Category Archives: Designers

I Still Love Moody Gray

 Let’s take a break from gushing about touring 4 barn homes

in Country Living Magazine’s October issue.

Here are 2 of them, about which I recently blogged:

Kit Barn (read my post)

IMG_1874

Modern Barn (read my post about it)

IMG_1836

Instead, let’s discuss something about which I am obsessing lately.

WHITE WALLS

My current design crush, Emily Henderson (that’s her), loves white walls.

emily henderson in bed

Remember?  She won HGTV’s Design Star when that was still on

emily henderson winning design star

I’ve been following her online for years.

To see why I’m such a fan,

look at this genius before + after in her own kitchen.

Before:

emily henderson kitchen before

After:

emily henderson kitchen after

I KNOW!!  RIGHT??

Here’s yet more white awesomeness from Emily:

white room emily henderson 2

I could go on posting yummy white rooms for days,

but you get my point.

It’s cool . . .

. . . + of course, now I’m yearning to repaint all our walls WHITE!

IN-cluding our beloved power room (??)

(which is now Flagstone by Pittsburgh Paints.)

I’ve been wanting white walls all summer,

+ then I spy this, in one of my favorite blogs, just the other day:

gray house staircase

O  M  i  G  o  s  h  !

There’s gray everything, even the ceiling!

And look how great all their design choices look with all that gray!

That lantern:

gray house staircase

The sisal carpeted staircase:

gray-house-staircase2.jpg

Here’s some more gray fabulousness from the same house:

gray house 2 rooms

Yet more:

gray house table with books

Hold on now.  Let’s study the genius styling in this little area,

because I have been studying it + now wish to copy it.**

**More on that soon.

Let’s break it down.

Natural wood tone table pops nicely against the dark wall

Antique mirror does the same thing:

gray-house-table-with-books7.jpg

Stack of books on the floor (note to self: one is askew!):

gray house table with books

Wire basket with mags on the floor

Please.

I have enough magazines to have about 80 baskets full of them,

scattered all over the house.

gray house table with books

Back to the vignette!

Art piece on the floor:

gray-house-table-with-books3.jpg

Bucket o’ logs on the floor (more wood popping with dark):

gray-house-table-with-books4.jpg

Wood item  (what is that?) leaning against the corner

Leaning stuff = love

gray house table with books

Including multiples of natural wood is a great example

of the repeat an element (at least) 3 times rule,

which of course, we all do.  Right?

Anyway, in conclusion, I’m asking:

Is one beautifully moody gray house enough

to distract me from Emily Henderson’s white awesomeness?

What do you think?

 

 

Advertisements

Lauren Liess On HGTV

So.  Flash back to just a few days ago.

Remember when we were all psyched about designer Lauren Liess’ HGTV pilot?

They named it Best House On The Block.

IMG_1535

Her book is called HABITAT / A Field Guide To Decorating.

You can buy a signed copy (it’s good) on her website.

HABITAT COVER

I just went to her website, but there was no mention of whether HGTV

was going to pick them up for an entire season.

While we wait for good news, let’s look at + judge my bad photos of the TV screen!

Here are the lucky homeowners:

IMG_1537

Their 60’s brick ranch was in a neighborhood filled with identical brick ranches.

IMG_1520

They had $60 grand to spend on their re-do, + here’s what they were getting:

IMG_1518

I’m always surprised at the amount of money that’s allotted for painting on HGTV.

$5,000?  Really?

That’s why you do the painting YOURSELVES, you whippersnappers!

Seriously.  I am going to insist that you get off my lawn.

*****

But first, this, speaking of paint:

 

Raise your hand if you knew they were going to paint their brick.

That makes G.O. cross, but I’m usually on board.

More on this, later.

*****

I failed to take many before  or during snapshots, because who cares, really?

Ha!  I “kid”!

Here’s one before look at the back door + stairway to the basement.

IMG_1516

Lauren was able to level that area by reversing the basement steps!

Genius!

Here’s a good look at it in the after floor plan:

IMG_1512

In real life:

IMG_1552

You can also see that they removed the wall between the kitchen + family room.

How I love the black cabs with the warm wood counter tops!

IMG_1544

Everything’s so wonderfully staged!

THAT GINORMOUS WALL O’ WINDOWS!

Yes, it’s unconventional to put the stove under the windows,

but I think those are fixed + not made to open.

WOW, that’s a stunning stove, isn’t it?

The exhaust fan is probably along the back.

IMG_1545

Did all this black + warm wood remind you of this house boat from Fixer Upper?

If you’d like to see more of it, check out my blog post devoted to it.

fixer upper boat after

The island is custom made with old barn wood.

IMG_1547

Lauren + her husband, David, went to a reclaimed lumber business in Virginia.

The boards they chose came from an old barn that was built just after the Civil War.

Come ON, though!

Look at her!  How stylish is she?

IMG_1530

Back to the island:

IMG_1547

IMG_1549

Wait.  What is that artwork in the family room?

Lauren foraged for botanicals in the homeowner’s wooded back yard,

gathering enough to press, frame + hang multiples in a grid.

This is one of her signature “looks”, + I love it!

 

Here is a view across that new basement staircase,

from the new dining room.

IMG_1556

Homeowner hubby, David, is inspecting the new shelves

Lauren designed for their daughter’s toys:

IMG_1555

The couple already owned the round Saarenin “tulip” table,

+ Lauren added a few pieces to make the dining room complete.

I’m glad to see that pairs of lamps are still a thing.

IMG_1560

Here’s a photo of the after front exterior.

IMG_1538

Some asbestos was discovered in the kitchen,

+ it cost $3000 to be removed.

As you can see, they took that amount from the furnish + style fund.

IMG_1562

I really loved the show, didn’t you?

Fingers crossed there will be more episodes!


Powder Room Highs + Lows

I recently shared the story of our powder room’s paneled walls,

which involved a lot of masking tape + a lot of poly molding from Home Depot.

powder room tape

Soon enough, everything was given a coat of medium gray paint:

Flagstone by Pittsburgh Paints.

Check out the awesome before + after!

I know!  How great!

 All that molding gave the newly created room instant age!

Here it is, before — that space was once a short hallway:

powder room before

IMG_1131

IMG_1134

I love how the carrera marble hexagon floor tiles

coordinate with the Flagstone paint!

IMG_1103

The carrera marble is repeated in the vanity top from Pottery Barn,

which I think has been discontinued:

IMG_1108

I chose the New York widespread faucet

from Signature Hardware, $259.95:

IMG_1112

IMG_1113

Who remembers the wonderful Martha Stewart Everyday at K-Mart?

loved everything — from home decor items, like this enamel soap dish,

to garden goods + holiday collections!

The striped mug is an oldie Ralph Lauren pattern, Farmstead Ticking,

found online at Replacements, Ltd.

It’s not currently available, but I love this adorable candlestick, $11.95:

Hurry!  There are only 4 left!

farmstead ticking ralph lauren

Back to the powder room!

Our mirror started its life paired with a beautiful dresser,

which we refurbished + sold.

powder room mirror before

I briefly considered painting it

but couldn’t bear to cover that pretty wood grain!

Our pretty porcelain light fixture

was discontinued from Pottery Barn, + I found it on eBay.

Don’t you love the vintage-style cloth-covered cord?

Speaking of vintage, I hung these blue transfer ware plates

above the sweetest blue shelf that I found in an etsy shop:

IMG_1122

powder room blue shelf

But wait.  We need to talk.

I am on the fence about those plates.

I love them, but they just don’t look that great here.

But look at the plates I hung in our main bath!

I couldn’t love them more!

bathroom -- mine with wallpaper

I can’t believe I did this,

but I guess I assumed that if I loved plates in the main bath,

I’d love them in my powder room, too!

don’t.

I don’t know what, if anything, to hang there.

surprised baby

If only Joanna Gaines made house calls!

I mean, how in the world am I going to find a designer

who speaks my design language,

way out here in the middle of nowhere?

Well, check this out.

My friend, Claudia, told me about this thing called Havenly.

It’s an online source of interior designers + decorators.

You can read about how it works on their website.

I think I am going to take their design style quiz, later today.

How much fun will that be?

As always, stay tuned!

IMG_1128

We even painted some unfinished wood switch + outlet plate covers from Menards:

IMG_1129

See you next time!

 


My Diane Keaton Lady Crush

This morning I stumbled upon the portfolio of Stephen Shandley,

a NYC-based designer whose clients include my fave, Diane Keaton.

1st-dibs-stephen-shandley

Shandley was named to the Architectural Digest’s AD100,

the list of the world’s best interior designers + architects.

I tried but failed to access his website this morning —

perhaps it was just a temporary issue — I dunno.

+ + + + +

Now, then.  What was I saying about my lady crush, Diane?

55006375c4b56-rby-diane-keaton-83645840-de

Remember when she won the Best Actress Oscar for Annie Hall?

annie hall.jpg

Oh, how I love that movie, + when it came out,

I was inspired by Annie’s wardrobe to sew myself a similar blazer + skirt!

+ + + + +

In addition to her highly successful acting career,

Diane is also a home design afficionado + author of this book:

diane-keaton-book

 Next, let’s have a look-see at some photos of Diane’s many** homes,

(**she moves more than we do!)

the interiors of which were designed by Stephen Shandley.

1st-dibs-diane-keaton-bel-air-house-front-porch

Seriously?  A leather sofa porch swing?  Genius!

The master bedroom at Diane Keaton's home in Pacific Palisades, CA.

People.  This is SO me!  I’ve even sewn pillows with the Swiss cross like these.

 

The stairwell at Diane Keaton's home in Pacific Palisades, CA.

OMiGosh!  Pillows in a rolling cart!

Check this out (below) — Diane + I also share a love of the “re-arrange”!

I wonder if it provides her the same morale boost as it does me?

I am loving the version at left, with all the colorful pottery.

 I love color, + am growing a tad weary of the trend of all-white decor.

What say ye?

diane-keaton-inspiration-board

Look at Diane’s inspiration board —  I love it.

And last but not least, here are a couple examples of phrases (stenciled?)

incorporated into Diane’s homes:

1st-dibs-diane-keaton-bel-air-house-kitchen-with-words

diane-keaton-library-with-words

I’m not surprised to see that Diane has so many books.  I want one of those rolling ladders, please.

I am feeling a yen for stenciling something on the walls of our house,

since that’s what I do.

Now I have to choose a phrase, don’t I?

Stay tuned!

 


Vintage Cowboy Kids Rooms

Raise your hand if you, like me,

really miss our beloved, old Country Home magazine.

I have tubs full of old issues, much to G.O.’s dismay,

but I just couldn’t bear parting with them!

Exhibit A — April 2000

img_0318

“But Kay, what inspiration can one get from a 17 year-old magazine?”

Turns out, a lot.

Exhibit A

From London designer (+ one of my style icons), Cath Kidston:

img_0315

Those framed maps are still very much on trend,

+ how much do we love those nautical quilts?

Look what I found from Fabric.com — this similar, retro-style fabric:

What’s not to love?

Tons of vintage goodness, with all that red + blue!  I’m in!

img_0311

But wait.

Do we approve of the theme for a room?

Yes, I do, (sometimes!),

especially when they’re done with so much skill + good taste.

These rooms are wonderful —

they inspired me to go find other vintage cowboy stuff online!

+ + + + +

There’s a lot of vintage barkcloth on etsy + eBay:

cowboy-bark-cloth

More vintage barkcloth — drapery panels:

cowboy-40s-50s-drapery-panels

Disclaimer: sorry there are no links.

Most of this stuff had been for sale on etsy + eBay,

+ by the time I got there, had been sold.

+ + + + +

Vintage blankets:

cowboy-vintage-blankets

OMiGosh, how cool is this vintage radio?

cowboy-radio

What a darling lunch box!

cowboy-tin-bucket

People.  You’re never going to believe this,

but this western-theme wallpaper is available

in our new, favorite designer, Cath Kidston’s, online store!

cath-kidston-wallpaper

She has brick + mortar shops, too,

+ they couldn’t be cuter!

I visited her NYC shop in the SOHO neighborhood:

cath-kidston-shop

Sadly, that NYC store has closed,

+ it looks like there are no U.S. stores right now.

No worries.  Shop online.  I did already!

Here!  Have fun!

These cuties are just a fraction of what I want to get.

(Seriously, I had to force myself to stop for this post.

There’s that much cool stuff!)

So.  My 1st post from old Country Home magazines!

What are your thoughts?  Still worth seeing?

Because trust me, I have many more!

Stay tuned!


2 Islands, No Waiting

I’m assuming that we all watched last night’s Fixer Upper episode on HGTV.

G.O. tried to watch but couldn’t stand all the Chip hi-jinks,

so he excused himself + took refuge in another room.

But that’s not what I wish to type about.

This is:

magnolia with 2 islands third

2 islands, no waiting.

It think it’s genius!

Here’s kind a blueprint-style sketch of the before + after:magnolia with two kitchens

Seems to me that I’ve seen this done before.

I tried to find Pinterest images of 2 islands in 1 kitchen, but came up empty.

Anyway, here’s a closer look-see:

magnolia with two islands

The twin islands will work wonders

for the traffic flow between the kitchen + living + dining spaces,

 more so if there was one very long island

Like Joanna did in the French country kitchen, here:

magnolia long island

Is it just me, or does anybody else think “too many footsteps!”

from the stove or the sink, all the way around the island, to the refrigerator?

surprised boy

Seriously, I noticed it right away, + I felt sad!

Perhaps the homeowners + Joanna were sad, too.

magnolia long island 2

Perhaps Joanna then opted to break up the kitchen space in last night’s house

with 2 islands instead of 1 airport runway.

Nope.

 She said that the idea for twin islands was the single man homeowner’s!

Well, kudos to him, then!

Meanwhile — here’s a look at his living space:

magnolia with 2 island living room

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I have always wanted a room with 2 couches facing each other

+ a pair of baseball glove leather chairs.

Also — did you notice the gray woodwork with the white walls?

Next house, for sure.

Stay tuned!


X Designs + Stairs

Yesterday I heaped lavish praise on this past week’s Fixer Upper project.

Its exterior makeover was epic.

fixer upper white brick house before

Perfection!

The interiors were just as beautifully done, of course.

Let’s enjoy the new kitchen, paying close attention to the X as a design element:

fixer upper x motif in kitchen

Both the island + pendants above it are sporting their own X motif.

I love it!

But wait — there’s more.  Look at the staircase re-do.

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

Once again, there’s the X motif.

Here’s another before + after look-see:

fixer upper x staircase 2

I think we can all agree that the new stairs really nailed the X motif.

Do we love it, or what?

Of course I do, as I have always been a fan of the X design.

Here are some of my favorite photos of X’s:

x motif  centsational girl

Centsational Girl

x motif 3

x motif porch 2

Hooked On Houses

 Excellent, am I right?

 Now please view a most adorable cottage right here in my hometown!

x motif porch

Need I say that I love it + want it?

The only negative, for me, is at the railings of the porch steps.

See how the distance between the posts is wider that those at the top of the steps?

The X is getting too stretched out!

And yes, that’s my only criticism of those new stairs in the Fixer Upper house —

stretched out X’s going up the stairs.

See for yourself:

fixer upper x staircase 4

See the X at the bottom of the steps?  It’s cute, right?

But the X on the railings go upstairs gets stretched too wide.

fixer upper x staircase 3

My thoughts are that if the vertical posts were closer together,

the X’s would be more pleasing.

How about 3 X’s going up the stairs, instead of 2?

fixer upper stairs from upstairs

What are your thoughts?


MEDIA WALL MUSINGS

Lately I’ve been planning our Dutch colonial’s living room in my head.

What fun!

Of course, we’ll need comfortable seating + lights for reading.

I must incorporate a TV, my books + artwork, too.

Me being me, I need to try + do this as stylishly as possible.

With a miniscule budget.

Yikes.

Let’s see what we have,

looking in from Dutch colonial’s front door:

IMG_4576(1)

Next, as seen from the adjacent dining room,

through our fabulous pocket doors:

IMG_4575(1)

A closer view of  that large, south-facing window bay:

IMG_4573(1)

Here’s the view from that bay past G.O.

+ into the dining room (+ the kitchen, just beyond):

IMG_4572(1)

We’ll have ourselves a nice, bright room!

But again — what to do with the TV, my books + artwork,

a.k.a. the media wall?

Answer:

That large, blank wall opposite the front door.

Here ’tis again:

IMG_4570(1)

Just this week while perusing Pinterest,

I found a fantastic inspiration for our media wall, here:

Don’t you love it?

It’s inside the L.A. loft of Kristan Cunningham + Scott Jarrell:

lonny magazine -- kristin cunningham and scott jarrell's LA loft

You might recognize her from the old HGTV show, Design On A Dime.

These 2 kids also own the L.A. design firm + shop,

Hammer + Spear.

lonny hammer + spear

lonny magazine -- victorian turned wood easel with mirror $750

Victorian turned wood easel with mirror $750

lonny -- painted parchessi and checkers game board hammer and spear $499

Painted Parcheesi + checkers game board $499

lonny hammer + spear laboratory perfumes scented candle $60

Laboratory Perfumes scented candle $60

 

Cowboy Grass unisex fragrance by D.S. Durga  $106

Cowboy Grass (what?) unisex fragrance by D.S. Durga
$106

Okay.  So I love everything, but it’s all too spendy for me!

It’s that miniscule budget I mentioned, before.

* * *

But I digress!  Back to their fab media wall!

Let’s have a look-see + determine why it is so awesome:

lonny -- kristin cunningham's living room mid century + walls

While it looks like a wall of expensive built-ins,

 upon closer inspection,

one realizes that they’ve actually used light-toned wood cabinets

with a matching, light-toned wood wall behind them.

It looks like those are relatively inexpensive brackets + shelves, too.

lonny -- kristin cunningham's living room mid century + walls

Please notice the high contrast between the lighter media wall

+ how dark they’ve painted every other wall.

It creates an amazing focal point!

* * *

So.  That’s what I want to try + emulate for our media wall!

Instead of the cabinets,

we could use our new/old mid-century dresser.

(We drug it home from the curb about a month ago.  Score!)

IMG_4564(1)

I like that our rescued dresser’s a whopping 64″ long;

it’s really going to make a statement in our room!

Its simple, mid-century modern good looks will ramp up our style, for sure.

IMG_4565(1)

Now to match our dresser with our wall,

as they matched their cabinets with their wall in the L.A. loft.

Our options are to refinish our dresser’s wood

+ install some sort of wood wall behind it.

Or paint everything.

I’m leaning toward painting the dresser + wall, like here.

See how the artwork “pops” + the TV kind of “disappears”?

gray dark tv and artwork pottery barn

potterybarn.com

As you no doubt noticed, I’d be switching the lights + darks

from the original loft’s media wall . . .

lonny -- kristin cunningham's living room mid century + walls

. . . + go darker for my media wall + much lighter for everything else, like this:

Look how the dark gray renders the TV nearly invisible!

gray dark accent wall -- houzz.

Houzz.com

YAY on the TV “going away” . . .

. . . sure, we have one, but who wants it to be the focal point?

Now that that’s settled (one hopes), next up is the question,

“Dark gray or dark navy?”

 

navy houzz

houzz.com

Stay tuned!


Combination Dining/Home Office In Our New House

Announcement: we’ll be seriously downsizing

when we move into the Dutch colonial.

No more 3 bedrooms + separate sewing/bozoputer room!

surprised boy

YIKES!!

Natch, this has me thinking the following:

1. organization + 2.  purging

+ lots of both!

Take the dining room.  Please.

We never dine here, at our current hacienda . . .

dining room of Kay's.

. . . so one would assume that we won’t do so in our next hacienda, either.

Speaking of which,

our Dutch colonials’ spacious + bright dining room

is open to the kitchen:

.

dining room in progress dutch colonial

Here’s my plan:

Instead of it being just a room for dining,

half of it will be our home office!

First, the dining half.

Check out the room’s spacious window bay:

.IMG_2361(1)

 It shall include a small-ish, round table

for puzzles, Scrabble + the occasional meal.

It is imperative that it be charming + attractive, along these lines:

or these:

dining room table round in bay

Source unknown

For the home office half,

it’s up to ME to somehow create a tastefulorganized home office.

surprised boy

YIKES!

Luckily/coincidentally,

I have a new, favorite designer (sorry, Sarah Richardson!),

Allison Kandler .

Here she is now:

And here’s the combo family room/home office

in her own Santa Monica, CA home:

2 words, people: awesome built-ins.

* * *

What a dream!

Sadly, our budget would never permit such awesomeness,

so it’s time to do what I do best — punt!

punt

I can totally do this!  Here’s how:

I will re-purpose our existing farmhouse table into a cool desk . . .

dining room of Kay's.

. . . + place the top, cubby portion of my postal sorter on top of it!

postal sorter

WINNING!!!

Now it’s time to search for cool yet good-looking storage

to fill those cubbies,

something along the lines of those red boxes

in Alison Kandler’s room:

alison kandler office-family room from above

Please.  That alone is worth its own blog post.

Meanwhile, you’re no doubt dying to see the rest of her house.

Go here now:

http://hookedonhouses.net/2014/05/06/creating-happy-rooms-a-colorful-farmhouse-in-the-city/

Stay tuned!


Designer Karin Blake

One of  my favorite interior designers is Karin Blake.

Architectural Digest magazine feels the same way,

as they recently named her one of their Top 100 Designers.

Here’s one reason why:

karin blake's malibu kitchen with red sashes #1

People.  This magnificence is the kitchen of her Malibu, CA cottage,

which is listed for sale for $3,795,000!

I just spied this photo yesterday in one of my favorite blogs,

Content In A Cottage.

http://contentinacottage.blogspot.com/2013/12/karin-blake-her-malibu-california-home.html

Go there to see more gorgeous photos of Karin Blake’s folk art-filled cottage.

* * * *

Meanwhile, let’s talk about the obvious why I love her kitchen!

Here’s another look-see:

karin blake's malibu kitchen from dining room

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

1. all that fantastic FOLK ART! — 2. plain Jane white cabs

3. industrial stools — 4. butcher block countertops

5. farmhouse table with its red metal box

6. the highly-coveted vintage barber pole

and most of all

(yelled like Oprah)

7. RED WINDOW SASHES!

karin blake's red sashes

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Malibu/23639-Malibu-Colony-Rd-90265/home/6854544#photoSlideShow

I found a photo of her kitchen, PRE-red window sashes:

karin blake's malibu kitchen -- before red sashes!

Architectural Digest

This kitchen still puts the OUT in outstanding,

(+ I really, really want that bulls eye),

but check out the difference the red sashes make:

karin blake's malibu kitchen with red sashes #1

I think we’re all on board, here,

with how scrumptious RED can be.

karin blake's malibu kitchen with red sashes #2

All that bright, bright white makes the colors pop,

+ I’m re-thinking my gray walls for the next house.

Stay tuned!


THE CAVENDER DIARY

2 GROWN MEN vs a 40 YEAR OLD HOUSE

Earnest Home co.

The New Traditional

down to earth digs

life in and around the garden

bubblewrappedblog

Poppable Reviews of Books, Movies, and Beauty

Lifestyle & Design Online

Sharing our life, our style, & design online.

Hommemaker

A Life & Style Site by Orlando Soria

Hooked on Houses

A Fun Place to Get Your House Fix