MADISON MODERN HOME

Home Staging and Interior Design

Follow Me on Pinterest

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

ROBIN DECAPUA

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.

RACHEL MOORE

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

 

a room with a view

We just finished staging an elegant family home located on a wide street up in the hills of Glendale. It’s located high above Chevy Chase canyon, overlooking a valley called Emerald Isle. Built in 1969, with much of its original detail intact, we decided to stage it in a Mid Century modern meets Hollywood Regency style — with some traditional details added to capture the heart of the home’s potential buyer.

Enter through the awesome double front doors and take a look around with us. We styled the entry with a narrow console table and a circular mirror.

image

The white carpet and walls proved to be an ideal canvas for us to bring in a burnt orange sofa with modern lines. We tricked it out with some flokati pillows, of course. An orange knitted pouf repeats the persimmon scheme, while framed abstract art and blue accessories balance the palette.

image

A Barcelona-style glass topped cocktail table with an X-base gleams in the center of the room.

We squared off the sofa with two graphite slipper chairs and placed a hand-carved low Indian table between them.

image

A curvy red lamp with Jonathan Adler lines sits atop a Moroccan tray table.

image

A 1970s side table hosts a blue glass vase collection.

image

A view into the other side of the living room, and a reflection in a vintage brass apple. Even the tones of the book covers tie into our overall color scheme.

image

image

We placed two chocolate brown wing back chairs in a corner of the living room, pointed toward the view. A chevron pillow ties all the room’s colors together and a sunburst mirror is all we needed on the wall.

image

The dining room takes a more traditional turn, as dark gray linen slip covered chairs pull up to a turned-leg dining table.

image

To tie into the B&W art on the walls, we tossed a boldly graphic striped throw over one of the chairs.

image

Keeping with our B&W theme, the tabletop shares this high-contrast look.

image

A sunroom off the dining room is treated to a neutral color scheme with some earthy accents, in the form of a Moroccan pattern flatweave rug angled over a jute rug. A zebra pillow and an African basket complete the globally influenced look.

image

In the master bedroom, a soothing mix of taupe, gray and B&W, with a faux fur bedspread for luxury.

image

We chose high contrast B&W nightstands to add a punch to this restful retreat.

image

a traditional home gets a fresh jolt of color and pattern

Take one updated traditional family home. Add a heaping tablespoon of green, some fresh orange and pops of B&W. What do you get? You get the home we just staged in Glendale, CA’s Chevy Chase Estates neighborhood. A leafy canyon drive leads you to this charming spot, featured here. Once inside the home, its cottage charm, diamond mullion windows, original wood built-ins and three fireplaces (even one in the kitchen!) will have you wrapped around its little finger.

We styled the home with a freshened farmhouse palette of Spring greens, with some earthy, industrial elements thrown in. First off, the living room receives a jolt of pattern in the form of a B&W chevron rug to wake things up. (All photography by Michael Hillman).

image

What could be more perfect than a green glass vase with a flowering Spring branch inside? Orange appears in the book cover on the coffee tabletop to tie into other orange elements throughout the room.

image

An off-white sofa floats in the center, allowing for great traffic flow, while a Moroccan shaped side table throws the room a curve.

image

We styled a small vintage buffet with more green and orange accents, toughened up a bit with natural elements, like a nature-bleached Manzanita branch. A slightly 1950s-shaped lamp with a burlap shade offers contrasting man-made curviness.

image

We placed a linen wing back chair in the bay window to highlight the diamond mullions and to create a cozy moment for relaxing with a book. An orange throw over the arm of the chair injects a little more color, while a green table lamp ties it all together.

image

A small gallery wall with neutral toned art.

image

A small library off the living room features an original stained glass window (c.1951, the age of the home) and built-in shelving that wraps around a corner. Another fireplace adds so much charm to this multi-use space. We styled the room with a modern wing back chair in a wide-wale mustard-tone corduroy to tie into the yellow window. A transitional tripod floor lamp bridges old and new.

image

We repeated the B&W from the living room on the floor. This time, a Moroccan tile pattern rug, which enlarges the room visually with its large scale pattern.

image

Every detail counts when you’re styling a room, so we approached the built-ins with an eye to creating a collected, curated look.

image

We think it’s pretty cool that even the smallest of cues (a few pencils in a cup) can “suggest” that this room’s other use could be as an office.

image

The stars of this kitchen turned out to be the three awesome industrial barstools we found at World Market. We love how they can swivel up to either counter- or bar-height, and the fact that they only look expensive!

image

A vintage round pedestal table with IKEA’s KAUSTBY chairs pulled up helps define this eat-in kitchen. Neutral tones prevail in our accessorizing, punctuated by sea glass blues and greens in the oversized vases.

image

An outdoor patio offers the chance to modernize things a bit with a clean-lined picnic table and chairs, accented with more of the green and orange that define the interior.

image

vintage charm in south pasadena

South Pasadena is one of our favorite cities. And we just finished staging a gorgeous house perched on a hillside in “South Pas.” It’s a 1923 home with Spanish architecture and tons of natural light. The home also has a glassed-in observation deck on the top floor with insane views as well as park-like grounds with tall palm trees. Watch for the real estate listing coming soon. We’ll post a link to it!

In the living room, we brought in clean-lined furniture with a Mid Century modern feel, which blends perfectly with so many types of architecture. A flax-tone sofa and chair float on a sisal rug, and a West Elm cocktail table serves as a dark anchor. We put a tripod lamp in the corner to amp up the modern factor a little more. Black-framed vintage prints pick up on the dark furniture legs and add just a hint of antiquity. Outside each window, an explosion of green in the lush gardens surrounding the home.

image

The other side of the living room is cozy and inviting, with a fireplace decked out in original Batchelder tile and built-in wooden bookshelves. Glowing lights brighten shelf molding all around the room, and a small staircase to the right leads to the second story.

image

image

image

We put a tall linen-upholstered chair in the corner for a little touch of traditional style. Wrought iron sconces flank a vintage painting above the mantel. In the background, a peek into the dining room.

image

image

The dining room is lit by a vintage crystal chandelier hanging from a beamed ceiling. Richly textured white stucco walls and large windows make this room a real destination.

image

We used West Elm’s ikat settee as a dining bench, and accented it with gray linen pillows with jute braid detail. Taupe Crate and Barrel chairs finish out the serene scene.

image

image

We set the table simply, for a casual brunch or dinner party. Vintage-style crochet-edge napkins add a dainty element while bisque color plates tone it all down. We added more antique art to the walls.

image

In the office, an original 1923 mural painting by Richard Leroy Corbaley (1882-1960) painted directly onto the stucco above the mantel inspired our eclectic approach to this room. Two linen chairs in different styles share space with a small kilim rug. 

image

image

Detail of the painting, which depicts a tribe of Native Americans who look like they’re being displaced from their land.

image

We put a vintage typewriter on a small white lacquer desk and added a few desk accessories like a gooseneck lamp and letter holder. Above the desk, a vintage oil portrait.

image

We love how this room feels different from the others with its slight eccentricities. French doors, original hardwood floors and lots of natural light. Yes!

image

In the master bedroom, a calming color scheme of gray, green and brown with bits of orange prevails, echoing the leafy scene outside the windows. With B&W nature photography on the walls and tall lamps with gray lampshades, this bedroom is just begging to be napped in :).

image

We love how the window above the bed “reads” as art.

image

We kept our accessorizing to a minimum to amplify the fact that this is a stress-free zone.

image

The upper deck, as we’ve been calling it (it almost feels like a cruise ship) boasts incredible views seen through wraparound windows that envelop the room in an amazing amount of light. With all this drama, we kept furnishings and accessories to a minimum by positioning four white slipper chairs around a Noguchi-style cocktail table atop a white shag rug. Cozy, inviting and perfect for view-watching.

image

With polished wood floors, a massive vintage iron chandelier and a herringbone-pattern beamed ceiling, you might enjoy the interior view almost as much!

image

image

master bath gets a spa treatment

Our client’s existing master bathroom was such an eyesore, he couldn’t wait for us complete our redesign. In fact, he asked the contractor to paint over the hideous lime green early on in the process. We gladly concurred. The bathroom was a symphony of bad taste — from shiny chrome faucets to white square tiles. In other words, the perfect “before” to our “after”. 

imageimage

image

image

We envisioned a relaxing spa-style retreat with natural elements. Our initial plans included a soft turquoise palette, using glass subway tile as the main focal point and a seaglass tone on the walls. After designing three other rooms in our client’s condo, we began to evolve our design plan toward a more earthy palette. These were the original renderings:

imageimage

After looking into the cost of glass subway tile, it solidified our decision to go in a different direction. We went back to the drawing board (Floors 4 Less!) with this new criteria in mind and found something even better:

image

Now comes the fun part! Bye bye bad bath. 

Our weathered wood-look wall tile envelops the bath and shower while a walnut stained double vanity hugs the adjacent wall. 

image

image

After searching for the perfect round mirrors, we decided on a more masculine shape, and had these two custom made to complement the vanity. Three George Kovacs sconces punctuate the space between the mirrors, and add a sophisticated hotel vibe.

image

A natural wood bath mat ties into the organic limestone shower floor tile. Moen fixtures in brushed nickel work with the gray tones in the wood-style wall tile.  

image

We love that our client has really expensive-looking, beautiful shampoo bottles! They look great in the off-centered niche.

image

We chose sandstone bath accessories from The Container Store and CB2, and a teak tray to corral them.

image 

We chose a wall color that picks up on the subtle grays in the floor tile. 

image

Sleek undermount sinks and a Caesarstone countertop.

best bar we’ve ever done, bar none

Wet bars. The concept is pretty passe. Once a staple in family homes of the 1950s and 60s, they were later relegated to the basements and “rumpus rooms” of the 70s and 80s. They all have a few things in common: a mirrored backsplash, exposed metal brackets and a grimy sink. No one ever uses them. Except for storage. 

When we first laid eyes on this tiny bar tucked into a nook in our client’s home, we thought “Let’s rip it out!”. However, after taking thoughtful notes on his needs and wants, he divulged that he worked as a bartender in his 20s. Not only did he have tons of booze, he also liked to throw soirées and needed a place to mix drinks. “It stays!” we cried out in unison (okay, maybe not — but we were excited)

image

image

See? Exposed shelving hardware, grimy sink and a dirty old mirror. Throughout the design process we kept thinking, “Mad Men, Mad Men, Mad Men”. We could just imagine our client getting up from his desk to stroll over to his very own bar at 10:30 am, and pour himself a Vodka Gimlet a la Roger Sterling. 

image

Taking cues from the incredible set design of the show, we chose a 60s-feel walnut wood tone for the cabinet and an organic-look grasscloth for the wall behind. A warm white countertop by Caesarstone is topped with a fresh Moen bar sink and a cornered gooseneck faucet. Here is our original design concept:

image

The obligatory progress shots:

image

image

Our contractor stained three simple floating shelves with a medium-gloss and picked up some brushed chrome piping that slides over the unsightly hardware. We finished it off with matching brushed chrome door handles and a sleek new bar light. Our client supplied the hooch!

image

image

image

The day construction finished, we quickly styled the shelves and our client hosted a shindig the very next day. Luckily, no ones legs were amputated by a John Deere lawn mower

3/4 bath cleans up nicely

Earwax orange is what we were reminded of when we first laid eyes on this hideous 3/4 bath. Why someone would paint that color in a bathroom, we’ll never know. Our client hired us to redesign this space to coordinate with the other design projects we were tackling in his home. We breathed a great sigh of relief and jumped right in. 

Here’s what we were dealing with:

image

See? Earwax. An aluminum frame shower door, Home Depot-special shiny white tile and white grout. Add some brass fixtures and one of those extendy-counter-over-the-toilet things and you’ve got a really BLAH bathroom.

Since this is a second bath attached to a guest room, we decided to have some fun. A clean gray palette allowed the introduction of bright colors in towels and accessories. We started off with this rendering to give everyone an idea of the design foundation:

image

Floating walnut vanity, glassed-in tub/shower combo. Modern Moen fixtures in brushed nickel and a cross-hatch patterned gray wall tile - inspired by a menswear weave, and also reminded us of our client’s J. Crew-heavy wardrobe:

image

Some in-between shots:

image

image

The finished room craved color. After a trip to The Container Store, we emerged with armfuls of bright bath accessories . 

image

We brought in a natural wood bath mat to contrast with the ash-toned floor tile. Sleek Moen shower trim updates the bathtub (which you would never know was reglazed, not replaced!) A simple wire wastebasket tucks in the small space between the Toto Drake II toilet and vanity.

 image

Instagram-inspired photography hangs in brushed metal Crate & Barrel frames. We brought bright orange across the room in the form of hand towels. A brushed nickel framed mirror from West Elm tops out the vanity. 

image

Close-up of shower detail:

image

powder room: redux

Powder rooms are the jewel boxes of the home. Because they’re small and don’t require a shower or bath, they lend themselves to a high-personality treatment. Our client gave us carte blanche to create a warm, yet modern, powder room that would coordinate with the updated mid-century modern style we were incorporating in other rooms of his home. 

Here’s what we were dealing with:

image

Builder grade fixtures, pink-tinged cabinetry, molded fiberglass countertop and sink, plain white square floor tile and Hollywood makeup lights circa 1992.

Our design goal was to envelope the tiny room with textural warmth, and add flattering lighting while retaining a sleek, mid-century modern feel. These preliminary models were rendered to show our client and contractor the look and feel we were after:

image

First things first, Johnny installing the grasscloth on the walls:

image

After some consideration (and grabbing some awesome tile on sale) we switched up the black floor tile idea for a white one with a subtle strie pattern. We also went with a single drawer vanity to simplify the space. 

image

A Caesarstone countertop with a rectangular undermount sink and Moen Level series faucet update what used to be a cookie-cutter condo half bath. We chose a warm walnut finish and a sleek, singular drawer-front for our floating vanity. Our choice was inspired by the look of a modernist credenza. 

image

Calvin Klein hand towels bring a masculine geometric pattern into the space, contrasting nicely with the subtle stripes of the grasscloth. Inexpensive RIBBA frames from IKEA hold original graphic charcoal drawings to add a little edge to the soothing space. 

image

We chose brushed nickel for all our metal finishes. Including a beveled mirror we found at Lamps Plus for half-price. We flanked the mirror with George Kovacs sconces and topped the counter with a “Penguin” soap pump from The Container Store.

image

No surface was safe in this bathroom. We changed everything from the floor up, including the toilet. We brought in a Drake II by Toto and fresh white baseboards. The floor tile is 12x24, chosen for its large scale, and installed in running bond. 

traditional home staging is all in the details

Getting it right in staging a traditional home has everything to do with details. If you start with your large furnishings in neutral tones and transitional shapes, you can create an updated take on traditional just by adding key accessories, like lamps, rugs, art, vases and other decorative items. With a strong neutral backdrop, all you need is a palette of soft, muted tones of russet, sage green, linen, taupe and dark brown. Keep it simple, and be sure to add pattern in the form of Navajo or Kilim rugs, and texture in pillows and rugs, like sisal, linen and jute. This lovely Glendale, CA home is a perfect example of a traditional home that appeals to today’s modern family. The home is listed by Craig Farestveit of Craig Estates & Fine Properties. See the real estate listing here

image

Soft neutral colors prevail in this large living room featuring a brick fireplace. We put two off-white sofas facing each other on top of a sisal rug, then layered a colorful kilim at a slight angle over that. A round cocktail table in warm wood has a lower shelf for remotes and books.

image

The room boasts a cozy window seat which we accented with large burlap pillows.

image

Crisp white walls and vaulted, beamed ceilings are the perfect canvas on which to wash our muted traditional color palette.

image

A formal dining room is seen in the background. An antique marble-topped console table to the left holds a glass lamp with a burlap shade.

image

Four white slipcovered Parsons chairs pull up to a traditional medium tone wood dining table under a contemporary chandelier in this neutral space with an updated modernity.

image

Red-orange napkins pop against the white plates and woven placemats. Soft sheer accordion shades place the scene in a serene light.

image

A jute rug underfoot is the basis for a neutral color scheme of brown and beige in this family room or den. Modern lines on the sofa tie into the glass topped round cocktail table. An off-white club chair provides a cozy spot for reading or relaxing with a glass of wine.

image

Two maple bar stools pull up to a gray granite counter top in this updated kitchen. In the background, simple white cabinetry and a sculptural stove hood add a modern touch.

image

A guest bedroom in tones of white and blue. We carried the blue into all the details, like pillows, art and even book covers.

In a child’s bedroom, we used a great traditional go-to color palette of red, white and blue. But the tones are tempered, not too bright and are grounded by dark wood furniture, like this vintage child’s bed.

One Chair — Two Ways

Last 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!

injecting an office with palm springs color and style

Our 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.

image

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:

image

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.

image

The next step was to create design renderings to show our client what to expect from the finished design:

image

image

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.

image

Our client’s Mac monitor is now incorporated into the gallery wall, which includes a wood-framed clock from IKEA.

image

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.

image

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.

image

We pulled colors from the painting to accent the office, including the lush magenta on the door.

image

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.

image

image

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.

image

makin’ whoopie (pies, that is)

Each 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.

WHOOPIE PIES

Ingredients

3 cups sugar

1 cup butter

4 eggs

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

Directions:

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.

Filling:

1 1/2 cups shortening

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/3 cups marshmallow topping

Dash salt

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.

image

Rachel designed a Madison Modern Home label with holiday wishes that we affixed to the top of the boxes with double-stick tape.

image

diy: metallic patterned candleholders made from supermarket candles

We’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:

  • White glass-encased supermarket candles
  • Tree trunk sections (we got ours from the tree lot)
  • Solid color glass ball ornaments
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Craft paint in white, metallic silver and metallic gold
  • Masking tape in various widths

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.

Candles

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.

Glass Ornaments

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.

Here is the end result. For a mantel display, casually arrange evergreen boughs on top of your mantel. Stagger the heights of the candles around the boughs by propping some up with extra trunk sections. Nestle painted ornaments and wood sections between the candles. Tuck a large found branch into a vessel and hang your finished glass and wood ornaments on it.

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.

a study in contrasts

Sometimes 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.

behind the red door

Before 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.