Our Florida Project- Part 1

When we visited the Keys last week, we flew in & out through Miami and our resort stay was a day short of our flight day so we stopped in to see my family who lives near Miami on our way home so we could make out early morning flight.  My Aunt Linda lives there & my three older cousins (Tracy, Adam & Chris) are spread throughout Florida- one on the Gulf (Chris- near my in-laws' home!) one near Orlando (Tracy) and the other cousin (Adam) right near my Aunt Linda.  Adam recently purchased an 8-acre property that he'll be building his dream home on & I'm helping him do it.  I came into the project once Adam & the architect had decided on this:


The house is pretty massive, but the most important parts of it to Adam (who owns a large residential & commercial landscape design firm in Southern Florida) are the outdoor spaces.  These 3-D drawings don't show any of the insanely beautiful landscaping that's already in place & that will be there once we're finished.  In the image above Adam built a huge rock wall with waterfalls flowing down it instead of the one-level ending of the pond you see here.

Here's the front view:


My cousin took us for a nighttime tour of the property in the golf cart on steroids:


(It's not the best picture because Adam's girlfriend, Nicki, who's sitting next to me, is completely hidden, but it's all I've got.  Adam's in the driver seat holding Christian, who drove.  Don't worry, the baby didn't come along, he posed for the pic ;)

Before we get onto the house, I need to describe my cousin, Adam, to you...  His mom (my Aunt Linda) is my dad's sister and although his last name isn't Maestranzi, (he's got his dad's last name not his mom's maiden name)  he's very "Maestranzi"--- energetic, tireless, creative, hard-working, fun-loving, business-minded, generous and crazy.  He's so good to his nieces & nephews and loves kids (and they love him) in general. Adam's also all over the place and thinks and talks a mile a minute.  If you hang out with him for more than 15 minutes, you will have been on some sort of adventure.  (And I'm not kidding here...  Adam is the type that just swoops people away and takes them somewhere or shows them something crazy...  Some of my adventures with him included a random roadtrip up a mountain in Costa Rica which ended with a blown tire from his insane driving, timing a couple mile long jog he took in the middle of the night because his best friend bet he couldn't run that far & ended with a police officer stopping us asking what as going on...  Trips to the Florida Everglades getting dangerously close to alligators and so much more.)  He started his current business when he was 12 years old and he used to mow his neighbors' lawns.  When he went to college for business, he kept the business open and it's now a huge company with both residential & commercial clients and he has kept his ten original clients.  He dreams big and lives bigger (and faster.)  I'm hoping that when we're finished with the house, he might settle & slow down a little but I really doubt it because he wouldn't be him if he did.

Anyway, back to the house...

The pool area is already Heaven:


There are tiki huts and a slide & it's like a kids' fun land. 
 It feels like this a jungle...


...So the whole house is focused on this backyard playland.  But, as you might remember, I'm a fiend for sunlight...  Natural light is the single most important element to me in houses.  It's the reason I fell in love with both my new house and my old house.  So... this house plan scares me. (It's actually keeping my from sleeping well to be honest.)  I'm also a big fan of simplicity.  My cousin is not (yet ;) ;)

We've been talking a lot about how I'm worried about how dark the house will be & how it needs to be simplified & cleaned up a little.  I want all of the "bravado" to be removed from the house plans if that makes any sense.  (BTW, I'm being this frank with you about this project because the client is my cousin & I think I can get away with it ;)

The architect will be making a few changes to lighten it up slightly.   (  :/  )

In the drawing below, you can see that there's a ten foot overhang along the entire back of the house...  In front of the family room , the living room, upstairs bedrooms including the master, and most of the kitchen.  (It makes me sick writing that haha.)  Adam spends most of his time outside and entertains all the time for friends.  He's setting this house up as the ultimate bachelor pad that will hopefully one day also work for a family.  

At my nudging, the columns will now be square, stucco and clean instead of round & decorative.  The arches will be gentler and we're removing some of the columns so that the arches will now be more "eyebrow" shaped instead of semi-circle.  Removing some of the columns will lighten it up a little so I'm glad for that, but still worried.  The bay window glass (toward the left side) will now be extended completely to the corners (this is in the kitchen) to maximize the sunlight in the single uncovered window in the entire back of the house.  


 It's not everything I wanted (I was really gunning for a removal of the overhang at least in front of the kitchen/ family room but of course that kind of changes EVERYTHING including the roof line & the pleasing look on the exterior and we're trying to get the plans approved asap...  I should've been brought in sooner!! argg)

Letting that one go, let's move on to the interiors.  I've gotten every Corinthian column inside to be turned into simple square columns.  The house will be Mediterranean in feeling and I'm opening up Adam to the idea of "less is more."  (Which is sort of a foreign concept to my cousin...  Somehow he has THE BEST taste & ideas in landscaping & outdoor spaces but inside, I swear he's got Kirkland's on his speed dial.)  He normally loves anything "Tuscan" which I've dubbed in our offices as "Fauxscan" and he's also drawn to very dark, formal, opulent spaces- burgundies & golds and TASSLES and curls & swirls. (sooooo not me.)

 (We don't live in Tuscany!! Putting up palm tree prints or street scene artwork with really terrible painted metallic frames is NEVER going to change that!!  Neither will lots of scrolly iron & dark wood furniture.  I can say this because at one time, I too, was into Fauxscan...  and it was bad.)

BUT-  Adam is really open to the idea of simplifying the house and going for more of a "rough luxe" feel...  In all honesty, even though he's been loving Fauxscan for so long, my cousin is turning into one of my most receptive clients ever.  He will initially say "No, I hate that," when I propose something outside of his comfort zone, but then he listens to why I think something should be and he usually comes around.

He really wants to bring stone and/or brickwork into the kitchen & I love this idea...  I think he was originally envisioning it as more of a dark Tudor-esque kitchen, but he's coming around to lightening things up a bit.  I love this type of stonework- seen in an Italian villa (below)& am envisioning it on the two main kitchen walls- as backsplash & above the cabinets...

Here's more beautiful stonework in a kitchen as I envision it:


Although I love it, the look above is too modern & primitive for Adam but the floors are similar to the limestone ones we're going with and the walls are spot on. 

While in Florida, I met with the kitchen cabinet maker & the designer/artist they work with to create the preliminary hand-drawn rendering of how the kitchen will look.  He is an insanely talented artist and can draw beautiful things in two seconds.  What I'm asking for, however, is very different from the normal kitchens they do which tend to be more formal and more decorative, so it's been a challenging process.  I worked on the kitchen plan before we met together and knew almost exactly what we wanted,  but because we're so different, aesthetically, I think they're having a bit of a tough time giving us what I've asked for.  (And I know how it feels to have to create a design that goes against what you believe in and it's not easy to do so I can only imagine what I PAIN I am to them.  haha)

So, I'll share with you the very first rendering of the kitchen:


I was honestly shocked when I saw a Medieval coat of arms on the island and at all of the twisted iron detailing, the drawbridge shelving and the castle doors on the fridge.  I guess someone had said "Medieval" at the meeting and so this happened.  The artist/designer is very accommodating, however, and has been amazing with giving me lots of revisions and the drawing you see below is almost exactly what I'd originally specified, except we will be going with 1 type of stone everywhere (behind the shelves too) and also where you see brickwork so that the hood doesn't jump out so much:



I'm not sure that this is the final plan for the kitchen but it is where I'd intended to start from in the first place.    Adam loves the stone fireplace exhaust above the range and it was his main stipulation.  I'm intrigued but don't know how I feel about it yet.  It's good to have this drawing to mull over.  The cabinets you see here will be in a washed cream and a second island (not shown here) will be in a darker stained pecky cypress.  To give you an idea of scale, the ceilings are twelve (!!) feet high.  It's a little bigger than I find comfortable to be honest but I know it will help with the sunlight situation because the sliders are also very tall.  

I'm envisioning it all in a lighter crumbly stone like this one:


I think the drawing still feels a bit over the top to me but that in reality with all one stone, the hood will blend a bit more and might not feel so overpowering.  (Overpowering is what my cousin wants BTW.)

The designer/artist also sent me this drawing last night, which is his own interpretation on Adam's stone fireplace exhaust, which I'm also very intrigued by:


It seems softened a bit and I like that.  I think I'd like to see the vertical portion of the chimney be widened a bit so Adam is getting a tadm ore of what he wants, but this feels a little humbler to me somehow, and I'm excited about that.  What do you think?  I haven't shown any of these new revisions to Adam yet (and he doesn't read my blog ;) but when I get down to my final choice, I'll be showing him.  

I have to run for the day, so I'll share more about the project another day but would love your thoughts on the range hood as we;re finalizing today!!  And also- if you have any other thought of how to maximize light with exterior changes... would love to know.  Anyone know of anything like a glass roof that you could walk on safely that we could maybe put over the family room overhang without frying the people under it?  



If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

63 comments:

Kristy @ I Design Love said...

How exiting!! This seems like it is going to be an amazing project to work on. I can't wait to see what you do with the space.

LindsB said...

Woah!! What an amazing project to be working on! If that house has your stamp on it it is sure to be one hell of a house!!
I cant wait to see the progress here and see how it turns out!!

Unknown said...

I grew up in Florida. If it makes you feel any better about the overhang on the back side, it keeps the house cooler. All that sun shining into the house (especially if the house is east/west facing) makes the temperature skyrocket inside. Just think of it being green and more energy efficient :-)

Dana Frieling said...

Holy smokes, this project is going to stretch your psychology skills...talking him into something he doesn't realize he likes yet! Definitely like the second rendering better. What about adding dimension to the stone by creating "cut outs/small niches" along the sides? May compete too much with the open shelving though? Kirklands on speed dial...lol!

Leslie said...

Wow! What an amazing project to work on. :)

mom23 said...

Wow! This will keep you busy! I'm in the Orlando area and will want a local decorator with your style in the future. Any suggestions? Thanks, Julie. b8sfamily(at)gmail(dot)com.

Sarah K said...

Love the outdoor area.....Beautiful home, that will look stunning with your stamp on it.

Kristen said...

OMG wow. This place is amazing! LOVE the turn Fauxscan. I know so many people stuck there and it drives me insane! Haha good luck on the project, can't wait to see how it turns out :)

Fiona said...

Ha! This house scared me, too, when I first saw it. I'm glad you are on the case! I love your ideas. The pool area is also amazing.

One thing: I'm sure he will have the air-conditioning blasting, but the "Old Florida" houses in Key West (like the Hemingway house) do have large verandas, so it CAN be useful and pretty for keeping temperatures down. Personally, I love the Old Spanish-style houses down there far more than any other kind.

And, if you don't mind sharing, what is the name of his company? My dad and step-mom DESPERATELY need someone to help with their non-existent landscaping in South Florida.

Lauren said...

Fiona- It's Broward Landscape!

And totally am with you on the verandas. (I know when I'm visiting, that's where I'll be ;) ;)

~Lauren

Rhonda said...

Wow! What a project! I'm sure, with your magic touch, it will turn out beautifully. Having lived in Fort Myers for 30 years, I would urge you not to worry about the overhang or the lighting. The overhang does protect the house from the fading sunlight and searing heat, along with providing much needed shade and shelter from the summer rain for outdoor entertaining. Even with a deep veranda around our house, it's still bright and cheery inside. Only the inner rooms in his house will be dark. We solved that problem by having our home only two rooms deep.

Sabina said...

Lauren - I have to second and third the comment of the overhang. As much as i love the bright arey spaces, now living in FL, i NEED the shade. Windows/doors will help bounce the light around - light when you need it, shade when you need. Excited to follow you on this project!

Dandy said...

i would second the people who urge you to be mindful of how bright and hot florida can be. i love stone floors there for this reason. they keep it cooler, plus stone is wonderful. also, second looking at the old meisner houses of florida. if you can find some old issues of palm beach cottage and gardens (now defunct), they would be worth looking at. they had some great modern updates on that style. i think your fabrics will look great in there, and florida is the place to splash out with a bit more color.

LindaDiane said...

Wow, am I in the wrong place. That is the most ostentatious thing I've ever seen.

Michelle Price said...

Wow - what an exciting project. I can't wait to see what you do. I live in the suburbs of southern cali and it seems that everyone wants a tuscan house. I always call them "Macaroni Grill" houses and I hate all the faux texturing and overly decorated furniture. As far as the range surround, I actually like the one that you had drawn. I felt that it was simpler and more modern than the artist's one which looked a little too rustic and pizza ovenish. Look forward to seeing the progress.

Cyndia said...

As a lifelong Southerner, I know well how important deep overhangs can be in keeping interior spaces cool. Even with a/c, and it reduces energy costs too! After all that sunshine, it's often nice to retreat into a cool darker space.
I laughed out loud at your "Fauxcan" term. I will remember that. So many folks around here still want that for their homes, and I find it in the Houston area too. It's hard to convince them how dated and heavy that look is.
Wishing you well on this project! You've got your hands full, I think!

Lauren said...

Oh you're all making me feel so much better about the overhang!!! Thanks so much!! This is what I need to hear to sleep better!! ;) ;)

And LindaDiane- Don't worry, it will be better when we're finished- I promise!! hahaha

xoxo,
lauren

Lauren said...

...and Michelle Price... I totally see what you're saying. Thanks for the feedback!!
~Lauren

The Farmer's Wife said...

so glad you're sharing this project with us! I like the second rendering with the idea of widening the top some. your drawing is so much better than the original with all of its scrolls and so on.

Anne Golliher said...

What a place. The outdoor space is amazing and I feel your pain in trying to turn a CAD drawing into a functional, appealing, beautiful space. A challenge for sure. I'm curious what his girlfriend thinks about it all. :)

Blessings to you on this adventure! Love your work.

Jill Seidner | Interior Design said...

Looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition! The exterior/landscaping/pool area already look amazing!

Pat said...

Definitely an overhang! Have you been following Brooke's house build? About the island....he sounds like a guy whose friends will be hanging in the kitchen...seating at the island? Another overhang!

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

Wow! This is quite the project. I really like the direction you are taking it - hopefully your cousin listens and really thinks about all your ideas. He should let his peronality shine in that house and let the decor be grand, but grounded. I love your work, and the way you bring natural elements into your designs. Best wishes!

Becki said...

I can so feeeeeel you willing him over to the lighter side of things. Lots of that "Kirkland's" influence goes on here in Houston, too. It's exhausting. Looking forward to following this project.

Ashley said...

What a fun project to work on! I am sure you already follow her blog but Brooke Giannetti's Patina Farm has so many of the elements you are talking about and might help your cousin to "envision" it all better! Here is her latest post.

http://brookegiannetti.typepad.com/velvet_and_linen/2013/02/patina-farm-update-the-stone-tower.html

Hope y'all have fun and find a happy medium. Can't wait to see it all come together!

Rie said...

I like your ideas. Hope he listens! Ditto the other comments about the overhang...it will be a welcome relief in the Florida heat and sunshine. I think the island should be much bigger!! It's a huge kitchen, seems like the present island is teeny in comparison.

Rie said...

P.s. I like the your first hood better. The straighter the lines the better!

Jamie Herzlinger said...

Love the kitchen! Can't wait to see everything come along!

Love, Jamie Herzlinger

Rie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren said...

Hi Pat & Rie- You are very right!! :) This is actually the second island in the kitchen (!!) hahah it's huge so the other island has seating for about 12. The one you're seeing is more for working/prep and the other L-shaped island is for hanging.

Pat & Ashley- Thank you!! Brooke is a really good friend of mine & on projects I constantly find myself wondering about what she & Steve would do. (I need one of those WWJD bracelets but WWBD hahaha) I have so much respect for their design sensibilities!!
xoxo,
lauren

roughluxeperspective said...

All I can say is your cousin should be extremely thankful he got you involved in the project! Unattached men need a lot of guidance!

driftwood home + design said...

Haha! My biz design partner & I have a phrase for that - "KFC" - Kirkland's Fabulous Client. As we say in the South, "Bless their hearts". Looks like you definitely have a job cut out for you but I can't think of a better gal to do it!!

Barbie said...

Woah. What a massive project. You are the best thing that happened to that almost-Tuscan disaster. I'm not a Tuscan fan either. Sounds like he's quite a kind and accomplished individual. I wish I had more of his energy. Can't wait to see finished photos!

Maurie said...

Lauen, I have been following your blog for some time, and have loved watching your designs for your two houses and now this one is the biggest challenge yet! But...you are up to it! I love the crumbly stone and also thought immediately of Brooke and Steve (love your humor WWBD). I also like the first stone hood best!!!!!
Good luck with all the complexities of working with family and a bachelor. He is lucky to have you!

Rosemary Mailas said...

I've often wondered how an interior designer can separate his/her own taste from that of the client. Your phrase "It's so not me!" confirms to me that it's a difficult task, indeed! Can all designers do it, or just the really experienced, good ones? I have just seen a house on the "Hooked on Houses" blog (Feb. 21 post) that reminds me of the feel and aesthetic that you describe about your cousin's vision. It's not white and bright, but it sure is beautiful! Thanks for your great blog!

gayle said...

I had a big old (1927) house on an island in Miami Beach for years. The overhangs are necessary and one lives outside. We had huge screened porches. Our house was traditional. I hate Tuscan and love your style. It will be fun to watch you convert Adam to tasteful simplicity! He sounds like a dream man and creator himself.

Windlost said...

OMG - I think I would have run screaming in the opposite direction. An amazing opportunity and your cousin sounds like a super amazing person. But it is just a LOT of inertia in a given direction already, so I totally admire you having the courage to take this on!!!

Well done girl. And isn't Florida amazing? We were just in Tampa/St. Pete's and I love it.

xo Terri

Natalie said...

sometimes i think you and i were separated at birth...from our admitted tuscan stage when we were young {and seriously uneducated} to our family life to our design aesthetic to our need of as much natural light as possible to a similar sense of humor. your blog makes me happy and inspires me...because i feel like i could have written it! ha! im helping my inlaws with the design of their new house right now and while they are quite in-the-know with design {she is an avid design blog reader} their huge priority was screened porches and, while i could live on a screened porch, i always feel so uncomfortable with where they are located...in front of the living spaces!!!! i NEED me some natural light and hate when porches or overhangs get rid of it. sometimes its just a necessary evil. keep up the honest blogging, its refreshing.

natalie
{nattyroe on instagram if that clears it up ;)}

Lane McNab said...

Oh Lauren, this is fascinating to me! What a partnership and I can't wait to see the end result. I have had similarly opposing viewpoints with clients and relatives but never on this scale. I will enjoy seeing this compromise. Also, I noticed that some of that stone work is very similar to one of your inspiration pics from your kitchen.

And finally, you mentioned your husband is from the gulf coast area. I grew up in Tallahassee FL and my family is all still there even though John and I have lived 16 years in CA. Wondering what area David is from? The south is such a small world...

Madi Graham said...

TGHHY-- that's short for thank god he has you! I appreciate how you're trying to tone it down yet still keep some of the feel he's after. Good work!

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

Yes, you should have gotten there sooner...

Lauren said...

Lauren,

I agree with Rie. I like the straight lines on the hood better. I don't like how the shelves in the second rendition are emphasizing the curve. Straight seems both more masculine and simpler. The stone is beautiful enough. WWLD? What will Lauren do? Thank you for sharing! Whatever you do will be great.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

With his outside looking so tropical and layed back jungle...I imagine you may want to bring in some of the old florida elements...maybe dade county pine, pecky cypress. I concur with all the Floridians...the overhang (loggia) is neccessary. It is a place to live in outdoors. And the sun is HOT. Like, don't even consider skylights/glass on ceiling HOT. Particularly in Miami. And it also is so dependant on which direction his house faces.

I think I like the straighter lines of the first rendering myself...doesnt make it such a focal point. This will be fun to watch unfold!

Leigh said...

This cousin is single & building a monstrosity of a house like this? Another example of showing an excess of wealth. Seriously, does he expect to actually live in most of the rooms in this house? Personally, I think it is another ugly example of a mc-mansion.
Alex

Lauren said...

Hi Leigh/ Alex... While the house is MASSIVE for a single person, my cousin is one of the most generous and giving people I know and hosts family & friends constantly. (He's building such a big home with so many bedrooms so everyone can visit all the time. Believe it or not, the bedrooms in the house will be full most of the time with friends, family/ nieces & nephews... And although he's single now, this is his "dream house" and he hopes to have lots of kids one day.)

Aside from the crazy number of bedrooms, there's a living room, dining room, kitchen and a bar.

Thanks!
~Lauren

jkeppel said...

Lauren, I have been living in FL for 2 years now and I will be the 100th person to tell you, you need overhangs! We have a screened in porch on the back of our house and no overhang on the front of our home (which faces west) and no joke in the afternoon hours the front of our home gets so hot that the INTERIOR walls are WARM to the touch, oh and I live in NORTH FL! You are a girl after my own heart, natural light is the most important thing when we buy a house (and I'm on #5). The good news is that even with the overhang, it is just so darn bright here that my home is still plently light. I really would try to encourage your cousin to go with your first hood, the simpler, the better. So happy for you that you get to tackle such a huge project and so happy for your cousin that he has your guidance (now let's just hope he listens)!

kamcicle said...

looks awesome!

and to you haters, dude has a girlfriend. she mentioned it in the post. jealous judgy mcjudgersons i'd say... go read somewhere else.

that said, i love this house! and i'm excited to see what you do with it!

Inspired Design said...

While that size isn't my style either, I have to say hearing some of the comments shock me. Some of the most generous clients I ever had, some relatives, who spent over a million on their home spent more than ten times that in charitable contributions. More so, homes like this employ hundreds of people for several years including some of the most amazing craftspeople I have ever known, and themselves were grateful for the opportunity to do something where there work was very well paid for, when lesser budgets cannot compensate craftspeople even close to what their budgets are.
The house you live in isn't who you are, but where you live...huge or tiny.
I am always shocked by this judgement on my blog too, both ways....
Love your blog Lauren! Love your cousins generous spirit and so glad he hired you. It will clearly be a blessing to do a home for your family and be well compensated for that, thus a blessing to your children as well.
Be blessed!

Dawn said...

Lauren, I'm late to the party but want to weigh in on the range hood. My preference is the first rendering, hands down.

Secondly, a huge congratulations to your cousin for reaping the rewards of his hard work and talent!!! I LOVE success stories!!

pve design said...

D. I like D and I cannot wait to see your style influenced in a place everyone will want to be.
How nice of our cousin to share his home and the efforts of not doubt his hard work.

We can't take it with us is what I always tell people.
pve

vreelandroad said...

Good for your sweet cousin and you! This will be a wonderful addition to your portfolio, displaying your wide range of talent and versatility (geez can I get a cousin client like this? ;-))

As for your cousin, congrats to him on the American dream. Work hard, pay your taxes and build whatever home you want.

xoxo
Jen

James Curtis said...

Kudos, Lauren, you combined modern and medieval housing interiors with the use of limestone, wooden planks and bricks. And I wonder what material did you used for them.

Interior Glass Doors

Kathleen Sams Flippen said...

Lauren -
This post reminds me of a favorite childhood book by Dr. Seuss/Theo. LeSieg called "Come Over to My House." It says, "Some houses are marble and some are just tin. But they're all, all alike when a friend asks you in." I'm sure your cousin's home will be filled with friends, family, and fun. Thanks for sharing your design ideas and your family. You asked about glass floors: I have seen some attractive glass catwalks made of slip-resistant glass on Houzz. You may need to research the safety of these catwalks if children will be running around with wet feet, but there are some cool-looking glass catwalks available.
Kind regards, Kathleen Sams Flippen (aflippenlife.blogspot.com)

Julie S said...

Oh Golly!! I feel your pain, I really really do. You and I have different aesthetics (you- organic modern, me- fresh traditional) but working with my husband can be a lot like what you describe with your cousin. He is not QUITE that go-go-go but moves way faster than me and charges ahead on projects without appropriate discussion. He also loves dark, heavy, Tuscan and Victorian looks (eek) whereas I live for light & bright & happy. We totally get in polite fights over decor and architecture choices, and I am sloooowly learning how to get him to slow down enough to hear my reasons, as well as learning to present them in a persuasive way. All I can say is, keep fighting the good fight and well done so far.

katiedid said...

Hi Lauren!
You have one very important thing in your favor with your cousin as a client. There is already a good deal of trust between you that is not necessarily there with a new client. SOOO....you can communicate honestly with him and use your superb sense of humor to "soften" any design conflicts that may arise.

It would have been great if you could have been involved from the start. I understand your wishes there! However, good landscaping can make the exterior of most homes look soooo much better than the rendering here shows. And since he has that covered, all the better!

The advice I would give to help with the exterior would be never skimp on the quality of the windows and doors, and if you can use a smooth stucco, it will help so much instead of the bumpy/almost sharp stucco that is sprayed on. Also, roof tile...he will need your expertise to select the most authentic looking product here as well. Again...if you look at Velvet and Linen, Brooke has amazing roof tile!

One last thing....LOVE your kitchen ideas! BUT when looking at the hood...keep in mind that for the stone not to look like spit and stick, you must create at ;east the look of either keystones or a lintel to hold up the arch. This will help make it look so much better. The sketches do not show this, and I guarantee it will help the final outcome.

OK that is all I have to say. I know with your talent, the home will look fantastic and i can hardly WAIT to see the results!!!! I hope you get to use some of your beautiful fabrics!

And the size of the house is of no consequence. It is the execution and quality that will determine whether it deserves to be called a McMansion. This is where you come in, right? I hope you have a blast helping a cousin that sounds very generous and kind!!!

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Missy said...

Lauren,
I am a long time blog reader and have never felt compelled to comment on a post until now. The comments by Leigh/Alex and LindaDiane and their judgmental labeling of your cousin cracks me up. They don't even know him, or you, for that matter. And it's funny that their profiles are private. Regardless I for one love to see a good makeover and no matter how big this house, I can't wait to see it finished by you. This is coming from somebody who has an original 1970 Fauxscan house that is in desperate need of modern/farmhouse/primitive updating. Please keep posting about your single-how-dare-he-build-that-big-a-house, ostentatious wealth showing cousin of yours. I for one never thought you were writing a blog about world peace and really only come here for the decorating......

erin said...

I'm sort of late to this post, but your stone walls made me think of the renovation done by Stephanie Brubaker on her rustic, centuries-old French cottage. She featured it on her blog (Stephmodo) and there is a tour on Houzz. I don't typically like stone; however the stone in her cottage is so warm and she has done an amazing job bringing her clean, simple aesthetic to the more rustic stone structure. I'll try to post a link, but the stone looks really warm and not dark and heavy (if you want to check it out she has amazing pictures of the stone after sand-blasting).

Gaidig said...

Lauren, I am so sorry that a couple of commenters were so crass. I read this post after the next one, so I read it knowing how much their comments hurt you. Personally, I may not have the same priorities about where I would spend my money that your cousin does, but I would never make a value judgement about his character from that, and I would certainly not bad-mouth his character to his family member. How incredibly rude! The relative anonymity of the internet, and interacting entirely in text makes some people forget that they are talking to a real person. These people seem to have been commenting about your post without thinking about the fact that they are commenting to you. Please concentrate on the overwhelmingly positive and constructive response, not the few bad apples.

That being said, from a design perspective, I totally feel you pain! Gold and burgundy and tassels applies perfectly to a description of my boyfriend's taste. And yet we live in the MCM house which he purchased. I honestly think he has no concept of how ridiculous his his attempts to make things medieval looks. Making a change is a long and arduous process from my end. I would love some tips on how you have those conversations.

Real Tuscan stuff, in Tuscany, I love, but I totally agree with you that it can look pretty fake pretty fast. And the truth is that people who live in Tuscany today don't decorate like nobles did in 1400.

As to the overhangs, I do think the architects know what they're about on that one. The sun in south Florida is much more intense than in Virginia, and the house will be plenty bright with overhangs, given the size of the windows, but it should cut down on glare and heat gain.

I also agree with some of the commenters who prefer the idea of a large rectangular stone hood to the amount of tapering appearing in the last rendering. I am trying to find some good inspirational images, but I'm pretty sure most of the things I have in mind are from my collection of French decorating magazines, not from the internet. I surprises me, but after going through my pins, all I could com up with was this image: http://pinterest.com/pin/274015958548925770/ and it doesn't quite convey what I was trying to say. At any rate, I look forward to seeing the final product.

Jennifer said...

You were cracking me up in this post. I do hope you can get him to come around because I think that in the end he'll really appreciate the authenticity you'll bring to his vision for the place! Don't forget, beauty is in the eye of the beholder :)

James Curtis said...

That kitchen inside just caught my attention and I think one can derive more designs from that and can be applicable for bathtub for elderly, pantry, and living room.

Deana Styer said...

I love the second drawing where the stone is extended all the way to the ceiling. It reads cleaner and less busy. Your cousin could then play around with the backsplash behind the stove, adding his own taste of artwork. Then, as years go by and he changes his mind/tastes, the artwork could be swapped out for something more modern, such as a large sepia botanical print. This keeps everything in grand scale, while granting him flexibility.

Blogardner said...

You know, I think I prefer the former range hood area. It looks simpler and the lines are cleaner. The second could turn out to be a bit too "ueber-Tudor" (as we say in our house), being in such a grandly scaled room. Whichever way you go, I'm sure it won't come off as seven dwarvesy.

By the way, this was such a great post! Oh my gosh! Can I ever relate when it comes to relatives!