A Kaleidoscopic Hillside Haven

When clients expand the scope of a project, I'm happy to oblige. If you recall, I finished reading rooms for Mom and her Mini-me a couple of months ago. After we completed the reading rooms, Mom thought it high time the rest of her house got a makeover. 

The client is a fan of Scandinavian furniture and clean lines, and a lover of whimsy and color. Basically, I love what she loves. Although we were starting with a couple of existing pieces, we we needed to find some new classic foundation pieces for both the living and dining rooms. Also, the key to success here was making sure to find balance in the eclectic design we were implementing in each room. Ready? Here we go. 

The living room is this family's main living area. In San Francisco, space is expensive and runs at a premium so there are no separate play rooms or family rooms. This room has to be multipurpose and remain "adult" enough to entertain guests. Below is the before. 


Do you spy that beautiful Finn Juhl Poet Sofa? The graceful curves are so inviting. The client had recently splurged on it. Now she just needed the rest of the room to match. We aimed for a sophisticated collected design, emphasizing the thoughtful use of color. We changed out the rug, larger brown sofa and coffee table. We needed tones to compliment the purple blue of the Poet and the brown sofa just wasn't cutting it. Also, although the artwork on the walls was interesting and captured the spirit of the room, I felt that a couple of larger pieces would be more well suited. We made all of these changes and you can see the transformation below. 

Undeniably stunning. Go bold or go home. And we made this work. We matched the jewel tone of the Poet with this dark canary yellow sofa. To balance the vibrancy of these colors, I accessorized with monochromatic hues elsewhere. The cabled wool rug and the warmness of the wood tray tops bring in different textures and interest. 

Not a fan of yellow? If this room doesn't convert you, I don't know what will. Just the warmest and coziest of rooms. I've never been to any of the Scandinavian countries that produce the furniture that inspired this room but I'm thinking they would approve. Let's move on to the adjacent dining room. Below is the before. 

If you scroll back up to the living room, we moved the Nelson pendant light to the living room.  I thought we needed a light with more impact for the dining room. The rug and table were going. We were keeping and adding to the Eames chairs. With beautiful original built-ins for storage staying, the transformation for this room was easy and swift. See below. 

Yes, you may recognize this rug. I've used it before and in a nursery. But it was just too perfect not to use it again here. To balance the strong colors in the adjacent living room, we kept things here really simple and neutral. Yet we carried over the same principles, clean lines and adherence to Scandinavian design. 

One last space. For the life of me I can't find a before photo of the foyer sadly. But we did do a mini makeover for the space. We cleared out the clutter, hung a large mirror and created an ideal landing space for this busy family. Take a peek below. 

Wrapping up this project felt so good. Everything just gelled together which doesn't happen for every project. This home has magic in the air and if you're ever lucky enough to visit, you would agree. 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving festivities, I hope you're taking pleasure in the enjoyment of your own home. Thanks for reading. 

A Light Filled Sanctuary

It's still early in October but already this month has proven to be crazy busy. When it starts to feel a little overwhelming I conjure the image of this home I just finished. It's the epitome of serenity.

The client's home was a wonderful canvas to work with. It had an abundance of natural light, rich wood ceilings and beams. Even the entrance to the home was enchanting. 

Background. The client and her husband and moved from Brooklyn into this adorable Bay Area cottage earlier this year. She sought my assistance for her home because she just couldn't figure out how to bring it together. I do have my own personal style, but I sincerely believe that when I'm designing for a client, my job is to help guide and edit my client's style. That is what I have done here. This client is a true minimalist, and preferred to bring in color through plants and accessories. The less there is in a room, the better it has to be since the eye will easily pick out flaws. Here we go! Below is the before of the living area.  

This home has so many windows and gets the most lovely natural light throughout the day. The original plan was to replace the sectional. However, in the end, the client decided to get the existing sectional a facelift with a new cover and legs. Here is the after! 

The real challenge for me was to adhere to the client's minimalist preferences while making sure the house felt like a home by bringing in warmth and life. To achieve this, my plan was to bring a healthy number of plants, a variety of different textures and a neutral foundation. Like many of my clients nowadays, this client decided to forgo a traditional coffee table and instead opted for a fun pouf. The console table behind the sectional can also serve as a landing space for beverages. And there can never be enough plants - here is a closer view. 

When a room has a neutral palette, one way to draw the eye's interest is to diversify the textures in the space. This is something that is often overlooked in most homes. Look closely at the plant containers, we have many different kinds of containers (woven, ceramic, metal, etc.) all in the same color palette to keep things cohesive. I've done the same with the throw pillows on the section by including a number of different fabrics (velvet, textured wool, silk, cotton). 

Since we didn't have a coffee table in the space, I found this great side table ON WHEELS! So the client and her husband can move this around as needed, this table is functional and beautiful! 

On the other side of the living room is the TV area. The client already had a vintage dresser we were planning on using. To complete the area, we decided on a gallery wall which I installed. See below for the before. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, installing gallery walls are difficult and painstaking. But I've never been disappointed after finishing one, you can achieve so much impact at relatively little cost. Scroll down for the after! 

It's the ideal blend of vintage and modern. You may notice something different with this media area compared to most you see on the blogosphere where gallery walls are used to "hide" the TV. The TV here is not centered. The clients are not big TV watchers, actually they rarely use this TV. Instead of building a gallery wall around a permanent fixture in their room that they rarely use, I gave them the option of moving the screen completely when not in use. If I had hung the gallery wall solely around the TV, there would be large unattractive wall space when the TV was removed. 

The lamp was from a pair that the client had on her nightstands. The black frames allow the colors from the prints to jump off the wall and catch your eye. 

Let's move on to the console area. Here is the before, basically an empty canvas waiting to be filled with something great! Here is the before. 

Yup, a sad empty corner. Nothing really to say. Here is the after!

I love this landing space, it's practical and beautiful. The basket to hold whatever you need on hand. The blue velvet ottoman is perfect for taking your shoes on/off or plopping down your bag after a long day at work. We reused the second lamp from the bedroom here. A closer look below. 

And finally our last stop, the bedroom. If it's chaos everywhere else in your home, at the very least, your bedroom should be a sanctuary. I am a believer that your atmosphere truly affects your productivity and well-being and that rings true especially in the bedroom. Here is the before.  

Excuse the extra fabric on the bed, the client was showing me some additional bedding. As you can see, this room was craving for just a hint of color, a bed frame and a little bit of polish. Like magic, we were able to make things happen, see below! 

You can't go wrong with that rich navy bed frame, especially against the warmness of the wood in the nightstands and ceiling. The small bud print on the sheets bring in that little something, the extra detail that makes a room from good to great. To keep things airy and simple per the client's wishes, I chose prints that were smaller in scale as can be seen in the bedding here and the rug below. 

I know, how cute is this kitty? I believe his name is Crispy. His face may not say it, but he's a fan of the new bedroom. 

And one of my favorite parts of this house is this hearth. I added some plants to border it, bringing in some green.  I absolutely loved worked with this client and her home. In some ways, going over the top can be easy, there can be so much going on there is more to hide behind. When designing with the utmost restraint, everything must be placed with intention and thought. which is what we did for this light filled sanctuary.

Thanks for reading!