Before and After

Past Work // Styling Story – Before, After and In-Between

There is no greater satisfaction in my work than at the end of a project, when I get to styling! It is the final layer. Even when the clients are there all along for a project, I can still send them off for a day, work some magic with art and accessories, and give them a fun and surprising reveal of a completed design.

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Above is a feature wall in the Family Room in a Mediterranean Contemporary house I finished last year.

This is what it looked like just after my clients had bought the house, but were still renting it back to the previous owners. The style was sort of Global Goth, and I predict it was done when the Osborne Family was a hit show. (You can see more of the transformation of this house in this post.)

BEFORE DESIGN

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Below is a snapshot of the Family Room soon after my new design was almost in place, and my clients had moved in. We had lightened the walls and ceiling coffers with paint. My clients had wanted closed storage and open shelving for display on this wall. After quotes for a custom cabinetry build-out around the fireplace and TV proved to be way out of the budget, I came up with a less expensive way to fill out the niches and make the wall eye-catching. Key was this pair of media credenzas from Crate and Barrel. They fit pleasingly into the niches, and I designed custom shelves to go above them.

AFTER DESIGN – BUT NOT DONE!

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Barton Sol built the shelves, and stained them to match the credenzas for a cohesive look. I designed the placement of the shelves around built-in speakers on the wall, and a beautiful pair of horse sculptures that my clients had in their collection. We painted the back walls of the niches above the shelves blue to relate it to blues throughout the rest of the house, and to further define this as a feature wall. It worked, but you can see that something still needed to happen to bring this design together!

AFTER STYLING

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When styling, my team and I power-shop stores like World Market, Ikea, Target, West Elm and Crate and Barrel for accessories. Our haul might include lighting, vases, photo-frames, baskets, pillows and throws….fun stuff to play with! I consider all the art and accessories my clients already have, and curate a mix with the new pieces. I try to make it feel fresh and stylish, as well as personal to my clients. In this case, the design point-of view I introduced was in the goldenrod color in the accessories. It related to a big piece of art in their Living Room, and it was an on-trend color when I was out accessory shopping! I love the way it livens things up against the blue and wood tones. It’s bright, but it fits in with the California Traditional vibe of the new design in their house.

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Past Work // The Virg – Apartment Bedroom & Bathroom Renovation

This is Part 4 of my series on the recent renovation of The Virg, a 12-unit apartment building in Hollywood that was re-developed by 3SC Capital Partners. I consulted on all the design decisions for the project. You can follow these links to read about what we did with the building’s Exterior, typical Living Room, and typical Kitchen. Now here is what we did with a typical Bedroom and Bathroom in each apartment.DSC_0840 copy
B E D R O O M // B E F O R E

This project was about elevating the property to re-position it in the rental market. The cookie-cutter apartment features of the 1980s had to go: industrial carpet, vertical blinds, and mirrored closet doors.

B E D R O O M // A F T E R

I favor simple white roller shades for this kind of architecture. They offer privacy, but let in light. And they almost disappear when they are rolled up, allowing the view to be a feature of the space. I recommend inside-mounted shades, so that a renter has the option of installing a curtain rod and some drapes over the window. That way, they have the flexibility to express their personal style AND block out more light, if that’s important to them!

blindsThe floors are durable laminate planks, and decently approximate hardwood flooring with a cerused finish. Waaaay more hygienic than carpet, and all a tenant needs to do is throw down their own rug for warmth and style.

Mirrored closet doors are hopelessly dated! (At least, the kind that you find in these 80s and 90s remodels are hopelessly dated!!) We replaced the junk-y sliders in place with simple sliding wood doors, painted white and mounted on a sturdy track. If this was my room, I would get a lightweight and inexpensive mirror, (look for them in hardware stores – about 48″ x 12″ ) and mount it on the back of the bedroom door for a full-length view. doors

B A T H R O O M // B E F O R E

You knew this wasn’t going to be good! This was one of the cleaner bathrooms when we started. The toilet in this unit was OK, but everything else needed to be upgraded. Modular plastic shower units and harsh light fixtures would not do.

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 B A T H R O O M // A F T E R

I have dwelled in many an apartment in my day, and I bring that experience to this kind of design. I know what I yearned for, all those years! So all the new fixtures installed are clean and contemporary-looking. I selected pieces that were relatively inexpensive, without sacrificing practicality. The medicine cabinet is generously sized, and if depth allowed, each bathroom got a double towel- rail. Everyone needs room for at least two towels to hang in a bathroom!bathroomvanityandlight copyWe selected a really neutral gray tile with a hint of texture for the bathroom floors, and continued with the same material in a different size for the shower enclosure. We also added an integrated shampoo niche.
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There is a major cost-saving upside in going with a shower curtain rod instead of glass enclosure, but I don’t like glass enclosures around a tub like this anyway! In a rental, it is more surface area and nooks and crannies to collect mildew and deteriorate the value of the space. There are more potential maintenance issues with glass and doors. And they can be a total pain if you’re trying to bathe babies and little kids. (This is the only bathroom in a 2-bedroom apartment, so we wanted to make it amenable to a young family.) One last reason that I value a curtain rod in a rental unit is style – this bathroom could go in so many directions according to the shower curtain that a tenant hangs. As a renter, I always took advantage of that.

Past Work // Apartment Interior Design – Living Rooms

The Virg is a building in Hollywood that I have been working on for the last few months with 3SC developers. You can read about what we did with the building’s exterior here Read on for interior details!5

Inside the building, there are 12 units, and they have come with a variety of worn-out finishes and dated fixtures. Here are examples of how we have improved upon a typical one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment in the Living Room areas.

6-overallThis project has been about elevating this building to re-position it in the rental market. Things that had to go were: popcorn ceilings, gross carpet, and ugly tile.

I had tile like this in the last apartment I lived in – it looks dirty and feels gritty, even when it’s clean!

L I V I N G  R O O M // B E F O R E

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In addition to scraping the ceiling and painting everything, we laid hard-wearing laminate flooring that has the look of cerused hardwood. We replaced windows and doors, maximized built-in storage, and replaced dated vertical blinds with roller shades and curtain rods.

L I V I N G  R O O M // A F T E R

12-livingroomdetailThe result is a fresh, neutral space that maximizes natural light, and has attractive, durable finishes that are easy to keep clean. Regardless of architectural style and budget, this is what I aim to bring to any rental unit. A built-in view of palm trees doesn’t hurt my design!
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A fter shots by Caroline Froeberg

Past Work // Kitchen Remodel – Part 1

Here are some of the details of the Kitchen remodel we did prior to moving into our home about 3 years ago. The house already had a lovely open lay-out and good flow, and I wanted to take that further with the Kitchen by expanding the depth of the bar, removing the hanging cabinets over the bar, and removing the ceiling soffet. Often soffets house electrical components and you’re stuck with them – it was a happy day when we opened up the drywall and confirmed that it was merely a design choice, and could be eliminated altogether!
beforekitchenSplurges for this kitchen were the Caesarstone (when it comes to counter-tops, I say buy the best and you’ll only cry once), the Olivieri sink (I was sure we wanted a double-bowl, stainless-steel under-mount sink with an integrated drainboard, and this was the only one I could find) and the Ann Sacks handmade tile (not a lot of wall to cover, and I was in love with the colors and pattern). We saved money by sticking with the original floors, and by selecting an inexpensive faucet, cabinet hardware and pendant lights.
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1. Trim Paint // Ralph Lauren Mombasa Mist 2. Wall Paint // Glidden Parchment White 3. Backsplash // Ann Sacks 2″ x 6″ Chevron Tile in Dense Fog, London Sky and Cloud 4. Pendants // West Elm Globe Pendant 5. Faucet // Ikea Ringskar Faucet 6. Cabinets // Martha Stewart Kitchen in Maidstone Ocean Floor 7. Countertop // Caesarstone in Lagos Blue 8. Hardware // Lowes Satin Nickel Arched Cabinet Pull 9. Sink // Oliveri 274-1 Drainboard Series Sink

8 NewOne day I’ll tell you about the other side of the Kitchen, including adventures in DIY stainless steel back-splashes!

Past Work // From Goth to Traditional

No matter what your style is, you have to work with the given architecture of your space. Here are Before and After pictures of 4 rooms of a large home I did this year. The architectural style of the house my clients had just bought is what I would call Contemporary Mediterranean. The previous owners had applied a very specific aesthetic to it, one that involved deep, dark paint colors, medieval-looking light fixtures and heavy drapery.

L I B R A R Y // B E F O R E

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While this Baronial style actually worked well with the architecture, it didn’t suit my clients’ tastes (or the furniture they were bringing with them) at all. So we decided to lighten everything up and give the house a warm but pared-down Traditional style instead. Let’s call it California Traditional! It’s more modern than an East-coast Traditional style, and it has understated exotic flourishes.

L I B R A R Y // A F T E R

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No remodeling was required on this project, but we seriously needed to strip back the Goth elements! Paint, window coverings and lighting were the key to the transformations here. We kept the new design cohesive with the Contemporary Mediterranean architecture by sticking to clean lines (those simple, tailored shades) and aged bronze finishes.

L I V I N G  R O O M // B E F O R E

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One of the challenges of the architecture of this house was that the Living & Dining Room windows lacked privacy from the street. This meant that window coverings would need to be closed most of the time, and would be an especially important element of the design. We used this as an opportunity to set the overall tone for the rooms through the introduction of texture and pattern. We chose a few exotic prints in organic motifs, which in turn lent themselves to some other Global touches in the furnishing and styling. An eclectic yet tailored mix was the result.

L I V I N G  R O O M // A F T E R

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D I N I N G  R O O M // B E F O R E

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Well-made custom window coverings can be shockingly expensive (and there were something like 40 naked windows and French doors in this house that needed something) but for these “showier” rooms of the house, they were well worth it.

D I N I N G  R O O M // A F T E R

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This is not a sponsored post, but I’m a big believer in outsourcing for window coverings. We enlisted 3-Day Blinds to do the Roman shades on this project. They have a huge selection of fabrics and materials to choose from (you can also send your own material to their workroom), so once we nailed down design specifics, we were able to turn every step from measuring to installation over to our rep. Everything was then covered by a comprehensive warranty that put my clients with a cat, a large puppy and a baby at ease about the durability of the shades.

B R E A K F A S T  N O O K // B E F O R E

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B R E A K F A S T  N O O K // A F T E R

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Photography: Ilse Helgen

This project was a lot of fun, and I’ll be posting about a couple of other rooms I completed in the house when we talk styling!

Catch Natasha Jansz on HGTV's "HOUSE HUNTER'S RENOVATION" October 28th 10pm/9c