Tag: plantation shutters

The Last Days of Walter Benjamin’s Life

Using a precision indicating a sleepwalker his clumsiness invariably guided him to the centre of a misfortune.

Fortunately, though, this essay does have a persuasive and succinct account of the conclusion of Benjamin’s existence.
First Benjamin fled Paris, which was murdered and was almost about to be invaded by the German military, for Marseilles:
Walter Benjamin Library Card.jpg

Spain had changed its policy to refugees only the day before:
From Marseilles he hoped to achieve Spain, as, as a German refugee, he did not have the correct exit papers.

The following morning he had been united soon after daybreak with his travelling partners. The route they took climbed ever higher, and sometimes it was almost impossible to follow rocks and gorges. Benjamin started to feel fatigued, and he embraced a strategy to make the most of his energywalking for 10 minutes and then resting for you, time these intervals just along with his pocket-watch. Ten minutes of walking and one of rest. As the route became progressively steeper, the 2 women and the boy were obliged to help himsince he couldn’t afford by himself to take the black suitcase he refused to abandon, insisting that it was more important that the manuscript inside it ought to reach America than that he needs to.

For Benjamin that day never came. He killed himself by consuming the 15 morphine tablets he had taken with him in case his cardiac problems recurred.

Benjamin was not an old man – that he was just 48 years old even if the years weighed more heavily at the time than they do now. However he was tired and unwell (his friends called him ‘Mature Benj’); he suffered from asthma, had already had a heart attack, and had always been sentenced to a physical activity, used as he was to spending his time either with his novels or in erudite conversation. For me personally, every movement, every physical undertaking represented a sort of trauma, yet his vicissitudes needed over the years required some 28 changes of speech. And in addition he had been bad at coping with all the mundane aspects of life, the prosaic necessities of everyday living.

I’ve always been a bit turned off by the obsession for this manuscript among Benjamin fans and readers. There’s something really shattering to me in regards to the end of Benjamin’s life, and how he died, that it seems not only trivial, but almost profane to freak out across the imaginary contents of a publication he might have left behind. I think exactly the same way about dead musicians. It’s all just terrible news.

Prior to adding them a comment of her particular:

He expired ignorance of the world, because he did not understand how to generate a fire or open a window.
[A]nyone coming ‘illegally’ would be shipped straight back to France. For Benjamin this meant being handed over to the Germans. The only concession they got, due to their exhaustion and the lateness of the hourwas to spend the night in Portbou: they would be allowed to remain in the Hotel Franca. Benjamin was awarded room number 3. They would be expelled the next day.

Now this guy seemingly inept from the regular business of living found himself needing to maneuver in the middle of war, at a nation on the verge of meltdown, in hopeless grief.

Hannah Arendt replicated with reference to Benjamin opinions produced by Jacques Rivière about Proust:
A tremendous physical effort has been required, although the group found themselves often on the point of giving them up, they eventually reached a ridge from which vantage point the sea seemed, illuminated by sunlight. Not much farther off was that the city of Portbou: from all likelihood they’d made it.

1920’s Renovation | Max’s Bedroom

 Today I bring you a second area in my large 1920’s recovery project. 

This distance was designed for a sweet little boy.  He is quite imaginative and always building anything, therefore I believed that a big play area in the center of the area will be ideal.  Now, every time that I go back to this project, there is usually some kind of elaborate castle or building going on right now at the middle of the rug.  It was pretty funny.   I’m certain that this was ideal space planning for this particular child and a space for hours of imaginative play!
So here is the before of the room from when my customer’s bought the home.  It was seriously stuck in the 70’s and not in a great way.  On the other hand, the room did had one redeeming quality and that was it’s grasscloth walls that were in excellent condition.  As you know, grasscloth is rear and beautiful again, so I had the walls coated and secure during the course of their recovery so we could continue to keep the grasscloth walls.  That’s pretty much everything that remains of their original area.

And this really is your space now…

Crisp and tidy and boy.  Although he is young today, we selected pieces of furniture that didn’t feel too young and he would have the ability to develop well with.

There is a little alcove at the space that leads to his personal tub and to one of two closets in the area.
Here is the alcove before…


And this really is your alcove now…
We changed out the prior light fixture using a little, galvanized caged maritime lighting.  You may see it better from the photograph above.  We also additional wood flooring throughout.

I tried to restore and keep many of the home’s original details as you can, like these glass knobs whom I love so much!


From this angle you can view into his little private bathroom .

This is another before of the other side of the space…


And this really is the area now…

Don’t you just love that galvanized barn lighting together with the bright red bulb cage.  It is such an enjoyable detail!
Red Tolix chair good!
If you’re new around here and need to find out more spaces in this wonderful home just kind”1920s renovation” into the search bar and every one the spaces I have previously blogged about if pop up:–RRB-

I’m now wrapping up some details in my own sweet little boys room.  The period of time it has taken me to pull up his room together is a bit absurd believing he is now 10 months old!  It truly holds true on the entire’second child thing’.  I’ve just been so far more laid back with this kiddo and I knew I’d get for it. . .eventually;–RRB-  Well, it is nearly finished, so I’ll be blogging about his space shortly.

I expect you are getting a great start to this week!

Two Neoclassical Home Interiors In Shades Of Grey

Associated Posts:

The black dining table merges with all the kitchen island, and that forms its other support leg.

Lockable vertical radiator bars warmth the little shower area.

A low level media unit permeates the wall mounted television.

Attractive classic panel molding details that the interior doors.

Smoked glass closet doors vague the contents.

A couch unit crosses the rear of the pale grey sofa; its own white top matches the crisp white walls in the room, whilst dark wood effect doors offer the piece several visual burden.

From the hallway, a jacket hanging nook has been chosen out from charcoal paint.

The walk in cupboard has been kitted out with a detailed system of shelves, rails and storage nooks and drawers.

A contemporary grey bidet and toilet set have a sharp square shape.

Deep purple bedclothes and a single scatter cushion onto a modern accent chair colour the space.

A double sink vanity is underlit to provide it with a weightless effect.

Black light monitors plus also a black mirror comparison with the scenic surroundings.

Reading light is supplied by a slender floor lamp in the bedside.

King of the bedroom decoration plot is a lion artwork print, that dominates a gray wainscot wall. Cheaper replicas are offered on Ebay.

Semi translucent cupboard doors allow a subtle show of their apparel contents inside. A flat screen tv has been mounted on one half of the closet to align the display at the optimum viewing angle from the mattress. A big tinted glass vase sprouts a dried floral structure at its side.

Sheer white curtains allow natural light filter to the gray shaded room.
Neoclassical Interior Design Inspiration
40 Gorgeous Grey Living Rooms

A second grey bedroom in the home carries a lavish tufted bed.

Visualizer: Home D  

Made to measure cabinets compose the vanity area.

We’ve coupled together two sophisticated home interiors that illustrate how grey decoration melds beautifully with all the neoclassical design. The first is a chic and sleek, modern suits classic event. Wall panel molding was inserted into the environment to trim and accentuate a few more contemporary pieces. Gold and aluminum trims and accessories add glamour and glow to the end. Home tour number two provides a more maximalist strategy, with ample furniture layouts, and house style ideas galore. This multitude of amazing things is placed against a fantastic background of classic ceiling coving, exceptionally ornamental boiserie and bright wainscotting.

Stark comparison is made between white and charcoal components within the room. Metallic accents sing against the colours.

In the kitchen diner, a golden sputnik chandelier shines above the dining area. Gold frame dining chairs match the light installation.

A tower of grey shelves rise from its side, displaying objects that add personality to the home. A bank of white storage cabinets stretch away from the corner.

Cut logs nestle within a bright column, making an attractive attribute by a modern fireplace that’s stylishly amalgamated into the wall panel.

A shower enclosure and toilet are situated on a raised platform in the restroom. Contrasting marble slabs smoke across the wall.

Concrete tiles counteract the smooth and complex neoclassical wall decoration with a touch of self-healing.

Visualizer: Dinamika Architects  

Our next tour commences at a sofa that is packed with stunning grey home decoration, including a stunning modern coffee table place in its center. A unique contemporary chandelier hangs over the nesting coffee tables, echoing the curved shape of the wrought iron.

A unique sink area gets the most of a slim space: A scooped shelf highlights a side mounted round mirror, and a freestanding sink is accessorised with a bright copper faucet and bottle trap.
A trio of pearlescent side tables push between them like dewy toadstools.

A small side table, with a brassy aluminum trimming, showcases a designer desk lamp.

Beneath the luxury bed, a black spot rug softens the wood floor.

Deeply decorative boiserie swags across the window wall. Glass and gold orb dining table lighting gleam over a table supporting the lounge.


Designer: Dinamika Architects  

The modern couch provides chairs in each direction, meaning family and friends can choose to focus their attention into the dining space whilst still lounging back to the couch. The walls of this open plan living space game traditional style panel molding, painted with a whisper of grey. One especially large part of board molding frames the horizontal screen television.
Recommended Reading: 

Our very first neoclassical interior layout starts in a serene sofa that houses a very low profile grey fabric couch. The seats stretches out into a sleek line together a mild herringbone floor. It divides the common living space into two, with one half playing host into the comfortable lounge area and the other reserved for a posh kitchen combo.

Still another bedroom homes a comfy bed that’s beautifully layered with multicolored striped sheets and pillows, a gentle grey comforter and a tasselled chevron throw. A grey shelving stack contrary to the foot of the bed includes mirrored wooden cubbies. Unusual paintings and textbooks fill out the shelves. On the ceiling, magnificent coving trims the room just like royal icing.

A purple bedroom plot provides an unexpected break from the monochrome theme.

The sofa also has incorporated bookshelves along one aspect of it. An individual bookcase climbs the walls on the other side of this space, and much more shelves span the top of the tv wall.

Boathouse Designs

Lake Gaston Custom Boathouse Design &Construction – Boathouse .

. .Boathouse Style on LakeLake Burton, Georgia | Riley Palmer Construction CompanyLake Burton, GeorgiaLake Gaston Custom Boathouse Design &Construction – Boathouse. . .Hip Roof Boathouse DesignLake Gaston Home Remodeling – Lake Gaston Custom Home Builder Sid . . .Boathouse Design LakeChristopher Simmonds’ Beautiful Sustainable Boathouse

Minecraft Villager Costume in simple Swedish style

Connected: IKEA KURA bed with Minecraft Decor
Related: Minecraft inspired coffee table
DIY Minecraft villager costume
DIY Minecraft villager costume

~ by Sylvia & Tom Biro (daughter and dad)


DIY Minecraft villager costume
DIY Minecraft villager costume
DIY Minecraft villager costume
8. When it fits, glue the Styrofoam head holder in the box.

Minecraft Villager Costume: Painting the grids

7. Cut an indentation to the Styrofoam using a hot wire or even a knife. Take extra care with both programs, one is popular, the other is sharp. Do a dry fit on your kid’s head. Make alterations till it fits and is comfortable. Also try it out within the box. See the diagram.


10. When the head is assembled, draw a 3 cm grid using a pencil on the surface. This will let you paint pixels out of Minecraft. It won’t fit perfectly, which means that you may be generous with all the top and bottom lines, even as the will be marginally wider than 3 cm. A couple of millimeters don’t really make a huge difference. The box has been 34 cm long and 11 pixels are 11×333 cm.
14. Ultimately, cover the rear of the mind as it reveals the IKEA box assembly directions. We used a brown packaging paper, but you may even paint it. You can even paint the entire head with pixels, even in case you’ve got time.
DIY Minecraft villager costume

12. Cut a 1 cm broad gap for eyes. We did it right under the black complexion in one version and directly in the eyebrow in a different one for a friend. The latter seemed better.
The post Minecraft Villager Costume in easy Swedish fashion appeared on IKEA Hackers.
2. Cut the fold surfaces of the lid using a sharp knife or scissorsbecause we don’t want them to pay for the box.
We generously ignored this step as it was 10pm and also the costume party was the next day.



9. You can now close the box using a glue gun from simply gluing the edges. I also strengthened the different parts of the box by adding some excess glue.


Focus on dimensions, as the box must match on a mind and shall not break on the kid’s shoulders. This hack is actually simple, but an adult is required for the cutting component.
DIY Minecraft villager costume
DIY Minecraft villager costume

1. Build the PAPPIS box based on first instructions, except for the lid.

We also had some fun in IKEA and the reward for your costume was a slice of ALMONDY. The price is insignificant; we utilized stuff we found in home.

Here’s Sylvia within her Minecraft Villager Costume.
3. The lid will be the face and will be painted after. The assembly instructions are going to be on the outside (normally the base of the box), so that will be the back of the mind. Turn the box so the face is extended as display on the image and the side becomes the base. Mark with a pencil.

IKEA items:
  • 1 PAPPIS box
Other tools and materials:
  • Pair of scissors (large )
  • Knife (sharp, pointed)
  • Glue gun (for pace and strength)
  • Acrylic paint & brushes (other paint may do)
  • Pencil
  • Styrofoam sheet (5 cm thick minimal )
  • Brown packing paper (or cardboard) (optional for covering back with IKEA directions )
  • Foam rubber (1 cm thick) (optional for 3D nose)
  • Piece of cable and a pincer (20-30 cm) (optional for cutting and heating Styrofoam)

Directions for Minecraft villager costume

DIY Minecraft villager costume
6. Glue the Styrofoam sheets together and be sure that they fit in the box. I utilized a glue gun. Don’t glue it into the box nonetheless.

Minecraft Villager Costume: Pairing the head

13. Cut the rubber band to the size of 6×12 cm or 2×4 pixels measured on the facial grid. Paint it and glue it to the mind making certain one pixel hangs off in the side. You may also use Styrofoam for the nose, in case you really want it to be three dimensional. It ought to be just one pixel 3 cm thick.
Connected: Minecraft window chair along with stools

4. Cut a hole at the base of the head (originally the brief side of this box). Ensure that the hole is large enough to fit your kid’s head in. Ours had been 19 cm in diameter.

We used 3 bits, to create the item 15 cm thick. In the event you have thinner or thicker Styrofoam, correct accordingly. You can even use scrap Styrofoam from old boxes, quality doesn’t matter, since it’s going to be inside and the only real job is to hold your mind.
My daughter wanted an Minecraft villager costume for a party, which meant we needed an elongated cubic mind.


It does not need to be ideal. It is easier to cut, should you paste the cardboard bits that produce the side of the box together.

We did not have lots of time, thus we decided to search for an off-the-shelf box to begin with. Off we went to IKEA and the PAPPIS box needed a perfect size for an 11 year old.

5. Cut the Styrofoam plank into 3 square pieces about 24 cm on each side, which means they fit in the cover of the head, on the other side towards the hole. These can help to maintain the mind on the kid’s real head.


11. Paint the grid based on the diagram below or in any way you like. You are able to Google up any Minecraft confront and copy it, or you can create your own production.
DIY Minecraft villager costume

Bedroom Spaces

We’re back with our Swan Lake House! If you’re new to the project, you should know we had a really cool client with specific taste that pushed us to work in a direction we’ve never done before. Last time we shared the entry great room, dining and kitchen, and today we move to the bonus rooms and bedrooms!

Get caught up with the sneak peek, first photo tour , first webisode and yesterday’s webisode.

studiomcgee_swanlake_111.jpg

Behind that massive stone fireplace, there’s a space that’s created for lounging and playing pool. Although the style throughout the home is very minimal, we made it a little bit more casual in here. We did three tones on the built in and went through several iterations of how the white wood and the black would all layout. It turned out interesting and sleek! Coziness is important, so we incorporated a patterned rug. The custom pool table pairs beautifully with the linear light that hangs right above it. 

studiomcgee_swanlake_110.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_109.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_108.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_107.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_095.jpg

The long stretch of wall has a great seating area that was built around the TV and artwork we wanted to include. We played with the layout and opened it up like a window seat without a window! Custom cushions make it like a sofa, so it’s super inviting for hanging out while people play pool!

studiomcgee_swanlake_094.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_093.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_092.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_083_fix.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_082_fix.jpg

Once you walk through the bonus rooms, you see a kitchenette area for the gym. The gym equipment wasn’t installed yet, but you can see that every detail of this space was stylish, down to the boxed water. 

studiomcgee_swanlake_089.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_090.jpg

There are incredible views in the powder bath. We used a dark, stacked tile with a reactive glaze that gives it really nice texture. We played with the scale in proportion with this floating vanity. There’s a wood base that’s topped with a massive marble top, and a vessel sink to complete it. Attention to detail makes all the difference, especially with a paired down color palette. 

studiomcgee_swanlake_091.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_088.jpg

We carried the stacked tile into the laundry room, with a fresher and more white palette. The cabinet tone is carried in from the kitchen.

studiomcgee_swanlake_081.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_087.jpg

The all black mudroom turned out to be all we wanted and more. Vertical paneling and wood hooks nod to the lake house feel, and the drawer details were something we carried into the master bedroom! 

studiomcgee_swanlake_066.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_067.jpg

This project really opened us up to modern details that we haven’t gotten to play with before! We’ve never done a built-in headboard like this and we’re so excited about it. A custom walnut piece wraps the back, with attached floating nightstands in the same finish. To keep things cozy, we created a custom upholstered headboard. Great sconces reach over the nightstand in a grand way.

studiomcgee_swanlake_038.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_039.jpg

We still had a ton of space at the foot of the bed so we were able to include a deeper bench and a Moroccan-inspired textured rug. Black steel bars tie in with the light fixture and fireplace. Artwork was something we had to go back and forth between! We came across this night time beach photo that had the same color palette incorporated with a water aesthetic. The scale was massive, fitting above the bed perfectly.

studiomcgee_swanlake_040.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_041.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_042.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_043.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_044.jpg

Frankfort_Articulating_Wall_Light_2.jpg

Mayotte_Offset_Floor_Lamp_1.jpg

We had room for a lounge chair, floor lamp and side table! It balances out the open space, and creates this great moment near the fireplace. 

studiomcgee_swanlake_136.jpg

At one point our client said that he wanted to incorporate this black surfboard somewhere. This corner was the perfect spot to tie in with all the black! It creates the coolest feeling in the space. 

studiomcgee_swanlake_051.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_052.jpg

We didn’t get video of the master bathroom, so if you already saw the webisode this space is new! The stacked tile continues into this space, and we topped them with a visually interesting bistro sconce that draws the eyes up. The raised sink makes a really cool statement, but the space feels really clean.

studiomcgee_swanlake_045.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_046.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_047.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_048.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_049.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_050.jpg

We had another master bedroom! We actually weren’t able to complete this master space in time to get it filmed, but luckily we were able to film the bathroom. And how could we skip it? 

studiomcgee_swanlake_068.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_069.jpg

We love the way this space feels, because the windows are huge and you feel like you’re in the trees! That light just comes in and bounces off all of the soft tones that we have, with light wood mixtures. As you walk into the bathroom, the corner tub is exactly where your eye goes. It has this really great sleek shape! 

studiomcgee_swanlake_076.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_070.jpg

studiomcgee_swanlake_073.jpg

We had this blank wall over to the left, and we didn’t really know what to do with it. Artwork didn’t feel right, so we did vertical paneling in the same tone as the cabinetry, and I think it adds a little bit of warmth and detail. But of course, it’s still sleek! There’s a long stretch of cabinetry, so we were able to create a linen closet with a sit-down makeup vanity in the middle. 

studiomcgee_swanlake_074.jpg

watch the webisode

Kitchen is Ready for Her Reveal!

Photography by Zeke Ruelas

Dear Diary,

Remember that one time like ten million years ago when I told you I was renovating my parents’ kitchen? RAISE YOUR HAND IF IT’S BEEN SO LONG THAT YOU FORGET ABOUT IT. ALSO RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU’RE LIKE “DUH I REMEMBER BUT WHY IS HE HIDING THIS KITCHEN FROM US???” Well, a few reasons. The project began almost two years ago during the holidays when I started showing my parents renderings I’d made of what their kitchen could look like if we expanded it onto a deck previously occupied by an awkward deck. They were like “COOL STORY ORLANDO” until Bertazzoni busted through the wall like the Kool-Aid man screaming “HERE HAVE SOME FREE TOTALLY GLAMOROUS LUXURIOUS ITALIAN APPLIANCES!” It was the greatest, most heartwarming moment in all our lives and my parents were like “OKAY FINE LET’S DO IT WHAT COULD IT COST, $10?”

Keep in mind, this was December 2016 and we basically thought the world was ending (side note: it did) so my parents were probably just like “SCREW IT WE’LL ALL BE DEAD SOON ANYWAY.” We set about finding a contractor in early 2017 and had one selected by March. We were pretty much ready to go but construction didn’t end up starting until August 2017, lasting until May 2018. So yeah, this project was LONG. But it’s funny how something can be stressful and take so long and then just months after it’s completed you totally forget about how ridiculous the process was. Today, on this blog, I will be chatting about all the appliances, furnishings, fixtures and finishes I chose for this project. Over on my wife Emily’s blog, I will be spreading even more juicy gossip, chatting about things I would have done differently if this were my kitchen.

Sources: Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Range, Hood, Backsplash (Color: Crater Lake), Countertop, Globe Pendant, Brass Pendants, Roman Shade (Color: Romaria Aquatint), Concrete Floor Tile, Stools, Faucets (Finish: Brushed Nickel), Large Sink, Small SinkVase, Island Color, Wall Color, Cabinet/Trim ColorTea Kettle

Now, before we really get into things, just a little, slightly traumatizing refresher on what this room used to look like:

The previous kitchen wasn’t HORRIBLE. It was fine. But for a house this size, it felt oddly out of scale. My parents’ house, nestled in the hills outside the city of Santa Rosa in idyllic Sonoma County, California, has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It’s built for a family and my parents use it to host a lot of family events. So the kitchen just wasn’t functional for the way they wanted to use it.

Since you’ve all been so patient, I wanna chat a bit about why this project took so long. It’s hard to fully talk about it because much of it had to do with nuances with the contractor and I don’t want to say anything negative about him because that seems unfair given my platform. Aside from everything relating to labor, the project itself was a lot more complicated than it looks. PLEASE ENJOY THIS DRAWING SHOWING EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED CONSTRUCTION WISE:

You look at that layout and think “OH YEAH JUST EXPAND ONTO THE DECK! EASY!” But in actuality there’s a ton of engineering and permitting that needs to happen when you expand a home, especially if you’re expanding over an open space (if you want to see what the exterior of the house looks like check out my post on the deck I designed as part of this project). So number one reason for how long this project took was probably the engineering/architecting/permitting. The other reasons are boring and convoluted and so I wont waste your time with them. Just know that none of it was my fault and it was all everyone else’s fault, K?

My parents bought their house at the base of the market and got an insane deal on it. It had been foreclosed, purchased for literally nothing, and flipped. The design decisions made by the flipper weren’t horrible, they were just super dated and cheap and gross. So okay yes they were hittable. The house was filled with anything you could get a great deal on at a big box hardware chain. The worst thing about the kitchen was the size. The second worse thing were the gross ARE-THEY-FILTHY-OR-NOT? countertops. The beautiful white Cambria countertops we replaced them with were a breath of fresh air (you can actually tell that they’re clean now!).

The very first decision made about the kitchen was the range. I took a wonderful tour of the Bertazzoni factory in Italy before this whole thing started and I loved this appliance the second I saw it. I love that ranges that have a bit more of an ornate, intricate look are having a moment right now. They give the room such a beautiful focal point.

Ormomdo has slowly collected blue Le Creuset dutch ovens over the years. Honestly my dream in life is to live in a world where all my food is cooked in blue Le Creuset. I would just drink wine straight out of a 3 quart dutch oven and just laugh about France and the meaninglessness of existence. It would be beautiful. I think they are such gorgeous, functional pieces. And also they are extremely helpful for styling photo shoots because they help bring in some pretty, vibrant color when you just need a little pop. The double oven feature of the 48″ Heritage range we chose has already come in so handy for holidays. Just another place to bake bread or warm up dishes.

Ormomdo and Orlandad. Ready to party.

One of the design decisions that probably doesn’t make the room any more photogenic but looks great in real life is the pitched roof in the kitchen area. This was not something we originally intended on doing. But halfway through construction we found out we were able to raise the roof, so we went for it. Ideally, we would have been able to have the ceiling be the same in the whole room. But unfortunately there’s an attic above the family room filled with my childhood toys, so my parents didn’t want to do that. Also it would have added a ton of cost to a project that was already ballooning (from an original bid of $76,000 to $150,000). In photos, it looks kinda weird that the ceiling gets higher in the kitchen. But in person it’s really lovely, creates a much airier and open space. I predict that whoever buys this house will be like WHY IS THE CEILING DIFFERENT IN THE KITCHEN THAN IN THE FAMILY ROOM? And they’ll remodel it to all be the same. But this configuration works for my parents so I’m happy with it.

During the course of this remodel, I made it kind of a mission to learn as much about the products and finishes I was putting into my parents’ house as possible. I went to Bertazzoni’s Italian factory to learn about their incredible 150 year-old family business, I went to Cambria’s factory in Minneapolis, I learned everything there is to know about window treatments at The Shade Store (side note: how gorgeous are these pretty patterned romans?), I went to Humboldt Redwood Company to learn where the lumber was coming from, and I went to Fireclay Tile on the Central Coast to learn about the intricate, handmade tiles I’ve loved since I used them at Orcondo. I was kind of shocked at how these tiles are made. They’re basically hand cut and hand-glazed, using extractors and other tools I’ve only ever seen at my friend Ben Medansky’s ceramics studio. It’s a magical factory and the people who work there are artists. Just beautiful to see.

The beautiful hexite shaped Fireclay tiles (color is Crater Lake) were a nod to Ormomdo’s love of blue. There are blue accents all over the house. I worried a bit that these would make the kitchen look like a swimming pool, but the color has just enough warmth that it keeps it out of that territory.

Orlando, Orlandad, Camilo, and Orlandisa (my sister, Elisa).

The door to the new deck was a great way of letting more light into this space. We selected the simplest, most open option available. We replaced the door hardware throughout the house with these simple black levers and they look a thousand times better than the twangy, twisty ones that were there before.

A lot of people are doing wood floors in kitchens these days. And I have to say that I’m totally on board with that trend and I love it. That was actually our first choice for this room and Orlandad was really pushing for it. However, because my parents just replaced their flooring in their whole house with solid wood and there is no natural stop, we would have had to refinish the large third level of the home (this house is oddly vertical btw, built onto a hill with three separate levels). But the constraints on using wood actually allowed us to bring in another beautiful material. We used a beautiful warm concrete tile from Rustico. I’m a big fan of faint grey, so I love how light it is and how it reflects light and keeps the room bright.

You can read about faucet drama in the post over on Emily’s site, but I’m pleased with how these gorgeous Kallista fixtures look in place.

Literally the first thing I do every single time I come home.

I figured the new kitchen needed new dishes to go with it, so I selected these very cute striped ones from Kate Spade.

Sources: Large Pulls, Bar Pulls, Cabinet Knobs.

Sometimes the smallest details are the ones you notice most. The hardware all came from Schoolhouse and I love it. The large scale pulls on the cabinets flanking the fridge are my favorite, but I also love the T-pulls on the cabinet doors. I chose black because I wanted a few little accents to bring in the wonderful matte black finish from the range.

Source: Wine Fridge (Similar to shown)Door  HardwareLight Filtering Roller Shade

The color of the island was challenging to capture in a photo. It’s not green, but it’s also not true blue. It’s the perfect color of peacock blue (the color is Benjamin Moore “Olympus Green”). Zeke and I had the hardest time color balancing these photos because in some images the island looked like navy blue and in others it looked like hunter green. LET THIS BE A LESSON TO ALL OF US that color really depends on space and what colors are bouncing into the room. So while I totally recommend this color, don’t go painting it on anything until you’ve tested it in the space. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it looked purple in your house IT’S THAT MUCH OF A CHAMELEON COLOR.

In other news, I realize painting the island peacock blue is not rocket science or a new invention. Basically everyone and their dog has done it by now. After I had selected all the colors for the kitchen, I noticed a lot of my blogger friends had chosen nearly identical color schemes for their kitchens. I don’t think it’s because we’re copying each other necessarily (though I see no shame in staling ideas from my talented friends), it just kinda happens and I don’t know why. I remember panicking a little when I saw my friend Will’s freshly-redone kitchen and thinking “HOW DID WE DESIGN BASICALLY THE SAME KITCHEN WITHOUT TALKING TO EACH OTHER?” I’ve chatted with Emily about this too. Like sometimes we accidentally do the same stuff and don’t know why. It’s a good reminder to try and be inventive, but also I don’t think you should be so obsessed with trying to be different that you end up creating hideous designs just to be sure you’re unique and special.

The home’s location, nestled between the Dry Creek and Sonoma Valley wine regions, made a wine fridge a necessity. My parents previously kept their wine at the bottom of a coat closet, so this was a major upgrade. Honestly, it required a lot of arm twisting to get them to let me put this in. They were like HOW RIDICULOUS WE DON’T NEED THIS and I was like HERE IS A FREE WINE FRIDGE OKAY BYE [speeds off in red convertible with Geena Davis].

There’s a light tube right above the refrigerator that lights the appliance like an angel on a daily basis. The previous kitchen had a terrifying light hole that made you feel like the world was ending every time you looked into it, so we covered it up and replaced it with a light tube. Honestly, every house should have light tubes all over. It’s energy efficient and provides such beautiful natural lighting.

How excited would you be if the inside of your refrigerator looked like this all the time? I seriously just want to buy only watermelons and green food just so every time I open the refrigerator I feel like everything is under control. In other news the other corner of the kitchen was a disgusting mess while we shot the inside of the fridge because Ormomdo has like 40,000 condiments and tons of food that is NOT camera ready. Just FYI so you don’t feel like your ugly gross refrigerator interior makes you a terrible person. You’re probably a terrible person for other reasons so calm down.

Source: Tea TowelSeaglass Tumblers, Cutting Boards (Similar)

So there you have it! My parents’ dream kitchen makeover! After it was all finished my parents were basically like NEVER AGAIN but I already have a million other projects in mind for their house. Like bathrooms, windows, doors, etc. Honestly I need my own house so I can start renovating it because as annoying as renovations are, they’re so satisfying to finish. A huge thanks to all the wonderful sponsors who helped make this kitchen happen. My parents and I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything that went into the kitchen and fully recommend them.

Anyway, does someone want to give me like five million dollars so I can buy a house and do this to my own kitchen? Okay bye.

Love,

Orlando

PS: Don’t forget to head over to Emily’s blog to read juicy gossip about all the things I fought with Ormomdo and Orlandad during this harrowing renova

Our Dining Room Dilemma

Emily Henderson Mountain House Dining Room OpenerEmily Henderson Mountain House Dining Room Opener

This is one of those posts that as I was writing it, ended up changing my mind about the ENTIRE room. But instead of deleting out all the “debates” at the beginning, I left in the thought process that brought me to a big TWIST at the end, so keep reading.

**But before I get into talking about our mountain house, I want to recognize a fellow family blogger’s fire tragedy. Chris Loves Julia were also documenting their mountain cabin renovation of which we have loved following along. Last week, it tragically burned down and well, it shook our office and our family, with almost everyone tearing up so I can’t IMAGINE how they feel. I didn’t want to continue going along, documenting our mountain project, without just recognizing their tragedy and knowing that it might be hard for them to read along. Not sure what else to say except we, like them, are so grateful that no one was inside. They are a great family to support, creating wonderful content and putting good things out into the world so if you don’t follow them, now’s a good time to start. We are so just so, so, so sorry.

It’s another “where we are and where we might go” post on the mountain house, this time in the room that ALWAYS CHALLENGES ME the most: the dining room. Why? Keep reading, but first let’s remind us all what she looked like before.

Emily Henderson Mountain House Dining Room Before

Besides this strange peninsula in the middle, it was kinda the same shape. We put in new GORGEOUS windows from Marvin (more on that later) and changed out the flooring (from Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumbar—the nicest family with the prettiest wood, so if you live in LA, please go check them out and say hi from us).

What you can’t see is that the walls all had a thick layer of orange peel spray and the corners of the entire house were rounded—like every window, every doorway, everywhere. Do you want to know the most annoying way to blow your budget? Smooth coating walls. More on that later (and we didn’t do that here, actually, they are a slight plaster).

Emily Henderson Mountain House Dining Room With Opening

It’s a pretty room with GREAT light, but it’s not there yet. A lot of the elements could change.

LIGHTING

Dining Room Options

First, once again I have a scale issue and I’ve finally learned my lesson. I, Emily Henderson, like smaller lighting fixtures over dining tables. Sometimes it takes three times, making the same mistake to really get it (Glendale house, Los Feliz dining room and now here). It’s like how I keep buying high waisted wide leg sailor pants and yet I always opt to actually wear a skinny jean. Always. So the other day I told my best friend as I was purging my closet, “I’m making a promise to myself and you that I will NEVER EVER EVER buy another pair of this style.” And then three effing days later, I bought low waisted wide legs as if that’s going to be any better!!!

Anyway. There is a reason for the larger fixtures. Originally we were going to punch through the ceiling and show the joists to match the kitchen, but once we decided on the plumbing in the directly-above master bathroom, we couldn’t. So the ceilings were supposed to be a foot higher. I also wanted glass as to not abstruct the view. They don’t look too overscale in the photos but when you are sitting at the table, they feel big above you. They are seriously beautiful, with black and brass detailing and they give great ambient light. It’s not ideal, as they were custom (from The Urban Electric Company) but I’m hoping my friend’s new 100-year-old huge Tudor will be a good fit for them.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out what should go there, and I may not know for a while until I for sure decide for or against a banquette going all the way around the windows. I’m leaning towards what we like to call a “micro pendant/sconce” like this:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Trend Tiny Bubble Sconce 9 2500x3625

image source | design by studio joanna laajisto

Next, the ever-controversial pony wall:

Dining Room 2

A few facts about the pony wall: 1. Yes, the column is load-bearing and as we tried to move it, our engineer said the most we could move it is 12 inches to the right because our huge bathtub sits above it. At one point, we were going to get rid of the “pony” part of it and clad the column in wood, but then we thought that MAYBE we’ll still do a huge dining banquet in which case we’d want that wall. So it was one of those things that we thought to keep for now, deal with later.

But as the coats and boots are being strewn about (it’s right by the backdoor which is how we walk to the woods/lake), I was like ugh, maybe I should make this awkward wall more functional. Many of you shared my same woes on our family room update post, and we even polled it on Instagram Stories last week and it was 53 to 47 to close it up. We are so used to it being open and even though there is still a big opening directly next to it, it’s hard to close things up.

Dining Room 1

So I did what any professional stylist would do: I hung up a piece of fabric to see how it felt.

Dining Room 3

The idea would be that we would dry wall the dining room side of it and turn the family room side into a very shallow wall of hooks for coats. MAYBE a low shelf for boots. Kind of like a mini mudroom, similar to:

Mudroomstorage Studiomcgee
image source | design by studio mcgee

The pros of closing up the wall are as follows:

  1. It will be cleaner, architecturally. It makes the dining room feel more enclosed and we can put pretty art on there.
  2. We get some hooks for coats, therefore adding function.

The cons of closing up the wall are as follow:

  1. We like how open it is!
  2. I really don’t want to look at a pile of coats on the wall. Not having the storage means we are forced to hang them in the hall closet, of which I do three times a day.
  3. We would spend more money. We are SO done spending money on this house. I really should pursue a marriage with a handyman or a general contractor. I wonder if Brian would be open to that if he knew how much money our family would save?
  4. We might have to move the electrical unless we don’t take the niche down to the floor, which is annoying and yes involves dealing with an electrician and saving money and we MIGHT need it for code.

A lot of you want us to do floating shelves there which we had considered, but then I have to put something on them and I don’t want to create a space that I have to style. We already have a bar, so it would just be something that would just create visual clutter.

So where are we right now on the pony decision?

Last weekend, as we sat at that table with friends, fabric over the opening, everyone agreed that they missed the openness. Brian was pretty adamant about not closing it up and I was on the fence so I suppose that’s our decision for now.

I do think its a missed opportunity for function, and there is something a little dated about it but I will say this: There is STILL a chance that I will put in a big built-in banquette in which case we’ll want that wall.

Let’s talk about the real problem here…

TABLE & CHAIRS

Chairs Grid

Right now, we have this IKEA table (I know, it’s pretty darn good) chosen because the day before we were moving all of our stuff up there, we realized that we didn’t have a table and IKEA stocked this one. Turns out we actually really do like it. We brought all our extra dining chairs up there to play around (and sit on), so naturally, I took photos so you could see the difference between wood and black.

What do I really want? A GORGEOUS live-edge table and beautiful yet comfortable chairs.

Appleton Oct18 2404
image source | design by lora appleton

BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST? REALLY beautiful + unique + REALLY comfortable + sculptural + kid-friendly chairs. It’s not that I haven’t looked, it’s that by nature of being a chair, it can’t actually be all of those things. It’s like trying to find really low-calorie/low fat + really delicious food. It’s just not how life works and you have to compromise somewhere.

I know this because our dining chairs at our Los Feliz house were in fact VERY comfortable but they were kinda boring. My next door neighbor/good friend has them now because I found my dream set of Cherner chairs at the flea market which are a 7 on the comfort scale, but every time I’m hanging out around her dining table, my bum being nestled by the padding on all sides, I regret choosing style over comfort.

So here I will NOT choose style over comfort. It’s a bummer, TRULY. Maybe you are wondering what level of comfort a family could possibly need and I’ll go ahead and say our’s is VERY HIGH.

What makes a chair comfortable?

  1. Upholstery and cushion on both the seat, back and, ideally, arms. Think a club chair at a bar. That’s what I want. But those are rarely if EVER in the style that we want up here, which is more sculptural and minimal, with mixed finishes (ideally wood and upholstery). But upholstery on the arms is by nature NOT kid-friendly. Even if it’s leather, you still have to wipe up the marinara and jelly hand prints.
  2. Large scale. Especially for guys, we don’t want a dinky, light chair.

I love these below, but they are everywhere and that back looks VERY straight.

Valle Dumbo Ad Skj 09
image source | design by giancarlo valle

These look more comfortable but I still don’t want to sit for hours and hours (I write at the dining table from 5-7 am most mornings).

Kungshöjdsgatan 9a
image source | design by grey deco

Something like the below could work, they are large scale and have upholstered seat and arms…but perhaps too contemporary for us.

Catherine Kwong San Francisco Home 03
image source | design by catherine kwong

Are you ready for this????

After writing this post for three hours on Saturday, I finally realized what needs to happen that will solve all our problems: the light, the pony wall, the comfort, adding style and interest, the need for kid-friendly…

PLOT TWIST IN THE DINING ROOM DESIGN!!

Unadjustednonraw Thumb E5761

We need to go back to the ORIGINAL plan which was to do a big built-in banquette on the three sides where the windows are and the pony wall. That’s what I ALWAYS wanted because EVERYONE loves sitting in a banquette. We’d make it deep and have a ton of pillows, so I can add much needed softness and texture. We’d likely do leather or a vegan leather for the bench.

Unadjustednonraw Thumb E5661

We’d obviously need an oval or round table, and then put three chairs on the front side, chairs that the kids can sit in with maybe an upholstered seat but not arms or back, thus checking off two of my boxes: sculptural + kid friendly. I’m not going to be sitting there, my spot is smack dab under a window. And yes I know that it MIGHT be annoying for everyone when the people in the middle have to get out, but it’s worth it. Who opts for a table at a restaurant when there’s a big comfy booth open? People who care nothing about coziness and comfort.

We had dinner there with friends on Friday night and it just didn’t feel good the old way. But by rotating the whole set up and eating breakfast by the window, it became such a happier, more inviting, more desirable space.  It’s a space you WANT to actually sit for hours.

Unadjustednonraw Thumb E57f1
Unadjustednonraw Thumb E56f1

By doing a built-in along the window, it gives the pony wall some purpose. Our architect felt that there was a lot of wasted space in the middle up there, but we have kids and open space is FINE. It actually feels really, really good.

Lastly, it solves the light situation because we could simply get rid of the pendant closest to the kitchen and the other one is PERFECT for a rounded table/nook. Even the location of it is perfect.

I get my comfort, a place for me to sit and write and hang out on upholstered cushions. The kids will get their more kid-friendly chairs that are really pretty (I’ll probably just get cushions made for the Paul McCobb chairs that I have or mix up vintage). We keep the pony wall because we love how open it feels and we don’t have to change out the lights. Then we’ll put some low hooks for the kids’ coats on the other side of the pony wall.

BOOM. Even Brian was excited about this new plan.

Thanks for letting me externally process this all with you. I know not everyone will agree with this, but when designing a house, I really try to make EVERY single room as desirable as possible. A room you actually WANT to spend hours in and sometimes you don’t know what that is going to take until you live in a space for a while.

Thoughts? Feelings? Comments?

The post Mountain House Mondays: Our Dining Room Dilemma appeared first on Emily Henderson.