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DEMYSTIFYING DESIGN

Your home is a TEMPLE, and we want to be the high priests.

Posts Tagged ‘Before and After’

An iVillage “Before” and “After!”

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

The Boring "Before!"

Here's a "before" image of a project that John and I tackled on Long Island a few years back. The iVillage website has featured this project as part of their "before" and "after" series. Click on the image, above, to see the "after" image of our design and to view the projects of some of our peers...

Gang:

I hope you had a splendiferous weekend! John and I are still in London and head back tomorrow… It’s been an amazing trip.

On another note, the iVillage site recently invited us to submit a “before” and after” project, and the project has just gone online. Take a look, and let me know what you think. This was a fun project because John and I tackled much of the fix-it work ourselves, including painting the beat-up wood floors and thinking up creative ways to mask the wonky walls.

We love to hear feedback!

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Our Guest Bedroom (Before & After)!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Pattern Aplenty!

Weenie strikes a winsome pose in our guest bedroom "after" with its patterns-upon-patterns and gobs of wallpaper. The room is always evolving, so much of this furniture has already moved on to other spaces and places. The coral-hued table to the left of the bed, for example, will be available for purchased at our May 8 One Kings Lane sale.

Gang:

I hope your week is going along swimmingly… We have Lykke Li on the sound system at our Chester Court offices, and Jasper and Weenie are rocking out.

I was digging through some “before” and “after” photographs of Chester Court this morning, and I thought it would be fun to revisit what our guest bedroom looked like “before” and “after” the Madcap Cottage boys had their way with the space.

The “before”s and “after”s are quite dramatic! Let us know what you think!


 

Roome & Bored!

Here's the very boring guest bedroom before we tackled the space. This room was calling out for color and verve, and we answered the clarion call. And how!

Banish the Beige!

Another angle of the guest bedroom "before." Snooze, n'est-ce pas?

Whimsical Wonderland!

Guests love to check into Chester Court... Our guest bedroom is super-inviting and comfortable. And, yes, there's lots to look at it! I am especially partial to the necklaces that we picked up in India and draped over the lampshade next to the bed.

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Powder-Coated Perfection!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

 

Woodsy Wonders!

Our blog follower Mona, who lives in Waterville, Maine, sent us pictures of her vintage stools "before" and "after" powder coating them. Here's the atmospheric "before" shot.

Gang:

I SO adore when our blog followers actually take us up on an idea and really run with it.

Take Mona, for instance, one of our blog devotees in Waterville, Maine…

Magnificent Mona recently decided to powder coat two old, rusty, tired metal stools that she found in her basement. And her decision to powder coat these stale seats came from our blog: As you know John and I simply LOVE to powder coat anything metal…

So Mona took these vintage stools to her nearby powder coater and selected a jaunty oyster-blue color. And, voila, perfection. If you have old patio furniture floating about that needs a kick of color, powder coat it!

And if John and I inspire you to tackle a project, DO send us photos.

We love seeing your handiwork…


 

 

Blue Period!

Here are Mona's stools after being powder coated a delicious oyster-blue hue. Natty, n'est-ce pas? Mona plans to tuck these under a coffee table and pull them out for cocktail soirees. Waterville, Maine seems to be a happening town... Go, Mona!

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A Trip to the Powder Coater!

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Lanterns Ho!

Here I am holding two Moroccan-style lanterns from Z Gallerie that we had powder coated a jaunty orange. The original finish on these lanterns had begun to peel and flake, so a trip to the powder coating facility was necessary. These revitalized lovelies will keep their good looks for years to come.

Gang:

Sometimes we must sound like an old record on eternal repeat… We cannot discuss painting a front door often enough or decoupaging a table or, well, powder coating anything metal.

So here we are again extolling the virtues of powder coating!

If you have anything from metal patio furniture to sconces and everything in between, there is nothing like powder coating to take the finish on these pieces from tired to tip-top terrific. Here’s how powder coating works: Powder coating is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. The coating is typically applied electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a “skin.” The results are tougher than conventional paint and emit nearly no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and the powder coated items won’t chip or show wear and tear like fading from being out in the sun and the elements.

So if you have anything metal that needs any overhaul, why not think about a trip to a powder coater near you. It’s one of our most favorite activities…

To find your local powder coater, simply go to Google and type in “powder coating” and see what comes up nearby… It’s that easy!

Candy's Dandy!

John and I borrowed a neighbor's truck to head to our powder coaters in upstate New York. It was a rainy fall day, but at least we got a hint of the fall hues. Note our small maple tree in full autumn glory to the right of the truck.

John!

John empties the truck at Madcap Cottage of our candy-colored stash!

Think Pink!

Two vintage faux bamboo chairs refreshed with bubblegum pink powder coating!

Anchors Away!

Here's a pair of vintage anchor planters that were tired and beat-up. These ladies needed an overhaul!

Hello, Sailor!

Here's one of those same anchor planters after it has been given a marine blue powder coating treatment. Stunning, n'est-ce pas?

Lattice and Lovage!

A vintage Chinoiserie-styled lantern that I found in upstate New York. Sadly, this lamp was in terrible shape. I took out the wiring and then sent the lantern to the powder coaters for a fun and flirty overhaul.

China Syndrome!

Here's the same lantern "after!" It had started to rain, so the lamp is a tad wet, but you can still see the dramatic, transformative results...

 

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The Power of Pillows!

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Sunset over Bodrum!

A sunset view of the resort city of Bodrum in Turkey. What a delicious vista, n'est-ce pas?

Gang:

John and I are in the resort community of Bodrum, Turkey, and while I am not crazy about the very touristy main town of Bodrum, I love the Bodrum peninsula and quaint Torba and Gumusluk. We had lunch yesterday at a wonderful cafe in tiny Gumusluk right at the edge of the sea, and dining upon just-caught sea bream with a cool Sauvignon Blanc was simply sublime. But more on all of that later.

John and I have been picking up vintage Turkish textiles along the way–from pillows to kilim rugs, Suzanis, and gorgeous throws. The colors, the energy, the verve! Stunning.

Speaking of pillows… Frankly, there’s no better way to bring a travel experience home that with some punchy pillows, and remember that you don’t have to buy pillows with the inserts that fluff them out. You can buy the pillows covers flat and pick up inserts back at home courtesy of such easily accessible spots such as West Elm. Without the stuffing, you can load up with dozens of pillows and not worry about fitting everything into your perhaps already-overloaded suitcase.

Well-known Turkish designer Rifat Ozbek has this to say about the “experience” of collecting pillows whilst traveling: “A cushion is a luxury; a reminder of a journey, a memory of a dream.” And John and I could not agree any more. Says John, “There’s nothing like a pillow to transform a space from boring to brilliant. Pillows are relatively cheap and very chic and work wonders. Why recover a sofa when you can just add pillows… And change out your throw pillows every season to bring a fresh new look to your rooms.”

Besides, pillows can take the boring and make it simply brilliant. We photographed a white couch at our hotel in Bodrum without pillows and then we added colorful cushions: See for yourself the gorgeous, transformational power of pillows…

Viva la pillow!

And remember to mark your calendars as we will be selling a wonderful assortment of Turkish pillows at our One Kings Lane sale on November 1. It will be like a little Turkish bazaar at your fingertips without having to board a plane or get a visa. Not that’s the sort of armchair travel we like.

A Vanilla Sofa!

BEFORE! Here's a "plain Jane," although well-tailored sofa, that is just so white-on-white vanilla. Boring. This sofa needs a makeover, but why recover it? Let's see what an assortment of colorful Turkish pillows can do to this little wall flower...

The Sofa "After."

AFTER! Here's that same white sofa "after" John added wonderful Turkish pillows. Pillows are quite the game-changer, huh? This sofa was super dull before but now it looks like a million bucks. When in doubt, just add pillows. And then add a few more.

Punchy Pillows!

Colorful pillows in a far-flung style add some ethnic flavor and glamour to this once-boring white couch. Brilliant!

Colorful Pillows!

Here's a close-up of the Turkish pillows upon the white couch. You will find many of these pillows for sale at our One Kings Lane sale on November 1, so if your couch needs a little overhaul, get ready to stock up.

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Va-Va-Va Voom Valances!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Jason and Jasper!

Here I am hanging Velcro to a window in our living room at Madcap Cottage to attach the fabulous Thibaut fabric valances that our friend Diana Parton crafted. Diana is such a talent with a sewing machine and 10 nimble fingers. Jasper directs the action. Please note my classy self standing upon the sofa instead of using a ladder.

Gang:

Remember our blog installment from a few weeks back about the valances that our dear friend Diana Parton was crafting from exotic Thibaut fabric for Madcap Cottage?

Well, Diana worked her magic, and the valances are divine! What a fun and wonderful way to add oomph to a window without having to craft full-on drapes. We paired the whimsical valances with wonderful all-wood shutters in  a cool, soothing sagebrush from Hunter Douglas’ Heritance collection, and the results are spiffy.

And how to attach the valances, you might ask? Velcro, purchased at our local hardware store. Simple, chic, colorful.

Here are some images of the valances…


 

Velcro!

Velcro is a fabulous trick of the trade for attaching valances to a window without expensive window hardware. We added the Velcro and pulled the fabric tight when attaching it to the windows in our living room. The results are gorgeous, as well as crisp and tailored. Why not try this at home... Your valances need not be as ornate as those at Madcap Cottage. If you can sew--or use a non-sew adhesive like Sealah Tape--craft some valances of your own. Then show us your handiwork!

Shutter Fly!

Your curtains don't necessarily have to match your drapes. Here we paired amazing Hunter Douglas all-wood shutters in sagebrush with valances to create entirely bespoke window treatments. The result is private yet airy.

Valance-o-rama!

Valances aren't just for windows. Here, we attached valances to both sides of the doorway that leads from our foyer to our living room. The door treatment adds drama and a dash of the delicious to the passage from one room to the next.

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Embellish the Truth

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Sazerac!

Here I am enjoying a Sazerac cocktail on the rocks at Galatoire's in New Orleans. Friday lunch on the ground floor at Galatoire's is a Nola tradition. Don't miss the souffle potatoes with Bearnaise sauce. Divine. My diet started today. I look like "un vrai cochon." Oink.

Gang:

I am just back from a fabulous week in New Orleans. I am crazy for the Crescent City, and I think that I might just move down there in 2012 for a few months. I’ll rent an apartment in the French Quarter and see how it goes. Anyhow, I drove down to Nola and back, a long, 21-hour drive each way.

When I walked in last evening from my tiresome voyage, John was busy embellishing the wallpaper on our dining room ceiling.

There’s a lot going on in that sentence, n’est-ce pas?

Dining Room Ceiling Before!

Our dining ceiling "before" John decided to embellish with wild abandon. The wallpaper is from Laura Ashley. Laura Ashley?! Yes, that tried-and-true brand that once made Holly Hobby-style dresses with floral patterns back in the 80s.

Let’s break it down:

Wallpaper on the ceiling.

Well, you already know that we love nothing more than papering what we call the Fifth Wall.

And then embellishing wallpaper?

Yes, blogerati, we like to take wallpaper and give it even more oomph.

So what exactly was Mr. Loecke doing on the stepladder as I wrapped myself in the blissful arms of a vodka and San Pellegrino Limonata cocktail, my 17 Chester Court go-to libation of late? P.S. I am just crazy for San Pellegrino Limonata packaging, but more on stocking your bar later. I can’t always write about liquor and mixers.

Back to wallpaper: John was applying fabulous rhinestone paisley and flower trim that we had picked up for pennies in the bazaars of India to the ceiling with a glue gun and listening to the fabulous music of the late Amy Winehouse.

Does this sound like a typical Sunday evening activity around your home?

Embellishments!

The fabulously colorful embellishments that John and I picked up by the handful at various bazaars in India last fall. Paisleys and florals and starbursts, oh my!

Naturally, I plunked down and gave directions, whether they were wanted or not.

“You missed a spot.”

Or.

“Two degrees to the left, yes, right there.”

Says John, rolling his eyes: “Embellishing wallpaper adds further dimensionality and further visual interest. Punch, pow, pizzazz!”

Notes Jason, “I need another cocktail. Poor Amy Winehouse, so tragic. Remember that time you almost ran her over on Houston Street?”

True story. John almost killed Amy Winehouse a few years back as she was illegally crossing Houston Street in the East Village. She cursed us out and then scampered off into the night. She was whippet thin and had the full-on beehive hairdo and Cleopatra eye makeup. And cursed like a stevedore.

Creative Ceiling!

Here's our dining room ceiling after I lent my talents at giving direction to the placement of the embellishments. My role as Creative Director at John Loecke, Inc. is to creatively direct, so that's what I do.

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Weekend Warrior: A Bedroom Transformation.

Friday, July 15th, 2011

HoSang Home Before!

Robert and Judith HoSang's Brooklyn bedroom "before." John and I were tasked by the New York Times to transform this couple's bedroom into a Parisian-style aerie for a mere $1,500.

Gang:

Back in 2010, John and I were approached by the New York Times and asked to work with them on a column called “On the Cheap.” We were given several videos from Times readers detailing renovations that they would like to see in their homes–albeit on a minimal budget–and John and I were tasked to choose one reader whose space we would overhaul. We settled upon a lovely couple, Robert and Judith HoSang, whose style seemed to dovetail with our sensibility. The HoSang’s goal: Transform their bedroom into a Paris-style retreat for $1,500. $1,500?! Yes, $1,500!

John and I were up for the challenge! And everyone was super happy with the results…

Read the story, below, then tackle your own renovation project. It’s amazing what you can do with limited ducats. As John and I always say, “Good design need not be expensive, just make it expressive.”


 

Viva Paris!

Click on the image, above, for an interactive feature all about our transformation of the HoSang's bedroom from blah to brilliant!

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Makeover Madness: Lovely Lonny!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The New Orleans project we have been working on for the past year has hit the pages of Lonny… And the home looks delicious.

Check it out in the May/June issue of Lonny, beginning on page 158.

Here are just a FEW images of the home to tease you!

Let us know what you think.


 

Raina and Sean!

Here are our clients Raina and Sean in the garden of their French Quarter home.

Before!

Here's the living room "during" with a few pieces that we have selected.

Living Room!

And here's the living room after. Quite a change, n'est-ce pas? Let me know if you want to know specifics about furnishings, etc.

Living Room and Dining Room!

Here's another shot of the living room and an image of the dining room.

Shoes!

Here's the French-styled guest bedroom, Raina's shoe closet, and little ole us!

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Makeover Madness: Sunday Staging!

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day, here's Jason and John with Jason's fab parents, Jary and Lois, at a wedding in Minneapolis last summer. Lois is working the vintage Marni and Ted Muehling earrings.

John and I spent today, Sunday, working with a client to help pull together her Manhattan living room, sort of high-concept “staging.” Our fab client has just moved into the apartment, so there were still loads of boxes–the place looked like a chic jumble sale when we walked in this morning at 9am. And this after a night of hard partying at Rasputin nightclub on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn where we kicked back vodka and blini until the wee hours with our trusty helper, Blair.

Even though we were just a tad hungover, we had a fabulous day, and here are the results. Why not create a “moment” like this in your own home with artwork…

And remember that this project is very much a work in progress, so it’s still a little rough around the edges:


 

Blank Slate!

John and I bunched two vintage Dorothy Draper Espana chests together in a niche and decided to hang several of our client's fabulous vintage portraits above.

Living Room!

P.S. Here's the living room as it looked when we walked in this morning.

The Wall!

The wall is ready to be clothed: Bring on the artwork!

Editing!

John edits out portraits from our client's vast collection.

Road Test!

Jason holds up a fab painting of a gal in red to see how it looks above the Espana chests.

Let's Hang!

John gets busy with the artwork...

More Artwork!

John hangs even more artwork. Looking good, n'est-ce pas?

Finished Results!

Here are the chests with the artwork hanging overhead. We added a few props, and voila!

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