Lauren Liess Interiors
luxury interior designer

As a decorator & a textile designer, this is my place to muse... Reality and charm fascinate me; perfection isn't really my thing. Fresh floppy flowers from the garden over long-stemmed roses any day, I love it when things are slightly off and tell a story.



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Hope you had a great last week!  We were off all week for our boys' Spring break and it was so relaxing with a little bit of family work thrown in.  About a week or so ago I got a call from my cousin, Adam, who just bought a mountain house in North Carolina.  It's in need of help  (always the fun part) and has great bones.  Adam headed to NC this past weekend with friends to work on the place, and sent me photos and texted questions throughout the weekend.  

 

{the exterior of the house... love the stone wall}

The house is beautiful... lots of stone fireplaces and incredible mountain views.  It just needs a little love:

 

 

I love the feeling in this house, but there are some details in it that just don't quite jive with the overall vibe I'm envisioning.  It needs to be simplified and stripped a little.

Much of the "woodwork" in it is faux wood paneling, so they took it all down over the weekend and will be replacing it with actual wood... 

 

 

 Green carpets came out, along with linoleum, messed up drywall, wallpaper and the not-so-functional kitchen.  Electricians came in and worked throughout the house, adding and removing electrical. 

{We kept the built-in bookcase, but down came the track lighting and faux wood on the ceiling.  We're keeping it behind the shelves because I wanted the added textural interest, and we'll simply be painting it. The area above the bookshelves will by drywall. }

I'm so excited about how this place will look when we're finished!!!  We'll be sanding and applying washes to "age" the wood throughout the house to make it feel older and more raw. 

 

{The Loft: it will be part additional hang-out space and part master suite...  I struggled with the stair rails... I love quirk and was totally intrigued by them, but in the end I decided they just didn't feel appropriate for the house, which is generally very simple and natural.  They felt a bit too German Ginger-bready to me.  Same deal with the diamond-shaped window mullions throughout... there are definitely some Tudor-esque details in this house that just don't make sense with what the house truly is...  understated, rustic, natural and strong-feeling.  We'll also be removing the faux wood paneling and simplifying the beam situation on the ceiling, leaving only the main triangle in place, removing all of the additional "zig-zags"  ... architects and contractors must love it when I use such correct lingo about these things! ;)  }

 

What's being done with the house is yet to be decided (It might be resold or they might keep it as a family house for Adam my other cousins and their families to visit.  They all live in Florida so they love going to the mountains for a glimpse of the seasons.  I have a feeling when we're done they'll all be too in love to let it go.)

 

{Here's the kitchen mid-demo... The doors were removed and the shelves, paper and linoleum are out.  }

The idea for the kitchen is to remove the panty on the left (below) and put a paneled refrigerator there.  I want to replace the existing off-centered window with a massive, centered window with the sink under it.    The island (below) with the stove stop in it are gone and will  be replaced with a new island with lots of seating.  The range and hood will hopefully go on the wall with the two doors, which is about eight feet wide. (see pic above)   Obviously, the new window is more of an unexpected cost, but I'm really hoping he goes for it because it will make SUCH a difference!!  I'm always looking to create symmetrical elevations in kitchens and this one would be STUNNING.

 

{the wall to the right of the kitchen sink area has a large and low window that can't be removed so no countertops can fit on that wall.}

I may have mentioned this before, but Adam is awesome to work with.  (Which translates into he pretty much listens to whatever I suggest! yay!) (as long as it can meet the budget...  there's always that ;)   Like a lot of men I've worked with, he is A-Okay spending money on woodwork, stone and architecture...  it's the furnishings I'm going to have to work on.  Adam's natural taste is so different from mine but he seems  to be coming around to a more restrained look.  (A year ago, he would have been happy living in a fully-furnished Medieval Castle replete with tassels, curly iron work and wall murals, but as we've worked on his new house in Florida, I think he's starting to get the idea of paired-down and relaxed luxury.) (Do you remember that post from last year?  I think there were close to 100 comments but sadly they didn't move when my blog moved.)

Anyway, it'll be a crazy couple of months getting this place in shape but I'll be back with more updates.  We're taking a visit soon so I'll be sure to post progress.   Here's a quick inspiration picture to give you an idea of the wood tones and general feeling I'm envisioning...

 

{Does anyone know the designer?? Love!!!!   Image via here}

 If you want to check out my pinterest board for inspiration, click here.  I'll be posting on that soon!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
For general questions, please write to me at blog@laurenliess.com.

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