March 19, 2015

HANDSOME ROOMS

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HANDSOME ROOMS

The word  handsome  is usually used to describe a man, however, the most naturally stylish women in the world are Italian women; they're considered 'handsome' as they don't employ cutesy tricks, frilly clothes or superfluous details -  they're always chic as they're always well-tailored and simply dressed.

Handsome Room means the same thing; well-edited spaces with good architectural bones and simple furniture. 
It's  not  about 'decorative' or 'trendy' furnishings and piles of schmaltzy/girly accessories. 

THIS MISSIVE BEGINS WITH FASHION DESIGNER, BILL BLASS' HOMES AS THEY ARE THE QUINTESSENTIAL EXPRESSION OF HANDSOME ROOMS
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Mr. Blass' Sutton Place apartment was so drop-dead gorgeous when it first hit the pages of House and Garden back in the late 80's that I think every interior designer re-tooled their 'schtick.'
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First published during a maelstrom of colorful, chintz-laden, 'more-is-more' interiors, and yet his hyper-edited rooms were quite simply white painted walls with brown furniture and masculine objet d'art 
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Mr. Blass' New Preston, Connecticut home employed the same aesthetic: Beautiful objects, slightly lower-tone brown furniture casually arranged in a simplistic, no-frills space.
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His Connecticut bedroom had simple, brown painted walls, slipcovers, bare floors and very few decorations.

It's total decorator porn!


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(Source: David Kleinberg)
Architecturally succinct with no frills = handsome! 
Mocha upholstery actually sets off the well-detailed paneling; white upholstery would've create a sea of white and details would be lost. 


 photo New York designer Marshall Watson  2_zpsgywz8raj.jpg
(Source: Marshall Watson)
English architecture and furnishings help parlay any room into a handsome one. Notice the lack of porcelains, gilded frames and patterned fabrics


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(Source: House Beautiful)
When you lose the curly-cues, zhuzhy back-splash tiles, swirly stone tops and cutesy accessories you'll have a handsome kitchen.


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(Source: Giancarlo Giametti)
This room is neither masculine or feminine
it's  just balls-to-the-wall chic!
Each piece is perfect - the art, the furniture - and the lack of crap or superfluous lamps on each table.  


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(Source: Baretta Diamond)
Walk into this foyer and you'll immediately 'get it!'
White painted walls, equestrian art, plaid fabric and  no  carpets or schmaltzy chandeliers


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(Source: Michael Smith)
Prissy bathrooms get skanky so quickly, right?!?
The simple fusion of the honey-colored paneling, antique wood pieces with beige tones creates a very sophisticated bathroom. 
The Moorish mosaic definitely adds a masculine note. 


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(Source: Palmer Weiss)
A typical pre-war apartment gets brought into the 21st century by simplifying, using a warm palette and classically-styled furniture. 


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(Source: Amelia Handegan)
What makes this traditional room 'handsome' are the books, English furniture and a very simple palette with few patterns.


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(Source: Bunny Williams)
Pierce Brosnan kinda handsome!
No tsochke's, no frills, elegant antiques and brown-tones!
BOOM, there it is!


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(Source: Unknown)
French and Italian antiques are combined with modern pieces to create a totally up-to-date 'handsome' space. 


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(Source: Bruce Budd)
Nuances of Mr. Blass are present here, except with the addition of a few contemporary pieces, which all melds into and a well-edited, "collected look" without the usual collected-look clutter!!


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(Source: Waldo Fernandez)
White painted walls replace the ubiquitous striped foyer wallpaper, and a simply accessorized George IV center table replaces the formulaic: chest-lamp-pair-of-hall-chairs  schtick 


 photo Southern California Horse Ranch - Ellen DeGeneres Portia de Rossi Santa Monica Home_zps7rmfwjqc.jpg
(Source: Ellen deGeneres & Portia de Rossi)
Two lesbians have the most beautiful 'casually handsome' space in this missive on handsome rooms  - go figure...
The lounge in their horse barn is without all the typical equestrian gimmicks; unpretentious, worn furnishings supply the comfy-lets-hang-out-y'all  vibe.   


 photo ALEX PAPACHRISTIDIS 55_zpsjmibqckk.jpg

(Source: Alex Papachristidis)
A modest foyer gets a punch of grandiosity with a few antiques (from several periods) and a kick-ass, two-tone chevron stained floor.
(The old Roman prints of naked dudes doesn't hurt either...)


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(Source: Birch Coffey)
A country cottage ditches the tired-ass gingham curtains, rag rugs and pine furniture for a few handsome statement pieces - ergo replacing cute with calming.


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(Source: Joseph Paul Davis)
Yacht interiors usually look like discotheques or nouveau riche versions of an Englishman's library.  Here, the sea views to override the quiet, tailored interiors 


 photo designer J. Randall Powers. Featured in Elle Decor 1_zps353kapne.jpg
(Source: J. Randall Powers)
Each piece in this room is part of a puzzle. 
And, like a puzzle, there are no redundant, or superfluous pieces.


 photo Design by Betsy Brown. Architecture by Paul Bates and Jeremy Corkern_zpsruqtzsav.jpg
(Source: Bates-Corkern Architecture)
A graphic carpet mixed with clean-lined furnishings and a simple palette create a contemporary version of 'handsome' 
Some trendy piece of furniture, or, yet another, Warhol silkscreen would take this from handsome to boredom...


 photo adff818318c5153d2f242e47686b9ac3_zpsbnc5pozt.jpg
(Source: Unknown)
This home exemplifies 'updated traditional' 
Clean lined, appropriate architecture punctuated with bold art and English furniture.


 photo Reese Witherspoon turns to her friend Kristen Buckingham 2_zpsdznpuwis.jpg
(Source: Kristen Buckingham)
Random furnishings floating around in this heavily beamed room feels solid and forthright; there's no unneeded curtains, carpets or textiles, only pure, honest materials like leather, sisal and linen.



 photo Waldo Fernandez10_zpskbqypwxd.jpg
(Source: Waldo Fernandez)
Fernandez has always successfully achieved "handsome" by combining light-and-airy with warm, dark furniture and honest, almost primitive textiles. 



YOU CAN DO IT, I'M HERE TO HELP



March 8, 2015

ORGANIZED GARAGES, DESIGNER STYLE

GETTING YOUR GARAGE PRIORITIZED

This is what you have.....
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This is what you want.
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My housekeeper hit the proverbial nail on the head when she said
 I had several nice cars in the driveway and a garage filled with $100 worth of junk. 
Beside the hoarded collection of junk, the 1930's garage was old and dark with no walls or ceiling and exposed hot-water heater, furnace and electrical panels.

I took the challenge and decided to do it up right.

1.
ADDED STORAGE CLOSETS
  •  One for “dog-stuff” and miscellaneous household overflow
  • One was the 'Costco closet' complete with a spare fridge
  • Another contained the furnace and water heater

All enclosures had louvered doors to allow circulation, eliminating mold, mildew and odors.

2.
REMOVED ALL OF THE SPORTS EQUIPMENT AND GARDENING IMPLEMENTS! 
  • They were given a new home all to themselves in one of those Amish pre-built sheds/playhouses that are delivered complete.  
  • Now, shovels and croquet mallets didn't fall onto my cars.
  • Kids and gardeners had full-time access to it all.

3.
ENCLOSING THE WALLS AND CEILING
  • The garage was insulated and sheet-rocked
  • 2” x 12” were used as a baseboard around the floor to keep the sheetrock dry should there be a hurricane or flooding from rain.
  • Crown molding was installed (it's cheap at Home Depot) at the ceiling line to make it a bit dressier.
  • Chair rail was added, which absorbs all the bumps and dings from car doors. 
4.
LIGHTING
  • Two recessed fixtures with incandescent
  • (or LED warm-color) lights per bay.
  • At night, fluorescent lights make a garage look like there's nuclear fusion going on from the outside.
  • Make sure that the lighting fixtures aren't obscured by the garage door(s) when up/open.

5.
VENTILATION 
  • An exhaust fan (attic fan) which ran on a thermostat was added.
  • Open grilles cut into the ceiling keep air circulating in the summer, so A/C wasn't necessary.

6.
ATTIC STORAGE
  • A pull-down stairway was installed gaining access to the garage attic
  •  Rarely-used stuff can be stored out-of-sight, yet easily accessed when necessary.

7.
WINDOW COVERINGS
  • Install two-inch Venetian blinds at the windows to match the rest of the house.

8.
PAINT AND  COLOR!
  • I painted the garage walls apple-green (Ben Moore #395 eggshell finish)
  •  The moldings, doors and ceiling were painted satin-finish white. 
  • The floor was painted beige with “garage floor” paint.

9.
FINAL TOUCHES, PERSONALIZING IT
I've always collected antique portraiture and I had a few that weren't so important up in the attic, so I hung them in the garage... it was frickin’ great! 


When I sold that house I asked the buyers “what was it about the house that convinced you to buy it?” 
I was expecting the answer to be the lovely waterfront setting or the awesome d├ęcor(!) They said.... “the garage!” 
I’m sure that wasn't the reason they bought the house but, it was something that they vividly remembered.
(a note to consider here: If you’re selling or renting a house….try to do something like this so they’ll remember your house apart from the dozens of others they’ll see)

GLAM GARAGES THAT WORK!

Bombdiggity!
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Don't know that you need oak paneling and wall sconces in your garage, but a little upgrade would be nice....

Bitch's got too much junk in da trunk!
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 Get to WalMart and buy some tubs and shelving
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WTF is up with allowing kids to keep their shit anywhere they want? And who's playing with those four year old busted-up toys? Send that crap to Goodwill, now!
A nice $30K car surrounded by $50 worth of junk?  Can't evenPhotobucket

Wouldn't this below be a little bit less frustrating?
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If you wanted to do it right, you'll have to spend a few bucks. 
There are many opportunities to get 'garage specific' cabinetry; even some of those white melamine ones available at any big-box stores or IKEA.
DO NOT use the old kitchen cabinets in the garage!!
It's sooo white trash, they never fit as the sizes are always wrong. Spend the damn $2,000 and have a garage you'll be proud to open the door to.
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There are many types of floors if you wanted to go overboard. There are amazing floor tiles that are hot looking. Personally, I prefer painted garage floor, OR,  believe it or not...wall-to-wall carpeting.. YES!  I've had it before and it's amazing. 
If you glue-down a low-pile, looped, industrial nylon carpet and place a cheap rubber doormat under each engine it'll be great. Carpet is so easy to care for, broom sweep it, or vacuum it once every 2 months, etc. Don't worry about the water or snow melt it dries just fine. 

I know many of you don't have large houses and the garage is a bonus room for the lack of interior space, a place to keep some clutter out of the kitchen, hallways or family room. Try putting locker-style compartments for the kids school books, sports equipment, etc. Then it's always in the same place, and separated from their siblings things. IKEA has many versions of these.

If the garage is tidy, the crap is hidden and the floor is nice, you can let the kids play out there, or have a large pic-nic in there if it rains; a true bonus room!
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Rubbermaid makes a very practical system for keeping order in your garage too FastTrack Garage Organization & StorageSystem

Here are some other bloggers advice on organizing a garage


And....Here's some garages to strive for....Photobucket

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You can do it, I'm here to help!

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