Sessions Drive

If you're thinking the image above looks like a fairy tale house, you're right- it does.  So much so that I'm going to break protocol and show you the actual house:

Yep, still a fairy tale.  This is a 1954 charmer from Columbus, Ohio.  Let's hurry and get inside before the magic fades.

This sweet living room just needs some pretty antiques and a polished palette:

This pretty and polished space will give us cues for the rest of the house.

The living room opens onto the dining room:

I took further inspiration from Loi and wanted to find rooms with beautiful fixtures that you might find in his shop.

{Marshall Watson}

The chairs here reminded me of the living room chair and pillow, and the beautiful chandelier and mirror definitely have a little magic to them.

Here's another view of the room:

...Now complete with a one-of-a-kind painted chest or commode:

{Marshall Watson}

What fairy tale house would be complete without a library and doors to a garden?

We'll just add some more well-chosen pieces and our living room colors here:

The master bedroom needs a little of that same magic:

{source unknown}

This lovely vaulted bedroom is definitely fit for a princess:

Let's just make it more magical:

This bedroom already features a lantern pendant plucked from a story illustration...

...that I think would illuminate this dream of a dollhouse in true fairy-tale fashion:

Finally, I can think of only one thing this perfectly landscaped back yard needs to make it fairy tale perfect:

A guest cottage like this for me to stay in!

{source unknown}

All in all, this house is definitely one to inspire sweet dreams.


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:

{Melanie Turner}

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!