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Betsy’s House

Betsy’s House is a dream home, with many possibilities and projects to unfold in the future. After a mini-renovation, the family moved into the home in the early Fall of 2015. Her warm rustic wood beams soar over an open living area surrounded in light and lifted by a lovely wide plank pine floor in a natural finish. The house is a two story ranch built in 1966 into the sloping terraces of the Pacific Palisades. While midcentury lines prevail throughout the home, tons of french paned windows look out over a rustic ambiance in the canyon she was built upon. It is natural that this elevated perch among such lush landscaping has influenced a treehouse like effect. Her gardens and lovely blue paned windows and doors are the features of fantasy living! Let’s get started.

Black and White plus Wood

Hi, it’s Betsy.

I’m moved by all things black and white plus wood lately! Just can’t stop pinning this fantastic combo in many different iterations.

My favorite thing about this job that we’re doing here, is immersing ourselves in design inspiration and then interpreting all that we’ve seen into our own spaces.

I love so many styles, from the sentimental and maximalist touches of boho to the rustic mix of farmhouse modern and of course the midcentury time capsule homes that are ubiquitous here in So Cal. Plus part of me still pines for the style of the cottage and craftsman homes that pepper the state streets of Southern Pines.

A little bit of all of that has made it into own home, and of course lots of it is apparent in my inspiration file.

I’m happy to take from all of these styles and use what I like and what I feel works in my own home.

Thanks to Sarah, I’ve honed in on a look for my new house to aspire to.

One trend that has emerged, both in my inspirations and in practice, is the black and white plus wood combo.

Let’s have a look at some of the inspiration images I have been referencing.

Becki Owens olivia-babarczy-home-3From Becki Owens

Modern in Black White and Wood

 

the-olivia-palermo-guide-to-styling-your-homefrom MyDomaine

studio mcgee kitchenStudio McGee

 

Of course, as a color lover, I like to see these elements play as a backdrop to other lively textures and pops of hue.

In our home, we’re working with colorful accents in the way of boho rugs, diy art projects and a boat load of ever-changing African Indigo inventory for SHOP TEOT. Throw in some global textiles, a vibrant vegetable dyed Persian pattern, a little fur for texture, plus some plant life and you have what, in my mind, is the winning combination of the moment.

We’ll call it California Eclectic! It’s a work in progress.

Shaniqua Black White and Wood Combo

 

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Betsy’s New House Progress

Dodgehead

Decorating is a living process, kinda like training this little dog of a puppy!

We’ve been in the new house now for just a little over 3 full months, and each day it gets better.

I suppose it’s a never ending effort to get a home feeling like home. I know all of mine have always remained a work in progress, cause being “done” isn’t really something that I’m interested in. Otherwise, it would be time to move, right Sarah? So, we have lots of projects left and I can think of many things that we still might like to acquire (like the perfectly sized persian rug.)

But, we’ve also made a few strides lately and I’m finally at a place where I can snap a few pics and share.

shaniqua-kitchen-stove

We’ll start with the least impressive… the kitchen!

We knew that this would be my least favorite aspect of the new home, and that we would be taking our time before planning any renovation. But I did swap out all of the previous owner’s glass knobs. In theory, a glass knob is a sweet option for cabinet hardware, but it wasn’t working for us and our desire to give this home a cleaner more modern vibe. We can deep dive into this room and how we are changing it later, but for now, I updated the cabs with the absolute most inexpensive hardware in the world, and while I know they aren’t what we ultimately want, the overall look is better. It’s got a little graphic punch, and if it makes any sense, this black speaks to the black window panes on the other side of the room. I’ll keep dreaming of an eventual gut renovation for this kitchen.

Care and the picture ledges

Speaking of spreading the black around, we pulled a little something off in the stairwell entryway as well. Back during the renovation, I purchased a wall of picture ledges, and we finally got them up. Most of this art came together from our previous home, and I’m just real pleased with all of it, the kid’s art, the family photos, and every stitch of sentimentality that I’ve ever put in a black frame. I imagine this will be an ongoing evolution.

 

shaniqua bedroom

If you are into that Hmong lumbar pillow, the extra rare extra large indigo bedcover, or those Euro pillows in indigo, you know where to find them!? Shop.theestateofthings.com!   

I am aware that the rug is too small for the bedroom! I have to decide on one huge, or maybe two large rugs for this room that are cozy, dog friendly, something the dude can live with, something economical, plus beautifully bold without us being sick of it in 6 months. So far I can only seem to love the $11,000,000 Persians. So for now, I have the same rug under our bed that was under our bed at the last house, in an 11×10 bedroom. So yeah, it’s too small, I’m aware. Thanks Emily Henderson and Sarah Farrell, it is an honor to be schooled in this way by you! ;)

 

SONY DSC

Lastly, here is a little look at one end of the sunroom. It’s one of my favorite spots in the house, since as you know we deliberated hard on painting the black window frames. I’m sure glad we sprung. They make just the personal stamp on the home that we need. The other corner still has some boxes stacked up and it does NOT have a hammock. Oh, the shame.

We have drawn up some plans for some built-in shelving and a floating console for the living area. That should give us the final storage needed to finally unpack all of our books and board games, and then we’ll be box free! Also, the kids’ rooms are really coming together nicely, and I love them both. I’ll share them someday soon, we still have a few projects up our sleeves for those rooms too!

Alright, that’s where we are, thanks for being here with us! <3

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Betsy’s House: The Bed

It took us a while to get our new bed selected, and you guys may have recalled when I was polling for opinions. I thought we had settled on a particular bed… the one on the left.

which-west-elm-bed-the-estate-of-things

but then Heffe realized it was upholstered and decided that this was not appealing to him. Turns out, he says he’s thinking more along the lines of a rustic wood.

It is always a bit fun and funny when the dude presents his distaste for what I think are solid choices for our shared life. I do my best to respect his desires, but I’m sure you can imagine that it’s often met with rolly eyes and or giggles if not heavy sighs while I shake my head. But, back to the drawing board I went, this time digging into some full bedroom imagery to illustrate to him my case for the upholstered headboard, and then a few looks into the style that I assumed he was after, for comparison.

First I gathered the rooms, and here is what we looked through. My case included examples from Amber Interiors, that Archiectural Digest feature of Patrick Dempsey’s house (not only b/c I love “Can’t Buy Me Love” but also b/c that entire Malibu house is dreamy,) plus the home of Ione Sky since I was in an iconic 80s actors mood.

I was leaning toward upholstery due to my desire for draping various textiles over the headboard. I felt like a nice neutral backdrop could play well to my evolving obsessions with the pieces of fabric I bring home from time to time.

 

As I dug, similar themes emerged… white backdrops, neutral upholstery, global textiles, rustic woods and maybe even an accent feature! At least we know what we’re after.

Next up, we thumbed through the beds that I found to suit the style.

 

So, after all of that storytelling with the dude, we settled on this sweet midcentury design that combined a bit of the upholstered look along with the wood.

drommen-beds CB2 Drommen

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Betsy’s New House: Hallway Decorating Ideas

It’s move in day y’all. As I type, the old house is full of boxes, being carried out one by one.

I’m so excited that tonight will be our first official night in our new home. My mind is reeling with all of the new features that I’ll get to actually live with.

Throughout the renovation, I took an abnormal preoccupation with the hallway. Here is what was going on in my  brain from my favorite vantage point.

output_H3hpeD

 

I went all E Hendo on y’all and made a gif… really I made this to illustrate to the dude what I was having a hard time articulating without a visual.
Now bear with me for a minute while I belabor myself with over-explanation.

Our house was full of doors. There were two in the hallway where there should be none. Once we started getting into moving things around, I was pinning long light filled halls with beautiful runners and quiet design moments and I wanted that in our hallway. I started to think about perspective and how soothing it is to visualize those two lines running to meet each other at a point on the horizon.

So the threshold into the back part of the house became a pre-occupation. I felt it was cutting off an opportunity for a beautiful line of site, a lovely perspective leading to a statement door frame to the Master, or a quiet chair in that far away corner. I was envisioning a thing of simple serene beauty and all of these extra door jamb angles were getting in my way.

This is what it looked like on our initial house tour, with the old homeowner’s stuff.

old-hallway

The contractor was happy to move the door jamb in the middle of the hall, but he was not so keen on busting out the door frame at the threshold. You would need to come over to the house and get the real feeling of the space to feel me out on this one, but his argument was that we needed the door trim to maintain the consistency throughout the home. I am not really so much into consistency.

My thought was that we are trying to modernize the home and clean lines would help with that.

Opening up the hallway with a flat drywall corner seemed like a sound design decision to me. But, he held out on his stubborn design opinion by deciding that while he would do it for me, he would charge me an arm and a leg for the job. So we decided fine, we will wait and we will live with it, and if I’m still obsessing over the hallway perspective when it comes time to redo the stairwell, then we can address it then.

It’s always interesting when you have a conviction that people want to challenge you on. Am I POSITIVE that the home would look better with the gaping opening. Nope.

But I still haven’t stopped thinking about it either.

Either way, it is miles better with the two doors and the one door jamb removed. Here is the new blank slate.

hallway-emptyThose holes in the floor will be filled in soon.

Will I run a long runner up the hallway? Will we adorn the walls with radical art? Will there be repeating pendants to guide us down the hall?

Here are the inspiration images that I started pinning for a hallway decorating ideas. I’d love to hear your ideas or see your hallway spaces.

 

hallway decorating ideasArt + Persian runner does a lot for this hall.
via Domaine

hallway decorating ideas runnerThe wall flood lighting adds drama to a window less hallway, and I love the chair at the end.
From Carla Aston

hallway ceilingWe could keep playing perspective games and go with a linear picture ledge.
From Apartment Therapy

black wall hallway with chair railChair rail is an option, but I think we’re steering away from traditional moulding. At any rate, I like all this for fantasy fodder for a different style of home.

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Betsy’s House: Checking in on our Home Renovation

Dodge Puppy Eyes

Dodge wants to know…

What is going on at our house ya’ll, and when will we get to move in and introduce our new home to our new puppy? OMG, wheeeeen?

Heffe and I are sitting on the sofa feeling slightly relieved that at least there is some progress because well, this:

Before-After-Electrical-Panel

My dad might be the only person on the internet that will enjoy this before and after.

I knew that we were signing up for some boring stuff and that it would take a minute, but it all feels like a slog, and really we should be moved in by now. But, I’m trying not to get to hung up on the things that were out of our control throughout this whole entire process.

Basically what that photo means is that our old house has a brand new electrical service that can handle the new Air Conditioner that we had installed in the attic. That part was just a bunch of moving of things behind walls, stuff that I can’t even see. A little underwhelming, but overall a GREAT functional addition to the home.

But dude, get me to the fun part! Let’s do the living.

We played a little experiment with an old dirty kilim runner that I had on hand, to see how everyone feels about a big dose of carpeted pattern on the entryway stairs. It was a winner. Now we are on the hunt for some Kilim or Persian action that meets the criteria of 32″ width and over 25′ of length.

Kilim-Runner-on-Stairs

Not this particular kilim, but something like it

The dude and I were initially inspired by Paris, we (okay, mostly me) loved the carpeted stairs in our AirBnB flat.

Stairs in Paris Flat

Another inspiration image that has been floating around my world includes the entry stairs in Christine Lennon’s home, featured on OKL.

kilim on stairs

Christine Lennon’s entryway stairs let first time guests know that this is no “buttoned-up colonial”

I like this look, and I love the fact that we have an opportunity to set a similar tone for the rest of the home since our stairs, like Christine’s are the first thing you’ll see when you you enter.

I’m hoping to find one persistent design though, b/c the dude of the house doesn’t lean boho enough to let me mix up the patterns as seen above.

I’ve scoured sites like RugsDirect and all of the many kilim sellers that I follow on Instagram and Ebay for unique runners in the length we’ll need. It’s especially hard with the one offs on Ebay, since I’ve calculated more than 25 feet of rug needed. So, it looks like we may have to land on something that is mass produced. Unless I can get lucky and pull of something like this + this. They could be a close enough match.

I dig and I love so many of them, but I can’t love just ONE enough. Here a few Rugs Direct options that I’ve bookmarked b/c they caught my eye, and filled me with doubt and longing. I’ll keep the search going and we’ll see where we end up.

runner rug 1A bit too trad?

runner rug 2A bit too rad?
(by rad, I mean pink. I don’t think the dude will get down with that much pink)

runner rug 4Pretty strong graphically, just a bit too much punch?

runner rug 3Hmm… Leaning a bit too folksy?

rug no runner 6Pretty good, but sadly not available in a runner.

Let me know if you’ve got any killer ideas!

 

 

 

 

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Black Frame Windows

7th_street_residence_black window framesvia PullTab

I’ve been feeling rather drawn toward black frame windows.

It’s an industrial vibe, a warehouse look, and it’s had my attention for some time — but lately I’m noticing it more and more as it mixes traditional residential architecture with modernized interiors and it’s really impressing me and that has me thinking about my own new home.

This particular home decor trend is not adopted without some commitment to the cause. Many times the executions are impressive because they were an architectural choice at the time of installation. However, painting an otherwise normal window frame is an option for upping the aesthetic ante. Painting windows can be a real pain though, especially if you are covering up oil based paint. Many folks wouldn’t be willing to get into this without real commitment to the look.

We are trying to make that decision for ourselves now. I’m growing more and more committed each day though. It started as an quick idea that I brushed away almost as soon as I thought it. It has since evolved from that to the “Heffe would never buy it” stage to this full on campaign for his consideration. This marks the official launch of my efforts to convert the dude into a believer.

First, let’s have another look at the windows in the new hizz. There are 13 in the sunroom alone. They are lovely old french panes and they are painted blue on the outside, which is an endearing feature that made me fall head over heels for this home.

But, from the inside, you can see that blue sneaking and peeking around the edges, blurring and distorting the frames and distracting from the view beyond the jungle greenery. The addition of the screens, which we only have on the windows that open, makes for an illusory sense of color in the frames, ie, not white, but very fuzzy.
the-windows-at-shaniqua-the-estate-of-things

You can clearly see the illusory color effects happening in these pics. They are already imperfect — why NOT paint them black? My feeling is that the strength of the black mullions and transoms will stand up with a bit more visual strength to the sunlight and the screens, providing a more cohesive grid like effect on the windows and thus improving the view overall. I’ve photoshopped it below.

But first, join me as we journey through a world of black frame window inspiration and what got the old wheels spinning in the first place. Most of these painted frames maintain their original white window trim, so it is only the frame that should get the black treatment in our home. This is the look that I’m after. Of additional note, some of these are most definitely metal frames and some have no trim at all.

Black Window Framesvia Carter Kay

ellen-and-portiasvia Architectural Digest
Ellen & Portia’s foyer has got it going on and their black frames are definitely an architectural statement. Plus there is a large dose of Serge Mouille at play, which is another recurring trend in the images I’m pinning. I’m feeling all wanty inside.

chenault james black windowsvia Chenault James

Amber-Interiors-Black-window-panesvia Amber Interiors.
Amber’s recent client reveal showcases an impressive architectural statement with its black warehouse window wall.
Peep the before and after post to get a load of just how this feature sings agains that brilliant white.

french windows painted greyvia Rethink Design Studio
Just for fun, here is a room with the french frames painted grey.

black windows Feldman Architecturevia Feldman Architecture, Inc.

So, I put our home in its mid-renovation state into photoshop, to help us see what our little spot could look like. I’m rather loving the turnout. Let’s do it!

black-window-frames

black-looking-into-the-dining-room-shaniqua-the-estate-of-things

 

UPDATE:

We did it. Here is a little look at our turnout.

the-sunroom-with-ky

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

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