The Dream House Diaries – Style Inspiration

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty happy it’s Friday…this has been one of those weeks where there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Happily, one of the things that has been taking up alot of my time is a little hashing and plotting…

…a la #projectdreamhouse.

And on that note, I thought it time for some…


One of the things architect Wallace and I have been mulling over a lot is the exterior elevation ideas and finishes.

As part of this dialogue, we’ve been really trying to nail down the inspiration that is going to spearhead our final ‘look’.

To that end, I of course have been scouring Pinterest and the interwebs for ideas.

And after some deliberation back and forth, we really sort of hammered out the feel we are after.

Basically we want to birth a sweet and pretty love child between the kind of thing you might find in Holland Park and/or Chelsea, UK…

pretty chelsea

Holland Park

Holland Park

Chelsea (London) was my old neighborhood!

Holland Park

…and an edgier, rougher, and more modern design…


…only hopefully for substantially less than the 12M pound price tag that goes along with this number;)

Stay tuned to see if we pull that one off.

And speaking of following along for the new house ride, me and the architect have decided to do a little joint blogging action…so that you get to see the whole process from both a designers and architect’s perspective.

I’ll be giving you a formal introduction on Tuesday but for now, mull on this…

…and check back every Tuesday for that sort of business.



The Dream House Diaries #11- The Mainfloor Layout and its Details

Good day my friends.
It truly is here at casa Bijou because this sweet little nugget…
…is killing sleep training.
On night two, he literally whimpered for one minute, rolled over and proceeded to sleep 11 hours.
I’m utterly amazed.  
I’ve been through this process with two other babies and never has it been even close to this easy.
To say I feel blessed with this kid doesn’t even come close to cutting it…he’s just a gem among gems.
And because he’s now a sleeper…
(PS…public service announcement….I got help on the whole training thing from a Sleep Doula…if you have a baby that doesn’t sleep, you NEED to find one of these people in your area- they are a total god send and worth every single penny!)
…I feel like I might just get back enough brain power to blog more regularly and focus on things like…
We’re making a whole lot of progress on the dream house front.
For one, we officially took possession of the lot and are busily working away on the existing structure so that we can rent it out while finishing off the design and permit process of the new place.
Our budget for said ‘mini-reno’ is $2000 and trust me when I tell you, with this place, that’s not alot of cash to get ‘er done as it were.
We’re hoping to have all of the work done by Monday so stay tuned for some before and afters on that front.  I’m even hoping to semi-furnish the place with stuff from the POD on our driveway so we’ll see how that goes.
And on the new house design front, we are making HUGE progess on the main floor layout.
My architect extraordinaire Wallace of wjb designs
…is rocking the face off of the design process.
Unlike most firms that would give you a meeting here and there, Wallace indulges me at least once a week with design meeting fun…we sit over coffee and pour though ideas/inspiration/materials etc. for hours and hours.
It’s already been the most amazing process and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Sir Wallace is truly making the house that’s been stuck in my dreams come to life and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I opened up my email yesterday to see round two of the main floor layout in my inbox and let me tell you…
The lost is 50′ wide, which is pretty standard in our hood…unless you have 2 mill to spend on lots alone and get a double spot.
And because of side set back zoning  rules, our abode can max out at around 44′ in width…because I really have my heart set on a center hall plan, we’ve decided to situate the house sideways on the lot so that the front entrance will be on the east side.
From the drawings, you can see the covered, pillared porch on the right…that will lead people from the front yard to the side and the main entrance.
Once inside, they’ll be greeted by a long and hopefully semi-grand entrance, with doors like these bad boys…
chic black lacquered door
The hallway of double doors will take everyone from room to room with formal spaces up front and the more relaxed, family spaces to the rear.
This is obviously not an open concept/great room scheme…I really want something more formal and traditional in feel…I’ve done the ‘open’ thing and with 4 kids and well, I’m ready for doors that I can close at will.
Some other things that have been officially decided on….
1. I want the hallway to almost be like a room in itself…
Jack Fhillips Designer - Greystone - Breezeway
With floors like these…
2.  There will be many fireplaces on the main floor…the kitchen one is at the top of my list…love the idea of this sort of business…
Kitchen of Brooke Shields Architectural Digest
3. All the doors you see on the plan that lead outside will be of the French variety…much like these…
I want those french doors.....ECLECchic: APARTMENTO PARISINO por Sarah Lavoine
…I’ll happily take some Juliette balconies as well;)
4. There will be a ‘breezeway’ between the kitchen and family room…
pretty breezeway  Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects
breezeway by mary mcdonald...big blue ceramic pots...fiddle fig tree...
Single Family Home for sales at Wexford Hall 544 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT 06840 United States 
… that will lead out to a courtyard…
Beautiful Courtyard entry.
Gorgeous courtyard
5. The staircase will have one of these guys above…
Skylight in Phillip's office
6.  The office will be manly.
To date, my husband has requested only three things out of this house:
a. a garburator
b. a built in ironing board
c. central vac
…as you can tell by the list, he’s ‘domesticated’ 😉
Though this list reflects the sum total of his wish list, I’d like to do more…so…as much as I’d love to be selfish and do this…
…I’m instead going to be making this sort of thing happen for him avec the front office…
That blue.
dark paneling, like the lights on the bookcases
I’m planning on paneling all the walls and lacquering them in a charcoal grey, that’s hopefully going to be colour matched to the sofa that’s currently in our living room…it’s going to be built into the bookcases sort of like this…
Diana Parrish Design and Photography + Emerson et Cie via Masins Fine Furniture
7. The outside will be white stucco with this guy…
…and Tom Ford’s abode…
…serving as inspiration.
And I think that about sums up the decision making front for now.
Stay tuned for the upstairs layout coming next week.


The Dream House Diaries #11 – A Piano???

Good morning friends.
My vacation is continuing with lots of beach time, a little drinkie poo time, and LOTS of kid/family time.
And of course, being in heaven is making me dream even more about the little piece of it we’re hoping to start building when I get home…aka #projectdreamhouse.
And since I’m thinking about it, let’s do this week’s edition of…
For today, I’m dreaming of a little something I never really considered before…
And it has to do with the ‘feel’ I’m trying to create with this house…though I definitely want a comfortable home that functions for my family, I also want a space that feels slightly formal…especially the living room.
And right now, I’m thinking that one way to make this happen is with a…
…piano action…
Love a room where there's a piano.
Beautifully designed #home foyer with #marble floors & a black grand #piano.
Living room or #home #library with beautiful grand #piano and comfortable seating. Really liking that #chair #design accents
Grand piano.... Sigh!
Prefabricated Passive House by ecoDESIGNfinca
pretty palette, love the grand piano
Ligne Roset Togo fireside chair, and baby grand piano.
Grand piano to finish off a room
Problem is, none of us really play the piano…and I really can’t afford one…but my they’re pretty.


The Dream House Diaires #10…The Dark Side

I hadn’t intended to make this a…

…but it’s morphed into that as I write so for the second time this week, I seem to be thinking of goodness I’d love to use in the new house.

Today, I’m talking marble.

I’ve long time been a fan of the stuff..have some gorgeous white stone in my kitchen and wouldn’t consider any other surface for #projectdreamhouse.

Lately though, my thoughts of Carrara or Calacatta have been one upped by dreams of this…
Austral Gold Black Marble from Australia | Natural Stone
…aka Austral Gold.
Also lusting after the more common but equally gorgeous…
…Nero Marquina.
Though I’ll probably stick to something blanco in the kitchen, I’m most definitely going to plaster some of this dark goodness in a bathroom and perhaps on a fireplace or two…LOVING it in a honed finish.
I find it so strikingly dramatic and modern…
black marble wall mounted sink.
Those columns... Darryl Carter,fireplace
black marble splashback
black marble bath
black marble bath with antique fixtures designed by Michael Graydon
Black marble in the kitchen

Of course, there’s always the black and white marble mix for the floors to also consider…I’m thinking something like this MUST happen in the foyer…

Raw wood, deep black velvet, black marble / Jo Malone headquarters in London

VILLA BISONO: April 2011

Kelly Wearstler Home Beverly HIlls CA Marble Floored Entry Gallery

…but in a space more like this…


And on a smaller scale, I’d love to incorporate this table pretty…

…and pretty much every KW marble accessory…

…and if the gods really love me, this guy…

{all pictures via}

…for the dining room…holy hell I love that table.

And you?

Are you all about the softer marble varieties or have you also fallen a bit for their darker cousins?



The Dream House Diaries #9- Wallpaper

So…baby has his first sickness…fever and a stuffy nose:(((((
Total and complete suckage- we’re supposed to be leaving for vaca on Friday but mama is not driving for 20 hours with a sick bambino…please send speedy get well thoughts his way. xx
After only a couple hours of sleep last night because of said poorly baby, this post might end up being a little scattered but I’ll try my best.
Today’s topic…
…and more specifically…what I’m doing with the walls in said dream house.
As you know, my main vision is wrapped up in a neutral palate of white moulded walls…I’m happy and in love with this plan…BUT…as always, blog reading has its downfalls…just when you’re sure of a direction, good old bloggers go and showcase things that turns it all on it’s head.
First there was this Lindsay Cowles heaven done by Alex over at Things That Sparkle
…and then Bailey over at Peppermint Bliss and her ‘projectholly’ came in and furthered the brain SPINNING.
I mean look at this business…
She’s literally and blissfully resuscitated my love for wallpaper…like in a LARGE AND IN CHARGE WAY.
Birds and Butterflies has been on my lust list forever and seeing it with the black trim…can we say new house playroom anyone.
And the B&F Guermantes…COME ON!  I’m thinking Scarlett must must have this in her bedroom….I showed it to her and as no surprise, she’s insisting on the pink colourway, which is a whole lotta pink…
…though, Cole and Son’s bespoke Gucci has always been my number one favourite for her…
Cole & Son / Gucci wallpaper
Along with these, I’d also love to figure out how to use…
porter teleo wallpaper
…this Porter Teleo bliss…mahybe for the dining room or Natasha’s room?
And this classic favourite…
…aka Martinique.
And then there’s this bookshelf nirvana from Mineheart…
…would really love some of that action.
Malcolm’s room is going to get this Brian Flyn ‘Imperial Forces’ coolness…
And Makelike’s succulent in pink could make for one wicked powder room…
…as could this B&F guy…
And for the master, those who have been reading my blog for a while know that this O&L Davidia white and silver loveliness has been on my list FOREVER…
…and will happen.
Some other random tried and true faves…
…Thibault’s Tanzania…and their Etosha for that matter…
And a new fave (thanks to the owner of this fabulous house)…Farrow and Ball’s Ocelot…
Oh and then there’s this from Cuff Home…
…it could be pretty swank in my studio (if I get one of those)…
What else???
Emerald grasscloth perhaps…
emerald grass cloth // phillip jeffries
…yup, that would be pretty swell.
As would this metallic marvel from Flat Vernacular…
Folded – Paper
Folded – Paper
And in the most coveted collection…ANYTHING de Gournay…
…though that’s sort of a pipe dream…thankfully, I might be able to get my chinoiserie fill with one of these new panels from Black Rooster
Pictures of Silk Screen Panels - Crimson Birds (set of 2)
Pictures of Silk Screen Panels - In the Night Garden (set of 2)
Pictures of Silk Screen Panel - Single Songbird
So what do you think?
Paper the shit out of the place or go paneled neutral?
My thinking for now is white on the main floor, and paper in the bathrooms and bedrooms…a nice compromise between my maximalist tendencies and minimalist wantings.


The Dream House Diaries #8 /Thinking About 7 Combo…in Wish List Form

Time for a little…
…goodness…this time mixed with some ‘thinking about 7’ action…all wrapped up in a ‘wish list’ bow.
Basically, I want this shit…
1. this insanely good ginormatron mirror from Black Rooster
2. this stone and brass mirrortopia from 219
Mid-Century Stone and Brass Mirror - Please contact us for pricing
…they’re very different but I ADORE each in a mega large way.
3. this GLORIOUS rug
Tiger | Modern, Handmade, Tibetan Carpets | New York | Carini Lang
…I mean pink and tiger mixed together- come on!
4. a set of this adorably pretty bedding from Biscuit Home Goods
…so D Porthault ‘ish’.
5. a little bit of this action…
Cleobella pillow
…I first spied  them on 219 and was quickly very obsessed…sadly, I was on Cleobella site a few days ago, and I’m not sure they’re still selling these beauties:(
6. a pair of these Arteriors lamps…
Arteriors Tassel Lamp
7.  this guy
Azadeh Shladovsky
…just cause he’s furry and weird;)
Or maybe this one for the foyer…
…though realistically, I probably can’t afford either.
Dreams…all of it.
Happy almost weekend.