Such a huge transformation already. Shiplap has gone up above the custom fireplace and it also marries with shiplap that backs all of the built-ins.

And last, but certainly not least, a humble pic of what will be a not-so-humble kitchen. The new chandelier arrives any day that will go above the island and the cabinetry will be finishing up next week while the painters also get started (it's going to be a crazy week!). The second row of cabinets help fill the 15' ceilings and Thassos marble is waiting to be grouted. I'm so excited about this kitchen. The faucets went in on Thursday and seeing them sparkling against that Calcutta made me want to tear up! Is that sad? I can be totally unmoved by the saddest episode of Oprah, but give me a newly installed Perrin & Rowe faucet and I'll choke up! I guess it's something only a certain group of us would understand...?

Onwards to a busy week. Thanks for bearing with me on the lack of posts. I have been burning the midnight oil since the new year (a classic example, simultaneously ordering at the drive through while on the phone with marble yards -- it was confusing for all parties, trust me!) but it will mean lots more updates of various projects and some good stuff coming up.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Before & After: The Truth, Ruth

The truth was, it was all awful:

"For the last several years, since the death of her husband, Dr. Ruth has been so self-conscious about the three-bedroom upper Manhattan apartment — where she has lived for over 50 years and where she raised two children — that she has rarely entertained... If you had walked into this apartment, you would have had me committed to Bellevue."

Gotta love Dr. Ruth -- she's hysterical, but I ran across the NYT article highlighting her recent apartment re-do with Nate Berkus and, WOW, I was shocked. What must have been going through Nate's head when he walked in, I don't know. But, what was great to read about was how accepting she was of the change. It's hard to go through that, and in a place that held so many memories too of times past.

The good news is that she went from this:

To this:

Amazing. I love it.

What makes it so great is how much they embraced the feminine (do I sound like a disciple of the good Doctor?) Nate brought in the pink and balanced it with the blues, and the positioning of the sofa in front of the bookcases is genius. It's such a huge transformation, but he was willing to go with it and as a designer, Nate didn't forget the things she really cared about, and in fact, he was able to bring them back to life for her.

Design well done.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pink - The Color of the Year

Pantone declared Hot Pink the color of the year. Since then it's showing up in all the shelter magazines and blogs. A reader asked me if it's really a color for the home or if it's just a fashion accent color, so I thought I'd dedicate a post to the answer.

Hot pink is actually a great happy/mood-boosting color. If you've been reading me, you know that I'm a big believer in neutral foundations and using your favorite color as an accent or pop. That way when you get tired of it, it's easy and inexpensive to switch out. Well, hot pink can actually act as a neutral if you pick a shade that's saturated and sits down or is dirty (meaning not a bright day glow pink - there's nothing neutral about a fluorescent pink). Then, it just becomes the canvas or background for the pieces you want to be the focal point of the room.

Alessandra Branca uses hot pink and chocolate in a living room to create drama and warmth.

A hot pink entry via House Beautiful

One of my favorite bedrooms. The glamour of the hot pink, mirrored bed, pale pink bedding and brown Schumacher fabric.

Windsor Smith's hot pink living room.

Jonathan Alder's medium pink entry. Could live without the giraffe, but it's perfect for his brand.

And if Hot Pink is too much of a statement for you, Pale pink can act as a neutral as well.

Image via Traditional Home

Image via Gary McBournie. Love this pale pink, white and chocolate room. It's so soothing and romantic.

Hello headboard...

Jan Showers uber romantic pink and lucite room.

Sophisticated yet fun pale and hot pink room via Cote de Texas. Now this is the way to do a little girls room that will grow with her.

And if you don't like pink enough to paint your entire room, then you can bring it in via accent pillows or pieces. The color makes the room pop and gives it a sense of whimsy. I'm actually loving it as way to bring a little spring into your house right now.
Windsor Smith using a salmon pink as her accent. Lovely and unexpected.

Sara Richardson's hotel room for Breast Cancer awareness.

Love this white and pink room. So fresh. And again, when you don't like it anymore you just have to replace the pillows and drapes. Okay, and paint the cabinet. But this person obviously loves pink or doesn't mind switching color palettes every couple years.

A hot pink throw is an easy and affordable way to bring the color in.

A touch of hot pink on the back of a chair in an otherwise neutral room. An inexpensive pop that makes the room interesting.

Palmer Weiss's hot pink day bed in a neutral cream and blue room.

Palmer Weiss's using pink and citrine. Fabulous.

Massucco Warner Miller using pink as an accent in a yellow and brown room. Brings the room to life and makes it modern.

Hard to see in this picture, but Mary McDonald paints the ceiling of this blue room pink. This is my kind of master bedroom.

The master of Modern design, Kelly Wearstler paints her doorway Salmon pink and uses it as an accent in the entry.

Hot pink poufs make a dynamic statement in this room.

Traditional french chairs covered in hot pink faux leather. Image via House Beautiful.

A black and white office with a dose of hot pink from Elizabeth Martin.

A rustic yet glamourous room with chocolate and pink from Elizabeth Carney.

Amanda Nisbet's famous hot pink room. A classic.

So does bringing a little pink into your house feel a little less scary now? It's a great way to boost your mood and transform a room. And it's not just for little girls rooms - it's a very classic color when paired with other neutrals as an accent or used as the main color.

Now go forward and bring a little pink into your life. It might just make you smile.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pretty on the Outside

I know the emphasis should be on what's inside, but the outside sure does make a difference. I was browsing DecorPad and these exteriors made my heart sing on this Valentine's eve.

The iconic "Father of the Bride" house.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Orange Crush

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been swamped with work and on top of that I went to the Design San Francisco Conference last week. I'm still trying to recover from marathon shopping and visual overload. It was great, but it wiped me unlike any other trip has. I've taken many marathon shopping trips throughout the U.S. and Europe in my time that haven't wiped me like this 3 day trip to San Fran. Serious visual overload.

While I was at the conference I had the pleasure of seeing Jeff Lewis and Jenny from Flipping Out. He is more hysterical in person than on T.V. Loved him and found him very real and humble (shocking, I know). I also had the pleasure of meeting Suzanne Rheinstein, Barry Dixon, Madeline Stuart, and Windsor Smith. Windsor Smith is one of my design idols and she lived up to my expectations. Not only is she an incredible designer, but she is a brilliant business woman. I had the good fortune to talk to her after the panel discussion, and was impressed that she was so open and willing to share her wisdom and business model with other designers. A great testament to her character and love of the design industry. She made my trip.

While at the conference, I saw a room in the Christopher Peacock Cabinetry showroom that stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away. Literally.

High gloss lacquer ORANGE. While I love orange for color pops, I would have never thought about doing an entire room (including the ceiling) in the color. It was so glamorous and fun, yet classic at the same time. A sophisticated take on traditional wainscoting and cabinetry. It would be perfect in a dining room or living room. Any volunteers?

Front shot of the room.

Two built in hutches on each side of the love seat with amazing wire fronts. (Pictured below)

Detailed picture of the wire front hutch. I've never seen such an incredible cabinet.

Mirrored ceiling. Sorry for the terrible picture, but there wasn't really a better way to capture this gorgeousness. It's pure heaven.

I'll try to post some of my other finds from the trip later in the week. Hope you're week is off to a good start.

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