Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Malibu, Montecito, Westlake Village...or Spain

I just read the brilliant House of Turquoise this morning. I was so thrilled to see my beautiful hometown! There was no question; this house was nestled in the hills of Malibu/Westlake, or maybe nearby Santa Barbara. "Thanks God, I live here," I thought, "There is nowhere else I'd rather live." Or is there...

Turns out, I was wrong. (There's always a first.) This house is actually in Spain!

This is the vacation home of an English couple, Linda and Martin Bradbury.

I love the architectural details, the decor and especially that view!

To see more photos, check out El Mueble and click on Galleria.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Design Trends: Sitting Pretty and a Little Brassy

I was just reading through House Beautiful's top 10 trends for 2013 and was elated to see a few 'trends' I've always loved, all of which have been brewing in my current project: A Kitchen and adjacent four season Sitting Porch:

  • Brass
  • Pretty
  • Antiques

Okay, so the husband is still resisting all the brass...but I'm not one to lay down my design sword so easily. These are two spaces in that new construction New England style farmhouse. My clients are a very young family with very traditional taste and a huge appreciation for art and antiques. Bonus: They love Blue + White! So, as you can imagine, I've basically been in Heaven. Oh, and they "love color and pattern." Heaven. (And design trend #5!)

The kitchen will look something like this. 

I love that large scale blue floral. It's Brunschwig and Fils's Kasmiri, a rich, weighty linen printed with various shades of blue. I'd specified those Charles Edwards light fixtures before the lot was even graded. I think I actually dreamt of them in the womb.

Brunschwig and Fils, Kashmiri

Dark walnut floors and woven shades will ground the all white cabinetry and countertops. And of course there's that Perrin and Rowe bridge faucet in English Bronze. I'd pushed for the Inca Brass, but at least the English Bronze is a living finish that will patina to a dark brass over the years. (FYI, if your clients don't want this to happen, Rohl makes a product that helps retain their new finishes. But a living finish is still a living finish, so some 'wear' will occur). 

My sketch of the tile and sink.

The question became, How would we segue from a totally blue and white kitchen to the adjacent green and white sitting porch my clients wanted? We all wanted a fresh, green porch, with the feel of treillage, but architecturally the spaces were so connected I couldn't turn my back on the kitchen's blue antique delft chandelier and Country Floors tiles. 

So I decided to do a blue and green porch. I still had to find a fabric that incorporated cobalt and grass green. This proved to be nearly impossible. Until my brilliant Kravet rep, Cheryl, sent me this Brunschwig Bellary print! Then she threw me this awesome Bamboo Trellis. Champagne for your efforts, love!

Below is an inspiration board for the sitting porch. Blue and Green with lots of neutral beiges, sisals and woven grass blinds. I envision them spilling into this room after Saturday pancakes. Here mom and dad can finish the papers, possibly a third cup of coffee. (Those of us with young kids know how elusive that sort of leisurely morning actually is).

Some of the fabrics have changed. We've moved that Collen and Company light fixture to another part of the house, and I'd never bore you with the actual tear sheets -- but you get the gist here. (Shameless plug: All of these fabrics and fixtures are available through our website contact.)

These gorgeous George III bergères, c. 1790, came from G. Sergeant Antiques. Can't wait to see them on the porch. And so grateful my clients had the good taste to retain their very aged green leather!

Even though they'll be far away from each other, I was so happy with how beautifully the tile went with the porch fabric. Here's that Brunschwig Bellary Cotton (Don't tell my Anglophile clients it's French):

That wool knotted rug became a Celerie Kemble sisal.

This Charles Edwards fixture will look almost exactly like this, but I've customized it to be scaled down and the pewter becomes an antique, unlacquered brass that will patina with time.

These are the Country Floors tiles, which I've been wanting for myself, house after house, for about 17 years now... Died when I spotted them floor to ceiling in this month's Veranda. It was Carolyn Roehm's old house. Gorgeous!


In 2000, we redid a house in Encino. I got so far as an antique brass faucet, a blue enamel Morice stove (the poor man's La Cornue), and my walnut countertops. As  I said, I never did get to finish the space with my Country Floors tile. But this is why I love my job. I get to live vicariously through my clients.

Hope you like it. Hope they love it. I'll share pics when it's all done, though we're looking at an occupancy date sometime in 2014. But I'll be sharing more rooms when I have time.

Happy Weekend!