MADISON MODERN HOME
Home Staging and Interior Design
In today's real estate market, your home needs to be buyer-ready. Fresh, unique and compelling. Styled to move quickly—and at the highest price. You have precious seconds to captivate a prospective buyer—and their experience begins at the curb. Today’s buyer needs to fall in love with your home in the first instant.
Since 2008, we have designed environments to entice buyers and encourage strong offers. No property is too large or small for us to show off its best features and highlight its unique qualities. At Madison Modern Home, we guide each project from beginning to completion with an eye toward exceptional quality and attention to detail. Homes we have styled stay on the market an average of six short weeks. Some have entered escrow within a mere 24 hours of listing. We ensure you'll experience a smooth transition from listed to sold.
Madison Modern Home is a family business, made up of a mother-daughter team
A natural-born interior designer, I have a keen eye for what works in a room, and a knack for sourcing just the right art and accessories to round out an environment. I spent 29 years in graphic design and creative direction.
Equally obsessed with design, I studied interior design at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. With an additional background in graphic design, I bring my unique artistic vision to each project.
Together, we tackle homes, condos, townhouses and apartments with talent, energy, a fresh perspective and superb client interaction. madisonmodernhome.com
ast year, we scored a gorgeous wing chair for under $300 at a going-out-of-business sale. Clad in a gray linen, she was tall and elegant — and just understated enough to use in multiple projects. To say we loved her is an understatement.
Here she is, making an appearance in a Silver Lake staging:
After an epic and uncharacteristic-of-L.A. rainstorm, we opened the door to one of our storage facilities to find this:
There she was. Water-stained, cold and shivering.
Dismayed, we put her aside for a while. She sat unused and pitiful in our storage unit while we tried to push through the negativity and carry on. Several weeks later, we met Jessie Genie and her Downtown L.A. loft. Enamored of the myriad bespoke pieces in Jessie’s home, we asked where she was taking her furniture for such awesome upholstery work. “Chemo’s!”, she exclaimed (pronounced “CHEE-mohs”). After a quick Yelp consult (five stars!), we threw our prized chair in the back of the van and headed out to West L.A. We stopped at Mood on Pico and La Cienega for a rich, ochre corduroy fabric on the way. To change it up even more, we asked for some self-welting and a quadrant of button tufts.
Three weeks and three hundred dollars later… BEHOLD!
She’s currently taking up residence in our soon-to-be-redecorated office here at Madison Modern Home. But keep your eyes peeled in future blog posts — she might turn up somewhere unexpected!
ur client gave us a specific design directive: Make his office feel like Palm Springs. That of-the-moment Jonathan Adler style that mixes bold, colorful elements with masculine hits of metallic for an environment that’s anything but workaday. This office had to be taken seriously — along with its inhabitant. But serious doesn’t necessarily preclude fun. Or a magenta door, for that matter. In this redesign, we completely reworked every surface of this small space to envelop it in warmth, unique personality and vibrancy. It now speaks to its owner’s sophisticated and eclectic tastes, while accommodating his comfort, both during long work days and those late-night-deadline hours.
After the initial consultation with our client, we created a Mood Board showing our overall design direction.The design plan needed to address: 1) his need for light control due to a wall of large industrial windows that flooded the space with harsh light year-round, 2) plain white walls, 3) a place for his set of four hard-earned college diplomas, 4) a way to display original art and prints, 5) alternative lighting to counteract the overhead fluorescent fixtures, 6) a solution to the institutional style linoleum flooring, 7) a way to incorporate his computer monitor into a gallery wall, and 8) unique seating for his guests and visitors.
We chose a color scheme of deep, moody navy and gray with orange, magenta, white and gold accents. Benjamin Moore paint in a two-tone stripe, with navy on the bottom 2/3 of the wall and gray on the top 1/3 wraps the room in a soft cocoon. Magenta makes a star appearance on the large door’s interior, making a strong, glossy color statement. A vintage 1960s orange lamp we found on etsy wakes up a corner with soft pools of light. Original watercolors and Instagram style photography also found on etsy pick up the accent colors. We chose teak-finish Allure vinyl flooring to warm the floor and crisp white roller shades for light control that wouldn’t block his view of the trees outside.
We took before photos of the space:
We had to work with our client’s existing bamboo-finish desk. This constraint proved to be a challenge, which we mitigated through the dark navy walls, against which the lightness of the desk would pop. The institutional flooring lacks charm, and a pair of standard office chairs offers no contrast or color.
The next step was to create design renderings to show our client what to expect from the finished design:
The finished room, showing a gallery wall of curated art from etsy, framed at Downtown Framing Outlet in matching white frames. Two white Saarinen style tulip chairs with orange cushions pop against the navy wall and teak finish floor.
Our client’s Mac monitor is now incorporated into the gallery wall, which includes a wood-framed clock from IKEA.
Our client’s four diplomas were framed in narrow gold frames with large white mats and hung in a quadrant for maximum impact. The point where the gray begins in the two-tone wall lines up with the center mullion of the windows for sleek effect. The frames pop just above that line. We had the metal window frames painted white for even more freshness.
An original Kymm Swank abstract on the wall above the tulip chairs. An almost identical painting, also by Swank, appeared in the dining room scenes in Don Draper’s apartment on Mad Men, inspiring our client to want to own an original Swank.
We pulled colors from the painting to accent the office, including the lush magenta on the door.
The 1960s lamp glows against the more serious wall color and carries the orange of the chair cushions across the room. Textural, metallic accessories complement the smoother surfaces of the lamp and a light aqua vase.
Desk accessories and a gooseneck lamp in white lighten the space, tying into the window treatment and molding. Bright tones in the framed art link back to the vivid abstract on the adjacent wall.
ach year we bake something special for our clients for the holidays. Last year, it was French macarons, and this year, we dipped our toes into Whoopie Pie making. Using an adaptation of a Food Network recipe, we opted for the classic Whoopie: chocolate with creamy white filling.
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
Filling, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or preheat a convection oven to 315 degrees F. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, and eggs together until well combined. Add the oil and vanilla and beat again. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry mixture to the egg mixture and beat or stir to blend. Add 1 1/2 cups milk and beat again. Add the remaining dry mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and beat until blended. With a large spoon, scoop out 32 circles of batter onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool. Spread filling onto 16 circles and place remaining circles on top, to make 16 Whoopie Pies.
1 1/2 cups shortening
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups marshmallow topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all ingredients except the milk and beat well. Add just enough milk to achieve a creamy consistency. Spread filling across cooled cookie circles.
We nestled them into green and white tissue paper and packaged them in white bakery boxes.
Rachel designed a Madison Modern Home label with holiday wishes that we affixed to the top of the boxes with double-stick tape.
e’d been eyeing designer candles in patterned metallics all year when we realized we could create our own for a lot less. Simple white pillar candles in glass jars from the grocery store and leftover pieces of Christmas tree trunk are ideal candidates for a holiday overhaul. For some added color in your display, treat inexpensive glass ball ornaments to a glossy metallic two-tone finish. These three fun and easy DIY projects can add a festive accent to a mantel or table.
A found branch with hand-painted tree trunk ornaments and two-tone glass ornaments crowns this holiday display.
To create all the decorations seen here, you will need:
Tree Trunk Ornaments
1. Drill a small hole at the top of each section of wood.
2. Draw a design freehand with different-colored craft paints. We chose a retro design in white and gold to match our kitschy display.
3. Pull twine through the hole and tie it off at the top.
1. Tape off the glass candles in different patterns. We chose plaid, chevron, horizontal stripes, triangles and a faux bois.
2. Apply a layer of white craft paint as primer over the entire surface of the candleholder. Allow the paint to dry completely, according to the instructions on the paint bottle.
3. Apply a layer of metallic gold or silver paint over the primer. Allow it to dry overnight.
4. Carefully remove the tape from the glass.
1. Tape off the ornaments in different patterns. We chose chevron, triangles, stripes and halved.
2. Apply a layer of white craft paint as primer over the taped-off portions of the ornaments. Allow it to dry thoroughly, according to the instructions on the paint bottle.
3. Apply a layer of metallic gold or silver paint over the primer. Allow it to dry overnight.
4. Carefully remove the tape from the ornaments to reveal the two-tone finish.
To round out our display, we piled some firewood and leftover boughs into a patterned basket and taped the other glass ornaments at varied heights under the mantel.
ometimes when we stage a home, we don’t exactly know what our color scheme will be. As we’ve blogged about before, sometimes a house just simply “spits out” what won’t work. This Elysian Valley home wanted to be decked out in black, white, warm orange and amber, with touches of subtle green. We tried out various more colorful pieces of art and pillows and ended up not using them. The large windows in each room served as art in themselves, augmented and enhanced by a neutral palette with hits of high contrast.
The living room features a neutral leather sofa with simple Mid Century modern lines and subtle tufting. We accented it with a Navajo style pillow and a Mexican rug. A clean-lined coffee table adds warmth. We used a white arc lamp for its neutral but eye catching detail.
We tucked a bentwood Thonet chair in the corner along with a small vintage table. The B&W fabric on the chair’s upholstered seat echoes the rug and bold pillow.
A closeup of the sofa. We love IKEA’s new line of Navajo-inspired pieces, like this pillow.
We found the log ashtray at a thrift store in Venice, CA. Super cute. In the background, you get a peek into the dining room.
The Mid Century modern coffee table was sourced for $20 at a Silverlake shop and we had it refinished at Pepe’s Furniture in Echo Park for a refreshed look.
Two corners working together. The flip side of the living room corner was the perfect spot to put our beloved rabbit painting and a small pedestal table.
By swapping out our arc lamp’s previous bright orange shade for a white one, we’ve created a whole new lamp. A vintage wooden bowl, a faceted fox sculpture from Target and interesting books decorate the coffee table. The curtains throughout the house are from Nate Berkus’ new line for Target.
We paired a traditional wooden pedestal dining table with modern clear acrylic chairs. We set the table simply and highlighted it with russet orange napkins.
We love how the acrylic chairs (The TOBIAS chair from IKEA) seem to disappear and how they contrast with the table’s traditional lines and gleam against the dark hardwood floors.
A pair of vintage brass candle holders brings a touch of warmth to the tabletop.
The large dining room pendant informed our choices of finishes in the room. Its warm wood tone dictated that we ground the space with a similar-finish table. This is an example of how fixed features in a home inspire our choices. Any other design direction just wouldn’t have made sense. This way, our design heightens the effect of existing fixtures that will stay with the home long after the staging comes down.
A view toward the kitchen shows the basket wall and the two DALFRED bar stools from IKEA which we pulled up to the breakfast bar. In the foreground, a closeup of the coffee table.
A sideboard in a matching wood tone is set into the dining alcove. It’s just the right height to hang a large Art Nouveau poster above.
We carried the color story of russet orange into the master bedroom. Faux silk curtains in a taupe tone play well with others, especially this orange. A nubby throw inhabits the foot of the bed.
A vintage dresser and lamp finish out the space, and framed neutral-tone etchings soothe and calm. Simple baskets decorate the dresser top and an African basket holds a cache of books.
A modern tripod table and vintage lamp elevated by white books to one side of the bed (IKEA’s MALM).
We found the orange crewel work pillow at Home Goods. Its texture plays well against the solid orange silk pillow behind it.
efore you even set foot inside the Altadena home we recently staged, you’re met with a cute updated traditional exterior and a bright red front door. Sure, lots of people paint their front doors red. But what makes this home unique is that the door is painted red on the inside as well. Many might think this an obstacle to their design plan. We considered it a great opportunity. Our first thoughts were: Let’s pull together our bright red furniture, art and accent pieces… We can finally use them here with abandon!
We started the living room design with the grounding influence of a dark brown sofa, then added a Fair Isle-influenced kilim rug in soft tones of blue, green and tan. A handmade reclaimed wood coffee table takes center stage.
Here’s a view into the living room…
Over the mantel, we chose a Picasso print with red, blue and tan colors to carry the red across the room. A small-scale white slip-covered lounge chair and a traditional cottage-style floor lamp lend a cozy factor.
The reclaimed wood table was a craigslist find.
The small red side table was sourced at Crate and Barrel. We found the rug at Target. Blue and red books on the coffee table echo the tones in the art.
Is there a better way to use red in a room than via a red Modernica Eames style molded plastic rocker? We think not. Topped with a white sheepskin, it’s virtually begging to be sat in.
We paired the Modernica rocker with our tree stump side table on casters, the unofficial mascot of Madison Modern Home.
A wicker elephant and a Jonathan Adler vase on the mantel. Below, a view into the kitchen.
We pulled a couple of counter-height bar stools up to the granite breakfast bar
Closeup shot of a little wooden elephant box we found.
We styled the guest bedroom in neutral tones and carried red into the room via a bright pillow.
One of our favorite touches: a straw basket with a throw peeking out. We tucked some DIY book bundles tied with twine on the bottom shelf of the Victoria Hagan table we found at Target and reinvented in white.
The office sports an IKEA MELLTORP table used as a desk, a red Tolix chair, a retro starburst clock and various vintage accents.
The master bedroom’s bright white bedding is treated to rich contrast with red-patterned kilim style pillows. We put an industrial gray Tolix chair in the corner for an earthy touch.
The bathroom is styled with simple global accents to complement the earthy textures and modern fixtures. We framed a 1950s face cream ad and put it over the toilet.
lendale’s Verdugo Woodlands neighborhood is a quiet, peaceful spot filled with lovely traditional homes. We recently had the opportunity to stage our second Woodlands home, currently occupied by a family of three. The family owned some lovely antiques which we were able to use in our staging. We added some modern elements to create a transitional space that appeals to all.
The space has dark wood floors, soft wall colors and lots of original details like moldings and a great fireplace.
We started with the entry way, in which we used the family’s Craftsman console table accented with our accessories.
We styled the living room with an off-white sofa and matching lounge chair, a transitional console table and pops of orange and gray.
A glass-top cocktail table virtually disappears in the room, but offers the gleam of glass. A mirror over the console bounces light around the room.
A pair of red foo dogs on the mantel tie into the deep orange pillow on the chair and the orange throw on the sofa.
A light aqua porcelain lamp is a great complement to the orange in the room.
A view over the sofa shows the entry way and the second bedroom. The homeowner’s vintage milking stool serves as a small side table.
A view into the dining room. We styled an existing antique table with a glass lamp, a stack of books and a handwoven basket.
We paired a traditional dining table with four long slipcovered chairs and the homeowner’s matching dining chairs as head chairs. A plate wall is seen in the background.
A china cabinet is filled with white dishes, a la Martha Stewart.
We styled the den off the living room to be a cozy library/man cave. We set up a little bar area on an antique marble top table and styled a bookcase with an ample amount of books and interesting antiquities. A wingback chair and tripod lamp increase the cozy factor. We put a neutral sisal rug underneath it all.
A French advertising poster brings rich color into the room.
A decoy duck was the perfect touch.
A view from the den into the living room.
The master bedroom’s traditional four-poster bed just needed to wake up a little. Red lamps with curvy bases, natural baskets under the bed and a fresh color palette add just the right modern touches.
A selection of traditional pillows on the master bedroom’s cozy window seat.
The second bedroom was treated to a soft color scheme of white, gray and gold.
A French Provincial style dresser inspired the choice of the Eiffel Tower print.
The nicely remodeled bathroom needed only a few accessories.
We put a black pedestal table and ladder back chairs into the breakfast nook and styled the tabletop with yellow, white and black dishes and pottery.
f there is such a thing as urban coastal style, this home would qualify. It’s a well-done remodel of a corner-lot home in a great neighborhood. Namely, the Westside’s artsy jewel, Venice. Blessed with near-perfect weather, family-friendly neighborhoods and easy access to the beach, Venice has much to offer the prospective buyer.
We love a house with good architectural bones, white walls and lots of light. And this one has it all.
The home begged to be treated with some coastal respect… and that’s just what we did. Coastal gone wrong is so, well, wrong. So we wanted to do coastal right. In other words, hints of sand, sea and sky colors with subtle references to the briny blue sea without the need to sing sea chanteys in unison… If you know what we mean. Hence the term: Urban Coastal. I believe you heard it here first, folks.
First we put down a sisal rug for some beachy sand color, topped it with a cowhide rug at a jaunty angle, and a glass cocktail table for maximum show-through potential. We chose a sofa in a wet-sand color.
We love how the found manzanita branch intertwines against the other accessories on the cocktail table’s glass top.
The blue canvas is a Rachel Moore original. We love how it reads coastal but with attitude.
A view toward the fireplace reveals a root table accessorized with books and a basket. We kept the art minimalist, featuring a lot of B&W photography, especially of nature themes. The floors are hickory and the fireplace features tile insets.
The low credenza holds matching tall lamps with a Jonathan Adler-inspired Regency design and an eclectic display of global and modern accessories.
A view toward the wall of windows shows this home’s indoor-outdoor living concept. The doors open onto an expansive deck.
We love to style cocktail tables. In this case, a combination of books, a brass tray, a quirky toucan ashtray, a vintage wooden box and a manzanita branch all tell a unique design story when they share a tabletop.
We put an Eames-style molded plastic dowel-leg chair next to the fireplace.
Next to the living room is a dining area. We used more sea colors here, tempered with B&W, adding a pop of orange as an accent color.
We put a sea-glass colored antique demijon on the modern Parsons style dining table for beachy color.
The dining area as viewed from the other side. Almost every vantage point in this room offers views of the back yard and deck. Rust place mats and square white stoneware provide contrast and pick up on the colors in the Picasso print. A vase of orange flowers adds just the right note.
The owners put a vintage Wedgewood stove into the completely remodeled kitchen for a bit of charm. We loved that bold move on their part. (Hey, it takes guts to buck the whole Wolf range trend).
We kept our kitchen styling to a minimum, featuring complements to the earthy colors.
The master bedroom is awash in white and about as calm, soothing and coastal as it ever has to get. Aaaaahhhh…..
The painting is a DIY collage that Robin put together and the gray ikat throw at the foot of the bed was sourced at a neighbor’s garage sale.
We styled one of the other bedrooms in shades of burlap and navy, textural and neutral. A starburst mirror over the bed creates a mesmerizing effect.
A Nelson bench is accented with books, a basket holding a throw blanket and fresh yellow flowers in a hand-thrown vase.
A small white pedestal table holds a simple lamp. A stack of books is nearby for easy access.
The third bedroom is staged as an office, with B&W medallion print curtains, a black desk and a modern white chair.
hen we got the call to stage an artist’s retreat (or compound, as the realtor is calling it) in the NELA neighborhood of Montecito Heights, we were intrigued. We know someone who lives in the area, and we like the rolling hills and open space that’s visible from these properties. The duplex we were to stage in the next day or so was a two-bedroom, two-bath space with a detached studio/office building. Surrounded by a huge, flat side yard, the corner property had been completely remodeled and all it needed was some personality.
We brought in a small-scale sofa with Mid Century modern lines, a Plycraft lounge chair and an MCM coffee table (from Pepe’s Furniture in Echo Park). Some art, a vintage lamp, and a few pillows and throws later, what was once a little stark felt cozy and lived in.
A vintage magazine rack holds Dwell magazines while a Suzani and a velvet pillow add warm color. We found the B&W art above the sofa at a neighbor’s yard sale.
The chevron throw is a thrift store find, as are the baskets and deer figurine (many items have been sourced at the Glendale Goodwill on Brand Blvd., our secret weapon). The floor lamp is from IKEA.
We found the dining table on craigslist and paired it with IKEA chairs and a Flokati rug. On the wall, a diverse display of art and vintage dust brooms (yes, dust brooms. They make great wall decorations!). On the table, a large African basket.
A view from the dining room into the living room reveals a wall of large vintage portraits sourced at estate sales and from a colleague.
A close up of the portrait wall and a peek into the kitchen.
A view from the hallway into the dining room. More vintage art sourced at an artist’s garage sale.
The master bedroom is accented by an orange arc lamp sourced at Pepe’s and a kilim rug we found on overstock.com.
African baskets, books and eclectic objects. A vintage chair stands to the side of the MCM dresser.
A vintage photograph and some interesting paper in a frame above the retro bedside table and lamp.
We love basket walls and have amassed a great collection of African baskets. The global fabric runner at the end of the bed was found at a thrift store in Mentone, CA.
In the second bedroom, a color scheme of blue, white and soft red.
We found the needlepoint deer at the same Mentone shop. The elephant batik was a Pepe’s score and the vintage oil painting is from the 1970s.
One of the two bathrooms was treated to a B&W color scheme.
We styled the studio as an office with a vintage-style desk, industrial swivel chair and a varied selection of art.
n aerie is described as “a house, fortress or the like, located high on a hill or mountain.” An art aerie would have to be a house high on a hill filled with art. That’s exactly what the house on Glenalbyn Drive in L.A.’s trendy Mt. Washington area became once we staged it. Working with amazing canvases from local Eastside artists Carlos Nieto and Michael Rascon, we brought a Mid Century modern vibe and jolts of fresh color into this stunning architectural home with high vaulted ceilings and white gallery-ready walls.
Perched on the edge of a hill on the more rural side of Mt. Washington, the house on Glenalbyn proved the ideal venue for evocative art and modern furnishings.
AND NOW FOR THE PIX …
We love Carlos Nieto’s paintings of succulents and lined them up in the entry.
The living room features two modern lounge chairs and a matching sofa with tufting, a faux-guchi (faux Noguchi) coffee table and an arc lamp. Half of Michael Rascon’s X-ray Horse is seen on the left of the sofa…
… and the other half on the right. We used dark upholstered furniture and deeply stained wood to contrast with the light bamboo flooring and white walls.
We added pops of color to tie-in visually with the art, like pillows and throws with vivid shades of orange and brown.
A curvy modern vase, a few books and a wire magazine holder with Nat Geos are all that’s needed to accent the scene.
Over the mantel, another piece by Michael Rascon, depicting a woman with her hand over her face, bringing in more rich and bright colors.
An IKEA SANDSKAR table holds an aged-finish vintage brass tray.
The dining area, to the left of the fireplace. A large chandelier defines the space. We brought in a transitional dark wood table and acrylic TOBIAS chairs from IKEA because they virtually disappear. More original art on the walls, earthy stoneware and a trio of simple vases.
A view into the kitchen from the open concept dining area reveals massive butcher block counter tops and crisp white cabinets.
A view from the dining area into the living room.
We lined up four acrylic bar stools along the bar to match the dining chairs.
New stainless steel appliances and high contrast white and wood combine in this large “cook’s kitchen.” We had a lot of fun styling the space both over and under the upper cabinets.
Rattan-wrapped glassware, artisanal plates and more art in the kitchen. Views out the kitchen window — and from all over the house — stretch across the L.A. river basin.
A vintage wicker-wrapped wine bottle with cookbooks in the background.
A trip down the stairs to the bedroom level treats the eye with another Carlos Nieto original painting. This one depicts an Aztec goddess with a python.
The master bedroom with modern style bed and paperclip leg side tables from Modernica. Glass lamps, a jute rug, a Mexican blanket and a Navajo inspired pillow add a visual jolt in B&W but don’t distract.
A Carlos Nieto painting of a woman with paper cranes in the master bedroom. A Mid Century modern style dresser provides an anchor point below the painting.
Simple original B&W photographs of nature scenes fill out the opposite wall.
An African figurine stands guard on a bedside table.
A few blue and violet accents on the dresser top, with the flesh tones of the painting in the background.
A view into the master bedroom from the hallway leading to the master bath.
We love small global accents for bedside tables, like these boxes.
The home office is modern, clean and spare, with IKEA’s VITTSJO laptop desk and NANDOR chair. A green 1950s meets 1980s retro style chair with a B&W throw and a framed photo of a ship’s bow.
We put a LACK storage unit on its side and accented it with a handmade vintage pottery lamp and some sweet details.
We found a 1970s Italian ski poster and a random drawing of a book author to frame.
The guest room with a dark headboard flanked by a pair of Mid Century modern style nightstands.
We bought the Art Nouveau poster for $4.99 at a thrift shop and framed it in IKEA’s largest RIBBA frame at $24.99. Instant art credibility.
The master bathroom is a symphony in blue and green glass mosaic tile. A serene and peaceful retreat from the stresses of modern life. We brought in the only thing that was missing — earthiness and comfort in the form of global, ethnic wooden accents and fluffy towels.
A yoga/meditation room off the master hallway is treated to a cozy tribal pattern rug and large B&W nature photography.
A couple of free weights and yoga mats and a few pillows on the floor are all that’s needed to identify this as a space solely for the refreshment of body and mind.
An original oil painting of a nude in the master hallway.
We love styling bathrooms with original and quirky global accents.
We found the vaguely Thai looking female figure at a vintage shop, and have given her the job of guarding the sponge and soap.
ortheast Los Angeles (NELA) is home to a signature style. It’s being celebrated in home renovations, house flipping and staging all over the eastern area that spans from Eagle Rock in the north to Echo Park in the south. We staged a home recently in Atwater, an area central to NELA and dear to the hearts of all Eastside-loving residents. Atwater boasts a village ambiance with its walkable Atwater Village featuring a string of shops and restaurants, a weekly Farmers’ Market and ridiculously easy access to all major traffic arteries, given its location between the 5 and the 2 freeways.
Proof Bakery, Alias Books, Out of the Closet, 55-Degree Wine, Link N Hops, Canele restaurant, Bikram Yoga, Atwater Village Farm… The amenities abound — and all within walking distance on the tree-lined streets. Managing to be family-, dog- and hipster-friendly all at the same time, Atwater also feels like old L.A. Back when it was built in 1941, this home represented a very real opportunity for affordable home ownership. Today, it offers the same to young families looking for their piece of the American Dream. Two bedrooms and a bath have now given way to remodeled three-bed, two-bath homes, ever so slightly enlarged from their original footprints to accommodate today’s expectations. Here’s a link to the active listing, courtesy of Courtney Smith and Kurt Wisner of Nourmand & Associates: http://courtneyandkurt.nourmand.com/listings/property-detail/2188
We started with an empty house. But what a cute empty house it was. Original hardwood floors. Paneling in the dining room. A breakfast nook complete with banquette seating. All it needed was a little wake-up with Mid Century modern furnishings and a palette based on CMYK.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
Great floors, great windows, super cute rooms full of potential.
LIVING ROOM AFTER
Now, with the addition of a graphic B&W rug, a clean-lined modern sofa, vintage amber glass lamps, an IKEA DOCKSTA dining table with sleek upholstered chairs, and a limited edition poster of the Armand Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. show setting the color palette, you have a stylish set of rooms.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE II
We loved the abundance of windows in this room. But the shorty curtains just weren’t working for us.
LIVING ROOM AFTER
We found the B&W medallion curtains at Target. Their smaller scale pattern is a great foil to the bolder rug. A round glass top coffee table lets the rug shine through and the modern legs on the sofa and vintage side table make the room appear larger. We were thrilled to find a matching pair of vintage lamps with the plastic still on the shades (!) and vintage framed watercolors.
DINING ROOM BEFORE
Original white paneling, a nice wide window and an IKEA FILLSTA pendant were the ingredients we had to work with. Not too shabby. Just needed some punch.
DINING ROOM AFTER
The Made in L.A. poster is hung from metal clamps and the accompanying art is vintage. We love the ram’s head basket in the center of the table, set with light cyan bowls and vintage yellow and white plates. Simple white sheers let the light in.
BREAKFAST NOOK BEFORE
This house has the cutest breakfast banquette just off the kitchen. But it lacked a caffeine buzz in the form of earthy texture and warm color, which we provided below.
Blue loves orange. All the white and blue just felt a little cold to us, so we brought in orange pillows and baskets on the wall. A few earthy pieces of stoneware and a raffia-wrapped vase complete the scene.
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE
MASTER BEDROOM AFTER
Everyone needs a log. And a cozy sheepskin. Oh, and a bed. We love how this room just ate up everything warm and colorful that we brought into it. We started by removing the dark set of curtains. A simple linen pair let in the light. The dual lamps were sourced at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The sheepskin is a Target find. The Pottery Barn Indian block print pillows bring in needed color.
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE II
Before being painted a muted green, the bedroom sported a mottled look.
MASTER BEDROOM AFTER II
A vintage Mid Century modern dresser needs only a few vases and a framed B&W original photograph of a manzanita tree to feel properly attired. The master bath is visible in the background.
Bright orange and turquoise art, both hanging and leaning.
HALLWAY BATH BEFORE
The main bath was remodeled nicely. Just a little unfinished looking…
HALLWAY BATH AFTER
Aqua and white towels bring a breath of fresh air. We framed a vintage Good Housekeeping ad for the counter top that states “This Restroom is Kept Home Clean.”
OTHER SIDE OF LIVING ROOM BEFORE
OTHER SIDE OF LIVING ROOM AFTER
A vintage Heathkit radio and a turntable
Eclectic art hangs just outside the hallway.
We painted a desk dark navy and paired it with a Tolix chair holding a thrift shop needlepoint pillow, a vintage industrial desk lamp and a limited edition framed silk screen sporting a red, white and blue color scheme.
SECOND BEDROOM BEFORE
SECOND BEDROOM AFTER
The side table was a last-minute find and fits right in with the MCM decor. A red glass lamp provides color punch to the overall B&W room. A vintage paint-by-number painting hangs over the bed.
AND NOW FOR THE DETAILS
We love how the yellow MCM chair just pops on top of this rug. Note the cyan in the rug’s border. Nat Geos and a vintage Bambi book in an African basket to the side.
The framed art on the right is a “Gypsy Music” album cover from the ’60s.
Our favorite cozy corner.
Black and white grounds the rooms and provides leeway to add bright pops of color.
The remodeled kitchen just needed some global and earthy colorations based on oranges and reds.
Everything was sourced from a different place — thrift, vintage, garage and flea.
We love the rustic orange jug :)
Now warm and cozy, this breakfast banquette wears a mini basket wall.
Closeup of the desktop
We staged the back yard patio to inspire a Bordeaux-soaked European style alfresco lunch.
t’s a style you’ve seen many times, even if you’re not aware it has a name. The “New Traditional” style of design can be found within the pages of Traditional Home magazine and in Pottery Barn, Ballard Design and Restoration Hardware catalogs. Updated classic furniture pieces with transitional lines define this style. White, cream, taupe, black and brown tempered with warm red, sage green and soft purple are the hues that prevail in the lexicon. Brights are relegated to the more contemporary design styles, while a new traditional home celebrates all that is muted, rich and subdued. Asian motifs marry particularly well with this style, and global influences of all types find their home here.
A property in Pasadena we recently staged presented an ideal opportunity to flex our traditional muscles in turning a completely empty farmhouse-style two-story house into a warm, family-friendly home. We brought in a worldly sensibility with the addition of vintage pieces from all eras combined for greatest ease of living and beauty to the eye.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
With great bones and a fab remodeling job, this living room just needed a warm touch, and the feeling that someone might actually live here.
LIVING ROOM AFTER
This is what staging does best. Look at the before picture again… now at the after photo. Which one looks — and feels — more like home to you?
DINING ROOM BEFORE
Again, a beautiful room. Great floors, windows and paneling. Who could ask for more? Well, you could. You could ask for a dining table and chairs, and maybe some art on the walls to warm it up.
DINING ROOM AFTER
There you have it. Dinner for six. Eight o’clock. Don’t be late.
BREAKFAST ROOM BEFORE
This is one of my favorite transformations. This small room between the living room and kitchen just cried out to be a cozy, sun-filled breakfast nook. So that’s just what we did with it.
BREAKFAST ROOM AFTER
I don’t know about you, but we’d eat our granola here any day. We brought in a wooden pedestal table, a vintage deacon’s bench and two white Parson’s chairs to outfit the corner banquette-style. Colorful impressionist art hangs above the breakfast area and a transitional linen armchair awaits in the foreground for some fireside reading.
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE
This room has it all. A surplus of windows letting in lots of light, and a neutral tone on the walls. But every bedroom needs a bed, especially one in a house this lovely.
MASTER BEDROOM AFTER
Neutral linen weave upholstery and subtle tufting on the bed give this room a touch of glamour. We used vintage B&W nightstands to tie in with the banded-design pendant light and his-and-hers lamps — one more masculine and one more feminine — to keep everyone happy.
AND NOW FOR THE DETAILS
A Craftsman-detailed mirror reflects the room back on itself, while an eggshell-colored sofa and comfy deeply cushioned armchairs telegraph a casual elegance. Nubby linens and jute-braid trimmed pillows bring in the natural world.
A vintage 1930s Chinese cabinet (sourced years ago in Silverlake) glows cinnabar red in a corner, accented by a sage green lamp base with a serious black lampshade. We found the lamp at World Market and the hexagonal table at Home Goods.
The original abstract painting does all the heavy lifting color-wise in the room. We picked out the red and green from it to scatter hues around the space.
We love how these big beefy chairs fill out the space so nicely.
A view into the living room from the front hall beckons you to enter. We chose a simple sisal rug for its natural texture. An antique carved chest stands in for a coffee table.
French doors lead into the breakfast room, showing a glimpse of the tiled fireplace.
Moss and twine balls in an African basket on the coffee table.
We brought in two traditional bookcases to flank the front window and styled them with books and vintage items.
A worldly sense of travel imbues every choice, from adventure books to collectibles from around the world.
We like to turn some of the book titles to the front, especially when they’re evocative like The Magnificent Builders and The Heritage of Early American Houses.
The two head chairs in the dining room were sourced at World Market and we think their subtle coloration is the perfect complement to the wall color and the linen weave side chairs.
A low bookcase — also sourced at World Market — makes a statement as a sideboard. Handy, too, for all your white elephant-storage needs.
Mauve tones in the upholstered fabric are carried through in a vintage oil portrait of a hansom-cab (horse-drawn carriage) driver from the 1930s. A view into the living room reveals the abstract painting reflected in the mantel-top mirror.
Two wine bottles with mauve labels and a neutral mix of stoneware finish off the tabletop.
The Suzani chairs absolutely set the tone for the dining room color scheme and are among our favorite pieces in the home.
Russet-orange linen napkins gathered up in filigree napkin rings.
A linen chair pulls up to a sage green tiled fireplace. We found the diminutive side table at Home Goods.
Light reading, a cup of tea and a sun-splashed room. Who could ask for more?
A closeup of the banquette shows its breakfasting potential.
A visual slice of the master bedroom reveals its transitional style.
alon style can be described as a European sensibility applied to a social space that promotes intellectual conversation and an appreciation of the arts. Salon style is always slightly clubby, a bit decadent and decidedly Parisian. It feels not merely rich, but absolutely exudes wealth. We had the opportunity to stage a home in a classic salon style in the last two days. This Glendale home sits atop a knoll in the Verdugo Woodlands area, surrounded by traditional character homes dating from the 1930s and ’40s.
With its dark wooden beams and white paneling, this home whispers comfortable elegance, and the homeowner’s eclectic and stunning collection of art graces each wall. Fine English antiques and Asian artifacts filled the home, but were lost in the overly cramped rooms.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
LIVING ROOM AFTER
We opened up the space by moving furniture to logical spaces within the rooms, each piece getting the greatest display potential. We repositioned the dining table to make the dining area appear larger and took the top trunk off an antique piece to create a perfect behind-the-sofa table.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE II
LIVING ROOM AFTER II
By removing the back cushions from the white slip covered sofa and chair we created a clean sight line into the living room. Carefully chosen art pieces and the repositioning of key pieces of furniture show the room at its best advantage. Space planning is especially important when staging an occupied home, as you will always have to move furniture to create better flow.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE III
Of course, life happens. Kids leave their toys in the living rooms of real people. But staging is all about creating an illusion.
LIVING ROOM AFTER III
The illusion that all is serene and in its place, there are no chocolate smudges on the sofa and the kids’ toys have magically disappeared. Large burlap hued grain sack pillows offer a casually rough contrast to the antique rug. Underneath it all, a nubby sisal rug with a dark border.
DINING ROOM WALL BEFORE
An amazing treasure chest of antique artifacts covers the top of this chest. While individually beautiful, together they form more of a visual jumble for a potential buyer who may have trouble seeing past them to the home’s positive features.
DINING ROOM WALL AFTER
We moved the imposing English antique dresser from its original position behind the sofa to a more size-appropriate location across from the dining area to serve as a buffet in place of the existing chest. A simpler display is featured on top and the stunning altar piece remains above, but now you can really appreciate it.
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE
We all have them… the exercise machine that often goes unused, the handy foot-of-the-bed bench that serves as a laundry sorting area, and the casually placed artwork that we “always meant to hang properly.” It’s all the stuff of life, but when you’re trying to sell your home, your master bedroom should be a retreat worthy of a fine hotel, with fluffy white bedding and sink-in comfort. The settee you see peeking out from under the clothes was so awesome that we rescued it from its dwarf-dom by the king-size bed and placed it front and center in the living room.
MASTER BEDROOM AFTER
We think the horse art above the bed is pretty amazing. And with the settee moved, we could place a Persian rug at the foot of the bed for some warm color.
LIVING ROOM SHELVING BEFORE
The display potential of the white built-in shelving in the living room was completely untapped until the homeowner removed the TV, all its cords and attendant paraphernalia.
LIVING ROOM SHELVING AFTER
This allowed us to work with her eclectic accessories for styling. Magnifique!
AND NOW FOR SOME DETAIL SHOTS…
A vintage portrait of the homeowner’s mother now graces the stunning black matte finish granite fireplace. We love how the rich teal plays against the graphite background. We hung it from a leather cord on a nail high above for added drama.
That settee from the bedroom has found a new home tucked into a windowed corner near an antique grandfather clock. In the foreground, an exquisite hand-painted Asian chest.
Moving the dining table and chairs perpendicular to the entry’s half-wall brings more attention to their simple beauty. French doors open to an enticing patio.
A view over the dining table into the living room shows how the whole space planning worked. Large art pieces fill formerly vacant wall space on the left to create the feeling of a larger room.
Brushed stainless fireplace tools in the foreground juxtapose against the elegant settee with a casually tossed pashmina throw and the book “French Woman Don’t Get Fat” atop it suggesting an afternoon of reading.
We love the graphic punch of the Union Jack pillow against a white slip covered chair. The homeowner purchased the pillow at the Buckingham Palace gift shop. Must get one!
The top half of an antique chest serves as a stand-in for a coffee table. Since it’s home staging it doesn’t have to be entirely practical. But one must always have fabulous coffee table books, whether they reside on a coffee table or a re-imagined chest.
We created a gallery wall in the dining room with eclectic art and baskets. The top basket is actually hiding a less-than-beautiful bare light-bulb sconce. Yes, we simply smooshed the basket over it and it stuck there. It even looks kind of cool when it’s lit. Terrible fire hazard, though. Remember, it’s staging (wink-wink).
Different tones of wood ranging from dark to light impart an eclectic feel to the rooms.
Close up of the settee, book and pashmina.
The dining table set for a simple but elegant meal, and the living room beyond
Another vintage original painting at the entry. Below it, a small Asian altar chest. We think the homeowner’s light gray silk draperies add a luxe note to these rooms.
The magnificent Asian chest had previously been where the small altar chest is. We switched their placement for greatest effect and logical space planning. Large pieces in large spaces, and small in small. A large watercolor is placed near the front door. A basket tops the intricate chest for a casual, natural touch.
We styled the patio with simple warm tones so as not to compete with the colorful gardens all around it.
taging is often accomplished by our bringing all the furniture and accessories into a completely empty home. Sometimes, though, staging means working with furniture that already exists in a home. In the case of this charming English cottage in Highland Park, it was a little of both.
The seller had almost all of the furniture needed to fill the home. We brought in a few key large pieces — chair, rug, lamps — and several accessories, such as vases and mirrors.
The combination proved to be a success because this home sold a mere three days after listing. The secret is in making the rooms work by creating a color palette incorporating the homeowner’s great collection of Mid Century modern furniture and art and the existing wall colors.
The home’s exterior with original cottage detail, and a Mid Century modern chair with an arc lamp.
The home’s original Craftsman details work well with a 1960s style of modernity. Here, the coffee table’s slender legs perch delicately atop a tribal pattern rug. The punchy orange, black and white ’70s pillows really pop on the neutral sofa. Softly patterned chevron curtains in the background are neutral enough so as not to compete with other patterns in the room. We love the ’60s metal sailboat art over the mantel.
A peek into the dining room from the living room. Styling the large bookcase involved a melding of styles and colors.
The Craftsman style dining table and chairs are complemented by a starburst mirror and simple modern vases.
In the master bedroom, key placement of the 1960s original flamingo paint-by-number paintings and yellow lamps accents the Mid Century modern dresser.
The bright turquoise nursery wall color is complemented by hits of green and orange in accessories, pillows and storage boxes, all grounded by dark brown.
The bathroom is a study in neutrals, with more of the seller’s unique art.
The second bedroom features more original 1960s art in pops of turquoise. White bedding with a striped throw adds drama.
The warm red kitchen is accented by hits of bright green.