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Saturday
Jun202009

A little break ....


A holiday reading guide because I'm off for a week. I'd love to say that I am taking time to relax at the beach .... but I'm not. I've been on "holidays" this last week and I have one more away from work because I'm trying to put the finishing touches on some mixed media pieces for an up coming exhibition. Just a small one but I'm excited none the less. Kim will still be posting here at Desire to Inspire and she's been on such a roll lately with some stellar posts you won't even miss me I'm sure. So let's pretend we're all on holiday with plenty of time to while away on books and blogs and friends. See you soon!

Friday
Jun192009

Roeshel's Living Room

It's our next reader's makeover as guest blogger and interior designer Jason Martin helps Roeshel with her living room. Roeshel is looking for a beautiful neutral space that combines her husbands love of traditional furniture with her more modern cottage tastes. Time to be a fly on the wall during their e-consultation. Remember Roeshel does the "DIY" after Jason adds the "+".


Roeshel’s notes

My husband loves the furniture (I don’t) and we’re so tired of the red walls…looking for something light and neutral. I like cottage style and my husband likes a formal look. The space has so much going on with built-in shelving, fireplace, staircase and French doors so even furniture placement is a challenge. :) Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks!

Jason’s email

Do you have any other photos to see the floor plan better? Maybe taken from the stairs.

Can you give me the overall dimensions of the room?

What are the top three things you want to address in this room?


Roeshel’s notes ... more pics and measurements
 

 

The room roughly measures 19-22×15. I will have my husband measure overall dimensions and post an addendum this evening.

Top 3 things we’re looking for:
1 – Neutral/beautiful/comfortable space
2 – The room has three windows (one is to an enclosed porch area) but it tends to be dark so lighting is important as well.
3 – Successfully combining my husband’s traditional/formal/old world taste with my modern/cottage preference.

My favorites of your before/afters are Griffith Park and I love the art in Laurel Canyon.


Addendum: I emailed and posted a picture of my “very rough” floor plan drawing. Hope this helps!

Jason on paint and color

Wall color- You are correct in thinking that the red is keeping you from having the warm, bright room you want. Red is a very difficult color to get right and I would venture to say that it rarely works at all unless you are willing to go all the way with a monochromatic room. In your case it just fights with the other tones in the space.

Another mistake people make is picking a bold color and contrasting it against white wood work hoping to highlight the architecture of the room. In your case the contrast is so stark that it just makes the room feel disjointed. You can keep the white wood work just pick a wall color that is in the same family but a few shades darker. This will highlight the moldings and help the room feel lighter (therefore more open.)

My suggestion would be to use one of the two following colors. The first is a warm white with just a touch of yellow. It is good for a room that doesn’t get a lot of natural light. The touch of yellow will give a boost to the sunlight that you do get and help fake it when you aren’t getting any. The second color is a cool gray that will recede in the room and give a good neutral base to highlight the wood work nicely.

One other thing- paint that section of the ceiling under the stairs the same color as the wall so it disappears more.


Inspirations for how to mix traditional with modern


Jason on furniture

I think you are smart to pull the furniture out away from the walls. It helps to clean up the lines of all the doors and windows.

You need a coffee table to anchor the seating group. If you want to keep the space open get a couple of small stool style table that can easily move around and rearrange depending on the need.

If you are going to replace the upholstery I think you should go with a larger sofa (in front of the shelving wall) and two comfortable but smaller scale chairs on either side of the sofa.

See options below.


Accessories


A few things that would help bring some life to the room

For one thing just that- something living. Find an easy to care for tree or group of plants to replace the fake stuff that is in the room now. In my opinion nothing sucks the air out of a space faster than fake or dried plants.

You may want to consider a brighter more casual rug for the space. Just to help loosen up the formality.

Ditch the small accessories and add a couple of large scale art pieces to the walls to help bring eye up. Right now you don’t have much above eye level that is of any real size so the room feels lower than it actually is.

So Roeshel now it's up to you. I can see a lot of painting in your future but Jason has created an elegant solution for your living room. Send us photos when the hard work is done!

Friday
Jun192009

Vignettes

I am constantly rearranging the knick-knacks around my house, in the hopes of coming up with perfect little eye-catching arrangements. They are usually far from perfect, as I have realized over time that creating the perfect vignette is an art form. That is why people pay stylists to whip them up. I went through my photo stash looking for vignettes that caught my eye. I'm taking notes...

Friday
Jun192009

Sheer bliss


There was a photographer's site that led to a rep's site that led to a photographer's site that led to an interior designer's site and then it was a moment that focused in on all things zen and balanced, natural and beautiful. Michaela Scherrer mixes old with new, the simple with the complex and her work is stunning in it's simplicity. There is a Japanese aesthetic obvious in the clean contemporary lines of her spaces,the contrast of textures. So peaceful.

Thursday
Jun182009

At home in Amsterdam

It's been a pretty rough week for me. My mom has been in the hospital since Monday and luckily she's ok (relatively). Despite this being a crappy week, a ray of sunshine plopped itself into my inbox when Alice Jane sent along some photos she had promised me. Alice Jane, a Canadian now living in Amsterdam, recently renovated some rooms in her home and had a professional photographer take some unbelievable photos of her new spaces. I absolutely adore what she's done to her home so far, and the photos show all the wonderful touches she's included. Alice Jane added some descriptions to her email which I will include below. I've got to start with the kitchen, as it is BY FAR my favourite room.

- The kitchen -- The man you see in one of the pictures is Dion Roosen of Timmerbedrijf Roosen. He is the carpenter who worked with me to create the kitchen units. In the picture of him, Dion is sitting on the window seat. In addition, Dion (and occasionally his son Willem) did all of the tiling in the bathroom and kitchen (floors and walls). The plumbing and electrics were done by Dion's project partner, Bram de Mooij of Legend. To match the white-waxed, natural wood found throughout the house, Dion went to a wrecker's/restorer's warehouse near Amsterdam (a place called Schijf) and found used floor planks that more or less matched. He then created a sculptural design that looked right, bringing
me samples and drawing lots of pictures with me before going ahead. When the units were complete he found a white wax to apply for the right finish. Smells nice, too.
P.S. That's her in one of the photos. :)






- The master bedroom -- The cats you see in a couple of these pictures are Paillette (the orange queen) and James Bond (the black tom). We had the door, walls, and ceiling painted by local artists, Louise Vines and Caroline Trew, a few years ago when we moved in. The ceiling is a Dutch sky in the golden hour before dusk.







- The bathroom -- Large by Dutch standards, this is a wonderful bathroom to have because of its natural light, spacious bath, and separate WC/shower area. The door and spaces above the windows and door are inset
with painted lozenges done by an American artist who now lives in France, J. Henry Kester (I might have misspelled his surname, but I think/hope it's right). He used to own the house with his now-husband, Harm van Duin. We had the bath repaired and painted with the same motif by local artists, Louise Vines and Caroline Trew. Incidentally, J. Henry is responsible for the white-waxed natural wood throughout the house. It is his vision that we love, and try to respect, as we make changes to our home.






- The WC -- This room was more or less completed by a random Polish team. They were nowhere near as experienced, quick, and helpful as Bram and Dion, though, so I decided not continue with them once the WC was near
ready.



The images are by the Amsterdam photographer, Ula Mirowska (http://www.ulamirowska.com/). Her sensitive gaze captures the architecture and the mood of the house beautifully. Ula specializes in portraits and interiors.

All of the art in the house is meaningful in some way, but I won't bore you with long explanations. Much of it is Canadian, brought by me with my household goods when I emigrated. Weirdly, we might have the larges collection of Canadiana in the Netherlands. Many of the small ceramic scultures are by my partner, Jonathan's father, Christopher Hart, who are British.

(Thank you AJ!)