Lauren and Andre were tricky. They were a great example of not knowing what they want, but upon seeing something they hate, they had really strong opinions. So there was more guess work than before. (If you missed this one or need a refresher, here’s an easy-peasy way you can watch the whole episode of California Spanish Mod: Secrets From a Stylist.) Here are a few pictures from Domino I showed them. (I find that if i bring GOOD magazines, people choose good things. If i tell them to send me pics, then i get UNinspired pics because most people are not obsessed with design blogs like i am. So finding beautiful, inspiring pictures is hard for them.) Here is what they both liked:
She loved the mirror (which i did find, for $1600 at MIX) and they loved the colors. They both loved the coffee tables and the colors…which is why i started getting the ‘modern organic’ thing. It’s rustic, but more refined.
When i first met them, they said that they couldn’t figure out how to have a house that worked with the Spanish theme, but in a modern and young way. Diane Keaton’s house is super beautiful and feels relatively modern, but in keeping with the architecture:
Granted, she has these incredibly beautiful bookcases…and while i normally hate words on walls, I kinda don’t mind these?
Anyway, so i began the hunt for pieces that felt old world and Spanish but could be mixed easily with modern pieces. The first thing i found was this credenza:
All of these pretty pictures (except the before of the chair) are by Laure Joilet.
It’s from a store in Redondo Beach called ‘Grot‘, and he has a great collection of vintage pieces for a good price. It was a splurge at $1700, but it’s hundreds of years old, solid as a rock and has incredibly intricate details. I love it and knew that it would look great, like this:
It’s massive and gorgeous. Ooh, also check out the $50 chair. It once looked like this:
The vinyl was a disaster and looked so sad. It cost $250 to reupholster (yes i got a good deal, expect at least $400 for a chair like that), and the fabric was $6/yard from Michael Levine’s ‘Decorator Heaven’ (aka the area where they sell off rolls of fabric that don’t have a lot of yardage left on them). So it was about $350 for the whole chair. It’s super comfy, large scale, great Spanish inspired legs and frame and in the gray linen it becomes way more modern.
Those two watercolors on above the credenza are studies from an artists’ estate. There were loads of them for $30 at this antique mall, and while these were cast-offs, i absolutely love them. I have a thing for watercolors, you’ll start to notice, i’m sure.
Let’s talk first look, shall we? I actually really loved it, in a way. It felt very architectural digest to me, yes a bit over the top, with the, oh i don’t know, bust of Caesar, but in general, i liked all the pieces individually. Those dark green walls are controversial, but I love how warm they are. Almost everything was rented from TI Gurley in Pasadena except a few pieces. The folding leather chair is from the flea market ($100), the leather chair in the corner is from the Pasadena Antique Mall ($450), the x benches were $20 for the bases from the flea market and $100 each for the tops…so a total of $220 for both which is pretty great. The square trunks were from Santiago’s on Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood ($100 each).
Lets’ talk reaction. The Gaines were EXTREMELY shocked by this look. Lauren is majorly opinionated, and she didn’t hold back. She didn’t like much. I’m not gonna lie.
They loved the credenza, and he liked the trunk side tables, and yeah, they liked Don Quixote painting, but that was kinda it…wait they liked the chess table, too. But the rug was too busy, the x benches looked too old, the leather chair wasn’t comfy, and why is there a ladder, she asked? Good question, Lauren, because it’s pretty and sculptural and adds height to that side of the room. Oh and they HATED the chandelier and sconces, which was a total bummer to me. I had scored that chandy for $200 from the flea market, and while it is very aged, it also has a ton of character and looks like it came with the house.
All in all, a pretty awesome room that was very much not the Gaines. My job is hard. I want to show the audience new things. And it’s hard to love the first look because it’s generally not as live-able. So I changed it up, and now it looks like this:
Definitely more modern and contemporary. It feels Spanish but also calm. They really thought that there was too much stuff in the first look, and while i understand that, i didn’t agree. This feels paired back and more approachable, which is more them. I actually kept a lot of the same pieces, but changing the walls back to white definitely altered the whole look, a lot. The sofa is from The Sofa Company, the rug is West Elm, (a price type-o on the episode said it was $150 but it was $699, a massive difference) and the table was made by Dan Faires (one of my favorite people in the world).
All in all, a kinda great but difficult week. Lauren and Andre were extremely opinionated (which i appreciate) despite the fact that i started with this.
So having them not appreciate the first look so much was a bummer, but then when they loved the second look it was extra rewarding. Every week is an adventure, here, on Secrets From A Stylist. Stay tuned for next week, something extremely exciting happens.