Thursday, March 19, 2015

Nesting with Maureen Landry

Nesting with Maureen Landry, Part II of my interview with my favorite Fashionista! Not only does Maureen have amazing personal style in dressing, she has a knack for creating amazing homes. I have watched her over the 24 years of our friendship create 3-4 homes. You can bet when she comes to Chicago we are fluffing my nest! She never steers me wrong and we always have a great time. I took time to ask her a few questions about how she created her last home in an old brick grade school building that was transformed into condos, what a great use of space for these older school buildings. Still in a traditional neighborhood, it was transformed into homes. She took 2 condos and made them into one large condo with separate living quarters, 2 bedrooms at opposite sides of the condo. It gives communal space in the center of the home but the bedrooms offer privacy & lovely quite space to retreat to at the end of the day. I love being a guest at her home and always just soak up the serenity she creates. Here are her tips and some of the pictures of her last home in Wisconsin. She is available for projects too...

BC; What is your secret to having no clutter? 
ML: First of all, I hate clutter.  Just looking at it causes anxiety!  
I believe that organization is an extension of the design/decor of your home.  I love to open a drawer or closet and see clothes/linens neatly stacked; water bottles and cans facing forward in my pantry. 
Being organized is a combination of efficiency and committing to putting things away in their designated spot (being a bit OCD helps).
BC:  What are your tips to organizing a home?

ML: Use baskets to hide clutter and drawer organizers -

Here are some tools Maureen recommends:

1. Use drawer organizers for your kitchen and bathroom drawers and baskets to hold neatly folded linens, toilet paper towels, magazines and mail.
2.  Hang scarves and necklaces on hangers in your closet.  
3.   Always fold linens and clothes the same way so your shelves and closet always stay neat and clutter free.

4.  Get rid of mix-matched hangers and buy wood hangers. Then place all blouses together and then pants together and so on.  Group clothing by season, color and purpose so it's easy to decide what to wear.  

BC: When putting together a room what do you start with? Something you love? like a great couch or a bed?  

ML: I start with the largest piece of furniture that's going to anchor the room.  I always gravitate toward furniture that allows you to curl up and read. 
BC: I always see layering in your rooms, with a variety of texture from luxe fabrics, to furry soft pillows, to shine and metals, how do you keep it all together?
ML: I like things to have a certain harmony and rhythm so I work with one color in the space, but in different textures, shapes and sizes.  I keep furniture, rugs and paint neutral and add pops of color with pillows, accessories and fresh flowers.  

BC: How would you describe your style?  

ML: Contemporary

BC: Your condo you put together had so many great features. I loved the windows and being sub ground level. I also loved the basin you created for your guest bathroom. Where do you get your ideas and then describe the most challenging part of your last home when selecting fabrics (can be the counters, cabinets, open shelving, appliances etc not necessarily "fabrics".)
ML: I'm always reading design books, magazines and blogs, but my absolute favorite place to get ideas is Houzz...the best app ever made!  There are literally thousands of ideas and materials to choose from so the most challenging part of putting together a design project is narrowing in on your favorites.  I had amazing architecture so it made my build-out easier. I also found a great carpenter and cabinet maker.  I could show them a picture and they would duplicate it.  

Above: This is the guest bathroom featuring a custom made sink, of thick wood thats been coated to a shiny finish with polyurethane to withstand the moisture in bathrooms.

Below is the master bathroom, the 2 Kohler mirrors open to store toiletries leaving the sink clutter free!

Another view of the Master Bath room
Master Closet, notice how the shoes are organized on the wall shelf to the left of the mirrors? Fancy 
This is the kitchen looking into the family room

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 Another view of the kitchen, with open shelves to the left and you cant see the gorgeous Wolf 36 inch stove but that would be amazing to have!! Love it.
This is the living room, the windows are at ground level, which is really cool.

BC: Maureen, Love your style and your vision! Thanks for sharing your unique concepts in design! XOXO Love you!

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