Contact Ren at 310-567-5704 or ren@rensmith.com

Entries from August 2019

Kim Lewis of Extreme Home Makeover Talks Texas Roots and Statement-Making Style

This is Kim Lewis. You might recognize her from Extreme Makeover: Home Editionor Tiny House Nation. We’re huge fans of Kim, and of her taste – and we’re also huge fans of statement doors. So suffice it to say that the doors that Kim designed for Rustica Hardware might be our all-time favorites.

Kim was kind enough to sit down with us to answer a few questions about how to incorporate super-bold design elements into an overall decor scheme…and play the Match-the-Kardashian-to-the-Door game (it’s a classic).

Hi, Kim! Tell us a little about how you got to the designing-awesome-doors part of your life?

Well, I started my design career working on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and while traveling with the show I designed over 120 homes across 46 states. After that, I worked on Bar Rescue, Bakery Boss, Tiny House Nation, and some other shows. A few years ago, I decided to return to my Texas roots and start my own design company. We design restaurants, hotels and art centers around the globe, as well as tiny homes.

What inspired your collection for Rustica Hardware [pictured above]? Is there any throughline between the the three designs, or do they all just represent different looks you love? 

I’ve always believed design should take us to a time and place, and that doors have the power to set the tone. The collection is travel-inspired – each door is nostalgic, and each one reminds me of a place I love. Marfa, for example, is a quirky artist’s town in West Texas that won my heart on a glamping trip – and clearly it involved an Airstream. Palm Springs is a whimsical, retro, bold, throw-back town, and so the door evokes that ’50s vibe. And Joshua Tree was designed to evoke the sweetness and calm of watching the sun set in the California desert. I designed the pattern on the door as a nod to our Native American roots.

Kim Lewis at home with the Joshua Tree door

Come on, tell us: you must have a personal favorite. Which one would you (or did you?) put in your own house?

Of course I love them all! In my own home, I went with the Joshua Tree to match our sunset desert vibes. The light wood and white steel mix is soft and neutral, while the pattern functions as a piece of art.

The idea of a statement door can be a little overwhelming – if someone loves these doors but doesn’t know how (or where) to integrate them into their home, where should they start?

Going out on a limb and designing your own space can certainly be intimidating, but I always try to remind people that our homes should reflect our personality. Don’t be afraid to express yourself through art, architecture and color.

The best place to start is with the big picture: think of design like fashion, and pick a style you respond to. I think that every home should have some strong elements that act as conversation pieces – and adding dimensions to the walls of your home can really bring it to life. That’s why I love barn doors so much – they’re functional works of art.

We absolutely love the Marfa door’s saturated colors and unique design – can you tell us how to work with a door that statement-making without letting it overwhelm the space?

The Marfa door evokes a real sense of nostalgia and has a big personality, so we didn’t want to take away from that. Mixing materials is a good way to ensure fixtures in a design don’t “fight” each other visually.

Leather Modern Range

Speed round: we’re going to name a Kardashian, and you tell us which Rustica door they’d be. You know, if they were a door.

Funny…I’m one of those people that has worked in TV for so long that I don’t watch much of it. I’ll give this my best shot…this is a no judging zone, right?

Kim.  Joshua Tree.

Khloe. Leather Modern Range.

Kourtney. Palm Springs.

Kris. Powell.

Kylie. Mirror.

Kendall.  Marfa.

Rob. Guardsman.

As a certified Kardashian Expert, that was pretty spot-on. Well done.

Check out Kim’s collection for Rustica Hardware here.

How To Make Your Trashed Outdoor Furniture Look Great Again

Changing seasons can be rough on wood.

Rain is a major plus for we Californians, yes, but rain’s advantages run out when it comes to wood furniture that has been left outdoors without covers and/or additional protection. The good news: The fixing-up process requires nothing more than a power sander and some teak oil, and the results are straight-up spectacular. If you have wood furniture that’s seen better days – whether indoor or outdoor – you have to give this simple DIY a try.

HOW-TO: RESTORE WOOD FURNITURE THAT’S SEEN BETTER DAYS

What You Need:

  • A power sander (don’t use regular sandpaper if you’re dealing with a substantial surface area; a power sander will make your life far, far easier, and you can pick one up for about $25)
  • Teak oil
  • A brush or rag to apply the oil

Here’s what the wood we were working with looked like after a couple of seasons of being left out in the open with no protection:

To start, you’re going to use the power sander to sand down the wood as far as you need to go to get a smooth, even surface. The table and benches you see here took about an hour and a half to sand down.

Here’s what you end up with after a thorough sanding:

The next step is the teak oil application. This is pretty self-explanatory – pour oil onto rag or brush, then apply to surface of wood – but there are a couple of important points to note.

First, the way teak oil is supposed to work is that you apply the oil, wait 30 minutes, and then wipe off any excess, but if your wood is in really bad shape, you may find that the oil absorbs completely almost instantly. If some oil remains on the surface of the piece you’re refinishing, be sure to wipe it off after 30 minutes, but either way a second application half an hour or so later is a good idea.

The second important thing to note is that you can’t leave the brush or rag you used to apply the oil outside in the sun, or it will literally catch fire. File that under: excellent information to have if you do not feel like burning down your house today.

Here’s what the wood looked like immediately after applying the teak oil – you can see that it soaked in immediately, but is kind of uneven and dark.

By the next morning, however…

So. Much. Better. It’s like having a whole new set of outdoor furniture for the price of a quart or so of oil. Simple, inexpensive, and effective.

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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate.