Sunday, April 13, 2014

House Dreaming ...

So, Scott and I have been seriously thinking about moving to Florida for a long time. This was never meant to be our "forever" home, or our "forever" location. We always knew that we wanted to be somewhere a little ... different, and how different can you possibly get? So, while it's 2-3 years in the future, I can't help but day dream a little bit about what might be in the not too distant future.

So, with that said, I found this little place online today:

I know what you're thinking. It's ugly. But it could be lovely. We're really downsizing in our move, only looking at ranches, and in established neighborhoods with large trees and landscaping. So, this house fits the bill in all those things - just needs that special touch. For this house, I'd clad the existing cinder block with stone veneer on the left. Something like this: 

I like the mix of charcoal and copper. The rest of the house would be painted a deep, rich charcoal gray. And I'd want to get a new front door, and take the shutters off of the exiting windows. This house doesn't need, and shouldn't have shutters. 

So now we have something like this, right? Much better! As you can see, the chain link fence stays, and is planted with fast growing evergreen ivy. The link gates are replaced with wooden ones, and the door is replaced with a wood version, stained the same color. The whole house goes charcoal (MS Flagstone) and that windowless bump out to the left is clad in stone. Looking pretty good right? I mean, all it needs is a couple of ferns on either side of the door in large terra cotta pots. (I wish I had better software - but I wanted to get the idea across, and this was the best I could do!)

So,what do you think? Lipstick on a pig? Or diamond in the rough?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Who Decorated The House From Chrisley Knows Best?

You ever get that feeling when you go to hit 'Publish' that you're not right? Probably not - you're probably a better blogger than I, but there was a part of me that thought I was wrong about who decorated the Chrisley house from my last post. Sure enough, a reader I love (I love all of you equally), pointed out that the dining room was actually the work of Atlanta decorator, Toby West. I KNEW IT! Well, I didn't know it, really - or I wouldn't have mislead you in the last post. But I had this feeling that it was just too finished to not have a real decorator touch.

The more we talked about it - the more it all revealed itself. The house had actually been published, in the pinnacle of design magazines, VERANDA! Now, I'm not a hoarder, not really, but I like to hold onto some issues of design magazine in the event I ever need them for inspiration. So I started looking and low and behold, wouldn't you know I had it! I love when that happens!

So, not only did I have the photos from the photoshoot, taken by Peter Vitale, but I also had the article. Oh yeah, JACKPOT! The article was titled: A FORMER SHOW HOUSE / SOFTENED SETTING. They give credit to Toby West for Interior Design, and Architecture credit to Caldwell-Cline Architects. The article was an interview of both Todd Chrisley, patriarch and head honcho for Chrisley Knows Best and decorator, Toby West. It mentions that Todd brought his own vision, and had once owned an interior design company. (This is where I got mislead in the former post ... sorry!) However, later in the article, West says: "he (Chrisley) let me do what I needed to do". And fast, apparently. Todd Chrisley gave Toby less than 7-months to completely decorate the 25,000 square foot manse. Sheesh! Can you imagine? Alright, alright you want pictures, right? Some of these I was able to pull from Veranda, the others I scanned.

The two page spread of the formal living room in the Chrisley's North Atlanta home. I hate when they print rooms in the crease like this - but to get the shot, one must do what one must do. Now let's compare with the real estate photos, shall we?

Just about everything is exactly as the Veranda article shows it - sans the flowers and greenery. I love that fabric on the chairs (Brunschwig & Fils). Behind the sofa, French herbariums from Coco Chanel's apartment hang on the Colefax & Fowler upholstered walls:

There's not a real estate shot that shows this view, but I assume all is still in tact. Now, the dining room is a different story.

Gorgeous right? And the real estate photo of the same room:

Yep, yep, yep! It truly was the hand of decorator Toby West. Now, the chandelier is different in the real estate photo - which is what you actually have to do unless you write in contingency should you choose not to sell the fixtures. Perhaps the Chrisley's decided to keep or sell their 19th Century Irish crystal chandelier?

I love how Veranda made these rooms feel so cozy with the cropped shots. You can tell by the real estate photos that they are caverns, to be expected with so much square footage I suppose.

Here from the Veranda spread - the main hallway of the mansion, which runs completely though the center of the house. Right off the dining room, the chairs are the same used there.

And here a different view - but you can see, not much has changed. Real Estate photos are bad as a standard, but you'd think that with the listing price at over $2M, and a prestigious broker like Sotheby's, the photos would be a little better. 

Remember this room from the old post? 

Well, here it is at a much more flattering angle ...

I wonder what happened to this bench that was at the foot of the bed? And the chairs. And how much more beautiful is this staged bedside table vignette over the cordless handset, and closed laptop?

This now makes me want to get chairs for either side of my bed. Seriously. Though I don't have a 1,000 square foot bedroom, so I'm not quite sure how that would work. One of the most beautiful rooms we see in the house throughout Chrisley Knows Best is Todd and Julie Chrisley's master bedroom.

Really very beautiful and extremely luxurious. I love everything about it, including that Cowtan & Tout fabric on the walls.

The real estate photo shows a much less flattering shot, wouldn't you agree? And where did that beautiful little slipper chair on Julie's side of the bed go for these photos? And the library table at the foot of the bed?

The capital wall decor also seems to be missing from the real estate photos, and that desk sorely misses that little Gustavian chair.

The beautiful sitting room, complete with fireplace in the master bedroom. Such a beautiful photo, and wonderfully styled.

Looking very similar here, in a different angle. The only thing missing is the bench at the fireplace, do you think it needed it? I think it rounded out the arrangement, and really helped to anchor that positioning of the chairs ... but maybe the photographer for the realtor said, let's show off the fireplace? With this angle we get to see a door, that mysterious door that leads to where?

To a private sun porch, of course. I love this room, and have already dog eared the page to show the pleating of those corners to my slipcover maker! Yes, I'll be copying that Toby!

And the real estate photo. Those orchids look a little tired, don't they? And am I the only one missing that little chair? I seriously think that the photographer for the real estate photos had something against small chairs. Seriously.

So, while I wish the whole Veranda would have been about the Chrisley's home and their decorator, Toby West - this is where they leave us, and where I leave you. Thank you so much to Victoria, my reader and supporter and friend for pointing me in this direction! You're the greatest!

Chrisley Knows Best ... The Decorated Mansion

Is anyone else addicted to this show? Having grown up in the south, I smile during every episode of Chrisley Knows Best thinking of those zippy one-liners my mother used to throw back at me during my rebellious years. For those of you who haven't watched the USA Network hit, it's about a Southern family (Georgia) who live in an amazing house and are starting a clothing company, aptly named: Chrisley and Co..

The episodes are 30-minutes, and take place primarily in their large home in Roswell, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. The house is lovely, and HUGE at 30,000 square feet. I had been looking for photos of the house and secrets behind who was responsible for the decor ... and I FOUND THEM! Just so happens, (likely because there is a reported $45 million bankruptcy) the house is for sale! So - realtor photos galore, thanks to Sotheby's!

The outside of the house is a sorta bastardized tudor, something they're calling "New American" .. and it's not really all that big considering the houses around it, in the prestigious gated community of Glenayre. It's hard to imagine from the front that it's 30,000 square feet, though. That's something more evident when looking at the house from the back.

A full 3-floors thanks to a walk out basement, the house is long, wide, and deep. Can you imagine decorating this place? And let me tell you - they are decorated! Now, I wasn't sure who was responsible for the decorating of the house, I has my guesses...

do you? I mean, there are decorators who definitely have this style, right ... even a few notable designers from Georgia. Here, in the sitting room of the master - I forged my first opinion ... Phoebe Howard. Are you seeing it?

Then, on the sleeping side of the room, the canopy bed, fully dressed along with the glass front secretary, patterned carpet, and clever mix of Swedish furniture with American antiques made me even more sure that Phoebe was responsible for this space. (I was wrong!)

So, I ran over to Phoebe's site, and searched and searched for these spaces ... they weren't there. Which means she wasn't responsible. Surely, with all the rooms on her site, when money like this gets spent - she would have definitely had it on the rotation. So I kept looking at the spaces - enjoying each one for the very Southern way they were finished, wondering who decorated Todd Chrisley's house?

I started getting to the more colorful rooms - like this bedroom with it's soft mossy green walls and coral accents. It had me thinking about another Atlanta designer, Suzanne Kasler. Looks a little like her, right?

In his daughter's room - I thought yep, Suzanne. The patterned carpet, the canopy bed, the fearless use of the the color pink! Surely this is a Kasler room. But nope. Wrong again.

In this room, I thought, heck - they've got enough money, maybe they had Charlotte Moss decorate the house? I mean the pleated shades, and use of the same fabric and wallpaper in so many rooms is totally Charlotte, right?

But, alas, wrong again. So - who, with such traditional taste could have decorated Todd Chrisley's house? Find out here! You can see more of the house here.

For more decor porn, this past episode (it airs on Tuesday nights), Todd - the father, Chase - his son, and Savannah - his daughter all go to NYC to purchase clothes directly from designers for their high-end clothing store. (Todd calls it the Bergdorf's of the South).The episode, like all the others, was great - but what was REALLY great, was the NYC hotel that they stayed in. What hotel? Well after a lot of digging ... and I do mean A LOT (NYC has over 4,000 hotels!!) I found it ... and now I want to stay there!


The Gramercy Park Hotel is a landmark, boutique hotel, located in the center of the city on Lexington Avenue. We've always stayed either on the upper west side on the park, or mid-town near all the theatres. But seeing the decor here has me thinking about booking a trip! (Or at least heading over and peeking around the lobby during our next trip!) You can see more of the hotel here.

Hope you enjoyed it - and if you watch the show, I'd love to know what you think of the Chrisley's ... and their extravagant lifestyle.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back ... Jack

Ah, well - we're back from our little "vacation" of sorts, and aside from shin splints I got from overdoing it while paddle boating on the Potomac, we had a great time! I always love meeting people who I know through blogging, and when Michele from My Notting Hill met us for brunch at the hotel, I was so excited! She has such a great blog, and is such a wonderful person! I had a great time spending a couple of hours with her talking about DC, and blogging, and stories of our homes and our blogging history. It was definitely a highlight of the trip.

But, now we're back - and wouldn't you know it, it's snowing! I mean, come on Mother Nature, it's almost April! Why the hell is there still white stuff on the ground? I should be posting pictures of the tulips in my garden ... instead, I'm here again - complaining about the weather! So, of course I found myself buried in summer images to brighten my mood - and I thought that they might do the same for you. Enjoy the Summer catalog for the Norwegian company, Slettvoll: