Restored by the Fords: The Collins Family Home

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Last week I started watching Restored by The Fords and couldn’t stop watching it till I finished the first season in 2 days…

The show follows siblings Leanne and Steve Ford as they restore houses around Pittsburgh, their home town, and transform them into design showpieces.
Leanne, the younger of the Ford siblings, is an interior designer who spent years working in the fashion industry (which you can see from the stylish way she dresses) . She splits her time between Pittsburgh and LA and is charge of creating the design and floor plans for the properties on the show. Steve, the older brother, is a licensed contractor (and the owner of Surf Pittsburgh) is in charge of executing Leanne’s designs and maximizing the functionality of those outdated properties while making sure that everyone is sticking to the budget.

The Fords spend at least two months on each property, with other projects going on at the same time. I can’t wait for season 2 to premiere in Jan. It will consist of 15 episodes; almost double the amount of season 1 which was only 8 episodes.

For todays post I decided to share one family home. It is one of my favorites from season 1 and will have a different post for my other favorite from the same season!

The home I’m posting about today belongs to the Collins family. This project actually consisted of 2 phases ( in other words 2 episodes). The Collins loved phase 1 so much they brought back the fords to finish the rest of the house. Phase 1 was the living room, family room and kitchen and phase 2 was the master bedroom, the kids bedrooms, the 2 bathrooms and the pool area.

Anyone who knows me knows my love and obsession for mid-century modern furniture and architecture. I loved this home even before renovations began. I thought that his house is extra special because the architect who designed it was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students.  I was so worried that the renovation will completely take away the house’s identity and style but the Ford siblings did an amazing job restoring this home. They respected the history of this house, while turning it into a home that totally reflected its new owners!

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I love this living room. It’s my favorite room in this house… I love that they kept the stone fireplace, and added carpet. I know that a lot of people hate carpets but I really love them!. I also love the wooden walls which I’m glad they kept. They did paint them though to make the place feel brighter and more spacious which I think was a good plan because it did. I love how that Vladimir Kagan sofa is so clean and sleek and how the wooden vintage console table behind it is so old. Nothing matches yet everything works so well together!

 

 

Can you tell that Leanne loves white and neutrals? I think her colour scheme (or lack there of ) really suited this house. Look at that white Carrara in the kitchen are, I love it! I also love those acrylic barstools… its added seating without looking cluttered. Talking about seating I love how Leanne used those Norman Cherner dining chairs with that old painted vintage dinning table.

 

 

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Now, I know that a black pool isn’t for everyone … but I think that it works for this house. Leanne and Steve took a trip to visit Falling Waters House  by Frank Lloyd Wright for some inspiration, and thats where the pool insperation came from. “I wanted to paint it black so badly… which turns out is kind of hard to do… but of COURSE we figured it out and brought the pool up to par with the rest of the beautiful space” Leanne wrote in her blog. I think she is right… painting that bright blue pool black almost makes the pool look like a pond rather than an added pool!. I love it because it works so well with the house…   but also because it reminds me so much of the black pool at my grandparents farm house!

 

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The master bedroom wall had “fake styrofoam style stone” on the walls which just looked so dingy and fake. They kept them for added texture and just painted them. I have mixed feelings about that… but it works with the house nonetheless.

 

The master bathroom spa! It looks like a spa and feels like a spa… Leanne put a bathroom island right in the middle of it! I love the way it looks but have mixed feelings about that too.. but it’s only because I like to be close to my mirror when applying creams etc!

 

I think this is my favorite kids bathroom of all time! The design is so smart. The floor tile was a budget friendly solution yet looks exxpensive. They used two different colors of hex to create some interest in there. Then used black fixtures and white concrete finish on the ceilings and walls… This is a bathroom that the kids wont out grow!

So what did you think of this house and what do you think of the Ford Siblings restoration of this place?

Pictures via leanneford.com

 

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The Catroux Style

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One of my main inspirations for my personal style as well as my home style has been this single picture you see above of Betty Catroux taken in her home in Paris in the 70’s.  The apartment was designed by her husband François…. That picture to me is everything. It could have easily been taken in the 70s, 80s, 90s or even today…. Catroux’s interiors from the 70s remain timeless because he knew how to mix the modern classics with warm or rustic pieces of furniture in a modern yet eclectic way.

Recently Catroux redid their apartment … I am not sure whether it was a full renovation or he just added on to the apartment because I recognize a lot of art work and furniture pieces from their 70s pictures that I came across on the net!.. I love that I can’t tell exactly what he did and where he did it… the revamped apartment feels like its continuing their story rather than trying to make a new one!Catroux_livingroom2

Here’s the living room, do you see what I mean? It looks so eclectic and modern. Again this could easily be a Catroux apartment from the 70s, 80s, 90s or even today!…

As always he not only mixed styles and periods but layered them in a way only he could do!  There are pieces that the couple had for decades, such as the rustic colossal African mask and the 1995 portrait of Betty by Philippe de Lustrac.

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I just love Betty’s office. François designed the built-in cabinetry all around the room. I love that she put a casual photograph of her late best friend Yves Saint Laurent in front of another photograph.

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The painting above the sofa is by Emmanuel Gondouin from the 1930s. That Noguchi coffee table is one of my favorite tables. It’s so timeless and so fit for this beautiful library. 

Even though that first picture will still be closer to my style than the current apartment, this is still my favorite home. It’s my favorite home for many reasons ( which I stated above) but mainly because it’s simply a home of a couple who have been married for 50 years (1968) who with the new renovations seems to be looking forward to living together for many years to come!

 

 

Apartment 1901 at the Elliott Bay Towers

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Frasier is hands down my favorite TV sitcom of all time! I think I watch it at least once a year back to back! It’s my go-to sitcom when I’m feeling a bit down or there isn’t much to watch on TV! I love the witty sense of humour and I just love Frasier’s apartment! I think that it is one of the many inspirations I had around me growing up to set my taste as well as my style today! The set was designed by the legendary set decorator Roy Christopher.

In the pilot episode, Frasier shows the apartment to his father, Martin.

Frasier: So what do you think of what I’ve done with the place? You know, every item here was carefully selected. The lamp by Corbu, this chair by Eames, and this couch is an exact replica of the one Coco Chanel had in her Paris atelier.

Martin: Nothing matches!

Frasier: Well, it’s a style of decorating – it’s called eclectic. The theory behind it is, if you have really fine pieces of furniture, it doesn’t matter if they match – they will go together.

Martin: It’s your money!

And a lot of money it was. The set cost a half-million dollars to build in 1993! But what a fabulous set. The apartment is filled with built-in shelves and display areas that highlight Frasier’s collections of African and pre-Columbian art without making it feel like a shop or a museum.

In addition to the treasures Frasier mentions in the pilot, the apartment also featured a Steinway medium grand piano, later on, a Chihuly vase, and several abstracts. Nearly twenty years later, it still looks great.

 

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Frasier had to replace his beautiful Wassily chair with his dad’s grubby old Barca longer!…. I must say that the Barca lounger helped make his apartment look even more eclectic! Don’t you think? But Shhhh don’t tell Fraiser I said that LOL!.

I know that the apartment now looks outdated and very 90’s but I think that with very few changes this apartment would easily look up to date! I would love to replace the coffee table and its matching side table with a table by the artist Ingrid Donat! And that TV, of course, has to be replaced with a modern plasma TV…. Think that the dining chairs have to be replaced too?…. Anyways, the great bones are there so even little changes would certainly make the apartment look modern and up to date again!

I came across this beautifully rendered floor plan of apartment 1901 at Elliot Bay Towers (the building is as fictional as the view outside Frasier’s windows–such a view exists only from the cliffs overlooking Seattle) The artist who created this plan has a great portfolio of work that can be seen HERE.

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The Picture above shows how beautifully the art went together in this apartment! Here a Dale Chihuly vase with the Ace, November, Venice USA Print By Artist, Robert Rauschenberg. Published for Robert Rauschenberg’s exhibition at ACE Gallery, Venice, California, November 1977.

 

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The Frasier gang with the beautiful Chihuly vase when it was 1st brought in!

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Nocturnal Animals: Part 2 The Movie Set

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Set designer Shane Valentino along with the movie director Tom Ford chose a stunning Malibu house designed by Scott Mitchell. The house was used as the home of Susan and her husband, Hutton. “One of the directives we had in terms of Susan’s world was that it wanted to feel very hard and cold,” he says. “A good way to do that is to look for lots of glass, concrete, or hard materials.”

Art was also a major component to the design of Susan’s home. Valentino used a mix of modern and contemporary art throughout the house.

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Valentino reworked the interior design of the house to include darker furnishings which you can see in the 2 pictures above.“A lot of it is almost a mirror of some sort of Tom’s life and his world that he lives in,” he says. “The chaise lounge, the settees, and the armchairs that are there are part of his aesthetic. We went to a lot of high-end design places like JF Chen to find particular pieces.” Below I’ve put 2 pictures of the original house before the changes were temporarily made for the movie! It has the complete opposite ambiance of the dark and mysterious movie set… here the house is light and airy which is beautiful but somehow I’m in love with the changes made by Valentino!

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Anyways back to the set design

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I love this photograph from Richard Misrach’s Desert Cantos series that was hung in the entryway. It’s  from Tom Ford’s private collection. Not sure if I would use or put this photograph in a home, but  I think that this particular movie it was a brilliant choice by Valentino, especially with Susan’s hair colour against it! And most importantly I feel that landscape was the perfect hint for us of what was expected to come in the movie….  and sort of set the mood for us!

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Another art piece that caught my eye was that beautiful painting by Mark Bradford that hangs above Susan’s bed. I haven’t seen his work in person before but after I saw this I put him on my lists of artists to check out!… I just love it… In fact, I love everything in this room… Everything chosen complements each other without feeling matchy …like how the black marble table top complements the painting…. I love how all the wood walls complement the black and white in the room… I could go on and on about this room but I’ll stop and instead share a picture of the original bedroom just in case you were wondering about it!.

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So what do you think?  Which house do you prefer?  The dark and mysterious one? Or the bright and airy one?

A Modern Homage to Classics

It isn’t easy to mix… but when it’s done right it somehow looks so easy on the eyes… I love what they have done with this apartment… they have mixed classical elements, design pieces and contemporary materials with luxurious details, with a masterful minimalist approach. The colors and textures are relaxing yet sophisticated! What do you think?

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Images via  Guilherme Torres

The Art of Mixing 101

I’m so in love with this apartment…. It is by far the closest place I have seen (on the net) to my personal taste and style!

It’s in Beirut belongs to Nabil Dada…. What I love about this place is that it is eclectic but still minimal… Everything is so carefully curated. You can easily tell that the furniture and art have obviously been collected over time and with a lot of thought… I can’t imagine the memories and stories behind each piece!

I love that armchair above, the style is very MCM yet the fabric is very medieval? classic? I love the Taccia table lamp on the far end corner!

I like how those 2 sphinx are floating above this small reflective water feature…. everything feels very well thought of….

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Do you recognize that sofa? It’s Zaha Hadid (may she RIP) love that sofa … I kind of have mixed emotions about where it’s placed, though!…but it could just be the angle where the picture has been taken from?

Can you see the corner to the far right of the picture? Doesn’t it look cozy? I love that there are those little cozy corners around the apartment. I think that having those cozy corners helped to give the place a homier feel and sort of balanced it more!

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I guess he adds more dining chairs when needed … I can’t blame him for not wanting to cover that Ron Arad dining table with chairs, though…. its just so beautiful!

It is not easy to mix the old with the new, the oriental with the baroque with Egyptian sphinx! And yet Dada has mixed them all… He has mastered the art of mixing to a perfection…. Wish it was as easy as he made it look like!

I have seen more picture of this apartment in magazines but couldn’t really find many online… I will add another post about this place if I do come across more pictures 😉

Pictures via taken from their website 

A Turkish Delight!

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This apartment belongs to Sefar Caglar, owner of an interior design and architectural firm called Autoban and his wife Merve Caglar, Executive Director of an association that supports contemporary art in Turkey SAHA.

I just love this apartment…it’s decorated in true contemporary style, combining modern design with classic materials. Walls and partitions have been demolished to give a feel of a loft bathed in the beautiful light of Istanbul.

Sefer likes to describe his home as a”contemporary house gallery” and I agree!…You can find a carefully curated art collection and some iconic modern pieces mixed with handmade pieces!… There is so much personality in this place and you sort of read their story when you walk into this home… Sefer and Caglar show us how it’s done… how a house can reflect the personality and lifestyle of the people who live in it without compromising in either style or comfort!

The Bunker

I think that the Boros home surpasses any home tour you have seen (in this blog at least). Art collectors Christian and Karan Boros bought a Second World War air-raid bunker in Berlin-Mitte and converted it into their private home as well as a museum where they exhibit their vast contemporary art collection…. They own over 600 art pieces!!

The bunker has an interesting history….Like I mentioned earlier it started as a Nazi air raid shelter or bunker for residents of the area. Then in 1945, the building was converted into a prison. After the war, it became a warehouse, first for textiles and then for produce. Since then, the property had undergone various reincarnations: a nightclub, a nonprofit organization, and an exhibition hall—until The Boros bought it in 2003.

They transformed the building’s roof into a penthouse apartment for themselves, leaving the rest of the floors for exhibition space. “We were inspired by the early works of the Japanese architect Tadao Ando,” Karan explains. “He uses smooth concrete with visible shuttering marks to create planes that capture light. We opted for this for the walls, but contrasted the coldness of the concrete with limestone floors.”

The renovation project took 5 years to complete. Meanwhile, Christian and Karan Boros visited antique dealers and auction houses, and slowly put together an array of furnishings that would serve as a framework for their art collection. The penthouse alone holds more than a hundred works….an eccentric and personal collection that reflects their passionate point of view.

The living and dining area are separated by an open concrete fireplace suspended from the ceiling which I really love…. I also love the mix of all the furniture pieces here… modern furniture pieces …… Warren Platner chairs and you see mixed eras here from the 70s chandelier to the 50s chairs mixed with Asian antique tables.

I love this library area and wonder what books they collect… I love the mix here again. The vintage sofa set was upholstered in purple velvet and the console in the background they got from Bali.

New and vintage furniture mixed with contemporary art … Here you see a Wolfgang Tillmans photograph of Kate Moss and what looks to me like an Asian antique table in from of the Zanotta sofa.

They kept the guest bedroom above quite simple yet with a really interesting mix again! Here they put The Barcelona Daybed by Mies van der Rohe on an afghan rug. 

I just love their son’s bedroom…. no ugly plastic toys here and no theme that their son would outgrow …. and I just love the Moroccan Azilal rug and the tepee!

The 3-meter thick bunker roof was dug into to make room for the planting of trees and for a pool that is used for bathing and to reflect sunlight into the living area. Movable metal screens along the perimeter of the roof give privacy to the outdoor living spaces.

Source:  Artistic Fortress

Style Icon: Daphne Guinness

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I love creative people, I love people who create their style and lifestyle rather than copy others! Daphne Guinness is one of those creative people whose style I have always admired. She has a truly unique and artistic expression when it comes to how she dresses and how she decorates her home….. It’s really true to who she is… no stylist no interior designers… it’s purely her!

An Eclectic Home With Dark Walls!

I love what Chris Nguyen wrote about himself in his About page in his Interior Design website ! “Artist by education, design director by trade, interior consultant by night, mid-century modernist by addiction, incomplete sentences by intention”

 To me, it sums up his approach to the interiors he’s done as well!…. I just love his style very eclectic yet very curated at the same time…. I hope he shares more of his work on his website 😉