K. Marie Design

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My Inspiring Trip to the 2014 Sunset Magazine Idea House!

Sunset magazine debuted their first L.A. area Idea House this month and this past Tuesday I was invited by Smith + Noble to attend a special ”to-the-trade” viewing of the house. Smith + Noble worked with the project’s interior design firm, DISC, to create a new line of textiles to be used for all of the window treatments throughout the house. As a Smith + Noble design partner (who gets a 20% discount on soft treatments and 15% off on hard treatments), I was excited to see this new line of textiles used throughout an entire home, while strolling around and enjoying free wine and snacks on a Tuesday afternoon (I think drinking free wine during the day on a Tuesday should be written into the job description of an interior designer because it happens a lot!). It was obviously much easier to envision how I would use the fabrics and blinds when I could see them in a large format instead of just the smaller sample sizes…that I get for free!  The collection is gorgeous and if you’ve seen the Storage Solutions magazine spread of my own home, or the photos of the executive office that I designed in Manhattan Beach (both are posted on my Facebook page), they would all fit seamlessly into my designs of those spaces. I can’t wait until my complimentary swatches of the collection arrive so I can add them to my resource library!

Below are some of the photos that I took of the house, links to more information about touring the house yourself, and information about the Smith + Noble DISC textiles collection.

Smith + Noble textiles designed by DISC:

DISC Interiors with Smith&Noble 

Exterior of the 2014 Sunset Idea House in Manhattan Beach, CA:

-It’s landscaped with low maintenance and drought-friendly grasses and plants.

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Dining room:

—The height of the ceiling and windows lend it an air of formality, but the décor keeps it simple and comfortable.

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Family room:

-A great way to disguise the giant black t.v. on the wall is to make the wall black too! This is a great mix of materials between the actual wall treatments (wood, metal, and stone) and the pieces displayed on it, so it doesn’t feel like a giant black hole on one side of the family room.

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View of family room from covered patio (the kitchen is to the right):

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Backyard and pool, with hot tub:

-the backyard was large (for Manhattan Beach) and there was plenty of space for entertaining and lounging.

-I’m so in love with the design of this pool that I would rip up my entire backyard to have it at my house! It’s not only a great place for the family to spend a warm summer day, but the fountain and overflow turn it into a beautiful fountain!

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The master bedroom on the second floor:

-The master bedroom was very simple and personally I like a little more art to warm up my master bedrooms, but I like how they incorporated the black wall up here again to disguise the t.v.

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View to the backyard from the master bedroom balcony:

-The designers expanded the balcony from what the architect originally had designed and I think it works great! I love having a cozy and private spot off the master bedroom to read and enjoy a cup of coffee!

Guest bedroom, on second floor:

-This room was completely furnished with products from World Market and it’s a great example of how you can make a home look beautiful on a smaller budget! It also fits in seamlessly with the rest of the house without looking “cheap”.

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Laundry room, on the second floor, near guest bedroom:

-I like the laundry room is continuing with the trend of locating it on the same level as the bedrooms and this one is nice because it’s tucked away from the main bedrooms over by the guest bedroom. This is nice because if you’re running a load of wash at night, you won’t be disturbed by the sounds coming from the washer and dryer.

-The room had plenty of counter space for folding, but I felt it could’ve used upper cabinets for more storage space.  As an interior designer AND professional organizer, I’m always looking at each space in a home and trying to make sure that it’s going to be functional for the owner in addition to beautiful…this room gets an A for beauty, but a C for function. 

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Stairway between the first and second level:

-I took this shot as I was heading back down the stairs to show how high the ceilings are in the dining room and entry way. They really made for a dramatic entrance and gave the designers an opportunity to choose a couple of high impact fixtures!

-I also wanted to point out that all of the window frames in the house are black. If you’re building a house from scratch, replacing all of the existing windows in your home, or updating your windows with paint, make sure the color fits in with the overall design aesthetic of your home. Here in the Idea House, the black from the windows is picked up in every room, whether it’s in a textile, a piece of art, a rug, a wall treatment. They also did a beautiful job carrying that black finish throughout the other metal finishes in the house, e.g. the handrail, cabinet pulls, light fixtures, swimming pool, fireplace, and door hardware. You’d be amazed how little things like that can make a big difference between a home feeling “finished” and “whole” rather than “pieced together” and “disjointed”.

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This is a shot of the stairway from the dining room:

-You’ll note that the designers had the first step made of marble, instead of wood…a quirky little touch!

I love the pool so much that I have to post one more photo of it!

-This is taken from the master bedroom balcony. The pool was designed and installed by Dynamic Pool and Spa Construction, Inc.

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If you live in the Los Angeles area, I highly encourage you to visit the house before it closes to the public so you can see it for yourself. If you’re not here in L.A., keep an eye on my Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/k.mariedesign ) and my Instagram (TinaStudier), as I will post updates about the house, including info about future live Tweeting events with Sunset, and when the issue featuring the house is on newsstands! 

Info about tours, which are 10am-5pm, Fri-Sun through Sept. 7:

http://www.sunset.com/home/idea-houses/los-angeles-idea-house

Update 8/28/14  I did a second walkthrough with my husband last weekend and I was able to capture some additional images (it’s hard when there are lots of other people in the house to get good images).

Main level en suite bedroom or den: 

Living room:

Kitchen:

-The kitchen was a great size and its location would make it the nerve center of the house (open to the family room and outside patios via the Nana Walls).

"Mixology Room"/Butler’s Pantry":

-This room was in a small nook between the kitchen and living room. They were billing it as a sort of bar, but it was so small it was really only comfortable for 1 person to be in a time, so I think it would end up functioning more as a storage space and extra prep/clean-up space when entertaining, but it was well decorated, if not the best use of the space.

Main floor powder room:

Second level “Mom Retreat”/en suite bedroom:

-All of the bedrooms were a great size and had en suite bathrooms, but only 2 of the 4 on the second level were decorated as bedrooms. This one was set up as a “mom’s retreat”, which was essentially another living room and the room across the hall was the “kids’ room” and was decorated as a kids’ living space, but not a playroom. If they weren’t going to decorate the spaces as bedrooms, I would have liked to see more imaginative ideas for their uses instead of as additional living spaces, i.e. a craft room, yoga room, music room, art studio.  The second level of the house just sort of left me wondering, “Who would live here and use the rooms this way?” But that isn’t to say that the way they designed them didn’t look great and that the décor didn’t flow with the rest of the house, because it did.

I found out the house will be in the November issue of Sunset magazine, so check your newsstands to learn more about the house and everyone involved in putting it together!

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under Interior Design Ideas kmariedesign smith&noble smithandnoble smith+noble sunsetideahouse sunset magazine discinteriors smith_and_noble swimming pool manhattan beach sunsetmag laundry room design interior design tips los angeles

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I didn’t request gift wrapping, but I guess this is just how the great items from #markandgraham come delivered! Free personalization on all of their items makes the pieces you buy there extra special :) Keep your eye out for a future post to see what’s in this nicely wrapped box, along with a new blog post on my Tumblr page! #kmariedesign #surprise #giftideas
© K. Marie Design 2014

I didn’t request gift wrapping, but I guess this is just how the great items from #markandgraham come delivered! Free personalization on all of their items makes the pieces you buy there extra special :) Keep your eye out for a future post to see what’s in this nicely wrapped box, along with a new blog post on my Tumblr page! #kmariedesign #surprise #giftideas

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under kmariedesign giftideas markandgraham surprise

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Amazing! How did J. Crew know all the words I use to describe myself? They’re missing “tough” though. What words would you use? Tell me and use the hashtag I created below : ) #jcrew #howdoyoudescribeyourself
© K. Marie Design 2014

Amazing! How did J. Crew know all the words I use to describe myself? They’re missing “tough” though. What words would you use? Tell me and use the hashtag I created below : ) #jcrew #howdoyoudescribeyourself

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under jcrew howdoyoudescribeyourself

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Your clothes are suffocating! You may think that leaving the plastic bag on items from the drycleaner is helpful in keeping them clean, but in reality you are trapping any lingering chemicals or detergents and preventing the items from airing out. Clothes, linens, and shoes need “to breathe” and should never be stored in plastic containers, unless there are holes or a mesh side for air circulation. So, not only will a bunch of wire hangers covered in plastic bags make your closet look messy and make it more difficult to find what you’re looking for, you’re also contributing to the early demise of your favorite dress! If you want to protect your most special items from dust, light, color-bleeding, etc. make sure you’re storing them in a container made out of organic breathable material (i.e. linen shoe, sweater, and storage boxes and the natural cotton gatment bag all from The Container Store) or a plastic one with small holes punched in the sides that allow for air circulation. So give your clothes a breath of fresh air and rip off those plastic bags as soon as you get home! #clothes #clothingcare #dryclean #organization #kmariedesign #thecontainerstore
© K. Marie Design 2014

Your clothes are suffocating! You may think that leaving the plastic bag on items from the drycleaner is helpful in keeping them clean, but in reality you are trapping any lingering chemicals or detergents and preventing the items from airing out. Clothes, linens, and shoes need “to breathe” and should never be stored in plastic containers, unless there are holes or a mesh side for air circulation. So, not only will a bunch of wire hangers covered in plastic bags make your closet look messy and make it more difficult to find what you’re looking for, you’re also contributing to the early demise of your favorite dress! If you want to protect your most special items from dust, light, color-bleeding, etc. make sure you’re storing them in a container made out of organic breathable material (i.e. linen shoe, sweater, and storage boxes and the natural cotton gatment bag all from The Container Store) or a plastic one with small holes punched in the sides that allow for air circulation. So give your clothes a breath of fresh air and rip off those plastic bags as soon as you get home! #clothes #clothingcare #dryclean #organization #kmariedesign #thecontainerstore

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under kmariedesign thecontainerstore dryclean organization clothingcare clothes

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I love having live plants and flowers in my home, but I am horrible at taking care of them! Even though “Floral Design” is a class you take in interior design school, I’m still very bad at the indoor plant maintenance part of it!. So, all of my plants are in self-watering pots that I only have to remember to fill about once a week or less. Orchids are a special plant though that require very moist soil and the regular self-watering pots weren’t getting enough water to them. So, I was constantly killing them until I found this wonderful pot about 2 years ago. The Eva Solo Orchid Pot ($75 on Amazon) keeps the soil at the correct moisture level and you just have to fill it with water once a week or so. It comes in black or white and the simple design will fit in with any home decor!
Update: A follower on Facebook asked me about the table in the photo, here is my response:
Thanks Matt! It’s from Room and Board. It can be used vertically as a side table or tip it over and it’s curved to be a bench for an extra seat! The center is open and because it’s by the front door, we stack shoes inside of it. It could also hold throw blankets, books, shopping bags, or towels in a bathroom. I always try to have our furniture look great AND be functional, because with K. Marie Design, it’s “Not Just Another Pretty Space!” ™
© K. Marie Design 2014

I love having live plants and flowers in my home, but I am horrible at taking care of them! Even though “Floral Design” is a class you take in interior design school, I’m still very bad at the indoor plant maintenance part of it!. So, all of my plants are in self-watering pots that I only have to remember to fill about once a week or less. Orchids are a special plant though that require very moist soil and the regular self-watering pots weren’t getting enough water to them. So, I was constantly killing them until I found this wonderful pot about 2 years ago. The Eva Solo Orchid Pot ($75 on Amazon) keeps the soil at the correct moisture level and you just have to fill it with water once a week or so. It comes in black or white and the simple design will fit in with any home decor!

Update: A follower on Facebook asked me about the table in the photo, here is my response:

Thanks Matt! It’s from Room and Board. It can be used vertically as a side table or tip it over and it’s curved to be a bench for an extra seat! The center is open and because it’s by the front door, we stack shoes inside of it. It could also hold throw blankets, books, shopping bags, or towels in a bathroom. I always try to have our furniture look great AND be functional, because with K. Marie Design, it’s “Not Just Another Pretty Space!”

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under plants kmariedesign interiordesign design flowers orchid interior decorating interior design inspi interior design tips room and board side table organization organization ideas organization tips

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I love how Target focuses on design and convenience for their customers. Having a cup holder for my coffee allows me to focus on my shopping without juggling a cup in my hands. It also encourages me to leisurely stroll and enjoy my coffee, inevitably spending more money…very smart on their part! (at Target Manhattan Beach)
© K. Marie Design 2014

I love how Target focuses on design and convenience for their customers. Having a cup holder for my coffee allows me to focus on my shopping without juggling a cup in my hands. It also encourages me to leisurely stroll and enjoy my coffee, inevitably spending more money…very smart on their part! (at Target Manhattan Beach)

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under efficiency design target starbucks

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Remember to recycle your old MAC makeup! For every 6 old containers of MAC makeup that you bring in to a store, you get a free lipstick, eye shadow, or Lip Glass. I keep a small bag under my sink for recyclables. I brought the bag in today and got 4 FREE items! Check with your cosmetics company to see if they have a similar program. Keep your makeup drawer clean and organized…it’s good for your health, your sanity, and your pocketbook!
© K. Marie Design 2014

Remember to recycle your old MAC makeup! For every 6 old containers of MAC makeup that you bring in to a store, you get a free lipstick, eye shadow, or Lip Glass. I keep a small bag under my sink for recyclables. I brought the bag in today and got 4 FREE items! Check with your cosmetics company to see if they have a similar program. Keep your makeup drawer clean and organized…it’s good for your health, your sanity, and your pocketbook!

© K. Marie Design 2014

Filed under organization mac maccosmetics makeup recycle organization tips bathroom organization