Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What's black & white and blue all over?

I have just a couple of minutes to post some pics of our relaxing weekend up north and the incredible cottage/home where we crashed! Our friends Dave and Deb researched this amazing place for four of us couples to rent on Lake Leelanau. It was about 20 minutes north of Traverse City in "wine country"-or at least wine county. :)
We had such a fun weekend playing games, eating, resting, shopping and wine tasting. 
I highly recommend this 'rental' property, which made all of us drooling and wishing we had the means to own a place like this on a beautiful lake. 
I also wish I could say I had a hand at decorating this treasure, but I can't take any credit. 
This designer/homeowner left no stone unturned and didn't miss a trick. 
Simply Stunning. 
Notice all the black/white selections with just a few different shades of blue throughout.

I loved how fresh/current and yet traditional it seemed to feel. Weird that I could feel both-but it was a great blend of stained wood/warmth paired with cooler greys/urban fixtures and taupe walls. This home goes for a pretty penny during the prime summer months but for us it felt fairly reasonable splitting the cost between friends. It ended up being cheaper than Traverse City hotel rooms we've paid for. 
We thought it was too late to see all the Michigan leaves changing colors but that ended up being perfect timing as well. 
It was a beautiful road trip, with beautiful friends enjoying a beautiful home amidst beautiful fall colors. 
You cant' beat that. 

Hope you had a nice relaxing weekend as well. 



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Over Oak....

 At the risk of sounding like an 'oak basher', I can't help but continue to post my amazement at what a transformation a couple cans of paint and a couple thousand dollars will do to bring new life to a dark, outdated oak kitchen. Many of you have husbands who are wood purists-those whom would never dream of taking paint brush to oak, and I get that....(well, I don't really get that because I'll slap paint on just about anything if I'm sick of it) but I do understand where you're coming from. You don't want to give up the natural look, the warmth of wood, the rustic element of it....

But I'm back here again to try to convince you.....


 The woodwork was a mixture already of wood and white, but the fireplace mantle was oak. We had the entire box painted white for a fresh, seamless look.

 In this family room below (which is NOT the same room as above)-but same house, the tile inset was NAVY BLUE.  We had the painter PAINT the tile. Yes, I said that right. We had nothing to lose, and we painted the tile a light beige to allow ourselves not to be so locked into the blue in that room anymore. We loved how it turned out!

I wish I had taken more 'before' shots of how dark the spaces were before we lighted everything up with a color called "Inspire Awe". It's a Clark & Kensington color I used on my own kitchen cabinets. It complimented her granite island beautifully and softened the look of not only the kitchen, but 
allowed us the new freedom to go darker on a kitchen table. We have a great Art Van story to tell about the slipcovered parsons chairs on the ends of the dining table, but that's for another day. :)

The homeowner, Deanna, was so great to work with-she knew what she wanted-she just needed the extra nudge to get there. 

So glad she decided to commit to it. She loves the finished product and so do I. 
Do I have you (or your husband) convinced yet? 
Yes, you know who you are. :)
wink, wink.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Linen and Leann

Hi guys!
 Hope you had a nice relaxing fall weekend! The leaves and the weather are changing and I don't mind one bit. I love putting on my 'fuzzies' after a day of work, hunkering down and reading a good book or going to bed early, which I'm planning to do tonight after a long fun-filled weekend of my high school girl's homecoming activities and fall clean up around here-both indoors and outdoors. 

Before I hit the hay though, I wanted to show you the progress we're making on my friend Leann's new home-(new to her, but built in the mid-nineties). 

She and her husband Michael were so excited to find a house that fit the needs of their blended families and new grand baby. They also often times have company over and were thinking of future space for family members and other out of town guests.  This house fit those requests, and then some. 

Things are so fancy around here that it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to work the light switches!
It is a beautiful home-one that was amazing to start, but then go ahead and pair it with Leann's incredible sense of style and talent for shopping and it's all over. 
I was along for the ride with this one. She gives me too much credit, but I suppose together we made a great team. I told her what to buy, and she bought it. 
Works great for me, (and my pocketbook). :)
Not so much, hers.

Leann had a ton of accessories left from her last house (I posted a blog a few months ago of her home that we staged and then it sold in half a week's time), so we just used what she had to fill shelves and nooks. 
We still need something for the large niche above the fireplace. I tried talking her into putting the t.v. up there, and they tried it, but it sat too high and hurt their necks when viewing for long periods of time. 
We changed the dark red walls in the dining area to a dark/blue green that we had actually picked for her last house, but she liked it so much she asked if it would work here too. Yes it did.

 This pic above makes it look army green, but it plays out more like this:
(Look at bay window beyond the table).

 Here is the beautiful stairwell. 

After staged built in's and desk. We're looking for a patterned parson's chair. We found one last week but it was too wide to fit under the desk.

We picked out a fun, geometric print for the single chair in the living room, and selected a neutral linen looking fabric for the sofa and love seat. Still on the hunt for more throw pillows and just ordered a large, beautiful button tufted ottoman in cream leather!

I described what I pictured to be the ideal barstools for this area, and she found the exact thing at TJ Maxx the very next week. I think this makes this area look so refined. In fact, we introduced linen or polyester that looked like linen on every floor. It's such a classic look that paired well with the traditional/transitional look of this home. It was Leann's goal and wish to achieve a more relaxed, shabby chic feel but is a little difficult to do in a house this distinguished. We compromised and still chose lighter fabrics but ones that still had a classic look to them.

Here's a sneak peek of the upstairs bedroom even though we're still working on headboards, nightstands, lamps and accessories. We're taking our time and being patient finding just the right thing rather than rushing it.

We did however do some impulse ordering when we saw this style headboard at Talsma. We knew it would be just what this master suite needed and found a fabric that complimented the existing wall color and the bedding that she had already purchased. It actually coordinates perfectly, but my iphone 6 camera and my lack of photography skills makes it appear otherwise!

We're purchasing new nightstands and lamp bases to lighten up the sides.


 Spare bedroom-
Still looking for just the right headboard and mirrored and metal end tables. 

 Here's the ottoman we ordered, except in creamy white!!
Stay tuned for updates on this one and more. 
Time for a bath in my vintage claw foot tub and then lights out. Until next time, thanks for checking in!