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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Home Tours from the Annals of California Home Design

The 2017 Design Award winner for interiors of less than 3,000 square feet was given to Jennifer Robin Interiors and Ani Wade of Wade Design Architects for a breathtakingly lovely guest house adjacent to a larger home on the same property. The idea was to design a smaller structure that had the same feel and tone as the original structure, but with a warm and inviting appeal. 

The designers focused on creating a space that brought the outdoors in and vice versa. Wide glass case openings slide to allow the forest to become part of the decor.

The A-frame house has reclaimed wooden ceiling and walls with exposed beams. A loft bedroom is accessible using a ladder. The surrounding redwoods inspired the muted color palette, while the high windows brighten the guest room and transform the space into a treehouse-like alcove.

The house contains furniture created specifically for the get-away by designer Jen McDonald herself. She wanted to ensure that each piece was utilitarian and adaptable to each guest's sensibilities.

Her flexible creations include:
  • twin beds in the loft push together to make a king bed or swivel to create a couch
  • a dining area that is also a sleeping nook for naps or extra guests
  • ottomans that double as dining chairs

This project was one of McDonald's favorites and she named it "the jewel box" which in architectural circles denotes a project that included precise attention to detail and the use of quality materials.

The occasional touches of copper and amethyst tones in the rooms make this retreat feel valuable and special while retaining a woodsy, rustic flavor.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Minimal Bohemian: Mindy Kaling NYC Apartment Tour

Elle Decor has published photographs and conversation with television actress Mindy Kaling of "The Mindy Project" She recently fluffed her NYC apartment with the help of designer Sally Gotfredson and The Studio at One Kings Lane and gave it a more minimalistic feel.

Kaling also has a home in Los Angeles where her collections and memorabilia take center stage, so she decided to make her NYC apartment more serene. On the East coast, Mindy wanted a calming neutral palette with Moroccan touches that would dance atop a simple black and white canvas.

Her living room has a wall of windows that keeps the room light-filled and preserves a feeling of spaciousness, along with a modern edge.

Mindy's bedroom includes a wooden, mid-century modern dresser and two kilim ottomans at the end of her bed, which has an upholstered and nailhead-trimmed headboard. The black tasseled bed covering and the black outlined Roman shades on the windows scream sophistication.

In the guest room is another bed with a winged, upholstered, striped linen headboard and two rubbed brass mid-century modern, hinged reading sconces. Gotfredson propped two boiled-wool, Indian blanket Euro-cushions on the bed.

Mindy's eating area is a small and straightforward with a white, modern pedestal table, and two contemporary, upholstered wood chairs. Her modern chandelier is a quirkily configured black metal creation that has wine glasses as lamp shades. One lovely graphic, modern piece of art hangs beside the table in a white frame that almost disappears into the painted wall.

The actress/writer now has a welcoming and relaxing space for reading, learning scripts, and writing in her second home in Manhattan.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Don't Fence Me In; A Sophisticated City Twist to the Classic Country Cottage

The term “farmhouse” is not usually synonymous with the city of Los Angeles, yet Designer Jeffrey Alan Marks successfully assists in bringing this unlikely scenario to life. Elle Decor treats us to a home tour of this rustic urban retreat, where we find vegetable gardens, livestock, and a relaxed countryside atmosphere serenely coexisting with the city's typical hustle and bustle.


This home's interior is designed to invite the outdoor pastoral ambiance inside. More than just attracting the occasional curious chicken, the minimalist scheme draws upon the air of open expanse and allows plenty of room for the indoor rustic scheme to breathe.

No frills, no fluff, no country cottage kitsch, this home's decor is far more streamlined and sophisticated than the countryside style we've grown used to. While not heavily-layered in their application, still, we do see some very familiar textures, patterns, and prints. Plaid textiles, raw wood beams, and rusted steel panels, conservatively integrated, conjure the underlying rustic character from within the sometimes strikingly contemporary interior design.


Though this urban farmhouse's decor leans toward a serious, almost utilitarian quality, it is not without its whimsy. In the guest bath, you'll find an endearing flora and fauna wall covering from artist Nathalie Lete.

In the child's bedroom, splendidly existing within clean white walls and under a contemporary chandelier from 1stdibs is an ornate European bed, carved and painted with flowers, seashells, and feminine figures.

In the Master bedroom, this sophisticated light-heartedness continues, with accents such as a 19th-Century rocking chair, antique Gramophone, chevron patterned rug, a chandelier crafted from airplane trusses, and an Italian settee.

Lounging out on the deep covered porch, looking into the lush garden while listening to the horses and hens scrabble about, you could easily forget where you are. Still, rather than deny or rebuff, the design of this home pays homage the city outside its gates with its poetic cohesion of contemporary class and down-home rustic character.

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