Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Traditional Home and Ballard Designs Inspire Another Make Over -- in Phoenix

The Shelter Magazine Joins the Hip Traditionalists at BD
to Turn a Customer's Home into A Show Place
And a Phoenix Couple Wants YOUR Help and Ideas -- for their Before! 

The homeowners are in the upper right-hand corner.
This is a page (#94 to be exact) in the latest Ballard Designs catalogue.

The only items in the needy room, submitted by homeowners Ina and Randy Gill, were the two leather chairs that you see above (and which the design team kept and used) and a guitar. The design goal focused on creating a timeless setting by layering patterns and accessories. They selected a spicy orange  -- that you'll notice on the pillow covers and the armchair throw -- to give the neutral color palette a zesty pop.

The Before Photo
From Ballard Designs

Visit Ballard Designs to see more before and after photos, in addition to the details about the makeover above. What do you think? 

Hopefully, you'll be inspired enough now to offer suggestions and ideas to the couple who own the home below....

A Before in Phoenix
That's Ready for a Sophisticated Change:

Their formal living room.
If you'd like to weigh in with some ideas on how the couple might update the room above, please chime in with thoughtful and polite comments. They would like to keep the sofas but re-upholstery them. They are open to ideas. To help, they want "comfortable elegance."

What are your favorite resources -- from upholsters to fabric centers and furniture stores -- in and around the Phoenix area? A sharing of resources might be helpful to them.

A couple of more views of their home:

(Temporary netting prevents their pup from entering the carpeted area.)

In the entry/foyer area.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Before and After Look at a Maryland Waterfront

Interior Designer Kelley Proxmire
Chooses a Blue and White Palette,
Inspired by This Tranquil River Setting:

(photos by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home)

Over the years, the Rabbitts enjoyed many memorable family times at their vacation home -- pictured above -- located in Sherwood Forest, MD. It never had occurred to them -- or, at least, initially -- to make this riverfront retreat their permanent home. But with their four children all grown up and after considering a market full of houses that really didn't compare, they decided to renovate this one, decorate it and move in. 

BEFORE -- as a Weekend Getaway:

(homeowner photo)

The homeowners hired Interior Designer Kelley Proxmire to help them update their vacation home.
(photo from Kelley's Web site)

Earlier this year, Kelley shared 
5 Tips on How to Personalize Your Own Home.
You can find that story, here.

The April issue of Traditional Home magazine, now available at bookstores, grocery stores and home improvements centers, features this home as an inspiring Before & After Remodel.

You may find more photos -- befores, too -- of this home by following this link to Traditional Home magazine.  The magazine and its Web site also provide resources, and all building and design credits -- in case you need or want the information.

Photographs by Gordon Beall
Text by Krissa Rossbund
Produced by Eileen A. Deymier

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Architect Tom Wilson Designs a mountain retreat in Alberta, Canada, and an "Airy Traditional" in the U.S. (Houston, Texas)

Two Home Owners See Red
-- But in a Very Good Way

Designer Susan Torn Young says she hauled 50 paint cans -- of various shades of red -- to her backyard in Texas to create a custom color for the kitchen cabinets now hanging in this Canadian mountain vacation home:

The homeowners like the bold and energetic color of red. The happy hue provides a complementary backdrop to the collection of folk art collected over the years by the owners -- all of which is now creatively displayed:

"The downstairs bunk beds (above) were designed to suggest the look of train berths. We used Guatemalan fabric to make the curtains.," says Susan. 

"I used a massive painted door from India (below) for the entrance into the master bedroom. I wired inexpensive tin stars with colored marbles to become light fixtures for both the interior and exterior. In the bedrooms, we hung Guatemalan fabric instead of traditional closet doors. Collected tribal rugs provide an interesting textural pattern throughout the house," says Susan. 

The stairway (below) is lined with Mexican batea trays  collected over the years.  The shelves of a green study are filled with Patanban Mexican pottery, which is green and black.

Mexican solid color glazed tile is in the three downstairs baths and the tile coordinates with the bedrooms they serve.

"Tom came to see our lot and thought it was as beautiful as we did, so we began working together again," explains one of the owners. Tom and his company, Tom Wilson Architects, had worked with them 25 years ago, when he designed the house they still call home in Houston.

"The way the trim or banding fits together in our house is just amazing.  We have so many angles and ceilings that the builder, Kevin Koronko, (who was just great -- and picky) was dubious about how it would all turn out.  It was put together differently than the other houses he had built.  His woodworker, however, was a master craftsman, and we all worked together to interpret Tom's drawings and build it true to the plans," she says.

The uniqueness of the house is due to Tom's design and the way he made use of the fabulous views, say the owners.  "His trim design is amazing."

"Warm Heart"
That's the title the editors at Kitchen and Bath Ideas magazine gave to the kitchen owned by Phyllis and Jack Selber in Houston. "Warm Heart." 
Their kitchen and dining room are featured in the current issue of KBI -- a project I worked on with photographer Gustav Schmiege. 

Phyllis says she literally dreamed about this kitchen. And she absolutely fell in love with Benjamin Moore's "red bay" paint color, which she used on the island:

(from KBI)

(from KBI)

In the article, written by Andria Hayday, Tom Wilson describes his approach to the stacked cabinets, subtle night lighting and overall framing of the space design. You can find this issue of KBI at most book stores, home improvement centers and grocery stores. And there's a shot of Phyllis' great gift wrapping station, too!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Ken Tate Home -- in Houston

Architectural Digest Placed Him
on Its Top 100 List:
Architect Ken Tate
(photo from AD)

The owner of this Houston home introduced me -- a number of years ago -- to Mr. Tate's work....

Mr. Tate designed the home above for the owners who invited me to come visit after a magazine I worked with photographed their Galveston Island get-away for publication. What a jewel! It's one of my favorites. The photos below give you a little peek behind the large front doors and the upstairs shuttered area. Enjoy the details, the materials, the overall style....These are from my files.

The main door of the house itself is to the right.


From His Web Site:
Ken Tate Architect -- portfolio photos

About Him

"I always consider the setting,” says architect Ken Tate, “whether it is a hilltop in the horse country or a suburban neighborhood. The house must be in perfect harmony with its surroundings.” Tate, who received his degree from Auburn University in Alabama, is associated with the New Classicist movement, but he experimented with a variety of styles before founding his own firm in 1984. “Since I am a pluralist, I am inspired by very diverse subject matter,” he says. The Pantheon, the Guggenheim and New Orleans’s French Quarter are among the places that stimulate his creativity. Tate enjoys incorporating unexpected elements into his designs, such as a “French dovecote or a classical barn, which the clients might not have thought of.” Many of his best ideas, he says, are born organically. “Solutions based in intuition can be far better and more innately pleasing than those arrived at through intellectual grappling." (from his Web site)

The Story in Architectural Digest.

The Other Top 100 -- named by Architectural Digest.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Concierge to the Stars Shares Her Secrets in the Book, "Consider It Done."

How Do you Create a Family Crest?
How Do You Eat a Host's Terrible Cooking?
How Do You Bake an Engagement Ring in a Souffle?
How Do You Throw an Impromptu Dinner Party?
How Can You Locate a Fabric From a Photo?

There are 223 more topics and tips in Julie Subotky's book -- 
in case you were wondering ... 
how to sneak an elephant into a public park (for an Indian wedding).

Julie Subotky, is the founder, CEO and owner of Consider It Done (also the name of her new book)a high-end lifestyle management and personal concierge company that she established when living in Aspen, Colorado. "People would arrive in town and not know who to call when they needed something done," she says. She did everything from finding babysitters, to arranging jet charters and coordinating New Year's eve parties. She later moved to New York City and discovered even more people needed her help.
Julie Subotky

Since moving to the Big Apple, she has developed a star-studded client list and worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Revlon and The GAP. She also recently appeared on the Nate Berkus show. A few pointers from her book:

Chapter 9 
Home Sweet Home

How to Organize Your Closet in 20 Minutes
  • Important step is to get matching hangers. Not the wire ones but the preferred nonslip or wooden ones, which you can easily and affordably find at Target, IKEA, the Container Store or online at www.henryhanger.com) Everything looks more organized when using matching hangers.
  • Take 3 nice looking -- and roomy -- shopping bags. Label them: Donate, Keep and Store.  Remove everything from the closet, "toss it all on the bed," and divide out into the bags.
If you don't have a place to store your seasonal or party attire -- items that may crowd an "everyday" closet, consider a closet in another room, getting a storage unit,  or looking into online services, such as www.garderobeonline.com

How to Add a Room to Your Apartment or Loft

Open-plan rooms look great in glossy magazines, she says, but they often don't work in "real" life. She offers a tip that could cost as little as a few hundred to a few thousand:

  • Temporary walls. They're quick to put up and remove. And landlords typically don't mind since they are not permanent. The best part, she says, is that they look like real walls. And you can lease them.
  • Temporary Wall companies: www.thewallpeople.com and www.citywallny.com
Additional topics in this particular chapter:
  • How to keep your basement organized.
  • How to fix a hole in the wall.
  • How to make sure your renovations are completed on time.
  • How to baby-proof a tiny apartment.
  • How to "green" your home and get the kids involved.
  • How to disassemble and re-install an antique chandelier.
And she dishes on more . . . and includes personal ancedotes. It's funny. It's serious. And some things you might say, "Oh, yeah, I knew that." But, then you also realize, you don't know it all. 

Oh, my, this book covers everything!  And I do like the fact that she often shares actual resources instead of just outlining the resolve and wishing you luck. 

Other topics -- and some unusual ones --that you might one day need (you never know!):
  • How to ship a wedding dress half way around the world.
  • How to get on a reality show.
  • How to install a bowling alley in your basement.
  • How to create your own wine cellar.
  • How to get a present delivered on Christmas morning.
  • How to channel your deceased pet.

I received an advance, unedited paperback book by publishers to review. I agreed to share excerpts of the book with you.
It is now available at bookstores. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sharing Some Bright Spots in a Happy Colorado Home

New-Retro Style Conveys Feel-Good Comfort

The owners of this 19th-century home in Salida approached their remodeling plans both thoughtfully and carefully. The decision to add a master suite and a large spacious kitchen with an adjoining breakfast area ranks high on remodeling payoff lists (see this Kiplinger report). My bet is that this home fares especially well when it's time to sell, because of the attention to detail. For instance, take a look below at how the new, two-story construction (which is to the left) keeps consistent with the original style of this wood-brick Victorian home:

Who doesn't like a spacious kitchen?!

(As you can see, I went visiting during the holidays.)

I like a kitchen where you can move around easily -- and one that can accommodate many. After all, isn't that where everyone ends up? At least in the states.....It's interesting that in the 1800s and into the 20th century, kitchens often were separated from the main house. Now, kitchens are the heart of the home, where people gather to help cook and converse. It is the new living room. This kitchen invites all to come in and get comfortable. 

Note the juxtaposition of high-end Carrera marble countertops with the affordable and very "green" roll-out Linoleum floor. The space feels like it's always been part of the home, evolving in a stylish way over a period of time. (For more information about Linoleum, which is made from oxidized linseed oil mixed with plant materials, take a look at these types.

The deep vintage sink and country-checked curtain keep this space grounded. And the open shelving along with the glass-fronts create an airy space. The backsplash is subway tile. And note the little "cubby to the right of the sink for  extra towels. 

The brick is the original exterior wall. Everything from there and forward is newly constructed.

Using the end of the island for a bookcase is a nice idea for a built-in.
Note the "furniture leg" and decorative border.

Jane made the table cloth from an easy-to-clean oilcloth. She also made the cafe curtains, pillows and window seat cushions. This accent color adds a lot of cheery punch.

When entering the upstairs addition, it actually feels like a large built-out attic space. A space that has always been there.... Note the interesting architectural lines:

Such cool, fresh colors....Not the expected Victorian or mountain look.
A very relaxing space.

The new master bath.

Note the glass mosaic tiles embedded into the beadboard paneling.

The glass mosaic tiles continue as a backsplash....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Six Things to Like About This Galveston Island Beach House

#1. This vintage sink:

Laurie Cuthbertson, owner of Houston's "Welcome Home," a decorative arts company, always had plans for this old sink. At the time she bought it; however, she didn't know exactly where it would go. But she went with her hunch to buy it. She would figured out the "where" another time.

The time eventually came when she and her husband decided to build a custom home on Galveston island. She had the 1920s-era sink basin painted  Sherwin Williams' "Aquatint," #6936, and then placed in a half bath.  

#2. Unexpected Architectural Lines

Laurie and Bob's master bathroom -- with its V-groove ceilings, colorful knobby pulls, the Dash & Albert striped rug and wood plank walls -- conveys a feel-good country feeling. The architectural pitch frames a soaking tub, giving the space a sense of separation.

#3 An Old Bar Gains New Purpose

 The couple bought this old long-leaf pine bar in Salado, Texas, a long time ago. 
Laurie painted it a washed out blue -- to give it a beachy look, using both Sherwin Williams' "Raindrop," #6485 and "Meander Blue," #6484. They placed it in their living room where it serves as a multi-media center. They placed receivers and such on the shelves and turned it around so the back faces the front of the room. 

#4 Beach Art

Found items -- driftwood, shells and tumbled glass -- when beachcombing become hand-made art.

#5 Timeless Shutters

Who needs a painting when these old shutters convey such character and story?

#6 An Antique Door Grounds a New Space

Laurie and Bob bought this old door in Gonzales at an architectural warehouse. They retro-fitted it as a pantry door.

Special thanks goes to Laurie's friend who suggested her home as a feature for "Coast," a Galveston magazine. If you'd like to read the story I did on her home -- and to get the paint colors she used in their home, please visit this Galveston Daily News link.

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