9 - 10 - 2012

Extreme Makeovers

Sometimes Anders and I are lucky enough to take on the task of a whole house makeover. This home is situated on a beautiful street in our neighborhood – what a setting! But it was looking a little “tired” and really didn’t reflect the fun and youthful personality of our clients. Now it has a beautiful roofline, slate shingles, a 2-story cast stone entryway, a soft stucco finish over the busy red brick, and several large raised planters that are the hallmark of this garden design. Truly an extreme makeover if there ever was one.

It is our greatest challenge when we approach a home renovation to retain the original charm that our clients love about their homes, while combining their new goals and wishes for changes to their homes. We have some rules we never stray far from: 

o Being sympathetic to the style and bones of the home – retaining it’s character

o Injecting the personality of our clients style and taste into the finished result 

o Understanding how they live or want to live in their homes 

o Maximizing space – and capturing space where there was none 

o Bringing an unexpected beauty to their home

Anders is very talented at spatial planning – he can see through walls and ceilings. In this recently completed renovation, Anders combined 5 rooms – and attic space to create an open and integrated kitchen, breakfast and family living space. Before the renovation the kitchen, breakfast, and den were small and didn’t flow well. The new space opens up to a beautiful outdoor room accessible by multiple french doors – so handling a large gathering is a breeze.

The new family room is just steps away from the kitchen. It’s bright and airy and so much larger than the former space. Removing the walls and attic in this home changed the entire space. This home is filled with hand-picked European lighting, and French and Swedish antiques and a mix of comfortable new upholstery pieces.

Formerly this space was right off of the front entry in the home. The interior design was previously more formal, but for this active family this new style fits their sensibilities and is even the gathering place for one of their Christmas celebrations.

Love how we grouped the antique Swedish herbariums behind the Swedish bench. Lamps are from Angie Tyner Antiques in Atlanta.

This home has become a favorite drive-by in the neighborhood, and it seems like it’s always looked just the way it does today.

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

There is something very special about vintage Swedish herbariums – they are irresistible!  Of course they have been used for decades, but by only a few who understood what they are.  I first really started paying attention to them on our buying trips where antique dealers like A. Tyner Antiques would bring scores of them to shows like Marburger Farms at Round Top, Texas.   We bought several for a client’s home – we weren’t exactly sure where we would use them – we just knew we wanted to incorporate them – and would find a perfect place to display them.  We bought 16 – each of them unique and from the early 1900’s.  As the months that we were completing their renovation went by, I would walk through their home and imagine where we would place them; in the end we put them over a long French pastry table of carerra marble in the master bedroom.  We hung those 4 across and 4 high – it was a spectacular display – and I think about it all the time – this definitely created a soft “wow”!  I had Swedish herbarium envy – I wanted some for myself.

In another project, I used 12 botanicals over a fabulous French sideboard that we refinished in one of my favorite colors from Farrow & Ball Paint  called Mouse’s Back with antiqued silver leaf accents.  This room was filled with lovely French and Swedish antiques and beautiful upholstered pieces using various Vervain Fabrics.  This home has very high ceilings so finding a single piece of art that would be the room’s focal point was challenging.   By using the botanical art in a large grouping I was able to achieve a very high impact – but the soft colors of the vintage herbariums kept the wall very simple and incredibly elegant and worked beautifully with both the French and Swedish pieces in her home.

Swedish Herbarium

I have a client who asked me to design a room around her collection of botanicals.  Their “keeping room” was formerly a little stuffy for this active family, so as we renovated her home we modified her interior to be more casual by introducing some Swedish antiques and collectibles into the updated design.  We refinished and reupholstered most of her furniture using a much lighter and softer color palette and had fun changing the personality of the room from stuffy English to casual Swedish.  In this setting, I used 8 Swedish botanicals hung in perfect alignment over a Swedish bench purchased from Leslie Taylor Home in Dallas and flanked on either side by two wonderful antique Swedish lamps.  This room was transformed into a much more inviting and casual space.

Swedish Botanical

Botanicals always seem to look just right wherever I use them.  They are lovely in a guest bedroom – here I hung 5 herbariums in a single row where there was a very long wall but tight space didn’t allow placement of any furniture on it.  The display of the botanical art was the perfect solution for the décor of this room – it added much needed interest but didn’t disrupt the calm effect I was trying to achieve for this space

Swedish Herbarium

We completely remodeled a home for one of our clients, and it turned out to be one of my very favorites.  We did the entire home in a casual family-friendly Swedish / eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories, and the result was really quite special.  You always get a better result when you are able to have every room in a home play off of the rooms surrounding it.  In this home, we created an open floor plan that lives large and happy due to a unified color scheme and by repeating the finishes from room to room.  We refinished several pieces of their furniture and as the lighter colors came into the interior – the use of the antique Swedish herbariums really created a cohesive and “just right” look.  Here they are hung as a focal point in the great room of this home.


Below is a casual family room located in the center of the home, while the room is used to watch TV in – it still needed to flow with the rest of the home’s interior so I used 8 botanicals aligned over the light green velvet sofa – it was just the right touch in this room and says “Swedish Style” is alive in this room too!


Look how the antique Swedish herbariums bring elegance to this special master bedroom.

Framed Plant

The vintage Swedish herbariums offered through Swedish Dekor are truly special.  Each one-of-a-kind pressed flower or herb botanical from Sweden, has its’ original hand-written Scandinavian description.  We found the perfect frame and they are matted in linen.  People who understand what these are use adjectives like “fabulous” when they see them….where will you put yours?   Send your photos!

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -