Dream Kitchen- Lauren Liess

I”ve been a fan-girl of Lauren Liess‘ for as long as I”ve been reading blogs (5+ years.)  I admire her style, her personality, her adorable family and the way she has expanded her business from interior design firm to creating a textile line to now having a beautiful studio/store.  She comes across as honest, down to earth yet elegant, effortlessly beautiful and I would say her interiors are the same way.  I’ve learned so much from reading her blog and strive to embed some of her approach into my own designs- simplicity, patina, imperfection, casual elegance and natural beauty.

When her big home renovation was revealed in Domino Magazine this month I was all over that shit.  The entire space is gorgeous (you must pick up a copy to see the whole spread,) but I was particularly smitten with her kitchen.  As a kitchen designer, I often struggle with mixing practicality and beauty in such a utilitarian space.  She created a space that is modern and rustic and blends seamlessly with the rest of her home.  So often kitchens feel like a stark departure from the rest of your house!  Why not incorporate art, softness and style into the heart of the home?

Lauren’s kitchen as seen in Domino Magazine…

lauren liess kitchen 1

My favorite element in the kitchen is the island made of reclaimed lumber and topped with marble.  The matte finish of the wood and the vintage hardware make my heart pitter patter.   New wood just doesn’t have the same soul.

Liess Home

Instead of your typical tile backsplash or wall of cabinetry, she opted for an art wall over her sink.  I’ve tinkered with a gallery wall in my own kitchen and will be looking to this space for great inspiration.

Liess Home

Can we go back and talk about the rusted iron etageres that she used instead of your typical wall cabinets or open shelves?  I die.   It’s so un-kicheny (cause that’s a word) yet functional at the same time.  I love that everything is within easy reach in this kitchen.

A view from the family room shows how the kitchen really ties in perfectly with her aesthetic for the rest of the home.

Liess Home

You can spy the refrigerator on the left wall there.  Just a few steps away from the main work area in the kitchen.

Liess Home

For more information on this kitchen and to hear about the design in her own words, you must check out this post.

All images by Helen Norman for Lauren Liess.

(Except the first which is from Domino Magazine.)

Making a Statement in the Bedroom- The Modern Canopy Bed

I’m working with a client right now on her master bedroom and I am just dying to install a canopy bed.  The room is quite large (almost 20′ wide) with a high tray ceiling and it is really begging for some kind of statement right in the middle.  Insert fabulous canopy bed.  I love the versatility of these beds; they can be traditional, modern, whimsical, bold.  When creating a layered bedroom I love pairing a traditional bed with more modern nightstands, or a clean metallic bed with rustic woods.  It’s so fun to mix and match around a canopy bed.

Here are a few spaces that are inspiring me while working on this design.

If it were my room, this would be my choice hands-down: chrome, chinoiserie, in-your-face gorgeousness.   But that’s a little bold for my client’s style…

chrome canopy bed with chinoiserie wallpaper behind

We will be keeping it more neutral, more soft, with subtle, selective doses of pattern and color.  I’d say this room is more in-line with the feel.  I love the patterned fabric behind the bed!

white poster bed with curtain fabric behindvia House Beautiful

I wish that we could fit a sofa or chair at the end of the bed.  It’s such a chic and cozy look!  (PS- how great does this bed look in a smaller space below?  We may do a different finish on the ceiling as well.)  Alas, we do not have the space, so we will need to do a bench or stools.

canopy bed in small space cozy symmetrical layouts

I considered doing a chrome bed as a modern statement in the middle of the room and pairing it with traditional finishes and furnishings.  It makes for quite the drama piece!

Angie Hrankowsky chrome canopy bedAngie Hranowsky

poster bed with floral

But ultimately it felt too modern.  The rest of the house has been decorated and we have to think about the flow and personality.  So while we are doing our own thing in the bedroom, I also want to be sensitive to my client’s tastes and comfort.  An iron canopy bed just felt more appropriate to me.

I love how iron canopy beds can be soft and strong at the same time.  They are a little rustic and romantic.

neutral bedroom with iron canopy bed

 

Because comfort is extremely important, we are considering an upholstered canopy bed.  It’s the best of both worlds.

iron upholstered canopy bed

Above and below is the bed I have in mind.  I love the soft curve of the headboard.  Imagine a gorgeous patterned paper behind it?

iron upholstered canopy bed with sunburst mirror above

We will want to do reading sconces next to bed.  This is a little tricky- between finishes and placement.  I’m thinking nickel or brass and inside the bed frame, like below.  (No curtain in the back, though.)

iron upholstered canopy bed with curtains at back and sconces

Our rug (carpet) will be more neutral, so I am looking to make a little more impact on the wall behind the bed.  Yep… WALLPAPER!  I only want to do one wall to really highlight the bed and not overwhelm the space with business.  Remember, this is supposed to be a serene and restful space.

This bedroom has similar elements to we want- natural iron bed, neutral textural capert, patterned wall, white bedding and color/patterns on the pillows, but the vibe will be totally different.

iron canopy bed paired with wallpaper behind

PS- I love this Galbraith and Paul paper and we may be using it elsewhere in the house!

What do you think of canopy beds?  Are you as smitten as me?

What’s been Happening, What’s Coming Up Next

Hey guys!  Here we are… Spring.  I’m sooo ready for a re-awakening.

This winter has been weird.  The ridiculous amount of snow turned me into a hibernating hermit.  I haven’t wanted to share, I’ve been too busy and filled with a bit of writers block.   All I’ve want to do is cuddle with my honey by the fire.  Meanwhile work has been very busy and Dad and I are juggling an awesome mix of kitchens, bathrooms and decorative projects.  We’ve been experimenting with luxurious materials, creative layouts, custom fabrications and taking our designs to next level.  (Or trying, at least ;) I’ve been so impatient to share our projects but all are in various stages of planning and not a lot has actually happened yet.  In the past few weeks things have finally started to come to fruition   It’s super cool.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset{We recently installed a Custom Coffee table we created in collaboration with Coldren Design}

Another exciting Spring happening is that I will be partaking in the One Room Challenge again!  It starts next Wednesday April 2nd, so be sure to tune in.  I can’t give much away until then, but I will reveal that I’m turning the challenge back to my own house again and in typical fashion am being my own worst client!  Nothing is finalized yet.  I have 7 weeks to do it and am basically f*cked.

OneRoomChallengeButtonblack

Also, the lineup of bloggers this time is INSANE.   This is going to be so fun to follow.  Check it below- some of my favorite internet people.

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

***

Do you have a room you want to makeover too?  Did you know you can play around with us ORCers?  Every Thursday Linda is hosting an ORC linking party.  Check this post to learn all the details.  (PS- last rounds linkers had some aamazing spaces!!)

Modern Wood Kitchens

Maybe it’s in reaction to the world being so saturated with all WHITE KITCHENS, but I find myself attracted to EARTHY STAINED CABINETS recently.  When doing stained wood in a kitchen I love it rich: not too dark (espresso) not too light ( bleached)  Those looks, while lovely, seemed more trendy to me, and thus prone to lookin dated down the road.  I’d rather have a natural stained walnut or weathered reclaimed wood.  Something organic and natural.  The stained wood cabinet looks best on a modern door- slab or something with minimal embellishment. Pair it with a light counter, modern fixutres, perhaps an unexpected pattern and you have yourself one chic kitchen.

 

modern wood kitchen, light counter patterned splashvia Design Files

modern wood kitchen with arched window wall

McAlpine Tankersley

modern wood kitchen mid century tribal rug

modern wood kitchen with white subway patterend floorAbramson Teiger

modern wood kitchen dark counter herringbone floor

wood and metal island mixed open and closed

That island!  I love a mix of wood and metal.

Reasons to Celebrate

I’m feeling celebratory.  Business is fantastic, Winter is (please. God. hopefully) ending soon, Romance is alive and well in my life, and my house is FINALLY coming together.  I’ve given myself a summer deadline to complete The Cottage.  Finishing in 4-odd months feels pretty daunting when I feel like it’s so far from perfect, but I’m trying to tackle in one small element at a time.  With each new step I celebrate.  A glass of wine, a happy dance, whatever.  My home is starting to make me feel giddy again… and shouldn’t our homes be our happy place?

 

Here are a few small reasons I’m celebrating today:

1.  Black Bamboo Chinese Chippendale Chairs Reupholstered!

I picked up a pair of these vintage chairs years ago and let them sit with ugly upholsltery because I didn’t want to spend the money to recover them or pick a fabric.  I discussed fabric ideas HERE but ended up choosing something different.  I found this great vinyl faux ostrich fabric down on Fabric Row of Philadelphia ans snagged 1.5 yards.  I love that it’s light, textural and totally durable.  The brass nailheads are a nice touch too, I think.

Black Bamboo chair with Ostrich Upholstery

chinese chippendale chinoiserie chair with ostrich upholstery les touches pillow (1)

2.  The slipcover has made its triumphant return!

After 4 months of sitting crumpled in a bag I finally accomplished my personal goal of getting my slipcover dry cleaned.  I spent the winter with snowy boots, dirty dogs and my old gray original upholstery on my sofa.  IT IS SO NICE HAVING OPTIONS WITH THE UPHOLSTERY.  The gray was perfect for winter but now I’m welcoming the natural linen again.  It feels so fresh and clean that I can almost feel the spring air wafting through my cottage.

DM Living room- Layered cowhide over jute rug, patterened ottoman, slipcover sofa

3.  The Fireplace Mantel has been Refreshed

I loved my holiday mantel and kept it a little too long, but it was time to mix it up.  I needed a little less gold and shimmer and a little more softness.  I’m simplifying things all over the cottage and being a little more selective with what I display.  Less is more.  Just don’t call me a minimalist.

DM Fireplace Mantel simple styling

Design Manifest Fireplace Mantel Gold Mirror

So there you go- just a few small tweaks to the living room and I already feel like I’m on my way to a finished home.  Fingers crossed I can continue to pull it together.