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Entries in reader's home (262)

Wednesday
Nov152017

Reader's home

When long time reader Vika Pecherskikh of Compelling View Interiors shared these photos of her home I immediately knew she was a kindred spirit. You see she has an addiction to love of beautiful chairs just like I do. In every room there is a vintage treasure. Her decorating firm in  the Washington DC metro area is passionate about homes and emotions they evoke, creating spaces that have a sense of narrative and authenticity. You can see more of Vika's ever evolving home and the treasures she finds on her instagram page.

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Wednesday
Oct042017

Reader's home - Jessica's condo in Pennsylvania

Jessica has sent over a few submissions to my Monday's pets on furniture series lately of her dog Drava and has also kindly shared her condo that she has lovingly renovated and decorated, and shares with pooch and husband Marc. She cracked me up during our email convo, particularly when she used the phrase "balling on a budget". LOL! Here is some info from Jessica: It can be best described as a labor of love, which has gradually evolved over the past 15 years.  Located in a small Western Pennsylvania town (West Middlesex), it was a study in the late 80s – early 90s……replete with multi patterned wall paper, borders, contractor cabinetry, and flat carpeting.  And since it is a small footprint (approximately 1600 square feet), I had to select a color palette which flowed from one area to the next.  I utilized various “pops of color” throughout the space, to achieve interest.  If I had to describe my taste, it would be light, airy, frothy, and oceanic……with Scandinavian and Midcentury Modern furnishings. I love this, especially the accents of blue and turquoise throughout the condo, those sweet dining chairs and the modernized bathroom. PLus, Jessica worked her ass off - including refinishing all of the kitchen cabinets herself, removing wallpaper that didn't want to let go, and sanding and painting every inch of "oak" trim (which took every evening over an entire winter). Must point out too that Drava looks quite at home. Thanks Jessica!

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Friday
Sep082017

A reader's home - a taste of France part 2

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Catherine has 2 apartments in the gorgeous southern France town of Carcassonne, and this one I am head over heels in love with. Look at those mirrors - and they match the moldings!! And those windows!! I am really craving a trip to France now. I have never been and now am dying to go more than ever. Thank you so much Catherine for sharing these with us! (Available here on Airbnb)

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Thursday
Sep072017

A reader's home - a taste of France part 1

Catherine (of the blog Taste of France) has been following our blog forever, and kindly emailed us recently with some photos of a couple of 17th century apartments in Carcassonne, France that she owns and renovated over the past year. Not an easy feat it seems as she had to adhere to strict requirements of the Batîments de France (and expensive headache). It started as one gigantic (2000 square foot) apartment that we split in two because there were two entrances. That meant adding a kitchen and bathroom, but our possibilities were dictated by the historic authorities. The last renovation seemed to have been in the 1970s; we changed all the windows, wiring, plumbing and had all the ancient tomette floors restored. It was a challenge, with 2-foot-thick stone walls (just try running wiring through that), and other walls made of straw and lime. But it was above all a labor of love. We decorated with antiques. The furnishings either were bought from the previous owner or come from local brocantes, flea markets and the like. Also leboncoin.fr which is the French equivalent of craigslist. I made the drapes myself. You can’t buy 3.5-meter drapes readymade, and custom was out of my budget. The apartments are vacation rentals and we don't see the attraction of going on vacation in France in a place that has the same Ikea furniture found around the globe; everything is locally sourced. The building is older than Haussmannian, dating to the 1600s, but it was renovated a century later with lots of high-relief moldings above the marble fireplaces. Doves, flowers, lutes.... I'm seriously ready to start scouring the internet for a deal on a flight to France so I can shack up here. So gorgeous!!!! Here's the link to the Airbnb listing if you're interested in a dreamy France vacay. (Stay tuned tomorrow for the other apartment). 

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Tuesday
Jun202017

Reader's home - Pati's small kitchen renovation

If you love dark spaces then you will remember Pati's home (a rental) that I featured back in March. She recently renovated her very small kitchen and as always, it is DYNAMITE and I begged her to send me photos so I could share it on the blog. She sent along a bit of info as well: Since we moved in we hated our kitchen - it was was rather dated and I had updated it with black tiles and lino flooring 10 years ago as cream tiles and green lino did not go, but I didn't want to do anything to the doors without getting permission first. There were a few options I could try with the existing doors which I will explain in details later (for those of you who do not want to change the doors) but in the end I opted for changing the style of the doors.

Finding a bargain takes some time - so I started my search last year in order to purchase items that I wanted to change at the best price available. I then watched a few tutorials on how to do certain things and decided to do all the work myself to save money and allow me to "have a kitchen earlier" - if you are handy with a drill then there is nothing stopping you - you just have to have a little faith in yourself. (For those wondering why my husband didn't do it for me - my husband is disabled so all DIY around the house falls on me). All in all after selling worktops and doors off I have spent £650 for the whole lot! (tiles and doors included in the total)

Thinking it was a good idea at the time and would be relatively mess free (I forgot that we didn't have doors i could close to stop all the dust settling in the rest of the house)...well let me tell you one thing. Dust was everywhere and a small job turned into a major disaster. When removing old tiles from plasterboard I managed to rip half of the wall with the tiles (must have been a good adhesive!) - fixing the wall wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be (besides the fact that I ran out of screws half way through - planning isnt my strong point ;)).

To keep within my rather small budget I started my search for cheap, reduced or free materials last year. Wall tiles were free because U.K. supermarket Tesco had an offer where I could triple my points I collected onto tile vouchers. I "bought" them last year, worktops were bought a few months later, and the rest were slowly bought whenever I saw something on offer. Storing everything was a bit of a pain in the backside as our home is so small there isn't much space so all tiles were under sofas, tools and tile adhesive under the bed and worktops in the living room waiting for someone to trip over them.

Traditional Shaker style kitchen was always a small dream of mine and since my doors were the wrong style rather than painting them (which I would have loved to do) I opted to replace them. Changing doors was a much cheaper option than replacing a whole unit as all my cabinet carcasses were in pretty good condition. Besides replacing 2 cabinets with one long one and removing one wall unit in order to fit the open shelving, having a door made to measure also allowed me to add a door to a extra narrow space by the cooker - that part (as it's not a unit) was made I think by the people who fitted the kitchen originally as it was too narrow for any narrow door. What helped in this one woman job was watching how-to videos and not being afraid to give it a go. It is far from perfect by any means but at least we have a usable kitchen that we all love. AND I FREAKING LOVE IT TOO!!!