Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Million Dollar Decorating Dreams: Mark D. Sikes Before and After

You ever wish you could throw caution to the wind, spend your life savings on decorating your surroundings so lushly that you could literally throw the doors open to any magazine at anytime for a front page feature spread? Yeah - I figured I was the only one.

Mark D. Sikes with H.R.H Lily in their L.A. Garden
 
I'm sure you're all familiar with Mark D. Sikes, the blogger and interior designer from Southern California whose blog and home have been featured in House Beautiful, and most recently Veranda, not to mention the countless blogs who have found inspiration in his beautiful work. I even did an interview with Mark on this very blog.

I've said a million times that if I had the opportunity to choose a new house, something different from the cottage I call CDLV, it would have a totally different look, and I thought that look would be what we all knew to be Mark's house from the feature spread done in House Beautiful. That was until his house, newly decorated, was featured in Veranda's July/August 2014 issue and I fell in love all over again!

No body likes a before and after more than me, except maybe you - so, why don't we take a look?

 
BEFORE


AFTER
Mark D. Sikes - Veranda July/August 2014
 
In the newly decorated living room Mark has kept the same neutral palette, accessorizing with his blue and white and abstract art, chinoiserie, boxes, and collection of coral tucked neatly in the fireplace.
 
In the video still, you can see a better view of the changes from the same angle, although the quality is not as nice as the photo above:
 

 
Gone are the curtains, rattan chairs, Chinese coffee table, zebra hide rug, and upholstered sofa. Mark brought in a new rug, still layered over his boucle jute, two English roll arm chairs covered in Quadrille fabrics, and switched out the large upholstered sofa for this beautiful settee that once sat in his dining room.

BEFORE

AFTER
 

Mark switched out his beautiful gilded rococo style marble top table for this octagonal table with a custom skirt ala Tom Scheerer, and flanked it with custom upholstered settees. Above the settees are beautiful Gracie screens.

There aren't a lot of "after" photos from Veranda, but keep this photo in mind, and take a look at this:

BEFORE

AFTER
 
As you can see, the mirrors are gone, Gracie screens in their place, and the beautiful gilded table also gone, now in the dining room. Curtains are gone from all of the windows and doors. Mark's house is sheltered from public view by both the lush green garden wall of ficus and climbing fig, and its hilltop construction. So, I gather that the curtains aren't needed for privacy. Plus, with the beautiful curved architecture of the ceiling and windows/doors, they aren't needed to soften the hard lines. As much as I love curtains, (and you know I do!) I actually think taking them out of this room was a brilliant move on Mark's part.
 
Another room that I loved in Mark's house was his dining room, clad in Gracie wallpaper.
 
BEFORE
 
 
Notice the settee in the niche under the mirror - now moved to the living room in lieu of the larger upholstered piece.
 
 
AFTER
 
 
Quite the difference, right? Mark went from traditional formal dining room, to sexy multi-purpose library. I know everyone who follows his instagram account was vying for that Gracie wallpaper the day he posted that it was coming down! The beautiful gilded rococo console table and books moved to where the settee once was, and the chairs were reupholstered in this spectacular hermes orange leather.
 
Gone are the cream curtains, crystal basket chandelier, and neutral natural fiber rug. When Mark decided to go sexy lounge, he went there. Antiqued mirrors take the place of his once coveted Gracie wallpaper, animal prints replace the neutrals, and the chandelier, though still crystal went from prim and proper to fiercely seductive.
 
 
BEFORE
 


 
The entry left corner of the dining room once had this beautiful collection of coral and blue and white porcelain atop a Chinese console.
 
 
 
Mark's collection of abstract art hangs along the mirrored walls, and books clutter the surface of the table top. A ledge was added to the existing moulding so that art can lean, rather than hang, and I assume be switched out as the mood strikes.
 
I loved Mark's previous dining room. The pairing of that stunning hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper with the taupe buffalo check on the chairs was and is my most favorite combination to date. But the sensuality of this room is provocative, and while they couldn't be more different, I love them both.
 
Another one of my favorite rooms in Mark's house, isn't a room at all. It's the back terrace. Adjacent to the kitchen/family room and the living room, this little brick alcove is an extension of their living space and is certainly as well appointed.
 
BEFORE
 
AFTER

 
Not a lot of change here. The gardens have grown in a bit, and the fig has started to creep even further along the stucco façade. Mark still has the same furniture, now just sporting the sky blue cushions, and his collection of blue and white porcelain still dots the brick patio. How many of you wouldn't mind an impromptu cocktail here?
 
Going back inside, but before heading upstairs, Mark did make a change in the foyer:
 
BEFORE
 
AFTER
 
The lantern was replaced in favor of this alabaster globe fixture. I think that it more appropriately ties the new look of the dining room to the living room. Though, that lantern was fabulous. As an aside, I wonder what Mark did with his cast off's? Does he have a friend who gets first dibs? Does he save them for a client? Is there a lucky assistant or contractor who cleans up at the end of the day? Or would it just be your lucky day, if you happened to be a garbage picker in West Hollywood?
 
Moving upstairs ... I was in love with Mark's black guest room. I thought it was a wonderful study in contrast and how to make it appear effortless.
 
BEFORE
 
AFTER
 
 
Can anyone say, Night and Day!? The walls are now upholstered with this gorgeous tree of life fabric, and the Hickory Chair bed loses it's slipcover in favor of new ticking upholstery. The chaise moves downstairs to the living room, and the zebra hide moves up here, now grounding a new seating arrangement of two chairs with ottomans. Mark often uses the hashtag, "blueandwhiteforever" with his instagram photos, and it's clear to see that no matter what changes he makes to his house, blue and white will always be found.
 


While I loved the black room, this room has now become my new favorite room of all time. This room is the exact vision I had of a collaboration between Mark D. Sikes and Charlotte Moss. It's classic, decadent, and comfortable all at the same time.
 
The additional guest room also got a bit of a make over.
 
BEFORE
 
This room is where Mark keeps his collection of shelter magazines that spans nearly 20-years. Before, the room was welcoming with a library feel due in large part to the round table centered in the room.
 
AFTER

 
Now it feels like a tented resort room on the lower Zambezi, am I right? The daybed is reupholstered in the same fabric that clads the ceiling and walls. Chairs that once lived in the living room are now thoughtfully placed against the custom shelving, which has also become the perfect place to showcase more of his beautiful collection of abstract art and photography.
 
The master bedroom is actually what spurred the whole remodel of Mark's house. The need for a larger space, bigger closets created the domino effect that landed the very talented designer in Veranda.
 
BEFORE

 
Both this room, and the guest bedroom now draped in tree of life fabric have balconies and views to the garden beyond.
 
 
The room certainly was a nice size before the renovation. And was beautiful decorated in a wash of grays and blues that felt almost resort like.
 
AFTER
 
Walls are now covered in Gracie wallpaper, something that Mark knew he had to have, and actually spurred the change in the dining room.
 
 
 
What I love most about the change at Mark's house was his clever reuse of the items that he already had. Some things just needed a different location, like this mirror that used to hang in the living room, others needed new upholstery, like the dining room chairs. While there were significant changes to the rooms, the integrity of this designer and his unique but clear vision stayed firmly intact, because he went with what he loved! Proof positive that if you buy what you love, and you invest in the classics, your interiors can stand the test of time.
 
Now, I'm off to play the lottery so I can offer Mark a substantial check to move out and leave everything behind! 
 
To read Mark's story on his Veranda feature, check out his blog post here. To see the video tour of his home on Veranda.com, click here. To join him on instagram, you can follow him here, and for even more photos of their house and garden, you can follow H.R.H. Lily on instagram here.

 



7 comments:

  1. Nice. Even very nice. Perhaps even gorgeous. But I can't get over the wastefulness of it. It seems quite inorganic and as Mr Syke's style is one based on Bunny Williams and Michael S. Smith and their emphasis on collected classicism it's slightly odd that he'd overhaul a home in this way (indicating more of a trendiness than a "style" than I think he would like to admit to). Anyway, it's all lovely. Especially love his garden.

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  2. Thank you for the tour of his home before and after....such a treat for the eye! The two designs are FABULOUS! I loved the first design of his home and adore what he has been able to do with the second....bravo! Best blog I have read in a very long time!!! The story behind the story...such fun!

    Judy

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  3. I think You are a sweetie ! If I win the lottery, I will make Mark an offer on your behalf ;)

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  4. Artie
    you covered this story with jonie precision. I love both incarnations. Mark has wonderful style and apparently oodlesbof money to go along with it. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

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  5. Right on the mark Artie! (Compliment pun intended ... ☺) Very well written and enjoyed the tour immensely. (Thank you)
    With that said, in all honesty I prefer the original black guest room as IMHO I feel the new décor is way too over the top in busyness. -Brenda-

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  6. Very Nice tour of this Home...thanks for reaching us here

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