We bought a house!

Well, it finally happened. After seeing close to 100 houses since May, we finally found a gem. It checked off a lot of our boxes – big flat & usable lot, one story house, separation of master & kids rooms, quiet neighborhood with good schools…we knew right when we walked in that we had found something special. Now, not everyone was chomping at the bit for this house because it needs a lot,  A LOT of work. Luckily, I am more than up for the task. Looking back at all the move-in ready houses we considered, I would never have been happy moving into a house someone else designed. So now what?! So much to do, and only so long I can last living with my in-laws 🙂 We will be re-doing many aspects of the house, but for today’s post lets focus on the kitchen.

Here are some photos of the existing kitchen in all its glory:

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Nothing to salvage here. The appliances basically don’t even work. This kitchen has been neglected and I am here to bring it back to life! I can be happy that there is a perfect spot for a built-in window bench which will become a cozy breakfast nook. Other than that, it all has to go! I am going to close up some walls and open up others to make this more of an L shaped kitchen with a big island in the middle. I am going to close up the pantry/washer dryer area with a frosted glass door and then put up a wall so the laundry room is accessible via the mudroom, which makes much more sense.


This frosted glass door to the pantry is very chic – love it.

Although I have spent hours lost in Pinterest finding amazing laundry rooms, it seems that will have to take a back seat for now. We may add a simple countertop over the washer/dryer to create a place to fold, but nothing fancy.

Now on to the meat and potatoes of the house – the kitchen. There are so many directions this could go, the house is a blank canvas, but something about this space to me screamed soft, French gray, shaker style cabinets. The walls are a really stark white, and although I love a white kitchen, I wanted something different. Here are some very inspirational images I have been studying:


I love this grey and I love the brass traditional hardware. Probably I would do something more contemporary, but it works. I was also so inspired by these open shelves as I have a set of Fornasetti dishes from my grandmother that I would love to put on display somewhere (this is how she had them displayed in her living room).


Keeping with the grey and brass, I love this moment from another grey and brass kitchen:


I also am a huge fan of the herringbone backsplash. It is something I love but am concerned will few dated in a few years. Anyways, I love it for now!

Then I found this image, which is basically my dream kitchen.


Love the marble slabs everywhere, although lets be serious, I could never afford that. I also love LOVE the oversized linear brass hardware. The grey shaker style cabinets are generally a more traditional look and that hardware gives it a rockstar edge. Winner!

Unfortunately I have realized other finishes also work with French grey, such as….

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…polished nickel or chrome. Much more “traditional” kitchen finish, but it works SO well. It also feels really timeless to me.


Then Amber Interiors had to post this picture of this beautiful French grey kitchen she just completed, with awesome matte black hardware. Now I am lost yet again. I will probably change my mind 100 times before I purchase any hardware at all.

The countertops are going to be a white quartz, super simple yet durable. Backsplash is another aspect of the kitchen that is providing me with too many options. I have done a post before about all the wonderful options for backsplashes, and now I find myself lost in a sea of too many options:


Subway tile. Simple, timeless, but way too predictable! Just cant do it.


herr-4 herr-glass

I mentioned Herringbone earlier, and I do love it. I really like it in a clean design like above.


Now this is interesting. Teeny tiny herringone! From afar, it probably is hard to tell what the pattern really is, which I really like. This is definitely a contender.

Diamond, Matte, Queen Anne's Lace kitchen backsplash diamond

I still have a total thing for these diamond tiles from Fireclay tile. Something about the contrast of a really modern pattern mixed with the traditional cabinets really interests me.

So many more decisions to make, can’t wait to keep you guys posted on all of it. xo, AE


I have been asked by the lovely Jana Bek (whose work and LAMPS I adore!) to join in a group blog post today, highlighting a major behind the scenes player in our industry: photographers! The best business decision I ever made was to find the best interiors photographers out there and make sure they captured my work beautifully. I am lucky to say that I have worked with 3 photographers, each different and unique, that have contributed to making my portfolio into what it is today.  I’m so excited to share with you guys what its been like to work with them! Stay tuned at the end of the post for links to all the other amazing participating bloggers’ pages to read about their stories as well 🙂

Erin & Erica

I worked with Erin & Erica on my very first shoot(s). I had no portfolio and had never photographed my own work before. I was overwhelmed, confused and nervous. Erin Kornfeld & Erica Leone to the rescue! Erin was the sister-in-law of my former co-worker and once I met with them in their Chelsea studios, I knew I absolutely needed them on my team! They guided me through schedules, styling, props, flowers and all the other craziness that goes along with doing an interiors photoshoot.

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I love this girl’s room in Scarsdale that we shot together. The colors pop so nicely against the white walls!

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This nursery was my first shoot ever, took us all day to get 5 shots! I even cried after we got the first shot – it was so exciting to finally see one of my designs finished to completion!

After I shot 2 kids rooms with them in New York, I brought them to DC with me for a 2-day photoshoot of a condo I had recently completed. Those were 2 very long days…they could not have been more gracious or easy to work with. Working with a duo definitely has it perks – they play off each other wonderfully and offer more than one perspective on each shot.

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Having 2 photographers on set was something I could not put a price tag on when I was first trying to get my own firm off the ground. They do all sorts of photography, including portraits. They even did my headshot on a shoot…..wow I look younger before I had a kid, might be time to update this one…


Check out their Instagram here, they are seriously talented! Or click here to see their entire portfolio.

Francis Dzikowski

His name is a mouthful, but he is one of the best. I actually worked with Francis when I was a designer at Grade in New York, so it was nice to work someone I was already comfortable with for my last 2 shoots before I headed out west. Francis does not mess around, and we got through these shoots really fast with a lot of great photos at the end of the day. Francis was able to frame these shots in his head so quickly, I practically had to play catch up with him. He always comes up with angels I would never even think of.

Project: Hoboken Apartment Designer: AE Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: Hoboken, NJ

Project: Hoboken Apartment Designer: AE Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: Hoboken, NJ

Project: Hoboken Apartment Designer: AE Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: Hoboken, NJ

Project: Hoboken Apartment Designer: AE Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: Hoboken, NJ

These shots of our Hoboken project turned out so stellar. I love how Francis was able to capture the scenes outside the windows as well as inside.

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The client had not purchased art yet for above their bed, so we borrowed these pieces and had to hold them up for the shots. Francis photoshopped out the arms and hands – things you would never think of looking at these beautiful images!

Project: 95 Horatio Street Interiors: Amy Elbaum Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: New York, NY

Project: 95 Horatio Street Interiors: Amy Elbaum Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: New York, NY

Project: 95 Horatio Street Interiors: Amy Elbaum Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: New York, NY

Project: 95 Horatio Street Interiors: Amy Elbaum Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: New York, NY

Project: 95 Horatio Street Interiors: Amy Elbaum Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: New York, NY

Project: 95 Horatio Street Interiors: Amy Elbaum Design Stylist: Brice Gaillard Location: New York, NY

This was my last shoot in NYC – I had a 10 week old baby and was moving across the country in 3 days. Needless to say I was scattered- without Francis I would have never gotten this done. He helped me stay focused and get things done quickly and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Francis has done some amazing interior and architectural shoots with very highly regarded architects and I am so lucky to have worked with him. You can follow Francis on Instagram here or click here to see his entire portfolio.

Amy Bartlam

After I moved to Cali and had some bathrooms to photograph, I was so lost! I was across the country from both the photographers I had used in the past and was in a new city where I didn’t know many people. Thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram, I came across Amy Bartlam’s work via Homepolish (she photographs a large chunk of their LA projects). Her work is so fresh and easy, I was really excited about the prospect of working with her. We exchanged a few emails and she was easy to book and even easier to work with. Amy is from the UK but has a very California cool style and personality. We had lots of fun photographing these bathrooms (3 in just a few hours!). She did a lot of walking around with her camera in hand taking additional shots, which ended up being a great addition to the shots we spent half an hour deliberating over.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum.

 Both these guest bathrooms really were very simple, and Amy did a great job capturing the spaces and keeping the photos clean but also interesting at the same time.

Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum. Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum.


Photo by Amy Bartlam. Design by Amy Elbaum.

Some more great detail shots of this master bathroom shot by Amy.

If you aren’t following Amy on Instagram already, click here to do it ASAP and here is a link to see her entire portfolio. Looking forward to working with her more on future projects here in LA.

As I mentioned before, there are lots of other great bloggers/designers participating in this post as well. Here is the full list with links to each page. Enjoy reading their posts along with all the other content they share on a regular basis! xo, AE

A Storied Style

Abby Manchesky Interiors

Amanda Louise Interiors

Anna Matthews Interiors

Ash Street Interiors

Austin Bean Design Studio

Christine Dovey

Claire Brody Designs

Comfy Cozy Couture

DĂ©cor Happy

Design Manifest

House of Jade Interiors

Jana Bek Design

Lexi Westergard Design

Lisa Mende Design

Maddie Hughes Designs

Megan Pflug Designs

Michelle Adams of the Maryn Blog

MrsParanjape of Redo Home + Design

Design Indulgence by Sherry Hart

Sita Montgomery Interiors

Stephanie Kraus Designs

Studio McGee

Currently working on: Malibu House

I have been literally slaying away on my newest project in Malibu. Its all I have been thinking about 24/7 so I figured what better to share than EXACTLY WHAT I’M WORKING ON. I only met Seth & Rachael about a month ago but we have hit the ground running. They just purchased the most lovely 4 bedroom house in Malibu that is 1000% move-in ready, and they are also move-in ready. Cue the timeline of “get me in here with furniture asap”. So, although we have discussed the fact that some things do take time, we are working hard to get this done as quickly as possible and have already nailed down a lot of important pieces but are still finalizing fabrics, rugs, pillows, etc etc. Although this house is technically in Malibu with a view of the Pacific, it is bordering on the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, so it has more of a coastal contemporary vibe than a straight-up beach house. This is exactly where I wanted to live when I first moved to LA, but soon after learned it is WAY out of our price range. I guess I’ll continue to live vicariously through my clients 🙂

Here are photos of what the house looked like staged when they bought it:

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isqtbuuyod5wz61000000000The house itself is gorgeous with lots of great architectural details. The kitchen is not being touched, nor is the wainscoting or vertical (!) shiplap in the den and master bedroom. My clients want to keep the furnishings in line with the style of the house which is the right thing to do. However, we have been able to create some looks that go beyond the typical nautical décor that the house was staged with and what one would probably expect to see in the house. Call it the AE spin, which they were both so gratefully on board with right away! Here are a few inspiration images we all agreed were spot on:

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Design by Studio McGee


Design by Chango and Co

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Design by Blackband Design

I have been scouring the earth for awesome, coastal but not beachy, furniture & fabrics for this house. I have found so many awesome things, we are running out of rooms to put them. The first thing we purchased for the den, is the one and only cloud sectional from Restoration Hardware (in navy). We even splurged for the luxe 45″ depth. I don’t know how they will ever manage to get off this couch!


Here is the fabric scheme we are working with: navy for the couch, color blocked grey/white sheer drapes and lots of fun mix & match patterned pillows:


So far that’s all we have in the room (what else do you need) but will be accenting it with a coffee table, end tables, lamps, art & pillows:



In order to take advantage of RH unlimited delivery, we also purchased this reclaimed oak dining table:

rh-recliamed-russian-oak-plank-96x39I love how this table has a simple, modern silhouette but is constructed of reclaimed wood with lots of character. We haven’t decided what direction we are going in for the chairs yet, although we have narrowed it down to a few options:



Option 1: Mix of black farmhouse side chairs w/ grey nailhead upholstered end chairs.


Option 2: White slipcovered chairs. Safe, but beautiful!

We will be adding a dramatic chandelier over the table (I can’t function without dramatic lighting), a rug, and a buffet/mirror combination:


This chandelier couldn’t be more perfect for this room.


How AMAZING is this new leather upholstered buffet from Madegoods?? I am so in love with it.

The living room and dining room are part of one open space, so we need to make sure they work off each other. More grays, blues, whites, and woods in here:


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4a04How awesome is that single block wood coffee table? Love how these pieces are all so different and could work in all different kinds of spaces, but work so well together for this coastal-contemporary vibe.

The master bedroom is really small and has that shiplap detailed wall, so we are going to keep things light and airy.


This gray plaid linen fabric is going to be the upholstered BED (what!!) and lots of fun colorful pillows on top. To play off the white shiplap wall, we are wallpapering the rest of the room in a clean white grasscloth paper.


redford-spencerylight-nelson-saucer-25diax9hI will keep you guys posted on this project as it progresses. Excited for the final product! xo, AE