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

 

made in l.a.

Northeast 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.

OFFICE BEFORE

OFFICE AFTER

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.

the new “new traditional”

It’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.

salon style property staging

Salon 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.

mid century modern makeover in highland park

Staging 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.

hollywood one-day miracle makeover

Hollywood starlets are treated to makeovers all the time. But what about Hollywood rooms? That’s right. It’s time for rooms to get the pampering royal treatment, just like their human counterparts. We recently made over a room in a Hollywood apartment for discerning clients: a couple with eclectic taste and fabulous personal style, evident in their collection of art, graphics, books, furniture and oddities. We spent a day pulling all these elements together to create a personal space that speaks to them, and includes so many of the unique items they’ve collected.

We started with this…

And turned it into this…

And we took this…

And made it into this…

They had the raw material we needed…

They just needed two sets of trained eyes to put it together…

Here’s how we did it: In the living room, we added some West Elm pillows, a sisal rug from IKEA, a Peekaboo acrylic table from CB2, and a gallery wall made up of personal photos of beloved pets, family members and memorable vacations.

We used the curated collectibles already in the home. The couple had purchased the Pendleton pillow with the bold red Navajo pattern in Portland recently, and already owned the grainsack bolster pillow and global wooden carvings. 

The red and gray West Elm chevron pillow tied in perfectly.

To the right, a Mid Century modern credenza we suggested the couple buy on craigslist turned out to be the ideal piece to anchor the TV screen. They already owned the Bollywood poster we hung in the hallway. We brought in the bentwood chair from their bedroom. A West Elm pendant sheds light from above. The tree stump side table adds a rustic element.

The couple owns a couple of rescue dogs who like to play in the living room with their owners. We suggested a lightweight acrylic cocktail table that can easily be pushed to the side when it’s playtime.

Near the front door, a vintage medical cabinet sits beneath a framed poster and two unique collected art pieces.

West Elm’s Perch lamp in bright yellow is a just-right height atop a stack of books. We love the vintage Stork Club ashtray for holding spare change.

The couple’s awesome coffee table book collection was a joy to work with.

Two pieces of original art by one of the homeowners and a small bird illustration hang near the front door.

We had the most amazing collection of art to work with in this makeover. It made our job so easy!

The dining room’s round table and upholstered chairs make for a cozy spot to nosh and view the custom wood cabinetry, which we styled using the couple’s enviable cookbook collection and other unique kitchen paraphernalia. Rachel’s officially coveting the tangerine Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

A view into the kitchen reveals dark gray painted cabinets and light counter tops.

More kitchen collectibles and color-coded cookbooks stacked horizontally.

A vintage French poster brightens a spot next to the fridge.

Our kind of kitchen — with plenty of open shelving for adding color, style and functionality.

Numbered linen napkins in a stack.

Some of our favorite cookbook authors are represented on these shelves.

This is a kitchen for people who love to cook and entertain, evident in every well-stocked detail.

A reproduction subway roll sign highlights several familiar Los Angeles-area cities.

styling an echo park pied-à-terre

Wikipedia defines pied-à-terre (French for “foot on the ground”) as “a small living unit usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual’s primary residence. It may be an apartment or condominium.” The Echo Park bungalow we just styled is a very small space — a mere 500 square feet, with 150 square feet of deck space. But we were able to pack a lot of style into each of those precious square feet by using right-sized furniture with modular options.

Steps from L.A.’s popular Taco Zone truck and Mohawk Bend, this Echo Park home offers a walking-friendly location and vintage original charm — in a cuter-than-cute package.

In styling this Craftsman cottage — inventively re-imagined by Matt Manner’s Extraordinary Real Estate (ERE) team — we used warm orange as a tonally repeated color accented with bright pops of white, teal, blue, red and yellow. The clean white walls lit by skylights offered a multitude of options for bold and earth tones alike.

Narrow plank hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings with skylights and industrial hanging pendant lights create a sense of space in the diminutive living area. We used two parts of a modular west elm sectional, a brass tray table with an inlaid wood base, and two vintage bentwood chairs pulled up to a table that can be extended in length to seat four.

A bit of fencing is visible through the window. Its characteristic horizontal planking is a sure sign that a property has been flipped by an Eastside L.A. flipster.

A colorful tote basket we found at a thrift shop in Garvanza holds a Mexican blanket. A few interesting cocktail table books and a basket on the tray table top. The chevron throw was also a vintage find.

The Echo poster was a natural choice for statement art in the living area.

The dining area’s table can be oriented to the wall in a perpendicular fashion and fully extended to seat as many as six on a whim for a dinner party. Folded back up and tucked into the corner, it’s breakfast for one or appetizers for two. The hand-carved vintage wooden spoons we hung on the wall were sourced at Pepe’s in Echo Park. We shop local!

A quick trip to Trader Joe’s turned up a couple of awesome bottles of wine. What better wine label for us than one called Found Object?

Shaker style white cabinets and butcher block counter tops in the kitchen. Brushed chrome bin pull hardware complements the Craftsman style of the home. An apron-front deep farm sink is both practical and beautiful.

A vaulted ceiling and tons of natural light in the kitchen. Tall cabinets with plenty of space above afforded us the opportunity to use our vintage aluminum canisters, rattan accents and baskets.

Wooden spoons in a wine holder basket and other textural kitchen accessories.

Yellows and reds in the El Pato cans inspired a clean, bright palette of colors in the kitchen. Cookbooks in the same tones and a snappy B&W tea towel pop against the butcher block countertops. We’re huge fans of tall industrial faucets for their pot-filling abilities.

The back door opens right off the kitchen, inviting indoor-outdoor living. Its light blue is a signature shade which appears in all ERE homes.

A peek inside the bedroom reveals a Mexican blanket and a vintage Mid Century modern lamp and oil painting. The white-framed Lenny Bruce handbill is a 1960s Fillmore West original.

The bedroom opens to a large wood deck. We accented simple white bedding with earth tones, using a Mexican blanket, kilim and rattan pillows.

A Mid Century Modern dresser to the right, and a peek at the deck.

We found the dresser at Pepe’s Furniture on Sunset, and above it added a frame cluster of original art by Rachel Moore mixed with a few eccentric thrifted pieces.

An eclectic variety of books

We love how the strong geometric pattern on the woven rattan pillow complements the blanket.

We outfitted the tiny office with an IKEA Melltorp table as a desk, paired with a vintage desk chair. The vintage orange lamp was another Pepe’s find. The cute leopard cub pillow is the perfect scale for the small Mid Century orange swivel chair.

Rachel found the needlepoint owl at our favorite local thrift store (no, we’re not revealing it just yet, people). We love how the lamp looks kind of like a bug.

A couple of vintage rattan desk accessories, including an owl pencil holder, are all you need.

Believe it or not, those are IKEA’s Jeff chairs on the deck painted with Rustoleum’s Fire Orange (new color!) paired with another Melltorp (we love its versatility). Desert plants in simple planters complete the scene.

We got a great deal on the butterfly chair (all we had to do was paint its original white frame black). Now this is a party-ready urban backyard!

We carried the orange and white theme into the bathroom with big bath towels from IKEA in a muted orange.

A handmade wooden soap dish and a 1970s etching in the bath.

abstracting sherman oaks

Sherman Oaks is a quiet community, especially up in the hills, the site of our latest home staging project. But we woke up this sleepy neighborhood with sleek and modern style — complete with original paintings by artists Charla Morgan and Bonnie Lambert, both extremely talented friends of ours!

The home we styled features modern architectural style, with a boomerang-shaped great room encompassing the living and dining areas. Most of the home is bathed in a creamy yellow wall color, with the master bedroom boasting a fresh apple green on the walls. This mostly traditional and warm color palette inspired our transitional furniture and accessory choices.

A bright abstract by Charla Morgan above two dark brown transitional chairs on a living room wall. In the foreground, a stone colored sectional and a taupe armchair with modern lines.

We kept colors neutral and warm to complement the walls and rich wood floors. Details like the rattan magazine holder and a tripod floor lamp are signature Madison Modern Home touches. A glass coffee table provides a reflective surface and a traditional-meets-modern vibe.

The transitional style dining room is a serene mix of dark gray, violet and ochre yellow, accented with warm brown. A tall console carries two Asian style jar lamps.

The dining table has a slightly industrial feel with its strong metal legs and wooden top.

A Charla Morgan painting of a magnolia flower in the background brings a creamy neutral touch to the warm wall color.

Bonnie Lambert’s painting of an outdoor cafe scene inspired the rich color palette of this room with its vibrant red violet and yellow coloring.

A mix of modern and traditional lines in the living room is accented by Charla Morgan’s earthy and textural abstract painting. Its warmth picks up on colors in the flooring and furniture legs.

A brass tray table holds vintage vases. Nubby textural pillows in complementary colors rest on the sectional sofa.

Two brown velvet-covered chairs flank a small iron-base table beneath a colorful abstract painting by Charla Morgan. A brutalist candleholder, a driftwood branch, an orange throw and a few books complete the scene.

We love how something as simple as an orange throw can pick up on all the warm and bright tones in the paintings.

A view into the living room from the dining room reveals yet another Charla Morgan canvas on the right-hand wall. This one, a slightly deconstructed abstract with great movement and color.

We love the ever-so-slight traditional formality of the dining room in contrast with the more modern living room.

One of the two Mid Century modern style lounge chairs in the living room.

A trio of vases — one ochre yellow and two purple — bring a sophisticated color scheme to the tabletop.

We pulled two dark brown leather counter stools up to the granite top bar and set the table for two.

Cherrywood cabinetry and granite countertops in the kitchen, fully loaded with all-Viking appliances, right down to the microwave.

A simple bar is all set for a peaceful glass of wine for two at day’s end.

The master bedroom is a serene study in citron with stone and persimmon accents.

A pair of Klismos lounge chairs provides the perfect read-and-snooze zone in the master bedroom. Above them, a large portrait and between them, a woven rattan table to rest a book or beverage.

The portrait shares a similar color palette with the rest of the room.

The master bedroom reflected in a pair of Regency-style mirrors.

The master bath features cherrywood cabinets and glass vessel sinks.

Pampering accessories make the master bath feel spa-like.

A second bedroom is treated to a zesty B&W palette with pops of rich red.

We found the chevron vase and pillow at the same store. Perfect score!

A third bedroom gets a warm brown color scheme inspired by an Asian toile pillow.

just staged a condo in pasadena

Finished up staging a cute condo in Pasadena, located right near Lake Ave. shopping and restaurants, and a stone’s throw from Old Town. We worked with the owner’s scarlet-red accent walls and light tile floors by bringing in high-contrast black and white furniture.

The living room got a warm sage and brown color treatment, with touches of the red accent color and black to tie in with the dining room and breakfast nook.

Am Asian motif mirror over the mantel and a sage green chair.

A few sage green and red accessories in the living room tie into the red accent wall.

A vintage black pedestal table with ladder-back chairs.

We put framed vintage fruit crate labels at the kitchen entrance.

A transitional console table with wine and glass vases.

We staged the master bedroom with soft neutrals and punchy patterns. The modern sleigh-style bed was made in Denmark. We sourced the two Modernica paperclip-leg end tables at Hotel Surplus Outlet.

a moveable artistic feast in silverlake

Madison Modern Home has teamed with local L.A. artists to create a Pop-Up Gallery in a home staging we just completed in Silverlake. The landmark 1926 French Normandy style home has been a favorite of ours since we first moved to the area in 1989.

When we first toured the home and met with its owners to discuss staging it, we were knocked out by the care and attention to detail these investors gave to every aspect of this home’s complete remodel. Apparently, it had fallen into disrepair for many years, and they had quite a fixer on their hands when they bought it late last year as an investment property.

Sited directly on the reservoir with serene lake views out all the front windows, the home’s freshly painted walls just called out for art. Big art. Amazing art. And lots of it. Then, we remembered a recent gallery show we’d seen, and called upon our friend Bonnie Lambert, whose work appeared in that show, to loan us some of her amazing landscapes and portraits to grace the walls of this spectacular home. The natural next step was to make all the art for sale — individually, or as a whole — to anyone who toured the home, or for its eventual buyer.

Soon other artists from that same gallery show were contacted, and they jumped on board as well — Lynne Dwyer and Michael Rascon, both of whom are also amazingly talented. All three artists are students of the famed Latina artist Margaret Garcia. We were so inspired by the art on the walls that we literally designed our property styling around it. Here are the results…

A Bonnie Lambert portrait shares space with a linen Chesterfield sofa, Crate and Barrel glass topped coffee table, modern linen wing back chair, cowhide rug and imported wooden pedestal side table in the home’s grand living room. In the background, the family room with landscapes by Lynne Dwyer.

The dark hardwood floors create just the right contrast for our cowhide rug. We tossed a faux fur throw over the Chesterfield and accented it with a Moorish tile pattern pillow. Moorish patterns are repeated throughout the home.

Two stunning Bonnie Lambert portraits flank the northern windows in the living room. The orange tones in “The Dreamer” are echoed in our choice of pillows and accessories.

A Lynne Dwyer expressionist landscape picturing a blackened manzanita bush in the San Gabriel Mountains tops the mantelpiece. The copper firewood bucket is antique.

A view into the dining room reveals two Michael Rascon canvases. The blue abstract, titled “Blue Structure,” on the right and a graphic orange and black abstract that is the focal point of the dining room. We kept all accessorizing in the styling to a minimum to let the home shine. A 1972 gallery book by Knoll carries the bright orange across from the dining room.

We placed Bonnie Lambert’s “Aloe” in the foyer. Its fresh green tempers the hot oranges in the other canvases. All furniture is kept linen, neutral and textural.

In the family room, two Lynne Dwyer landscapes over the slate gray sofa. A neutral mix of Ralph Lauren grainsack pillows and a faux fur throw relate to the nubbiness of the jute rug below. The leaf-pattern ottoman shares the sofa’s slate gray accent color.

We placed a handmade root table we found at Urban Home on one side of the sofa, and a traditional-style end table with a brass lamp on the other.

The root table’s sinuous organic shape is one of our favorite aspects of this room’s design, and a perfect complement to the plein air landscape paintings.

A media center on the other side of the family room holds a casually leaning Lynne Dwyer canvas, its bright colors bringing life to this wall, and its size and shape standing in for a flat screen TV (for those wondering where the TV could go).

Bonnie Lambert’s “Wild Man.”

In the family room, a Moorish tile pattern wing back chair repeats the Moorish influences found in the home’s architectural features.

Possibly our favorite room in the home, the dining room’s light gray walls proved an ideal counterpoint to Michael Rascon’s vibrant orange and black geometric abstract. The elegant traditional dining table stands in direct contrast to the art. I guess that’s why we love it. We sourced the black Crate and Barrel Windsor chairs at an amazing price and covered IKEA’s Henriksdal chairs with long white cotton slipcovers.

B&W dishes and napkins with three simple vases are all the adornment the table needed. In the background, the completely remodeled kitchen.

A console table in the dining room anchors Bonnie Lambert’s “Stand Off,” which pictures a Trader Joe’s parking lot filled with angry looking cars beneath a wildly painted night sky.

This dining room kept making us think of Nancy Meyers movies… and Thanksgiving. In the Hamptons. And Diane Keaton is there. And Meryl Streep, too.

There’s just something magical about a painting that makes a room. Just try to imagine it not being there. We can’t.

A view into the gleaming white kitchen reveals a bar area and lots of natural light.

"Still Life with Vodka," by Bonnie Lambert to the right of the kitchen.

Truly a cook’s kitchen, this space is just waiting for someone to make delicious meals in it, and to host fabulous parties. You, perhaps?

We styled a corner of the kitchen as a baking center, and featured a Lynne Dwyer still life.

The kitchen’s peninsula accommodates three off-white leather counter-height bar stools from Urban Home.

A vintage wicker-wrapped demijohn bottle and a casual bar set up for sangria-making. A tall vase of sunflowers anchors the other side of the farm sink beneath a set of two industrial style seeded glass pendant lights.

A professional grade GE range inspires visions of intimate pasta dinners.

The master bedroom is a sea of calm neutral tones in a hotel-like setting. We used an upholstered taupe headboard, traditional nightstands and tall, metallic base lamps.

Across from the bed, a gallery wall of original canvases. In the foreground, a Bonnie Lambert portrait.

A Michael Rascon abstract.

A Bonnie Lambert portrait.

Two modern lounge chairs near the French doors out to the master bedroom patio.

We carried the same neutral tones to the master bedroom patio with this set of teak outdoor furniture.

The master bathroom is elegant and gleaming with polished nickel fixtures.

We outfitted it with plush white hotel towels, European soaps and fragrant candles.

If you were a European soap, this is what the world would look like.

An engraving in soft gray tones above the Carrera marble vanity top.

In one of the two upstairs bedrooms we tucked fresh white bedding into a traditional wooden bed and flanked it with transitional red lamps. A floral rug adds more pattern punch.

A Ralph Lauren red and cream grainsack pillow on the bed.

Another bedroom is treated to a crisp blue and white color scheme.

We’ve featured transitional white ball lamps and kept accessories to a minimum. Note how we’ve stacked the lamps on books to heighten their stature.

The adjoining bathroom to the blue bedroom features navy Moorish tile.

The other upstairs bath has its original 1926 tile floor.

We put teak and rattan furniture on the patio above the garage. It’s a fine spot for watching the calm surface of the Silverlake reservoir.

There’s a chair here with your name on it. Relax and enjoy the view.

snow white meets beach bum in burbank

Madison Modern Home just staged a cute cottage at 3205 W. Alameda Ave., next door to the “W” Hotel in Burbank. What, there is no W Hotel in Burbank? Ohhhhhh, that “W” is for Weinerschnitzel.

Beach cottage? 1950s artist’s studio? Hey, for $359,000, you get to decide.

Living room BEFORE

Living room AFTER: The spiral staircase leads up to a small loft area, which we staged as a guest room/office

Flip side of the living room BEFORE

Flip side of the living room AFTER: The cottage has so many “storybook style” details, including scalloped moldings which are actually small shelves. The home was designed by someone who worked for Disney.

Looking into the kitchen area BEFORE

Looking into the kitchen area AFTER: We staged this home in a storybook/beach modern kind of way. What’s that, you ask? We have no idea. But isn’t it cute? We featured small-scale furnishings and a color scheme including light woods interplaying with pops of light green, pink and yellow.

Master bedroom BEFORE

Master bedroom AFTER: Fresh white bedding. A pop of color in a curvy yellow lamp. A little art. Need we say more?


A few detail shots: Our white elephant has traveled the globe (well, almost) with us to many stagings.


A clean, organized kitchen is a sign of a sick mind. No, not really. It’s great.


The round glass-topped coffee table was a last-minute inspiration, and we love it.


We sourced the little pink MCM table at a cute vintage shop in Burbank


Just a few vases on the dining table make the scene pop. That, and original B&W photography of local 1960s retro signage by Madison Modern Home’s own Rachel Moore.


Glad to have found a 5 ft. long table and fab molded plywood chairs for the dining area.


You can actually see the, um, “W” Hotel from this end of the loft area, which we staged as an office.


More B&W photos of iconic Burbank Mid Century signs fill the living room.


Yes, the famed “W” Hotel (did you know that hotel sells hot dogs?)

the highland park project

Guiding our design of a hip Highland Park bungalow was the idea of indoor-outdoor living. The original house was a mere 480 square feet until flipster Matt Manner of Extraordinary Real Estate got ahold of it and worked his signature magic. It’s now 1,300 square feet of beautiful, with tall vaulted ceilings, a fully sliding patio door opening to a deck that’s really more of an outdoor room, and acacia hardwood floors throughout. We staged the place in two days, putting our hearts and souls into it — along with our best Mid Century modern pieces. Now it feels ready for a lucky person or couple to put their own stamp on.

A set of three windows reveal three original B&W photographs by Madison Modern Home’s own Rachel Moore.

The main hallway with a view to the huge sliding glass patio doors and outdoor deck.

On view as you enter the main living area is a small hallway, where we placed an MCM dresser (found on craigslist!). Atop it, a multi-colored vintage hand-blown glass vase display and a starburst mirror.

We found a dollar tree (ficus triangularis) at Mickey Hargitay’s nursery in Hollywood. Yes, he’s Mariska’s dad. Getting the 10-foot high tree into our van was interesting, to say the least. We had to wedge the pot into the space between the front seats and it took two of us to release the emergency brake! While we were staging, a bird flew into the room and took up temporary residence in the tree until he found the open door again.

A dark brown sofa with clean modern lines, a flokati rug and an MCM coffee table. The Plycraft (Eames-style) lounge chair and ottoman cozy up to a glassed-in corner atop a kilim rug and share space with IKEA’s KULLA floor lamp and a log side table.

We brought in IKEA’s MELLTORP table and paired it with red Tolix chairs and an Eames molded plastic dowel-leg chair. Along the wall, we created a banquette with a vintage church pew. Above, a wall of vintage African plateau baskets. We love the industrial lights with Edison bulbs waaaaay up high, from Home Decorator’s Collection.

We love the way the Eames molded chair breaks up the line of Tolix chairs.

We found the baskets at different times and at all types of vintage sources, but they work so well together. We like how their rusticity plays against the slick white and red surfaces of the table and chairs.

The eucalyptus log table was a last-minute find at The Snivling Sibbling, an Eagle Rock vintage shop (and one of our fave sources). As we were leaving the store, we spotted the log in the back. The owner sold it to us for $35! A little conditioning treatment oil was all it took to bring out the luster of the wood. We absolutely love that it’s on casters because it’s that much cuter.

We framed enlargements of some of Rachel’s original B&W San Francisco photos in simple IKEA RIBBA birch frames and put them in the living room. Good ol’ Kinkos (OK, so they want us call them FedEx Office now) will enlarge B&W prints for 75 cents a foot.

A lounge chair’s-eye view of the living room. The chair and ottoman need no more than a RENS sheepskin throw from IKEA for snuggling and a kilim rug underfoot.

A coffee-cup’s eye view toward the glass-wall corner and Plycraft (Eames-style) lounge chair.

A view into the living room from the hallway.

The MCM dresser fit perfectly into this alcove in the main hallway.

The kitchen’s flat front Italian style cabinetry plays off the warm acacia wood floor and butcher block counter tops. A manzanita branch, black accents and simple bar accessories on display.

A vintage lighted Michelob beer sign in the kitchen. Orange plates on a chalkboard tray below. The apron front farm sink features an articulated handle faucet.

The owner of The Snivling Sibbling gave us these vintage matchbooks for free because we shop there so much! A 1950s ashtray holds them neatly atop a stack of books, including The Art of the Bar.

The back deck is plenty large enough for IKEA’s FALSTER outdoor table and a set of four vintage chrome cantilever chairs found at — you guessed it — The Snivling Sibbling. We call the blue accent color on door of the finished garage “Hipster Blue” because of its prevalence in Extraordinary’s Eastside LA flip house remodels. Both the house and garage are painted a dark charcoal-brown that reminds us of 70% cacao chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s.

A view to the deck from the living room, illustrating the outdoors-in and indoors-out design philosophy of the home.

A bedroom is turned into an office/guest room, complete with MCM desk found at Pepe’s vintage furniture in Echo Park, an old desk lamp, a bentwood chair that we covered with flokati and a vintage Heathkit radio. USGS topographic maps are rolled up in an orange wire basket.

We put a frame cluster above a daybed with chenille cover. In the foreground, a graphic book opens to a colorful page.

A rope bundle atop a stack of books in the office.

Another bedroom is treated to a fresh white bed with a bold graphic pillow and black lamp. We painted the Swiss Army cross symbol on a large canvas.

Red, yellow, black and white repeat throughout the room. The tripod table is Mid Century vintage.

We styled a vintage modern table with graphic book covers, a Scandinavian print on canvas and a glove mold.

The powder room gets some needed storage in the form of an IKEA LACK unit filled with folded white towels and African artifacts. The cat photo is from the 1970s.

Even the laundry room got some attention with a wire laundry basket and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products.

A 1988 David Hockney museum show print at the entrance to the master suite.

The master bedroom is a soft mix of muted and bright reds, black, white and warm yellow. We found the Cayenne Pedestal Side Table at Crate and Barrel, and the kilim rug is a vintage find on craigslist.

The master bedroom is reflected in the mirror.

We put four neat stacks of National Geographics together to form a table in the corner.

The master bath’s chevron rug and woven basket with rolled white towels and one Turkish towel.

Blue glass tiles in a random pattern that resembles a pixelated world map. We accented the room with rolled-up white hotel-style towels in an antique Chinese water bucket and a Picasso print on the wall.

arts and crafts

Arts and Crafts style homes have always appealed to us because they are so “homey.” But beyond just feeling like a place you’d want to curl up and read a book, these Turn of the Century homes are strong, clean-lined, simple and built to last. We had the pleasure of staging a home like this over the last two days, and it was a real treat. The structure of this 1909 beauty is muscular and pleasingly direct. We always say that a home will “tell” us what it wants and needs us to fill it with. This home was no exception. She “spat out” items that we thought “just might work.” But no, she wouldn’t have it. After the first hour, we were so in tune with her early 20th Century vibe that we’d know instantly what would work — and what wouldn’t. This beauty is for sale and can be found at 4433 Clayton Ave., LA 90027. The listing is here.

The home is known locally as “The Big Green Craftsman” because of its stature and presence in the neighborhood.

The barn red door color is the perfect shade to complement the sage green exterior. A Craftsman style light and a patterned doormat say “Welcome.”

The front porch is a fine napping zone, complete with rustic wood furniture which needed nothing more than a few red striped pillows… and that log-thingy.

Peek inside to the eclectic living room with its persimmon and caramel tones. Hits of dark red key back to the door color and carry to other rooms in the home. We filled simple white frames with vintage B&W photos so as to not compete with the white wood paneling.

This wood and leather chair dates back to the original era of this house. We love its throne-like qualities.

We placed a vintage Ikat throw over the sofa to rev up the color story, and paired the sofa with a transitional coffee table. A soft Persian rug design pillow and a fresh stripe one share sofa space with persimmon twins. A vintage brass bowl beckons from the table.

The white-painted stone fireplace provides a massive foundation and focal point for the room. We found an antique leather footstool for the hearth and an Arts and Crafts style log holder to tuck into the firebox.

An estate sale abstract painting from an Otis art student in the 1960s graces the mantel. Its abstract forms call to mind a deconstructed stained glass window design, and its fresh colors are echoed throughout the room. A built-in window seat on the left and bookcase to the right are typical of early Craftsman homes — abundant in built-in storage.

A view over the sofa and into the dining room reveals a pair of slim columns neatly dividing the two spaces without much visual interruption. The dining area features a long banquette window seat bearing teal Mid Century cushions and more of the rich orange tones in a selection of throw pillows. A plate rack above holds Fiestaware and other vintage plates.

A simple wood table and chairs with a slight Mid Century modern feel pair easily with the dining area’s banquette seating.

The master bedroom gets a strong dose of color from a pair of paprika-toned lamps flanking the aqua bed.The throw is vintage, and the oil painting above the bed is a Mid Century plein air painting by Mildred Waters.

We created a softly toned sitting area in the master bedroom. Illustrations from a 1932 sewing pattern catalog are framed and used throughout the room.

A small additional sitting room is part of the master suite. We outfitted it with a comfy chair ready for napping or reading. A vintage footstool holds books and a vintage pair of shoe forms create some lighthearted fun below.

The master bath is treated to a simple B&W color scheme.

We put humorous vintage magazine ads in the main bath.

A youth room features an Eames molded rocker and vintage framed prints, all featuring doses of red to tie in with the chair.

We painted a vintage rattan table a bright red and accessorized with a vintage camera and a whimsical pony from the 1950s.

Off the youth room is a small office with an industrial unfinished floor. We brought in a desk, Tolix chair and everything one might need to work from home - well, almost everything — if one is a glove designer/cartographer/graphic designer/photographer.

The kitchen called out for more vintage magazine ads to be framed and hung, so that’s just what we did.

we’ve been quoted in a houzz.com article!

We’re super excited about being quoted in this on-line article — Give Your Room a Leg Up — on houzz.com about furniture legs. We’re working on some upcoming Houzz Tours we’ll be contributing to the site as well. Stay tuned!

we’ve been featured again on houzz.com

Check out Houzz.com for a wrap-up of cozy rooms in which to curl up for a nap. We’re thrilled that Charmean of Charmean Neithart Interiors in Pasadena gave us this great exposure by including one of ours!

do you know pottery barn’s best selling product?

Nope. It’s not the white slipcovered sofa they popularized in the ‘80s. It’s something you’ve seen countless times. Something you can’t even buy from their catalogue.

Pottery Barn bookcase

What is it? Lifestyle. It’s the Pottery Barn lifestyle that entices, seduces and eventually convinces you to buy their products. Think about the last time you perused one of their catalogues. What did you see? A sumptuous leather wing back chair. Next to it, a stack of vintage suitcases. Balanced atop it a brandy snifter containing a swirl of amber liquid. A tasseled throw blanket is casually tossed over the arm of the chair. Beyond this cozy scene, a bookcase overflowing with leather-bound antique books and curious looking vintage vases. On the floor, a Persian rug with honeyed, rich tones. OK, I’ll stop. I think you’re starting to get it.

Pottery Barn sofa

Only some of the items I described above are actually for sale by Pottery Barn. The rest? Mere props for the photo shoot. I’ve practically made a living out of studying the brilliant photo styling techniques employed by this mega retailer. Why? Because it works. It works on us psychologically. It even works on me – and I know how they’re doing it! Subliminally, Pottery Barn is selling you their furniture and accessories by hawking nothing less than a full-blown lifestyle.

Look closely at the photos. In the kitchen organizing system photo, you’ll see hand-written notes on the wall calendar or rough-hewn schoolhouse-style chalkboard: “Allegra to Dance Class – Thursday noon”, “Jamie’s Soccer Game, Sat. 2 pm - Don’t Forget to Bring Oatmeal Cookies!”, “Grandpa’s Visit – 2/11-2/18”.  You get the picture. Allegra? Please. Nobody is named Allegra. I believe that is an allergy medicine. And don’t get me started on the grocery lists. “Crème Fraiche, Herbs, Arugula, Coffee Beans, Fresh Sourdough”. Do these people spend $1,000 a week on groceries?  And shop only at Farmer’s Markets? Apparently so.

Pottery Barn calendar

Make no mistake. This is a lifestyle merchandiser. Pottery Barn wants to sell you furniture, yes, but they didn’t become a powerhouse retailer by stopping there. After all, how can you just purchase the Devon Campaign Style End Table when the massive Seeded Glass Lamp with Pure Silk Drum Shade looks so stunning on top of it? Oh, and that little Bird Sculpture. And the Silver Plate Frame, yes, the whole set of Silver Plate Frames, while we’re at it.

As you can see, I have this kind of love-hate relationship with them. Mostly, I take what they do and use it in our home staging business. We don’t just stage homes. We merchandise a lifestyle. Don’t think for a moment that a huge apothecary jar filled with organic soaps, sea sponges and bath salts doesn’t scream Pottery Barn. Spa. Serenity. Relaxation.  “I’ll be so organized and relaxed if we buy this house!” “I’ll put my bath salts in a big jar like that.” “I can see myself taking long bubble baths here.” You get the idea.

Pottery Barn apothecary jars

It’s a fact. Every woman in America is bequeathed a lifetime subscription to the Pottery Barn catalogue if she has ever even browsed one of their stores, turned on her computer and brushed past their website, or happened upon their catalogue by accident. It’s as if Pottery Barn knows our very hopes, aspirations and dreams. And knows they are laced with Tuscan Footed Urns, Herb Garden Topiaries and, yes, Apothecary Jars. Sigh.