Monday, February 3, 2014

Country Living/Corbin Bernsen's California Home

My cousin Christy and I were antique hunting at our local flea market when she laid eyes on several vintage pendants just like the three seen in this stunning kitchen below.  She asked me,  “Have you seen Februarys 2013 issue of Country Living?”  I replied,  “No, I must have missed it.” If I had seen it,  I certainly would have remembered every bit of it!!!!

Actors Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays took a hands-on approach to renovating and decorating their Southern California home, instilling personality through architectural salvage and vintage bargains.  Country Living magazine describes the inspiration behind many of their fabulous ideas.

Come on along,  I’m anxious to share these with you . . . .

Max Kim-Bee

Amanda gets full credit for reimagining this property's covered patio area as a sprawling, raftered kitchen. It is, in her husband's proud estimation, "the heart of the home." He's right. The kitchen serves as the hub from which the house's layout, and its aesthetic, flows. In this room, reclaimed barn wood bumps against stainless steel, and an antique mahogany table mingles with midcentury metal school chairs. The backsplash of Moroccan tiles hints at the family's exotic travels, while Amanda's British upbringing reveals itself in ceramics gathered during European vacations. She painted the graphic lemon artwork herself.



Max Kim-Bee

Kitchen cabinets are clad in reclaimed barn wood and topped with poured-concrete counters. A stainless steel worktable provides extra prep and storage space. Shelves of cast-off scaffolding flank the backsplash. The Kenmore refrigerator and Jenn-Air stove are from Sears.

Max Kim-Bee

Another philosophy Corbin and Amanda share? The virtue of thrift. "We love scouring flea markets and garage sales," she reveals, giddily recounting their best bargains: a vintage wicker rocker for $40, the living room's swap-meet Chesterfield sofa reupholstered with Ikea linen, even the kitchen's drawer pulls. "Twenty-five dollars for the bag of 50!" she crows.

The living room speaks to me. Especially the scale of this large oil portrait,  with its muted palette. The casualness of the authentic grain sack pillows.

Amanda painted the wooden Moroccan settee with basic gray primer and found the Berber rug in Marrakech. The large oil portrait is by contemporary Scottish painter Peter White; the oak-and-steel coffee table rails from H.D. Buttercup.

Living Room

Max Kim-Bee

Digby poses next to a table fashioned from French marble and steel. The pouf is by Dosa, and the British landscape was a gift. The wood floors are painted Gray Timber Wolf by Benjamin Moore.

Love this elegant brass lantern placed unexpectedly above the console.

Turn a hurricane into an electrified lantern with a swag-lamp kit.


Max Kim-Bee

Amanda transformed an old wooden box into a hardworking hamper by installing separate his 'n' hers baskets.

Notice the wall behind the hamper,   two-tone painted walls mimic the look of wainscoting, for less.  The walls are painted Horizon Gray by Benjamin Moore.


Max Kim-Bee

The master bathroom's sink console incorporates the same concrete and salvaged wood as the kitchen counter and cabinets. A metal funnel makes a cool industrial lampshade.


Max Kim-Bee

"This house is a combination of the trips we've taken and the experiences we've had," Amanda says. "It's the evolution of Corbin and me for the last 24 years."
Corbin and Amanda join sons (from left) Angus, Finley, Henry, and Oliver in the backyard. Corbin built the benches; his brother, Collin, made the matching table.



Max Kim-Bee

Read more: Corbin Bernsen's California Home - California Home Decor - Country Living




Wednesday, January 22, 2014

European Lavabo

This blog is moving,  same blog new location!

Do you like early 19th-century antiques? I’m a huge fan!  Come to find out I’m not alone!  The elegant basin seen below is a French lavabo.  These European beauties made of heavy cast iron,  are highly sought after.  They once hung in Roman Catholic churches for the ceremonial rinsing of the hands. This lavabo was styled and photographed by Melinda Reyes.  She has a lovely blog,  I just love her style.   She choose to style her lavabo with old books and soft linens,  rustic elements. Absolutely Stunning, isn’t it?  Each of these basins have their own identity, and different look to them.

This is how the lavabo looks inside.  There is a small cluster of holes that allow the water to drain out.

Here is another one with vibrant purple flowers,  used outside.  The possibilities are endless with these old basins.  For example,  you could repurpose into a charming fountain,  perhaps using a vintage spigot as your water source up top. I’ve also seen them hung on bathroom wall,  filled with white towels.

SALE   100.00 off Antique french courtyard wall sink garden wall fountain  cast iron wall sink french wall sink lavabo

What’s old reeeally can become new again.

There is a certain charm to this 19th century antique lavabo.  I purchased this one at the Rose Bowl while out on one of my antique hunting mornings.  I like the white chippy weathered paint and heavy iron look.  I love to style using unexpected elements,  I wrapped an antler around the front of the basin,  so that it looks as if its growing from behind. Then clustered three large pillar candles of different heights inside. Finished it off with “my fav” dried pussy willow. You like???

lava 010

This one is available in my Etsy shop,  What is your vision for this charming old French antique???

Please follow me at my new location


Monday, January 13, 2014

19TH C French Chair

I was recently contacted by One Kings Lane to share my thoughts about a favorite statement chair from our home. It surprises me when I’m in conversation with friends and they haven’t heard of One Kings Lane? Wow!  If you haven’t stopped to visit their amazing site,  you can read about them here

I chose this old world 19thC French chair.  When I found the chair it was a torn and tattered mess.  You would think,   I would have thought to take a before picture, NOT!   The 19thC chair is now newly upholstered with a sand color Belgian Linen.   This gives me the versatility to accessorize with color and pattern,  if I chose to do so.

v living room 018


I love the classic look of neutrals on our upholstered pieces.

v living room 016


   I was especially attracted to its unique antique oak finish and oversized profile.

v living room 015

A very dear friend of mine,  Jennifer gave me this lovely 1956 grain sack.  When she showed it to me I wasn’t really too sure about this antique sack with it’s worn fabric and weathered look?  However,  one day it opened me up to something that I didn’t realize.  These imported sacks have become highly coveted.   I washed it to give it that soft feeling,  and made it into a pillow.   Now It’s one of my favorite pillow in our living room.

v living room 025

My husband and I love to repurpose antiques and vintage finds.  Some of our finds do look pretty battered,  I guess the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What’s old can become new again.

v living room 021

This stylish old world chair reflects my personal style.  I feel the beauty of a room comes with being pared down.

s chair 004

I selected larger sized antique nail heads,  spaced 1” apart. You like??

statement chair 021

Do you have questions about purchasing and reupholstering the perfect statement chair?  One Kings Lane has cleverly put together a resource page for home décor enthusiasts like us!

Are you curious about a special furniture piece that you have? Visit One Kings Lane  Home Décor Resource center.  You can find a lot of helpful insight such as:  Which era is your furniture from,  etc.

For general questions, please write to me at




Monday, June 17, 2013

Vintage Subway Tile

Hello-and welcome back. I promise I didn’t forget about you!
Between my Etsy shop, working, Instagram, Facebook, Tumbler, Pinterest,Twitter, DIY projects. lol Things do get a bit hectic at times!!!!
As we soon discovered, there is a lot to learn about kitchen redesign.  We became quite adept at jumping hurdles along the way!  Just to name a few, try three compound miter saws later, losing all electrical in the kitchen two days before hosting Thanksgiving dinner, finding out our hood exhaust fan was never properly installed by the builder and what we had was simply a noise-maker!  If you would like to get caught up on just what I have in mind for our ever evolving kitchen, please visit my previous posts, "Our Kitchen Redesign," and "Our Kitchen Redesign Part 2."

(kitchen before)

via aurora kitchen before 017

Sorry about the blurry photos friends, our travertine floor really isn't pink,  although it looks like it is! :-)

(Island Before)

kitchen island 12 24 007

Inspiration photo for the proposed light fixtures above the island  ????


The cost was $4,950 each that was just a skosh over our budget.  Instead I chose these lanterns below as a lower priced alternate at $49.00 each,  and did a happy dance. 

hanging lanterns 001

We accented the island with inexpensive beadboard, casings, and Ralph Lauren’s “Black Truffle” smokey black paint.

( Island being painted)

finished island 007

Updated island with new vintage hanging lanterns.   They sort of have a vintage vibe,  don’t you think?

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer at The Old Painted Cottage)

Below are a few of the cabinets that we removed and modified on the left side of the kitchen.  (See photo above.)
  They are just screaming out for updated hardware??? Yikes!!

( cabinets before)

above kitchen cabnets 003

My hubby’s millwork skills are very limited,  however,  his is always up for a a good challenge!   We chose a large size 6 inch crown molding. It takes my breath away.

crown 003

Here’s our newly updated vintage subway tile cooktop backsplash!!!!
As a cost saving idea,  I chose to modify one of our old larger cabinets into two new smaller side cabinets.  This visually opened up the space above cooktop.  We decided to make our cooktop “hoodless”. lol    Due to the fact that when we removed the existing exhaust  hood,  it wasn’t really working any who.   This photo shows finished millwork and cabinets with primer,  still waiting for paint – (in a future post.) The vintage subway tile still waiting for grout.

( cabinets with updated millwork)

via aurora before grout 001

I designed the backsplash area to be fitted with three of these swing arm stainless sconces - Circa Lighting.  As seen in Tyler Florence’s gorgeous  Kitchen of the Year.  Also up for consideration,  this stunning cooktop with integrated fan and countertops.  I think I’ll save the countertops and proposed Island slab replacement for another post.

Three weeks have passed,  cooktop backsplash area still waiting for grout.Sad smile

via aurora before grout 001

Six weeks have passed cooktop back splash area still waiting for grout. Sad smile

via aurora before grout 001

I will try my best to keep you informed as this kitchen inches it’s way to it’s newer look.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Arranging Pictures

Hello  again.   When you think about  framing and putting together a grouping of pictures,  how hard can it be to hang a few pictures???? Let’s see Uummm,  tape measure,  hammer,  nails,  picture hooks?

Well,  you would think  if you could get the nails reasonably straight and in line,  everything would miraculously come together . . . wrong !

To display a successful picture gallery or family photos, you definitely need to do a little planning and a little measuring. They need to have a defined shape or flow. Otherwise, they can appear haphazard and contribute more to clutter than the decor. Here are a few suggestions for picture galleries. . . .

The master decorator Candice Olson uses “The Perfect Picture Wall” it  is a complete system for hanging 10 picture frames.   You can also add additional frames if you have a larger area to cover.    It uses a revolutionary template  allowing you to determine placement, height and character of frames all without measuring and before the first hook is ever entered into your wall. The easy to use templates safely adhere to any surface allowing you to “Pre-View” what the frames will look like prior to hanging them.

The templates also have a unique leveling system,  so that all frames will be accurately positioned and level every time. The “Pre-View” templates can be moved multiple times to different locations, above a buffet or couch, around a corner or up the stairs until you are completely satisfied with the location. Apply in just moments what formerly took hours of tedious trial and error! You only need a hammer, everything else is included. This system is dah bomb!

 ( family photo collection)

 For precise positioning ,  conventional wisdom suggests that pictures be hung at eye level.  This notion is a fine starting point,  but hardly definitive.  There are many good reasons to hang pieces above or below a standard height.  In any setting,  you will need to react to the architecture and the furniture;  you will also need to follow your instincts.  A few inches’ shift in a hanging arrangement can affect the tone of an entire room:  Move the pictures over a sofa or chair down a bit;  the area will become more cohesive,  cozy,  and inviting. Hang several over a desk – they’ll provide a refreshing view when you look up from your work.  Learn to trust yourself.  If it feels right,  don’t be afraid to do something a little different.

“The Perfect Picture Wall”

I love this grouping!!!

Emphasize a hallway by running a series of photos.

When it’s time to hang your art,  use the method that provides the most stability.  It’s usually best to use two picture hangers,  so pictures don’t swing or tilt.

HGTV’s designer Genevieve Gorder

More options from “ The Perfect Picture Wall

To view their  full catalog of wonderful ideas go here.


One more essential consideration is restraint.  You’ll want to leave some blank wall space in a room so the eye can rest;  what’s not there will allow you to appreciate what is.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Kitchen Redesign part II

So let’s get caught up folks - before our kitchen island redesign,  our island previously had a lot of painted drywall and not much pizzazz.  Today I will reveal our ( just about) finished island.  If you would like to get caught up even more.  Please visit my previous posts on our kitchen redesign part I here,  and renovation hammer here.

(kitchen island before)

kitchen island 12 24 007

Our home is still very much a work-in-progress. Luckily one of my favorite color combinations is black and white.  Since it’s not in the budget to replace our existing cabinets,  they will remain a timeless clean white.  Our island will be a elegant smokey black! Robert will give our existing cabinets a fresh look.  Using larger crown moldings along the top,  and enclose the space above cabinets for a continues line up to the ceiling. At a later date we’ll change out the stone on the island, and buy a few more stainless appliances to finish off this room.

We accented the island with inexpensive beadboard, casings, and paint Ralph Lauren’s “Black Truffle” smokey black paint.

( newly finished island )

 finished island 001

Finished side profile with new coordinated electrical outlet.

finished island 011

We plan to remove the existing cabinet above the stove,  modify the two cabinets on either side to half the size that they are currently.   This will give us ample storage, stretching the space above the stove area visually, and leave plenty of room for our new hood and vintage subway tile backsplash. I can’t wait to say “bah bye” to our current travertine backsplash. Sorry about the blurry photos friends, our travertine floor really isn’t pink,  although it looks like it is! :-)

(kitchen below waiting for decor changes)

via aurora kitchen before 017

More on our dining room reno soon.

Don’t forget ya’ll,  I’m giving away one of my handmade burlap Easter bunnies! Swing on over to The Old Painted Cottage to enter, and give Jennifer “props” for her wonderful giveaways. Good luck to everyone!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Dining Room

What would you do when the your local meteorologist is forecasting heavy rain for the entire weekend??? 

WEEELL . . . .   ya know what we did??? 

Seen below is our dining room,  in all it’s “getting ready for changes” glory!  Lately,  I cannot get enough of  the vintage industrial vibe.  We snagged this (leaning against the wall) great old sign at a local antique store that was going out of business,  for not too much cha-chinggg$$$. It reads “ATL”short for Atlanta, “DIN” short for diner,  “Great” for great food. I thought what a “feast” for the eyes!

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 010

Above our retro sign I plan to use a pair of these heavenly filament sconces from Restoration Hardware,  if I don’t change my mind during our redecorating.

restoration scone (source)

A nice addition to any room,  inexpensive and expressive is millwork (molding).  Ever since my husband purchased his new fancy chop saw he’s been getting his grove on . . .

The two windows seen below in our dining room,  he will be injecting the decorative trim moldings.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 010

Here’s a closer look at my vision.  The two windows with the black frames are what I’m aiming for.  If your not a fan of black,  you could use light gray? Or white?



To Start,  I plan to punch up these windows by using nicely sized moldings.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 011

Here’s a little trick . . .  to create a picture frame like molding,  we will glue two pieces together to create a thicker profile.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 012

Our finished piece will have a nice picture frame like profile,   and will be 5 1/4” wide.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 013

Clamp and allow to dry.

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 014

First piece of molding going up . . .

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 016

Use finish nails to hang and a countersink punch,  sick miter honey!!!

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 015

The first piece installed,  woo hoo!

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 020

You can’t beat the beauty of millwork,  big style, don’t you agree? The two windows set us back a “whapping” $68.00! 

dining windows, meter, silverplate dish 023 windows 001

These window frames will be complemented with Ralph Lauren’s “black truffle” paint soon.

Oh, did I mention I’m giving away one of my handmade Easter bunnies!  Swing on over to The Old Painted Cottage to enter,  and give Jennifer props for her wonderful giveaways. Good luck to everyone!

Burlap Bunny