This project was a major home re-model. This was a home that had been in the family for years, and it was carefully restored to retain the character of the past. At the same time, it needed to be updated with modern conveniences, to carry it into the future. Furnishings were to reflect that transition, a combination of old and new, complemented by a collection of art that expressed the owners' own journey through life. The color palette was to stay within the warm tones of greens, corals and yellows, while each piece of furniture needed to be comfortable. Nothing was to take away from the wonderful character of the house.
Entry and Dining
Warm coral tones with accents of green were used to tie the spaces together.
The living room was designed to be inviting, warm and cozy. We carried the coral color scheme into the sofa and drapes with soft warm patterns that express the "period" feel.
The grasscloth ceiling over the breakfast nook brought out warmth and interest. The banquette bench was added to provide unique character in the space.
Family Room and Kitchen
Warm color and fabrics combine to create a comfortable living space. Refined simplicity mixed with beautiful antiques make this a timeless kitchen.
A relaxed reading spot epitomizes the casual, cozy feeling that was created in the house.
Timeless Cedar Shake
This was an interesting opportunity to work on both the inside and the outside of a house. When I first took on this project, the house was three years old and had a lot to offer, such as wonderful property and great bones, but the detail was lacking. The house had so much potential, but the challenge was to create character and bring out that full potential.
When you drive up this house now speaks "detail". Here we added the arbor over the garage to give the exterior more depth, coach lights to provide ambient lighting, and striped awnings to reflect the character of an older house.
This house is all about the details.
When people ask me about how to create a great home or a beautiful room, my response is pretty simple: It's all in the details. Of course, the basics have to be right, but it is the details that sets a home apart — whether it be that perfect accent pillow or that "just right" piece of molding. It doesn't mean you need a lot, because a little can go a long way, but it is what sets apart the ordinary from the "WOW".
This house had so much potential but needed a cosmetic facelift.
When you open the front door, the feeling of this home is felt right away through the style of the furnishings which are a combination of new and old. Color and texture provide simple backdrops. Lots of trim detail was added, including the paneling on the staircase.
The palette is soft tones so that the spectacular views are the feature.
The dining room is both elegant and casual with slipcovered hostess chairs and green shuttered windows.
The office is done in light tones and dark contrasts, with a vintage desk anchored by a textured sisal rug.
Bead board and lots of custom cabinetry create clean lines and an element of casualness in the breakfast/family room.
We designed a "secret door" in the family room that opens to the dining porch. When the door is closed it creates symmetrical cabinetry. Mahogany banding was used in the flooring to create detail and delineate the open spaces. Note the diamond motif in the flooring.
The kitchen cabinetry is mahogany and the back splash is bead board .
Work Area and Laundry Room
We designed numerous built-ins to hide appliances. In this space (on the left) we removed a closet in order to create an additional work area off the kitchen.
We hid the washer and dryer behind doors. We chose to make all cabinetry consistent in style to create a cleaner look.
The staircase is very open. The ceiling detail adds character without becoming too busy. We added additional sconces, cushioned window seats, and dark accent walls to create definition and highlight details.
Here in the master bedroom, we used many sources of light to illuminate the different areas in the room. We worked with contrasts: new & old and dark & light.
In the guest bedroom the soft moss green fabric on the headboard and bolster mixes with neutrals to create a warm and welcoming space. The striped fabric was brought in to provide some punch. Using this fabric on the window seat as well as for a pillow on the bed unifies the look.
We used simple window treatments to allow the view to be the focal point.
In this bedroom we chose a soft blue to capture the essence of the seaside. Off white was used in the bedding and window treatments to create a relaxed mood.
For this bedroom, we chose a paint color that is youthful, bright and happy, but still works with the palette in the rest of the home.
We also used bead board in the gym for consistent style and casualness.
In the theater, paint, lighting and a carpet change went a long way. Here we enhanced the experience by creating a "movie theater-like environment" with illuminated steps, border aisle carpet and "soft" sconces. Using "midnight blue" paint on the ceiling and walls dramatically changed the space.In the theater, paint, lighting and a carpet change went a long way. Here we enhanced the experience by creating a "theater-like environment" with illuminated steps, bordered aisle carpet and "soft" sconces. Using "midnight blue" paint on the ceiling and walls dramatically changed the space.
Side Entrance & Entrance to Dining Porch
We added the front side entry to create another access point. To accentuate the beautiful diamond patterned windows, we used gold paint to bring out their detail. Lush plantings and window boxes were added to warm the entry.
For the entrance to the dining porch, we incorporated lattice and arched frames.
We added many outside spaces to take full advantage of the beautiful setting. This outdoor porch allows you to dine outside without concern for the elements, yet it is totally integrated into the rest of the house.
The old porch was extremely narrow. The new porch is expansive and takes advantage of the view. The changes are seamless, leaving no trace of where the old structure ended and the new porch began.
The outdoor environment was enlarged to include a small pool and cabana area. With the addition of four new decks and porches, the back of the house was totally transformed. This classic New England cedar shake now has both increased functionality and timeless character.
Antique Country Home
This is a wonderful property. It was a working farm in the 1800's, and the house retains much of the character of that period. It is now a weekend home and the family likes to bring friends here to kickback, relax and enjoy the charm of yesteryear and the beautiful surroundings.
For the entry we chose a textured wallpaper (shown at right) to resemble the character of the old door.
We did a major redesign in the kitchen. The last update had been done in the 70's. Our goal was to incorporate modern conveniences while retaining the character of this antique home.
We found stools and light fixtures that really worked with the farmhouse style.
We went to great lengths to make sure the cabinets had a true "aged looking finish" including the seed glass in the cabinet doors.
Chair cushion fabric, reminiscent of vintage needlepoint, creates an eclectic look.
First Floor Hallway with Grasscloth Wall Covering and Window Treatment Fabric
The walls were covered in a grasscloth (shown at left) to create warmth and depth in the hallways and staircase. An antique sewing table was added as a hallway accent piece. Fabric to the right was used in the window treatment.
We recovered the existing furnishings with strong colors and "comfy" fabrics so that everyone could kick back and enjoy. The red tones tied in the color from the kitchen.
We added some additional vintage pieces and kept the floors simple with natural sisal rugs.
The bathroom needed a "large scale" lift. With so many white walls, we chose a big print, in colors used throughout the house, to create impact and warmth. A colonial blue was used for tub and trim to tie it all together.
We repurposed furniture from the sitting room and added warmth with plaid window treatments, a tapestry rug and a comfortable red ottoman.
Living Room Fabric Details
This home was really about using fabric and pattern to create comfort and coziness. We used strong historic colors reflecting the age of the house, and pattern of varying scale to make a relaxing weekend home for this family.
This house was a lot of fun. We worked with this couple from the ground up. The challenge here was to work a lot of rooms into a small space and still make the house feel open, airy and light. The plan was to have four bedrooms, an office, living room, dining room and a good size kitchen.
The clients wanted a classic style with elements of modern, and a bit of "bling" for fun. The color palette for the first floor was reds, pinks and soft shade pastels. Contrasts of dark and light tones and textures were used throughout the house.
The sitting room has clean and simple lines, and in combination with these warm tones, creates a feeling of serenity.
Entry and Staircase
We used textured papers to delineate spaces. Many times we papered a single wall continuing to create contrast with texture and tone. Red grasscloth was used on the entry wall and a taupe grasscloth was used on the staircase wall.
We found a great fossil stone with embedded shells, for the fireplace, that had all the right colors.
In the kitchen, we wanted to tie in the pink tones through copper metallic light fixtures and hardware, as well as a rose quartz counter top. For the island we chose a rich coffee brown for contrast. The space flows seamlessly and now has a much lighter feel.
Kitchen counter stones and fossil stone for fireplace surround tied in perfectly with the color scheme of the house.
We used lots of glass and mirror to create a feeling of space. The mirror-backed cabinets and extensive lighting create a feeling of openess and sparkle.
Color Palette for Seaside Getaway First Floor
The challenge here was a compact space and the need for a lot of function. We used mirrors and different types of glass to create a lighter feel and the illusion of a larger space. The laundry chute in this powder room is a wonderful convenience.
We did the Master Bedroom in aqua tones to continue the light and airy feeling.
A Daughter's Room
The girls' rooms were a lot of fun. The challenge was the size, so everything was built-in. Wall mounted light fixtures and clean lined bedding all helped to create an appearance of space.
A Daughter's Room
Oversized hardware on the built-ins create a "bigger" feeling.
Home Theater & Gym
At the last minute we took advantage of the downstairs and added a home theater and gym, using all the colors in the palette for the house.
LATEST PROJECT Weekend Retreat: A Modern Twist on "Beachy"
This house was a real challenge. You almost wouldn't recognize a resemblance to the original unless you had watched it being transformed. With many inconsistent renovations throughout the years, this home needed a major rework for today's lifestyle. The old house felt extremely dark and closed in with small chopped up spaces. The challenge in this renovation was to open it up to create casual, easy, weekend living for a young family.
To accomplish this, the architect opened up the whole house, designing an incredible three story staircase that became the focal point of the home. It's now filled with light and views between adjacent spaces. A window was put into the roof creating cascading light that penetrates through all three floors. We were brought in at a time when we could influence the interior detailing as it was being developed. With this teamwork, the house was completely transformed with light and airy open spaces. The open planning effectively counteracts the original low ceiling heights. Our challenge was to complete the effect by finding the right furnishings, to enhance the feeling of casualness that was a goal shared by all.
The entry is an introduction of everything that awaits. A bright red front door opens to bold strong color with a mix of wallpaper texture and paint. This is contrasted by an antique chair and a clean contemporary rug creating a light, casual feeling.
The living room was a lot of fun to figure out. It is the largest room in the house and the primary space for everyone to congregate. There are many functions that this room needs to serve, from TV watching, to quiet reading and playing board games. The ceilings are low so we used a low profile centerpiece that we worked on as if a stage-set. With strong horizontal lines, it's a distinctively architectural piece, designed to focus and complement the space around it. We used contrasting lines of vertical drapery panels to balance the room. At the same time we were able to create dedicated areas for all the activities that take place here.
The overall color scheme is based on strong primary colors against a neutral backdrop with a mix of old and new accessories. The furnishings were chosen to create a feeling of casualness, with easy low maintenance. The palette is a broad mix of textures with strong pops of color.
We used lots of wonderful fabrics, grasscloths and fun knobs for this project. Our project board tells the color story used throughout the house.
Hallway dividing Living and Dining Rooms
The oriental rug grounding the staircase creates a homey contrast to the more contemporary surrounding rugs.
This is the only "Dining" table and chairs in the house, so it was chosen based on its relaxed casual look, something that could be used everyday. The light fixture was chosen to compliment that feeling, with lots of glass, making it light and airy. Family heirlooms were showcased in lit cabinets and a contemporary geometric rug anchors the room.
The kitchen is spectacular in its simplicity and clean lines. It is open and airy and the furnishings reflect this. It speaks "seaside" in a strong yet subtle way.
The powder room wallpaper (detail shown at left) and paint tie into the nautical theme of the house, with an aged glass mirror designed to enhance the antiquity.
The children's den was a lot of fun. Though a small space, we were able to use strong primary colors to create a nautical theme and a feeling of "fun".
The staircase was the center of the house with wonderful architectural detail accented by a skylight at the top that shoots light throughout the house. The surrounding hallways are flanked with black and white family photos and beautiful beach scenes. The fixture is clean and simple so as not to distract from the detail of the stairs.
The children's bedrooms and guest room are all on the second floor with the third floor dedicated to the master suite. The children's bedrooms, though actually fairly small in size, continue with strong color and clean casual furnishings. The oversize headboard actually makes the room feel bigger.
The bathrooms are clean and simple. The white tile, simple marble vanities and accents of strong fabric and color make these rooms sing.
The guest bedroom is clean and crisp. The room has strong punches of red, captured in the large coral prints. A broad mix of texture including bamboo, mercury glass, burlap and grass shades were used to create interest.
The adjoining guest bathroom tied in the same color with a bold red print in the shade.
Sea Themed Details
Coral shell shadow boxes and bright sea life watercolors convey the sea theme in this home. Playful divers adorn the dining room walls. Dining room chairs suggest bleached driftwood. Sea blue wall coverings enhance the entry space and set the tone.
The staircase can be seen on all three floors and ascends to the master bedroom suite.
The master bath has an understated elegance. Clean and sleek, it lets the crystal chandelier be the focal point of the room.
The master bedroom is one of my favorite spots in the house. Not overly large, it has a wonderful airiness and a beautiful view of Long Island Sound. This room speaks for itself and is an "easy" getaway for this young couple.
This home was a typical center hall colonial. The client, a young family, wanted a home that better suited their lifestyle. They wanted a lighter, airy feeling, with contemporary elements and a casual elegance. We reorganized the flow of the space so that they would use all of the space rather than just a few rooms. We combined both existing and new furnishings to create an updated look.
Now the entry opens into an airy parlor. We used shades of grays and taupes throughout the first floor, with pops of bright color in the artwork.
The family room serves as a comfortable area to relax in. The gray and taupe color palette was chosen to work with the beautiful field stone fireplace. Washed woods, zinc top furniture and distressed leather echo the fireplace colors. Wispy sheer shades enhance the airy feeling.
The sunroom now has dual roles with the addition of the bar. We also added the bead board and a textured basket weave wallpaper to create a more casual look. The cow hide rug and the slipcovered sofa with the red ball pillow create a lighthearted feeling for the room.
Kitchen Eating Area
We added a coffered ceiling to delineate the dining space, and columned walls to create a transition into the kitchen. With young boys in the house, we selected leather chairs and a rugged farm style table to make life easier on mom and dad. The pre-existing rug was worked in. Note the illuminated frosted glass door for the new pantry .
In the kitchen we reused the existing cherry cabinets and replaced the countertops and back splash with continuous slabs of Carrara marble. We redesigned the island making it just one level and repainted the cabinets underneath. It gave the kitchen a big facelift without redoing everything.
We found wonderful wrought iron glass lanterns to hang above the table and serve as the focal point in the room. Columns with partitioned walls were added to delineate the kitchen and dining spaces.
From Powder Room to Parlor: Old & New, Light & Airy, Casual & Chic
The powder room was a lot of fun. We were able to use an existing piece of furniture for the vanity. We added brass feet to get the right height, a quartz top, and a Carrara bowl. It is now a "one of a kind", and looks great in the space. We used the old kitchen light fixture and added bead board to the walls with a beautiful mirror and some glistening grasscloth. The room really pulled together.
This house was all about the style of the furnishings. We combined old & new, light & airy, casual & chic to create a unique environment.
Elegant High Rise
This property had a unique set of challenges. The style for this condo was determined by its furniture. The furniture for this home was going to be reused from an existing home in Connecticut and transferred to Florida, which doesn't always translate. Fortunately the condo building itself was relatively formal, which worked well with what we had. So with that we recovered the furniture and repainted some pieces to fit more appropriately in a Florida environment. We created wall treatments and trim with great detail, to relate to the elegant furnishings, while the window treatments were kept very simple to offset the detail of the interior. This project was really about detail, whether it was an accessory, a fabric, Venetian plaster walls or crown molding. In the end it all came together: a fusion of North and South.
Elegant trim details are what sets this home apart, from the use of mirror and Venetian plaster to grasscloth and custom moldings.
The furniture was recovered in coral tones. New additons to the existing furniture were the iron coffee table and settee brought in to lighten things up. In the ceiling we applied antiqued mirror to reflect the water as you enter the condo.
Old teak columns from India flank the entrance to the master suite and provide a grand statement.
The bedroom was updated with clean transitional furniture, contrasted by the old world elegance of the crystal chandelier, plaster medallion, trim detail and stenciled wall treatment.
The office was designed to feel like a "mans' cave" but not too heavy. Faux finish was used, rather than wood, to create the warm earth tone. The room is all about combining textures such as the faux finish/grasscloth, woven blinds, velvet, Belgian cotton and cherry floors. The desk setup is with a caned chair with a burled wood desk and cow bone lamp.
The dining room furniture was a challenge. Being very traditional, the furniture was difficult to adapt to a "Floridian" environment, so, we put a "raphia" type fabric on the seats, fully upholstered the hostess chairs, and added a chandelier that brought in an "old world" Mediterranean look. Stone flooring, mirrored walls and the whimsy of the monkey prints liven up the room, counterbalancing the seriousness of the furniture.
The kitchen's palette is cherry, cream and metallic tones. The metallic tone was carried out in the appliances, the island with soap stone, the backsplash and ceiling. Cherry wood and limestone were used in combination on the kitchen floor. The counter tops and backsplash were done as slabs, in honed Crema Marfil marble.
The bathroom was actually done in reverse contrast: light cabinetry and floors with metallic bronze faux walls and ceiling. It served as a wonderful background for the crystal lamps, chandelier and mirrors, creating needed warmth in a very large space.
This bedroom was designed for a young girl. The floors are bamboo and the walls are a blush pink. We reused the chair, recovering it in a green and pink plaid.
This master closet is one of my favorites because everything is designed to be hidden behind frosted doors.
Here, a mirror was used to reflect the water views. Lots of detail in the lanai accessories tie into the more formal furnishings in the adjoining rooms.
Contemporary Bay Front
This house was a challenge. It was a twenty year old house and, by Florida standards, was considered a teardown. Everything in it was pink. There was pink tile, pink & cream cabinets and rose flowered tiles in the pool. But the lines and layout of the home basically worked, so with a cosmetic face lift, including new trim, doors, cabinetry and flooring, the house was transformed from an old tear down into a modern contemporary home. Utilizing great outdoor space, we created new living spaces with amenities such as a fireplace, TV, bar and outdoor cook area. We took advantage of every square inch of the property, remodeling inside first, and then making our way outdoors.
The front of the house, particularly the entrance, had great potential to look much better without great expense. By clipping back the left roof line, we were able to open up the view of the front, and by replacing the arched doors and adding the mahogany trim, we gave the entrance a "face lift". We added an arbor over the garage, breaking up some of the hard lines, and changed the landscaping to soften the strong facade.
Before the remodel, the house was one big open space that blended together and felt cold. In the renovation, we framed out the entry and lowered the ceiling in order to define the space. Now, when you walk in, the house has a real "sense of arrival". In the dining area, we added a suspended ceiling to break up the dated angled ceiling, creating a more intimate dining space.
The kitchen was done on a tight budget, so the location of all major appliances stayed the same. We added a "stepped" island where you could work, but hide the mess from view. The elevated bar height for seating allowed the homeowners to have an even better view of the water. The kitchen ceiling was so high, we actually lowered it, and then built a "pop down" ceiling over the island to define it, creating strong architectural lines and a cozier feeling to the space.
The transformed living space is airy and light, and provides lots of access to the outdoors.
The family room was designed around the television. We created an additional shorter wall to distinguish the TV from its surroundings. This made the space cozier, and broke up the flatness of the large wall with angled roof line. Gas lines were added so a fireplace can be added in the future.
This master bedroom is all about contrast in color and texture. We used dark wood blinds with an espresso color window sash for contrast. The door hardware is dark bronze on white doors with frosted glass to provide privacy but still allow the light to penetrate through.
The master bath was a challenge. We wanted to update the bathroom but keep costs down by not moving any of the plumbing lines. We took out the pink jacuzzi tub and replaced it with a large walk-in shower and replaced the angled pre-fab shower with a second vanity. It created a major "face lift".
This guest bedroom is actually very small, so a closet system was put in with a built-in dresser and TV. A large mirror on the wall was used to reflect the water view.
Powder Room and Laundry Room
The powder room was updated with a knee wall to create privacy for the toilet. A lighthearted paper was used to give the space a contemporary feel.
The laundry room was another challenge. It was a very small space and we couldn't move the walls without major reconstruction, so we decided on a stackable washer/dryer. We squeezed in a sink, and removed the entry door to maximize all available space.
With sea themed wallpapers, ceramic pieces that suggest sea creatures, textured shower glass and a custom designed dock, we put a lot of attention into the detail in this project.
Casual Sitting Room
This is one of our favorite spots in this project. Prior to the renovation, this was all open lanai, but in the remodel we decided to create additional space that could be used for indoor or outdoor living.
We used lounge style seating and a "chat height" coffee table for drinking and relaxing. This 24" height is intended for casual, relaxed and informal eating, commonly seen in Europe.
Maximizing Outdoor Space
Instead of adding an additional story to this one story house, we created more living space with the outdoors. We designed multi-level social areas, creating spaces for sitting quietly, socializing and a dining area.
This custom designed dock has an illuminated window which allows fish watching both night and day.
The outdoor family room is a great extension of the living space. It was important that the outdoor furniture be visually connected to the indoor furniture, since the two environments are so visually intertwined. The spaces needed to flow seamlessly from inside to outside.
Builder's Model Home
This was a really fun project — a model home for a builder. In many ways it was quite challenging, because this home needs to appeal to everyone. The color inspiration came from the beautiful water view, and the golden brown tones from the tile and stone used throughout. The style came to be a mix of classic lines and contemporary accents.
We used textured wallpaper to highlight key areas of the living space.
The builder had created some beautiful trim detail that we chose to accentuate with color.
This view shows the open floor plan with integrated color.
In the dining room we found a great chandelier with hanging shells that captured the water theme.
Kitchen Eating Area
The kitchen eating area was designed to be a space where you could spend time relaxing and reading the paper.
We used black stools to tie into the absolute black granite used on the kitchen counters.
The master bedroom has a leather upholstered headboard with softer accents in the same aqua and toast palette.
The softer aqua color tone is carried into the master bath and used on a single wall to feature artwork above the tub.
One of the guest rooms was designed to be lighthearted with the coordinating frog pillows.
This office was so much fun. The cowhide desk says it all. We wanted a conversation piece and we found one. See inset photo for detail of cowhide desk.
A black bench welcomes you to the master bedroom suite. Using fun strong color, it was designed to leave a lasting impression.