Wallpaper is happening in three houses.

Today is a big rush day because i leave tomorrow for New York to do the final (i hope) install at the Lake House and will be gone for a couple weeks (yes, Brimfield is a very strong pull right now).  Errands are getting ran like crazy. But i thought i’d show you what wallpaper i’ve just purchased (or are very much debating to purchase) for clients lately.  

First off, another OH JOY wallpaper from Hygge and West.  Its always one of my favorites.  Its graphic, yet floral and this color way makes it less feminine (which i love how feminine it is, but this office is shared both by husband and wife so the darker color way made more sense. Previously it looked like this:

And now:

 

Not styled yet, obviously, but its going to look SOOOO good. That is the West Elm chair next to it, that was limited edition so no longer available.  We had our contractor build floating shelves to create more storage and to engage the space more. The shelving cost was $600, the wallpaper installation was $300 (i think, maybe $250) and the wallpaper itself i think was 3 rolls.  Click here to see the other color ways or to purchase   Hygge and West   

Speaking of Hygge and West, we are also using this wallpaper in The Lake House in the downstairs 1/2 bathroom.  Remember the house is a relaxed country house with kids and a very playful, unpretentious vibe, so this wallpaper BELONGED in the bathroom.  

So happy. 

We are doing the first color way (the blue and yellow), but i wanted to show you the scale of it which is soooo big and airy, and we are doing all four walls. 

It’s designed by Julie Rothman, and i love love love love love it.  Click HERE for more color ways or to purchase. 

Here’s a theory of mine that nobody seems to agree with much – i find that only doing one wall in a way can make the room MORE busy then doing all four walls. If you do one wall then you have really struggle to balance out the rest of the walls.  Obviously it  depends on the architecture, and sometimes its the perfect chance for an accent wall (like the first picture – it just wants to be wallpapered and easily looks like its own nook).  But i love wallpapering all four walls in a room if you have the budget.  Like in Joy’s house – it just looked like a big floral hug.  I guess the key to this is having a wallpaper who’s pattern isn’t too small or busy.  You know, so you don’t get vertigo coming home every night.  

See what i mean? It doesn’t look busy, it looks balanced, and warm.   We should have painted that beam white.  Sorry, Joy. My bad.  

Also this is why i have often just done the top half of the room and painted the bottom half – it saves money on wallpaper and installation but the room feels more complete, intentional and balanced, not one big wall that has all the attention and then the other three trying to compete.  

The key is to pick something that can be an easy background to furniture and accessories.  Gold is neutral, which is why it worked at Joys – the contrast was soft. But the black and white ‘people’ wallpaper was very busy, so by only doing it on the top half i gave the eye time to rest on the bottom half, and yet by doing it on all four walls it actually softens the busy-ness. This actually is such a great wallpaper for an accent wall, by the way – still one of my absolute favorites.  I’m DYING to use it in a kids play room where they can color in all the people however they want with markers and crayons and eventually (after years) they’d have the entire thing done.  Its’ called ‘All of us together’ by Pottok Prints. Check it out HERE.  And I know you can purchase it through Walnut Wallpaper. 

Finally, we are trying to get our newest client to go for this Farrow and Ball wallpaper that i’ve been wanting to use forever:

So pretty.  And i love it in this larger scale and darker colorway, too:

It may not happen for this client, they are on the fence.  But i still love it and wanted to share. Check out all the colorways, HERE. 

Off to NY, friends. Expect some New York themed posts coming up the next couple weeks.  

 

2 NEW SHOWs OF MINE ARE ON TONIGHT!!!

I do apologize for the late notice.  I just strangely found out myself.  Tonight on HGTV at 9pm and 9:30 (thats 6pm and 6:30 pst) i host two episodes of a show called ‘Behind the Sets’ where i went on the set of some hollywood shows and interviewed the set designers and creators and some actors.  It includes:

Modern Family

Malcolm in the Middle

Desperate Housewives

Big Bang Theory

How i met your Mother

The Good Wife

I didn’t have much to do with it, just hosted it. But it was super fun. Please watch or DVR and tweet this post if you love me.  

www.tvtango.com

HGTV On the Set: TV Tango is your complete reference guide for HGTV On the Set. Episode listings, photos, DVDs, videos, downloads, show information, links and much more.

15 do’s and don’t’s when trying to get (and keep) a design internship or assistant position.

Oh i’ve had some real DOOZIES.  I mean, we once had an intern who literally came to set, went to the  craft service table, made themselves a plate of funyons and bugles and just sat and watched us. It’s as if we were performing a live show just for them. Sometimes he/she would clap, sometimes laugh, sometimes criticize, it was genuinely HILARIOUS and TOTALLY BAFFLING.

You don’t want to be that person.  In fact i feel so genuinely guilty that i didn’t sit them down and tell them that they were never going to get a reference with a list of reasons why. I felt like i did them a disservice by not telling them that they were the worst worker i have ever in my life seen.  So, sorry bad intern, but i’m glad you enjoyed the show.

On the other hand…. A good intern or assistant is soooooo valuable and is to be treasured.

Let me tell you a story about one intern named Rebecca.

Rebecca wanted to intern for the show, but she lived in Las Vegas. So she was going to commute two weeks a month and stay in Los Angeles with a friend during those weeks. This seemed totally crazy to me, but i figured sure, lets see.  She came on set and slowly made herself totally indispensable. The weeks she was there were always more smooth. And then weeks we wasn’t weren’t as good.  She was fast, resourceful, easy to be around, had a good attitude and had lots of design skills.  Within a few months she was hired full time as an assistant because everybody on set knew that we needed her.  We actually found room in the budget to pay her – that’s what happens when someone can’t live without an employee – you just make it happen.

Orlando is obviously another great example – he was hired for the show and within weeks i NEEDED him. Now, post shooting, i’ve hired him as a designer in my company.  Indispensability, folks.

So here are 15 keys to getting hired as an intern OR an entry level assistant: Just my experience and just my pet peeves and needs, but i hope you find it helpful. 

1. There is a fine line between persistence and annoyance, and you want to stay on the side of persistence.   If you are stalking a potential employer and you get irritated that they don’t tweet you back or email you back immediately and you email them saying ‘why haven’t you emailed me back’, you may have just crossed the line into annoyance and you’ve just lost the job.  INSTEAD, send simple sweet reminders every other week that you would love the opportunity to help out in ANY capacity.  OR even better, send unsolicited design ideas.  For instance, i’ve had potential interns send me ‘i thought you’d like this stuff on ebay’ emails, or ‘I know you are busy but i thought you would love this artist i found’. And don’t get mad if they don’t reply.  This shows me that you a. love design and b. don’t mind giving of your time for free, and c. you have a good eye (hopefully).  It shows me that you are obsessed with design, not just desperate for a job so you can having drinking money, or something to put on your resume.  You don’t want to nag your future boss, but you do want to stay in their radar – so send them HELPFUL emails, not needy ones.  There is nothing worse than a high maintenance intern/assistant that makes you feel guilty.

2. Know that you won’t be doing the fun stuff at first. I can’t tell you how many interns we’ve had for ths show that only want to do the ‘fun stuff’.  But here’s the deal, I want to do the fun stuff.  Orlando wants to do the fun stuff, and we still don’t get to do enough of it.  Expect to do expense reports, returns, accounting, coffee running, more returns, running to get extra lampshades, driving to Santa Monica for a West Elm pickup, etc, for a while.  I still do all of those things and a good assistant would be someone who doesn’t make me feel guilty for asking them to do some of them either.  The fun stuff always comes, i promise but not if you are impatient – you won’t last that long.

3. Manage yourself and Volunteer for everything.  It’s widely known that i’m not a very good boss. I don’t like telling people what to do, i don’t like managing people. So it is extremely important to me that the people i work with can manage themselves so i don’t have to.  If tasks aren’t obvious then ask ‘what can i do this week for you?’ instead of waiting for them to give you a task.  It shows that you want to work.  I hate it when people wait for me to call them up, especially interns that aren’t getting paid – i always feel guilty.  But if you email or call me and say ‘how can i help you this week’ then the guilt is gone and your eagerness is extremely appreciated and you become indispensable.   Rebecca was constantly taking annoying tasks away from me and doing them.  Your motto should  be ‘i’ll do it’ as an intern.

4. Computer skills aren’t enough to get the job.  Auto-cad, Sketchup, etc are needed, indeed, but you need to show more than that to get a job at a creative company.  Create mood boards for your fantasy house.  Bring in those concept boards in ADDITION to technical floor plans. I can’t tell you how many interior design graduates show up to interviews with these portfolios full of commercial building projects they did in school and i get no sense of style or personality.  Again, you need the former, but if you can’t show me that you love shopping and style and design then its not going to happen for us. Start a blog.  Print out your pinterest page.  Show that you are obsessed with design and that if i send you vintage stores to shop for lamps that you have an eye and an IMAGINATION. Resumes are boring, so shake it up.  Also care about what you wear.  I’ve been baffled before by schlubby style-free outfits from interns – you want to be in a creative field? You better dress the part.  (this has nothing to do with money, thrift store outfits show me way more about you than your boring yellow tank top, too small jeans and flip flops.)  You represent your boss at all times, so you kinda need to dress like it.

5. GET YOURSELF A WORK ETHIC.  Seems obvious, but it isn’t.  Kids these days….. i mean, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO!!! You can clean, you can organize the tool box, you can tape up receipts.  As someone new, as the lowest man on the totem pole, you should always be helping.  We’ve hired so many interns on the show that only do what they are told and again, have to be told, instead of simply seeing what needs to be done and doing it.  Stay late if you need.  Show up ON TIME.  Traffic is not an excuse.   Go above and beyond what you are expected to do.  We notice, i promise and you’ll get hired.

6. Be resourceful and figure stuff out on your own.  Obviously i don’t mean the composition of the room, but coming up with the solution instead of asking for it is invaluable.  If you say ‘Home depot doesn’t have shades, where should i go?’, thats fine, but if you say  ‘Home Depot doesn’t have shades, instead i’m heading to Lamps plus and Pottery Barn’, then thats using your head. If the hardware store is out of flux capacitors, ask them first what would be a good substitute, then google it, then call your boss.

7. BE HAPPY.  Naturally we are all allowed to complain now and again, but there is a difference between being frustrated with the client at times, and being moody and grumpy often. Walking around the office clearly in a bad mood, sucks the energy out of all of us and makes us not want to ask you to do something which is a sign that this relationship isn’t working.  Your boss should always feel able to ask you do to something, and you should always be happy to do it.  The interns/assistants that i’ve avoided asking are always the ones that were let go.  You simply can’t be moody or grumpy at work (often). And if you feel really tired, just keep it to yourself because I PROMISE, your boss is more tired than you are.

8. Don’t expect to be best friends with your boss. Unfortunately you are there to work, not hang out and make friendship bracelets.  Obviously friendships may form (hopefully), but they also may not, and that’s ok.  This has happened to me a few times where there is bitterness and it causes stress.  Rebecca never showed for one second that she was jealous of our friendship and eventually she was the one that became our friend.  Work first, and if friendships form, great, but that is not why you are there.

9. DON’T MAKE COMMENTS ABOUT HOW BROKE YOU ARE.  I think i might be extra sensitive to this, but your finances are not your bosses concern and you should never make your boss feel guilty about how much you make. You know going into any job or internship what you are going to get paid. You said ‘Yes’ to the job.  After a few months if you are struggling to pay the bills and may need to leave because of it then schedule a conversation with your boss about that, and hopefully it can be worked out.  BUT NEVER complain about the low or lack of wage, its totally unprofessional.  We all started out working for pennies, but you won’t forever, or for very long, i promise.   The assistants and interns that don’t complain are the ones that get turn into paid assistants or get raises.  I don’t think Orlando has EVER complained about money (even when i knew he was struggling) and that is why i always try to get him more money when possible and make sure he is satisfied.  He makes me WANT to make him more successful and more financially comfortable.

10. Write things down – listen and take notes.  Please.  I promise you, there is NO WAY you are going to remember everything.  Write EVERYTHING down. Repeating yourself is frustrating.   And don’t call to ask where Crate and Barrel is – find it on your own.  (don’t get me wrong if we are already on the phone don’t be scared to ask that, but don’t just call for that question).  

11. Predict questions and have answers.  When sourcing anything get all of the following information:  price, lead time, size, availability.  Take proper pictures, get ample amount of swatches. Don’t just get what i’m asking for – if i say ‘go to Noho vintage and look for lamps’ and you see lamps but also some awesome coffee tables, take pictures of those, too.  Follow directions, but go beyond that – they’ll love that.  Think about what questions you would ask of the pieces and get the answer beforehand.  As a side note if you are sourcing stuff on the internet, don’t send links, send pictures in the body of the email with the price underneath (and then the link).  That way you don’t have to have to click on 20 links,  You can see the pictures and then if you want to get more info you can – it saves a lot of time.

12.  Be efficient.  Multi-tasking skills are crazy important.  Make phone calls in the car (**if you have hands free) while driving to the  fabric district.  Google your next errand while in line at Pottery Barn.  Don’t go home and walk your dog during work unless you ask.  Work fast.   It will prove you are worth every penny.

13.  Don’t give unsolicited negative feedback.  OH, this is a big one.  If i’m, lets say, styling a coffee table and i’m still deciding what to put on it, don’t say ‘mmm i don’t like that’ just to assert your opinion.  It doesn’t prove to me that you have opinions or are smart or have good taste. It just proves to me that you like the sound of your own voice.  Sure, you can give unsolicited positive feedback, but not negative, at first.  For me, once i start trusting people then OF COURSE i need/rely/am desperate for opinions and get annoyed when you hold back criticism, but new interns and assistants should watch and learn and prove yourself first.

14. Predict Needs.  This is where you totally become indispensable.  If you see your boss about to hang a bunch of art, grab a hammer and some nails and put them next to them.  If you see that their computer is running out of batteries, plug it into a charger. This stuff is assistant GOLD, people.  When i was assisting it was like a game to me – i LOVED figuring out what Cindy would need next and have it there for her.  The second i got to set i would throw the flowers in water (clip the ends first to give them fresh stems) and i would lay the clipper next to the bucket with some vase options.  She’s good to go.  I would set up the ironing board minutes before i could tell she would need it.  I was constantly organizing the prop table to make sure everything was visible, and if i could tell she was struggling styling the mantle i would quietly bring objects over and just put near her for options.  PREDICT NEEDS.

15.  Don’t be sensitive. If your boss doesn’t like any of the lamps you took pictures of, don’t get annoyed or sensitive.  If they don’t like the fabric you swatched, don’t cry, its ok.  It takes a long ass time to know the specific tastes and needs of your boss, so don’t worry about it.  I try and say ‘why’ i don’t like something so they can learn, but know that it takes a while to learn somebody else’s style – it took me a long time with Cindy, too.  Rebecca at first showed me lots of stuff i didn’t like, but she didn’t care, she just turned around and shopped for more.  And after a couple months she started getting it.  I want to feel comfortable enough to say, ‘nope, too Liberace-y’, ‘Nope, too ‘cheesy bachelor’, ‘nope, too old lady’.  But i’ve had people get sensitive and annoyed, and again it becomes my problem.   Ask ‘why’ so you understand, but then take the info and move on.

For all the bosses out there, comment away on your advice for interns and assistants.  Tell them the stuff that you wish you knew when you were starting out.  Or vent with your pet peeves.

I normally don’t encouraging venting on the blog, but i really feel like there is a influx of really poor workers out there that need to know this stuff, or they won’t be able to get or kep a job.  Its for their own good, i swear.

Newest update:

There has been some negative feedback, which i totally understand, defending interns.  Ultimately i think its a compromise – 50/50. The employee/intern has to be proactive and work hard and ask as many questions that they can think of to try to learn, and the employer has to teach them as often as possible and ultimately try to help them move on and get a job if its not there.  Neither party can just sit back, both need to work at the relationship.  I’m revising what i said earlier, it was harsh and hasty.  (i was on a roll…)

If you don’t believe in free internships then that is a whole other debate that i understand both sides to. Unfortunately in creative fields free internships are the norm because of lack of funds.  In general they are very flexible though and allow for other jobs. I think an unpaid internship at a really exciting, but small creative company is way more valuable than a paid internship at a big company.  Again, if you prove to be indispensable you will get hired.

But let me be clear:  interns or entry level assistants are supposed to be looking for valuable experiences and they should be getting it – thats kinda the trade off.  I’m sorry if it came across ungrateful, i’m actually the opposite i swear, its just the entitlement that kills me.

 

BAR, by HGTV.

The last few days have been a bit cuckoo. I was in North Carolina for High Point (a big old furniture/design show) launching the new HGTV furniture line.  Then i just landed in Chicago to check out KBIS for HGTV as well.   I might say ‘sup to Gov. BloGo while i’m here, because i simply don’t think we reference him enough these day. Him and Carrot top. How do we let these characters leave the media?  

Anyway, i’m jet set, people! Jet set!  Don’t worry, I had season 4 of Mad Men on my laptop and this new ULTRA smutty book called 50 shades of grey to distract me on all the planes.  I read 260 pages of it yesterday. Its a total problem.  And those of you who have read it know what i mean……It is SERIOUSLY not for kids. 

So i thought i’d share my favorite piece of furniture from the new HGTV line.  Overall the collection is good – its modern take on traditional, and at a good price point.  But being obsessed with vintage, there are very few pieces of new furniture that i really, really, want, no matter who makes them (especially that i can afford).  Except this guy:

 

Why yes, it is a bar. I like bars.  It has inlaid wood on the front that looks high end and custom.  

And then on the inside? Its a party.

 

Boom! Calm down, storage!! 

and this is the little detail that i would never think about, but i totally appreciate:

 

i know. that photo is really just beautiful. But what its trying to show you is that there are outlets on the side of the piece – for blenders, hot plates, etc, and you  just have to plug the bar in itself and shove it against the wall and never move it again.  Genius.

 

I swear to god i wasn’t drunk whilst take pictures.  But thats a detail of the inlay wood.  Its super beautiful.

I think i remember someone saying its going to retail for around $1000 but it depends on the retailer, obviously.  HGTV partnered up with Bassett (a 110 year old family run furniture company) to design and manufacture the line.  

There are a few other pieces i really liked but i think i’m doing them a disservice by using my iphone pictures.  When i found out where and when you can buy this bad boy, i’ll post it.

But that’s all i’s gots fors nows.   

WAIT….they just send me pretty pics of the bar:

Almost as good as my pictures of it.  Anyway, for those of you who like traditional, you’ll love the new collection…and the prices. 

In case you are wondering, no, this is not a sponsored post by HGTV.  Sometimes i just like things and want to talk about them.  Like ’50 shades of Grey.’  Oh, Mr. Grey…… 

And thank you Ms. Anne Sage for the awesome shout out today on your blog. That first email to you seems like 10 years ago….

The Lake House, Post #3

Stuff is going down at The lake house.   Figuratively and literally.  (click on link to check out the first two lake house posts).  I hate showing ‘before’ and ‘progress’ pics without ‘afters’, i do.  Its like wine tasting where you taste it and then spit it into a bucket – sure, still kinda fun, but ultimately very unsatisfying (not to mention uncivilized and disgusting).  No climax. No cathartic release.  No fun at all.  But i’ll do it anyway.  I’m a masochist (and a sadist, sorry) like that.  (ooh, ‘Design Masochism’ could be a great new name for the show…., no?)

ANYWAY,

Here is your taste (or tease….or torture):

Before:

Nobody is living here right now, that’s why its messy – my computer, my potato chips and bottle of water are making them look like shut-ins, but it was our mess.  And this is all the staged furniture – not the homeowners. It was all just staged to sell the house, then left there to be the new homeowners burden (it is now all donated). 

The major problems:

Laminate flooring.  It’s a bummer. It doesn’t look bad in these picturs, but it looked really cheap in person. I get it, its inexpensive. I used it in my office redo last week, but its a rental and i wanted a $150 update. I would always save up for real or engineered wood in my purchased home before using this quality of laminate – which is very, very low quality. It looked like vinyl stickers.  (i know there are some better quality better looking laminates out there, so if you have laminate don’t hate yourself, most of it is not this bad).  

The brick and beams:  Those beams are wood underneath but they are painted brown, not stained. I hate it when people paint wood brown. It would be like painting me white, its just not necessary; i already got that covered. It (I) just needs some pretty stain (or makeup) to enhance it.  But stripping and staining is way more labor intensive than just painting over, so that is getting painted all white.  

Everything needed to be freshened up to create the airy, casual feeling that we wanted, and nothing does that faster than white paint. 

The cabinetry, the hardware (look how big that handle on the drawer) the color of the wood on the door….. THE TILE ON THE WALL! There are a LOT of finishes happening here.  Here’s a secret – try to limit the amount of finishes in your house to just a few – aka, you don’t need a different floor for your kitchen if it shares the same space as the living room – just keep the wood going.  But using so many different tiles looks sooo messy.  Its just like a color palette – the more colors you add the more hectic it will look.  

Calm down, house.  

Oh and also this house is apparently in Greece, as is indicated by the greek column.  Very grand and not random at all.  

Never do that.  Even with a gun to your head.  It’s not worth it. 

 

But the open layout is great.  And the architectural details are good – brick, beams, huge ass windows…its potential is HUGE.  But it just needed some ‘secrets’.  (aka, white paint, new flooring, new cabinetry and new furntiure, accessories, color and love).  

So here is where we were a month ago (6 weeks or so into the renovation). 

Stuff everywhere, but already so much better.  White, bright, airy and so much less busy.  Remember that the less contrast in a house, the less busyness, and the less hectic energy flowing there.  We are bringing in contrast in the furniture and accessories, but we wanted the foundation to feel calm and peaceful and easy – this is their weekend escape from their hectic New York life.  So i had to equalize and calm down all the finishes to calm down the energy.  We want it to feel energetic, but not hectic – a hard but good balance to strike.  

Here’s what i did: 

Painted the brick and beams white – looks like here there was only one coat in thes pics, but there are two coats now.  I used Benjamin Moore’s ‘Super Bright White’, because it doesn’t get much whiter than that.  I used semi gloss on the beams and brick, and flat finish on the walls.  At this point i hadn’t painted the hearth because the stone was nice and i wanted to see how it looked, but after everything else was painted white it looked super random and weird so it is now painted.  

The flooring is prepped here (above, the laminate is taken out) and we put in radiant heating which looks like this underneath:

Previously there were these extremely unattractive wall heaters everywhere that looked like this:

Thats the master bedroom before we removed the heaters. But they were everywhere downstairs as well. It sadly gave the homeowner nightmares, and we can’t have that.  

Radiant heating basically just means that the floor is heated – that all the heat comes  up from the floor. It’s efficient, smart, luxurious, etc, and yes not cheap (about $12,000 for labor and materials). But there is no better time to do it than when you are replacing flooring – you have to rip up your floor to do it.  This wasn’t in the original plan and it caused us to have to up the budget, but for resale it was crucial that they did this, and like i said, it was now or never.   

Meanwhile in the kitchen,  we lowered that ledge behind the sink.  It was strangely high and cutting off the room. There wasn’t enough space for a big counter with a lip for a bar area anyway – we wanted the sofa to face the lake, so it needs to go there and its going to take up most of the space, just giving like a foot of space behind it.

Wow, buuuuuuuusy.  I have no idea what they were thinking with this flip:  fake granite, stone tile, weird different tile flooring, laminate, brick, maple cabinets….there is no consistentcy, no coherence, no design plan here at all.  

We faced out our grecian column to be a simple white beam (they’ve since cancelled their toga themes house warming party) – the contractor just tore down the facade of the beam and built a wood box around the load bearing beam underneath.

The kitchen which was huge and extremely cheaply done is now demo’d and we find out that it was previously two rooms and there are washer and dryer hookups in the back and clearly it needed to be two room.  So we had to reconfigure our cabinet plans (Yes, they were already ordered and being built…. this is what you call a massive ‘hiccup’ that kept me from sleeping, but ended up working out).    

That hole in the ceiling is the plumbing being prepped for a clawfoot tub in the middle of the master bedroom directly upstairs….YES!  It’s an awesome big old tub from Victoria and Albert

Hello, big ass beautiful raw wood mirror.  Aren’t you just opening up the space even more and reflecting light everywhere whilst making a huge statement?  Why, yes you are.  

So here are some sneak peeks into whats happening elsewhere in the house:

White cesarastone, light blue penny tile backsplash (from nemo tile), brushed brass hardware (from Restoration hardware on their 50% off sale, not sure if there are any left), white shaker cabinets (from Jilco Cabinetry – extremely good service, helpful guys)…. open, airy, bright, modern with a classic vintage vibe.  Our goals were timeless, but stylish and i didn’t want them to have to touch it if they wanted to sell it in 7 years.  

 

Ooooooh, we have some green going on in the kids bathroom, yes we do.  

I’m going back May 1st for the first install – meaning the house should be totally done – construction-wise, and we can start decorating – which frankly is the most fun part.  But even seeing it tranformed this much gets me super excited.  

Frequently asked questions:

What is the budget? Sorry, its not my money so i’m not talking about it. But its a very reasonable budget for a lot of vintage pieces,  splurges here and there and supplemented with big box stores and thrift stores.  Its a casual lake house for a casual family so nothing is too expensive or high end. 

How long has it taken?  We started demo in early February and should be done May 1st.  3 Months.  Which is not bad considering it was almost a gut renovation.  We have almost every major piece of furniture ordered and ready to be delivered, but it could take another few weeks after that to really make it feel finished in the space.  

How do i design a house in New York from Los Angeles? Its not ideal, honestly, but I have a great project manager there, Lana (check her blog) who handles the day to day and checks up on the house, coordinates with the contractor (who is great) and then I go out there around 7-8 days a month – sometimes two short trips sometimes one longer trip.  Yes, travel is part of our contract.  

I can’t tell you how excited i am to get over there and start decorating. As many of you probably know from renovating your own house, that renovating is stressful and serious and expensive.  Every house is different, every house has its own quirks, needs, etc and there are so many things that can go wrong – and not in a ‘this lampshade is too big’ kind of way.  More in a ‘your foundation is weak’ or, ‘you have mold’, or ‘the water heater won’t heat enough water to fill that huge bathtub that you want to put in’ kind of way. I’ll be so glad when its just a beautiful blank canvas for me to do my magic on.  

Now its your turn to share your biggest renovation ‘hiccups’.  Comment away, it will make us all feel better because it happens to the best of us.