#Before And After

Everyone loves a before and after. I’m particularly fond of the real estate ones.

Here’s one I found a while ago in Country Living.

It’s now a gorgeous Spanish Revival house that was once so disgusting you may look away from the computer screen when you see the pictures. This style house  is seen predominantly in California and one that I love! It’s second only to the midcentury modern homes I dream about. The contractor did an incredible job of remodeling and keeping with the integrity of the style of the house. It really is a Cinderella story.

The color of the cabinets and the black and white tile black splash are beautiful.


The black window frames are beautiful and really pop off of the white walls. The house is styled to sell with streamlined midcentury modern furniture which works well in this style home.

No words.

In California, indoor/outdoor living even in the bedroom.

I love how the bathrooms are modern and updated, but could be from the 1940’s. Gorgeous tiles!

And finally, what every California house needs, an amazing tiled patio.

Do you like Before and After’s? Do you like this Before and After?


all pics from Country Living.

Ultimate She Shed

I’m sure you’ve heard of the She Shed, the female version of the Man Cave. The She Shed has been all over the blogs, magazines and mainstream media for a while now.  It’s a shed where women can get away from everything and pursue their passions. Sewing, reading, crafting, writing, napping, painting, whatever they want without interruption. Sounds great, right?

Chris Burch, ex-husband of Tory Burch and former owner of C.Wonder, has started a new company called Cocoon9 that specializes in small prefab studios. The studios range in size from 160 to 480 square feet and are very modern with cutting edge designs. The picture above is on his property in South Hampton and his is used as a poolhouse/guest house. I thought of using one as a She Shed! An expensive one, but I can dream.

I would love one of the smaller ones (160 sq feet) plopped in a yard so I could entertain and drink wine. My She Shed would be a wine and cheese shed. I think there are other women out there who would love my idea! (Maybe some men too!)  And of course, there’s got to be a spot to nap after drinking wine.

What kind of She Shed would you build?


pics from pinterest, HC&G, Cocoon9, and Google image.

Small Kitchen Makeover

I love a kitchen makeover with a small budget, it’s like a miracle to me.

I feel like most big budget kitchen makeovers are a waste of money. Some paint and creative ideas is all most kitchens need. I found this small kitchen makeover on One Kings Lane’s blog that is amazing! All they used was paint, lights and flooring to improve the space!

Above is one shot of the finished product. Gorgeous!

Below is the before…not so gorgeous. The kitchen is literally 3’x6′.

Here is the homeowner’s inspiration picture below.

The trick to using inspiration photos is to break it down into elements that you like, says the article. The homeowner liked the following:

#1 The color, easy to do, paint everything the same grayish-blue.

#2 The glass front cabinets. Not so easy to do and expensive. So the designer mimicked this look by taking the cabined doors off and painting inside the cabinets the same grayish-blue. 

#3 The floors. The inspiration floors were herringbone hardwood, another expensive proposition. So they settled for cork flooring. Beautiful and inexpensive.

#4  The lighting. The ceiling in the inspiration photo was higher so the chandelier would have to hang in the dining room, but another piece of lighting eye candy was found for the space.

(The light hanging in the kitchen)

(This light was made by the designer to mimic the light in the Inspiration photo and now hangs in the dining room.)

The designer managed to add much needed storage and counter space without knocking down a single wall! A narrow console is snug in an unused corner and open shelves in the vertical space is used for plates, bowls and knives. Even the top of the fridge has a tray with bar items.

Other bling added to the kitchen included brass handles and a mirror as a backsplash. Two of the drawers have extra long brass handles to hold dish towels which is a dual use for something usually utilitarian. The mirror backsplash really opens up the space and gives the illusion of another space.

This is one of my favorite budget kitchen makeovers!

What is your favorite element in this makeover?


pics from One Kings Lane blog.

East Coast vs West Coast Style..ACK vs LAX

I’ve always been a coastal girl. I once lived 30 minutes from the ocean, when I was away at school, and felt so landlocked. It was awful. As you know, from other posts and my title, I love Cali! I also have a huge place in my heart for Nantucket, having spent many vacations there with family.

Nantucket style is very specific to Nantucket. It has strong New England characteristics, but many elements are quintessential to the island. Most of the houses have weathered cedar shakes and are shingle style, Cape Cod style or New England Saltbox style homes. The historic district limits the colors the houses can be painted so walking around the downtown area is very quaint.

The islanders are very proud of their gardens, especially the abundant multicolored hydrangeas and climbing roses.

Interior design is clean and crisp with lots of blues and whites. Stripes and small florals, seashells, hydrangeas and seafaring objects are often seen in the decor. Many homes have hardwood floors to make it easy to sweep away the sand. Slipcovered furniture is great for wet bathing suits also.

Another well known object of Nantucket is the Nantucket Lightship basket. They are often seen as purses, but are used as decor too.

You will see more colonial style antiques and old paintings of whaling ships. There won’t be any mid-century modern furniture here.

Like the West coast, Nantucketers love to be outside, so most homes have decks or patios to enjoy the summer weather.


 LA or California style is a bit harder to pin down, but quite obvious when you see the pictures.

There are Spanish style, mid-century modern, Craftsman style and contemporary style homes, just to name a few, dotting the west coast. The quintessential style is harder to put a finger on, but sums up in two words, laid back.


The abundance of mid-century and vintage furniture is evident in it’s omnipresence. It’s mixed with new furniture, leather, natural fibers such as rattan, vintage Persian rugs, funky artwork, rustic wood and even a surfboard or two.

The textiles are less match-y and more eclectic. Vintage indigo pillows, antique batiks, and colorful Moroccan boucharouette rugs.


Indoor outdoor living is a year round luxury on the west coast.  The lines blur between the indoors and outdoors with wide expanses of windows and wide open doors. The sun flows easily.

The gardens are much different in California. More drought tolerant shrubs and trees are used. Everyone thinks of the palm tree, but succulents reign strong in the landscape.

ACK or LAX? Which is your preference?


(all pics found on pinterest)