Cooper Road (Designer in the Listings)

I've found a lovely, grand house built in 1914 to inspire us today.  Almost 100 years after it was built, Cooper Road was the location of the 2013 Designer Showhouse of Westchester in Scarsdale, New York. Showhouses are fun to find in the listings, because they make such good before and after comparisons. 

This house took a little bit of sleuthing to find all the before and after photos, but posts by Lynn Byrne of Decor Arts Now and Jennifer Mehditash of Dec-a-Porter, as well as a YouTube video tour 
helped me put the pieces together. 

Let's start in the foyer of course, and admire the beautiful Gracie wallpaper. Their site refers to this house's silver leaf paper as vintage.  I think that means it was installed between 1930 and 1949, when Gracie's studio's production was based in New York and they first started producing wallpaper.

Here is how it looked during the showhouse:

(You'll get a better view of the room at the bottom of the stairs later.) 
Which do you like better, the crystal chandelier or the modern pendants?  (Do I really need to ask?)

The opposite end of the foyer is a sitting room...

...or "Martini Alley" as the showhouse designer dubbed his design:

{Gideon Mendelson}

The living room gives us a great opportunity to see how different shapes can really influence a space:

Which shapes work better within the wall moldings?  Maybe it's a personal preference.

{Ken Gemes}

Texture can really change a space, too, huh?  Beautifully.  

The living room is 25 feet wide x 33 feet long, with room enough for a games table in the listing:

...or a piano in the showhouse:

{Ken Gemes}

The dining room shares the beautiful moldings of the living room:

While the showhouse living room showcased texture, the dining room showcased color:

The master bedroom's sitting room had a similar transformation:

Now for the room we caught a glimpse of earlier, the first of two sunrooms:

Here is it how it appears in the listings:

Turn that up a notch, and here is the polished showhouse version: 

Here's the second sunroom:

In the listing photo of this room, you're left wondering why the ceiling and back wall are so dynamic and the furniture is boring in comparison. 

This should explain it:

{Lillian August}

I know it's a sunroom, but wouldn't this room look wonderful for an evening party?

Speaking of celebrations, the winner of Kristy Woodson Harvey's book Dear Carolina is...


Congratulations, Gail!  Please email your address to my contact link at the top.
Thank you all for your city suggestions!  Have a great week, friends!


Griffith (and book giveaway!)

Happy Mother's Day!  Like I did last year, I wanted to find a house today that reminded me of my Mom's tastes, and I thought this classic beauty fit the bill nicely.

Griffith was built in 1921 and is in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Owensboro overlooks the Ohio River, and can boast that it has the world's largest sassafras tree.

Griffith, meanwhile, can boast about its beautiful hardwood floors and natural light:

{source unknown}

I love this transitional style for the living room.  It's tailored and elegant but has a touch of a coastal feel, as well.

The dining room shares the beautiful features of the living room:

...so I looked to bring in an elegant coastal feel and found it:

The kitchen, while perfectly spic and span, brought me up a bit short...

...until I swapped the Z-brick for brick-shaped glass tile that fits our design brief:

{Griffin Custom Cabinets}

What sweet 1920's house is complete without a breakfast nook?

How about a sweet breakfast nook where linen napkins wouldn't be entirely out of the equation:


Now let's bring some of that coastal elegance to the master bedroom:

... to a guest bedroom:

{source unknown}

... and the guest bath:

Look, the towel bars are even in the same place.

Everyone likes the idea of an attic sanctuary, even if it starts out like this:

...because we dream that with some work, we can turn it into this:

This was fun for me to discover because I recognized the goose painting to be the work of Dawne Raulet Hall.  I remembered reading about her on on Sherry Hart's blog Design Indulgence.  Neat to see not just Dawne's painting, but her beautiful lake home featured.  Coastal elegance!

Fittingly, for a special Mother's Day treat, I'd like to give away a copy of blog friend Kristy Woodson Harvey's wonderful and brand new first book Dear Carolina.  

A moving debut novel about two mothers—one biological and one adoptive—from a compelling new voice in Southern women’s fiction.
One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.
Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…

I'm halfway through reading it, and enjoying how it unfolds from the synopsis. Her characters have rich stories, themselves.  I'm especially appreciating Kristy's blend of both design and humor in the story, for example:
"As it turned out, I had been as right about Allen as I had about cornice boards.  They were both fine as long as they weren't in my house."
I'm drawn in, and can't wait to read just how Khaki's and Jodi's stories grow toward their resolution.

To enter the drawing for a copy, just leave a comment this week naming your favorite city and why I should feature it. (Sorry, U.S. entries only, please.)

 I'll randomly draw a winner and announce it in my next post.  
Good luck!


Zooey's House

Hello! Once again I have been inspired by a visit to one of my favorite blogs, Hooked on Houses. Julia featured the  new home of actress Zooey Deschanel in Manhattan Beach, California.

Zooey's house choice appears puzzling, simply because her former 1930s Hollywood Hills home (also featured by Julia) was cute and quirky, and today's house is builder basic (but apparently closer to her studio in Culver City). Let's see what the New Girl could do with this New House.

For reference and a little inspiration, this is Zooey in her music studio:

Below is her new living room:

Definitely needs personality, right?

{Lindsey Coral Harper}

This design seems just the personality ticket for the space. It has touches of navy, which Zooey appears to favor.  It's fresh and youthful, but also sophisticated, which seems appropriate as Zooey is starting a family.

The living room is open to the kitchen and breakfast area:

How about a cozy space with a hint of quirky for the breakfast nook, and...

{source unknown; I changed barstool colors}

...some of that brought over to the kitchen as well.  3 different, yet similar, pendant lights.  
Quirky...but not too quirky.

The kitchen also includes a little wine storage nook:

I've got just the thing:

It's pretty, fresh, and sophisticated, but Zooey doesn't seem like a gray sort of gal.
How about New Providence Navy (Benjamin Moore)?

I like that it picks up the butterfly wallpaper colors and plays well with the brass pendants.  
It's my favorite, however, I think Old Navy (Benjamin Moore) goes better in the overall scheme:  

Which color would you pick?  
Bonus points if you noticed the theater box candy all ready for any screenings Zooey might hold at home.

Moving on, we find a dining room at the front of the house:

The trend of shifting away from designated dining rooms would seem to be trend Zooey would embrace:

...Especially if the trend included some crisp navy and colors from the curtains and wallpaper already chosen.  (The bookcase would also keep her from missing her old kitchen cabinetry). The chairs would help her keep an eye on her kids. 

I'm enjoying finding all these fun wallpaper prints.  I'm sure we can find something for the guest bath:

{Claire Thomas/Domaine}

Yep, that'll do nicely.  Oh, and for the laundry room...

 ...I didn't find the wallpaper, but I did find the perfect appliances.

Upstairs is the master bedroom, one of 6 in this house:

Echo, echo....

Robin's design would definitely cozy up Zooey's room with furniture, and especially color, pattern, and texture.

I love the internet. Not only did it help me identify the inn bedroom designer as Robin Gannon, but it sent me on a fun path to a This Old House episode featuring a tour of the Inn. (8 minutes into the episode.) Robin is the designer for their current show house. Nothing like binge-watching episodes of This Old House.

Back to this new house:

The internet also tells me that Zooey is pretty fashion forward.

Remember her Cotton commercial?  Apparently that was her actual closet.
As for her new one, how about this?

Finally, the listing doesn't show any of the other bedrooms, but I can't deny us the fun of imagining Zooey's new nursery, can I?

For some reason, Zooey seems like a bird and butterfly girl to me. Even if her decorating takes another flight of fancy, I'm pretty sure her new digs will end up anything but builder basic.