As you know – because I tell you all the time - every day I get emails from readers. Sometimes the emails are accompanied by pictures of their houses. I love getting those emails – it’s fun for me to see readers houses and even to offer a few design tips, but ONLY if I am asked to. Otherwise, I take off my interior decorator hat and just admire their house as any friend would. Although some emails are from readers wanting advice, most just send in pictures to share with me. Many times the houses are decorated in a way that the reader knows I will admire and just wants me to see it. Some homeowners don’t send pictures of their entire house, rather they send snapshots of just one special room recently redecorated. I have no idea why I love looking at other peoples houses, but I do. And, I suspect if you are reading this blog, you are the same way too. So today, I am going to show you a few houses and special rooms from readers so you can enjoy them as much as I have. Most interesting of all is that most of these houses were not professionally decorated, rather the homeowner put it together herself. If you have sent me pictures of your house and it’s not included here, do not take it personally! I have so many images stored on my computer, it’s impossible for me to look through all of them to find every house sent to me these past two years! These that I am showing today just happened to have been easily found on the hard drive. Also, if you think you do want to share your house with other readers – don’t be shy! I’m hoping to make Readers Houses a regular feature of the blog from here on out.
Kim from somewhere in the midwest sent me pictures of her beautiful house. First up is her entry hall with a vignette designed around a silver mirror and lamps. Right past the entry is an office behind French doors. I wish there was a picture of this room – it looks so interesting with its patterned rug and pillow!
Facing the entry hall is the living area on the left and the family room and kitchen on the right. Here you can really get a feel for the house – the colors, the whites and light blues mixed with black accents. Which room tugs at you to see first – the living room or the family room? For me – even though Kim’s husband and the cat look so cozy in the family room - the living room is calling.
With the pretty staircase overlooking it, the living room is bright, light, and beautiful! The room is double height with lots of windows that really add to the ambiance here. The curtains are a wonderful silk stripe in blue and white and notice the pattern is railroaded, meaning the stripes run horizontal instead of the more usual vertical direction. The large pattern is perfect in this size room. The sofa matches wonderfully in white with the blue trim and the zebra pillows pop against all the more pastel colors in the room. In fact, black is an important accent color - besides the pillows, it is found in the piano and the lampshades. I love the large trendy chandelier – it’s the right size exactly for this high ceilinged room. Kim adds a large mink throw for texture. What a pretty room – I love it!
A close up shot of the sofa with all the pillows and the luxurious throw. Let’s go see the nearby dining room.
The dining room is a bright, sunny space. With its glass topped table, surrounded by casually slipcovered chairs- the painting really sets the mood in this room. The pillows that are placed on the chairs all pick up the bright colors found in the painting. Further bursts of colors come from the glassware found on the tablescape. I wish we could see the lighting fixture! Very cute room!!!
Heading back into the central hall, the family room and kitchen are on the right side of the house. Here you can see part of the family room with the animal print rug and two white chairs and ottoman. Notice the breakfast room is off to the very back right of this room.
The family room connects to the large white kitchen. There is another back staircase in this room.
Off to the side in a large bay window is the breakfast room – so charming! I love the way Kim has accessorized the table with a runner and candlesticks. The light fixture is so pretty too. I adore this room! Notice what an important role all the green from outside plays in all the different rooms. The foliage really adds so much color to the house.
The kitchen has beautiful Carrara marble counter tops and great cabinetry. In every room, Kim has used a wonderful chandelier which really adds an important design element. I love how the pantry has a French door!
The backsplash is subway tiles, also in marble. This is really a pretty kitchen with the glass front cabinets and the wood hood.
The master bedroom is a serene place, with a chandelier and two large mirrors that make the entire room sparkle.
And finally the verdant back yard with its wonderful swimming pool! Thank you Kim for sharing your beautiful house with us!!!!!
Homeowner Two: our next reader’s house is owned by a woman who wanted to share her love of accessories and collecting with me. Like she said – we have many of the same collections – and she is so right! I see right away we both love zebra rugs and blue and white porcelains!
This is so charming – an antique round bookcase filled with design books, of course! I love the screen behind it, made of book faces. She loves books as much, if not more, than I do!
I adore this – around a game table – four blue and white garden seats! She has me beat - I only have three garden seats.
Another thing we both collect is bronze dog figures AND design books. I’m not sure who has more books, she or I, but it’s a tight race. I see we own many of the same books. But more important – I spy a picture of the owner hugging a English Springer Spaniel, very much like my own Georgie. Is this my house or hers?????? I’m getting a little confused here!
Another view of the same tablescape – Living With Dogs is one of my favorite design books!
In this beautiful antique secretary is a collection I don’t have – but it’s so charming I may start one – vintage dog bowls! I love this!!! The entire cabinet is an expression of her love of dogs – she must be the sweetest woman in the world!
More blue and white and calligraphy brushes. We both share a love of orchids. I only own one calligraphy brush.
A view of the vignette atop the console in the dining room. This homeowner collect religious santos and art work that celebrates the Hispanic woman. AND she loves orange roses – me too!!!!!
At the homeowner’s 60th birthday party, her family collected all the things from her house that she loves and decorated the party room with her favorites. What a great idea – I have to remember this for my 60th birthday, in five years! Here, her love of quilts, santos, blue and white, and orange roses is evident.
She’ll probably kill me for this – but the beautiful homeowner at her 60th birthday party- thank you for sharing your wonderful house and all your collections with us!!!!
Homeowner Three: Our third homeowner sent in this picture of her bedroom – telling me how much I would love it! I wonder why? Could it be the checked upholstered headboard, or the beautiful Scalamandre Oriental toile wallpaper? Or would it be the vintage sunburst mirror? Thank you Ms. MDC for sharing your beautiful bedroom with us !!!
Homeowner Four: Our Fourth homeowner today sent in pictures of her house – and I want to show you how darling her kitchen is – all in black and white, with subway tiles and black granite. The floor tiles are perfect, and I love the white linen curtains along with the white ironstone too. But the chandelier is the perfect touch!!! Thanks for sharing!! You’ve done a great job with your house.
Homeowner Five: This homeowner today writes from South Africa! Her house is built around a courtyard where there is a large swimming pool. Notice the lions on top of the roof! This is Africa, after all.
Her living room is so pretty with its stone fireplace.
I especially love the French inspired bedroom with its trumeau mirror.
But what really caught my eye was this bathroom with its crystal chandelier, twin Venetian mirrors and luxurious silk window shade – all just so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
Homeowner Six: This young homeowner wanted to share her dining room which she had just finished decorating. She thought I would like it – wonder why? Well, the slipped chairs are adorable – I like how she put tops on only two of the chairs – it creates a visual interest. Cute ballet ties too! And I love the dark wall color with the white slipcovers – it makes them pop. The plates are the perfect addition too – love that! You did a great job!!!!
Homeowner Seven: This reader told me – you are going to love my living room –we share so many things. Yes we do! Let me count the ways: Bennison Roses fabric, seagrass, zebra, white slips, French settee, blue and white, orchid, sconces - yes, you are so right!! We do share a love of so many of the same things!!
And finally, I really want to show you this house, but I don’t have the homeowner’s email anymore. If this is your dog, email me! This homeowner sent in professional pictures of her beautiful house and I want to make sure it’s not being published before I share it.
Thank you again to all the homeowners today who have shared their houses and their special rooms with me and you! What is most interesting, is I don’t think many were professional designed – just homeowners with style and taste who put together their house with the things they love. If you have designed your house and want to show it off, let me know! I hope to continue to show “real houses” not just all the more professionally designed houses we see in the magazines.
And one bit of blog business, this week The Skirted Roundtable was thrilled to welcome internationally acclaimed interior designer AND blogger Vicente Wolf. Wolf was extremely interesting, talking about everything from his childhood in Cuba to his present day design service, working hard to maintain a profitable business in this terrible economy. If you haven’t had a chance to listen – please go HERE to do so. ENJOY!!!!