My lovely clients reached out to me just as I was preparing to leave California and move overseas to Israel. They were seeking assistance in selecting furniture for their beautiful new house in Piedmont. At the time I was swamped with preparations for my big move, so the timing of this project wasn’t ideal. I also don’t usually work with clients in the Piedmont area because of the distance. However, I was planning to work remotely once I had moved to Israel anyway, and the Piedmont project seemed like a wonderful opportunity to see how this method would work for me and my clients. Luckily my clients were receptive to the remote challenge.
We set forth to design their living room, dining room, a small kitchen nook and their primary bedroom. Their house is beautiful and charming. It had recently been remodeled, which meant that no construction work was necessary. My clients wanted a fresh start in this home, which granted me a blank slate to start with - all I needed to do was “listen to the house” and let my intuition guide me. A combination of classic and modern furniture adds warmth while keeping the space airy and fresh. Adding textures and textiles - like linen, velvet, and block prints - as well as balancing colors and patterns to suit a certain space, is precisely what I’m passionate about.
For the living room I selected an armless wheat-colored Ethnicraft sofa. This lovely, organic-looking piece is balanced by a couple of dark terracotta-colored velvet armchairs. The warm color palette of the furniture compliment the natural hues of the stone fireplace. The blue and beige hues of the rug, its calming weave pattern, together with an assortment of accent pillows on the bench and sofa, add light and vibrancy to this pleasing room. The round light-wood coffee table introduces another shape and natural texture in a subtle way. Finally, the blue, green, and white tones of the art on the wall functions to brighten the room as well as mirror the colors from the garden outside.
This living room has a bright adjacent sunroom featuring generous windows and delightful views from atop the hill where the house is located. We wanted this space to be used as a relaxing reading and tea/coffee drinking spot. An array of accent pillows create a cozy vibe. A leather ottoman doubles as a coffee table and a space to lay down and rest.
Here is how the living room used to look like:
The dining table is visible from the living room, which meant that the rooms needed to blend well in order to create a sense of harmony. I love the round chandelier that is stylish, sophisticated, and modern. It hangs gracefully and lends this room a chic aura. Though large, its presence is not overwhelming - it’s a piece of art in itself. Around the black oak dining table are elegant contemporary wooden chairs with light-colored upholstery. A bright durable rug was the most functional option for dining room use, and its aesthetic pulls the whole look together.
The scope of my work on the Piedmont project included collecting accessories for the living room and dining room areas. Since I live abroad now, when I visit the Bay Area I like to go to my favorite antique fairs and usually find some great antiques and ceramic pieces for my clients. The pieces enhance the final project photoshoots and my clients get to keep them afterwards. I also make sure to order various products from my favorite stores - because, well… there’s always a need for awesome accessories.
Dining room before:
Another angel of this dining room:
The kitchen had already undergone remodeling, so besides adding new stools nothing else was needed. The breakfast nook, on the other hand, needed some sprucing up. What makes this space warm and inviting is the banquette bench that is upholstered with brown leather on the backing and a rich blue-and-white tie-dye fabric for the seating. This fabric combination can get pricey, so I’m super grateful to my clients who went along with my design inspiration. The oval table and a pair of black chairs add contrast yet works perfectly in this inviting dining space.
This is how this kitchenette used to look like:
Our chosen fabric!
Let's start with a photo of this room before our grand transformation, shall we?
When I started working on this room it was a blank canvas. Starting from scratch gave me total freedom. It was most important for me to create a serene space for my clients, that would also feel like a luxurious hotel. Wallpaper by Kelly Ventura set the tone for the rest of the room. The bed’s leather headrest works well with the black matte metal-work on the furry white bench that lies at the foot of the bed. Brass reading sconces echo the shade of the leather, and the use of light wood and linen balance the look and feel of the room, making it feel opulent.
The mixed shades of green and purple “speak” subtly to the yellow tones in the wallpaper. The custom linen drapes are one of my favorite features in this room. The linen tones are ⅔ bone color and ⅓ green color, which partner perfectly with the wallpaper, and helps create the luxurious hotel feeling that I wanted to achieve. I was so invested in the perfect pairing of the drapes and upholstery of this room that I made sure to visit my client’s home several times before I moved abroad, and also when I came to California to visit.
In the next photo, you can see how we pulled the colors of the linen drape from the wallpaper sample. This was one of the first items we chose when we started working together, and it was essential for me to be present in CA when we made this decision.
This first remote project of mine was a success . It gave me the confidence to continue working remotely this past year. During the years I lived in California I was extremely lucky to work with a strong team of subcontractors and vendors. As I continue to work remotely with them, while I am living abroad, the high quality of their work assures me that my clients will be satisfied. Thanks to them, what I dream up on the drawing board becomes reality for my remote USA projects - on the West Coast, the East Coast, and anywhere in between.
Photos: Vivian Johnson
Photoshoot Styling: Carmit Oron