17 January, 2015

A Likeable Home

A 1908 Victorian was the last place I thought I'd spend the last several months. But when you find the perfect client, with a family whom you bond with immediately, it's a dream to good to pass up. Carrie and Dave are the CEOs of a growing social media firm in NYC; Likeable Media. A very young, very hip and very savvy company that promises to "create, curate, and promote content that gets you results."  As busy entrepreneurs and the parents of two wonderful and creative young ladies, there is little time left for creating the home of their dreams. Taking Carrie & Dave's family home from years of neglect by previous owners (every light fixture required major electrical wizardry), to a beautiful, happy, and functional space that Carrie and the girls are "obsessed with" is every designers dream! Carrie wanted something akin to a rustic bohemian chic.  She and Dave clearly love bright colors, especially their signature 'orange' but also wanted the softer side of what Carrie called shabby chic and I call rustic elegance. Think barn wood tables and bling'd crystal chandeliers. There is still much to do in the next phase of the family's design plan, but they have a solid base from which to work.  Enjoy! (Pardon the iPhone pics as we need to set up a photo shoot and stage ;)

Carrie wanted to paint the front door and the porch as well. We ended up choosing their companies signature 'orange' for the door and painting a black and white checked pattern on the wood porch. We also added a vintage screen door in matching orange. It is awesome and so welcoming!
 
 
The entry needed character indicative of its vintage past and had to be beautiful, bright and able to withstand a lot of traffic.
I purchased this vintage mahogany console at auction and painted it a grey chalk paint with a hand waxed finish.  We added a custom marble top to withstand anything the family could throw on it and last for years. The console actually has a middle drawer that was quickly utilized for items the family needed to grab on the way out the door and the shoe basket was filled the next morning with Dave's orange running shoes.   
The stair treads and the newel posts were in very bad shape.  Major repairs of the walls and touching up of the original paneling with the decision to paint the posts high gloss black were exactly what was needed along with a gorgeous Cole & Son Regalia wallpaper and a very durable sisal on the steps. We chose soft linen romans with beautiful Samuel & Sons tape to coordinate with the wallcovering. 
Love Love Love.


The entry door simply lacked everything.  The radiator also needed help.  We painted the inside of the door high gloss black to match the newel posts and added a beautiful soft roman trimmed in Samuel & Sons tape to match the other entry window.  We also painted the radiator a perfect silver that plays off the silver fittings of the crystal chandelier. It turned out gorgeous.


Due to the entry walls running into the alcove all of which needed major re-plastering to hide years of cracking and damage, we chose to end the wallpaper in the immediate entry area and use a complimentary soft paint color on adjoining walls.
We repurposed this crystal chandelier from the living room to the entry for a beautiful warm welcome. We also purchased several soft area rugs placed throughout the entry.


This main living space went through many design variations and we ended up with a bright and fun boho chic vibe with a comfy leather sectional, whimsical soft roman window coverings, and a vintage Victorian cast iron faux fireplace.


These windows were unbelievable tricky as the house had settled roughly 4-8" along several walls and the window frames were several inches off from one side to another.


The crystal chandelier was out of place and we decided to move it into the entry as it was perfect with the wallcovering and foyer table.  We used Global Views Sunburst light fixture to replace it for softer overhead lighting, combined with other task lighting including Carrie's grandmother's vintage lamps on the sofa table.


The built ins had to stay to house books and photos, but were in need of help as they were also sloping 8" from end to end and needed bulking up with a lot of millwork, crown moldings, and painting.
 


 
 
This is the amazing cast iron fireplace surround we have as a focal point with the tv that still needs to go up just a bit more.  We had a custom black marble top made for the mantel and it is simply gorgeous. And the shipping of this behemoth - well that's another story!
Better picture of the mantel top we had fabricated in black marble.
 
We decided to turn the tv room into a music room where the girls could practice their piano and play games on a low round game table with friends.  We changed out the light fixture in here as well and added soft romans and framed a few of their huge collection of playbills from Broadway plays they've attended.  As well as adding family portraits that were printed on wood from Photobarn - very cool. We also painted the piano a soft gray as well and added crystal knobs.

 


 
The dining room is definitely the heart of Carrie and Dave's home so it had to be special.  Carrie wanted to keep the custom wood table, but add a touch of shabby chic everywhere else.  We used a very feminine soft fabric for thick window treatments trimmed in gathered grosgrain along with soft romans underneath, got new custom vintage French chairs from Restoration Hardware and a gorgeous crystal chandelier also from Restoration Hardware along with a ceiling medallion, added a durable diamond sisal rug from Stark Carpets.  For the walls we added a grouping of art, both new and vintage that had special meaning to Carrie and Dave to create a mini gallery and an oversized beautiful French antiqued bronze mirror over the existing serving piece.
 This was our inspiration for the dining room. 
 The gorgeous rococo Restoration Hardware fixture that took an immense amount of digging through 100+ years of lathing and piecemeal wiring in order to hang properly.



Vintage postcards from the family's village, personalized silhouettes, Victorian brass keys, and the lovely lady from Carrie's grandmother create a mini gallery for the family.

The RH vintage French chairs hadn't arrived yet. But, they were stunning around the table once they did arrive!
Well, this is just the beginning for this wonderful family to start adding their own special touches and grow their family and home.  Thanks so much for allowing me to share in the beginning of this special journey for you all.   xoxoxo.
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24 February, 2014

Crushing on Scully and Scully

Loving these new items from Scully and Scully in NYC. While they may seem uber traditional, think super classical and easily mixed with more contemporary pieces for a great collected look. Don't you just love those Leopard firescreens? And, that lacquered Regency Tea Trolley?!? Perfection! And you must appreciate the slender lines of the Pembroke Table with the inlay and beautiful drawer pull, and that great lattice work on the backs of the Chinoiserie chairs! Fab pieces - Enjoy!


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23 February, 2014

Big Changes Coming!

Yes, it has undoubtedly been a very long time since I've posted -- too long to be sure. But, I've spent the last several months doing amazing things, working with fabulous clients, friends, and mentors. I finished my tenure at Meg Braff Designs in August and it was with such sweet sorrow. I knew it was time to go out on my own, but to leave such dear friends and open my own firm seemed a daunting task! But, I had no time to worry as I was completely immersed in preparations for a wonderful designer showcase at Friends of Sands Point Hempstead House. The old Gold Coast mansion, or Castle as it's known, that was home to the Guggenheim family. The Marriage Suite I created was a smashing success and we attracted over two thousand guests to the house and raised much awareness for the preservation of the estate. It was such a pleasure to meet visitors who were so knowledgeable & passionate about the estate and other Gold Coast mansions here on Long Island. We were also featured in The New York Times, Newsday, and House Magazine multiple times; a nice bonus. It was a fantastic first experience with a designer showcase and I look forward to doing it again this year! I also had the privilege of meeting Alexa Hampton once again for the signing of her new book; Decorating in Detail - a must read! Thank goodness for Facebook as it's provided me an avenue for quick posts and updates as to what has been going on since my last blog post. I also enjoyed attending both NYNOW Gift Shows in the city and seeing all the new and fun things the market has to offer and meeting the wonderful vendors (I do feel though that the January show seems to be a re-hash of what I saw in August; something to remember next year). I definitely look forward to attending High Point this Spring! Finally, as I embark on yet another aspect of my design journey and move towards creating a new web page, enjoy a few of my memorable moments from the last few months. Enjoy!
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