HOME DECOR: A little contemporary, a little traditional

My first view of Char's home was a space that had already been taken down to the bare walls.
Actually, a lot of the walls had been removed as well. And that is where she was stuck.
She felt overwhelmed by the job at hand and was unable to make a decision as to flooring, paint, cabinetry or tile. She had already hired a contractor and they were anxious to get to work.
So we rolled up our sleeves and went to work.
Some of the photos turned out a little dark, but if you click on them, you can see them larger,
Living Room Before
and I hope a little brighter... :) This was my first view of Char's home. My challenge was to find her 'style' in this! I soon discovered she like clean lines, minimal accessories and sunshine pouring in the windows. Char was drawn to water colors.  Blues, blue greens, sand, cream and chocolate were the colors that spoke to her. Char and her husband were water people. They loved to sail and to be out on the water.

Living Room After

With walls in a neutral shade of beige and an accent wall in a blue-green shade, the living room took shape. We brought in a reclining sofa and loveseat in brown chenille and blue-green swivel side chairs. The built in window seat matched the wood trim and held the flat screen components.

Living Room After

A neutral rug in beige and brown tones defined the seating area. Blinds were added to the windows for privacy, but Char elected to have no draperies. A beautiful medium brown hardwood floor in a wide 7" plank was chosen as flooring throughout the kitchen, living and dining area.

Living Room After

The area for the fireplace was very narrow, and so we needed a non-cumbustible material. We didn't have enough clearance for a wood surround, so I designed a fireplace out of travertine and stone. We chose a natural slate hearth and surround in blues and greens.
The slate was edged in travertine - nice chunky moldings by Gardenstone. The result was beautiful, clean lined and exactly what Char wanted.
Accents of coral and shells in the bookcase carried the water theme.

Kitchen Before

At the other end of this space was a dining area and kitchen. We removed the wall and opened the space up, a decision that Char and her husband had made and that I agreed with - it created one large open space from the kitchen to the fireplace. Keeping the wood tones similar and the flooring and wall color the same throughout the space unified and pulled it together.

Dining and Kitchen Before

All the windows and sliding glass doors were replaced with new energy efficient vinyl. New can lights and a fan were added to the living room area, a new chandelier was added over the dining room table that was traditional in feel, but with cleaner lines.

Dining and Kitchen After
This view is from the living area back to the kitchen. Note the beautiful flooring.

Kitchen Before

The kitchen walls were taken down and all the cabinetry and appliances were removed.

Kitchen Before

The flourescent light box was removed and the ceiling raised and installed with new can lights.

Dining and Kitchen After

And pendant lights over the island.

Kitchen After

Deep rich wood tones compliment the stainless steel appliances. The backsplash is tumbled travertine with glass tile inserts. The framed centerpiece behind the stove is brown glass tile with bronze liners and a bronze medalion. Drawer and cupboard pulls are also bronze.
We chose a beautiful granite top that perfectly complimented all the colors in the room.

Kitchen After

The center piece of the kitchen area is a huge island, equiped with loads of storage and an overhang at one end perfect for pulling a stool up to for casual dining.
In an alcove off of the living room, we installed a new bar, complete with double wine coolers and sink.
The wall color in this room echoes the accent fireplace wall of the living room and shares the same wood flooring.

Home Office Before

On the other side of the room, we installed a computer desk and office area.

Home Office After

The sofa in this room converts to a queen size bed when an extra bed is needed.

Home Office After
 Our next focus was the master bedroom. It had a nice architectural feature of a peaked roof. We carpeted it in a soft sand tone and went a little bolder with our accent wall here.

Master Bedroom in Progress
Char found the perfect bedding at Pottery Barn and we matched the wall color to the fabric.

Master Bedroom - After

We added personal photos, clean lined clear glass lamps and fresh white crown molding.
Personal family photos of activities on the water continue the theme to the master bedroom.
At the other end of the room is a dresser and flat screen television.

The master bathroom was taken down to the bare walls and then some.
We ordered custom cabinetry and installed beautiful travertine flooring.
The countertop is a travertine slab with a travertine mosaic backsplash.

Master Bath in progress

Here is the beautiful dressing and sink area completed.

Master Bath - After

The bath area was opened up by removing a wall,
and the walk in shower and flooring was done in travertine.
Master Bath Before
I designed it with diagonal tile on the bottom and straight on the top, divided by a mosaic listele and liner. A frameless glass shower door and surround was added. The shower also has two shower wands.

Master Bath Shower After

Shower detail: mosaic listele with bullnose liners and accent mosaic in the 6" travertine tiles.
Frameless glass shower enclosure doesn't detract from the beautiful stonework.

Master Bath After
 This shows the shower and toilet end of the master bath. The travertine countertop and cabinetry is just visible in the lower right hand corner.

Guest Bathroom Before

 The second bathroom was much smaller and had a walk in shower.

Guest Bathroom Before

We gutted the bathroom, installed a tub and added travertine flooring and tub surround.

Guest Bathroom After
 The decorative tile border is actually ceramic and is a raised design of sea creatures and shells, bordered by a line of glass mosaic tile. The 3" amber glass accent tiles are also raised shell designs.

Guest Bathroom After

We couldn't find stock cabinetry that fit in this cramped space, and so I had my carpenter, Jimmy Hemati, build this adorable vanity, mirror and shelf. He did so with consumate skill and beautiful workmanship. We topped it in travertine slab, as well. With a new toilet, faucets, shower fixtures and lighting - we had only accessories remaining.
A closeup of the flooring and decorative border
The tiny sink area with its cottage style mirror and travertine slab countertop.
Detail of tub area, with wall niche.
 We elected to go with a shower curtain here, due to the cramped space.

Char's beautiful, transitional home.  I hope you liked viewing it.
Please let me know what you think by leaving your comments below (click on comments).



Before we go to Nedra's House to show photos of the Garden Tour, I wanted to post the photos of the Southern California Garden Show - held each Spring at South Coast Plaza (in the annex formerly known as Crystal Court). My husband and I look forward to it each year.
APRIL 24, 2009 I attended the Garden Show with
the REAL gardener in my family - my husband.
M&M Nursery always has the Fairy Gardens on display, complete with tiny plants, fairies, arches, benches and pathways.
We arrived at Nedra's house after dark. (That was the idea all along.) Our theme here was 'intimate/romantic' and the scene was set beautifully with candlelight. Votives lined the pathway and led us to the back yard where our guests stood in amazement, gazing at the immense lighted hillside that crowns her backyard. Long ago - at our very first Garden Tour - Nedra visited Betty's yard and discovered vegetable gardening in oak barrels. Suddenly she knew how to tame her hillside and make it productive. On a leveled area of the hillside she has oak barrels with a variety of vegetables. Among the many trees and shrubs she has planted to cover her hillside, she also has 15 fruit trees including lemon, avocado and pomegranate. Nedra (with the help of her 5 children) does all of her own gardening.

Nedra's House

A large basketball court dominates the first part of her backyard. The rest of the yard opens elegantly into a beautiful entertaining area with pool and spa.
There was a beautiful fireplace with deep seating area. By that time we were in the middle of a heavy evening mist and the fireplace with it's crackling fire was warm and inviting.
We set up the refreshments on the barbecue area - glazed lemon pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream.
Next to the barbecue area, fuscia bougainvillea climbs to the balcony above.
Nedra's yard is magical.We were enchanted.
Our table was set for a romantic dinner for two. A bottle of French Berry Lemonade chilled in a candle/plant stand which we repurposed as an ice bucket.
Beautiful Eden roses from my own garden tumble casually from a stoneware urn.
The setting was perfect in a private patio Nedra calls her secret garden. It's centerpiece is a musical fountain under an arbor topped with wisteria.
The arbor was wrapped with tiny white lights.
I fell in love with these amazing fabrics in muted gold and cream, which I found at my favorite discount fabric store, Home Fabrics (El Toro/Rockfield).
I layered two toppers over the round tablecloth, for a casually elegant yet opulent look, and scrunched the top one to let the light play on the silky fabric. The dishes, utensils and glassware are Nedras.
To make a square topper, measure the width and cut the length to match. Turn the edges under twice 1/2 inch and sew, hemming the edges. Sew any trim or tassel embellishment as desired.
For a round table cloth,
measure the height and the width of the table. (You will need twice the height plus the width.) For example, if 2xheight+width comes to 70 inches, add one inch to each side for a hem, or 72 inches. You will need two lengths of the fabric sewn together lengthwise in order to get a 72 inch circle. Fold the sewn-together fabric in half and then in quarters. From the inside folded corner, measure down 1/2 of the total length. Using a tape measure, mark the distance with pen or pencil all across the fabric, keeping the top of the tape measure at the fold point and moving the bottom. Cut through the 4 layers of fabric along the marked line - you should have a full circle. Hem the bottom edge the same as for the topper, adding trim if you wish.
If you make these linens out of decorator fabrics, please remember to have these dry cleaned and don't put through your washer/dryer.
Email me if you have any questions on how to make the linens.
A HUGE thank you to Nedra for making her beautiful space available for our visit.
Thanks to all who attended.
Makes 2 loaves. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan / 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan / 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk / Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated / 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons) / 1-1/2 teaspoons salt / 1/2 teaspoon baking powder / 1/2 teaspoon baking soda / 2 cups sugar / 5 large eggs / Lemon Glaze (below)
DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. / Butter and flour two 4 1/2 -by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans. /
2. In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. / In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. /
3. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. / Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. /
4. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not overmix)./
5. Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops./Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). / Cool 15 minutes in pan. / Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.
6. Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes. LEMON GLAZE 2 cups confectioners' sugar / 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Directions 1.Place confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice (glaze should be thick, yet pourable). / Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency.
And varieties that smelled as sweet as roses! Amazing! There were more varieties of Orchids this year than I knew existed. LOVE these stripey ones! Beautiful new orange colored Cymbidiums.
Put it on your calendar for end of April next year!! I was a little focused on the beautiful orchids, but there were amazing plants of every kind, garden gadgets, outdoor decor - and the great Home decor stores like Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie, etc. in this annex as well. A great way to spend an afternoon. THE GARDEN TOUR - PART II


link within

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