Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Magazine House

A very dear blogging friend of mine, Deserae at Peeking Thru The Sunflowers, has had her lovely home featured in probably a dozen magazines, including the cover of the 2018 premier issue of Classic Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Midwest Living, The Best of Flea Market Style, Country Home, and Meredith Publication's Christmas Ideas magazines. Her blog, has also cataloged the evolution of the house, beautiful version after version of her decor, and the hard work that she and her husband Derek have put into this beautiful and storied home.

It was built as a school house in 1870, built from heavy timber and stone from nearby quarries. It was the first school in the town of Melvern, which sits in the north east corner of the state, not all that far from Kansas City. After the town had grown, and a railroad was laid next to the school, the building was abandoned. Then for a while, it was used by the town as a meeting place, a church, and finally was sold as a private home to a family with 10 children. The building became an inn in 1985, until Deserae and her husband bought the home as a restoration project.

It wasn't their first project house, and the couple set in to make this building that had been used to teach and feed and house and convene, into a private, quiet, and beautiful home. And that's exactly what they did.

A total of 43 photos accompany the listing - but here are a few of my favorite:

French stone house for sale in Kansas

living room white slipcovers and zebra hide rug french antiques and soft gray walls house for sale in melvern kansas

slipcovers with ballerina ties and botanical prints on the wall with deer antlers house for sale in Kansas Melvern Kansas

bedroom with buffalo check headboard house for sale in melvern kansas

dining room seagrass rug and white slipcovered ikea chairs with french bakers rack house for sale in melvern kansas

bedroom with white bedding and old door headboard house for sale in melvern kansas

white kitchen cabinets with granite counter tops and butcher block island house for sale in melvern kansas

kitchen bakers rack with ironstone and wicker french style kitchen design house for sale in melvern kansas

big red barn antique house for sale in melvern kansas

Oh yeah, and there's a large storage barn that was recently built near the house, perfect for storage, work shop, an antique business, retrofitting into an AirBNB, you name it - the possibilities are endless. Plus, who doesn't love a big red barn?

If you're interested in purchasing the home, contact Deserae through her blog, or the listing realtor. More information is also available in the listing here.




Friday, September 7, 2018

Dave DeMattei and Patrick Wade

While I'm sure that not many detectives read the blog, have you ever gone looking for something, and then you stumble upon something else? Something fascinating, and intriguing, and so much better than what you were originally looking for that you had to stop and shift directions? Surely I'm not the only one!?

A few weeks ago, I had come across a listing for a house in Los Angeles, next door to designer Mark D. Sikes. If you read the blog with any regularity, you know that I not so ashamedly blog about Mark, a lot. There are a few reasons, (1) I enjoy his work and find it very inspiring, and (2) everyone else is doing it, and I write a blog that requires readership of popular topics - so it's sorta hard not to. So, when I am inspired and I can help you find it and be inspired too, it's a win-win.

In finding the house though, I remembered an old podcast that I listened to where Mark was asked how he got his start in interior design, because until 2010, Mark had been working for the GAP brand. He shared that it was a neighbor, a contributing editor to House Beautiful, who he asked for a few garden suggestions who asked if he'd be interested in having his house featured in the magazine. Mark thought little of it, until of course, he landed on the cover. I wondered who this mysterious neighbor might be - Mark never gave a name, only saying "he" - and could it be that "he" was now selling his Hollywood Hills home?

What I found was quite a web of well published homes shared by Patrick Wade (the "he") and his partner Dave DeMattei spanning back a couple of decades. Now, first, you should know that Patrick Wade and Dave DeMattei are responsible for more than just getting Mark a foot in the door with House Beautiful. They developed the Williams-Sonoma Home line.

The first place, in San Francisco:




This was as originally decorated, in the early 90's and featured in Metropolitan Home magazine. Can you believe it? I mean, it's a beautiful room, but it's hard to believe that this was covered by Metropolitan Home who typically covered flashy modern spaces.

Then, there was a radical change at the house, the woodwork was painted white:










The couple called this their "forever home" having held onto it while the both of them moved to work together professionally in New York City for almost 20-years. These pictures show the living room in a soft and pretty gray blue. But it was also featured with different decor:





At the same time, they had a weekend retreat in Napa.











This house was essentially an elaborate staging studio for the lifestyle and furniture collection they were developing for Williams Sonoma Home. Nearly everything from this photoshoot falls away from the couple as they move onward. And onward they moved. Their lives shifted. They left their jobs with Williams-Sonoma to be the new creative team at Lucky Brand Jeans, and they sold the house in Napa and San Francisco and moved to a home they bought in the Hollywood Hills in December of 2009. Now, here's where things get interesting. In 2010, Mark's partner Michael left his job at Williams Sonoma and became Executive Vice President of Products at Lucky Brand Jeans. This made him not only neighbors but colleagues with David DeMattei.








The couple didn't live here long. Almost no time at all actually, a short two years. Just long enough to decorate it and put it back on the market for sale at a loss to "House" actress, Jennifer Morrison. Now, what I found interesting was the transition of stuff from house to house at this point. I looked through it all with a fine tooth comb, and found nearly nothing had moved from San Francisco or Napa to this house. I thought maybe I was wrong. Perhaps this wasn't their home - or -  they owned it but never really lived here. From all accounts, it appears that even they claimed that they moved directly from San Francisco to Beverly Hills. This house wasn't photographed as most all of the others were. I was perplexed. In fact, I nearly scrapped the whole idea until I found this:

Remember the beautiful bench under the window from the dining room of the house next door to Mark in the Hollywood Hills?


It shows up here, in a photo from their Beverly Hills house. That porcelain jardinere should also look familiar. It was used in their living room when in the Hollywood Hills. 

I believe that's even the same rug, now used in the foyer hall that was once used here, under the sofa. So I wasn't crazy. The internet wasn't wrong. They lived there, so why so hush hush? And why the sudden move? After they sold this house, they moved to another home they called "perfect" this time in Beverly Hills, and there were far more pieces reused from the San Francisco house here. 





The mirror had been used in San Francisco, along with the Burberry throw blanket:


Again when they lived in the Hollywood Hills, paired with the decorative box that you see on the coffee table in the Beverly Hills shot:


The corner of a sitting room, you can barely make out the Navajo rug, which was used in their kitchen in the Hollywood Hills:



And here, art that once hung in San Francisco, now gallery style in the same reading room.





The entry way in Beverly Hills was lovely, with it's painted hardwood floors and raffia wallpaper. The same wallpaper they used when they lived in San Francisco. Sculpture once used on the mantel in San Francisco is the focal point of the center table.




These artichoke finials were reused here, once in the dining room in the Hollywood Hills house. 


We talked about the bench, rug, and jardinere moved over from the Hollywood Hills. 


Their beautiful dining room in Beverly Hills, which include the chairs that had been around the table in the Hollywood Hills, now slipcovered in white:






That gorgeous Biedemeier chest looks gorgeous in the master bedroom, you probably remember it from the brown version of the San Francisco living room:



And a Beidemeier table once used in San Francisco looks great in the bedroom dressing room. 














The house was featured in Architectural Digest in 2013, and shortly thereafter in 2015, the couple listed the house for sale. The sale of the house boosted their bank account significantly, making about $2.8 million dollars on the sale. From here, the couple moved to this:


And shortly after it was decorated, it was featured in House Beautiful, and promptly put on the market. The house was an impressive seven stories. SEVEN!


From the Real Estate listing, the chandelier that had been in their Beverly Hills dining room hangs in the living room.

The stylish couple on the patio with their two dogs from the House Beautiful feature. 









During the period of time that they had this house, they also purchased a home in Palm Springs (2016). They then sold this house in April of 2018, but where did these habitual house hoppers hop? Back out to Napa Valley! St. Helena to be exact. They've been working their way through the new place, bit by bit, infusing it with their layered sensibility. So, thanks to Patrick's instagram, I am able to scoop whatever magazine may come next and show you how they're shaping up this new place.


The house is large, but not as large as their homes in Los Angeles, so the couple is downsizing, splitting their time between this home and another they own in Palm Springs.


When they bought the house, the entire first floor was tiled with these large quartz tiles. The couple ripped them out, replacing them with wide plank wood flooring throughout.


Before, a large hallway beyond the entry and living room, painted a neutral color.


Now, with the raffia wallpaper they've used in every home they've lived in in San Francisco, and custom cut seagrass. This marble pedestal table acts as a center foyer table. Closer to the entry, a hall table and gallery wall:


Here you can see the new floors, which span the entire first floor.


When they bought the house, the kitchen and adjoining breakfast room looked like this.


It's amazing what a little paint can do, right? The couple removed the upper cabinets, tiling the walls in roman brick subway tile from Pratt & Larson, Portland. The counters were replaced with super thick slabs of marble. The cabinets that were left got a few coats of glossy gray paint (Benjamin Moore, Iron Mountain) and voila, instant update.


The breakfast room looks onto the kitchen and into an adjoining library/television room. Before, a long rectangular table was placed at an angle.



In it's place, a large round table with slipcovered chairs, and a more modern light fixture.


Looking onto the breakfast room through the library.


Now with seagrass, and the raffia wallpaper. This is from Phillip Jeffries. More linen slipcovers and a black leather, tufted ottoman. They've done a little work on the outside, too!



As per usual with the couple I am sure of two things, (1) this will be beautiful - and lavishly layered - when they're done, and (2) they won't live here for long.

Hope you enjoyed this house hop around California. See you next week!