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the owner of Surf Pittsburgh) is in charge of executing Leanne’s designs and maximizing the functionality of those outdated properties while making sure that everyone is sticking to the budget.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

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The French singer of Armenian origins Charles Aznavour – often hailed as his country’s Frank Sinatra – has died at the age of 94.

I know that I said that I don’t want to make this place a place where I vent or be sad in!… But Aznavour (through his music) shared so many sad and happy moments of our lives.. so how can I not share his loss here?!

I am sure that most of you know that he was born to Armenian immigrants, sold millions of records and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017. But did you know that Aznavour opened for Édith Piaf at the Moulins Rouge? I had no idea they crossed paths!. “I brought her my youth, my madness; she loved my whole jazzy side,” he told the Guardian in 2015. She advised him to have a nose job, only to declare, “I preferred you before” after the surgery! Isn’t that a funny story?

He was best known for his 1974 hit SHE but I thought I’d post one of my favorite of his… La Bohème

RIP Charles Aznavour and thank you for all those beautiful songs that are part of our lives today!

 

Céline

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When the news of Céline creative director Phoebe Philo’s departure broke I panicked… It is so hard to find a brand that fully reflects your style. Céline was my go to brand for many years… I hate being negative in general but I especially hate being negative in this blog because this is my happy place! But after yesterdays fashion show I could not stop thinking how horrible it was and what a great loss Phoebe is. Philo had held the role since 2008, and over the course of the last ten years she not only redefined Céline but she redefined what it meant to be a modern woman. Her pieces were unfussy and minimalist. She understood exactly what we wanted to wear even before we did. She understood that not all women wanted to dress in everything that shines and glitters! She was conservative, and I loved her for it.

She changed the way we thought about clothes. She made us look at quality again, and changed the way we look at comfort in clothes! From high-waisted wide trousers with trainers to turtlenecks with oversized coats, Céline became the brand that gave us luxury without disregarding comfort. It was finally possible to be chic and comfortable at the same time!

Since I’m writing about Phoebe today I thought I’d list down a few iconic moments that made so many of us love her Céline :

  • Joan Didion for Céline – Do you remember that campaign? I do , I couldn’t imagine a better campaign star for Céline than Joan Didion at that time. The writer embodied the brand.
  • Stan Smith – When Phoebe took a finale walk after her fall/winter 2012 collection, she had those Adidas Stan Smith’s on, her hair was tucked into her turtleneck. It was the look that preceded the Stan Smith craze and launched a thousand hair tucks!

 

  • BLACK AND NAVY –  Philo obviously did not come up with the black and navy combo, but she did make it fashionable again. The dark neutrals were the signature color combo of her Fall-Winter 2010 collection.
  •  LEATHER T-SHIRTS – Leather t-shirts, perfectly cut wide-leg trousers, and an ease in silhouette  became one of her staples. My daughter and I loved that leather T-shirt look a lot. Last year for her prom my daughter wore a black leather top and an off white long net skirt. She looked stunning …. it was a classic look yet really fun and modern at the same time.

 

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  • There were the bags, of course, the box bag was my favorite.. still is.
  • The double cuffs – they complemented every minimalist wardrobe!
  • Over sized coats – A staple for comfort. Once Phoebe wore it over her shoulders, that’s how everyone else started wearing their coats as well.
  • High waisted wide pants – oh I’m going to miss those pants! No one does pants the same way!

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 The list could go on and on ….Céline without Philo? ….  What were they thinking? it’s an end of an era!

 

Max Mara Spring Summer 2019

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Max Mara is known for their beautiful Classic coats and sets. For this summer collection they reinterpreted thier own designs from the 80s, reworking styles with padded shoulders and asymmetric drapes and made it more contemporary. This collection reminds me of Caroline Bessette Kennedy for some reason…Maybe its the clean cuts or maybe it’s those sheer gloves… I remember she wore sheer gloves on her wedding and I loved them then… still love them now! … Need to get myself a pair!

 

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!

 

 

Book of The Week: Dior

DIOR-BY-CD-A_2048xIn celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the house of Dior
Assoline has puplished a series devoted to each designer of the couture house.  The book above is the first of series. Its Dior by Christian Dior it is just beautiful and has pictures of the most iconic haute couture designs conceived by Christian Dior. Each book in this series is devoted to a designer of a couture house. The gowns have been carefully conserved in museums and institutions around the world, they have been photographed and exclusively compiled for this indispensable book collection.

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I just cant wait to get my hands on this collection… I can imagine my self being lost for hours going through the details of each look with my eldest daughter!

 

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Laura in Doctor Zhivago: Movie Waredrobe

 

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Doctor Zhivago (1965) is one of those classic movies that never gets old…. Omar Sherief and Julie Christie looked so good together and acted so well….  But since this is a style post I will not focus on Omar Sharif’s brilliant performance, nor will I focus on the beautiful cinematography and how the director David Lean framed that white crisp snow so perfectly to provide the right backdrop for his drama!

The movie’s wardropes was designed by Phyllis Dalton. But I want to spacifically focus on Julie Christie’s wardrope since it is one of my favorite movie wardropes. That fur hat that she wore towards the end of the movie is beautiful… She looked stunning in every frame.

The wardrope was full of fur coats, hats, white shirts …. Phyllis Dalton’s  somehow managed to add modern looing items yet still managed to make Julie look feminine …. He created the “Zhivago Look”. Designers started using fur trimmed collar and cuffs on their winter coats again and boots came back into fashion. Its said that Marc Bohan (Christian Dior’s designer at the time), and Yves Saint Laurent’s collections that year were influenced by the film’s style.

Below are a few of my favorite looks :

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    Above, a gray oversized military coat and sable hat.

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Even her nurse outfit was in the rightstyle and color.

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In an oversized large sweater and fingerless gloves.

Almost all the coats and sweaters that Julie wore in the movie were oversized. So we have Julie Christie and Phyllis Dalton to thank for the oversized look that they created and that still looks good today!

 

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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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