Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Moore’

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.




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.


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


Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Read Full Post »

 Designing exteriors is one of my favorite things to do and when I get the opportunity to design an exterior, my first step is to determine the overall style. Once this decision is made, it really sets the tone for the rest of the project — including the landscaping and what happens on the interior. A couple of days ago I received a project in Santa Clarita, a city just north of Los Angeles, and below are several style options that I’m considering. Which is your favorite?


via Daniel C. Cuevas Interior Design



A simple, yet elegant, approach for an exterior — with beautiful light fixtures and a couple of potted plants, this may be the winner.

In a couple of weeks I’ll post the winner plus the before + after photos. Happy Wednesday!

~ Shannon

Read Full Post »


There is something mysterious about a dark exterior, even a bit intriguing. With a dark exterior, colors become more bold — whites become whiter and greens greener, as with the green hydrangeas above & in the chartreuse shutters below. It does take a lot of gumption to actually pull it off and there is a chance you could pick the wrong color! However, if you do feel like giving it a try, I have listed a couple of my favorites towards the end of the post. Start out with painting a couple of samples on your wall and then take a couple of days to soak it all in. If you love the look but can’t go completely dark, pair your dark exterior with a bright white trim which gives it an amazing contrast.




unnamed bee5dd507b8a


  1. Soot by Benjamin Moore
  2. Novelty Navy by Dunn Edwards
  3. Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore
  4. Deepest Sea by Dunn Edwards


Above, a sweet little cottage I rehabbed several years ago in Texas. I painted it ‘Soot’ by Benjamin Moore.


Another shot of  the color of the cottage


 If painting a whole exterior is a bit overwhelming for you but you’re really craving change, try it in one room first, as in the photo above. Next week I’m back in Texas, working on several projects and hopefully making it out to the very popular, Round Top Flea Market. Check back for a post from Round Top.

Happy Friday!




Read Full Post »

For the last two years I’ve been lucky enough to work with a landlord on fixer uppers. He purchases distressed homes, rehabs them and adds them to his rental portfolio. My job is to create a design plan that updates each property by selecting low costs materials that look great and will work in a competitive rental market.

thumb_DSC00163_1024 2

Above, the sign that hangs over the garage, “La Casita” is a ranch style cottage that sits near the original Jane Russell ranch, “La Posada”, in North Hollywood. The house already had some great character with its shiplap paneling, ranch style doors and vintage hardware.


Kitchen, Before

However, when we got our hands on it, it had fallen into true disrepair, as you can see in the photo above. It had dark wallpaper, layers of nicotine on the walls and was your basic “fixer upper”. The kitchen was very tiny and felt even smaller with the dark wallpaper and minimal lighting. By opening up the “L” shaped countertop (in foreground) and relocating the oven area (on the right), we were able to make the space feel a lot bigger without gutting the entire kitchen.


Kitchen, After

Next, we removed the dark wallpaper, added some lighting and painted the cabinets, walls and ceiling. We removed the old linoleum flooring in the kitchen and installed new hardwood flooring to match the rest of the home. We also saved all the kitchen hardware and painted it black to go with the other black accents in the home.


Kitchen to Living, Before



Kitchen to Living, After

As you can see in the picture above, paint played a huge factor in transforming this space. Also, the kitchen wasn’t big enough for an actual island so we relocated the “L” shaped counter to the side, to act much like an island would — a place for people to hang around as food gets prepared, etc.


Hall Bath, Before


Hall Bath, After

With this bathroom, we kept the cast iron tub and just added all new subway tile. For flooring, I went with a ceramic tile from Lowe’s — it’s clean, classic and inexpensive. Since the vanity base was in great condition we kept it and painted it Hale Navy (by Benjamin Moore) to go with our marble countertop.


Initially I really wanted to go with a Calcutta marble slab in here but the slab would have cost $1,000.00. To stay within our budget, I decided to go with 12×12 Carrera marble tiles which costs just $80 (plus labor). We then added a new Kohler sink, faucet fixture, and toilet (always nice to replace those)  — all from Lowe’s.


At some point the original brick patio was converted to a bonus room (above). This room has tons of potential with all its natural light, views of the garden and access to the patio. brickpatio

I really loved the brick floors and instead of covering them with a tile, I decided to keep the brick and just give it a good cleaning.

I only used two paint colors throughout the entire cottage, Paper White and Ice Mist both from Benjamin Moore. This way, with only a 1,200 square foot cottage the space feels much larger and it gives the home an overall cohesive look.

When rehabbing a house on a tight budget remember your biggest weapons are going to be paint and lighting. To keep costs down I pull tons of materials from hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s.  Another way to add charm is to visit your local salvage yard or flea market for some really good deals on unique items that will give your home that added character and charm. You can also visit my Pinterest board to see my favorite lighting choices from both The Home Depot & Lowe’s, as well as more ideas on decor and design.


Whenever I do a project I always have a vision/direction for what I want the project to look like in the end. For this sweet cottage, my inspiration came from Ellen Degeneres’s ranch just north of Los Angeles (photo above).

In the end, this North Hollywood ranch was awesome to do — I really enjoyed bringing the charm and life back into this little piece of history. Once the exterior of the home is finished, I’ll post some before and after shots as well. Happy Tuesday!

Read Full Post »

Several months ago, I did a blog entitled “Le Chic Shack” and bravely included a photo of my own not so chic shack at the time. It was, as most of you saw, quite horrible. However, with some paint and a plan it is starting to take shape.

I painted the exterior of the shed “Soot” by Benjamin Moore, the same color as our home so it acts as an extension of the home. This wonderful little shack functions as a place for researching future projects and relaxing with a cup of coffee. I still need to landscape around the shed and paint the interior a light gray.

Tomorrow, how to pot a simple succulent.

~ Shannon

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: