March 10, 2015

The Home Stretch: Our Clients’ Renovation

Last Winter we began working with our clients on the design and renovation of their gorgeous stone home in the city.   It’s been a few months since I last posted about the project and things have been really cooking since!!   As a refresher, we’re working with architects Franck & Lohsen and CarrMichael Construction on the project and it’s on a house that was built in the 1930s that had been chopped up into small, confusing rooms by previous owners (the original hidden staircase was uncovered- hidden in a wall!!) Our clients bought the home, intending to restore it to its former glory (and then some!! 😉

We are less than TWO weeks away from installation (I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!) and I thought it would be a good time for an update.  (Quick FYI- these pics have been taken over the past several weeks so more has been completed… We are all going to be down to the wire, though, to get everything finished in time for our clients’ big reveal.)

The formal living room (below) inspired design of the entire house for me.

{Blues being tested on the wall- the one you see here was darker than we wanted.}

The living room was previously split into multiple rooms but has been reopened and now leads to a conservatory (yay!!! You know these are my dream rooms!!) through the arched door.  Franck & Lohsen’s classical approach to the entire house is turning out so beautifully!!  A custom plaster ceiling design will take up the formality a few notches higher.  It’s light and bright and will be an amazing entertaining space.   The walls are now a fresh blue and we’re mixing cobalt blues in with bright greens, china blues, metallics, and natural tones.  One of my absolute FAVORITE chintz’s ever- Schumacher’s Pyne Hollyhock- is making an appearance in a big way: 


This is one of the first living rooms of this size I’ve designed- with multiple seating areas- and I took a lot of inspiration from Bunny Williams’ – who is brilliant with floor plans in these types of spaces…  She makes them look perfectly effortless and never too empty or too full.  

In the central foyer, the tile is being laid:


We could not believe our luck when our wonderful tile rep at Architectural Ceramics found a lot of antique Italian tiles that would fit perfectly in the space!! They have so much patina and the soft grays and whites are exactly what we were looking for.  A border of smaller white tiles will surround the center design you see above.  The plywood “door” you see in the back of the room will also be replaced with a real door and glass surrounds… as will a door on the opposite side of the room- for lots of natural light.  A pair of incredibly fun massive vintage Murano glass chandeliers will hang in the front and back areas and antique English central table will anchor the space.  We’ve been collecting antiques throughout the house for over a year and I cannot wait to see it all come together!!

The spiral stairway (designed by Franck & Lohsen) and X railings are turning out beautifully:

This might be the most amazing part of the house!!!

The house has so much character…


The third floor will have special little reading nooks/ window seats tucked throughout the hallway…


The master bedroom is coming along…

French doors (above) lead to a Juliette balcony.  Deep gray grass cloth will line the walls. We’re mixing grays with deep blues, whites and little punches of yellow.

The master bathroom spans the entire depth of the house with a vanity for “her” and “him” at each end of the room and a nook for a freestanding tub centered in the room…

We’re doing four large slabs of marble on the wall behind the tub which I’m really excited about.  They’ll look something like this, with the “clouds” flowing outward from the center point,  when installed:


Anyway, that’s about it for now…  There is so much more to this house but my photos have run out!

We’re installing on a Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday and are shooting it on that Thursday- just in time for my photo submission deadline for the book.  Our clients will walk in Friday afternoon- after having only seen it in the construction phase- to their brand new home!!  The longer a project has been going on for, the crazier that feeling of anticipation is for all of us…  and let me tell you- it’s INSANITY right now!!  We are finalizing so many tiny little details, checking on the furniture, coordinating the install (Dave’s fun job 😉 and just generally dreaming of the finished house all the time!!  I hope you enjoyed this little peek! 

On the book and personal front- this will be our final- the twenty-eighth– project in the book, so that’s also its own big deal…  I cannot wait to hear, “And that’s a wrap” one last time!!  It will be a SERIOUS load off.  I feel like once I hit that point, it’s all downhill…  We’ll have the Easter holiday- when we’re showing my dad his new lake house for the first time!!- and then we have a few more presentations with clients in April and then baby #4 will arrive!!  (I’ve got about 7 weeks to go until my due date and am feeling great, btw.) I feel like my due date is such a nebulous thing- one of our sons arrived almost two weeks early and another arrived (after an induction) almost two weeks late- so I feel like I could have this baby anywhere from April 17th through- May 12th or so…  Kind of crazy. 

We’re waiting to find out if it’s a boy or a girl and I’m starting to think about it more frequently.  We had an odd experience during our ultrasound where the technician made a comment that felt like she was telling us what we’re having and since then, we can’t stop thinking about it.  {She said something like, “You have three boys? This is going to be a big change!” but then proceeded to call the baby “he” the entire time…  So either it was a slip-up and she was trying to cover or went to generic baby “he” mode OR was majorly messing with us… hahah no idea!! Dave walked out thinking “girl” but not quite believing it and I walked out thinking “boy” but not quite sure either.  (I’m honestly not sure I’m capable of thinking “girl” at this point due to our track record 😉

But, I have to say, it’s the funniest thing is when people assume I want a girl because I already have three boys…  I’m sure the feelings are different for everyone, but now that I have three boys, I’m pretty much OBSESSED with them.  I love my little guys so much and would never wish they were anyone else!! (Does anyone ever really say, “Oh I wish so-and-so was a girl? or a boy?? haha no idea, but really hope not.)  When I think of having a baby, I equate it with “boy” because that’s what it’s always been for me.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’ll be thrilled if a little girl arrives, but I’ll be totally shocked because it’s just not what we’re expecting or used to. 


{My oldest, Christian, 7…  I love how sweet they are to me… }

Anyway, I know we’ll love whoever comes our way like crazy and I just can’t wait to hold that little thing!!   I can’t believe how close it is!!