The Happy House of Hyacinth

Last week at the ranch we had a chance to hang with Ree’s fabulous friend Hyacinth, and before we left town, we stopped by her house to check out her newly re-done, contemporary style living room. (Me, and fellow design bloggers Holly and Melissa e-worked on it with Hy on it last year- click here to read all about that wacky adventure!)

Everyone out there in OK was sooo sweet and friendly. Even Hy’s dog newly-rescued pooch (Missy) made us feel super welcome…

It was a real treat to see Hy’s house in person. As a predominantly virtual designer I rarely get to see folks’ finished products after I’m done presto change-o’ing them, so it was an absolute thrill to actually witness them loving and living in the space I had the pleasure of e-designing with her and the rest of Team Hy!

Here’s Hy’s before photo that Ree blogged about last year…

And here’s what it looked like after all Hy’s switcheroos were in place last year…

Here’s a shot looking back from the kitchen…

(Note: I’m officially obsessed with concrete countertops. Must get me some of those!)

Again…the before…

…and a shot Kev snapped the morning we stopped by…

What a trip to see (and feel!) that fireplace I drew up in Photoshop so long ago! Crazy on the 8’s, I tell ya.

They’ve temporarily removed the area rug because Hy thought it might be lighter and cooler for the summer season (Not to mention more more waterproof- there’s a big ol’ swimming pool outside that back door). She plans to bring it back in when the weather starts getting cooler to cozy the space up for winter.

Hy picked up the big black dots on the mirrors in the bookcases at Ikea, and uses them as backdrops for various paper art and small sculptures. (A sweet gal by the name Anna Nassett helped Hy with all the art in the room.) The metal piece mounted above the TV was made by an artist from Nebraska artist named David Belitz, and the fabric on the armchairs came from Perennials Fabrics– it’s called Geez Veez and the color is Geranium Red. (Model #: 786-75). The chairs underneath were purchased on eBay and the red leather sofa and big, round ottoman were pieces Hy and fam already owned and loved. The ottoman  is actually covered in a really heavy-duty rug…perfect for their energetic children to climb/lay/sit/wrestle on!

While we were visiting, I told Hy she should “tooootally paint the back door”.

“What color?”, she asked.

“Hmmm”, I replied, “maybe an ochre yellow?”…

…”or a teal-y blue?”…

…”or a charcoal gray?”…

The options are endless…and totally a taste thing. Who knows? Maybe these presto change-o pics will help her decide on a color! (Hy- please send us more after pics if you decide to break out the brush!)

Here’s a shot Kev snapped of the living room looking back towards the (fab) kitchen…

He took it right as Hy directed my attention towards several massive bookcases full of colorful Fiestaware in the room next door. (Notice the excited palms.)

(Large paintings by Steve Hickok)

One of Hy’s recent email messages included this ultra-intriguing sentence: “I need to convert a polka-dotted bedroom to a sophisticated guest bedroom suitable for college boy weekends.

Hmmm…I don’t know if my presto change-o finger can resist that kind of challenge!


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  1. says

    Hi Ya! That room is amazing. I love so many different pieces in it, it’s hard to narrow done a favorite. As for the back door, I’m thinking the yellow would look fab! I noticed she already has little pops of yellow around the room. Great job Layla! And to get to finally see it in person, how exciting.
    ~ Catie

  2. says

    WOW! I love it! I think you just solved our problem of our ugly brick fireplace too! You guys are awesome! :)

  3. Amy says

    OOH. I hope she does the tealy-blue…my hands got all clappy when I saw it!

    • Layla says

      Sorry, Shannon! We were moving pretty quickly that morning (long drive home) and totally forgot to shoot one!

  4. says

    What a fabulous room!! I have always loved “western” design because of the mix of really bold colors, it is so beautiful to me. You guys did a fabulous job transforming the room but I especially love the ottoman! What a great idea! As always, its been a pleasure reading your post :)

  5. says

    Layla, as usual, everything you put your magic wand on turns out fabulously. I love it! and Oh that fireplace wall!!!! O M G!!!

  6. says

    Wow! You guys really breathed some life into there! It looks real fresh; not in a Fresh Prince sort of way! 😉 You know what I mean! I’m loving it and it’s great inspiration for my office/homeschool room, family room which has dark paneled walls. It’s so nice seeing someone do what they love!

  7. Annie says

    Nice job guys the room looks great. I would love to have you do my dining room. I am going to e hire you real soon.

  8. says

    I’ve always wanted concrete counters in my kitchen. Unfortunately the house came with granite counters (HATE); I would trade in a New York minute if I could!

  9. says

    Wow, Layla that is an amazing room/house. It just proves that modern doesn’t have to be cold and stark. Love the pops of red, and those arm chairs are to die for. I was wondering what the fireplace treatment is made from, and is the fireplace still there?
    I think you should do the presto change o challenge. Might be fun to have Kev pick the elements for the “Guy’s Pad”.

    • Layla says

      Thanks Wendy! And I agree, may have to get Kev involved in picking out the goods for that presto! 😀

  10. whislerpotpie says

    Missy! Looks like a Parson Russell Terrier like my Whistler Pot Pie (thus my user name…not really my dog typing…although he has many amazing skills!)

    Definitely paint the door – teal or yellow- both fabulous choices!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Kim in MD says

    What a beautiful room! Hy did a great job with your suggestions! I love the ottoman covered in a floor rug…what a great idea! I totally think she should paint the door. It really pops when painted! Great job, Layla!

  12. says

    I love seeing the homes that you get to visit. Always so inspiring. My living room/dining room/ kitchen are decorated in blues, greens, browns, and creams. I love her red and white chairs, and have a blue wing back chair that desperately needs a facelift. I’m now thinking a pop of red and white would be fun!
    P.S.I’m heading to a fishing cabin in Northern MN for a week, and won’t have access to my computer for the entire time. It will be great, but I’ll miss my Lettered Cottage emails! :)

    • Layla says

      Awww…thanks Angie! Have fun up there in MN! (I miss our fishing cabin up there so much!)

  13. kelly in georgia says

    thanks for sharing the wonderfulness of it all.

  14. Tina K says

    Love the idea of the yellow door. That wall needs a little something to match the rest of the room. I’m not even a modern-y fan, but I’m digging her living room.

  15. says

    Awesome room…love those arm chairs!!

    (Hyacinth….if your’e reading, and I’m sure you are…PLEASE have mercy and take a photo of the Fiesta!!!) OK, now we wait….

  16. Paula says

    Love the before & after photos!! I’m sure that was a huge treat to get to see your design in person – how cool is that?

    The photo of the concrete countertops caught my eye! I just found a local company on Facebook the other day (I live in the suburbs of Memphis, TN…) that offers a “concrete overlay” on top of existing laminate countertops. They’re sending me a brochure in the mail & I can’t wait to meet with the guy. The photo they had posted on their wall looked FAB! They also said it’s 1/3 the cost of granite since there’s no tear out involved. It’s different than the decorative concrete floors – no chipping or cracking.

    Have you heard of this? Any words or wisdom??

  17. says

    Love the way she mixed more modern pieces and yet kept it feeling homey and comfy. I really like the grey door, bringing a little bit of color and attention without stealing all the glory from all the fab pieces in the room. Really love the pendants over the countertops too!

  18. Tripleduty911 says

    OMG…my mother-in-law would die over that statue of the wire dancing couple. It totally reminds of logo for the non-profit she runs. Do you happen to know where Hy got it? It would win me major points if I could buy her one for Christmas :)


  19. says

    I know I am a few days late to comment, however I love what you two do with all your design mojo. I read Ree’s blog too. I have gone through the archives and could not locate how the fireplace was refaced. Is there anyway you might point me to a reference to the procedure.
    Thank you, Teresa