Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Textbook Tuesday | Tom Scheerer - More Decorating

When I ponder the start of autumn the first things I think of are school, a fresh start, fall fashion, and beautiful new book releases. I am so excited about this seasons line up of amazing new coffee table books, and I plan to give you several reviews over the coming weeks. Vendome Press is always a leader in the design genre, and this fall is no different; let's kick start the season with Tom Scheerer: More Decorating (photography by Francesco Lagnese).

I am a huge fan of the widely-published Scheerer and his impeccable design work. I was so drawn to the cover above, and even more excited when I pulled the dust jacket off and realized it's just as pretty underneath - it's hard to capture in a photo but the cane cover is actually textured and so divine in person!

In Scheerer's second book, he showcases 16 of his latest projects which are divided into three chapters. 'Town' features projects in Paris, New York, and Houston; 'Summer' is all about the Hamptons, Nantucket and Maine; finally 'The Tropics' sends the reader through Harbour Island, Antigua, and Abaco. I thought I'd be able to pick a favorite space or even favorite chapter but it's quite near impossible:

This chic Paris bedroom with a handsome pair of Louis XVI-style commodes and moss green velvet is simply sumptuous and really caught my eye:

Tom's expert use of color is so restrained but so impactful. Somehow against logic, he creates spaces that are simultaneously neutral and serene, yet colorful and energizing:

Probably my favorite use of orange I have ever seen, look at the base of those stairs!

Tom Scheerer: More Decorating is required reading for any self-proclaimed design enthusiast and all professionals in the field. He has mastered the ability to create serene and layered spaces that exude effortless beauty. Put this one on your list for the gorgeous statement it will make on your coffee table, and the endless inspiration it contains within its pages!

You can preorder your copy here (released Sept 17, 2019).


Monday, September 16, 2019

Entertaining Spaces: The Enfilade

I have always loved when rooms are connected directly to one another with perfectly aligned doorways and no waste of space on a hallway between them. You will often see this style of floor plan in luxe New York apartments, and especially on the Upper East Side. But did you know there is a fancy technical term for this layout? Enfilade. An enfilade is defined as an interconnected suite of rooms arranged in a row with aligned cased openings, with each room opening into the next. Typically in a high-end apartment like the ones I'm featuring here, there is an enfilade of entertaining spaces such as a library/office, living room, and dining room.

room image via Not Enough Hangers

You can see the living room above looks through to a dining room, this space was photographed by Robert Khederian of whom I first learned of the term enfilade. Now in the reverse direction you can see the same dining room below looking out to the living room and library.

Here you can see again three spaces aligned in the home of Alex Papachristidis, with a more zoomed in view just below it. 

If you love a good enfilade shot, you'll find many of them over on Garrow Kedigian's instagram:

And lastly, likely my most favorite enfilade of all times, in the home of Aerin Lauder. Her chic navy library can be seen in a beautifully lit evening shot of the living room below, and then in a reverse direction you can see from the living room into the dining room. The doorways appear to be aligned though I wish we could see a single view through all three rooms from the library or the dining room looking out. Beyond stunning!

via Aerin

via Aerin

If I could ever build a custom home one day, I think an enfilade would be high on my must-have list, how perfect would it be for dinner parties? Guests could freely mingle between each of these entertaining spaces. And imagine Christmas morning surrounding the tree in the living room and moving over to the dining room for breakfast! In my mind there are so many benefits to this layout, what are your thoughts? Are you lusting over the enfilade like me?


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One Room Challenge Final Reveal | Spring 2019

Welcome! What started out as a 6-week One Room Challenge ended up as a ORC x 2 (around 12 weeks!!). But alas, things got a little out of my hands when trades were involved and timelines changed. Finally, I have the reveal of our exterior renovation completed for your viewing pleasure. After all, everyone loves a before & after right? Here we go ... if you've been following me through week 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, you know that we started with a stucco-clad suburban 1989 builder basic abode.


We stripped the stucco in favor of cedar shakes, and it changed everything! Below I'll show you step by step some of the other elements that made this refresh come together.


I screen-shoted from a few video clips I have yet to compile with some 'after' reveal video clips, just to show you another view of the before's. Look at me, so gleefully unaware of all the craziness of the project I was about to undertake ... and just a month pregnant in these photos too! Talk about biting off more than you can chew ...

You can really see the close up of the California stucco, and that old front door and brick here:

So off came the stucco faster than we could say 'exterior reno,' and we decided to change up the 3 windows in the gables to create a more modern look:

Once the shakes were up and the windows and millwork were complete, we had one last job to tackle; the bricks. Upon inspection before purchasing the home, we were told the bricks above the garage were sagging and at risk of falling (as you can see directly below). A few years later, with two babies in tow, we did not want to take that risk any longer:

Since we had to repair the brick, we considered other options and their costs (ie, replacing with a different stone or replacing with more shakes); in the end a simple repair was the most cost-effective option. So we thought, instead of painting the bricks, what if we just re-pointed them with tons of mortar so that if some bricks came tumbling down we could manage to replace them and disguise them if they weren't a perfect match (because surprise surprise, they don't make these yucky 1980's colorways any more). So down the bricks came and up the extra-thick mortar went!

At this point in the job, I think our neighbours were standing by thinking, 'what in the world are they doing to their house?'

You can see in this progress shot the mortared vs. unmortared areas. In week 3 I also explained we had to re-adjust the spot the exterior lights were placed as they were originally at different heights (who does that?)!!





This was probably the best shot I got showing the difference between the overly-mortared and unmortared areas. Some visitors have told us it literally looks like we put up all-new bricks!

I love the window box in a spot that was quite lifeless before:

I left only boxwood hedge without any other plants behind because we need to access a main water tap in this corner, so again a window box was a way to fill the space without impeding on practicality.

Love love love the brass chinoiserie lanterns, and just in case you were curious I've included the Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams paint colors below:

Thank you so much for your patience waiting for this much overdue conclusion to an extended version of a ORC! I hope you had some fun taking a peek at what we've done. I know there are 100 more things I would have loved to do with this reno, but considering we stuck to a budget and squeezed every drop out of the funds we had to get the look we wanted, I'm quite proud of what we were able to achieve! As always, thanks for being on this journey with me. Xo

See all the other fabulous results of the ORC Spring 2019 edition here.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

One Room Challenge Week 5 | Spring 2019

Sorry for my Week 5 delayed post! Not much has been happening sadly and I think I can say with confidence that we won't be finishing in the 6-week time frame. The trouble has been that our masonry repair has been delayed and it's not in our hands! Workers should be on site today but they've put us so behind that I think it's impossible. That's trades work for you, always delayed!!!

So the photo above I've included to show you an "overly" mortared brick on our chimney. Our front bricks will be less so (see below). But this was done heacily on purpose to stop a leak in our chimney, and it was what sparked my interest in lightening up the front facing bricks for a little 'weathered' Charleston charm, like this:

Fingers crossed that in the next couple of weeks I will have the final completed look to post! May be a week or two late, but I have to let go control as I'm not a masonry expert and I've got to wait for the experts ...

In other news we have progress with a painted black fence!

The neighbour let us paint all the way to their side of their home for a consistent look! Always helpful when you have people who see your vision :) Perhaps some pretty white hydrangeas will adorn this side yard in future years, wouldn't that look so good against the black?

Wish me luck to reach the finish line! And in the meantime make sure to be following all the awesome transformations for week 5 and soon week 6!

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