Updating older california homes

The master bathroom is classic yet has a bit of attitude in its glossy finishes and beautiful chunky hardware.

The playroom is colorful and vibrant, yet not too juvenile.

Wider front steps, a curved walkway, and low-maintenance, drought-tolerant foundation plantings extend a warmer welcome to guests.

"I can't believe how much better the brick looks with these changes," says Marco.

The little girl's room is a bit over the top, of course, with a sense of humor.

The Blythe dolls are a nice contrast to the very serious but stunning 1940s Murano glass chandelier that I repurposed as hanging pendants. The flying books in the boy's room create a reading zone.

Web Site: Holleywood Lakeville, Connecticut This fabulous old estate on a lake was built in 1853 by the Governor of Connecticut.

Purists may flinch, but the Douglas fir was painted a glossy white to open up the space and create the ambiance of a summer cottage. The living room furniture is a mix of old and new: The coffee table is vintage capiz shell from House of Honey, the sofa and burl wood credenza are from Lawson-Fenning in Los Angeles, and armchairs upholstered in a whimsical pattern are from Anthropologie. The decorative pieces are all vintage; the X-base stools are custom. Pops of red and yellows throughout tie the home together like one complete thought, yet each rooms has its own personality. The kitchen now: reconfigured to be larger, better laid out, fresh and modern. The original oak floor was triple-bleached, leaving it not only lighter but warmer.Have you ever wondered what it's like to restore an old house? These folks have been kind enough to share their stories with the world.Welcome to our index of old house blogs and restoration stories. Casa Decrepit Alamdea, California Casa Decrepit - The restoration of the Italianate style home is simply amazing and the story reads better than any Reality TV Show.Cabinets were custom made, a modern version of Shaker style, and lacquered in Benjamin Moore decorator white.The built-in banquette feels true to the architecture yet contemporary thanks to the tufted upholstery and art, which changes regularly. We were fortunate to have enough remaining to fabricate the banquette table top.The big challenge, points out O'Leary, is the house's shoebox-like shape."Additions that modify its form will give it a lot more character," he says.The children's bathroom is an homage to seaside living with a playful vintage fiberglass flying marlin and wood-paneled walls.The master bedroom is intimate and warm, with layers of textiles and an over-sized pendant.Project: 1911 bungalow Interior designer: Tamara Kaye-Honey, House of Honey, South Pasadena. Blending the old with the new allowed the home to retain its history while the house was made more functional. The fireplace was faced with wood in a simple yet strong design.By moving walls, adding square footage, opening spaces and exaggerating architectural detail, the home flows better for a family on the go. The vintage Murano sconces and whimsical mirror soften the mood.

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