Our website hosts dropped the ball and our site was down for three days starting last week and only came back online on Saturday night. Coincidentally, it returned right around the same time I started to tweet about their asshattery. hmmmm
Anywhoooo I put the time I would have into blog writing and other adventures into working on a newsletter - god they are painful I have to say and diving into a new project. Yes! A new project that isn’t so new - our #Madison project has a sister if you will. The house SOLD! HOORAY!! Our clients are very happy but better than that, the buyers have gotten in touch and we are going to be taking on the decoration of the house which has us over the moon. The project was such a labour of love, being able to steward the decoration of it is such a gratifying experience. We’ve been dreaming of the possibilities for this house for the last year and now we have actual people and their stories to fill in and see this house through to completion.
We had always thought the third floor would be the kids’ floor but there’s a change afoot!! The East Bedroom is now going to be a home office - an amazing one at that. The Third floor Kids’ Lounge is going to be a family lounge and the West Bedroom will be a guest room. The office will need built ins as well which I have a few thoughts on…
Our clients have a young son and he will be taking the room on the 2nd Floor we’ve always called the Guest Room. We are going to design a built in desk/library for him. I’ve already figured out how I’d love the room to look - I hope they like my thoughts on the matter.
The biggest surprise in the requested additions to the house is a wine cellar in the basement. I have so many ideas on how this can develop. I’m looking at a few unusual options because I love how the basement feels open and airy - I’d like to harness this and keep this feeling all the while adding in some functionality and more storage.
So while we are putting #Madison to bed we are introducing you to #MadisonDecoration so please follow along on instagram, pinterest and our other various social media channels.
Yes you read that correctly. MHD is branching out again in terms of project location and we are thrilled to report that we are doing work in Bordeaux France.
I know. RIGHT?
It’s a restaurant project and it’s a bit tricky in that the restaurant is already open but it’s not grabbing the attention it deserves and they’ve reached out to us to assist. It’s always tricky once a restaurant has opened to make changes to it - money has already been invested and it feels painful to undo what you’ve just done but often it is necessary.
The restaurant is a sushi restaurant. I LOVE Sushi so I feel utterly qualified to design a sushi spot based on my own preferences. HA! The restaurant as you will see has an updated gimmick - a conveyor belt that delivers the food to your table in lieu of a server. According to Asa (who is THAT much older than me and can remember), this is a throw back to the 80’s where Sushi would often float down a river of water to you at your table. Seriously. I hate gimmicks have I mentioned that?
Now, I hate to ask people to rip out something they’ve just put in but if you aren’t attracting customers it’s going to take more than a flashy fabulous looking space to deliver.
To me it feels entirely too cafeteria like. A cafeteria encourages sloppy messy eating, total disregard for the atmosphere and chattel on the part of the clientele and from pictures alone I can assure you it’s probably very noisy as the entire space is outfitted with harsh, reflective and noisy surfaces. This does not the ideal meal make. Say that six times fast.
The exterior is a problem in so far as it’s a UNESCO World Heritage building. It means we can’t touch the facade - not that I want to but any additions to it will require special submission and are major headache HOWEVER I do have some ideas for the exterior in order to make it more of a visual draw but still honours the building itself.
Awnings would be the ideal answer and I think that the building could absolutely handle them architecturally speaking. I mean it doesn’t get much more French than a striped awning right?
I’ve never seen maps on an awning but what an amazing idea!
I love the domed awning and think these would be amazing on the building. We need to beef up the planting and see about including uplighting outside of the building too. The signage is pretty weak and all the writing on the windows is annoying.
We completed our #Kingswood project 5 years ago pretty much this week and I love looking at the master bathroom because it’s as fabulous now as it was then. We didn’t have a tremendous amount of room for the bathroom without cutting into the closet which was adjacent to the sink wall and we needed to get an extra bedroom out of the second floor addition which is on the other side of the tub wall. To the left of the shower - you can’t see it we needed to maintain a linen closet which had previously been accessed by the hallway - this to me was ridiculous because you mostly needed things for the bathroom and why would one leave the bathroom in order to get something FOR said bathroom? So we switched the door to the inside of the bathroom.
We knew pretty early on we wanted a floating vanity but given that it is a narrow bathroom, we had to think through where we could add in storage. The drawers beneath the countertop pulled out and were cut out around plumbing and fixtures. We do this with all of our custom cabinetry. We wanted to envelop the sink area with this millwork to make it truly feel built in but what were able to plan for and include in the recessed panels were doors to medicine cabinets on both sides of the vanity. This is one of my all time favourite details in this bathroom. You can sort of make out the door panel on the far left side - touch latch. We also notched out shelves on the wall that separates the toilet to allow for toilet paper storage. It doesn’t really add too much cost to the overall bathroom but thinking through the function of the space and then planning for thoughtful inclusions really made the difference!
TV Watching. You want to stretch your legs out and be a floppasaurus when you zone out in front of the TV. But you also need somewhere to put your drink or if you are a designer, you need somewhere to artfully display your fabulous coffee table books. carefully curate your tchotchkes and share your peonies or flower du jour thanks to Pinterest on. But what to do? Well working with one of our fabulous upholstery vendors we managed to kill two birds with one stone - by adding a custom made wood tray that goes over the ottomans so that we can have it all! In our client’s house we actually put two ottomans in the room one for each sofa and then we’ve added a tray to each. Ideal for entertaining and for lounging. Le Voila.
I have to say that an unexpected by product of redoing the website and the blog is that I’ve become exceedingly picky about what pictures I take/post/share on here. It all has to be of a certain standard now - whereas before I was less discriminating. I was still picky but now it’s considerably more pronounced shall we say. I agonize about lead photos and heck even the lighting..
We are getting ready to install some of our main elements at our #Sawmill project. This home is a bit of a departure for us in terms of look and feel. It’s heavily weighted in the traditional which is terribly fun and it’s also thrown us some curve balls as we are working with a lot of the existing pieces that belonged to the clients and re-imagining them. We just received some progress pictures from some of our trades - which I love and adore - and I have to tell you I was blown away by the transformation.
Okay imagine if you will an iron table with a Verdigris finish on it. If you aren’t up on that that means oxidized copper which reads as GREEN. This coffee table was formerly Verdigris. Just wait until you see the big TAADAAAAAAAAA
I MEAN CAN I GET AN AMEN? It’s totally swoon-worthy even if you hate when blogs use SWOON or SMITTEN it’s totally worthy. I literally gasped out loud when I saw it. BRILLIANT.
Wallpaper is being installed and now we are trying to convince our very trusting clients to paint the amazing bookcase that is currently in a pickled salmon/white wash. To me, it’s a no brainer but it occasionally requires a bit of cajoling on my part to convince others of said brilliance. I know hard to imagine but it’s true.
Our clients had a really interesting assortment of chairs. Some would say that it rivals my own. They aren’t really far off from Meredith Chair Obsession Status to be honest. We chose to work with almost all of them and reimagine them with fabric. I’ve already been given offers from several men for the smokey blue grey velvet throne chair. It’s pretty wild isn’t it? I am so excited to see this all come together. The other brightly print covered Louis’ chairs are for guest bedrooms.
The dining chairs have been jazzed up with Hermes Orange leather. There is an alabaster fixture we are working with in the dining room and it’s into the crimsons so we wanted to repeat this on the chair seats to make the area rug they just bought work in the room. We’ve got Grisaille hand painted wallpaper going up on the walls in amazing grey tones that will make this dining room feel so luxe I can barely sit in my chair when I think about it. Well that and I’ve consumed a ridiculous amount of water today and I need to use the loo again.
Rounding out our transformation in the living/dining area - the addition of pilasters to the outer walls along with these fabulous (to be cut in half) caps with equally as wonderful bases. These are going to create a visual separation between the living and dining rooms without actually dividing them. It also serves the practical purpose of giving us a stopping point for the wallpaper in the dining room. It does mean however, that we are going to have to relocate the china cabinet which has the BEST bones I think I’ve ever encounter and needs the same treatment as the cocktail table got for the living room and we are in the home stretch!!!
Oh and I’ve submitted my oral and written arguments as to WHY the oak wood trim around the windows, doorways and baseboards MUST be painted. Waiting on the decision to come down from the bench. Wish me luck!!!