Thursday, November 4, 2010
This month, House Beautiful wrapped up its series chronicling designer Annie Selke's transformation of a dated ranch into her home. I'm an avid fan of renovation shows, so it's little wonder I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Annie's journey each month (if you haven't been following, you can read all eight installments HERE). What I loved most though was how well Annie was able express her own personal tastes and style while still staying true to the mid century, casual feel of the original home. Ranch homes, when done well, are extraordinarily warm and comfortable -- and this home was certainly done well.
The exterior of the home was repainted a rich chocolate brown, the awkward front porch removed, and new windows were installed. My favorite touch though of course is the pink door, which hints at the sense of whimsy and touches of femininity that Annie brings to mid century style inside.
A recurring element throughout the house is really clever storage, like the floor to ceiling build-ins along the back wall of the dining room. I love the mix of woods here, they create interest and warmth while staying with a relatively modern color palette. I also think it was essential to maintain the lighter blond wood floors throughout the main level, it adds a casualness that you can't achieve with darker stains (and keeps that wall of cabinetry from looking way, way too heavy).
The open u-shaped kitchen has the same sleek cabinetry and hardware of the dining room. All in all, this room is functional, clean and would appeal to a wide range of buyers at resale.
I love how Annie paired more traditional wingbacks with an iconic mid century piece like the bench (which also keeps the sitting area open to the rest of the house -- I always hate looking into a room and staring at the backs of chairs or sofas!).
The artwork above the stairwell just makes me so happy. The light fixture adds a cool 1950's Sputnik-style touch.
Unlike the main living area of the house, the master bedroom's palette is fairly subdued, though the high doses of glamour courtesy of the large tufted headboard, chandelier and gorgeous triptych of de Gournay wallpaper (that Annie salvaged from the dining room of her last house) keep things interesting. I love the combination of the clean-lined, more modern buffet and chair with the ultra-glam headboard and lighting. It's a great balance that works extraordinarily well in a master bedroom where you're often dealing with two distinct personalities and styles.
Is there anything more appealing in a bathroom than tons and tons of white and gray marble? It's almost a guaranteed home run. The glass mosaic tile on the back wall is a nod to the house's mid century roots and brings in the warmth that's often missing from all-marble baths.
The blond cabinetry is sleekly modern and relates well to the horizontal tile on the opposite wall. And of course, who wouldn't love all that storage?
Annie set out to convert the basement into a welcome retreat for her teenage daughter. I love the exuberance of the colors and patterns -- it's very Missoni to me. The mural was inspired by a detail in a Japanese kimono in the V&A's collection.
The other side of her daughter's room is equally bright and energetic. Annie swapped out standard basement windows for larger ones (and presumably dug out around the foundation to accommodate them) -- though probably not inexpensive, the overall effect is worth it as it eliminates the dark, dank feel of most basements.
Selke had the bathroom tile laid vertically rather than horizontally to make the 8' ceiling in the bathroom feel taller.
The mudroom leading to the garage provides Annie with ample storage for winter clothes and dog accoutrement. Love the striped door leading to the garage.
I've never really thought about decorating a garage (organizing one, yes, but not decorating). This one though is so lively, clean and organized though that I'd be a lot more inclined to spend time in one though (presumably doing all those household projects I keep saying I'll do but have yet to get around to). The striped wall (which Annie did with leftover paint from the rest of the house) reminds me of Alice Supply Co., which carries some truly adorable household items (brooms, dust bins, hoses, etc.) that would work perfectly in Annie's space.