July 10, 2017

Our new simple Scandinavian country kitchen

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Hope you are enjoying your summer.

We arrived in Sweden this week to an almost finished house I couldn’t be happier. Living in two houses that are being renovated while renovating and designing for others can put you over the edge!  You might remember the water damage disaster that ruined our country house.

Furniture sources here in the country side are sparse and contractors work on their own schedule (which drives me crazy!) so you have to go with the flow. As far as interiors you don’t strive for perfection, just simplicity and functionality.  Honestly when you are in the business of always trying to make things perfect – imperfection is actually refreshing.

The kitchen is almost done. The walls are now a bold yellow. I love super strong more modern tones of colors as a backdrop to old things.

All the old furniture pieces stayed.

The sofa is an old Swedish bed sofa that people in the 1800’s used for guests and often it was the place where farmhands and maids slept in the country houses.

The fur pillows, pendant and vase are from Ikea. The flowers are handpicked. The pillows are the Sunshine Embroidered Monogram designs from my line Jill Sorensen Lifestyle.

The strong yellow color is the perfect antidote to the moody blue skies outside.

The cool air and the sunny inside is a fun contrast.

The chairs are antiques, and the table we found in the barn and painted it white.

As I said…around here simplicity goes.

I love checked Swedish floors so I decided to make it easy and install a vinyl floor from Tarkett.

In case you missed it this is what our kitchen looked like last summer….

As you can see a big improvement!

We have a floor.

The counter top is temporarily just resting as Ikea sent the wrong depth. Ikea birch counters are my favorite.

Love the Ikea pendant – basic but cool.

I headed over to my favorite local store….my recycle obsessed brother’s Återbruket in Karlstad.

There you can buy people’s discarded furniture and landfill dropoffs. Aterbruket repairs everything then resells it. In a country who values nature above anything and recycles 99% of their trash it’s popular.  If you are local you should pay it a visit. Saturdays they serve fresh baked bread and coffee and I promise you it’s the perfect treasure hunt.

It’s mostly tech and lighting but I always manage to find some furnishing items I like.

This yellow vase was someone’s trash….

Not sure what this can be called…Landfill chic?

The carpet it my Monogram cotton carpet in Sky Blue from Jill Sorensen Lifestyle.

The older I get recycling and caring for the earth becomes more and more important.

Someones trash can be your treasure.

Do you by recycled stuff?

In our attic I found this cool old Swedish print and framed it.

The kitchen is now a fun place to hang and I was happy to have my cousins Susanne and Hans here from Denmark to enjoy it.

Bottom line is, don’t take decorating your place to seriously.

How important is buying vintage to you?  Do you have any good steals you want to share?

 

June 8, 2017

New renovation! A tropical spa area

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I love taking spaces that seem to be of no use and turn them in to something special. Every home has areas indoors as well as outdoors that just feels like wasted square footage.

Clients tell me all the time about hallways, corners, nooks that they simply never use and have a millions of reason why. The only reason why someone never uses an area is 1) because its not designed or 2) It’s not designed right. When a space is fun or welcoming and has a use, people will go there.

At the far corner of our ranch house against the hill there is a just such a space. It’s a small terrace area with a storage cabinet, a fence and an ugly air vent. It is however right off the master bedroom so my boyfriend suggested one day….why not add a hot tub? The hot tub mention inspired me to create a little California surfer paradise spa area.

Here is where we started….

We decided to start by adding a ficus hedge long the side of the space to create privacy.

As you can see on the picture the neighbors on the street below can see straight up, so the corner will get tall banana leaf plants and a ficus hedge will go from the corner of the yard all the way up to the master bedroom.

First step was  removing the storage bin and chain link fence.

Besides a mid century sofa I envisioned a cool space with a hanging chair.  I found a bunch of cool affordable hanging chairs at Pier 1. World market had the other items I needed for the sanctuary.

Jill Sorensen spa area

There is also an exterior bathroom on this side which will be spruced up. It will  need lights etc.

Ficus hedge has now been planted.

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Facing this direction up the hill (picture below)  I will try to reuse some iron fencing that will be removed from the garage renovations.

The air vent outdoors I thought I would cover with an Artificial ficus hedge.

I have never tried it but I’ll give it a try. Have you?

Artificial ficus hedge

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Hot tub arrival!

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Here it is so far – not too exciting, but it will be.

I’m planning on using these vintage retro surfboards you can get on Etsy to cover the wall.

Here are the sources for the spa items I purchased.

Lucky you if you like them because now they are already 50% off!

1 //2// 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 //

Can;t wait to see how this will turn out!

Follow on JILLSORENSENLIFESTYLE@INSTAGRAM.COM

 

May 24, 2017

Renovation Mayhem and our house in Swedish news

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While the front of the house looks like a complete war zone the back of the house is a different story. The Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri was here to do a story on me and my house.

Swedish photographer Anna Maria Zuellert caught this photo of the backyard….

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…which is the opening of the article.

If you happen to read Swedish you can catch some of my life story and long accidental road to the design business here.

Its funny how life takes twist and turns and where it leads you can be many surprising places.

Now while most of the back yard is done (not all of it)  the front of the house is a different story.

This happened in a matter of just a few days- the disappearing garage.

DAY 3

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I got home the next day and this was it??

Later DAY 3

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DAY 4

Termite damage was found on the back wall….even more needed to be removed.

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DAY 5

Where the heck did the garage go?

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Total mayhem.  It’s looks like a bomb hit the front yard!

DAY  6

Digging 5′ holes for footers. We live in the mountains and on a hill so everything needs extra steel.

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Kurt Gibbs the friend/architect I wrangled to help me with this project takes a look at some last minute solutions.  The view everywhere is so amazing, we almost don’t want to have any walls!

This below is the setting of my future office.

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This door and deck will be widened so the new office space will have a great view and a big deck.

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Things have been on hold for a few days to get an updated structural engineering plan but got started back up today.

Really looking forward to having this magical spot to work!

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May 13, 2017

Progress pictures from a big design project

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When you create interiors you its all in your mind. Of course nothing is more fun than seeing your mood boards and designs come to life. The huge project we’ve been working on from scratch and designing in Virginia is coming closer to the install date. Yesterday I received a bunch of snap shots from the project.

LOVE the progress!!

The kids rooms are theme rooms.  This is the boy’s room with a reclaimed wood ceiling and a cool blue and gold paint scheme for a Russian knights room.

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The room will have rich reds and crest pillows and all kinds of things Russian knight for the two boys.

Wish I could show you more…

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The daughter’s room is south American and is dark coral and peachy pale coral with a bright green bathroom.

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Its going to have black iron details and these fun fabrics. I love doing fun kids rooms.

What girl doesn’t love pink?

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One of the guest rooms got an intense color scheme, and it will make a lot of sense once all is in.

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Cool blue bathroom with cement tile.

Navy walls, blue bathroom and yellow ceiling.

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Yes the clients who come to me want something unusual and love color!

My instructions are commonly “not boring”. I’m of course always happy to please.

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Love the shocking combination of navy and yellow because what’s coming next will make it very cool.

The master bath is looking chic.

All Cambria stone tops and gold faucets.

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It’s fun to see mood board to reality.

For each room I give clients two-three mood boards to really see the design.  This one gives an overview.

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Can’t wait ti see this room.

I already see the vibe in this pretty shower!

All marble with gold details.

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The beautiful stone fireplaces have been installed as well in many of the rooms and wood beams are in waiting to be stained.

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Master bedroom fireplace.

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And one of my favorite rooms… the dark blue library that will have loads of great color in in.

Can’t wait.

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If you are interested in creating something special we are taking on a few E-design clients over the summer. You can e-mail us at contact@jillsorensen.com we’ll send you info on our E-Design service.

See you next week!

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May 3, 2017

Renovations again! DAY 1 & 2 – The Guest house

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Yesterday we started the final renovation project on our house. The Guest House.

Turning the garage in to a guest house was supposed to be the first thing we did when we bought it. I would get a great office downstairs and Luke would get a big teen room upstairs.

Well, it didn’t happen that way.

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When you live off of Mulholland Drive in LA which is one of the most scenic mountain routes you have to get a permit from the Mulholland Scenic society to make sure nothing that you do alters the beautiful view.

This is the view from the hill at the top of our yard.

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Well fast forward a year and a half.

We got the permit, the plans are done and we got started yesterday.

These are some of the architectural drawings. The back of it will have terrace and the view from there is insane.

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Yesterday we had to empty the garage in to a rented pod.

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The tiled roof was swiftly removed and stored so we can put it back again.

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Here are some of the things we will do downstairs.

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Today it looked like this….

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And this….

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The outdoors will be white stucco with black accents like the house.

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With lots of bougainvillea, flower boxes, and shutters. I’ll share some of the plans and inspiration in the next blog!

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