Install of the Day !

Howdy . . 

Welcome to the Lake, Welcome to Charlotte.

Long distance - no problem .... I starting talking and emailing in April with my favorite Boston clients to decided just what we were using from the old house and the color direction for the new one.  She wanted to let her Boston reds go and bring in the blues which, being on the lake, was the perfect choice - not that I am a theme type person, it just suited the house and her new style.

Long distance isn't impossible, pictures via email were all it took.  She came down before closing and we took a good look at the house with the realtor and I took my measurements.  Knowing the closing was about a month away, my main goal was to do the messy work prior to the moving truck arriving.  We needed to paint, carpet, wall paper and change out the kitchen counter tops.  Mission accomplished.

I love the new color scheme . . Take a look.

Now, I created several design boards to give them both a good visual. They flew down from Boston and met at the studio, we did some minor tweaking to the original design.  He wanted the look to be a bit more traditional so I switched out a few things and added a leather sofa in the family room... I think that leather sofa was the one thing that gave my plan the green light from the more traditional side of the duo.  I love my green chesterfield so much I showed him one in a gorgeous navy leather . . . sold.  (She calls me the husband whisper.. I love that)

This home has a very open floor plan with gorgeous french doors overlooking the lake.  With a floor plan like that a good neutral wall color with accent walls helps your eye wander in a calming way, yet the accent colors give it pop and defines "zones."  I used a pale gray, yet added a navy grass cloth on the one wall at the entry and the most gorgeous painted Ikat wall paper in the dining room, both from Phillip Jeffries.  If you look from board to board you can see the color flow I wanted to accomplish.

We finished up yesterday with a few final details and with Mekenzie in tow we took these shots.

I love this room.  A few things to notice . . . the gorgeous custom cabinets flanking the fireplace.  I had a new vendor of mine, Original Elements, create these tall, detail-abundant beauties to fit perfectly on either side of the stone fireplace.  The outside is a grey wash wood with the interior a dark blue/black.  I shifted the shelves to house a few large, sentimental accessories.  

We also used a large graphic carpet cut to fit the space.  The occasional chairs have a burlap back which take the room down a notch from too formal, and the wood grain coffee table warms up the cool tones.

From the front door you have the dark navy grass cloth on your right and this amazing Ikat grass cloth on your left - stunning !

I incorporated her existing dining table, sideboard and chippendale chairs (though with my new husband-whisper status, I am working now to convince them to paint them a gloss grey or white so we can really see the sideboard and trestle table base.  I want to edge them up a bit!)

The beaded chandelier is amazing with it's rope detail and a somewhat casual table lamp keeps the look less formal.

The next room we tackled was the family room just off the living and dining area.  
I used the same colors with the added pop of kelly green.

With such a gorgeous view of the lake, we just added bamboo blinds and non-functional side panels to soften the window.   New side chairs and that to die for leather sofa made the room.  Both the coffee table and console are a kid-friendly distressed inlay wood and layering your rugs is another trick to add a lot of texture and pattern.

I used the left over navy grass cloth to line the back of her shelves for a lot of great contrast, and Mary McDonald's wide trim from Schumacher had to make a return.  

all photos by mekenzie france

It was such a fun day on the lake with  the team, seeing this plan come together from my long distance conversations and emails is my favorite part.  It can be done, and fairly quickly - generally 6 to 8 weeks!  Great job Mekenzie capturing all the pretty !

Thanks again everyone !

See anything you love . . give me a call or email


Install of the Day !

Hi All . . .

Last week was a full week of installs, 5 to be exact, and I was so appreciate to the girls at the office for finishing the details on Friday so I could run out of town.  First thing Monday I checked on two of  families, the Adam's (yesterday's post) and the Olsen's.  I wanted to add a few accessories.  Both of my clients were having parties and fluffing was necessary!  Holly and Brian Adam's home was an eclectic bungalow in an older neighborhood, the Olsen's home -  in a newer neighborhood.  

This home has huge, tall walls and windows and an open floor plan, very different from yesterday's install.   Their styles are completely different.  My job - first of all - is to understand the personalities of my clients and help them through the process, my job second - is to create a beautiful and family functional space on the budget I am given.  Everyone is different.  While I alway strive to have my clients step out of their comfort zone, it's often a careful proposition. 

Ashley Olsen is a bubbly, energetic, mom of three small children.  She had an empty room that needed everything.  She admitted to me that she had made mistakes on furniture purchases in the past, so she was very careful and wanted to get it right this time.  She admitted she was nervous.  I understand that, her purchases were big, and while I can see the finished product in my head, I understand that others have a harder time doing that so we started with just the big pieces.  I wanted her to be in a comfortable place so adding the details would not seem so overwhelming.  I wanted it to be fun for her, not stressful.  She wanted a very specific look, a casual, tone-on-tone look with a few pops of color. 

Take a look at my inspiration for the room. . .

 I had two, large 100" custom sofas made.  That can cause a little nervousness !  They were not able to see them or even sit on them.  I assured them it would be ok and they would love these pieces.  These sofa's were made the perfect size, in the perfect fabric, kid friendly with their tight backs and bench seats.  The tufted backs added a slight traditional edge, yet the shape of the arm and leg color (a pale grey) made them a little more modern.  These sofas turned out gorgeous and I got a big thank you for that. (Whew!)

For this large room the no. 1 goal for Ashley was plenty of seating for the family.  These sofas comfortable fit 3 and the addition of two chairs gave seating for 8 easily.   The colors Ashley wanted were all neutrals.  I explained to her that texture was in order to complement the rock fireplace and keep it from looking flat.

The rug is a heavy braid of soft grey and tan, with a coffee table of iron and wood.  Both a extremely durable for the kids.

The two chairs are also a neutral with another slight pattern that compliments the sofas and the rug.

Now yesterday I took over a few accessories.  With the rug, sofas, chairs, and coffee table in place I wanted her to see how pillows, bookcase accessories and art is a layering process and adds interest.

I styled the bookcase a bit with some pieces I found in her home and popped in a piece of art for her to get a visual on how color can work and enhance the space.

I think she's in a more comfortable place and adding future details will only continue to personalize the space.  She has a good visual now!  We are looking at foyer wall paper to add more color and pattern, We are looking at other art and lamps and we are pondering removing the doors on the built in on the right for balance with the bookcases.  We have moved into the kitchen and breakfast room with complimentary wall color in cream and ceiling color in pale robin's egg blue.

It's a process and it's fun!

I am off today fluffing and photographing a nursery and tomorrow, the final touches on the first floor of a lake front home - can't wait for that!

Stay tuned.


Install of the Day !

Hi There . . .

Not all jobs are huge, entire rooms.  I am often called to help "complete" spaces.  I am lucky when my clients have beautiful things to work with, like the Adams.  We did a little bit in here, a little bit in there, a lot in over there.  All these things to help Holly & Bryan Adams tweak their Elizabeth bungalow.  I liked these two right off the bat, I think it was their love of art, old houses and old neighborhoods.  They also like their "stuff" and Brian is an admitted chair hoarder ... finds them, likes them, buys them.  I was delighted to help them finish off a few rooms.

Take a look at all the new tweaks we had in mind  . . . 

Their home, not far from mine is full of bungalow charm.  Elizabeth is a neighborhood of larger lots, bigger trees and deep back yards, often with alleys.  Theirs is inviting from the minute you pull up.

All of the tweaks I made stemmed from their existing living room, which I loved.  My only advise was a larger, more interesting entry table.  Take a look at these two beautiful rooms filled with art and interesting finds.  I had a lot of great pieces to work with so this job was easy !

The dining room was where I started.  It was screaming for a little pattern.  After trying about 6 samples we all agreed this was the one . . . a little sparkle, a little graphic.  I also really thought the windows needed a simple linen panels with new hardware.  Rather than using all the existing dining chairs, we moved the zebra bench from the living room to it's new home in the dining room and recovered the seat cushions of the existing chairs.

I chose a brown "cork" pattern pleather for the chair seats, rather than using a contrasting fabric to the wood. It made the chairs look and feel more substantial and didn't fight the rug or new wall paper.

The family room was my main focus.  On the back of the house and the most used.  It needed a new color, new sofa and occasional chair, storage, lighting and basic re-arranging.

They have a piano to deal with.  My first option was to keep it where it was and add balance to the opposite side in the way of a storage piece with art and a big lamp.  Option No. 2 was custom built ins. . .  moving the piano.

Holly pulled the trigger and built ins it was  . . .  I love the pop of coral on the back walls with a neutral grey front color.  We also painted the room including the crown and base as not to break it wall up with white trim (here I go again with my painted trim).  Love the contrast and we pulled the coral back in the front of the house.  This color all originated from two amazing chairs in the living room.  We added a new sofa, great vintage chair find, lighting, pillows and replacing of art.  Take a look.

The window bench now has a long cushion in the same fabric as the sofa and adds plenty of new seating.

A little new bookcase styling and a new vintage pillow to relate to the great rugs she already had.

We moved onto the nearby Powder Room.  This room is a place you can have fun with, make a statement in.  They loved the dog paper - so why not!

We also painting all the woodwork black and they found this beautiful new pendant drop light.

Old homes are my favorite, so full of character.  Older neighborhoods have the beauty of established tress and greenery.  They have the added plus of a back yard alley.  So pretty back there.

all photos by mekenzie france

Was a pleasure Holly and Bryan love your eclectic space !