Right smack dab in the middle of the Covid pandemic, my house was featured in the 2020 House Beautiful Summer Issue!
I’d like to thank Jo Saltz, Hadley Keller, Hadley Mendelsohn, Robert Rufino, and Tamar Mashigian for the work and friendship it took to make this happen. It was a real dream team!
In certain circumstances, a pandemic might seem an unfavorable moment for press … but the lock down put homeowners in a stare down with their spaces, and the extra eyes kept Murphy Deesign VERY busy!
Now that I’ve had some time to go through the photos and outtakes, I feel like I can give you a proper tour, with notes that include where we began, as well as views that I haven’t posted.
It has only been a little over a year, but in true designer fashion, I have already made changes to our home, with many more on the way. Home Tour 2.0 will be coming to you (manifesting) soon!
Since this photo was taken in 2019, I ended up painting the inside of the door black to match the outside, as well as changing out the inner hardware to an antique handle and lock.
It is so difficult to get a great shot of the entry, because of the angle, so I was thrilled Jessica Sample was able to snap a section of the custom “birch” surfboard that goes three more feet up that wall!
Here is the staircase, a few months apart, shortly after we moved in. Painting the risers (as well as the door) in Farrow & Ball Pitch Black was one of the first decisions I made.
At the top of the stairs is a small landing and “drop zone”, with the insta-famous bunk room just to the right…
… and one of my favorite transition moments 🙂 .
You will notice a blue and green theme (as well as birds) throughout my house, and if you haven’t seen enough of this One Room Challenge room… you can read about the whole process (and see more photos) here!
If you compare the photo above and below, you can see that there was another gorgeous brass rail on the bottom bunk, but we ended up removing it, as it required actual gymnastics skills to vault over.
Zeke Ruelas’ photo also demonstrates how much the green in this room changes with every angle, reflection, and photograph!
To the left of the “drop zone” is our living room, main hangout, and the REASON we bought this house. I walked in and the view and light were heavenly.
It is also the room that has shifted the most (and will go through a mini-makeover soon).
That gorgeous blue sofa on brass “stiletto” legs has finally given way to four years of pouncing children (as in the legs literally busted out of the frame). This was definitely a case of the designer in me choosing “form over function”. It was fun (and gorgeous) while it lasted!
I am now in a seating arrangement deep dive and can’t pull the trigger on anything. I’ll just have to “sit on it” a little while longer 😉 .
Switching out the light fixture is also on my brain, although not completely necessary, but I have my eye set on a vintage piece that would add a bit more whimsy.
Additionally, the large scale art in between the windows has been swapped out with a massive antique mirror (which you will see in our bedroom below), and moved to the bunk room. (Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
Backed up against the staircase is this built-in bookcase and desk, which used to be just one big empty wall with zero function.
It was one of the best investments we made… adding storage, a work-space, and shelves to display travel mementos and of course my design books!
We used to have a white wooden door (like you see closed to the bunk room) that shut off the living room to the “drop zone” and stairs. We replaced it with a glass and steel door, but we don’t have a photo yet. That will be saved for round two! (Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
The dining room has remained the same, except for a few accessory swap outs.
My dream is to add a china cabinet where the lucite console table and ocean photograph are. Although a bit controversial on my Instagram pole, I think you will “get it”once I reveal my vision. (Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
This moment has held steady. I just love it so much. It’s vintage, modern, and whimsical at once… just like me.(Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
Before the House Beautiful team arrived, I had TWO major projects I wanted to finish.
The first was to tile out the patio floor. This little slice of heaven is right off the dining room and overlooks the front courtyard. (Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
I have already swapped out EVERYTHING in this photo (except for the string lights and the husband). The design just always felt a bit “off”, but I think I have it now! Stay tuned!
The second project I finished was to install this fountain (view from the patio), which gifts us with ambient background noise all day. In true photo shoot fashion, we were planting those flowers the morning of the HB team’s arrival!
My beloved hallway and gallery wall (yes… I still LOVE gallery walls). The question is HOW DO MY KIDDOS LOOK SO LITTLE? This felt like yesterday!
We open up the casement windows, let the breezes flow and listen to the fountain almost every day along this corridor.
The kitchen is the first door off of the hallway, and was also a One Room Challenge undertaking.
Besides a few functional tweaks (like drilling a hole in the back right corner of the brass shelf so that I can add a lamp and a cord to drop through), I won’t change a thing. I absolutely LOVE it. (Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
Here’s the flip side, where I added an upper cabinet with glass doors to display my collectibles, and a desk for an extra spot to work, or for someone to join me in the kitchen. (Photo by Zeke Ruelas)
A peek through the kitchen, leads you to my “mud room”. I actually like this shot, because usually you don’t see the washer and dryer, but this is real life small space in action.
The steel and reeded glass door replaced the original.
A few more views to show you how we make this space function. The shoe drawer rivals the stove as one of my favorite pieces!
The back stair case is covered in graffiti by multidisciplinary artist Diego Mendoza, and stashes all of our skate boards!
Circling back down the hallway, we have ONE large bathroom for the four of us. You heard that right!
There is a shower to the left of the tub, and enough space for all of us, but this room will get a makeover at some point. Deciding when to do it is the issue, as it’s our only bathroom.
I plan on enlarging the shower, adding a clawfoot tub, and changing the tile, storage and sink situation.
The only original update was to paint the walls in Farrow & Ball down pipe.
At the end of the hall, are the two bedrooms. This one is the “primary bedroom”, although the two don’t really vary in size.
See the huge antique mirror? This is the one now hanging in the living room behind the sofa.
This room has been photographed a few times, and styled in various ways. It’s fun to see how a few tweaks here and there pull out subtle differences.
I painted it Farrow & Ball Off Black after we moved in and I love it as strongly now as I did then.
Primary Bedroom 2.0 will feature a new light fixture (already installed), curtains, a new rug, bed and nightstands.
I am very attached to my vintage sketches, so I don’t know if I will shake that up or not, but I am VERY excited to show you the glow up which will feel a bit more layered and luxe. (Photo by Monica Wang)
Directly across the hall is the kiddos’ shared bedroom. This is the only real photo I have (thank you Jessica!), because it has always felt like it was in transition.
I’m ready to ditch the bunk bed for two twin or full size beds, and this is the final room that I am considering for another built in (I envision a desk and bookcase with a library ladder on the wall to the right of the bed in the shot above).
The desk and bookcase will also add more storage for these two, as they age and crave more personal spaces to stash their stuff.
The back patio finishes our tour, and if you are already following my social and blog, you know it was completed this past summer during the Covid pandemic.
You can see more of it here.
I wish we had a photo of the exterior, because we also added a brand new roof, taking it from the washed out brown that you see in the magazine, to a gorgeous deep grey, and it’s crazy how much it “elevated” the curb appeal.
Does this mean we are DONE? Ha! Never!
Ultimately, I’d love to bring a landscape architect in to polish up our plant life and to give us the French countryside vibes I feel this building deserves.
Thanks again to the beautiful humans that have contributed to the evolution of this very happy space (Stephanie, Jim, Anna, Kevin, Jerryl and vendors).
What’s first on Home Sweet Deesign 2.0?
Definitely my boudoir… and you won’t want to miss it!