Editor's Note: Today I am wearing a top from Gianni Bini, a skirt from Anthropologie and shoes from Jimmy Choo.
Happy Friday!! The weekend is almost here— a beautiful June weekend. I don't have any plans... except for a massage at a new spa in town. Sometimes the best weekends are the easy and lazy ones. We are hanging the art today at my client’s house... she is so excited! Even though we are still waiting on the new upholstery to come— getting the art up is huge. She will be one happy lady this weekend. Another client’s dining room is getting cleared out for the wallpaper to be installed at the beginning of next week. One of the trickiest parts of summer is working around everyone’s vacation schedule....it gets to be a scheduling nightmare. But it happens every year and I have learned how to deal with it. As long as I can get my client’s ready for their parties I am good as gold! I personally need to get on the stick and plan my summer...I am way behind on that. Summer kind of crept up on me we have been so busy all spring. But busy is good and a trip is easy to plan.
The June issue of House Beautiful is all on small spaces. All of the articles are great!!!! I am covering the one today that is 1000 square feet in Charleston. I have done many a small space in my career... and I love what Alaina Michelle Ralph did in this 1990s condo. She rented it for 5 years before she bought it and then transformed it into a jewel box full of antiques and charm. I could move in on a moment’s notice!!! Enjoy this darling and sophisticated condo and have a fabulous weekend!!!! Relax and refresh!!!
One of the first things that Ralph replaced after purchasing the condo were the light fixtures. She installed antique ones instead of the generic ones. The draperies are also a vintage fabric. A great trick in a small place that Ralph also did was to use a settee instead of a sofa and an interesting side table as a cocktail table. This box on stand is perfect to complete the area. I love how full the space is with art and accessories.
She wanted to use pink onyx for her countertops until she priced them. Ouch! So she used pink onyx for the backsplash. So unique, beautiful , and feminine.
Ralph separated the kitchen from the dining room so she could have more cabinets. IKEA cabinet bases were used and she added wood doors painted in a pale pink. To hide the laundry area she used wall paper to line the glass doors. What a fabulous idea!!!!
The dining room doubles as a home office—-which is exactly what I did when I lived in my tiny apartment in Dallas. I love the feeling of eating in a library anyway... so I adore the wall of bookshelves. The chairs are antique Biedermeier.
Ralph used soft colors that are neutral on the walls to show off her art collection. Over the mantel is a 1922 painting by Josef Kalous of a woman in a traditional Swedish costume. Her comment that portraits of people that you don't know are like having instant relatives cracked me up!! She drew the chevron pattern around the fireplace with charcoal and sidewalk paint—— now that is clever !!! I love the skirted table used as a bar.
Ralph used a paella pan as her vessel sink—— so creative!!!! The faucet is by Rohl. She said anything you physically touch need to be of quality. Amen.
Super use of a small space to display a myriad of art. It started out as a way to get some of the art off the floor.... then she fell in love with how it turned out.
Oh how I love to turn an antique piece into a vanity as is seen here. You have to be very clever to have the drawers altered to make room for the plumbing.... but is so doable. This is so classy and gorgeous!
Beautiful headboard done in a Kelly Wearstler fabric for Groundworks. I love the tall and dramatic shape. The pillows —besides being so interesting—add dimension and pick up the tones in the throw at the foot of the bed. Another great portrait of an instant relative.
I LOVE THIS!!! It is a mid century secretary that she uses as her dressing table. With all it’s nooks and crannies it is their perfect piece to store and organize jewelry and accessories.
What a romantic master bedroom. Ralph created the custom corona with a Le Gracieux fabric lined with burlap. I went on a mission in New Orleans years ago to find an antique corona——-not an easy thing to find!!!! I was successful and it is still looking gorgeous in my client’s daughter’s room... but boy did I have to dig deep! The pieces of art on either side of the bed are Gracie wallpaper panels framed. This is the perfect way to add Gracie to a room without the cost of doing the whole room. You can also take it with you!!
This condo is beyond darling and elegant. Every square inch!!!
"History in the Making" article featured in House Beautiful.
Text: Liz Strong
Designer: Alaina Michelle Ralph
Photographer: Peter Murdock
For dinner last night we had chicken cooked with dijon mustard and swiss cheese and spinach salad- yum!!
Love this song!!
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