Monday, September 30, 2013

its all just a bunch of vibrations

It has been forever since my last post.  

The summer has been a blur, and since its now the last day of September, an end of summer wrap-up is an imperative. I've been working on two really cool homes these past months.  Plus, I'll throw in a little summer vacation design inspiration for good measure.

In Santa Monica, I've been remaking a living room, kitchen office and lounge for a family of six.  Since lots of people live here, and they are all musical or artistic, we needed to make these rooms beautiful and functional as well as making space for all of their stuff in some not so big spaces. 

Here is where we started:
A big room with all the wrong stuff in it.  You can't see the fireplace because its the same color as the walls.  The beams in the ceiling are sage green.  There's a GIANT sectional sofa blocking your path into the room. A favorite old chair is covered with a blanket because its stuffing is coming out. The sconces are a bedazzled mess that don't have anything to do with the (beautiful) iron chandelier.  
Now, this room is perfect.
There's a creamy new white on the walls and the fireplace and beams got lovely new colors, too.  And those hand-painted cement tiles are the star of the show. That's the old favorite chair, reupholstered.  The triptych on the wall is from the clients' collection.  The new sconces and floor lamps make much more sense with the chandelier.
Too beautiful.

A small sofa and the big lounge under the window replace the sectional sofa.  The draperies are natural linen.  Lots of space to play games and display the family's musical instruments, too.

My favorite thing about this room is the combination of colors and patterns.  And that beautiful red pie safe -- I found it hidden away in another room and it gave it a new home here.

The small sofa is cushy and cute.

The family needed an office and workspace.  There was a spot in the kitchen, so I designed a nice, big desk to mimic the style of the kitchen cabinetry. 
The new desk has lots of desktop space as well as storage for office and art supplies.  The magnetic board above it captures the chaos of a family of 6 in an ever-changing exhibit of photos, kids' art, schedules and notes.
I love designing chairs, and this niche in the dining room was dying for this pair.  My clients had some really fantastic art in storage, in the garage,  and elsewhere around the house.  THE CARESS OF YOUR GLANCE is my favorite piece from their collection, and has finally found its perfect home.

At the house in Las Vegas, some simple but dramatic changes have occurred in the living room and the office.

This is the living room built-in before.  Like, way, way before:
When we started working on this room, we nicknamed this built-in "the beast."  You can't really get the scale from the photo, but its about 11 feet high and 13 feet wide.  It was also not centered on the wall and made the room feel slightly off balance.  And the speakers.  And that giant, old TV.  Ugh.
This is the way, way after: 
Beautiful zebra wood is the perfect material for the clean lines of the new design.  Although its nearly the same size as the original built-in, it fits the space much better because it is centered.  The TV is smaller and will float in the niche in the center.  The speakers are now elegantly camoflauged in the ceiling.  The luxe furnishings and accessories help the fab new look of this room, too.
A couple of years ago when we started the design process for this home, I suggested diptych by the artist Janet Bothne, and my client became a fast fan of her work.  Her paintings are lush and colorful and the perfect scale for the office wall behind his heavy, carved desk.
The warm yellow is the perfect backdrop for this piece, called MEASURING LOSS AND GAIN.
The library, still in progress but fast becoming my favorite room in this house, is just across the entry hall from the office.  There's a fantastic view of the new art if you're sitting in here, too.

I took my first trip to King's Valley, Oregon this summer, and it was a magnificent reminder -- and a huge shock for an L.A. girl -- of the power of nature.  Nothing but trees and water and mountains and quiet.  The stars had more wattage than the city lights, too. 

Here are a few shots of the beautiful home of our fabulous hosts:
A reminder each time the switch is flipped.
A little red cottage with a purple front door.

I was also lucky enough to get back to my beloved Seattle, where I find it impossible not to be inspired by all of the flowers and food and art and architecture and music.  I found some of the coolest design details in the homes of my family and friends.
Little details like the built in planter are what give my sister in law's little craftsman bungalow so much charm.  Plus, I love this vintage sofa and I'm a sucker for the orange-red color combo.
Accent pillows with fantastic color and texture.

Fab shag.
This glorious, ever-evolving magnetic chalkboard wall was one of my favorite things in a BFFs new home.  Everyone who comes to the house leaves their mark.
So.  Now I'm back in Los Angeles and back at work.  There is lots more to do before the year winds down.  But, I have to add, so far so good.  I'm excited to see what the rest of 2013 has in store.

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