I am so excited for 2015 and have a lot of really good things happening…I hope you do too. We recently shot a couple of projects, some I can share and some I cannot. People ask me why I don’t show a whole project on my Instagram feed or on my blog. Truthfully, a lot of those photos go to magazine editors and obviously they don’t want to publish something that has been revealed elsewhere. So here’s one that I can show from one of our favorite clients. This is only a couple of views of the space, but at least you can see the before shots. More to be revealed soon! Of course while shooting I got a tiny bit hungry. And I ate the props. But hey, it’s my shoot and I’ll eat cheese if I want to.
I appreciate all of you reading and thank you to my new subscribers! I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Wonderful 2015!
We recently had an unique opportunity to “flip” a house for a long time client. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Charlotte neighborhood, Foxcroft; it’s a beautiful, pastoral place filled with gorgeous homes of all styles and ages. Before the downturn, developers were bulldozing the old gems and and putting up large scale homes which unfortunately in some cases, didn’t fit the lot or the homes that surrounded them.
So when my client approached me with the idea of designing and renovating a home in Foxcroft as an investment, I was pretty excited. The whole idea was to keep the lovely lines and most of the footprint of this older home but completely gut the inside to bring it up to a modern family’s needs.
Nicely enough, I have done several large scale design and renovation projects for this client and he gave us free reign to make the design decisions. I am super fortunate to have a great team who I depend on heavily to not only execute the ideas but also to help in the areas of what’s possible and what’s not. It was a challenge at times–as it always is when taking apart a house, but in the end we love the way it turned out. It’s going on the market this week–and while I’m happy to see it completed, the end of a project is always a little bittersweet for me. Fortunately, we are starting several more projects so there’s always something to look forward to!
Here is the before and the partial after:
We added a vault in the entry and a second story on the back of the house. And I updated the paint which made a tremendous difference.
A before of the kitchen:
And the after: I chose Carrera for the counters and backsplash.
Another before of the kitchen:
The after- we made a range wall and wrapped the cabinets around the corner.
I designed a cabinet (straight ahead) with pewter trellis mesh over antiqued mirror to add a little unexpected glam to the drop zone. It’s a great place for mail, charging station etc.
The glass cabinets provide tons of pretty storage with drawers below.
I am loving banquettes for dining these days, so we decided to put in one with very functional drawers under the seating:
Here are selections from a planning meeting–(pardon my Siggi’s and coffee cup- it was an early one)!
Here is the marble herringbone floor going into the Guest Bath downstairs:
This was the old Master Bath.
We decided to take it and use for the Master Bedroom:
Here is a close up of the new cabinet I designed for the Master Bedroom:
This was a bedroom that we used for the new Master Bath:
During- the shower goes into the new Master Bath:
The new Master Bath After: I wish you could see the basket weave marble floor in the shower- it’s adorable.
A cramped former closet became this:
The entry foyer felt small to us–so we added a vault with a large window.
I love the way this turned out–the simple addition of moulding made all the difference!
The family room during–
The family room after-
One of my favorite spaces is the stairway. Maybe because there wasn’t one at all before or maybe because I love the shiplap and the small desk area/bookcase at the top of the stairs.
Here’s are two stages of during:
Here’s the After:
A during at the top of the stairs:
The shiplap goes in:
The After: I would have loved this little nook as a kid–a great spot to read.
We widened the doorway from the Dining Room to the Kitchen:
The After- Dining Room: I’m crazy about the Visual Comfort Chandelier.
I personally would love to live here- the bones of the old house are still there– but we just freshened her up and gave her a new life. I’m looking forward to seeing who moves in…the only thing missing is a the love of a family.
Recently I photographed a “facelift” of a private jet that I designed for one of my clients. Some of you have followed my posts about other jets I have designed which were “green” jets meaning they were brand new without any insides and are flown into the design center covered in green paint- (hence the name). Think of it like building a house from the ground up.
Facelifts are different in that the aircraft is already in service and is most likely tired looking and in need of all the things a room in a house would. Upholstery, wall treatment, new carpeting, new seating, new lighting, etc. But in aviation we call this a refurbishment. Like my residential projects, I specify and manage the project in its entirety including shopping for the china, crystal, silver, towels, cashmere throws and bedding. Oh yes, you can sleep on this jet- the seats berth to form beds for the passengers to sleep comfortably.
So let’s get to it.
Here’s a before—The upholstery was holding up well but not very current. The carpet was a bit worn and the seats rolled backs. Also if you look at the sidewalls there are horizontal “lines” in the upholstered walls. All of it had to be replaced.
Here is what the jet looks like now-The color scheme is rich caramels and soft tans.
I chose new fabrics for the sidewalls, headliner and valance. We had the plating cleaned up as well. The carpeting is a new wool loop and cut pile by Scott Group. I designed new streamlined seats and selected a warm neutral leather. The lower sidewalls are done in tipped cowhide leather in chocolate. The divan (sofa) is upholstered in a bronze woven by Manuel Canovas. The flight deck and weather curtains are done in Villa Romo woven. The pillows are in a Romo cut velvet that I had made by my workroom in Charlotte.
The result is clean, tailored and inviting. My goal designing planes is the same for my residential work. I want my client to feel relaxed, happy and “at home” even before they are technically home.
The bathroom got freshened up as well. I upholstered the walls in a Grey Watkins tweed (the wall you can see in the mirror) and chose new plumbing fixtures to work with the existing stone. Redoing anything in a jet is incredibly pricey and part of my job is to see what existing finishes can be used and what absolutely has to be replaced.
When working on aircraft- keep in mind that everything has to pass FAA regulations–which means burn testing. A little insight into the aviation industry–we don’t like to talk about crashes or fires but we do need to be prepared in case of an emergency. I found that out very quickly many years ago when I used the word crash repeatedly in an avionics meeting and all heads at the conference table whipped around and stared at me as if I had just dropped the f word. I wanted to say, “what? what did I say?” But I later figured it out when one of the crew clued me in. Oops. Sorry. Hey, I fly on these too.
The tables are a magnificent caramel burl with solid wood edge banding. The tables originally had an embedded brass edge that I felt was dated and so the cabinet shop was able to remove that and replace with a beautiful piece of veneer inlay.
The bulkheads are gorgeously done in book matched burl veneer and it is impossible to convey the rich quality of this wood. The best way to describe it is velvet. Silk velvet ribbons floating in a caramel sea. Now I’m hungry.
The exterior repainted with silver and gray speed stripes–and that was a lot of fun to design too.
I flew in for regular meetings with Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Michigan and they were a pleasure to work with.
For the aviation aficionados- the jet is a Challenger 604. It can fly 7458 km and it’s top speed is .82 mach. It will carry 9-19 passengers and 3 crew. And it has the widest body of any business jet.
Here are some behind the scenes pictures from the shoot:
This is the galley (kitchen)–with serpentine cabinetry. The design not only saves space, it’s pretty. Jets are kinda sexy and to have cabinetry with curves just enhances that whole deal.
My photographer, Chris Edwards who is not only a great talent but very easy and fun to work with.
Glamorous. My flower buckets and yogurt on the golf cart on the ramp.
Having a moment in the hanger. I can’t remember what I found so funny. The vehicle I am sitting in is called a pushback and it does just that. Pushes or pulls aircraft out of the hanger onto the ramp.
Friends, when I tell you it was hot as blazes out on the ramp that morning, you will have to believe me. The interior of a plane that sits out in the sun without being powered up is like descending into Dante’s Inferno. Hot. Like Africa hot. The metal heats up to over 100 degrees and you can fry an egg on the exterior.
Hence the step sit. Sort of like a front porch. Only not. Thanks for reading about my latest jet design.
If you would like to read more about my design of jets, please go here for other posts. There are 12 total so click on “older posts” to read all in their entirety.