March 18, 2017

House updates – outdoor living space

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If you’re living on the east coast or in Sweden I know this time of the year you can’t wait for spring to arrive, so I thought I would share some updates to our outdoor living space.  Since we are so blessed with incredible weather in southern California making the outdoors space livable is key.

The deck we added outside the master suite really extended the terrace and has become a favorite spot to hang out. It now has hanging electrical wicker lanterns which add a romantic light at night. (I’ll share a roundup post for best lanterns in another post).

JIll Sorensen design

When we moved in it was nothing there just a bunch of scraggly trees and it looked like this…

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If you followed along then you might remember I was really hesitant about removing the scraggly trees and plant a wall of banana leafs instead.


But the trees came down and the wall of banana leaf plants created the perfect vibe.  Now we can also really see and enjoy the pretty olive tree outside the bedroom door.

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This has become a favorite work spot of mine and a nice extension of the bedroom. Small changes that you think might be nothing can often have a large impact.

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When I tested out a bunch of lanterns for the olive trees I came upon this solar powered JC Penny lantern that I now have scattered about around the back yard. They light up the garden around the pool at night.

I now see this looking out my bedroom window.



The banana leaf plants are now taller than the fence. Behind it is a magnificent mountain view.

We planted a yew hedge along the edge of the pool on Terry’s Landscape designs suggestion.


It has grown and has added a nice framing to the pool and some protection while still allowing for a great view above at a 5′ height.


Thankfully we kept the red hibiscus hedge that adds a little tropical vibe.


The loungers are from CB2 and cushions from Martha Stewart.

Outside the kitchen window next to the pergola it looked like this…

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I designed iron brackets and added a foot of the quartzite stone top we used in the kitchen to create a great little drink and serving area outside the kitchen window.

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I added four Parisian bar stools.

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This sits next to the pergola which is awaiting a new carpet before I can photograph it. Here is a snapshot from this morning, I’ll share better pictures of this area in a later post.


Next to the kitchen by the end of the terrace is the best view and when we bought the house it was just an empty space with an odd fountain. Screen shot 2016-01-05 at 9.34.31 PM


I decided to use this area for a BBQ and outdoor kitchen.


Now it looks like this.

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A simple cement top with white stucco so it just blends in with the house.

We still have work to do but this is basically where we spend our time when we are home. I hope this gave you a little California sunshine to survive the rest of the winter.

Hope you have a great weekend!

For daily updated you can follow along on INSTAGRAM@JILLSORENSEN.COM


February 24, 2017

Update on a huge design project

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We’re finally coming to the the home stretch on a huge project on the east coast.

We’ve worked on the building and design of large property in Virginia.  Initially I didn’t think I could take on the big job considering the location. Somehow it’s working out with intermittent trips and yes Facetime! We’ve been working on it for about a year now and after a standstill for a few months it’s moving fast ahead with a new builder.  It was really exciting to see the house take shape on my trip there last week.

The family LOVES color and wants a comfortable family friendly interior that really represents who they are and I could not be more eager to please!

Foyer staircase is shaping up…


Here are some elements going on in Foyer Powder room…


We are using Cambria Stone for all the stone tops. I haven’t used them before but their “made” stone counter tops and beautiful.

The family room is shaping up. It will have wood beams and a big kitchen island.


Here are some of the materials for the home office for the mom.

Hello fun color!

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They love animals so we were thrilled to score these lion pedestals to turn in to a fireplace mantle for the home office.



The basement will be a mash of greens and yellows and have loads of reclaimed wood. These are some of the elements going in. I think the downstairs will be a favorite hang out area.


One of the kids rooms has a Guatemalan theme.

A dream pre teen girl’s room with pink, green and coral. This is the bathroom so far.


The boy’s room has a old folklore Russian theme.


I’m so glad we decided to go with fun cement tiles on some shower walls.

I’m a big believer in making kids rooms playful where their imagination can run wild.

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There is an in house media studio as well in red, white & blue with Quadrilles Independence toile.


Master shower is marble with gold and grey veins.


The library will be a high gloss blue with some of this going on.


I’ll update you more as the design unfolds. For daily updates you can join me at JILLSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM.COM

See you soon!



July 6, 2016

My DISASTROUS kitchen pictures & the coolest toilets ever

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There are makeovers and then there are M-A-K-E-O-V-E-R-S. Seems the most challenging projects just keep lining up.

We arrived home to our summer house in Sweden, except what house??  If you follow this blog you know we had bad water damage this spring. Turned out it was BAD.

This is our kitchen now…Want to come over for dinner?


Yep down to the dirt floor. As I’m looking at this I realize a lot of my projects look like bombs detonated in them.

All the floor beams were damaged and had to go. The cabinets could be rescued.


New tile is needed, minor detail in this room indeed.


I guess we will not be doing any cooking in here!!


Turns out there is a covered up dirt cellar below the kitchen floor!  The house was built in the 1830’s, burnt down 1870 and rebuilt so this stuff is 150 years old.

And the bathroom and laundry room by the entrance….


I giant hole, no walls or anything.

When they tore out the floor they came upon shoes and boots from the 1800’s and old pots used as bathrooms.


To be hinest Ive been very upset as you might imagine, no rest for the weary. However Luke’s summer job at my brother’s new recycling center could not have come in more handy….


Peter my very entreprenurial obsessed reclcer brother has started a genius business. He made a deal with out city here to be able to get  all the stuff headed fro landfills landfills, then fix them and sell them.


I felt instantly happier when I made this happy marigold toilet purchase!


And two marigold sinks to with it. If the old bathroom is gone, a new one will have to be awesome.


Can you believe these were headed for landfills?

(You can check out a few items that are for sale online at

Follow along on INSTAGRAM@JILLSORENSEN for more updates.


May 11, 2016

One Room Challenge – Week 6 – the REVEAL!

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The One Room Challenge got the best of me this time!

I went completely down to the wire with wallpaper and draperies being installed the morning of the photo shoot.  There were actually three photo shoots to get ready for this week so there was no time to rest.  I’m writing this blog post lying flat on my back on my bed with my back out and sick.

However I’m bedridden in my newly decorated bedroom so I’m happy!

If you are new to my blog welcome- I’m Jill Sorensen a Swedish interior designer with my own label living in LA. (INSTAGRAM@JILLSORENSEN.COM).  We bought this house a year ago and gut renovated it. If you read my blog you’ll see a complete makeover is taking place.   To remind you where this room started…

See the room before & Design inspiration here — WEEK #1

See the Design plan here — WEEK #2

The room now looks like this…


All photos by Anna Maria Noellert (unless noted)

A midcentury, Palm Springs , Frank Sinatra, Empire tv show, colorful, black and white hotel room suite…

I don’t know what you would call the style.

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The only room in the house that has black doors. Inside the bedroom there are black door and window casings.


The bed has my new favorite bedding TAKES TWO in Black & Sand

Striped Bridgeport Pillow from Joss & Main.

Yellow Pillows from World Market……and fab bedside lamps from Jana Bek.

The walls are covered in my art deco inspired wallpaper ARCHES in Beige for Jill Sorensen Lifestyle.


Under the window I have a custom upholstered midcentury sofa from Clad Home in yellow velvet and black piping and black sideas and back.  The drapery has Shibori Striped Drapery fabric from Minted.  I added a two inch black band to go with the black framed look in the room. I love these cheerful draperies. In my mind you can never have enough yellow.

Thank You so much Minnie Creations for making them i a rush. The cool Corrugation stools from All Modern  are used as extra tables and blue fur pillows, and Ella Embroidered Pillow from Joss & Main  are on the couch.

My soft Greek Key shag carpet that I’m completely obsessed with makes it impossible not to want to be barefoot in  here.


Dog model: Bubba the Chihuahua mix

Mark Pillow from Jill Sorensen Lifestyle.

On the other side sliding glass doors look out over the little terrace that we built outside the master bedroom by the swimming pool.


I upholstered and existing chair in  Yellow Stout fabric from DecoratorsBest with black piping and back.

The glam Greek Key mirror is the Anderval mirror from Bassett Mirror company. The Greek Key art deco vibe was irresistable considering the greek key theme in the room.

The super mod and midcentury tripod lamp that sits in the corner is the Restoration floor lamp by Adesso from Bellacor. They have tons of great lighting but I felt this gave the room a true midcentury vibe.

The Greek Key Shag gives the room the super cozy vibe, I’m constantly in my with Ugg boots but in here you just have to be barefoot! It’s so soft.


(photo by me)

The headboard i Indigo velvet and low slung   MIDCENTURY HEADBOARD in Indigo

The adorable sheets are Ink Dot sheets from Annie Selke/Pine Cone Hill


Arches Wallpaper

HUGE THANKS to Jana Bek for creating the perfect custom lamp for the room that practically looks like its married to my bedding,


Yep that’s me. Top from ASOS /Jeans from ZARA/Ballet flats by J Crew


The Mid century vintage night stands from Sunbeam Vintage.


(photo by me)

Faux banana leaf tree and the glam mirror with my Arches wallpaper.


(photo by me)




And now the bonus room….



Super excited to be the very first to test our Greek Key wallpaper in Noir.

It’s definitely NOT boring!

Retro Jonathan Adler Meurice sconces.


Kohler vibrant gold shower heads. and faucet.

I like how the wallpaper frames the serene marble shower and works with the faux painted drywall beams.



Paw print is from the Humane Society of NY auction to help rescue animals.


Vintage rug from Kaya kilim.

So although I’m very happy with the new bedroom…


..the best of all is the little terrace we added right outside!


Double lounge from Modshop.  Martha Stewart Cushion covers from DecoratorsBest, Monogram Yellow pillow, Monogram Asphalt pillow Jill Sorensen Lifestyle. throw from West Elm.

A big thank you to Linda of Calling it Home for inviting me, the fab sponsors, Minnie Creations and my assistant Emily for working hard to help me pull this off!

Now check out the makeovers of the rest of the group…





May 4, 2016

One Room CHALLENGE – Week # 5

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Now I know why this is called the One Room Challenge…because it is truly a challenge to pull off a room just the way you planned it in only six weeks. Particularly when you have two other magazine shoots happening at the house this week!

Some of the items that we need to complete the room, in particular my new bed design, will sadly not be here in time. The bedroom will be literally wallpapered right before we shoot it!

The one exciting thing is our very first Greek key wallpaper for Jill Sorensen Lifestyle was installed in the bathroom and it’s a statement.


I wanted a black and white bathroom and if you ask you shall receive…

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Black and white all over it is!

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We didn’t have the same luck with our new Arches wallpaper in Beige.  Our first sample batch arrived a bit too red. Just enough off so that it won’t work in the room.


It has to blend with the beige wall and a chair waiting to be upholstered in this yellow fabric from Decorators Best.

It also has to work with this yellow and white fabric from Minted that we finally received this morning. Big thanks to Minnie’s Creations for hurrying up and doing the draperies for me. Also a big thank You to Emily for working so hard in getting our wallpapers ready. I’m very excited to get the right hue and get this place wallpapered this week.


Some other goodies arrived as well…


A stunning Greek Key mirror from Basset Mirror Company midcentury modern tripod lamp from Bellacor.  Both items perfect for Empire as well as glam and midcentury. I also got a faux banana leaf plant.

Join me for more updates on JILLSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM.COM

Have a look at what the rest of the makeover team is up to. Hopefully they’ve had an easier go at it! 🙂




May 2, 2016

What a difference a year makes.

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Sometimes you have to look back to realize how far you’ve come.

Although I feel like nothing ever gets done around here and feeling frustrated about it, I changed my tune when I looked at pictures from a little more than a year ago. Walls had just been ripped out, there was no floor and the wall of glass doors had not been moved.

It wasn’t exactly a fun place to live…

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Even though I don’t have the final pieces in the living room, it’s a far more happy place to live in…


A year ago it looked like this.  The doors had been moved to make place for an extra room.

Bare bones.

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The other morning it looked like this.

Although not completed yet, it’s definitely a much happier space to live in.



The back wall is getting a piano and I’m hunting down some cool Milo Baughman chairs, waiting for yellow lamps for the credenza etc. etc. the list goes on.

I can only imagine what it will look like in a year.



April 27, 2016

One Room Challenge Week # 4

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Two weeks left and my bedroom is far, far away from being done.

I’ve not received the fabric for the draperies, the bedding has not arrived yet, the sofa fell through etc. etc.

The bright spot however was receiving the black and white striped cushions for the double chaise on the little deck outside my bedroom. It might not be the actual bedroom but looking out at this little Cali oasis from my bed makes me happy…


The cushions are from Martha Stewart living,


I was happy to get Clad Home to custom upholster their Mansfield sofa for us. Sometimes is great when something falls though because something much better is around the corner.


It’s going to get yellow velvet with black tweed sides and back as well as piping.


Our new tribal pillow is getting tassels, and other great pillows arrived from Joss & Main.


The Greek Key wall paper in the master bedroom will be done tomorrow.

It will go with the pretty vintage rug I just got last week.



Check in what the others are up to..



April 20, 2016

One Room Challenge – Week #3

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We are working hard to get this room done in time.

When design has to be done on a strict deadline you have to go with the flow. This week we found out a number of items I had wanted would not be here in time, so a new plan had to be put in place. It’s like solving an ever changing puzzle.

The painters were here this week and the room is slowly getting an “Empire” backdrop.

The room now has black door and window casings everywhere. Two walls are two toned beige and two walls are still waiting for wallpaper.

This vibe is going on now….

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Inspired by this…a rap moguls home in Chicago from the show Empire.

Yes, inspiration is everywhere…


The most exciting part of the week was the arrival of my new Jill Sorensen Lifestyle carpets.(@JILLSORENSENLIFESTYLE on Instagram)  The Geo Shag for the living room and this Greek Key Shag for the bedroom. These are the first samples, and I’m super happy with them.

This Greek Key shag combines the bohemian element of a Moroccan Beni Ourain with a more clean modern feeling which is what I wanted. And it’s sooooo soft!

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The bedroom became a whole new room with this in it.

It’s suddenly cozy and warm and inviting even without being finished.


The dogs are particularly happy because it’s like one giant dog bed!


These bedside table I bought last month so they are already in the room.

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I needed lamps and worked with super talented Jana Bek who is also doing a makeover for One Room Challenge as well. She has a line of beautiful brush stoke lamps that I wish I could use in the room.  She was able to do a custom lamp color for me in gold with black on top.

Jana sent a picture today and it looks amazing!!


Can’t wait for them to arrive, they will look so good in the room.

The Ander Wall mirror from Basset Mirror company arrived and it didn’t disappoint either. This will be hung as soon as the wall gets wallpapered.


I’m excited to see this come together and grateful to Linda for doing the ORC to give me a reason to finally finish my own home.

The view out the bedroom is improving as well. It used to be a scraggly garden with some old trees, now it’s a banana tree lined little deck by the pool awaiting cushions and potted plants.


Three more weeks to go….

Check out and see how the rest of the group is doing.

You can also follow along on INSTAGRAM@JILLSORENSEN.COM



April 13, 2016

One Room Challenge – Week 2

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It’s Wednesday again and One Room Challenge time.

I’m happy to have the the help of my great office manager Emily and intern Jessica to pull the makeover off in time. My work schedule is booked solid and the support is crucial.

The master bedroom has a newly built deck outside the sliding doors with new banana leaf plants and black and white striped lounge furniture soon to arrive.

The plan for the room is something along these lines…


The bedroom is spacious so there will be plenty of seating…and loads of yellow.


I hung a Kelly Wearstler light fixture in the room a couple of weeks back that needed adjusting and fixing..



The bedroom already have this mid century dresser from Midcentury LA.


The bottom part of the wall has been painted a dark tan.


The casing around doors and windows have been painted black.

However… I’m thinking of evening adding even more black trim.

I’m developing my own line of wallpaper, and this Art Deco Arches wall paper in tan I’m thinking on using in here. We are in sample hell, but hopefully it will be sorted out so we can use it in here.


My new Midcentury Modern headboard in navy velvet with black piping was just completed.


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The low slung mid century thing is a new vibe for me but a must for this house…


The headboard comes in a few retro colors, but this house is all about blue so I selected the indigo blue headboard.



The bedroom has a L-O-N-G way to go and things are just being ordered.

But I’m committed to the ORC deadline!

Have a look at rest of the group and check out their fin makeover.s



April 6, 2016

One Room Challenge Makeover – Week #1

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For those of you new to my blog Hi! I’m Jill Sorensen an interior designer, (  lifestyle designer with my own line of bedding and rugs (, blogger (besides here also for Swedish Magazine Sköna Hem).
For those of you new to the One Room Challenge it’s the makeover madness brain child created by Linda of the Calling It Home blog where 20 designers/bloggers have six weeks to make over a room.
Every Wednesday for the next weeks participants have to post about the progress starting today!
 Last year I made over my Kitchen…
This year I’m participating with my MASTER BEDROOM.
A couple of years ago we decided to change our life and move to California (from Virginia) and find an “ugly” house in need of a makeover  (video about our quest here on You Tube)  and turn it in to our dream home.
Fast forward almost a year and the dark 60’s ranch house on a mountain top with small rooms and a long corridor along the backside of the house, is now a happy, open, modern family home with incredible views of the Sierras.
I always believe you set the tone for the interiors of a house at the front door.  The front door should tell you what to expect inside.
Here we painted the front door blue, the house white,  the windows black, added big timeless lanterns, and framed it with dogs and agave plants.
The style….?
I’m not sure what to call it other than share my inspiration…
Mid century modern, Frank Sinatra in the 60’s, Palm Springs, California, retro LA, pool side, color, edginess, happiness and Europe.
Here is the MASTER BEDROOM the day my broker Henry and I looked at the house.
It had not been redone since the 70’s.
One window looks out against the hillside in the back.
The other side side of the room has sliding doors out to a terrace and a swimming pool…
Major makeover potential!
The old interiors were removed and a wood floor was been installed.
There are a couple of items in the room today but its basically a blank canvas!
For this bedroom makeover I’ll even share the entire master suite.
Here is what’s to become the future walk in master closet…
…and the future master bathroom.
All interiors starts from something within you that inspires you.
Whether it’s something you are longing for, makes you happy or entertains you. The worst thing for me is to  blindly follow trends. Embrace trends let them inspire you but break free of what everyone else has.
I’ve said it a million times — Life is too short for boring interiors!
Besides a new life in sunny California with irresistible indoor/outdoor living… here is my inspiration for the room.
Pool side Palm Springs.
The 60’s and 70’s with Frank Sinatra at his house.
The retro LA vibe.
Black borders..
Black doors…
Black & White stripes…
Really anything defined or framed with Black & White is an addiction!!

Lemon trees in the back yard!


Really anything YELLOW!

And last but not least my latest TV obsession…
The lush,decadent, art deco inspired interiors.
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 I’m currently in Sweden en route to Stockholm then on to LA. If you read the previous blog post you’ll see the emergency I’ve been dealing with this week. A pipe burst at my house in Sweden and caused major damage and swallowed my time!!
So all good things take time…
The design is being fine tuned so check in next week for the mood board/design plan of the makeover that will be take place!
It’s going to be FUN ride!

Check out the makeovers the talented designers/bloggers are going to tackle: