Friday, June 14, 2019

Kris Jenner's House Before and After

In February 2019, Architectural Digest had a cover feature on Kris Jenner, the "momager" probably responsible for the zeitgeist of reality television. The name Kardashian is now household, but has been high profile since the infamous Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman murders. Robert Kardashian was the best friend, and on the team of defense attorneys for football player O.J. Simpson. If you were older than 10, and lived in the United States, you knew about the O.J. Simpson case. It captured the attention of America due to the high profile O.J. Simpson had.

At the time of the trial, Robert and Kris had already separated, but as far as having the Kardashian name fronted in television history, I think we have to pay Robert that credit. It would be years after the O.J. Simpson trial, when Kris Jenner, then remarried (and since divorced) to Olympian transwoman Caitlyn Jenner brought the show "Keeping up the with Kardashians" to the E! Network in 2007. Now in season 16, the show has had critical reviews but still has some of the highest number of viewers of any reality show, ever. A success, no doubt.

So successful that it has secured a combined fortune for her children in excess of $1.5 Billion. BILLION! With all of that money the family has purchased some gorgeous California real estate, and hired some of the most notable in design to decorate. Kris recently purchased a newly built home in the exclusive enclave of Hidden Hills, Los Angeles. Hers and hers alone, the house needed to be a respite from her busy Hollywood life, so she enlisted the mother-son design team of Kathleen and Tommy Clements.

When I found the pictures of the house before the AD feature, I had to share the beautiful before and after. Ready? Let's do it!


After - from the AD Video

You can see that some changes have happened on the outside before we even go in. The stacked stone facade of the house has been painted gray. A large entry is flanked by a living room on the left and dining room on the right. 

Before - Dining Room

After From AD

So before, the dining room had been staged with two wine fridge units flanking a buffet. Something built in and custom that while functional - wasn't all that attractive. Now the niche has a large, long buffet with a clean front and very simple staging. Beyond gorgeous. 

Another view of the dining room.

After from the AD Video

Really love that they used a large round table in here. The room looks quite square. Square rooms = round tables. The credenza was a purchase from Ellen DeGeneres.

Here it is in the house that Ellen flipped in Santa Barbara, once decorated by John Saladino.

Before - Staged

After From AD

The mantel and fireplace surround are custom bronze. Curtains hang here to soften the hard lines of the all the metal. Again, love this and can totally see why Kris says she feels "zen" in the house. 
Before - Staged

After - Decorated by Clements Design

I love this. To soften the modern and contemporary lines of the architecture and furniture, Clements design uses thinly lined linen drapery on the large opening from the family room to the pool. The biggest change really comes in the fireplace wall. 

Before - Staged 

After From AD Video

Gone are the chandeliers, replaced by simple art lights that can be articulated. The fireplace is covered in soapstone and they've changed the box from the long horizontal feature it had been to more square. The television and soundbar are set into a recess in the stone, making it hardly noticeable. Shelves are now white and again curtains frame the doorway to soften the very horizontal lines of the room.

The kitchen. Again I want to point out here that the house is a new build, these images from the real estate listing are staged for sale, but everything in the house - from the floors to the drywall is new. So this kitchen had never EVER been used.

From AD. Kris and Clements Design kept the cabinets, but had them refaced in black, and an entirely new range hood was installed.

Before - Staged

The beam in the cathedral ceiling was painted the same white as the walls and ceilings. Curtains again used to soften those steel and glass windows.

Before - Staged

After from AD. Heavy black out drapery on the window with a valance makes the room pitch black when needed. Wish there were more photos of this space. 

Before - Staged

Navy overload, but gorgeous. Dark navy walls, navy carpet, navy sofa and ottomans - so chic! 

Now, if you're looking to pull this look off for less - join the club. Many of you know that I'm changing things in my own space, and I'm moving to a more neutral and modern mix. I've always loved modern art, and the mix of modern and traditional interiors are some of the ones that I find most beautiful in my collection of "favorite homes". 

So when I was digging around Amazon looking for pieces, I was REALLY looking. Looking for myself, and for you! I hope you'll find some lovely in the great finds below - check them out, and buy them if it suits your fancy! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Darryl Carter's Design Lab

I've long been a fan of Darryl Carter. His neutral rooms are showstopping, and his eye for blending the unique with the traditional is unerring. I have collected dozens of photos over the years of his personal home in DC, and a few days ago I thought it might be fun to put together a little design timeline - the evolution of his spaces - as close as I could get it.

First, a little about the house. Darryl bought it in 1999, although some sources say 1997. The house had been the chancery of the Omani sultanate, and even in 1999, Darryl got a great deal on the 4-story, 1914-era 6,000 square feet beaux arts front mansion paying only $493,000.00. Prior to Darryl purchasing the house, the Omani government used parts of the house as office space, covering the original floors in gray carpeting as far as the eyes can see, dropping the ceilings with acoustic-tile, and adding the seemingly requisite fluorescent light fixtures due an office setting. The partitions they installed were easy to remove, and the house needed little structural repair. 

I can't find any photos of the embassy interior prior to Darryl. I know that the house was designed by Waggaman & Clark, built by prominent DC Builders and Property Developers Sanner & Hill. In 1924, it was remodeled for Mrs. Frank Letts, socialite and widow of a Chicago millionaire whose brother lived in D.C. at the time. That's where the chain of custody ends, unfortunately. 

Living Room

The first publicly available photos of the DC rowhouse manse after Darryl moved in came in the Metropolitan Home feature of 2002, less than 3-years after he purchased the house. 

Later, in October of the same year, Town and Country did a feature on the Darryl and the new home. By this time, there were already a few changes: 

Granted, this is a different view, but here Darryl has added a pop of color with the antique Bukhara rug under the coffee table and Chinoiserie chest. 

In 2003, House Beautiful photographed the row house, giving an alternate view of the room: 

Noted changes from the 2002 features are the steel orb under the piano. Gone is the cream bench that was there in the Met Home article.

The next feature was 2009 in Elle Decor: 

So many changes! All of the furniture is new, apart from the piano. Beautiful modern art behind the piano is far more neutral than what had been there before. A Duncan Phyfe sofa and round table are juxtaposed with this modern coffee table creation of simple white gypsum-cement shapes. That Bukhara rug is gone, too. At this point, Carter has added the antique shutters and roman shades, pulling down the curtains that were installed when he first moved in. 

The opposite side of the living room. The sconces are different, and the mirror that had been above the fireplace moves in favor of this neutral figure drawing.

Later in 2009, 1st Dibs did a small collection of photos, including this one: 

Chairs and a table where the sofa had been previously was either clever staging for the story OR a sign of things to come. 

In 2010, this photo of Darryl's living room was shared on his facebook. The bergere chairs flank the old Chinoiserie chest that had been in the 2002 photos. Pillows are added to the sofa, and that round Duncan Phyfe table is nowhere to be seen. 

In 2015, Milieu Magazine sat down with Darryl, and the room looked a lot different. 

Darryl moved the piano, in favor of a French daybed with a tester canopy. A center table was placed in the room, and he added an iron chandelier where there had previously been no light.

By 2016, when One Kings Lane did their feature on Carter's house, the room also had a few changes:

French bergere chairs that had once flanked the fireplace are now opposite of a Chinoiserie devan. The modern coffee tables are still in place, assisted in bringing that feeling into the rest of the space through modern lamps and art, some of which is placed directly on the dark wood floors. 

A later feature in 2017 for Beautiful Southern Homes magazine. Then, in 2018, Washington Life Magazine did a feature on the house, showing even more changes to the living room: 


His brass sconces are gone, with low profile modern sconces taking their place. The cotton weave accent rug and white cocktail tables are gone, now replaced by a series of low black rectangular tables. The space tinges far more modern, including a very modern fireplace screen and additional modern art. 

Later, Veranda shot the room for their Christmas issue: 

You may remember that this marble and iron bench had been used in front of the daybed before. Modern art on the floor and hung from the ceiling. 

And the opposite side of the room in that 2018 Veranda Christmas article showing that the daybed still exists, a modern white table and a gilt French chair with white upholstery. Note the modern art on the ceiling on this side of the room as well. No one has featured the room since, and his instagram shows no further changes. But certainly over the last 20 years, the room has morphed from being very traditional, to somewhat transitional, to now almost entirely modern with a few key pieces of brilliant French antique furniture. 

Master Bedroom

Moving on to the bedroom, a room that seems to have also changed quite a bit: 

The 2002 article from Met Home shows the bedroom with a lot of traditional furniture and even traditional window treatments. 

The 2002 a zebra had been layered over the rug, furniture moved or changed, and the art replaced with an antique barometer.

In the 2009 Elle Decor feature, the room already starts to look more modern. The canopy bed is gone, a beautifully dressed bed sits in front of leather and nailhead upholstered door panels. 

The opposite side of the room showing the fireplace and Darryl's desk and French canopy chair. In the mirror there, you can see a portion of the left side of the room: 

A daybed and etching along that wall added additional lounge space. This photo was featured in his book, The Collected Home, published in 2012. Somewhere between 2012 and 2016 Darryl moved to a much more modern aesthetic throughout the house. I found that the two rooms that showcased that most were his living room (above) and the bedroom. The 2016 feature from One Kings Lane shows a much more modern approach:

By 2018, Washington Life shows the room with a few more changes. Carter had added panels to the bed, a mid-century globe light to the interior of the canopy, and different art. 


Remember the Veranda article for Christmas 2018? They featured the bedroom, too. This shows the furniture arrangement across from the bed, in front of the fireplace. The gypsum-concrete tables that were once in the living room have moved here. And we can see that the new sconces replace the tole shade sconces that were there before. This figure drawing was also in the living room at one point - I really like it here. 

February of this year, he shows this photo of his bedroom, a different arrangement on the table, and a lamp that had not been there in the Veranda photo. 

The Bathroom

One of the biggest changes in the house came to the bathroom. Darryl's original bathroom was a HUGE inspiration to so many. 

Here in the 2002 Met Home article that first featured the renovation, you can see something that just about everyone fell in love with, the tandem antique clawfoot tubs. How luxurious to have two? They had been saved from the remodel of the Russian Embassy in DC, and Carter installed them both in his master bath renovation on top of marble herringbone floors. 

Another photo showing the original vanity and mirror. By the time Elle Decor featured his home, he had changed out the big-box sink basin for a retro-fit antique piece, and had painted the doors and window shutters black.

Does that mirror look familiar? It had been over the fireplace in the 2002 photos, but Darryl smartly moved it here when he changed out the vanity, which in my opinion is far more beautiful. 

The tubs had their plumbing replaced with unlacquered brass, and the case piece was switched out for the beautiful antique secretary. I remember thinking how beautiful it was to have this opportunity, for antique furniture in the bathroom - all that lovely space. But, you already know that secretary is now next to his modern canopy bed in the master bedroom. So what does it look like now? 

In May 2016, House Beautiful featured the remodel: 

Here are a few more pictures from that feature: 

Floors are different, carrera marble in a brick laid pattern as featured in One Kings Lane. 

The 2018 Veranda Christmas issue showed us more: 

If you're having trouble figuring out the renovation, don't worry - you're not alone. Placing how this all changed isn't easy. The entire thing was a full overhaul, fireplace added. The area where the tubs were, is now closets, and the tub moved to the back of that room with french doors looking out over Rock Creek. 

So what do you think of the changes? Do you have an iteration that you like more than the other? I personally love the version featured in Milieu. I love that gorgeous daybed and the Chinoiserie devan. Wrap it up, I'll take them when you're done Darryl. 

If you're a fan, check out his site here. You can follow his instagram here. Or you can pick up one of his two books on Amazon here: 

And in the event you're looking to get some of the old or new Darryl Carter look for less in your own home, here are a few beautiful things I found: