modern

White Christmas Style

There’s something magical about a white Christmas. Maybe it’s because I live in SoCal and the odds of having one are… well, zero. But, this year, I have been lusting after holiday decor that is primarily white. By that I’m not referring to the flocked trees we Californians are coerced into purchasing by opportunist lumberjacks at the local tree lot. Fun fact: flocked trees aren’t sold in other states because citizens of the snow need not see it in their living room all holiday season! So yes, for all you non-Californians, we are officially nuttier than fruitcake with our faux snow! I mean seriously, what the flock?

White goes with everything, obviously, which makes it an easy color choice. Christmas is always so traditionally red and green that for me, it’s a bit ho-hum and not enough ho-ho-ho. So in the spirit of white christmas style, here are some of my favorite living spaces from around the web that enliven the season in a new and inspiring way.

Cottage chic…
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The whites are fresh, chic and dreamy, and the vintage vibe makes this room one cozy retreat. Simple yet elegant without being fussy.

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Here is a similar white christmas dining scape that has rustic cottage style. This space has a very organic feel, using natural textures to bring the outside in while adding a subtle dose of metallic sparkle.

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And this kitchen is slightly more elegant, yet still rustic and organic with that cozy cottage vibe with the beamed ceilings and natural cabinetry.

Parisian penthouse…

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If your style is a bit more romantic and antique chic, then this tablescape is sure to delight! I love that they used ivy as garland and really let the grandeur of the space speak for itself. Beautiful!

Modern farmhouse…

Farmhouse Christmas style

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Venturing into a completely different look is this modern farmhouse Christmas. It’s still mostly white with traditional brick fireplace, yet those pops of red make it look clean yet rich. The pillows feel a bit Scandianvian in design, and I love the large pom pom fringe. And ohhh, those white paper trees on the mantel, soooo purdy!

And speaking of Scandinavian, well, it wouldn’t be a white Christmas without these lovely contributions…

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I don’t think I’ve made a paper chain since I was a kid, but what a welcome way to bring on the Christmas count down!Scandinavian-Christmas-Decorating-Ideas-01-1-Kindesign

I love the use of sheepskin as chair covers here.  It adds coziness to the otherwise minimalist vibe that is oh-so Nordic.

Modern Minimalist

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Dreamy dangling white prisms, aka, modern snowflakes!
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Boho-ho anyone?

Scandinavian Bohemian White Christmas

With a slightly more bohemian flair, this room adds a healthy dose of free spirited color against the white walls and flooring.

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I love this twig tree! It nearly looks like driftwood, which would be a great addition to a coastal christmas home. This one is still bohemian with almost a modern cabin flair. Which brings me to….

Modern Cabin…

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Now this is an A-frame I could live in while soaking up all that winter white.

And finally, some transitional takes on Christmas for you, chock full of mid century influences… my fave!

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How about these gold prism ornaments made out of pipe cleaners? Get the clever and easy DIY tutorial for them, here.

I’m loving the white, black and gold glam Emily Henderson recently posted for TargetStyle. And that magical touch of teal really livens up the space. Just enough glitz and glow and still feels like coming home for christmas.

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….And may all your Christmases be white….

xo,

Emily

 

House Demos- from dud to stud

If you’ve ever considered doing a major home remodel (since I happen to be in the middle of two house demos with clients), I thought I would share some helpful tips. There is a lot of excitement, anxiety, decision making and cash-flow that goes into these projects so you must be brave, a little adventurous and up for the challenge. What do they say- dreams don’t work unless you do, right? Fortunately for my clients, as a designer I help make homeowner dreams a reality and I’m always up for reworking a design dilemma! So let’s strip things down to the studs as we take a look at two very different home projects I am currently managing for my clients.

With any major home demo, once the sledgehammer goes through the wall, and your home is no longer the old version of itself, it can feel really overwhelming and daunting, in both positive and negative ways. Yes, the home you once knew is no more, but the memories will still be there as you create a space reimagined with possibility. I love this part of the process, because you get a chance to see what’s underneath it all and address much needed updates that will absolutely benefit the way you live in your new space. Major demo and remodeling allows you to update wiring, HVAC systems, lighting, plumbing, A/V and so on. Not to mention all of the surface finishes throughout. These updates of course are both labor intensive and costly so if you’re considering a full-scale remodel, you need to keep a few things in mind. For one, it helps if the home has good bones and you are satisfied overall with it’s layout. Also, consider property value in your area if you think you may not stay in your home long enough to recoup your investment. Maybe you love the neighborhood or the schools? If you plan to stay in your home but it’s not meeting your current needs, this is where demo will benefit you most.

PROJECT #1: TRADITIONAL RANCH

BEFORE

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AFTER

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This traditional ranch home nestled in the San Fernando Valley is being redesigned into an elegant, family friendly space with a slightly bohemian vibe; more details on the style can be found here. My clients are a family of 5, three of them being boys under the age of 10. The current home is roughly 3,000 sq ft and we are adding 500 sq ft to accommodate a new home office and bath. They are also cooking enthusiasts so a state of the art kitchen is a must, as well as a bigger laundry to keep up with the wear and tear of boys! Overall, the goal of the remodel is to create a more family friendly and entertaining space for company, while also adding square footage to meet the needs of  a home office. Since the homeowners are going for this nouveau elegant meets bohemian aesthetic, this is where I am really harnessing my creative resources! I think it’s coming together nicely. Take a looksy… emily-lamarque-design-studio-bohemian-elegance-concept-board

PROJECT #2: HISTORIC SPANISH COLONIAL

BEFORE

(First Floor)

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(Second Floor)

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AFTER

(First Floor)

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(Second Floor)

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Built in 1922, this spanish colonial home is located in a historic section of Pasadena. More details on this home can be found from my other post, here. It is over 4,000 sq ft and since it was built in the 1920’s, it is in desperate need of a major overhaul. However, since it is in a historic neighborhood, the façade must retain it’s original integrity. This is a major challenge, particularly when the owners have a modern aesthetic and we are working with a Spanish colonial home! So I’m developing a modern Spanish style design, and I’m very excited to see this one evolve since it is definitely pushing the creative limits.

Here is my inspirational concept board for the home. It is still evolving, but this has been my jumping off point of color palettes, fabrics and finishes to start…

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What interests me most about this home is how it becomes a historic viewfinder into the way people lived in the past. Originally, the kitchen was completely cut off from the living and dining areas. It was opened up to the dining sometime during the 70’s or 80’s, which is evident from a few aluminum windows and other telltale signs. Nowadays the kitchen functions as a central hub for gathering and entertaining. It is safe to say that with a home like this, complete with maid’s quarters, the original owners weren’t doing the cooking. Rather, they were entertaining in the formal living room where families used to congregate. Interesting how times have changed! In other older home formalities, this home has a porte cochère and a detached garage. It truly makes me wonder if it was utilized for a horse and carriage!

Lastly, in other surprising news to us, yet typical for this design period, there is no designated master. The four bedrooms upstairs share two barely functional bathrooms (gasp!). The bathrooms are tiny, with zero storage. Back then it was all about the vanity area and getting ready, but home spa retreat? Not so much. Thank goodness we are updating this home with the times! We will be reconfiguring the bedrooms to function as three full-size masters in the home with ensuite baths, while the downstairs maid’s quarters will function as a playroom for the grandchildren. This will also have a full-size luxurious bathroom, so this room could easily convert to a downstairs master as well. We will also be adding an elevator for added convenience. For outdoor entertainment, we will be redesigning the pool, adding a jacuzzi as well as a pool bathroom.

Here are some visuals of how I think this property can fully transform into a modern Spanish hacienda…

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Architectural trees and plantings, still very modern and Spanish combined.

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I love this fountain, the potted small citrus trees, the ironwork on the gate and the smooth white plaster finish on the chimney and walls.

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I love these homes that are Spanish but still feel very modern and architectural.

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This is interior, but still in the vibe and VERY pretty. Look at the top detail in the niches.

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Rows of olive trees, drought tolerant shrubs and succulents… so very spanish in landscape style, yet can also lend themselves to a modern feel.

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An incredible lavender color palette…

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This one is a little modern, but still would work beautifully.

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As you can see, there is a lot of attention to detail when it comes to home remodeling! It is truly wonderful when you have the luxury of time to plan your design and make design decisions before you get too deep into the construction process. But fear not, working with a designer eases you through the process to make sure the details are not overlooked, that your vision for the space is properly executed and that any issues that arise are resolved. My goal is to work together to make sure you love your living space, and yes, from time to time, I also serve as a design therapist, a hand holder of sorts, reassuring clients that “it will all look incredible when it’s complete”. That’s my job, and I love what I do! Stay with me and see how these two projects unfold.

xo,

Emily

Newport Beach Condo on the Market

So, here is some serious scoop that deserves some dishing…I just found out yesterday that one of my very first interior design projects is officially on the market. The high-rise condo on Lido Island in Newport Beach that I gutted and remodeled for one of my very first clients will be going to a new, and hopefully loving, appreciative owner.

Seeing the real estate listing is a little bittersweet for me. As a designer, I poured blood, sweat, and tears into that project. The full remodel took roughly 2 years. I did all of the cad drawings, obtained permits from the city of Newport Beach, planned, planned, and did more planning to make that 2000 square feet the most elegant, efficient, and luxurious space.

Every aspect of this home, right down to the smallest details was executed with the utmost care. For instance, the layout sizes and dimensions of the tile and grout lines were carefully calculated prior to installation so that the wall tiles throughout could be installed without the tile having any cuts.  CRAZY right? This kind of painstaking detail is almost unheard of these days. The contractors that I worked with on that job were truly the BEST artisans and craftsmen, and I look forward to working with them again. It is truly one of a kind, and I know my clients have thoroughly enjoyed it there. I’m thrilled!

Let’s rewind the clock and see how this transformation happened…

The BEFORES

This place was a not so groovy 70’s abode frozen in time. It featured a sunken living room, floor to ceiling mirrors and glossy white floor tiles. The floors were so slick, they would have been the perfect slip and slide for adventurers seeking a neck break… I’m not even kidding. “Slippery floors, what a novel idea,” said no one, ever.

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Fabulous views out all of the windows to the harbor made this place worth the investment. Cha-ching.emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-living-1emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-living

Behind that wall was a very, very dated kitchen. We took out the wall and opened that room right up. emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-dining

The theater lighting on the ceiling says it all. Cue the circus music….emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-kitchen

I do have to admit that the disco child in me digs this groovy wallpaper a little bit. Not so much the rest of the bath.emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-powder

Nothing says luxury like wall-to-wall carpeting that pours into your master bath which comes complete with a sauna, but no shower…. nada. Which leaves me wondering that the homeowners must have liked to sweat and not rinse?? Ok I digress…. emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-master-bedroomemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-master-bedroom-viewemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-master-bath

There she is, the beloved sauna! I love a good shvitz as much as the next girl, but not in place of a shower. emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-master-bath-saunaemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-guest-2 emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-guest-1

And the guest bedroom and bath. Nothin’ too special goin’ on here, except the view! Bay and boats for days. emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-before-guest-bath

PS, is the wallpaper sea urchins or deranged chrysanthemums? I dunno, but it’s as good as gone!

The AFTERS

This is my favorite part (what, you thought I was going to say “watching the paint dry”?). This is the reward that you can literally SEE and TOUCH after all that painstaking work! Check it.

The entry, complete with a swanked out bar is perfect for entertaining. Those are actual amethyst gems twinkling on these incredible pendants by Fuse Lighting. The pictures can’t possibly do them justice.  And the chiseled limestone feature wall is absolutely stunning in person.

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The new living room. No more sunken life-threatening hole here. I loved designing the entertainment cabinet. One of my favorite ways to do cabinets, bars, and bookcases – the doors slide outwards to cover the bookshelves perfectly and reveal the inside space.

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Can I just tell you how much I LOVE Holly Hunt furnishings?!? Tailored, refined, chic, elegant, with the most striking lines and structure. Drool…emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-living

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Fabulous Tracery rug by Kelly Wearstler via The Rug Company, one of my fave go-to rug sources.emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-kitchenemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-kitchenemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-kitchenSemi-precious concetto countertops by Caesarstone are INCREDIBLE. Total splurge, but hey, they don’t stain!

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Exotic sapele wood floors compliment the wenge throughout…emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-powder-glass-wallsemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-powder-room

Gorgeous glass and limestone tile on all the walls. Faucet is by THG, one of my absolute FAVE plumbing fixture companies. THG is jewelry for your bath. You can’t go wrong.emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-door-hardware

Stainless steel contemporary door hardware. Mmmm.emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-master-bedroomemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-master-bedroom

Velvet, mohair, silk in the master bedroom. Need I say more? Total luxury.emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-master-bathroom

This is one of my favorite two bathrooms I have ever done. It’s not huge but it’s perfect. The calcatta floor was cut from slabs that were each chosen individually. And the best part – the shower has no curb so the bathroom looks even bigger. No wait, the best part is that there IS a shower! At long last!emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-master-bath-vanity

Crystals dress up the bath…emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-master-bath-vanityemily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-master-bath-vanity And let’s not leave out my other favorite plumbing fixture company – Dornbracht. Love, love, love. The epitome of the ultra-modern faucet.

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The elegant master closet…emily-lamarque-design-studio-lido-island-newport-beach-after-guest

And finally, the cozy guest bedroom.

I hope you dug this little look-back as much as I did. And the coolest part is that you can now enjoy it yourself for the asking price of …

What? You thought I was gonna give it away? Hardly! But you can see for yourself at www.601lidoparkdrive5e.com. Take a looksy!

xo,

Emily

Beach Photography

It wouldn’t be a Friday if this Cali girl didn’t have beach on the brain! Maybe you’re lucky enough to be hitting the sand this weekend, but if not, today I’m talking about beautiful beach photography that is sure to take you there in spirit.

When I first discovered iconic photographer, Massimo Vitali, I knew I was completely smitten with beach photography. Growing up in Southern California, spending long days at the beach from sunup until sundown, I can literally close my eyes and feel a day on the beach. These nostalgic photographs pull you in and make you smell the salt air and feel the sun on your skin. They’re all about color, shape, form, and repetition in the visual sense and all about getting blissed out during the summer.

Here’s a round up of some breathtaking beach scenes. Invite these images onto your walls and they will literally become a portal to the pacific!

Massimo Vitali, where it all started for moi…

 

 

 

American photographer, Slim Aarons, who made beach and pool photography iconic…Can’t you just taste the glamour?slim aaron | Tumblr

Slim Aarons

 

 

Beautiful beachscapes from Chicago photographer, Judith Gigliottioverhead water series #16 judith gigliotti beach rock ocean swimmers photograph

judith gigliotti beach umbrellas photograph

judith gigliotti beach umbrellas photograph

 

The latest man to hit the sand, rising star, Gray Malin, who is making beach photography a household staple these days…

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And my new favorite, favorite, favorite Cheryl Maeder…I love the ethereal quality of her photographs. I SO want one!
Francesca Ritchey California Dreamin

 

Cheryl Maeder

Cheryl Maeder Dreamscapes La Mer III

Cheryl Maeder SeaI’m digging a day in the sand and a dip in the ocean, aren’t you? Let the memory making begin!

xo,

Emily

 

Defining a style: Bohemian Elegance

One of the main questions that is often asked in interior design is “what’s your style?” It is practically an industry pick up line! We love defining style so much there are even quizzes on the subject. You may have heard of modern, traditional and contemporary before, but you may have no idea what that means and you may not necessarily conform to any one of those standards. After all, your individual style is both unique and subjective. So when my client came to me with multiple style preferences, we decided that her unique style should be called Bohemian Elegance.

I have been working with my client for two years and counting on her home remodel. We have redesigned the bedrooms and added on a new master bath…. more on that later.  Now, we are in the stages of finalizing the plans and designs for a new kitchen, laundry/mud room, family room, game room, play room, office, and guest bathroom. It’s been more of a Phase I and Phase II remodel, and they have even welcomed their third son to the family in the process!

What I particularly love about working with my client is that she is very specific about what she needs and what she needs to avoid. What flies and what doesn’t. But, she is conflicted between her styles. On one hand, she appreciates elegant, refined, modern, clean-lined, chic beauty, yet also appeals to natural, rustic, earthy, grounded, hippy, bohemian, spiritual bungalow style. Two very contrasting concepts! A challenge? Yes! But a very exciting and worthy one.

….And on this day, we give birth to a new style…

… She shall be sharp yet soft, classy yet casual, clean lined yet cozy, she shall be pencil skirted on the weekdays and fringey on the weekends…

…And we shall call her Bohemian Elegance!

Here are some BEFORE Pics for you. A little taste of our jumping off point…emily-lamarque-northridge-entry emily-lamarque-northridge-livingemily-lamarque-northridge-dining-1 emily-lamarque-northridge-family-1emily-lamarque-northridge-family emily-lamarque-northridge-kitchen emily-lamarque-northridge-office emily-lamarque-northridge-office-bath

And here are some inspiration pics that we have been gathering that range in style…

grey toned kitcheneclectic kitchen by Venegas and Company

 

bright + balanced

 

 

white black gray game room

 

Bathroom. Incredible bathroom with gray herringbone tiled. #Bathroom #Herringbonehorizontal marble stripes

like the window seat with storage underneath

kids built in desk workstation with pencil drawers

Amazing tree house

must be heavenly to lounge in this Balinese style gazebo...

And last but certainly not least is the style board I’ve put together so you can see what’s to come!  If you’re craving more of this design style, please visit my Design Dish board on Pinterest.

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As a designer, working with clients is so personal and individualized because every client is unique and has their own style, personality, and way that they live. Tailoring an interior to a client’s specific lifestyle is such a crucial part of the process because that is where the project transforms into something AMAZING – something creative, well-thought, and detailed. Not your cookie-cutter, tract home, contractor-special house flip. It’s the details that define. It’s inspired, yet original, just like you!

xo,

Emily