September 26, 2019

Take 2

Despite all I’ve been talking about with product & book launches, we’ve still got some special projects going on at Lauren Liess & Co. and I thought I’d share a little bit about the one we visited yesterday.  It’s the second house we’ve done for our clients – both teamed up with CarrMichael Construction and Cunningham Quill Architects- and I love going into a project already having built up so much trust with  clients from previously working together and having such understanding of how they want to live.  We began a couple of years ago with the renovation side of the project and are now moving onto the decorating phase.  We’ve already installed window treatments throughout and have established a color palette of whites, blues, greens, warm grays and, blacks and browns and this Oscar de La Renta fabric (below) that we used for the dining room curtains was my jumping off point:

We haven’t purchased any new furniture for the house, keeping as much of the existing furniture as possible. The new house is a turn-of-the-century American foursquare and some of the pieces are just too large or small and/or modern for where they need to go.

The new kitchen is in and I’m loving it!!! The red knobs on the range will be switched out with stainless ones and when the kitchen’s all styled up, I’ll share finished pis of the whole thing.
Here’s a peek at their old kitchen.  The house was featured in my first book, Habitat, and in Traditional Home Magazine- both photographed by Helen Norman.

If you compare the first kitchen to the second, you’ll see that the layout and features are very similar: A gas cooktop with range hood as the focal point, mostly drawers, and classic subway tile. The floors in the new (yet older) house are pine and we did the foyer in a herringbone pattern.  (below)

We’ve got some work to do here but the bones are in!! We did all new flooring, moldings and light fixtures (many of which are vintage) and window treatments throughout the house. We’re keeping the settee in place and adding more art , furniture and a rug.

My goal is to really bring the soul of this house out.  We need to add lots of textures, layers and patina.  I picture lots of pattern play and vintage and antique pieces. We’ve already done the side porch to house in a mix of traditional wicker pieces with a faded vintage-inspired floral on the cushions and it just feels like another time with a bit of freshness and I love it.

The living room (below) is pretty much a blank slate right now.  The velvet sofa is staying but we need to add a larger sofa or chairs, a much larger coffee table, and a game table and chairs in the bay window.  I’m on the hunt for an amazing vintage rug and we’ll probably layer over a natural woven one for texture.

Here’s a peek at their last living room so you can see how it all went together.  This new house is just a bit quieter and more relaxed in feeling as opposed to the cleaner, Federalist modern vibe we had going on:

As you can see, the living room really isn’t getting used at all right now.. Except maybe it looks like the kids have been enjoying the swivel chairs? 😉

I love the bay window in the new house… This house just has a soul and so much character to it. We went with unlined curtains in a Les Indiennes pattern for a relaxed vibe that lets the light come through.

The laundry room is upstairs and I love how it turned out… We did a few sets of cafe curtains throughout the house which just add a little bit of that vintage charm I love so much.  We also went with cloth cord on fixtures wherever possible for that same reason.

There’s a little hallway library with a window seat just out of shot on the left, something also repeated from the last house.

The upstairs hall is one of my favorites spots in the house and we went with another Les Indiennes pattern in here on the walls.  We had the railings made to look like the originals and poured over old photos of similar four squares to arrive at all of our woodwork decisions.

I’m so excited to be getting to the pretty stage of this project and to really make it feel like home for our clients!!  The fabrics will really help bring it all alive.  Here’s a little peek at what we’ve got in the works:

I’ll be sure to share more bits and pieces along the way!!  I’m headed out for the day but hope you have a beautiful one!!

& If you’re interested in pre-ordering my new book (OUT IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS!!) please click here to purchase a signed copy or see a list of links to booksellers carrying it. eeek getting nervous!!!! 🙂

And a quick note, that I’ll be posting a full book tour soon, but the first local book signing we’ll be doing will be at:

Urban Country in Bethesda on Thursday evening, October 10th!!

The next one will be at the the Ballard Designs store at Tysons in the evening on Thursday, October 24th where I’ll also be doing a little Q&A.

Both will be doing hors d’oeurves & bubbly!   I’ll be sure to post RSVP info soon!! Would LOVE to see you!!!  (and if you’re a designer or show owner and plan to be at High Point Market, we’ve got a few fun events going on there too & I’ll be posting soon!!)