Thursday, May 13, 2010

Going, Going, Gone

I think it's safe to say we all remember designer Melissa Warner's stunning Los Angeles rental featured in the May issue of House Beautiful. Two of a number of standout pieces in the project are shown above -- the upholstery treatment on the hooded chair (I apologize in advance for copying this in the near future, Melissa) and the gorgeous sideboard from Baker.

I find sideboards and buffets to be a hard one -- many of them are pretty dull and/or traditional, or they veer too far into the contemporary side, feeling like some weird relic from the 1980s. And if I see another vintage mid-century modern credenza, I'm going to bury myself under a stack of Dwell magazines.

Melissa's sideboard is the Viceroy from Baker, which after researching for a client, has apparently been discontinued. A few weeks ago there were only 4 more available -- and now, thanks to my lucky client -- there are only 3! I have to assume it was discontinued due to a lack of interest. Whaaa?

And you don't even know the best part: the interior of the piece is painted this color:

Could you die? I hope three of you out there snap up the last few. Think of it as three more homeless McCobb sideboards.

(Side note: fab garden stool is from Baker's Tony Duquette collection, or as I like to think of it, my own personal crack.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

California Dreaming

Remember my long-distance client in California with this to-die-for home?

A number of weeks ago I received an e-mail from a friend of hers who liked what I had done, wondering whether I might be interested in helping her revamp a few spots throughout her home. Of course I jumped at the chance, having had such a great experience working with her friend. And when I saw the photos of her home, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Take a peek:

Exterior view of the home, taken from the garden. Can't you just imagine yourself sunbathing by that pool, nestled snuggly on the hillside? Heaven on earth for those of us in gray Seattle.

Entryway, currently papered in a subtle print (soon to be not-so-subtle...she came to the right person!)

Dining Room, in Farrow & Ball's "Folly Green." I instantly like someone who would select this color for their dining room. Takes some chutzpah.

The furnishings are all family antiques, so we are freshening things up with a more contemporary sideboard and new curtains. Love the large-scale diamond pattern on the Stark natural fiber rug.

So many elements in the kitchen that I love: the stove (to die for), the bold wall tile, simple yet slightly funky glass pendants in the eating nook, and fun yet classic fabric on windows and bench seats.

Upstairs landing -- that chandelier is the perfect shade of blue.

Gorgeous Manuel Canovas drapes in the youngest child's room -- we'll be doing a coordinating fabric on the rocker and custom pillows for the bed. The color scheme of lavender and chartreuse is perfect for a little girl's changing style -- youthful and fresh without feeling juvenile.

Heading downstairs to the playroom... again, a client with the courage for a runner like this is the stuff dreams are made of. This one's from Stark and would make me smile every time I walked up and down the stairs.

The kids' playroom -- I want to move in! My kids would be green with envy.

In looking at the photos of their home, I admired several gorgeous landscapes sprinkled throughout the rooms, only to discover they were painted by one of the clients. Here are some of my favorite pieces from his Web site:

Stay tuned for "after" photos as we begin making some changes.... I just had to share pics of this gorgeous spot as it is today. It's such a treat to work with clients who begin with so many beautiful elements already in place!

Come to Mama

Mother's Day is once again upon is, and being a mother to two young girls myself, it's always a time for reflection. All I want this year for Mother's Day is to be surrounded by my lovely daughters laughing, playing, and just enjoying one another's company.


Here's what I really want:
Mommy loves you, Piper and Romy, but nothing can come between a woman and her love for vintage glass lighting.

I often see to-die-for lamps from Swank Lighting used throughout projects from favorite designers like Tobi Fairley, but I haven't yet had the opportunity (read: budget) to place any of their pieces in a project. I certainly hope to remedy that, because these lamps are gorgeous enough to make an entire room.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there who keep the world turning, hopefully with more grace and composure than this mom manages. Treat yourself to something swanky!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dog Gone It (or, How Oly Saved Two Dogs' Lives)

I often think that interior design is 20% creative, inspiring work and 80% problem-solving and trouble-shooting....everything from tracking back-ordered products to securing missing components to replacing damaged goods to figuring out how to handle a drunk contractor -- but that's a story for another day.

Earlier in the week I received a forlorn e-mail from a client who had just taken receipt of a few fabulous, not inexpensive case goods from Oly Studio. My first instinct when I read the words, "I'm so sorry to bother you but..." is to brace myself for what will follow, but what I read surpassed even my wildest expectations. Here's an excerpt:

"This may or may not be a first for you in client dealings, but here goes: I was hoping that when I woke up this morning, it was a nightmare of some sort, but one look at our dining room at 6:15 am reminded me that it wasn't! Our dogs (1 big and 1 small) slept out of their crates last night for one of the seldom nights that we let them. They are so well behaved and easy going that leaving them roam and sleep where they choose has never presented a problem in the past. So, when I woke up at 1:15 am to a funny noise I assumed it was them fighting over a piece of stray bone or dog toy. To my incredible dismay!!!!....they had been gnawing on the leg of the brand new dining room table. Maybe they mistook the claw feet as real?! I don't know but they normally aren't chewers. I almost started to cry."

I almost started to cry myself, reading this, as she had just taken delivery of the table only a day or two earlier, after waiting several months to receive it, and it was not an inexpensive purchase.

Here's what it looked like when she received it:

And here's what the legs looked like after man's best friends had their way with them:

The horror!

I immediately contacted Oly, who were not immediately optimistic about remedying the situation, being that their pieces are all handmade and not assembled from components. However, to my delight, I received a call from their wonderful claims manager, Tammy (yea, Tammy!) letting me know that in an amazing coincidence, they had just received another Oscar dining table with a damaged TOP -- the legs of which can be refinished to match our black top, and they are providing it to my client AT NO COST!

We all hear so many stories of horrific customer service that I simply had to share this tale of heroic effort from Oly. Readers, please visit Oly and buy, buy, buy! Of course I am happy to help with the "buy" component. ;-)

Thank you, Oly, for thrilling my client and allowing two dogs to live another day. I'm betting they will be doing some serious crate time going forward.
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