WOW!!!!!!

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Thank You!!!!

 

A huge, huge thank you to all who so kindly donated to the Woodbourne Christmas Wish List.   Together, bloggers and readers raised over $10,000.00!! 

Last year we raised over $6,000, so this year’s increase is all the more special given the poor economic climate. 

Thank you, again, for opening your hearts and wallets.

 

 

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To read about Woodbourne or to donate, please go HERE

Before and After Lessons

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December is a lonely month for Jewish bloggers.   All the other bloggers are busy showing off their holiday finesse, while we sit in the darkness literally and figuratively.   Who knew that when we signed that covenant with God all those eons ago, we were forever signing away our right to evergreen trees and twinkling lights?    Even though I can’t indulge in the fun, I certainly appreciate its beauty.    One of this season’s prettier, yet very understated and modest holiday displays, was seen in this month’s Veranda.

 

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Poor, lonely Hanukkah Harry!

 

The cottage shown in Veranda was designed by Lisa Luby Ryan of Dallas, Texas.  An interior designer, Lisa is also the well known owner of the décor shop Vintage Living HERE, and is a designer for Arteriors.   Through the years, Lisa has garnered much press – her own house has been published several times, beginning when she was into the cluttered English Country Manor look.  Today, Belgian and Sweden are her countries of choice.

 

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Lisa Luby Ryan’s Vintage Living features Swedish and Belgian furniture, new and old. 

 

The Veranda holiday house only shows glimpses of the cottage designed by Lisa  – not nearly enough to satisfy.   The closely cropped photographs leave you wanting to see more of these quietly elegant rooms.   Luck would have it that the Vintage Living web site does show the entire house – before and after – a sort of tutorial as to what to do when remodeling a bungalow with priceless antiques.

The house, built in 1951, is located in Highland Park West, in Dallas, Texas.  It is a mere 1,600 square feet with just one bedroom – a second bedroom was turned into a dining room.   The new homeowner was recently divorced from a man who didn’t like antiques, so this house was her first chance to decorate for herself and herself only.   She chose Lisa Luby Ryan to help after visiting Vintage Living, where much of the furniture and accessories were ultimately purchased.  The pair also took two trips to the South of France in search of antiques.   The change is substantial, only four pieces remained from the homeowner’s previous possessions.    The house also underwent structural changes with a new dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and back porch – along with its own fireplace.   The homeowner is thrilled with her new décor – she stayed at a hotel for a few days while Lisa put it all together for the “big reveal.”    Lisa also installed the Christmas finery at the same time to coincide with the magazine photoshoot. 

 

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From Lisa’s web site:   the bungalow started out with red brick which Lisa painted white.  A wooden gate was added to create a front courtyard.

 

 

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The Veranda spread opens with a tantalizingly unfocused Swedish desk and chair.

 

 

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Veranda:  next, this glimpse of a peeling painted Swedish day bed leaves you wanting to see more! 

The tree and presents were color coordinated to the house décor.  Lisa was insistent there be no typical red and green scheme. 

I love the burlap bags and the Tiffany blue boxes – so cute!!!!!

 

 

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Here is a picture of the entire living room.   Long and narrow, the soothing room is broken into two sitting areas by the Swedish day bed. 

Another pair of matching arm chairs are seen on the opposite side by the fireplace.  

The chairs’ tall backs bring a much needed vertical element to the long horizontal room.

 

 

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Veranda:  a close up of the blue chest that sits opposite the front door in the middle of the living room.   I love all the holiday flower arrangement – they aren’t the typical usually seen.

 

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The Swedish day bed divides the room into two seating areas.   A large seagrass rug covers the hardwood floors.  At the window are printed fabric curtains – the same fabric is used in the living room and dining room for continuity. 

 

 

 

 

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Here you can see the antique French wine tasting table used as a coffee table.  

The surprise is the modern art work – whose colors are just perfect in this room.

 

 

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In these pictures you can see exactly what Lisa did to transform the room.  The mantel is an addition, as are the window treatments.  The walls appear to be painting a very light blue. 

 

 

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The opposite end of the long living room.  Here you can see the dining room through the antique wood doors purchased in France.

The dining room was once a bedroom.     Pictured here are the two other wing chairs, along with a beautiful pair of antique Swedish arm chairs. 

I love the pop of zebra against all the muted colors – Lisa is really great at accents. 

 

 

 

imageVERANDA:   we only got this one small look into the dining room.  

I love the blue and white vases filled with white flowers – such a refreshing change from red and green decoration. 

Notice the framed documents that take up one wall – so interesting.

 

 

 

 

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Here you can see the Belgian styled table with the Swedish dining chairs.

I love the crystal chandelier used with all the rougher elements. 

This room is just so pretty. 

 

 

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Veranda:  Lisa gutted the existing kitchen turning it more into a room with its beautiful cabinets.  

The rough wood table is fabulous paired with all the white marble.  I especially love the silver Louis Philipe mirror over the sink!

The back wall is perfectly symmetrical  - another great detail Lisa added. 

 

 

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In this picture you can see more of the layout.   The wood table is so large and is a very important element in the room.

Just beautiful!

 

 

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The kitchen before.  Here you can see the windows and how they have been changed into doors.   

 

 

 

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One more before and after of the kitchen.   An amazing transformation!!

 

 

 

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Veranda:   The breakfast room as shown in the magazine.  I just love this!!! 

Here’s another look at the antique Swedish sofa and chairs, along with a marble topped iron table.   Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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From Lisa’s web site – a view of the breakfast area, before and after.   It is so elegant!

 

 

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From Lisa’s web site – a view into the lone bedroom in the house.  Simple elegance.

 

 

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Again from Lisa’s web site, the bathroom is remarkable.  Notice the antique doors that close off the vanity area.

The chair wears a darling slipped cushion with ballet leg ties.  Great vanity skirt. 

 

 

 

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The vanity has a sink recessed into a Swedish chest.  Notice the wall treatment – so muted. 

 

 

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And finally, the bath yard with its fabulous fireplace!!!!!  This is like a room itself.  Just wonderful!  

 

 

Lisa Luby Ryan:  Before and After

 

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On Lisa’s web site, there are many pictures from other houses showing before and after.   I really enjoyed seeing these pictures because Lisa is not afraid to make small changes that other designers might let stand and not bother with.  For instance – in this hallway, the décor is fine and doesn’t really need much changing.  But Lisa didn’t agree and went the extra step, which really is much, much nicer:  new lanterns, a set of intaglios, and curtains make a hallway come alive.

 

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In this dining room – the décor was fine, but not to Lisa.  She had the walls painted in a Swedish inspired mural.  She moved the chandelier to another room and installed crystal lights instead.  Next, she slipped the chairs.   The lamps were changed out, as was the screen.   Many designers would have probably kept the dining room as is, but Lisa changed it to bring it up to date. 

 

 

 

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In this vignette – she removed the red and blue oriental rug in favor of a muted textured one.  The TV cabinet was changed out for a painted French version.    The hanging screen from the previous dining room was moved to this room.   Notice in the next room, the brown stone was painted cream.  These changes Lisa made really brings this room up to date.  

 

 

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In this room, Lisa didn’t just redecorate – she changed out the fireplace to make a huge statement.  Then she added antique paned doors.   The bookshelves were updated by adding louvered doors instead of plain cabinet ones.   Many designers would have just changed out the furniture, but Lisa changed the architectural elements to truly make a huge difference.

 

 

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The same room.   I love her slipcovered furniture.  Notice how she fauxed the cabinets to make them look like Belgian limed wood.

 

 

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Here  - a new muted rug, a raw wood table, new velvet slipped chairs, new chandelier and curtains – what a huge change!!!!   The new table makes such a difference in updating the look for today.  Notice the wing chairs – how the pointed wings look so much fresher than the rounded wings from the before picture.  A small detail that makes a big difference. 

 

 

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In this living room – four chairs surrounded an ottoman.  Again, the décor was not bad at all, but Lisa brought it up to date by changing out the rug accented with the zebra.   The framed documents add so much more warmth than the mirror – which I never thought I would say.   The four chairs were moved to the family room – and a sofa and two chairs were added here, along with a Mora clock. 

 

 

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Another view of the same room.   The fireplace looks so much better without that screen!!!  

 

 

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Finally, look at the changes in this entry hall.  The wood floor becomes elegant marble tile.   A muted rug on the stairs tones down the contrast.   The plant is changed out for a collection of shells.   The small pictures are removed to declutter the look.   Small solutions that make up a big difference.

 

 

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Looking at the other wall – this made me really think.   Would I have made the changes that Lisa did?  The console and mirror aren’t bad.  Would I have just let it go because the owner already owned these pieces?   What Lisa replaced the furniture with – a much larger chest that fills out the space much better – a more substantial mirror with sconces – there is no doubt that the space looks much better with what Lisa did.  I would love to see how she presents these changes to her clients:   “what you own is pretty, but I can make it prettier!”    I really admire her work and her skill with her clients.   It’s not easy working with clients, but Lisa certainly knows what to say and knows how to get the job done.  

 

 

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And finally – we are off to the country to celebrate Christmas with Ben’s family.   Here’s wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and safe holidays!!!! 

My Design: The Eleria House

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The Dutch Door House with its Eleria curtains.

When I first toured “The Dutch Door House”  HERE (interiors by Lyndon West) I fell madly in love with the linen fabric in the master bedroom.   I begged the homeowner to find out whose fabric it was and she obliged, emailing later to say it was a Robert Allen fabric, Eleria HERE.  It turns out the Eleria is actually a very popular fabric, available in two colorways, Biscotti (above) and Green Tea.   I ordered the different colored samples and waited for the perfect client to use it.   I didn’t have to wait long.

A few months ago, a client of mine moved from her large, contemporary house in Bellaire to an inside the loop, traditional townhouse.   Years ago, she had hired another interior designer when she first moved into the Bellaire house.   But, some time later,  I stepped in to help with small redecorating jobs - a study, a powder bath, and a  master bedroom - each time trying to tone down the contemporary décor into something more traditional.    After moving to the townhouse this summer, my client wanted to continue the shift from contemporary to traditional.   When deciding what to take from the Bellaire house and what to sell – the decisions were easy:  her old chenille covered sofa and love seat had seen better days and her glass coffee table was too contemporary.   Her area rug was a beautiful wool patterned rug that, also, had seen better days and needed to be replaced.  The modern looking end tables would meet the same fate.   

 

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BEFORE:  At the Bellaire house, the chenille sofa and love seat were showing their age, as was the rug. 

The glass coffee table was too contemporary, as were both end tables.   Everything in this picture was sold, except for the lamps and candlestick.

 

In deciding on a decorating scheme for the new townhouse, my client asked for warm and cozy, specifically, she wanted dark walls.  And, she wanted to plan everything around two bergeres she owned that were upholstered in a brown and cream print.   We decided on a dark taupe for the walls – Pratt and Lambert’s Toasted Wheat , a color I have used many times before.  For the Hien Lam  custom made slipcovered sofa, we used Pindler’s #1766 Vernon in Maple, a copper brown linen adding raspberry velvet pillows to pop color.   After much begging and pleading, my client agreed to curtains and textured shades.   We were on a tight budget and she didn’t want the extra expense of something that was not really essential.  But, I firmly believe that window treatments are important to a design scheme and most interiors look better with them.  The Eleria was the perfect choice for the curtains since we needed major yardage to cover all the windows and, for a linen, the price couldn’t be beat.  Because the breakfast room is open to the living room, we also covered its pretty bay window with the Eleria. We then chose a brown textured shade to hang behind the curtains.  

To end the last bit of contention – my client agreed to cover up her beautiful hardwoods with a custom cut seagrass rug that left just a few inches of the gleaming wood showing.  I know, I know.   But, if you want warm and cozy, nothing gives you that atmosphere more than seagrass.      In the dining room, I chose another Pindler and Pindler linen, a stripe, #1767 Casablanca in Truffle, to slipcover the rush seat chairs.  The dining room has no windows, so it needed some fabric to soften up all the hard edges of the wood table and chairs.   I purposely chose overly detailed slips to add just a bit of femininity.  Since we were on a strict budget, using all Pindler and Robert Allen fabrics helped tremendously to keep costs down.   There are a few things still to be decided on – a mirror or art work over the sofa, and a buffet in the dining room.  But for now, here’s the work in progress.

 

 

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BEFORE:   This is how the townhouse looked when my client bought it.   The walls were a dark dusty rose and the curtains were a chintz.  Fortunately for her, the former homeowners took all the curtains with them – but left the costly rods and rings.  Now, all I had to do was convince my client that she needed to invest in window treatments, something many people think of as an unnecessary luxury.  Here you can see how pretty the room is – arches lead to the long entry hall and stairs.  The dining room is through the arch on the left of the fireplace.  The kitchen is through the other arch at the right of the fireplace.  Upstairs are two bedrooms and a study.   The third story is a large bedroom.

 

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AFTER:   The custom slipcovered sofa has mutton legs and a triple arched back.  The fabric is a Pindler and Pindler brown linen.   The two bergeres were the homeowners and she wanted to work the entire scheme around their brown and cream upholstery.    Yet to be decided on is art work or a mirror to go behind the sofa.  

 

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At the windows, we used 2 widths of fabric to create the full, lush look of the curtains.  One width just doesn’t give you that beautiful fullness. 

Curtains and shades by Custom Creations by Monica HERE

 

 

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I bought the coffee table at an import store in the Rice Village.  The antique gateleg table was moved from the study, while the antique French desk on the right came from a Cote de Texas sponsor – Bonnie Neiman HERE.  To update her iron lamps, there are new burlap lampshades from Boxwood. 

 

 

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You can see into the breakfast room on the right side of the fireplace.  

 

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I brought out some oversized accessories to update the décor:  a lantern from Olivine and alabaster grapes.    The homeowner has some beautiful antique boxes inherited from the mother and grandmother which we also used.  To keep the room from looking cluttered, we stored away many smaller accessories. 

 

 

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The dining room has no windows, so I covered the rush seat chairs in slips to make the room softer.  The Pindler linen stripe has the same colors as found in the living room to tie both rooms together.

 

 

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The homeowner’s mother made the dining room table out of used bowling alley wood!   Still to be ordered is a buffet for the back wall. 

 

 

 

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BEFORE:  the kitchen has a small bay window in the breakfast area. 

 

 

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AFTER:  Since the breakfast room opens to the living area – we used the same Eleria fabric here.  The curtains dress up the area and make it seem more like a room, rather than a kitchen. 

The antique table came from Eloquence HERE.  The chairs are from Zentique.  Both, to the trade.

 

 

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Lastly,  the round table opens up to a larger oval shape.  The glass cloche and cake stand came from Indulge.

 

 

FINALLY:

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I want to take the time to personally thank all of you who so kindly donated to Woodbourne’s Christmas Wish List. 

For those who still wish to make a donation, there is time left do so.  Please go HERE to read the details.

 

 

 

Woodbourne: 2010

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Woodbourne, Baltimore Maryland

I first learned about Woodbourne from Meg Fairfax Fielding, a blogging friend who writes Pigtown Design.   Meg works at Woodbourne and  through her, Ben and I were introduced to this wonderful, caring facility.   Woodbourne started out in 1798 as an orphanage and it is one of the oldest of its kind in the United States.  Located in Baltimore, Maryland, it is today a non-profit organization that cares for children in desperate circumstances.   The children at Woodbourne all have lived through some kind of trauma: addicted parents, abuse or neglect, or mental health issues.  Many of these children live full time at Woodbourne, where they are given the tools and skills needed in order to one day return to their home or community. 

 

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During the holiday season, the faculty makes a video asking the boys what they want for Christmas and what Christmas means to them.  Their requests are small and simple:  a notebook, a game boy, some candy, a notepad, pens, new shoes, batteries, a cookbook, and on.  Some just want to go home for Christmas.  Some worry about the other children at Woodbourne, not themselves.

Oh boy.   Just watch the video, below, and think about what is on your own Christmas list to compare.  I know it made my list seem so frivolous, so wasteful.

Last year, I invited you to watch the video and your response was overwhelming.  It was immediate and large.  Together, we raised a lot of money for the Christmas Wish List at Woodbourne and it made a huge difference in the children’s lives.  Their wish lists were actually granted with the help of your donations.  Let’s try to do the same thing this year.  I am hoping that you will watch this year’s video. Afterwards, if you have it in your heart, would you please donate to these children so that together we can make their Christmas wishes come true?   Any amount is welcomed and appreciated.  It’s very easy to donate – there’s a PayPal link here:  http://www.woodbourne.org/makeacontribution.  If you don’t do Pay Pal, please email Woodbourne directly here:  e-mail or telephone at 410.433.1000, ext. 2230.

 

WATCH THE 2010 VIDEO HERE – DOUBLE CLICK ON THE ARROW:

 

Your contribution, no matter how large or small, will make a huge difference.  Please join Ben and myself in making a difference this year. 

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Wishing you and yours a safe, happy and healthy Holiday Season.

 

Joni and Ben Webb