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This was a wonderful project to work on! Not only was this project for a dear friend and fellow designer, Lisa Woolley, but this home had so many unique and charming elements that it really made the project an exciting one to do. Built in 1940, the home was originally designed as the “mother-in-law” home to the house next-door. Initially, the house had two entrances, one on either side of the home. A main design goal was to direct guests to the now principal entrance which was through the courtyard to the left. When I first saw the home, it really seemed to have an Old World charm about it so I decided to continue the theme. I used a lot of shrubs that could be shaped into conical and rounded shapes as the garden matured and chose shutters that were reminiscent of a home in the European countryside.

Before

Before

After

Above, some of the main elements that I wanted to incorporate into this project. I wanted a beautiful and strong trim color, so we went with ‘Iron Mountain’ by Benjamin Moore. I also wanted to use a rose shrub, in the front entrance, and went with a shrub called ‘Belinda’s Dream’. Not only does this shrub have wonderful blooms, but I thought is would look elegant as it cascaded over the nicely trimmed boxwood border.  I also kept many of the original boxwood for their sculptural shape and just trimmed them a bit. Lastly, I wanted to incorporate one of my favorite elements, lighting.

Above, a before photo of the courtyard. After removing the shrubs, I noticed a nook that would be a wonderful place for a seating area. I thought it would be perfect place for my client to enjoy a cup of coffee while watching her kids play.

After

Above, a before shot of the right side of the home with some wishes from my client.

After

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Wednesday! Today, I’m sharing a kitchen renovation I did in Austin, Texas. Originally, this part of the home consisted of three rooms — a play room, the kitchen and the dining area. By removing all the walls, we opened up the entire space allowing for the perfect open floor plan for an active family that loves to entertain. Photography: Madeline Harper

Below, a before shot of one of the walls we removed between the living room and the kitchen.

Before

After

Below, a shot of the original kitchen and dining area.

Before

After

Above, a shot of the space gutted and walls coming down.

After

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year! I’m a little behind with this post but I wanted to wish you all a very happy & prosperous New Year! This past year I was blessed to work with wonderful clients who supported and entrusted me with their homes and businesses! Thank you so much!

SHANNON AHERN DESIGN 2019: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Pilates Studio in Studio City

Click here to see more.

South Bay Home

One of my favorite parts about this project was renovating the back studio (photo below). Click here to see more on this project.

Glendale Cottage

Click here to see more.

A little more design work at one of my favorites in Austin

Click here to see more.

Favorite Blog Post… Garden Party in San Antonio

I had so much fun hosting this garden party with my dear friend and fellow designer Lisa Woolley!

This coming month, I’ll be sharing a couple of new projects with you — a kitchen in Austin and an exterior project in San Antonio. Looking forward to a great year!

Wishing you all the best for 2020!

~ Shannon

HOMEMADE PESTO

Happy Sunday! Today, I’m making homemade pesto because as the holidays get busier, it’s something I can grab from the fridge and easily put together. Add to your favorite pasta and you have a wonderful homemade meal in minutes. The recipe, so super simple, is below.

I also love using pesto with Caprese salad. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top for more moisture. Also, excellent on sandwiches.

THE RECIPE 

3 cups (packed) basil leaves

4 gloves garlic

1/4c pine nuts

1/4c walnuts

1c parmesan cheese

1/2c olive oil + a little more

salt

I just throw it all in a food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency I like. This recipe serves four.

Enjoy!

HOLIDAY TABLE 101

I absolutely love the holidays, and today I’m sharing how to put together a very easy and elegant holiday table. First, I throw out all the rules. If you don’t want to get bogged down with the formalities keep reading. This is the perfect foundation table for any occasion. You can make it more or less formal. It’s totally up to you. Below are my basics.

START WITH THE PLACE SETTING

Very basic for some, table setting 101 includes placemat, plate, napkin, done.

placemat // plate // napkin

 For a more formal look, you can add a beautiful tablecloth, formal charger and napkin ring.

THE CENTERPIECE

Candles are the best way to bring elegance to the table. For this table setting, I kept it extremely simple. I purchased a wreath at World Market, and added three pillars in various sizes in the center. The addition of a charger underneath helps protect the table from dripping wax.

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A COUPLE MORE IDEAS…

From this table setting you can add more or less. More candles, more vases with flowers or greenery. For Christmas, I like to add a fresh sprig of holly or juniper to each napkin. If I don’t have time to go out and purchase, I just take clippings from my Christmas tree.

If you are more of a “rules follower,” here’s a diagram from Wayfair just for you.

Most important, have fun & enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Who doesn’t love a good cheese board for the holidays? Below are simple steps to a super easy cheese board that’s perfect for any day of the year.

The finished product

 I found most of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s

What you need for this simple cheese board

  • Any shape wooden cutting board
  • 3 white cheeses, like Brie, Camembert & Manchego
  • Blackberries or figs
  • A honeycomb (World Market has some beautiful ones, as well as Whole Foods)
  • Nuts (My favorite — Trader Joe’s Marcona almonds)
  • Crackers (I like to use a simple cracker like Carr’s water crackers)

*Anything will work in place of my recommendations, these are just easy to find items.

First things first, pour yourself a glass of wine

A simple way to assemble — honeycomb in the middle, cheeses around the honeycomb and berries and/or figs to fill in the gaps.

I served this board with a Rosé but you can serve it with a Chardonnay or whatever you fancy.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

FALL GARDEN PARTY

Last week my good friend and fellow designer, Lisa Woolley, and I hosted a garden party in the courtyard of her San Antonio home. We had just completed the exterior of her home and thought there’s no better way to celebrate than to host an intimate get-together in her newly designed garden.

With the holidays around the corner, the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing super easy tips for decorating and entertaining during the season.

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