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Interior designer Kelee Katillac and her partner, architectural interior designer Steve Heiffus, recently collaborated on a 1915 apartment that showcased and married their skills. It seemed that the project was a success and both were happy with the result, which is good, because they are more than just partners – they are husband and wife – and they live in this apartment!

I wanted to show you this apartment because it is full of the DIY potential and inspiration. Even if this style is not yours, there are things that Kelee has done that are wildly creative and can be used in different applications.

I could just die over these floors!! This was the first thing that drew me to the apartment; I have been dreaming about doing this stain treatment to a floor (maybe our foyer or our kitchen??) in our house…having never done it before, though, I am slightly nervous about messing up! I’ve never even painted the harlequin pattern before…yikes! So, it may be a long time before I muster the courage, but there is one little entry area that I could try it that if I messed up, I could sand the floors and re-stain them…ugh…

The House Beautiful picture didn’t show the ceiling and it was hard to see if the floor had a darker stained frame around the entire thing, or merely the threshold. Kelee actually stained them herself!

She used yellow patent leather for some of the pieces – dirt can just be wiped away. There are many great vinyl alternatives that do not break the bank, but give the same look and chairs can be gotten for a song from parents, Craigslist, etc.

(This rooms seems crowded by chairs, but there may be a good reason…I think they work out of their apartment too.)

Same area, but staged for the House Beautiful photo shoot. She framed vintage wallpaper to give to recess some color. Ummm…we could do that! (And it seems less crowded.)

By painting the inside of the panel molding a white, the art becomes the focal point. If you (or what I like to refer to as my “power tool” aka husband) can cut a 45 degree angle, you can create this treatment using simple molding found at any home improvement store. Everything nails flat (don’t forget to putty the nail holes!), paint and caulk.

With this one, she used two moldings: a thicker outer one in a rectangle, then a thinner inner one with the corners “boxed” or recessed in and rosettes added to the recessed area between the two moldings.

One tip, though: prime and paint the moldings before putting them up on the wall. It makes it easier in terms of painting (i.e. you don’t need to tape!)

What an unusual lamp…

She said in her interview with Dylan Landis that her “gemstones” (these rough cut quartz that are beautifully displayed in glass) were the inspiration for her color selection.

I showed in a previous post, What I Got on Craigslist, the armoire that I scored for $90. Here is a perfect idea for a find like that.

I can’t tell, but it looks like she may have upholstered the panels, which also isn’t a big deal. Make a paper template, cut the fabric, staple batting and fabric with a staple gun and hot glue welting with a glue gun over the staples. Trying not to burn your fingers in the process will be the hardest part ;-)

The drapery rods are spectacular. Bows (or some other adornment if bows are too cutesy) can be added to store bought drapes for a more custom-made look.

If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, then YES, we could make those shutters!!! I have walked into my dining room so many times after seeing this, trying to envision it and I absolutely can! This is going to happen, people!! Of course, I’m going to put my spin on it and make it work for my taste :-)

Online, you can buy appliques as well, just like these ovals ones.  And under the window, the sheer amount of molding just makes me nuts!! I must mold!

Some points to this apartment:

  • A chandelier in every room
  • Panel drapes with details hung to ceilings with interesting rods
  • Interior shutters with fabric inserts
  • Dark, stained floors and stained pattern
  • Most definitely DIY and design inspiration here!

Kelee was asked, “Can one achieve color and radiance and polish on a tight budget?” She replied, “I absolutely believe you can. The great Albert Hadley was known to pick up curb furniture! We’re only limited by our ability to imagine and execute. But it does require study and observation. You look, you think, you observe, you practice. Anyone can teach herself how to paint. Anyone can teach herself to sew.”

And we’re not done with her apartment (I just have to go pick up my little ones), but here’s a peek at the next color scheme:

I hope I have your minds churning :-) Have a great day!!

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