For the passionate collector, resisting something of desire is not always an option - especially if the locale and chance discovery of such treasures are remote and rare, such as: A once in a lifetime trip or encounter that renders your bags full of things valuable and dear to the heart that beg to be displayed, enjoyed, used and cherished in your home.

A home is, above all, personal.  

Your Home Is You

Your home reflects you and your family It represents where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you treasure.

There is nothing more interesting than being in someone else’s home, discovering more about them as you scan the room. Everything from the colors they like to the trips they’ve taken can be deciphered from the objects, art and furnishings they collect, as well as how they are arranged, displayed and loved. 

What does your home say about you?

A Home Designed Around Passions

One of the best things about working on this project was experiencing the wonderful treasures my client owned and loved. Having lived overseas and traveled the world, all of her things had meaning and memories.

As an artist working in textiles and jewelry, she collected the things she was passionate about, such as detailed antique textile pieces from far-flung regions. Everything had been curated, each item carefully considered for its artistic beauty, complexity of detail, or hand hewn finish.

It was no surprise to me that she wanted a rustic and comfortable feel to her home. Her many antique wood pieces had a worn, textural look that would fit in to the design perfectly!

Reflecting the Homeowner in the Design

The house was dated. The homeowner had waited to do any remodeling until she was ready to do it right, from the bones of the structure outward. She needed a plan, a direction, some insight, as well as a path to follow and a vision of how this would it would reflect her and her family.  This was important to her. And it was important to me.

Turning Antiques Into Art

I knew many of the objects she owned would not marry well with color, because they already had a lot of color in them. They needed a quiet, museum-like envelope so they could be appreciated on their own. 

They also needed warmth. The existing tile floor and carpet did absolutely nothing to provide the solid base and quality the home needed. The best way to establish such a canvas was with a wood floor, not a floor with lots of texture, scraping, pegs, or any other trendy look that would attract attention - just a basic, beautifully finished oak in a medium/dark color was what was needed.

This project is not about the floor.  You know what it’s about.


Below are a few of her treasures. Click each image to enlarge.


Out With The Old...

An early 90’s build, the house had the mauve color scheme so popular in that era. The pickled cabinetry had turned orange over the years and the pinkish, small 12x12 tiles were very dated.  

Oh, and a walkway of tile in an open space is never a good thing.


...In With The New

Similar paint colors on the walls, mouldings and ceiling maintained contrast in the space with the floor and the furnishings.  

Remember: We want to focus on the objects within; so there's no need to visually complicate things.


Small Fixes Make A Huge Difference

We refinished the fireplace and added a wood mantel cap.  

The bulky crown and large, flat moulding surrounding the windows in the living room directly across from the front door divided the view, making it appear chunky and heavy. ...That was fixed.


Rewriting The Kitchen's Story

In the kitchen, we kept the perimeter cabinetry and painted it to match the walls, ceiling, and mouldings.

The idea was to blend the dated elements into oblivion, so your attention's focus would zone in on the texture we put into the house: The wood floor, island and beautiful coral reef limestone counter. 

I wanted a single-height island with a more typical shape -- I loathe a funky, contrived shape on an island -- so that the kitchen wouldn't feel so divided into corridor / kitchen. I wanted it to feel like the entire room was the kitchen and draw everyone to the center “table” by making it a more communal place.

I believe the wonderful  texture of that antiqued stone countertop does just that. When you walk into the room, the first thing you want to do is touch that stone.

Click above images to enlarge / Press ESC to exit

Coral reef limestone, embedded with shells and fossils
Coral reef limestone, embedded with shells and fossils

Family Room

In the family room, the old entertainment center was taken out, and a new stained wood built-in was designed. The dark finish matching the floor provided a stopping place for your eye.  

I like doing flat screen tv’s on a dark wall or cabinet.  They blend with the background and don’t look quite so massive in the room.

Custom Wood Grilles

Look at the wood grilles we used for the ET center cabinetry > >

These allow airflow for the equipment; but, more importantly, it provides that texture and pattern represented in the homeowner’s collections.


Simple In The Study

In the study, we continued with the wood floors, painted the cabinets, and swapped out the countertop for a stained wood one.  

Simply changing the finishes made such a difference! 

Those columns had to go! | Click image to enlarge

A Bath That Breathes

Oh, here we go, my personal favorite redo: the master bath!  

I really loved the bones of this room: the gentle arch, the recessed area for bathing, the roomy, spacious feel. But...

you couldn't see them with those tall columns and all that cultured marble.

I couldn't wait to get those out and experience every cubic inch of this space. Oh, the possibilities!

So I removed them! | Click image to enlarge

Click images below to enlarge finished design / Press ESC to exit

...A sculptural, freestanding tub, laid upon the limestone floor that travels up the wall behind is so simple and pure. I love the ledge we built for the wall mount faucet and things for bathing. It provides such a nice textural backdrop for the smooth, matte finish tub.  

See how that tub reflects the shape of the window and then is repeated in the Moroccan light fixture? It was all done purposefully, because...

Good design is NEVER an accident.


The Home's Story, Streamlined

Two other bathrooms and bedrooms were updated, once again using limestone, but in different forms: smaller tiles, linear grained limestone slabs, and even different colored limestone.

All together, we wove a similar, yet unique, story throughout the entire house.


I didn't forget the cats!

The homeowner didn’t use the kneehole space in the vanity area, so we  transformed it into a kitty litter box, with a side entrance.

First Image = Before / Second = Construction / Third = Happy Kitty :-)


Click images above to enlarge / Press ESC to exit


A Home Worth Treasuring

I sometimes a good remodel has to correct what the original build failed to accomplish. In this house, there were good bones, but things stopped short. The timeless look and quality feel that this house begged for was lacking.  

Ultimately, we gave this house what it needed: We minimized the few dated areas; shined a spotlight on the new and improved; and turned back the clock to return the house to its prime. I have no doubt that this look will remain timeless for years to come and continue to warm and embody the spirit of its owners and their beautiful treasures.

A Home Full Of Treasures

Designed By: @Carla_Aston


"Carla took my initial vision and developed it beyond my wildest dreams.  Her keen eye for detail took my home from ordinary to extraordinary.  I never could have achieved this on my own."

{ Homeowner }

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