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(and the owner of Surf Pittsburgh) is in charge of executing Leanne’s designs and maximizing the functionality of those outdated properties while making sure that everyone is sticking to the budget.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!

 

 

A Racing Green Kitchen

My rule of thumb when it comes to kitchens (or any room in the house for that matter) it’s to go with light and breezy colors, modern designs with minimal aesthetics.. but lately, I’ve been loving dark rich kitchens! I love dark colour cupboards like black or this beautiful rich green… Oh, I love this green! I think that it’s a cross between emerald and English racing green!…  This kitchen has been beautifully designed and curated! The collection of stunning artwork and pottery helped to create that dramatic effect to this fabulous warm and cozy kitchen.

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The perfect kitchen to cozy up in with a warm hot chocolate and a great classic book this winter… don’t you think?

via Devol kitchens

A First-Class Ticket to The Orient Express Set Design

As you know I hate spoilers so I’m going to strictly talk about the brilliant set design without mentioning anything else about the movie (which by the way is A MUST SEE!)

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Director Kenneth Branagh and production designer Jim Clay have recreated the iconic  Orient Express to match the grand history of the railroad and Agatha Christie’s most famous murder mystery.

The Orient Express was a high-class long-distance passenger train established in 1833; its most famous route connected Paris to Istanbul. To prepare for the movie, Director Kenneth Branagh along with everyone involved in the movie took a trip on the Orient-Express, from Paris to Venice because it still uses its original vintage train cars until today. This was a great experience for all of them. They managed to look at and take notes of every detail on the train and made notes of all the surrounding scenery.

 

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Jim Clay also started his designing process by studying the 1974 film and early on decided that the new version needed a more modern look — “a more current style of shooting,” as he puts it.

By “a more current style” he did not mean to make it feel modern but rather a modern aesthetic that we have today! He meant cleaner lines so nothing ornate, and no Victorian furniture, with floral patterns in them!. He went towards art deco and lines that were more geometric rather than floral and this way he made sure that the backgrounds were still opulent and rich but not distracting.

 “The idea was to try and give people a sort of sensual, sensory kind of experience of what all that wood feels like, all that marquetry, the crispness of the line, the degree to which they work out the precision of which cutlery is laid out, which was all done with little tape measures and things,” Branagh said in an interview.

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Overall, Clay and Branagh succeeded brilliantly in giving the Orient Express the opulence for which it was known for. Just look at the first-class accommodation in the photo above,  it looks like a luxurious hotel lounge which was grand yet comfortable!

 

photos via

 

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7 Beautiful Interiors from the 70s

The 70s interiors have been having a strong comeback lately… I think most people picture those interiors to be crazy and lack sophistication…. however many of those interiors were actually very sophisticated and classy!

Here are 7 interiors from the 70s that I hope will inspire you to add a sophisticated yet an eclectic touch to your home xxx

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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 Chic Nursery

 

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I love the way Kathy Kuo designed her daughter’s nursery in her NYC home!… She designed the nursery in away that her daughter has lots of room to grow and last till her teen years! I like how she mixed the patterns but stayed within the color scheme… The room looks so chic, not too themey, and yet very child friendly and cozy! I love it.

Super stylish home office secrets from IKEA

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One of the trends that have been around a lot lately is using one room for more than one activity. And who better than IKEA to show us how it’s done! I really like what they did to this studio/office… They shared 3 helpful tips to help make this stylish workspace in any home:

  1. Stick to a color palette
    Here they chose, black and white colors with natural materials like wood to give a classic, established look. By sticking to strong basics you get a much longer lasting style too.
  2.  Show off your work history
    Don’t hide your work away, display it! Even if you’re not working with vintage drafting tools and antique cameras, take some inspiration from your profession’s glory days to create a display that shows off your work and sense of style. A good way to work on displays is to make a backdrop on the wall behind using pictures of different sizes, then, stack books and boxes in front to make some height with smaller signature pieces sitting on top, like a camera for example.
  3. Make your desk a feature
    Put a big table right in the middle of the room. That way it becomes a centerpiece. You can use it as your desk when working and you can use it for other things too, like maybe mixing drinks or a dessert buffet!