2 - 07 - 2011

Swedish Twist: Part Two

The work is progressing, and the transformation is really starting to take form.

A view of the front of the house: notice the English boxwoods that are about to be planted. There is nothing that makes such a statement than a grouping of boxwoods. Notice that most of the stucco is complete. I love the color of the stucco contrasting with the dark green in the boxwoods.

The back porch, and the beginning of its dramatic transformation. Notice how there is only one set of French doors now, but there will be more to come! This is a good view of the “before” of the columns and ceiling, before the paint.

Dry wall, brick and almost completed stucco. This is a good view of all the stages of the transformation.

Photograph taken in the great room, the kitchen will be to the right.

The beginning of the kitchen cabinetry, some will be left alone, a lot will be changed.

The range hood, before

Cabinetry next to the range, before

Check out this giant beam, so big it won’t fit even in the backyard!

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

Anders and I are truly blessed when we work with a client who has a uniquely wonderful style and knows how to put their personality stamp on their home, and at the same time being an absolute delight to work with.

This particular project was very interesting for us because it was not at all our typical project. Often when we do a major renovation to a home, we are working with a home that is at least 35- years or old. This home was only 7 years old, but it definitely had several design and aesthetic issues, and the floor plan was not at all optimal for the way our client lives in their home.

Our main goals for this project were to create additional living space without adding additional square footage to the home, create a more open and unified floor plan, and add architectural interest and significance with a new color palette to all of the spaces. If you have followed our design blogs you have seen the wonderful blogs posted by our energetic and talented colleague Whitney as she chronicled the different stages of this project….we thought you might like to see a final post.

We actually swapped the location of the dining room – we thought it would be wonderful to have the fireplace in the dining room….of course today it really isn’t a room – because we took away all of the walls that once divided these previous spaces. The carved panels above the fireplace are the most outstanding wood carvings we have ever used….after we built the bar, the opposite side of the room needed some more weight….the use of these panels definitely accomplished that…we finished the panels in one of my favorite colors by Farrow & Ball – Pigeon - with lots of silver leaf and layers of different glazes. What a backdrop for that red Buddha and the fabulous 18th century wooden candelabras.

We thought it made more sense to have a sitting room next to the bar…so that’s where we moved it – next to the Grand Piano which now sits in an entirely different place as well. The bar is truly exquisite…I cannot believe our clients actually trusted us to take two fabulous antique pieces and literally chop them apart….our vision was to create a bar area that would become a focal point for the space – be beautiful enough to be seen when you entered in the front door, and look like something we salvaged out of an old European hotel. Anders is still waiting for the first martini but we know that’s coming soon.

You know that I’m working my way to the kitchen … and in this house the new kitchen is truly the heart of the home. What was once a very small and impersonal kitchen is now twice as big as its former footprint, and is dripping with too many details to mention and all of the functionality that any cook could wish for. The two islands were a special find….old French pastry tables. We left them untouched except where we built in lots of appliances and added the stone tops. When we first found them and our curiosity forced us to open the steel doors they aroma of chocolate came wafting out….how could we resist….we said “these are the two islands” …. And here they are!

We really try to make every refrigerator and freezer look unique yet fit the style of the kitchen. We had the space to go up high so I thought the cubbies for the baskets would just offer more storage…and how about the antique French mirror on the doors – love to use this in a room with no windows to capture the light reflecting around the space. The terra cotta pipe was incorporated around the wine refrigeration to offer more wine storage – but I also wanted to incorporate the terra cotta element into the space. It is amazing how this pipe keeps the red wine the perfect temperature.

The cobalt blue Ilve range set the tone for the kitchen – so we knew the vent hood had to be fab! We have never worked with corbels this size – ginormous! The antique iron backsplash was also a special find – 18th century from France. We built the entire vent hood out of various architectural elements – guaranteed uniqueness!

Why didn’t we have sinks like this when our kids were babies? This sink is so functional…the lower cabinet doors were a design I came up with because my client love some carved panels we found for her….I decided to use all of them to create her doors and drawers with. The overdoor above the sink was a fun find on a buying trip…Anders thought it would be perfect above the sink on the curved wall. We used honey onyx on all of the walls in the kitchen….cut into diamonds.

The kitchen is much more open to the breakfast room now – but again these aren’t rooms just open spaces styled and fitted to the new spaces. This hutch was equal to the French pastry tables in the “must have” factor. When we saw this piece which is actually quite large we just had to have it…..it is very old and was taken out of a farmhouse in France. It is a rustic piece – the bins look like they were used to store grains – heck there were holes in the back of the hutches….I could just see chickens laying their eggs in this piece – but I don’t really think so. The glass is original and very wavy – beautiful! This piece is used not only for every day dishes, but large serving pieces, and my client’s cook books. The urns on top are French reproductions….need some more!

We added the wood paneling to all of these spaces to gain the rich intimacy we get with wood – the kind of feeling you just can’t get from drywall or sheetrock. I used the color Old White from the Farrow & Ball line of colors…it is the perfect color palette for the house - we used it everywhere on the doors and trim throughout the house, this combined with the buff colored tucco finish on the walls is soft, and forgiving - with a life of its own. We brought in reclaimed beams from an old barn in Missouri and the mantle is also a creation using massive architectural elements. The andirons are the best we have ever seen, and purchased on a buying trip with our client.

Our client asked for a spa-like bathroom using soft colors….after a complete reconfiguration of the space this is the new bathroom. I limited the color palette in this room to only 3 colors….celadon green, a medium blue and a soft white.

A dreamy bedroom – now twice as big – again through the elimination of walls and windows to get a better floorplan for furniture. I used the antique Swedish herbariums from Swedish Dekor to build the TV cabinet and bi-fold screen – want the TV – just don’t want to see it when it’s not being used.

This project from start to finish was truly a labor of love and excitement. This Spring I will post a blog about the outdoor spaces…stay tuned…our first Koi pond will be unveiled.

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

At first glance, one would adore this home. Red brick, fantastic landscape, beautiful seasonal details, but if taken one more level, to a beautiful world of old European design, you see a new and fantastic creation, with a classic Swedish and French inspiration.


See the stucco covering the red brick, just the beginning of the giant makeover.


A close up with a new dormer, copper detail.


The garage off the main house, it also contains the pool bath.


The brick meets the stucco.


The fence and the garage that is attached to the main house, I love the lines the original brick creates under the stucco. This is why I love remodels versus new construction, so much history, lines and detail!


The corners of the home contain the traditional stucco silhouette.



The west porch, some great “before shots”

The backyard, all the prep work is up, now the fun part!


Now, a look INSIDE, wait until you see this kitchen!

This will be one dramatic ceiling. I love how the toile wallpaper is still showing, really capturing the original low ceilings this room once had.

More photos to come…

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -


Just in time for Christmas, the house is made a home, finished off with spectacular holiday décor. Here are a few pictures below. I believe it is impossible to capture the true beauty of this “Jewel Box,” but I gave it my best.


The chandelier above the dinning table, the crystals are enormous, and reminiscent of ice, perfect for dinning in on a cozy winter night.


Fresh flowers on the dinning table, with fresh greenery above the mantel: smells like winter and looks so fresh.


The completed mantle, the statue is perfect with the wood paneled background.


The study, the Swedish colors make a perfect palate for these one of a kind accessories. 

This onyx topped table goes perfect with the pair of lamps. 

The kitchen is complete, and yes, that is two islands. 

Mirrored doors, not your everyday refrigerator 

Wine fridge and surround 

An antique fire back, just another detail not to be missed 

One of my favorite things about this plate rack is the feature lighting 

The chandelier in the powder bath 

Another exquisite lighting feature, all in this magnificent powder bath

More onyx tile, all the way up to the chair rail 

The family room lighting 

The holiday décor is brings another incredible layer to this exquisite home 

The master suite 

This is a flat screen, camouflaged by Swedish Dekor’s Herbariums, the creativity is endless! 

The soothing blue master bath, Waterworks tile in celedon 

Upstairs 

Just in time for the holidays, the house turned out exquisite, a perfect place to hang your stockings.

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

The transformation continues, enjoy the progress below:

The bar has tile now.

The kitchen is coming along, check out the beautiful stain!

The refrigerator surround, now with paint.

Every kitchen needs a beautiful chandelier above the island.

A great place to display.

Microwave and double oven surround, I love this finish.

The piece to the right of the cook top, the authentic drawer pulls make it a one of a kind piece.

The kitchen sink has two faucets!

A view of the entire kitchen

The family room

"his vanity"

"her vanity"

I love this light fixture, perfect for a laundry room.

Distressing: a part of the lengthy painting process

The guest bed surround

I can’t wait to see the final result, stay tuned!

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -