Tag: Montague's blog

All about your home improvement

Martha Stewart Living feature on our home

Martha Stewart Living feature on our home

While our pup Charlie is a bit blase about his fame, we are so thrilled to be the cover story of this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine! 

pillows Marimekko, rug PaperTrail, cushion fabric made from curtain and stool Ikea, Pouf CB2, light Janaki Larsen.

We bought this house 4 years ago and completely gutted it. Opening up the downstairs from 6 small dark rooms to a large open plan living/dining room with the window seat/ mudroom and going from a tiny galley kitchen to a large open kitchen. What really sold us on the house was the amazing yard and garden. But sadly the house had hardly any windows looking out towards the garden and only one door leading out to it.

Well, we changed all that! We added a large porch ( really our main living/ dining area during the warm months) and 3 sets of french doors leading out to it. The window seat looks directly into the garden as well. We had a funky, falling apart mudroom which we replaced with this fabulous new entry pictured above and below.

to see some of the processes check out interior framing and floor plans and windows and kitchen plans and floors and exterior painting and kitchen cabinets.

Custom black paint Sherwin Williams, planters Target, light Y Lighting.

Rug, pouf and throw pillows, outdoor dining chairs Ikea, daybed fabric Marimekko, planter Paula Greif,  bowl Janaki Larsen, rock sculpture Arno Cornillon, pillow on pouf Two Swim Birds available at Ateleir SolarshopFarrow & Ball paint in Pavilion Gray & Pitch Blue.

We worked with several amazing companies to complete our home including the amazing people at Master Brand cabinets. They generously worked with us to translate our dream kitchen into a reality. We now have a kitchen that functions beautifully in our lives, both from the day to day of busy family life to the large entertaining we like to do.

I have space for all of the pottery, glassware, and dishes I collect for both our use and as props in my work. After wanting to take up pottery for years I finally have so our shelves are quickly filling up…Blue stripe bowl Paula Greif, a small photo by my dad Sy Kattelson represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery,

Sink and faucet  Blanco, stools by Blackcreek Mercantile

The jumping-off point for our kitchen was the Miele white glass line. Our previous home at stainless appliances and I loved the freshness of the white glass. Although our kitchen is fairly generous in size it’s not huge so we were concerned about it feeling too dark. The mix of white Omega cabinets and wood along with the custom color island keep it light and open. We wanted the house to have an organic, Scandinavian feel. Modern yet warm and filled with the vintage pieces we love along with the many handmade pieces from the coffee table my dad made to the art and pottery we collect.Handmade custom tile by Tivoli Tileworks, Appliances Miele.

The table was custom made by our friend George Smith, the chairs are all vintage Thonet I have had for years. Repainting to fit my different moods. Here they are painted in subtly different shades of green. The bookcase is a vintage find and the chandelier is Lindsay Adelman’s – You Make It, the paper sculpture is by Ramon Lascano.

The only stairs and walls on either side are the only remaining original walls. The wallpaper is by Birger Kaiplainen and available through Tiina The Store.

 On the second floor, we raised the ceilings and went from one bathroom and 5 bedrooms – 2 that were minuscule to 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms plus an office. Throughout the house, we took old doors we had rescued from a house that was being torn down, stripped them, and added new -old hardware.
The euro squares are from Les Indiennes, the deco pillow is from Susan Connor, sheets West Elm, quilt Paper Trail, lighting One Forty-Three, photo over bed Sy Kattelson, bed Ikea, nightstands ABC Home, paint Calamine by Farrow and Ball

To make my walk-in closet extra special I covered it in Neisha Crossland Rose wallpaper.

 Out on the porch …

Lisa Congdon- A Collection A Day

Lisa Congdon- A Collection A Day

I very rarely enter contests and when I don’t ever seem to win anyway- But on a lark and because I am a huge fan of Lisa Congdon,  I entered the Martha Stewart- Lisa Congdon collection a day contest…… and WON!   We were asked to submit photos of our collections and Lisa would draw a picture of the winning collections, plus we all received a signed copy of her new book– A Collection A Day- based on her very cool blog A Collection A Day.

I have a number (no pun intended) of collections- many of which I use for work and are displayed around the house- such as my ever-growing pottery collection… But I chose my bit’s from my signage collection scattered around the house.

Lisa chose this image-

And here is her lovely drawing-
Check out Renovation..finished, furnished, and styled in Rue Magazine

Good Reads

before and afters

before and afters

A bunch of you saw the renovation on Apartment Therapy today and although lovin the Rue pics of the renovation have been asking for paired pics of the before and after so here goes…

Ok, the front is better but not finished, it needs landscaping, and repair and the columns need finishing. That’s starting to happen now that the tenants are happily in and the weather is warmer.

The old kitchen is now an open plan kitchen on the left and the dining area on the right with a washer/ dryer tucked in the closet and new french doors.  The walls are gone, in fact, all the downstairs interior walls are finito. this view…

is now this

Check out Anatomy of a set… Mr. Steam

Books - Marrakesh By Design

Books – Marrakesh By Design

For those of you who don’t read Maryam Montague’s blog about her life in Morocco, My Marrakesh you are missing the most delicious treat.  Maryam blows me away in each and every post with her amazing writing and photos.  As if that wasn’t enough she just published a beautiful and fascinating book Marrakesh By Design about Moroccan design, filled with stunning photographs.

Maryam, your “real” job as a humanitarian takes you all over the Middle East, and then when most people would come home and relax you run an amazing boutique hotel,  write and photograph a book and award-winning blog, have a shop, Red Thread Souk and somehow find time for kickboxing.   Yet you seem so deeply calm and relaxed.  
Let’s start by talking about your humanitarian work, you come from an interesting family, How did your experiences growing up lead you to the work you do?

I grew up with a Dad who did humanitarian work overseas, focusing on international public health.  My brother – a doctor – could also be found working stints on emergency medical units in Pakistan.  We understood profoundly as a family that the world was a big place and there were ways that we could contribute.  

Your work fascinates me, what countries and projects are you focusing on presently?I have worked in over 30 countries on programs as diverse as fighting child labor, training women to run for political office, and running a prisoner rights program.  Right now I am working on a local government program in Mali, and civil society programs (youth, disabled, women, etc.) in Morocco and Egypt.  This is my life’s work and gives me a sense of purpose and grounding.

Many of us dream of moving to another country. What made you decide to move to Marrakesh, and what is it like being an ex-pat there?   
I was posted to Morocco to run the programs of an international non-profit organization.  From the moment I landed, I knew it was the place for me.  It has a kind of gorgeous madness that is hard to forget, teeming to overflowing with color and pattern, and a culture that is iconic and unforgettable.  We loved our life here and decided to settle down on a semi-permanent basis.  Our friends are a combination of ex-pat and local and it all feels like home now!

Your wanderlust has taken you to an amazing amount of countries, besides Morocco what are some of your favorites and why?  I have loved so many places that I’ve been to.  But South Africa and Nepal hold a special place in my heart.  South Africa for the amazing design culture and sheer beauty.  Nepal for its incredible architecture (Kathmandu has more world heritage sites than any place in the world) and its adorable people. 

You are the face of Peacock Pavilions, what is your husband Chris’s role? 
It’s a partnership in every sense of the term.  As an architect, Chris designed and built Peacock Pavilions.  But he also is responsible for its day-to-day management, making sure that everything runs smoothly for our guests.  We’re proud to be ranked #6 out of 867 B&Bs in Marrakesh on Trip Advisor:http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293734-d1902157-Reviews-Peacock_Pavilions-Marrakech_Marrakech_Tensift_El_Haouz_Region.html

You have such a wonderfully eclectic style I love the way you mix ethnic, modern traditional, and make it all feel so relaxed and effortless. Did you always have an interest in interior design?
I grew up with a family that was passionate about international design and who were global collectors.  My parents have a very different (and greater) budget than I do.  But we share a love for the strange, beautiful and curious.  It’s the very juxtaposition and tension between things from different eras and countries that make it interesting. 

I have renovated a number of houses, with all of the various issues that include. What was building in Morocco like, things are done in such a different way there?  
Oh my goodness……..honestly, it’s grey hair-inducing.  There is a written and unwritten code in Morocco on the way things should be done and it requires transactions in several different languages.  Let’s just say building in Morocco is not for the weak-hearted or those not willing to be extremely persistent!…