Friday, February 14, 2014

Perche, Paris - Île-de-France

Gina: Well, Tina did it again. She's so good at finding homes that are on the market abroad and stateside that could use our loving touch. When she sent Perche to me I said, “I get my stone cottage!”.. she spoils me. Rotten. 

Here are the exterior "before" photos.. 

We went straight for the grey stone veneer that just makes me giddy with glee, the whole cottage will be covered in stone. It gives the cottage such a warm old world feel that just looks perfect in the middle of the woods. With little pops of browns, tans and pink.. this stone just lifts my spirit. All doors and trim will be painted in Vin Rouge, it's only fitting for a cottage in France, right? The color pairs with the veneer for such a simple but powerful statement of charm and sophistication. 

The roof shingles will be replaced with a more modern shake shingle, a lifetime metal shingle with a classic look and very little to no upkeep down the road. We'd remove the seat walls that are placed out front and instead use long planters that have an antiqued look, filled with beautiful flowers that add a welcoming look to the entry. The tree needs work, but with some extra love and perhaps smaller planters bursting with flowers surrounding it, it too can have another chance to make a pretty statement. 


The rear view of this home is missing one gigantic item.. a sitting deck. It has all of the room for comfort just sitting there, waiting. Couldn't you just imagine lounging on that deck, sipping a glass of wine at the end of a long day? I could. This deck adds tons of value to the home and a big selling point for the future. Replacing the stairs and adding a deck would be my top priority. 

Here are the interior "before" photos:

Tina: Soft pinks makes the rooms feel romantic, while the greys keep it from feeling too fussy. I was looking for pieces that felt chic and modern in an old fashion way. If you know what I mean. ((haha)) I wanted to update the vintage feeling while keeping the look a bit cleaner. In the living room, I featured an abstract painting above the mantel to mix in with the worn wood tables and the traditional Chesterfield sofa in linen. 


The touches of soft pink are very little in the room, but by spreading it out it felt more like it had a starting role. The theme went on into the dinning room, where old met new. 

The sleek met worn. I pictured a couple collecting pieces through out their relationship, going to fleamarkets together and mixing and matching. 

Finally the bedroom! How about that bed? I didn't want that fuss factor to come up , so I mixed in a modern light fixer and to top it off a sketch by 60's fashion designer Bobby Hillson. 


After all this is France the fashion capital of the world. I can picture myself moving in tomorrow. 

>> Here's a little extra.. we couldn't resist a little girl's room in this perfect, romantic country cottage in France! <<


Thursday, February 13, 2014

An Arizona Hacienda

Gina's input: At first we looked at the space and what was in it and went Southwestern, a more modern and soft take on a Southwestern space.

Color – We both feel that color is the most important element in a space, but we also both agree that the walls shouldn't be the focal point. Rather, the starting point and also what ties the whole design together. So originally I picked wall color in the linen family, I wanted the walls not to scream but instead blend because of all of the dark colors that are already in the space. The floors are a dark clay color and the hallway leading into the room has Saltillo tile as a wainscot halfway up the wall as a detail. That makes for a dark room to begin with. So, my first thought was to lift the room. We both felt the need to use blues in this space, all of the colors used traditionally in Southwestern design are very warm colors like reds, burnt oranges, bright yellows and browns. We were pretty set on bringing in the blues. Here is the original board that Tina put together. I'm not a huge fan of Southwestern, but I really loved the pieces! 

We kind of have a tendency to get excited and can't wait to imagine the space and all of the elements that will fill it. We had to wait to see what she actually wanted to do with the space, and that ended up being more Hacienda than Southwestern.. those really are very different design attitudes.

Hacienda has more of a Spanish/Mediterranean vibe to it.. and in Arizona LOUD colors. Here is the color palette we were given to work with. 

Again, as two individuals who aren't as keen as others on Southwestern or Hacienda design, we really had fun designing this room with a tasteful and warm Hacienda flare.

We had to start all over. The client wanted lots of color and definitely not linen toned walls. We stared long and hard at the palette and decided that yellow was the right answer for the space. It can be loud but also carry a sophisticated elegance with it. We still wanted the walls to be soft compared to the rest of the elements in the room.. this shade really was our starting point. Tina found some throw pillows that further inspired, they have a vibrant quality that began to set the tone for the room. Hacienda is known to be very loud, so we needed elements that worked well together rather than fight, or even worse, elements that might just blend in to each other.

Our next search was draperies, they needed to have lots of personality but also enough balance to bring the room together. We had an idea of what we were looking for and Tina did want she does best.. she narrowed down the search and found the perfect look.

Tina's input: We wanted to give the client a space where many generations of family could gather and use the room. It needed to be bright and cheery with lots of color, but was good on wear and tear. So, I searched for pillows made from old Mexican blanket and leather sofas that were already distressed so they would only get better over time. This needed to be a room where the families new grandson could sit and not worry and doing damage to the furniture.

As Gina said we made the walls a soft yellow color. After all this color in the walls , pillows and such. I really wanted a visual break. So the draperies although colorful, had a white back ground. That bit of white can keep a room from feeling heavy and over worked. Finally the last stage is filling the room with the home owners personal art and items. 

This makes a room fill like it really belongs to them. Their own personal get away.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Penzance Re-Do

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Penzance House by Blueprints & Damask:

Blueprints by Gina:   
  Seriously? No budget limit, no client specifications.. wahoo!! I won't go crazy but I will make some major changes. This home has so much potential, and is quite cute in it's original design. What a great canvas to work with! First, the shake shingles need replacing but I would totally stay with the same look, just replace with a more modern product. Shake shingles bring a very warm cottage feel to a home, I dig it. The same for the current shake siding that is covering the pop out above the front door, I'd take that all the way to ground level as it really breaks up the massive front of the home. I'd replace the current shake above the garage as well.. I'd not change the look of it, just freshen it up a bit. (My Dad was quick to inform me that he doesn't share the sentiment for shake..) Oh well!

Here is where the real fun starts.. for the entire exterior of the home I'd love to veneer it. At first I was leaning toward stone, the house is near the water so I was thinking a “beachy” type stone look, champagne color. But as I searched and searched for the perfect one, I realized, this home needs to be brick, not just any brick though, a flashed tumbled handmade brick. I love the colors that work their way through this specific brick style, it's more like.. burnt champagne rose. << I made that up.

For the trim color around the roof edge, windows and their ledges, I'd paint those a brilliant white, white around windows is my absolute favorite and it just keeps it looking clean and classic. Especially when the brick itself has so much personality.

The two entry doors as well as the garage would look great in a dark teal color, definitely a focal point to add a welcoming tone to the entry.

The walkways all around the home would look fabulous in a grey concrete paver, all one size or a varied pattern of three sizes for a cobbled look. This just brings homey warmth to the property with clean lines that differ from the brick joints for a tad bit of contrast.

Let's go inside: I think the interior will be simple, but simple spaces are the best. They have a way of wrapping their arms around you and making you feel like you'd want to stay a while. That's the way a home should be. It looks like the wood floors in this home already have a pretty look to them, it's a shame to pull out good wood flooring. If we hated the color we could always tint a sealer and add a few coats until it deepens. That's an idea, but I'd take this flooring throughout the house and into each bedroom, they aren't huge spaces so ripping up the carpet and installing hardwood would be well worth it. EVERY window needs to be trimmed out with brilliant white semi-gloss moulding, in a space like this the more ornate the better, detail makes up for lack of square footage, in my opinion. The windows need shutters, I'd go with cottage but there are so many to choose from. Shutters for sure.

The first bedroom needs a new built-in unit, more modern finishes but with a classic feel. Maybe 6 panel doors with matching cabinet faces.

At first I was looking at the fireplace thinking how we'd clean that up. I hate seeing painted brick, the thought crossed my mind to do a shiny gloss type sealer on the to spruce up.. but no.. it just needs to go. In it's place a pre-cast concrete fireplace surround, new fresh but a throw back to the old world.

Damask by Tina:

       First off let me say I love the bones of this house. My family is from Penzance and have always longed to go there. How pretty is Penzance? How could I not want to be there? Ok here we go , no budget dreaming out loud time. As Gina said..."wahoo". 
      Let's now dive into the interior design part of this. The  living room had great lighting and windows , but let's face it a bit of a yawn . Wall covering added a bit of interest without being too busy. Bringing the outside in I brought in tans and a touch of teal. Keeping with the homeowner’s warm and cozy feeling from the original design I added distressed leather horseshoe chairs in a tan color. I wanted the room to be modern, but still keeping in mind it’s past. We were blessed to have nice wood flooring in the room. I just warmed them up a bit with a ultra-fashionable Ikat motif rug featuring soft colors from around the room.

     Next up is the dining half of the great room . I wanted the colors to unify the two room. Before they felt too detached from each other. I used the same lovely wooden chandeliers to give the rooms a old world feeling before add more modern elements lit the fresher draperies. To make it pop a little the back wall was given a teal paint job to help tall the tans from feeling too drab in the space. Keeping with a modern yet traditional feeling the dining chairs are simple tan linen armless chairs and that Ikat rug to anchor the room. 

 Bedroom #1 is small like all the rooms in this house. So, first thing is to hopefully make it feel a bit bigger. I wanted to work with the colors the homeowner already seemed to like. This room has a nice fresh color pallet of navy and whites. I added a blue and white striped wallcolvering to  give the room some much needed height. Keeping the linens clean and simple are a big plus in a small room. I wanted anything to over power the bedroom. simple. clean and fresh was the theme for this room. No fuss no muss. 

   Bedroom #2 had a touch of orange and blue. In the "before" the colors don't seem to flow for me. Art was my first thought to blend these colors. A traditional area rug also helped to bridge these colors. Next up the walls. I added one of my all time favorites, grass cloth. It is like a painted wall adding color ,but it adds texture and depth with out being too much. Just adding a little something to it. I treated this room as more of a master bedroom and wanted it to feel a bit more elegant. the simple a yummy bed set the tone for the room. The lines felt feminine , but not over the top.

There you have it our first re-do by Blueprints & Damask. We hope liked our take on "Fresh Old World Style".  Feel free to check out all the pillows , lines, paint and such sources used in the re-do.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Beauty Of An Idea

Home Goods >> Spa Life

We always have ideas to add to any space that we see, these ideas are just our personal input with what we see and what can be added or created. That's the beauty of an idea, they don't have to be concrete dictations of what the space must look like. 

There are plenty of ideas to throw around. Some might not see a space the way we do, there isn't anything wrong with that.. it's just our left brains kicking into high gear again. When we get started we just can stop. So we've decided to add to our little site here, for the fun of it. Tina had a great idea to take listings from around the world and breaking them down room by room and share what we would do to them. Of course we have to change the exteriors and landscape as well! I mean.. there is no budget, no barriers in these little projects. Just fun. 

Stay tuned for our thoughts on a home currently for sale in Penzance, Cornwall UK.