Sunday, February 4, 2018

New Design Project

One day after picking up her sons from school, Ali decided to do something different: take a detour onto her favorite tree-lined street dotted with storybook homes. Ali spotted a For Sale sign in front of a gracious Colonial with perfect symmetry, wide shutters, and a flat yard that would be ideal for a ball game. Without hesitation, she toured the property that evening and, next morning, came back with her husband Jeremy. They both felt "that" instant connection.

After purchasing the house, Ali and Jeremy asked me to help create beautiful and serene interiors that would also be friendly and relaxed. I learned that this was actually their first home, but they were not in a rush to furnish it. Instead, they wanted to approach decorating in an organic way; find the right pieces and gradually add layers. That was music to my ears as I believe in loving everything you have.

I'm thrilled to share photos of this design project plus tips on mixing old and new, light and dark, as well as different styles and periods. A very special thanks to Ali and Jeremy for inviting us into their lovely home.
Located in the original part of the home, the dining room is the smallest room on the main floor. But it has an airiness thanks to the light walls and bare floors, which are a breeze to clean up after meals.

Around an antique French farm table, which Ali and Jeremy found at my shop years ago for their former apartment, I grouped a set of antique Swedish painted chairs. Yes, it's okay to mix French with Swedish, and dark wood with painted surfaces. A collected-over-time look with furnishings that do not match is much more interesting!

Let's chat function. For the chairs, I chose unupholstered backrests so that my clients would not have to worry about little finger prints staining fabrics on the backs. What about the seats? Well, those have all been Scotchgarded. 
To keep the look current, I hung a modern lantern from Circa. I especially appreciate its open design in this small space.

Over the antique Swedish Gustavian sideboard is a round mirror from Ballard. Yes, Ballard, the catalog company! Don't these two pair up wonderfully together? Good design is available at every price point.   
Because this is an older house, there are radiators under many windows. In lieu of curtains that wouldn't draw properly with the radiators, I chose custom woven shades in a fabulous tone-on-tone color. I ordered extra length and had them installed high up to give the illusion of taller windows. Also, when the shade is up we do not lose any light as the stack sits above the glass panes. The shades finish the windows in a casual yet tailored way. I love their texture!
Now a look at art and accessories. A pair of contemporary cloud paintings continue the calm atmosphere while introducing color. For a little more pop, I tucked in verdant houseplants such as the Maidenhair and Variegated Club Foot Ferns, which also add life as well as texture. The dark wall clock contrasts with the collection of white ironstone china, keeping the palette from being too pale. 
Please come into Ali and Jeremy's living room. Each time I visit, I like to steal a few moments to sit here - it's my favorite! This was probably the most challenging to decorate. Though generous in proportion, there are six doorways / openings that lead here, so every piece of furniture had to be thoughtfully placed with traffic in mind.

To unify the furnishings, I had an oversized area rug custom made for this lengthy space - note the jogs around the fireplace hearth and staircase. The rug is a forgiving wool with a crisscross striation that gives it depth. All the rugs have been Scotchgarded. 

Speaking of fireplace, I intentionally left the brick surround and hearth natural - painting those white would have made this focal point flat. Plus, the old brick has such character.  

Over the fireplace is a French Impressionist painting from the 1930-40s, about the same period that this house was built. Flanking the painting are outdoor lanterns in an aged zinc finish. I wanted the room to have a garden spirit. A zinc jardiniere planted with trailing ivy is another gesture to the garden. 
Serene and sophisticated is how I would describe this inviting living space. The tailored seating features updated, clean lines. Because there are no curtains, I skirted the sofa and club chairs to further soften the room. By the way, there are more seating plus wall accessories coming.

Greens, blues and a hint of black accent the neutral palette. All the walls are painted the same shade of white for visual flow.

For the pillows, color inspiration came from the French landscape painting. Note the velvet backside and narrow flange with tiny corner pleats. Many thanks to my workroom for executing these details so exquisitely!  
The green Mora clock and secretary desk, both from my shop, are Swedish from the 18th century. They add height while lifting the eye up. The coffee table is from Ballard. I may specialize in one-of-a-kind pieces, but that doesn't mean I don't shop the box stores or retail chains.  
I hope you've enjoyed Ali and Jeremy's beautiful home. They have been such a pleasure to work with. Many, thanks to them!

I look forward to sharing their family room and expansive master bedroom, both located in the addition of the house. There is more color as well as pattern in the casual family room - stay tuned.

If you are interested in design services, please email me at info@tone-on-tone.com. I'd love to chat with you about your home!
 
Cheers,
Loi  

43 comments:

  1. Hello Loi, You have done it again, created an inviting and comfortable home. I agree with you about layers--not adding everything at once or from the same source. Looking around my apartment, I see at least seven stages of building up the furniture, starting from the objects I brought with me, what I bought from the former tenant, and several purchases and gifts--perhaps some pruning is in order!
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim, thank you! You have many collections and understand that they take time to grow, evolve, etc. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  2. Everything is just beautiful! I have been on a quest the last few years to soften the colors of my home as well. I'm drawn to the color you have chosen for their home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Linda - Thank YOU so much! The colors here are soft and serene, and would be lovely in any home. Happy decorating! Cheers, L

      Delete
  3. It's very zen. It must be wonderful to call it home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! It's so important to have a home that is calm and beautiful. Thank you

      Delete
  4. Gorgeous! I love the soft colors and relaxing feel of the home. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are the master in blending old and new with various styles and periods. Love that you chose those woven blinds in a color that blends right into the walls so beautifully adding the just the right amount of texture...You have to be the most fun person to work with....and I am so happy that you left the brick in its original state...you certainly achieved the perfection as always!! Looking forward to more of this gorgeous home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shirley, I love what I do, and try to make the process enjoyable, easy and fun for everyone :) Ali and Jeremy were involved with every decision, detail and selection - that's why their home reflects them! Thank you, my friend.

      Delete
  6. Hello Loi. Everything is so serene and beautiful. I have a question: When you say everything has been scotch guarded, are you talking about the Scotchgard that's been around forever and comes in spray cans, or something else? Thank you as always for a beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lisa -
      We had everything (upholstery and rugs) professionally protected on site by Christopher's Upholstery Service. I'm not sure what Scotchgard product they use.

      Delete
  7. This is certainly a young and fresh transformation of an older home!! The layout is so similar to my previous home on 26th Street in Arlington! KUDOS!! franki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Franki, thank you! This home is not too far from Arlington. Probably lots of similarities as yours :)

      Delete
  8. It's a beautiful home and you have done it beautifully too! I have wanted a secretary for many years! This one is gorgeous. Love the custom carpet too. Fabulous job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you find the perfect secretary desk :) Each one makes a lovely focal point. Cheers

      Delete
  9. Beautiful! So serene. I look forward to seeing your further posts on this home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy you enjoyed this post, and look forward to sharing more! Thanks very much, Jeannine.

      Delete
  10. Absolutely dreamy, Loi! I love the mix of contemporary pieces with the Swedish antiques. Beautifully done!
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Phyllis. We have more layering to do, and I can't wait to share the progress. Cheers

      Delete
  11. You have created Ali and Jeremy a very calm, relaxing, and beautiful home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's exactly what we all wanted for the interiors. Thanks, Rosemary. Cheers

      Delete
  12. What a grand and yet subtle room, filled with only the airy comfort that I love. It was a serendipitous detour Ali took that day and I wish her and her family many happy days in that gorgeous home! Loi, you've touched her home with your magic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anita - I'm so happy you think so! Many, many thanks!! That means so much to me. Hugs, L

      Delete
  13. Loi,
    What a wonderful home. Your style is one of my absolute favorites. It always seems so welcoming and warm, yet every detail is beautifully taken care of.
    Thanks to your friends/clients for sharing.
    xo,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen, I'm really grateful to Ali and Jeremy and happy that I can share their beautiful home. Thank YOU kindly. Hugs, L

      Delete
  14. Loi—What a welcoming, airy home! I love your attention to EVERY single detail. The thoughtfulness of every choice is what makes these spaces so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really happy you visited, Carol! Thanks very much, my friend. xoxo, L

      Delete
  15. BRILLIANT LOGIC and NOT ALL have the dollars to BUY A HOUSE and the INSIDE CONTENTS at the same TIME!
    I was recently at the NASHVILLE ANTIQUE and GARDEN SHOW..........BY chance were YOU there?
    POP over and see my blog post if you have time..............I will LOOK FORWARD to the LAYERS HERE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's true! We all have to furnish and decorate at our own pace. Definitely have to prioritize.
      Thanks very much

      Delete
  16. Your design skills are second to none Loi! I love the mix of furnishings you used, and the decorative accents were all perfection. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy
      Well you've just made my day :) With many thanks and hugs, L

      Delete
  17. Loi, I absolutely love this home! The lighting fixture in the dining room makes ALL the difference! That mix of a little modern with all the antiques is exquisite! And I've always loved that Ballards mirror - seriously! Now seeing it in this space I'm trying to think of where I can use it!

    You do such beautiful work Loi -as always, thanks for sharing and inspiring us all!

    Sheila
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  18. Loi,

    You never cease to amaze me. I love all of your work and furnishings. But I especially love when you decorate a home that has a mix of old and new. It is wonderful to be able to have an heirloom piece of furniture and at the same time have a beautiful and serene home that is a mixture of "high"and low." Your well thought out design is perfect. Thank you for sharing your beauty with us!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Loi, love it all, my favorite things are the cloud pictures, they are so pretty

    ReplyDelete
  20. So serene and sophisticated! Just beautiful! Would you share the wall color?

    ReplyDelete

Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi