Total Renovation for a 1960’s Houston Ranchburger

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This 60s era house for sale in Houston is a total renovation – completely updated – and all done on a budget.    The owner is a reader who sent in the HAR listing, thinking others might be interested in seeing the befores and afters.   Or course!  There’s nothing better than looking at terrible before pictures next to wonderful afters!!   Additionally, there are tons of ideas here to incorporate into your own house if you are currently updating -  you might want to grab and a pen and some paper to take notes.  This ranchburger was built in 1962 and is typical for houses built in Houston during that era.   Thousands were built here with this same exact floor plan.  In fact, my own nephew and niece just bought a house with almost this same layout – built in the exact same decade.   This Briarbend house is considered small by today’s standards, just under 2,000 sq ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.    But, growing up in the 60s – we all lived in houses with this same square footage and thought our houses were quite large.   It’s a real statement of our times that unless a house is 4,000 sq. ft and more, it is thought to be a smaller starter home.   If you live in Houston, the house is zoned to Briargrove Elementary – one of the best elementary schools in the city.   The price was recently lowered to $465,000 and the listing can be found HERE.  Enjoy!!

 

 

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From the outside, there is no doubt the house was built in the 60’s.   It’s also obvious that the floor plan consists of a living room and dining room located to the right of the front door.  Past the entry hall will be the family room and the kitchen will be to the right of it.  This floor plan was built all over Houston during the 50s on through to the 80s.

 

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BEFORE:  The entry hall.  Molding was removed from the walls.  Not sure what the floor was – but it looks like a marble tile. 

 

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The entry hall.  New hardwoods were laid in the entry, dining room, study and all the bedrooms.  Beadboard was installed under the wainscot  molding – which is a great alternative to new sheetrock – plus it adds a nice texture.    New front door and lantern.  Notice the antique wooden ironing board that is used as a console.  What a cute idea!!!  Pretty gray painted walls are offset by bright white molding and beadboard.

All paint colors are listed at the end of this post.

 

 

 

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To the right of the entry hall is the living room, then the dining room.  Most couples today are switching these two rooms – as shown here.  The dining room is now located in the larger living room and the former dining room becomes a study or a small sitting room.  Love those black lanterns on the console to the left.   That looks like a wine refrigerator – which if you are lacking a bar – is good idea placed between cabinets.  One piece of granite or wood tops the assorted built-ins making them look more substantial. 

 

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This view shows the windows – which are all new and all with plantation shutters.  Simple drapes with a black trim have grommets – a nice contemporary, youthful look.   Here, the modern chairs are slipped for a less contemporary look, adding the linen color and texture – which I prefer. 

 

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The former dining room, now a study.  Again, the molding was removed from the walls. 

 

 

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The former dining room is now a study, complete with new built-ins.  All new windows with plantation shutters are found throughout the house.  Again, once the molding was removed, beadboard was added to the walls below the wainscot molding.  Notice the one large pillow with expensive KWID fabric.  If you can’t afford curtains or upholstery out of a favorite fabric – opt for a few large pillows.  You get a lot of mileage out of a few yards of pricey fabric.  Clear gray walls mixed with white molding.

 

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BEFORE:  The family room looks into the kitchen via a pass-through.  The walls have 60s yellow paneling.  Just awful.

 

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AFTER:   WOW!!!!!    The family room is located past the living and dining rooms – and overlooks the back yard through new French doors.  The flooring is a 20X20 porcelain tile instead of hardwoods, which lends a more contemporary look – especially with the white grout.   The wall between this room and the kitchen was removed –  opening up the area and giving it a much more 2000s feel.   The columns are probably load bearing – yet they add a substantial looking touch.  I love this room – how open and fresh it looks.   Most of the rooms are painted gray with white trim – but this room looks like it is all white.  Matching end tables flank a contemporary styled slipcovered sofa.  A Belgian inspired coffee table adds some needed texture, as does the seagrass rug.  Love the large clock over the sofa and the painted black beams really add punch.   Even the ceiling fan looks good with its black blades.   (taking notes Brooke? – that’s my niece who is moving into their similar house next month!!)

 

 

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BEFORE:  Looking the opposite direction.  What is that flooring material?   This couple really had a vision!!

 

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Looking the other way – you can see the entry hall with the antique ironing board at the left.  Through the open door are the bedrooms.  Newly installed built ins anchor the flat screen tv – it almost disappears when flanked by two large black framed prints  - another great idea.   Notice how behind each end table is a floor to ceiling mirror – I believe these came from Ikea, if not, Ikea has very similar ones for under $100 – a steal.  They really give a lot of look for the money when two are used this way.  I’m not sure if the owner removed the paneling or painted over it.  Either way is fine.   For clocks like this – look to Wisteria, Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware – another big look easy on the budget.

 

 

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This view shows the new French doors leading into the backyard.  Painted black – they add pop to the all white room.   Here, you can see the breakfast room.  The mirror in the breakfast room mimics the x motif in the kitchen overhead cabinets.

 

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BEFORE:  The kitchen was totally redone – even the appliances were moved.

 

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AFTER:   Another huge WOW!!   This kitchen is fabulous and is full of ideas.  First, notice the beadboard on the ceiling – it really adds great texture – I love how they used beadboard throughout the house.  Again, it is a very inexpensive material with a great look.  These are all new cabinets – but adding feet to existing cabinets is always a great idea if you have the space for it.  The fur down was removed – giving a more streamlined look.    Carrara marble mosiac tile is used as the backsplash and is installed all the way to the ceiling in a herringbone pattern – what a great luxe look.  It’s beyond fabulous!!!!!   Notice the tile was extended all the way to the doorway.  There are very few upper cabinets – another great, modern look.  The few upper cabinets there are, all have an X motif.  Kashmir valley granite was used on the counters as an alternative to white marble.  Carrara would have been good economical choice too.   Notice that the cabinets dividing the kitchen from the family room are painted dark gray for contrast.    Great stainless hood and quilted stainless backsplash behind the range makes this a focal point of the room.   Here, the oven and stove were combined.  The refrigerator was moved across the room – to the left of the sink.  (You can see it in the above picture of the living room.)  The cabinet pulls are from Restoration Hardware and the cabinet latches are from Cliffside Industries.   Through the door on the right is the study and dining room.   

 

 

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BEFORE:  The breakfast room, off the laundry room.

 

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AFTER:  Beadboard ceiling is carried in here from the kitchen.  U shaped banquette was built for seating.  Such a cute room – the banquette really makes a huge difference and is another great idea.  Wonderful gray table and industrial looking chairs.

 

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The master bedroom had hardwoods – nice and dark, love that.  Can’t make them too dark.  Hardwoods today should be dark as can be – or light as can be.  No more middle of the road.  Notice one gray wall is painted much darker – an accent wall.     There’s another KWID pillow – notice what a statement it makes.

 

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BEFORE:  Master bathroom – all in 60s styled green tile.

 

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Beadboard replaced the green tile.  Two new sink cabinets – easy to install as opposed to built ins.  Look to Ikea for similar cabinets.     It looks like the bathroom was enlarged to twice its former size, with a new tub added.  Beautiful plumbing fixture in the bathroom – adds “jewelry” to the bath.  Plumbing fixtures are a great place to splurge – the prettier the better.

 

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BEFORE:  2nd bathroom.

 

 

 

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New built in cabinet hold two large sinks with great faucets.  Carrara  marble tile used on counter and floors.   Great lights add sparkle for a kids bath that doubles as the powder room.

 

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Bedroom #2 is the little boy’s room – with a darling giraffe!  Again, the curtains have the grommet ring for a more modern look.  Inexpensive area rug adds big color punch.

 

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Bedroom #3 – the guest room.  All the bedrooms and halls have the newly installed dark hardwood floors.   If you can opt out of carpet in favor of hardwoods – do it.   You never have to replace hardwoods, but you’ll be replacing your carpet every 5 to 10 years.  Trust me.  If you have pets – all the more reason to get hardwoods.  Figure the added cost of hardwoods over carpet and divide in by 30 years x 12.  You’ll be shocked how cheap it will be over the life of a mortgage to upgrade to hardwoods.  

 

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The large back yard has a newly laid flagstone terrace with French doors leading into the family room.

 

 

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Nice shady backyard.  When you move into a mature neighborhood – you are blessed with large trees!!!   That’s a plus over moving to a new neighborhood with tiny trees.

 

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And finally, the Briarbend neighborhood park is for your use if you move into this house!

 

PAINT COLORS:  The main colors in the kitchen/family/bath/breakfast/foyer are Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace (white) and Stonington Gray. In the office they are Restoration Hardware's Slate and Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. The Master has Restoration Hardware Slate and Ash.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this renovated ranchburger and I hope you were able to get a few or a lot of ideas if you are currently remodeling.  I really loved the kitchen – with all the tiled walls.  That was stunning.  I also loved the beadboard everywhere, especially on the ceiling in the kitchen and breakfast room!  What was  your favorite element they added?

 

 

A huge thank you to the homeowners for showing their house.  For more information – go HERE.

 

 

A Great Giveaway - Patina Style!!

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One of my favorite design books this year is without a doubt “Patina Style.”  Written by interior designer and blogger, Brooke and her architect and artist husband Steve Giannetti, the book takes you through a pictorial journey into their personal aesthetic – Patina Style.   What a gorgeous world these two have created!  Through their two houses, their clients projects, and their design shop – the Giannettis together have created a style that will forever be linked to them – Patina Style.  How many in the design world can claim that feat?   

What exactly is Patina Style?   “It is the celebration of the beauty that the passage of time brings to the things in your life.  The antique and imperfect, the slightly worn combined with natural materials and a subtle color palette create a look that is both timeless and fresh.”

 

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I “met” Brooke through the blogging world when she started writing “Velvet and Linen” which instantly became a huge hit.  People loved seeing glimpses inside the Giannetti’s homes, their shop and their clients houses that they created sometimes together, and sometimes apart.    Brooke’s blog is one that I read each time she has a new post.  I love seeing what she and Steve are working on – whether it’s creating a new line of furniture or rearranging their shop.   I especially love seeing the images Brooke posts of their own houses in Santa Monica and Oxnard.   Recently they purchased some land in Ojai where they are building their dream house – Patina Farm, of course!   Brooke has been so kind to let her readers in on the process of designing the new house.   Readers can’t wait until they break ground and we get to see the house going up.  It promises to be a learning lesson for us all.

Besides decorating, running a design shop, organizing two households, building a new home, and mothering 3 children – Brooke, along with Steve, found time to write, Patina Style.  Where they found this time, I have no idea!   The book is filled with gorgeous images – along with text - that explains how their Patina Style evolved and what exactly it means. It’s also a primer in how to achieve this look for your own home.     Each page is eye candy – one image is prettier than the next.   Even the cover is luscious.  It might be my favorite design book cover – ever.   Needless to say, the book has been a success.   It quickly sold out of its first printing and more had to be ordered to keep up with the demand.  Here are few of my favorite images from the book:

 

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The Giannetti’s Santa Monica entry way – it sets the tone of the house and shows exactly what Patina Style means.  I love the large antique clock face juxtaposed next to the Mora clock.  The painted settee perfectly fits the space.  It’s a study in scale and a vignette worth painting. 

 

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The Giannetti’s recently redecorated their Santa Monica house.  Before the shelves held a collection of green glass.  Now, it holds white ironstone and hotel silver – placed next to warm, antique bread boards.  This mixture of colors and textures represents Patina Style exactly.

 

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The Santa Monica master bedroom – a treehouse overlooking the backyard.   The room is filled with a collection of antique furniture from different countries and eras.  Shutters are used to flank the French door.  

 

 

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So gorgeous! The master bed in Santa Monica sits underneath a corona draped with vintage Fortuny fabric.   Gauzy linen lines the back.  I adore the nudes that flank the bed – one facing front, one facing back.

 

 

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In their Oxnard house, an antique Italian scroll sits above a simple white headboard.  The romantic scroll becomes the focal point in this room.   The curtains to the left of the bed hide the bathroom.  The wall between these two rooms was removed during their renovation of this property.    What a great idea to make a room appear larger and yet, cozier at the same time. 

 

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The powder room at Oxnard.   So many different textures and colors – yet, it is all so soothing and calm.   The painting hanging next to the door is one of Steve’s recent works depicting the ocean.

 

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Besides being an accomplished and highly sought after architect, Steve is a gifted artist.  His charming sketches are used to introduce each new chapter in Patina Style.  

 

 

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To order the book, go to Amazon HERE.    I promise, you will love the images – and you will learn so much from the informative text.

 

Wait – isn’t this a giveaway????   Oh, my, I almost forgot!  Yes, this IS a giveaway!!!  

 

Recently Giannetti Home signed up with Dering Hall – a new online shopping venue that features well known designers such as Michelle Nussbaumer, Rose Tarlow Melrose House, Steve Gambrel, and a host of others. 

For the giveaway - you will need to go to Dering Hall – Giannetti Home HERE, look around at the product available and pick out a piece of Steve’s artwork that you would like to own! 

That’s right!  The giveaway is a work of art by  Steve Giannetti.  You might be partial to his water pictures:

 

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Or his travel sketches:

 

Or his nudes:

 

After you pick which art work you would like to win, please come back here to the comment section and tell me which one you picked.   Be SURE to leave your email address if you want to win!!!

The contest will end this Friday night at 11:59 p.m.    Remember also, if you want to order the book Patina Style, go HERE

 

A huge thank you to Brooke and Steve for this great giveaway!

An Inspiring Tale and Pillows, Too!

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The view of the Pacific Ocean outside of Todd Mossman’s house in Montecito.

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it now, blogging introduces you to so many interesting people whom you would never meet otherwise, without this unique internet connection.  I get lots of emails – some ask for decorating advice or for resources from a particular story.   Some emails complain about how long the blog takes to load (I know, I know – it’s that darn Lijit ad that slows it all down!!) while other emails tell how a particular story meant something special to them.   Those are the ones I love the most – when something I’ve written has triggered a good memory for a reader.   Recently I got an email from a designer who makes pillows using antique textiles.  I had written about Fortuny fabrics and my header has Fortuny fabric on it, so the designer wanted to show me his pillows that were made out of that same, gorgeous Italian fabric.

 

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Fortuny pillows and antique tapestry pillows – both specialties of Todd Mossman.

 

As we sent emails back and forth, the designer,  Todd Mossman, sent me more pictures of his pillows.   While I loved seeing the pillows, I was even more captivated by his house.  Naturally.  His house is atmospheric – it is Mediterranean - Californian style - and it overlooks the tree filled hills of Montecito, California that terrace down to the Pacific Ocean.   At my request, Todd sent me more images of his house – showing all his favorite vignettes.  I thought  – how lucky is he to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by such gorgeous views?    So very, very lucky.  Todd agreed he was indeed one lucky man – and as he told me his story I had to agree.   I was stunned by what he wrote, thinking how far he had come and high he landed – all because of his determination, strength of character and hard work.  

 

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Besides interior design, Todd specializes in landscaping – here using succulents mixed in with English styled gardening. 

 

I know design blogs are frivolous – mostly we look at pretty pictures of houses owned by the upper classes of society.  Rarely do we discuss those whose lives haven’t been perfect or those who have toiled hard to get where they are, against insurmountable odds.  Todd is one of those people who wasn’t handed a silver spoon – everything he has he is grateful for and everything he has, he worked hard for.  He knows what it took to get him where he is today.  I hope you will be as inspired by his story as I am.

 

Todd is still young, today at 45, he tells how life turned sour for him in Dallas, Texas.  Before landing in Montecito, Todd lived in Dallas where he fell victim to the times and became homeless.   At the same time, he became ill with colon cancer and ended up living on a bench in Lee Park.  If it sounds scary, Todd assures that it was very scary.   Before he became homeless, he didn’t work in the design field though that is what he feels he was destined to do.   Instead, he let his fears hold him back and he believe the stress of not working in his desired field and being homeless led to his illness.    Eventually he found shelter in the back room of an old barber shop.  His living space didn’t even have a proper floor – he slept on the hard, wooden sub floor.  While homeless, he knew the only way out for him was to use his talent.  Like all designers, he was blessed to have been born with a discriminating eye.  His degree, though, came from the streets of Dallas.

 

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The stunning view of the Pacific and the Channel Islands from Todd’s house.

While living in the barber shop, he taught himself to sew using scraps of fabric he found in an upholsterer’s dumpster.  He taught himself how to faux finish walls by digging through the art supplies company’s trash bin.  He cleaned toilets at the large Design District, hoping to learn the finer points of the antique trade.   He did what he had to do to hone his craft – and despite being homeless and working as a janitor – he says he had the best time learning all that he did.   He made his “miserable little existence” into the best possible life that he could because he knew it would only be temporary.   

Todd says he always knew that he would end up where he is today.  He didn’t know how he was going to make it happen, he only knew that it would because he began to believe it and he began to believe in himself.    He states that all his best and funniest memories come from that period in his life, when he was foraging through dumpsters and teaching himself the tools he needed to succeed in the design business.   “It was such an adventure.  I learned so much from the experience.”   Instead of wallowing in his bad fortune, he looks back on that time as a positive.  His enthusiasm for life is infectious.    He made it by dreaming big.  Todd says that dreaming and wishing can be very powerful tools.

 

 

 

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You could get spoiled with views like this!

 

Over time, Todd began selling his pillows at The Mews, an upscale shop in Dallas’ Design District.  Several of the more well known designers bought his Fortuny and antique tapestry pillows.   Slowly, he started doing design – interior and landscape – and eventually he moved to Montecito, California where he now lives in a house that doubles as his studio.   The irony is that he instead of living on a park bench, he now has Oprah as nearby neighbor.

Todd has a message for us all.  Starting out, he was too scared to do what he believes he was born to do.   Once he ended up homeless, he knew he had to start all over and this time, he would become a designer despite his lack of formal training.   He had to work hard to make it to where he is today and he says “I think that there are probably some talented people that read Cote de Texas that are too afraid of all of the ''what ifs'' to really make it happen for themselves.   Maybe if those readers see that if I can go from living on a park bench to this, it could give them a boost in their own lives.   I just sew pillows and fluff people's homes but I think there is a nice message in that too.”

 

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Todd has another message he wants to spread.  “If you have an idea that is gnawing at you, do it!  Try it out!  Allow yourself the chance to try.  Once I allowed myself that chance, the pieces of the puzzle just kept coming and falling into place.”    He also acknowledges angels that helped him along the way.  They helped him to see his self worth and talents – without them “I would have crumbled to nothing a long time ago.”

 

 

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One lucky break came in the form of the house that he rents.   Todd says this house is the first he has ever lived in that he loved – it is perfect for him and it is as if it was designed just for him.   The house is new, a 2 bedroom guest house located on the property of a 1930s estate.   The house is a beauty, with stucco walls, steel doors, beamed ceilings, and terra cotta floors.  Inside it is furnished entirely by what Todd has either thrifted, found in a dumpster, or been given by a client.  It shows that no matter the budget, you can still  have unique interiors.  But Todd laughs, you do have to cough it up to have this view of the Pacific – “there’s no thrifting the view.” 

 

 

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The dining room is located off the terrace.   Todd set up his pillows around the Spanish styled table.  Beautiful room, beautiful lantern.  This is the picture that made me forget the pillows and fixate on the house!!!

 

 

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Another view of the dining room with its changing tablescapes.  I love how Todd uses small trees to decorate inside.

 

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The living room has windows on two sides and a wonderful fireplace with flanking small casements.  Antique capitals double as tables.  The rich persimmon velvets remind me of John Saladino’s aesthetic. 

 

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A metal, leafy candelabra hangs from the wooden beamed ceiling.

 

 

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An arched doorway leads past a wooden cabinet that doubles as a bar and art gallery.  I love the pair of lamps with their fabric shades. 

 

 

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Styled as if for a photoshoot!  Instead of pricey antiques, water bottles make a great, thrifty alternative.

 

 

 

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The sun pours through this large window, styled with two small trees and art work.  Notice the porch ceiling through the window.

 

 

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Another view of large brick layer styled console. 

 

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The opposite side of the living room has a door leading outside.   Wooden eagles sit atop pedestals. 

 

 

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An antique English wood chair is covered in thread bare velvet and leather. 

 

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Love the casement windows.   So charming.

 

 

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You can tell Todd admires Saladino – by the way he’s styled his house – and this book is another clue.

 

 

 

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Love the view outside the windows.

 

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Todd’s bedroom has a charming French bed which he decorates with his pillows.   The terrace is reached through the French doors.

 

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I love the bed – I think it’s really beautiful. 

 

 

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A different textile on the bed.  Notice the beautiful landscaping outside the bedroom. 

 

 

 

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Pretty painted corner piece in the bedroom.

 

 

 

 

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The second bedroom is Todd’s studio. 

 

 

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                     Love the succulents layered over more succulents.       

 

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More pillows!

 

 

 

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Here are pillows made with silk velvet ikats from Istanbul.

 

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More pillows made of beautiful red, white and light blue fabric.

 

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Fortuny pillows backed with Scalamandre silk velvet and custom bronzed trim.

 

 

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More Fortuny – this time in blue.

 

 

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I hope you’ve been inspired by Todd’s story.  It amazes me to think about his long journey finding himself first in order to become an interior and landscape designer.   The moral of the story is – don’t give up on your dreams, make them happen!!!

 

As Todd says “I've had such an interesting life so far, and it's still so early in the picture...”

 

The pillows are available at the antiques shop Maison K on Coast Village Road, Montecito California

805. 969.1676 – phone

OR email Todd Mossman at Toddmossman@cox.net for information on pillows and custom order.

 

 

 

And, it’s that time again – The Urban Market Houston – Houston’s answer to Round Top – is coming this next weekend.  For more details see their web site  HERE

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