This is the first post in a new occasional series where we ask our favorite design lovers for a peek at the spot they love the most in their home…and the spot they’re dying to change.
Five years ago, John and Sherry Petersik started a blog (just meant for friends and family) to chronicle their first big remodeling project: the kitchen they DIYed in their first home. More than 2,000 posts and millions of fans later, the couple behind Young House Love has completely remodeled one house, moved on to a second one, added a daughter to their family and found time to write a brand new book filled with more than 200 simple decorating projects. (Check back here later this week for a review of their book, Young House Love, and a sneak peek at some favorite projects.)
Sherry and John Petersik with daughter Clara and dog Burger
One thing I’ve always appreciated about Young House Love is that Sherry and John don’t just show you the perfectly-styled “after” photos. Remember the kitchen project that got them started? Sure, they wrote about the big reveal, but they also chronicled an epic pipe clog at the coming out party for said kitchen. (For those following along: They fixed it with lots of boiling water.) So it’s only fitting that Sherry was happy to share her favorite (and least favorite) spots in their current house.
See Sherry’s Best/Worst Picks
One freezing cold January, Vicky and Marinique Dabissiere visited an uninhabited house in Queens, New York, after receiving a call from a former client. Her parents had bought an older house, and the client wanted the sisters of LaVie Design to bring it into the 21st century for them. When Vicky and Marinique crossed the threshold, they discovered a house stuck in the 1970s. Mirrored walls loomed all around. Layers of dust covered the wood floors, parts of which needed serious repairs. The old cracked plaster walls were painted a shade of white that had obviously lost its umph over the decades. As you’ll see, this talented design duo turned the neglected 1,438 square-foot New York house into a traditional, but unexpected refuge that exceeded their clients’ wants and needs.
Vicky says: After touring the first floor, we asked the clients about their design style and tastes. The wife, who was at first hesitant, eventually voiced that she liked prints and that while she liked color, she tended to gravitate towards earth tones. She described her style as traditional, but not too traditional. The husband’s main wish was that the family room be “comfortable”. We had four weeks to work with their contractor before the family would need to move in. That is no time in the design world! As we sketched, photographed and measured the space, we could see that the rooms had great bones and underneath the layers of dust and years of neglect, there was indeed a hidden treasure.
The clients were originally from the Caribbean, so we chose to interpret the island feel through color, fabrics and accessories. We painted the living room walls in Benjamin Moore’s Leisure Green. The only moldings in the room were those that accented the walls, and they were caked with decades old paint. We all liked the visual interest they provided to the walls, so we had the contractor replace them and paint them in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. The moldings certainly help the mother of pearl mirror and black/amber accent chest pop against the possibly overwhelming green walls. Since the clients decided to forego installing central heating and opted to keep the radiators original to the house, we painted those the same color as the walls so they would seamlessly disappear into the background. (On the right in the top photo.)
When it came to the lighting in the living room, in addition to the wall sconces, the space needed more central lighting. Rather than adding wiring to the ceiling for a chandelier, we had the electrician install an electrical socket in the floor in the center of the room for side table lighting. This gave the clients the option of turning on only the table lamps for a more intimate mood.
If you haven’t already visited the Veranda UnVeils: The House of Windsor, it’s well worth braving the worst of L.A. traffic — aka “Carmageddon” — for the final weekend of this stunning house tour.
With the help of nine A-list, LA-based interior designers and landscape architects, designer extraordinaire Windsor Smith transformed the house into a masterpiece of comfortable modern luxury. (Check out coverage of the preview party at The Editor at Large.)
If you, like me, can’t make it to LA, the next best way to tour The House of Windsor is the gorgeous spread on 1st Dibs. After taking a photo tour of the house, I’ve decided this is absolutely my favorite room. I love a kitchen with a farmhouse sink, but a kitchen with a white and gray marble apron-front sink with matching gray cabinets makes my heart thump.
We’d love to hear which is your favorite room in The House of Windsor and why?
Tell us in the comments below.
When I think about colorful homes, I immediately think about one of my favorite interior designers — Jonathan Adler. He has a penchant for working with color and pattern. And he’s known for creating bright, bold and happy spaces. Thus his brand, his design style: Happy Chic. As I just finished reading his book Happy Chic Colors, I thought an Adler home tour would be a cheerful way to start off the work week.
Jonathan Adler Interior Design
This New York residence designed by the Jonathan Adler Design Firm is a perfect example of colorful sophistication. Bright tones are used throughout the space in a way that’s light and fun without being overwhelming.
On To The Dining Room
Susan Fredman is one of Chicago’s premiere interior designers. For the past 30 years, she and her team have designed grand homes and estates in the Windy City, around the Great Lakes and on both coasts. The Susan Fredman Design Group delivers luxurious designs that also embrace a client’s passions. This month’s tour takes us to Wisconsin where we step inside the home of a client who loves traditional style but wanted to avoid anything stuffy and uninviting. It was important for them that the house worked perfectly for entertaining and day-to-day living, as well as lending itself to curated collections. The result is a brilliant manor with plenty of personality and surprises, like hidden passages and secret rooms. All design work was done by Susan Fredman, Aimee Nemeckay and Barbara Theile.
Susan says: The appeal of this residence begins as soon as you pull into the driveway. This classic manor looks like it’s set in the English countryside. Who would guess that it’s actually located in the middle of Wisconsin’s agriculture center.
Next, the Dining Room
Sherry and John Petersik are full-time bloggers with a knack for all things DIY. Meet one of their babies, Young House Love, a blog dedicated to the adventures of their first home renovation project.