Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inspiration - Lizzie Carney's Bungalow (Eeek!)

A few months back one of the House Proud segments on The Nate Show completely captivated me.  Everything about this place, from the ingenuity to the glamour, comfort and color palette make me design crazy.  I'm not kidding.  I've had print-outs of these photos on my fridge for months and I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer for those of you who don't know about this.

It's the home of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Carney, designer for EuroTrash (a wholesale distribution, styling and custom carpentry company in Illinois).  Lizzie transformed her 1,000-square-foot 1930's bungalow into a haven that's truly to-die-for.

I've assembled all of these photos from various sources and photo shoots--so you'll see some differences as the decor progresses (I'll point out a few myself, just for kicks).

Let's begin in the living room, shall we?

Living Room
Notice those ottomans tucked under the coffee table in the photo below?  Those, in addition to the chairs and sofa, allow seating for nine in this cozy little room.
via Country Living

The dark gray paint plays so well against the charming-yet-glam gallery wall with white and gold frames. The antlers add more interest and balance the rustic element of the coffee table (notice in the Country Living photo above those antlers hadn't been added yet?).

The lines of the french chair pop with a coat of white paint (not sure if she found them that way or not), and the brown velvet gives them a warm, luxe feel while her pink pillows add just the right hit of color.
Speaking of which, not really sure if those are bright pink like the appear above, or a soft pink like they appear below.  (Which would you prefer?) 

I like how the crystal lamp on the side table (that table is actually a folding chair with a stack of books, by the way) keeps the glamorous vibes going. What an interesting choice for the overhead light - modern pendant is a young, fresh juxtaposition against the traditional elements.
via Country Living
Here's another interesting tid-bit I found.  (Am I Detective Erin today, or what?) Notice a difference in the coffee table base shown in the first image in this post and the one below. Apparently the caster base was another update.  On the Nate Show, Lizzie mentioned that she placed reclaimed wood on the casters to allow her to move the table around - and I'm curious if it's tabletop in both photos, but just with different bases? Hmmm....
Lizzie painted a flock of birds and branches on her bedroom wall to add some more interest, using metallic gold paint and what I believe is black and a lighter gray. 

There was an awkwardly placed (off-center) window behind the bed so she made curtains with blackout liners to create an even backdrop. Bonus: extra privacy from her neighbors that are really closeby.
via Country Living, October 2010
Really hope you like this next one, because yours truly is such a nerd that she took photos of her television screen for yoouuuu - just so you could see the the glamour girl gallery wall going on here.  
From The Nate Show, taken by/via Dwell & Tell
Dressing Room
To maximize the amount of usable space, she turned a bedroom (what most people would use as a guest bedroom or office) into a dressing room.
I am also going to give myself a little pat on the back (pat, pat) for being the first to debut her bathroom on the world wide web, thanks again to photographing la television. Yes, I just said "world wide web", 'cause it's 1994. 
From The Nate Show, taken by/via Dwell & Tell
Here's my favorite part.  Come. ON. This is ridiculous-ness people.  Ridiculous-ness of awesome-ness.  I think my soul looks like this room because I feel so weirdly connected to it.  Sure, it's a favorite color palette too so that doesn't hurt.  But otherwise I'm sticking with the soul theory.  I'm crooning. I'm drooling. 

Kitchen time! Gorgeous antique gold chandeliers, gray walls, gray wood and and a retro turqoise refrigerator lay the groundwork.  The sleek white accessories, modern white bar stools (from ikea, holla'!) and pops of turquoise blue and pink.
The island is actually a dresser (by Euro Trash) that was customized by adding a added a shelf to create a seating area. And let's not miss the freakin' peacock, people.  No fair.  I hope it's not real.  Poor birdy.  If it's not, I want one.  If it is real, rest in peace. And fabulousness. Rest in peace and fabulousness, pretty birdy. 

I did some serious digging and around and found a great detail shot of that backsplash.
As explained by EuroTrash "Reclaimed wood and ornate salvaged cartouches were used for the poured concrete counter back splash."

Want to achieve this style? Here are my "WWLD?" ("What Would Lizzie Do?") take-aways:
  • Vintage - shop antique stores, thrift shops, flea markets to add the warmth and character
  • Rustic / Earthy - Wood elements of various tones, concrete
  • Glamorous - Tufting, texture (for example: the bedding, the headboard, the window treatments and velvet chairs in the living room, the chandeliers!) 
  • Colorful - She keep the palette fairly focused: gray, pink, gold and turquoise--but still a little flexibleAdd some modern touches (like the barstools, ceiling pendant in the living room)
  • Modern - a dash of sleek, modern pieces (like the living room ceiling fixture and the kitchen bar stools, for example) keep things fresh and never doubty.
The way she balances all of these textures and styles has really kept me focused on some decisions for awhile.  I'm thinking of making WWLD bracelets (What Would Lizzie Do?).  Think they would sell? 

{For those who don't know me, I had a WWJD bracelet in my day. It was (sadly) as much a fashion statement as it was a biblical statement.  But what if I DID make some bracelets that made a  style statement with WWLD? Again, that's a joke. I'm not making you crazy people bracelets. I'm too preoccupied with things like sanding furniture and Project Runway. And church. Hugs. Kisses. Style. And FALL!!!}

Spill the beans!  What do you like most?  What's your favorite detail or part of this home?

- Erin


  1. Hi,

    I just stumbled across your blog and I love it. I too love The ottomans under the coffee table idea.

    I'm a new follower :)

  2. Great to have you as a new follower! Thank you for the comment!

    - Erin

  3. hi, first time visiting ur blog, and fell in love with it straight away.

  4. I know...already going into 2014 and I just came across your blog....I fell in love with Lizziez bungalowwwhen I first saw it on The Nate show...and I showed it to everyone I knew! most people that were not into decorating did not understand my addiction to this video but I stopped it ...replayed it ....paused it ....dreamt about it etc. I wanted to live there I especially loved the front door....and my job was hanging when she said she had only lived there X amount of months!

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