Moorish Nursery Design

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I celebrated my child’s first birthday yesterday. ‘Has a whole year passed?!’ Indeed it has! It’s hard to believe my lifesize-elephant-sculpture is now a distant memory or—if you are a new mom you’ll get it—barely a memory at all.

The past year has been a blur to say the least! In this order; I had a baby (while working like a dog at a shelter magazine), got laid off (decided there is a first and last time for everything), totally panicked, came up with a million hair-brained ideas to get by, scrapped them all, focused on raising a child (with my amazing husband), started a new business (interior design), and—this past weekend—threw a wedding-size birthday party for the baby & husband. Because why not?!

In the chaos of caring for a baby and managing a new business with vibrant clients, I completely forgot a local home magazine was doing a piece on my nursery design! It was such a nice surprise yesterday—and weird timing—to see this delightful article (below)… that I am ever so grateful for. Thank you Brooke!!! I’ve included several photos of the project below and even some process shots (far below).

Through the Years
WRITTEN BY BROOKE PERRY
INTERIOR DESIGN BY MEREDITH McBRIDE KIPP

Envisioning a “fun, worldly and adventurous” nursery for her daughter, Franklin Lakes interior designer Meredith McBride Kipp dreamed up a Moorish fantasy highlighted by crisp white drapery, playful elephants and even a hand-painted silhouette of the Taj Mahal. “I didn’t want the room to feel overtly like a nursery;’ says the designer, who chose pieces that can work well in the room or elsewhere in the home over the years.

In lieu of a traditional rocking chair, Kipp opted for a classic deep-gray club chair glider with cream piping from HomeGoods, toning down its “serious” feel with a blue and white stripe Turkish cotton throw and a canvas elephant pillow by Tahari Home. A leather and canvas ottoman, also from HomeGoods, is a work anywhere piece. On the walls, Kipp stenciled a custom-muted ikat pattern on light blue three-quarters of the way up the wall, transitioning to matte white to the ceiling.

The designer brightened the room’s original wood floors with the addition of a navy and white bamboo fretwork patterned rug from India. Its white background works beautifully with simple white drapes from lkea, which tuck beneath custom-built valences embellished with brown tassels. “They are a decorative homage to beautiful Moorish plasterwork;’ she says.

The room’s most charming feature is the nearly life-sized baby elephant topped with an antique riding saddle. A former creative director turned blogger, interior designer and gifted DIYer, Kipp built the playful pink pachyderm herself using a wood frame, chicken wire and papier-mache.

The antique mahogany dining room sideboard, an estate sale find, is repurposed as a changing table (not shown). “I couldn’t bear to paint it,” she says, “so I added a bold band of white contact paper down the front to add interest:’

Meredith McBride Kipp nursery08

 

Mobile by Michal Dagan. My hand painted Taj Mahal in the background.

Mobile by Michal Dagan

illustrations by Scott Woods (top) and Sally King (bottom)

illustrations by Scott Woods (top) and Sally King (bottom)

 

 

Meredith McBride Kipp nursery06

PROCESS SHOTS OF THE ELEPHANT ET AL:Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.35.42 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.34.34 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.34.08 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.33.23 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.27.27 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.33.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.32.10 AM

Born Again Kitchen

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Interior Design by Meredith McBride Kipp & Ryerson Kipp
Photography by Laura Moss
Shoot Styling by Karin Olsen

When we bought our dream home—a simple and classic farmhouse (built in 1805) in Franklin Lakes, NJ—the 50’s stained-knotty-pine kitchen was not part of that dream. Despite this fact, my husband thought we should abstain from a kitchen remodel for a few months…or a year even. I should mention now that I’m a renovation zealot? We owned the home for less than 24 hours when I demo’d one of the walls to open the floor plan up to the family room. Surprising as it may seem, we started work on the kitchen immediately.

With help from a wonderful builder (Mark Ferrero of Oakland, NJ. phone: 201.926.3967) and advice from the best local architect (my mother, Pam Watt McBride, phone: 201.805.3825) we realized our dream kitchen. Pam gave us the brilliant idea to use 4′ for an adjacent room to expand the kitchen to make space for the refrigerator and a deluxe little food pantry with french doors. By pushing the refrigerator back into the wall and adding a pantry, we were able to eliminate the need for upper cabinets—making the space feel much larger—and gave us room for a long, narrow island.

We wanted a classic kitchen—like one you might find in a formal townhouse from the 1800’s—but with a modern and industrial bent. Our farmhouse would have originally had a dirt floor kitchen with a huge hearth—still partly visible in what we are turning into a library. I’d always wanted a black kitchen, but since this room gets very little sun we went half & half.  For serious historical (yet moderne) oomph, we did an entire wall in a 6″X12″ Carrera marble tile and used modern stainless hardware and a chrome sink fixture to tie in our large industrial hood, range and ovens. We paneled over the existing brick wall to give it a more polished look and further drive out the 50’s juju.

We used a large antique banyan wood and glass case—originally from an apothecary in India, instead of more cabinetry—to give it a more eclectic, unique, and lived-in look. This element also tied in the butcher block island countertop nicely and gave a little more warmth and charm to the otherwise austere kitchen design.

I can’t imagine life without this kitchen; now the heart of our lively home. AND, a great national print magazine—to remain unnamed for now—is coming to shoot it for their publication later this month, so we did something right!

See my RESOURCES below for your kitchen renovations & CHEERS!

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LINKS & RESOURCES
Builder: Mark Ferrero of Oakland, NJ. phone: 201.926.3967
White Counters
Caesarstone, installed by Atlas Marble & Granite (in pantry as well)
Wood Counter (island): Karlby 98″ X 26″ from IKEA. Needs to be oiled regularly with mineral oil $140
Cabinets: Black ones are “Laxabry” from IKEA with a 25-year warranty. White ones under the island are from Green Demolitions, a fabulous salvage place definitely worth checking out.
Sink: 30-inch Undermount Stainless Steel 16 Gauge Single Bowl by VIGO
Faucetdanze Parma Single Handle Pre-Rinse Kitchen Faucet in chrome
Backsplash: 6″x12″ polished Millas Carrera tiles from Metropolitan Tile & Stone in Hawthorne, NJ
Open Shelves: totally custom
Light fixtures: three “Academy” semi-flushmounts from Home Depot customized to make them pendants $135/ea on dimmers
China Cupboard: antique banyan wood piece from India, bought at ABC Carpet & Home customized on the inside with shelves
Pantry Doors: 18″ tempered glass french doors from Kuiken Brothers
Range Stove and Double-Oven: both from JENN-AIR
Range Hood: by BEST and the chimney is custom fabricated and custom finished by Broadhurst Sheet Metal Works
Wine Cooler
(in island): Avanti Dual Zone for whites and reds with temperature control
Floors: Stained black bamboo flooring “Black Mamba” from Lumber Liquidators in Hackensack, NJ
Windows are original
Shingle-style architect: Pam Watt McBride, phone: 201.805.3825

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Backyard Decor Solution

Spring Cleaning can be both cathartic and frustrating. As you spend these next few weekends planning for your outdoor life, don’t get worked up about how you’re going to make your backyard look just right.  If you’ve considered refreshing your exterior decor, you’ve likely realized you’ll spend well into the thousands to do so. But don’t panic, I’ve got a solution for you. In an effort to find the right pieces for my own patio, I have searched high and low to find the right products for reasonable prices. Here’s my selection of eclectic & bohemian, yet classic backyard decor. Clickable links to each product below. Happy Spring!

Meredith McBride Kipp Backyard Decor Savvy Selects

1. Scalamandre Melamine Salad Plates
Set of four $24.50, FRONTGATE

2. Pagoda Umbrella in Maui
$199.95, Pier 1 imports

3. citronella grey candle
$19.95, CB2

4. Capella Island Deluxe Armchair
$379.95, Pier 1 imports

5. OUTDOOR IDRISS PRINT LUMBAR PILLOW
$59.50, Pottery Barn

6. chunky white block planter
$39.95, CB2

7. Classic Beach Fold Chair
$229.00, Navy/Sand, Ballard Designs

8. OUTDOOR LARACHE PRINT PILLOW
$49.50, Pottery Barn

9. Ceylon Whitewash Chaise
$549, Ballard Designs

10. Quinn Garden Stool
$119.95, Pier 1 imports

11. Farmhouse Hammock Cushion
$399, Canopy Stripe Taupe/Sand Sunbrella, Ballard Designs

12. dockside II dining table
$449.00, CB2

Guest Bath Makeover

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Here’s a good weekend project for you to tackle on this Saturday morning:
Breathe new life into that awful bathroom you have been aching to change.
Because I used a few items I already had, I only spent $150 to transform my guest bath in one weekend.

Here were my steps for the Guest Bath Transformation:
1. I removed wallpaper (Supplies: $30)
2. patched, primed, painted walls (I chose a cool grey so it would look nice with the existing green stone countertop. Paint: $50)
3. cabinetry: removed hardware, filled holes, and sanded the cabinets lightly all over
4. rubbed the cabinets with the wall color on a rag & let it dry
5. sanded the cabinets to the desired amount of distressed
6. drilled holes for new hardware and installed (New hardware: $40)
7. got bath mats to mask the flooring that I didn’t replace (New bath mats: $30)
8. hung a reclaimed wood mirror (that used to hang on the porch of my last house) over the existing mirror (you could do this with just a frame as well. Restoration Hardware Mirror: $$)
9. leaned an oversized photograph at the far end of the bath for drama (Garage sale from artist $20)
10. used a freestanding towel rack I already had for a little old world charm (Waterworks Towel Rack $$)

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_Photo Apr 16, 3 00 23 PM_Photo Apr 16, 3 03 01 PM _Photo Apr 16, 2 59 30 PM_Photo Apr 16, 2 59 53 PMBeforeAfterBathroom4BeforeAfterBathroom3BeforeAfterBathroom

You had me at Butler’s Pantry…

Photography by Laura Moss
Styling by Meredith McBride Kipp 

When touring old homes (and new), a butler’s pantry is always the highlight for me. It was one of the selling features when my husband and I bought our 1805 farmhouse. Despite the charm of the home, the butler’s pantry lacked the proper character and polish. We believe it was added in the 1950’s, and was in need of a major facelift. First off, the upper cabinets needed to be moved up nearly a foot in order to actually accommodate the height of a bottle.

My husband tackled this project with full steam last year while I worked on our soon-to-arrive baby’s nursery upstairs (I will post that decor story soon). Our thought was that ‘if we’re going to have a child, we’re probably going to need a proper place to mix a cocktail.’ (SEE OLD FASHIONED RECIPE BELOW) So we bumped the project to the top of the list. With that he tackled the powder room and the back stairwell. SEE BEFORES AND AFTERS BELOW

Steps for transforming the BUTLER’S PANTRY:
Removed the overhead soffit and upper cabinets
Rebuilt the upper cabinets using only the existing doors (which we think are original from the home’s first kitchen)
Trimmed out the lower cabinet doors
Painted the whole room a delicious prohibition-era-inspired dark teal
Replaced the painted wood counter with black granite
Tiled the backsplash with 6″x12″ (subway style) hand-cut mirror tiles
Installed art spotlights, under-cabinet lighting, interior-cabinet lighting, and electrical outlets
Hung a beautiful oversized, overhead, brass light fixture
Hung lion-head door knockers for a bit of (Bowie’s) Labyrinth whimsy
Installed sleek brass hardware

Steps for transforming the POWDER ROOM:
Removed toilet, sink and tile floor
Removed wallpaper and light fixture
Installed paneling on walls and repaired, primed and painted walls and trim
wallpapered above paneling
installed Julisk light
installed new miniature sink with custom-designed marble backsplash and counter
Steps for transforming the BACK STAIRWELL:
Stripped the carpet & wallpaper
Caulked and repaired walls, trim and floors
Primed and painted walls, ceiling and stairs
Cut and stapled floor runners to create continuous look
Framed and hung important historical family photos

BEFORES & AFTERS:

BUTLER’S PANTRY CLICKABLE RESOURCES:
Brass light fixture
Custom teal paint color: click to see image of scannable barcode for home depot BEHR color
Lion head door knockers are antique, but here are some similar ones 

POWDER ROOM CLICKABLE RESOURCES:
Juliska light fixture
Miniature porcelain sink
Marble sink surround and backsplash custom designed by Meredith, cut by Atlas Stone
Marble sink surround and backsplash installed with love by Sebastian Martorana
Rose vase by his talented wife, Amanda Martorana

BACK STAIRS RESOURCES:
Chevron stair runners

 

 

Deck the Halls…

…with tasteful, interesting decorations.

In honor of a curated Christmas season I have made a small run of boho-chic Christmas stockings… to be hung by your fire with care.

They are made of printed vintage cotton (block print and batik) and backed with a gorgeous, dark blue chambray. I dare you to ditch your ratty, old polyester numbers and take it up a notch this season. Don’t be afraid to mix and match.

Here is my store on Etsy (priced $28-$36): www.etsy.com/shop/aMereLife

Hamptons Designer Showhouse 2014

Saturday was Traditional Home’s annual Gala Preview Cocktail Party for the Hamptons Designer Showhouse, benefiting Southampton Hospital. As always, it was a vibrant and summery event with beautiful interiors and an attractive & interesting crowd. I was thrilled to meet Jamie Drake for the first time and gabbed with my favorite charmer Mario Buatta. Below are a mix of some of my favorite rooms and details.. and some I thought you might enjoy!

The Hamptons Designer Showhouse is open daily Monday to Sunday, July 20 through Monday, September 1. Hours: 11AM to 5PM. Admission is $35 and includes a Journal. For more info and directions click here.

A detail from the dining room by Mecox Design Services. One of two Slim Aarons photographs above consoles flank the door from the foyer.

A detail from the dining room by Mecox Design Services

Kitchen cabinets by Ciuffo Cabinetry

Living room by Lillian August

Details from the living room by Lillian August

A view in the study by Greg McKenzie Design. Note the embroidered wallpaper detail.

Delicious details from the study by Greg McKenzie Design

Detail from the study by Greg McKenzie Design

A playful powder room by Melanie Roy Design

A view in Henry Co Design’s colorful and fun upstairs lounge

Henry Co Design’s colorful and fun upstairs lounge

A detail from Henry Co Design’s colorful and fun upstairs lounge

Katie Leede and Company’s eclectic guest bedroom

A detail from Katie Leede and Company’s eclectic guest bedroom

A detail from Katie Leede and Company’s eclectic guest bath. I LOVE this artwork signed “LBall2012″

Details from Gil Walsh’s upstairs office

A detail from Gil Walsh’s upstairs office

Mabley Handler Interior Design’s striking bedroom

Details from Kate Singer Home’s guest bedroom

A view into the canopied bed in Phoebe Howard’s bedroom

Details of the canopied bed in Phoebe Howard’s bedroom

A details from Phoebe Howard’s bedroom. I really like this piece.

Punchy master bedroom by Tobi Fairley and Associates

More views in the master bedroom by Tobi Fairley and Associates (Tobi on left)

A detail from the master bedroom by Tobi Fairley and Associates

Four watercolors by Mark Humphrey adorn the upstairs hall

A view from the master bedroom balcony onto the back yard where the party was about to pick up (I shot this before most of the crowd showed up)

Wonderful little guesthouse with pergolas on either side (this is the back). Exterior spaces by designer Caleb Anderson Design

Links to the designers shown above:

Mecox Design Services
Ciuffo Cabinetry
Lillian August
Greg McKenzie
Melanie Roy
Henry and Co Design
Katie Leede
Gil Walsh
Mabley Handler Interior Design
Kate Singer
Phoebe Howard
Tobi Fairley
Caleb Anderson

Holiday House Hamptons 2014

I visited the Holiday House Hamptons this past weekend. Spanning several units of the newly restored Watchcase, a 19th century historic factory building in the bustling downtown of Sag Harbor, NY.

The units were bright and spacious with high ceilings and restored original pine beams and exposed brick walls. Rustic and industrial meets modern with the oversized arched factory windows, oak floors, and sleek stone surfaces throughout the kitchens and baths. The designers really pulled some incredible rooms together that were lively, unexpected and fun. Below are my favorites.

You can still see the exhibits until September 1, 2014. They are open daily 11am – 5pm and located at 15 Church Street, Sag Harbor, NY.

Bedroom by Jen Going Interiors

Bedroom by Jen Going Interiors

Bedroom by Jen Going Interiors

Kitchen and Living Room decorated by Huniford Design Studios

Living Room decorated by Huniford Design Studios

I think this was my favorite room, designed by Tamara Magel Home. I just saw these incredible light fixtures (by Apparatus Studio) at the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in May. They are spectacular: note the cone shape is porcelain.

Campion Platt’s playful Master Bedroom

Gorgeous details of Campion Platt’s playful Master Bedroom

Colorful and rich art by Dagmara Weinberg

Nicely styled side table in Scott Formby’s Living/Dining Room

details from Scott Formby’s Living/Dining Room

A great little seat in Scott Formby’s Living/Dining Room

The comfy and chic Living/Dining area of the Townhouse by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers

A detail of the Knotty Bubbles Chandelier by Lindsey Adelman for Roll & Hill in the Living/Dining area of the Townhouse by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers

A detail from the Living/Dining area of the Townhouse by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers

A detail from the Living/Dining area of the Townhouse by West Chin Architects & Interior Designers

The kitchen in the Townhouse

Details from the kitchen in the Townhouse

A detail from the kitchen in the Townhouse

The Den in the Townhouse by Elizabeth Dow Home. Chandelier by Lindsay Adelman, Pillows by Dransfield & Ross, wall covering by Elizabeth Dow Studio

A detail of the Den in the Townhouse by Elizabeth Dow Home. Pillows by Dransfield & Ross, wall covering by Elizabeth Dow Studio

Detail from Elsa Soyars’ Townhouse Bedroom

Details from Elsa Soyars’ Townhouse Bedroom. Croc wall covering from Crezana Design

Townhouse Master Bedroom by Brady Design

A detail from the Townhouse Master Bedroom by Brady Design

A detail from the Townhouse Master Bedroom by Brady Design

I love this detail. The designer continued the stripes from the drapes onto the walls in paint

Here are links to the Designers, Artists and Craftsmen mentioned above:
Jen Going Interiors
Huniford Design Studios
Tamara Magel Home
Apparatus Studio
Campion Platt
Dagmara Weinberg
Scott Formby
West Chin Architects & Interior Designers
Roll & Hill
Elizabeth Dow Home
Lindsay Adelman
Dransfield & Ross
Elsa Soyars
Crezana Design
Brady Design

We Need the Bunk!

Gotta have the bunk! Perhaps George Clinton would find this room a little preppy for his taste, but I think he’d agree it’s bunkedelic. I designed this kids’ room for a Hamptons beach home a few years back and—because it’s fun, summery and patriotic—I thought Independence Day was a good time to share it with you.

Bunk beds are a great solution for a small space and often create opportunities for interesting and efficient storage solutions.

Have a cozy and happy 4th with your friends and family! xo MMK

The nautical cage lights are similar to these at Cape Cod Lanterns and are good and kid-proof.

The canvas floor totes are a great solution for toy storage and things that need to come and go (like beach gear or laundry). I bought these at Home Goods but Pottery Barn has some similar in style.

Because the room needed to be finished for a house tour and was not being lived in yet, I styled the shelves with a mix of my own books and others that I bought at Salvation Army and covered in blue faux-shagreen paper just to give it a little consistency and color.

The rug is flokati and is similar to this one from homedecorators.com.

The bedding is all from Marshall’s and Home Goods. Because of my tight time frame I picked a classic and simple color scheme (navy & white with small hints of red) and stuck with it. You can get away with mixing patterns as long as the hues are the same.
Get a similar, but more tailored, look with the following bedding by Ralph Lauren and a few of these pillows and these pillows too.

 

Paddling Out to Rockaway

I went out to Rockaway Beach last weekend—an area that was devastated by hurricane Sandy of 2012—to hang with surf blogger (NYCurchin.com), sustainable fashion marketer (at Rogan and Loomstate), philanthropist, and sister, Annie McBride.

Annie has been surfing for several years and was accustomed to taking mass transit—surfboard in tow—to the Queens coastline from Williamsburg when Sandy hit town. Due to her appreciation for the beaches and her general philanthropic nature, Annie spent months helping with the recovery effort in Rockaway and quickly fell in love with the culture there. Now a Rockaway resident, this NYC Urchin is in her element.

After a morning of surf and sun, Annie hosted an intimate barbecue with friends and neighbors. I was not nearly bohemian enough for the crowd, but anyone can connect over good summer food. Below are the recipes she embellished for the best Veggie Burgers I have ever had (I am a proud carnivore) and a totally delicious Quinoa Salad.

Pass the poi, mahalo!

Quinoa Summer Salad
(modified from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
4 cups water
1 cup white quinoa
1 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 large red onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
12 grinds black pepper from a grinder
1/4 cup olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
Bring water to a boil in a pot; add white quinoa and red quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 minutes. Set quinoa aside to cool while you complete the remaining steps.
Combine red onions, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, sea salt, and black pepper together in a bowl. Stir in white and red quinoa.
Whisk olive oil and lime juice together in a separate bowl; pour over quinoa mixture. Stir to coat. Add cilantro and stir to incorporate. Cover salad and refrigerate for flavors to blend, at least 4 hours.

 

Lentil Quinoa Burgers
(modified from Women’s Health Magazine)

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa
1 can (19 oz) lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1/3 cup cilantro
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 tsp vegetable oil
6 buns

Directions

In a saucepan, combine quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes. Let quinoa cool.
In a bowl, combine half the lentils, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, cumin, cilantro, lemon juice, cooked quinoa, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a food processor or blender; process until well combined. Add remaining lentils and walnuts; pulse until they’re incorporated. Form into 6 patties.
Preheat grill to medium. Brush burgers with oil and cook for 4 minutes per side. Toast buns for 2 minutes.

 

SHOULD YOU VENTURE TO ROCKAWAY THIS SUMMER,
HERE ARE A FEW PLACES NOT TO MISS:

Transportation: The NYC Beach Bus provides beer and a ride to Rockaway

Breakwater Surf Co: for board rentals

Rockaway Taco: a classic neighborhood spot for—you guessed it—tacos. Place is popular morning, noon and night.

Whit’s End: for the best pizza you’ll ever have

Playland: Super bohemian-chic motel with bar and outdoor games

Caracas: beach bar with arepas and drinks (arepas are south american corn pancakes)

Veggie Island (may have new name now): for your morning coffee and fresh pressed juices

THIS WEEKEND there is s surf, skate and music festival: Rock Stock and Barrels

And don’t forget to check out the new Moma PS1 Rockaway! show featuring solo projects by Patti Smith, Adrián Villar Rojas, and Janet Cardiff. IT OPENS TODAY, June 29- Sept 1, 2014.