Saturday, June 29, 2013


Granted, this loveseat looks pretty darn 'granny' at the moment, with its skirt and velvety yellow fabric, but before long, it will be looking very hip.  It has a wonderful shape to it, its low back broken by an elegant little pinch right where the back turns into the arms, very 'Japonais', very Frank Lloyd Wright... and all that tufting on the back, think of how great that will look with a graphic pattern?!  We plan on removing the skirt to expose the straight legs behind it (and possibly even replacing existing legs with a new tapered mid-century style leg which will give it even more of the feel of the period), and creating one seat cushion instead of 2- making it feel much more streamlined.  All bold, no granny!  It is always fun to look at what others have done with similar pieces, however, I was unable to find too many redos but certainly found a lot of comparable pieces...

And one great redo of a similar piece by Chairloom, love the dots, but not so much the skirt...

I am looked at a few possibilities for mine...

Very excited to get started!


This house clearly had great modern bones, and my clients sensed this when they decided to purchase the home, but they needed a little help seeing the potential through all the turned balusters... and shiny brass... and... well, you will see!

In the main living space we removed the honey oak chair rail that cut the height of the room, removed the plantation shutters which completely opening the room to the fantastic view.  A typical tan paint color was replaced with a very subtle neutral taupe that also helped bring the view into the room.  The client's great light and bright modern furniture also contributed significantly to the open feel of the space.



There were two major elements in this main living space that really hindered the modern feel of the house, and these just had to go.  The first was the country-style stair rail and balusters.  We needed a modern feel, yet still had to be sure the stair felt as though it belonged in the house.  Instead of going super-contemporary with steel and cable, we simplified and squared everything off, with a new newel post, balusters and handrail, all with a sleek feel, yet still warm and in keeping with the tone of the house.  The change was quite striking.



And probably the item that screamed 'renovate me' the most, was the retro 70s style stove surrounded by white brick directly next to the staircase.  In the center of the space, next to the dining room, living room and kitchen, this desperately needed to be turned into an attractive central feature in the home.  So we removed everything and started from scratch creating a modern and inviting fireplace with a bench hearth perfect for perching on a cold night. 



It is always so rewarding to see a space completely transform without actually starting from scratch.  Now the honey oak floors and stairs tie into the new fireplace mantle, and add to the space, rather than overwhelm the space, giving it that great mid-century warm modern feel.  Everything feels open, fresh, and new.  Thank you my excellent clients for making this project happen!

Monday, June 24, 2013



I am so thrilled I got my hands on these adorable and awesome mid-century armchairs!  They lived in a Salt Lake office space for many a decade, and just as they were about to meet their maker, a fellow interior designer had the wherewithal to puck them from obscurity and then shortly thereafter, deliver them to me!  Of course, now the question becomes, what to do with them?  Of course, repair some minor structural damage,  remove the high gloss polyurethane finish and return the wood frame to something that actually feels like wood, and then there is the upholstery.  I always think it is a balance between being true to the style of the piece and being sure to update the piece for today.  However, with these, my upholstery sense is screaming for something more authentic, so I have browsed some looks that might have actually once graced these pieces, but still feel a bit new.
After some trys...
this one is a bit too groovy psychedelic...
And this one is a bit too subdued...
Also a bit tame...
And a bit too cutesy for these pieces...
So finally I found two fabrics that I just love for the pieces...
First, this b&w, highly accurate Abstract Expressionist print, reminiscent of some of the best American painters of the 1950s like Franz Kline-
Or Clifford Still,
 Or Robert Motherwell.
The other -
is reminiscent of a very period appropriate Eames pattern (yet decidedly more contemporary), with a playful yet sophisticated feel.  A few classic Eames patterns in the same vein-
So now I have to decide!  Any opinions out there?

Friday, June 21, 2013


I was in heaven when I walked into this amazing original Arts & Crafts style house in the Yale/Harvard area of Salt Lake.  And the best part is that I get work with my new client on furniture selections for her living and dining room!  Of course there is no building work to be done in here, as the rooms are stunning as is, and it would be a CRIME to change any of this original woodwork.  But what fun to work with, there are amazingly few houses left with this kind of 100 year old detail.  I cannot wait to get started!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I often spend far too much time in the mornings looking through featured properties in the Wall Street Journal Mansion section, and yesterday, was quite struck by 2 properties.  While I was totally intrigued initially, I was completely disappointed by the lack of continuity through the project as I moved through the images.

The first is this amazing house located on a island in the Thames just outside Reading, England.  For sale for only 11 million, I was completely taken by the sheer romanticism of the Neoclassical exterior and lush gardens.  I think I see Jane Austin somewhere in the background, don't you?

Yet, I was terribly disappointed by the very mediocre updated interiors, which feel as though they could be in any McMansion; there is barely any sign of the amazing architecture on the interior.

The interiors are perfectly nice, I just wish something on the outside followed amazing staircase?  No oversized, beefy Greek crown molding?    No massive stone fireplace?  Granted, all of these things may well have been destroyed over the years, or never been there in the first place, but there is such a disconnect, it makes me sad.

The other featured property that quickly gave me the same feeling was this stunning loft in Greenwich Village in NYC, available for rent for $30,000/month.  The exterior is fantastic, and the main living space is to die for, just what a raw loft should be...

But then moving into the private spaces, the tone completely changes and the rough loft feeling starts to disappear in the kitchen (have we been transported to Park Ave all of a sudden?)...

And disappears even more in the bedroom and bathroom...(not a fan of the wallpaper, esp not in an original loft space, and the bathroom looks like it could exist in some mid-range hotel in my opinion)...

At least the property redeems itself with an amazing rooftop garden space.  The ultimate NYC luxury.