Dreamy Denver Project

I finished this project last year, which feels like forever ago, but went back and had it shot in September of this year.  It's very much a classic house, a home you want to visit for a holiday party, so I think it's especially apt to share it now. Plus it's in Denver which reminds me of snow and seasons . . . things we lack in California, not that I'm complaining. It's always nice to VISIT snow, anyway. 

These clients recently moved from Manhattan to Denver. Not only were they dramatically changing their scenery, they had also purchased a new house and needed help with decorating and furnishing. Their aesthetic preferences leaned a bit more traditional than what I usually do, but I was more than up for the challenge.  Ready? I apologize in advance, I only have grainy real estate before photos of the home since I didn't do an initial site visit.  Here we go. Below is the before/after of the living room.

As you can see, although we adhered to a more traditional style, we lightened everything up. The beautiful woodwork framing the doorways and windows in this room are the highlight and we wanted to make sure nothing detracted from that. Since this also serves as the formal living room and the family room, it was important to keep toys hidden but easily accessible. Do you spy those baskets in the bookcase? A bounty of toys lie just behind that wicker, which makes everyone happy. 

Paint does wonders, right? Before, it was very much a beige box with layers of neutrals that didn't really allow this room to shine or allow the special details such as the gilded iron work to stand out. A coat of gray paint with some weathered yet elegant dining furniture transforms this room into one made for holiday dinners and celebrations. The chandelier is statement-making and shimmers so nicely when turned on. My favorite touch is the abstract art, something unexpected that elevates this room nicely. 

Paint does wonders, right? Before, it was very much a beige box with layers of neutrals that didn't really allow this room to shine or allow the special details such as the gilded iron work to stand out. A coat of gray paint with some weathered yet elegant dining furniture transforms this room into one made for holiday dinners and celebrations. The chandelier is statement-making and shimmers so nicely when turned on. My favorite touch is the abstract art, something unexpected that elevates this room nicely. 

For our last room, let's head upstairs to the master bedroom. 

Photography by  Chandler Kim

Photography by Chandler Kim

Moving on to the dining room. Below are the before and after photos. 
A true master retreat, complete with a sitting area! It's interesting to see the staged photos of the room and compare it to the current state. The traditional style was implemented in both instances. However, you can see how different the room looks from the before/after photos. It illustrates how interpretations of a style can vary widely. With a soft palette of neutrals and tufting, we've created a master bedroom that is romantic and serene. 

I hope you enjoyed this before and after and I hope you have a great holiday season! 

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. 

IMG_8313.jpg

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. 

Mill Valley Project, Part Deux

Finally here! Mill Valley Project, Part Deux. If you want the background, rewind and read all about it here.  It feels like we've been working on this project for a while, but not so. We tackled this large transformation and completed it about two months. Whew. Just tired thinking about it.

Quick recap? The family was moving into this new home within 30 days because the newest addition to the family was dying to come into this world, basically 2 weeks after move-in. We tried to accomplish as much as we could in a month despite a host of logistical hurdles. And for the most part we did! But as is the case with projects like this, we needed more time to perfect things. This post is about my second installation where we finished the rest of the rooms and put finishing touches on others. 

We saved the best for last, ready? Here we go. 

Let's start with the kids' rooms. Here is the before of C's room with the staging furniture. 

Granted this was with the staged furniture and staging is a very hard job, but I definitely wasn't feeling the curtains or the red pendant light, especially for the cutest girl I know. With good bones and a clean canvas, this room was relatively easy in terms of design. We wanted to make sure it was a room that C could grow into. So for curtains and lighting we chose items that were slightly more traditional. For accessories, we had more fun.  Below are the after photos. 

Decor above cribs can be challenging. I long to hang a gallery wall or even just a nice framed print but in California I would never dare. Earthquakes are a reality. A great solution? A colorful garland can cover that bare wall in a beautiful way.  Here, C can stand in her crib now so I hung it a bit higher so she can't reach and pull it down. Safety first. 

This guy's name is Floppy and he's just perfect. He was just a digital file that I printed out so nothing too valuable or precious. Floppy's monochrome colors tone down the cuteness level just a bit to the right level of sophistication. 

Onward! Let's move on to H's room. Below are the before photos with the staging furniture. 

LIke C's room, very much a blank canvas that was crying for some fun and personality. Here are the after photos. 

As most of you know, for the first few months, a nursery may remain empty while the baby stays with mom and dad. I wanted to make sure H had a room he would enjoy and love when he was ready. Adhering to the minimalist theme throughout the house, I kept things clean, bright and modern. Mom and dad can fill things out with all the baby necessities when H is ready for his own room. 

On to the TV room. This room sits outside the kids' room and will be primarily be used for family hangouts and play. Accordingly, we chose comfortable and kid-friendly seating along with minimal accessories to keep things clutter free. Here is the before again furnished by the stagers.  

We can do better right? We want a kid friendly lounge area but not one that is literally screaming that this is for kids only. 

The coziest corner. I kept everything neutral and soothing so that when there is a huge pile of toys on the floor, it won't be so bad. The long bench cushions also keep things visually clean and attractive. 

With no coffee table, it was important to provide as much landing spaces as possible for coffee, water and wine. These nesting tables were an ideal solution. A secret? These aren't actually marble but they look so real. Even better for a space dominated by kids, right? No need to worry about watermarks or etching. 

Last but not least, let's head upstairs to the master suite. Below is the before, again with the staging furniture. 

The clients were ready for a change. Their old bedroom furniture was dark wood that felt a bit heavier. We wanted to start with a clean slate, bring in some modernity with a mix of classic. Below is the after. 

So fresh and so clean. That about sums it up. With those beams and all that natural light pouring in, I would never get out of bed if I lived here. The neutral headboard and nightstands are mainstays, a good foundation for any bedding. The lamps are different in both shape and color and add interest. The ideal sanctuary for busy parents. 

Thanks for joining me on this Mill Valley journey. Hope you had as much fun as I did!