Choosing paint with Julie

Julie Diorio specializes in light, space and the nuance of color and is very good at her job.

I spent weeks visualizing color schemes and finalizing a plan for this space, and only one hour with Julie refining it – It was a great use of time. Before I met Julie, this was the rough plan for paint and wallpaper:

Floorplan 2
Original plan for paint and wallpaper

After spending an hour with Julie, my plan was refined. We selected the color of white that we will use across all of our white spaces to maintain a beautiful and traditional look. We chose Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball. We selected a beautiful putty color for the kitchen, Skimming Stones by Farrow & Ball, and a couple of paint choices to consider for the den. The wallpaper choice in the entry will be a “moment” that will influence the choice of color on the hallway ceiling, the back console and the dining room. Since the entry console is curved, it is not a good place to showcase large artwork and a large pattern may get lost between the five doorways that line the space. I am already working on wallpaper for the entry, back console and guest.

Floorplan
Post working with Julie

Julie and I talked a lot about WHITE and the various tones of white, and the “whiteness” of white. But seriously, we discussed in detail how paint quality impacts the quality of the results, the depth and richness of higher quality paints and the appropriate tones of paint to pair with the tone of the natural light in a space, based on the orientation of the room and the time of day. We talked about the flow and story of a space, told with color.

IMG_8436
Our selected white, Wimborne White, Farrow & Ball

The prior homeowner put a lot of work into the renovation of this apartment and the restoration of the beautiful molding and doors. I am planning on carrying all of this hard work forward and maintaining the historical details and natural wood finishes, like the pocket doors.

The “before” photos

the listing photos

I have saved all of the listing photos of this unit so I never forget where this project started. The apartment is beautiful and the prior owner kept this apartment so clean and took such impecable care of it.

astor entry
Circular entryway with Scalamandre Ming Circus wallpaper
Kitchen with double height cabinets
Double living room with wood burning fireplace

I have a lot of ideas to breathe some new life into this place and am excited to start. The goal is to make smart updates that have big impact. The plan is to paint the majority of the rooms, selectively introducing wallpaper for the guest, front entry and back console. While gray has been a very popular color, I don’t care for it now and am excited to shift to neutral white and cream to showcase artwork.

astor dining
Dining room with second fireplace
astor den 2
What will be a den, with third fireplace
astor bedroom, kids
Guest room
astor hall 1
Main hallway
astor bedroom 2
Master Bedroom

First I will work with my favorite paint expert to select Farrow & Ball colors and get to work on carefully painting and stripping this wallpaper.

Floorplan 1.0

Chicago gold coast condo

After living in Manhattan for the last 13 years, we grew accustomed to not having a car, being centrally located and walking to our favorite spots. For us, the latter two items were ultimate must-haves so location was very important in our search and we kept coming back to the Gold Coast for its convenience and proximity to the lake. The Gold Coast has beautiful tree-lined streets and lovely architecture. It is currently beautifully decorated for the holidays and we love to take walks in the neighborhood. For all of these reasons and more, we are excited to move into our new pre-war apartment, built in the late 1890’s. The Gold Coast neighborhood does not require a car, and all of our favorite restaurants from Somerset to Velvet Taco, to Lou Malnati’s, are only a few minutes walk.

We love the space and will “live in every room” as our real estate agent Debbie encouraged us to do.

Floorplan
Floorplan of our new home

I’m looking forward to the decorating projects ahead and for sharing them here!

Bathroom tiles

I’m getting ready to update two bathrooms simultaneously. I have turned my back on gray walls but there are still so many tiles and finishes in this gray and white style since it has been so popular for the last 5 years+ and continues to be, but not for me.

I love the brass legs on this sink in the Waterworks showroom. The slab is thin and airy and the shelf is off the floor. I think this piece, as a single sink, would look great in a smaller bathroom.

Wendy’s (Ellis) Green

Farrow & Ball full gloss paint

I discovered high shine “Wendy’s Green” paint from Farrow & Ball while searching for the perfect olive paint. The store actually does not carry a true olive paint but good news!, the custom mixed Wendy’s Green is available, with a 2 gallon minimum. This is the same green that designer Wendy Labrum used at the 2017 Lake Forest, IL Design & Garden Showhouse. I love it!

All room images were pulled from La Dolce Vita.

La Voliere Light and Vertigo Home

I shop for home goods while visiting Laguna

I stumbled across Vertigo Home with J while in Laguna at a wedding. This shop is beautiful and I fell in love with what I believe to be one of the most unique and beautiful lamps. Behold!, the bird cage lamp by La Voliere, a la Vertigo Home, Laguna.


I waited approximately 3 hours to make the decision that this lamp had to be mine and another 2 months to receive it, but alas, it is here. And, it is gorgeous…


Okay, this is not my house, but here it is in the box and I can’t wait to install this beautiful light somewhere!


Thank you Vertigo Home for making the process of sourcing this hand-painted bird lamp all the way from Paris and for delivering it to me safely. You are awesome!

Woven leather folding chair

a beach chair gets a leather woven makeover

I made this chair with J and it’s now his favorite reading nook in the house. The chair was less than $150 and was made from an old beach chair that I bought on Ebay and some leather strips that I bought online.

Beach chair strips removed
Clean chair ready for new leather straps
Attaching leather straps
Finished chair with straps attached

The directions are limited because the process is simple. You simply replace the original straps with leather, using the original leather straps as a guide for cutting the leather to size and for attaching to the frame (poke hole, simple screw).

It’s easy and it’s chic and it patinas over time! (See photo at top taken months after the chair was assembled).