Friday, March 13, 2015

Gallery and art walls

I have had picture and gallery walls on my mind a lot lately. As we all know, this is not a new design phenomenon and has been labeled quite trendy as of late .  While an art wall is an art wall, there are so many different ways to display your favorite things so, in my opinion, they all end up looking quite different. We, after all, covet different types of art and treasures and obviously have different photographs. This is the beauty in it.   In any business, especially with creative types, people are always trying to come up with something new and reinvent the wheel. Well, in my opinion "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it".

And gallery walls have been a thing for many years.  It was not some savvy designer 5 years ago that had this bright idea.   As also in fashion, history usually repeats itself. Oh hello leggings and high waisted jeans.  And, how many girls these days look like they would fit right in at Woodstock? I remember walking into my Grandmother's urban apartment 30 years ago and she had beautiful oval black and white photographs grouped together on a wall..hmm I would certainly call that a gallery wall.

At this point, I have not collected enough of "like kind" art to make a killer art wall but it is definitely on my to do list.  I do, however, have plenty of family photographs that I have transformed into a picture gallery wall in our office.

In my opinion, when you have enough of one thing it makes a pretty bold statement.  The common theme in our office is that they are all family photos and all of the frames are black. Picture and art walls equal happiness.  It is about bringing some of your favorite things together to make a statement.  When I am sitting at my desk and I look up at our gallery definitely puts a smile on my face.  And I love it when our guests check it out usually puts a smile on their face, as well:)

Below is a roundup of some of my favorite gallery and art walls around the internet and in magazines.

I love this family photo wall, I believe by Jennifer Delonge from Domino way back when. 

This is another beautifully executed wall with classic look of black and whites with a mixture of family photos and art. From Pinterest.

Oh, how I heart the picture ledge.  Not only do they look incredible but it would be so fun to switch them out and around as you please.  Elle Décor.

From Pinterest

From Pinterest
This combo below is pretty spectacular...does it get any better than a photo ledge and bookshelves...I don't think so!! 

The two rooms below would be pretty awesome to walk much to look at and check out on the walls. And it does not hurt that both rooms have great architectural detail. They both do a beautiful job of combining lots of good stuff with apparently no theme and making it look really good!! Both images were found on Apartment Therapy.

I am pretty obsessed with the feel of the below three hyperventilating obsessed!  All three are from Pinterest.


Image below via Pottery the different photos but in matching frames against the barn wood. Great juxtaposition of different styles.

The one below is a pretty perfect vignette ...vintage portraits, antlers, creams, browns, wood, and a horse pillow:) From Pinterest.
While the art below is not on a wall, one cannot deny the beauty of its display. Elle Décor.
Hope you enjoyed these great walls and rooms!!
xo, Paige

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Professional photos...part 2

So, here is the second round of photos... some before(s), of course, and Meredith Park's pretty after photos.
 As I have mentioned before, the guest room is my favorite room in the house.  The high beamed ceilings, the white walls and the hardwood floors make it pretty lovely to photograph. 
The guest room...we painted creamy white by Sherwin Williams, added hardwood floors, changed out the lighting and used primarily leftover furniture. And here is the room now...

And this is what the guest room looked like before we got our hands on it....

And the guest bath now...we added slate tile, a wood base console with a concrete countertop.  My brother in law made the base and our painter gave the wood an antique look. The driftwood mirror really completes this space as this room feels like it could be indoors or outdoors.

And a before...
And below is my son's room...we used wool carpet in here for the softness and layered it with a cowhide rug. The bunk bed is from Restoration Hardware, the drawers are from Anthropologie, the chest is antique, the fabric for the window shades is from Ballard Designs and I had them custom made locally. And, as you will see the animals love this room.  Especially, our cat, Leo, who can escape from our pup to the top bunk:)

 And this is what my son's room looked like before...

And, my son's bath room is probably one of the biggest transformations in the house.  Let's just say it is not pink anymore and there is no longer dirty carpet...yuck!!

And, a before...

It's funny how when we were knee deep in the did not seem like we were doing that much.  It was just so fun making the home look better and reach its potential. When I look back at the before pictures it reminds how far we have come.

I remember seeing the look on my parents face when we brought them by mid-remodel.  They tried to hide their shock:)  I believe their thoughts were not necessarily that this is the most horrible home (well maybe they thought that) but how are they going to transform this into a comfortable and warm home for their grandchildren.  Well, I thing we have succeeded at that and in their defense, things have to look worse before they look better!  Here is a photo mid-construction...not super welcoming!

Hope you enjoyed this second round.  I will be back soon for more.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Professional pictures:)

So, I finally had professional photos taken of our house...yay!!  I kept putting it off because "Is your home ever really done!!"  Ours is not but I finally bit the bullet.  We did not move in to a "done" house.  To recap, we bought an old tired fixer upper and poured our love and money into her!!  We spent so much money on the big stuff, i.e. roof, driveway, flooring, etc.  that the decorating has had to move at a bit of a slower pace.  At least, we never have to worry about a roof leak:)  Oh, yeah, that's not really a big worry in San Diego anyways...ha ha. We still do not have some blinds and drapes in some of the rooms and I am still negotiating with my husband on some perfect art work...but we are at the point where we could at least have some photos taken.

Our friend and fabulous photographer, Meredith Park, took the photos. She is a family and lifestyle photographer in San Diego. I love the brightness and crispness of the photos...that does not really happen with the iphone!!

Below is Part 1 of the little home tour:)  All pretty photos are by Meredith Park and all before photos are by moi or are from the MLS. There is more detailed information about what we did to each room on previous blog posts if you are interested.

Our home has a fairly open floor plan...when you walk in you pretty much see everything except the kitchen and the bedrooms.  The foyer consists of some benches and a side table and a mixture of art...modern and antiques. And rugs.  My husband thinks we have too many.  I think not enough. The office is on the right and the dining room is on the left and the living room is straight ahead.  It is a ranch style home which makes for some pretty easy living!! The barn wood floors really changed the feel of this home to give us that warm and rustic feel we were craving.

Below is what the foyer and the dining room used to look like....

This is our family/living room now.  The most impactful changes to this room were 1.) to fill in the sunken living room (which screamed 1960's) and also gave the room a larger yet more cohesive feel. And, 2.) we added a Kolbe pocket door system that completely opens up which is perfect for our mild and sunny California weather:)


And here is a before of the living room...
Our kitchen...


All I can say here is creamy white paint.  Those cabinets certainly needed it. White paint does wonders!!  And, we used a pretty grayish blue for the island and the existing built in cabinets as contrast.  We used reclaimed wood as well as concrete for backsplash and concrete for the countertops. The woven blinds are from Home Depot and the drum light in the kitchen nook was one of my first big home purchases over 8 years ago.  It has traveled with us to 3 homes.  I do love it but it is a sentimental issue more than anything!
And, here is a before...

Hope you enjoyed Meredith's pretty pictures.  Her website is  Check her out if you are in need of any photography!! I will be back soon for the rest of the tour. Thanks for checking it out!! xoxo

Friday, January 30, 2015

An amazing Spanish style house....edited and non edited photos

Chay Wike's house is amazing. It is this darling Spanish style house in L.A. with so much charm and character.   It is a perfect blend of a modern and rustic meets bohemian. And those wood beamed ceilings...oh I am so in love!!  It was featured in Domino's winter 2013 issue. Here are the images from Domino taken by Brittany Ambridge. Let's take a look..

As I always do, I stare and obsess over certain images in magazines or online. Then I google the homeowner  to find more images and then spend way too much time obsessing even more. But what I found...well let's just say it puts things in perspective. This home was also featured on Apartment Therapy a while back. While these images also show a darling house...and they were probably iPhone pictures...the difference is pretty drastic. Take a look. This is the same house as above...the lighting and scale and overall feel is quite different!


We (or at least I) will spend some time  looking at certain images and think that the house or room or flower is perfect and confirm that my home certainly does not look like this. My house looks more like a toy store with my kiddos' scooters and karaoke machine and Legos and art work are either scattered around or we are always trying to get "organized" which usually lasts for about 2 days. And  I will take a picture with my iphone and sometimes they come out ok and sometimes the lighting is so wrong. Yes, I really need to invest in a better camera.

Well, as I am learning these magazine and blog images are highly edited and it takes a whole professional crew i.e. photographer, stylist, etc. 8 to 9 hours to get 5 to 10 great shots. Adding and editing to get the perfect shot. Yes please...I would love a crew to take over my house and make it look gorgeous:) Obviously, a room or a house has to have great bones and style but it is pretty amazing what a photographer and stylists can do to take it to the next level!

As much as these images are beautiful to look is pretty safe to say that these rooms have had a little help. They are highly edited and enhanced versions of life. Do we strive for this perfection? Or do we live life that can be quite messy at times. I do not think we can strive for this perfection as even these "perfect" images are not "real life".  I think it pretty similar with fashion magazines.  There has been so much controversy over the "realness" of models and actresses.  But, I think it comes down to beauty sells.  As with a home magazine, I do not think they would sell too many copies if the articles were photographed from a cell phone!

The sweetest woman who helped us with our garden (which I will blog about soon) made an interesting comment the other week. She came into our house one morning (as I was not expecting her that day), so to put it lightly, the house was not tidy and the morning dishes were not cleaned and so I apologized to her. And she said Oh please, honey, your home  is gorgeous and you have children and you are living. Think how sad it would be if you did not have the reminders of that. And, it is so true...every where I look it is a little messy...but these are reminders of the people and animals that I love the most.

But, if a magazine came calling, I assure you I would get this place tidied up and as perfect as can be in no time!! Even if that means throwing all this "stuff" in a closet...ha ha:)