When we first parked outside Project English Manor, Shannon and I were both captivated by it's ivy covered facade and impeccably landscaped gardens. The homeowners had recently moved there from a casual California ranch style home and the relaxed nature of their previous furnishings did not suit this new home.
We toured the home and knew immediately that we wanted to ease the formality without losing the enchantment.
Below are some of the Before and Afters of our project.
In the Living Room, our goal was to create a space that would authentically reconcile the formality of the abundant woodwork and the grand scale of the room with the young family's casual lifestyle. To be clear, when we first met our new clients they had not used the Living Room. Ever (and they had lived there for 10 months). They said it just felt too big, too formal, too uncomfortable...we wanted to change that.
We presented multiple different layouts for this large space and were thrilled when the family chose "Option #3": a cozy sitting area near the fireplace and a custom pool table residing in the second half of the room. We all agreed that the pool table was an equalizer and would ensure the space would (actually)get used. Children and adults alike love a game table challenge...and when the table isn't in use for a billiards match, we've been told it regularly doubles as a theatrical stage for their 5 and 7 year old girls:)
Next up was the Entry. It felt a little bland and dark and we wanted to create a more welcoming, almost gallery-like feel for the space.
The homeowners were an extremely important part of this transformation as the wife had previously worked for numerous galleries in New York and the couple provided all of the inspired artwork for the gallery wall.
We scored a vintage Murano lamp on Chairish, and had a custom Madeline Weinrib runner made for the stairwell. Couple those stunners with the couple's eclectic mix of art on the walls and the new entry is a quirky, perfectly imperfect space. When you enter the home, the cold bare feeling has now been replaced by a cheerful and interesting mix of textures, colors and art.
Then, there was the dining room. With it's beautiful millwork and intricately beamed ceiling it was one of the most charming rooms we'd seen. But because it was so...so brown, the stunning craftsmanship and detail were lost.
When we presented our plans for the dining room, we knew the homeowner was either going to love us or kick us out of her house for being insane. We are so grateful she did the former.
We proposed teal walls, a wallpapered ceiling, ripping the doors off of a storage closet and installing an antique mirror backing and dry bar instead...who needs to store dishes anyway? Then we proposed recovering vintage chairs in a black and white buffalo check to circle a traditional round table. We wanted it to be subtle(:
We are so thankful that this client is so bold and trusting...and the room has truly evolved from being virtually unused to being one that brings delight to their family regularly ( it may or may not have something to do with the fact that it hosts a bar adjacent to the pool table).
The last Before and After we are bringing you from our English Manor project was their powder room renovation.
The powder room was a bit dark and dull with the potential to be so much more.
We ripped out the sink and the attached (ugly) cabinet in favor of a custom counter made of Calcutta Oro marble. Cole & Sons wallpaper in Nuvolette lent some drama and depth to the small space and we scored the mirror at a consignment store in San Francisco. The result is a space that feels old and aged, while feeling fresh and current at the same time. Although the smallest room in the house, it is certainly one of our favorites.
We can honestly say this has been one of our favorite projects to date. The architecture of the home and the boldness of the client forced us to go beyond the comfortable scope of California Cool or Rustic Modern. The result is a colorful, layered and comfortable home with a splash of quirky English sensibility.