Sisal Rugs Shocker + A Gorgeous Home You’ll Want To See

Although the topic of this post is sisal rugs, it didn’t actually begin that way.

It began quite innocently because a local reader, Lotte Meister, invited me over for coffee and to see her 19th century Victorian Home in Rye, NY.

Now, Lotte isn’t just a reader, but she’s also an interior designer/decorator and has a passion for helping people stage and style their homes when they are putting them up for sale. And not only that, in a world full of synchronicity, Lotte is 100% Danish, but has lived all of her life on the east coast.

Of course, I said “yes!”


The day I showed up was quite pluvial.


Oh, I learned pretentious words (that make me sound smarter than I really am) from my wasband. If you don’t already know, pluvial means that it was raining all damned day and humid as hell, but as we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Michael, it was surprisingly warm for the second week in October.

When I arrived, I was struck mostly by the exquisite lushness of the property. But, make no mistake, the lovely old pale yellow Victorian lady sitting on about an acre, was mighty sweet too.


Lotte was standing on her pretty stoop to greet me with the warmest smile I’ve ever seen.


We did the grand tour of this incredibly lovely home and that is when I saw HIM.


No, not exactly my prince charming.


It was that snake dude, Pueblo Sisal Rugs.


What on earth is HE doing here, I thought?

And then I saw that he had cloned himself a few times. I saw at least three Pueblo Sisal Rugs!


Okay. Anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while knows that I strongly recommend that you avoid sisal rugs!

Here are some posts which discuss this.


And since they appear in practically every editorial in House Beautiful and Elle Decor, I’ve quipped how the stylist must have a few in their van which they put down for the photos and then whisk away at the end of the photo shoot.

But, this was not a photo shoot. This is a real-life family home  that also comes with friends, (they love to entertain) relatives, pets and SNIRT! After all, this is Westchester County. Oh, you don’t know what snirt is? Please click the link and you will find out.

I mean, they even have a Pueblo Sisal rug in the DINING ROOM! That’s definitely the Russian Roulette of area rugs.

Laurel, Uhhh… who/what is PUEBLO SISAL?


Oh, forgive me. Pueblo Sisal is a beautiful sisal weave manufactured by Prestige Mills. This company is owned by Steven Stark, CEO of the high-end carpet and rug brand, (to the trade only) Stark Carpets. Many of Prestige’s products are also sold through the trade showroom Stark Carpets. Pueblo Sisal is one of those.


In a very small, scared voice I asked Lotte about the sisal rugs.


“Oh, they’re great!” She said.

“They are? Don’t they stain?” I asked in an even smaller voice.

“Nope,” Lotte said quite confidently.

I was in the living room staring at a sea of pristine sisal rugs and Lotte pointed to an area where a pet had, had an accident.

There was nothing to see, except the beautiful weave of Prestige Mills gorgeous Pueblo Sisal.

“It cleaned right up,” she said with her warm smile, now beaming with pride.

Well, I’ll be. Talk about your epiphanies! But I swear, there was an entire feed on facebook where dozens of interior designers chimed in to say that their experience with sisal rugs is to “stay away.” Not one, said anything to the contrary. But here is concrete evidence staring me in the face. You can’t refute that!


It’s making me think that I need to write a note of apology to Pueblo Sisal Rugs.


Dear Pueblo,

I hope that you’ll forgive me. Although, we’ve only met in passing and I never specified you to clients, it is for this reason only. Dozens of other interior designers warned me about using sisal rugs, including my former boss from the early 1990s.

Obviously, they didn’t mean you, darling Pueblo. Somehow you’re different and I must apologize for my ignorance. I’m sure that they must be referring to that poor cousin of yours, Bouclé Sisal. I must admit that she’s rather coarse and common. I should’ve realized that she had neither the class nor style woven into the very fiber of your being that makes you so special. Please, again, accept my profound apologies.

I’m a fan. Actually, I always was in terms of your beauty. And now that I know that you’re not just a pretty face and a frivolous waster of money, I will sing your praises.




Very cute, Laurel. Are we going to get to see the house?


Of course you are! And that’s because Lotte kindly agreed that I should come back and photograph it, so that I could show y’all.

Okay. There is supposed to be a photo of the front of the house. I saw it the other day after I took it. But there’s a gremlin or something in my phone because it’s not there any longer.

However, I do have a great photo of the back of the house and this one below which shows the newest addition to this lovely old lady.


New Porch - interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY
They’ve lived in this home about the same amount of time I’ve lived in my apartment– six years. But not too long ago, Lotte found an old photo and at one time, there had been a charming porch, but it was long gone for some reason. So, they put it back, as you can see.

By the way, Lotte has the kindest words to say about the architect they worked with, Paul Benowitz of Benowitz Shah Architects

Alas, they do not have a website. The link above, goes to their houzz account. And FYI, that’s a no follow link because it’s going to houzz, not because of the architects. (please click on the FYI link, if you want to know more about nofollow vs. follow links.)

But, let’s walk around and go inside the front door that you can’t see. ;]


Interior Designer - Home Stager - Lotte Meister - beautiful entry - Rye New York

I made Lotte turn off all of the lights, which do look wonderful; but only for the photos because usually the rooms look better with them off. However, I turned some on, just in case. And, I rather like this shot looking down the interesting and winding center hall. The photo doesn’t begin to do this justice. The ceilings are super high.

interior design -home staging expert - Rye- NYThe wall color is Benjamin Moore Ashwood OC-47 and the trim throughout is Benjamin Moore White Dove.


Doubling back towards the front door, we’ll turn right as if we are just walking in to one of the prettiest living rooms ever.


living room - two seating areas - sisal rugs interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

And here we are, in the airy two seating area living room. And there they are… The Pueblo Sisal rugs! They’ve been there for at least five years, too! See any stains? Not a one. The wall color in the living room is Benjamin Moore White Down OC-131.

home staging expert Lotte Meister - Rye NY interior designers - living room Pueblo Sisal rug

Have to say that those lamps are absolutely stunning when turned on, but alas, they’re off.

living room - bookcases - sisal rugs interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY
Across from the first seating area is a fabulous fireplace surrounded by two giga-gorgeous and beautifully styled bookcases.


This is what Lotte realized several years ago that she has a passion for.  Styling and staging.


Soon, her friends started raving over her beautiful vignettes and then they wanted her to help them. And thus, out of her love, a business was born.


living room bookcase styling - interior design -home staging expert - Lotte Meister - photo by Laurel Bern

Oh Lotte, you can style my bookcases any day! That is just about as perfect as can be!

And specifically, Lotte told me that she loves helping folks get their homes ready to go on the market. But then, when the people moved, which doesn’t usually take long because their homes sell fast, at least half of them want her to help them decorate their new home.

I don’t blame them. I would too. Not only is Lotte fun to hang with, she’s very talented!

l rugs interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Here is a vignette from the second seating area. And, another sisal rug layered with a zebra striped rug. And too funny, but I’ve done that Oly table at least two times. You can see it in my portfolio and I also did it in this living room refresh from three years ago.


Lotte told me that she loves quiet neutral fabrics and colors.

And that is throughout her home. To this neutral scheme of beiges and grays she’s added splashes of various shades of green, from a soft olive to this beautiful teal you can see in the pillow above.

Window treatments are kept to a minimum if at all.

She said that she wanted to preserve as much light as possible and also be able to enjoy the beautiful property which is abundantly green, even in the winter because of the many evergreen trees.


Lotte Meister - Westchester County - interior design -home staging expert - sun room

Beyond the living room is a den with office space for Lotte. Some of you might recognize these chairs from Serena and Lily.

The Roman Shades are from the Shade Store. Lotte loves working with them, she says. I’m glad to hear that about another Laurel’s Rolodex source.

dining room - sisal rugs interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

The dining room is incredibly fresh and oh do I love those Chinese Chippendale chairs. In fact, there are some this week in the hot sales widget.

The wall color is a Laurel Home Collection color, Richmond Gray HC- 96. You can also see it in this post.

The beautiful crystal chandelier came with the house. And, both Lotte and I agreed that it is perfect in the dining room. Much of her lighting is more contemporary and comes from Circa Lighting another favorite source in Laurel’s Rolodex.

(Don’t forget that a big update is coming on November 7th for Laurel’s Rolodex— The Fifth Edition. Please get yours before the price goes up on November 20th. Everyone who already owns the rolodex always gets lifetime updates. )


One of Lotte’s many talents is the ability to put together different hanging light fixtures and lamps and they all look great near each other.



Dining room - china cabinet - interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

And on the other side is a cabinet from Oly and inside is oh my, can you believe it? A gorgeous set of ROYAL COPENHAGEN! It’s just a total sync world sometimes!


interior design -home staging expert Lotte Meister- Rye NY - den- Meg Braff Ferns Wallpaper

Lotte’s husband’s office also has a sitting area that’s as fresh as can be. The two chairs are vintage but newly upholstered. The stunning wallpaper is Meg Braff’s Ferns.

Meg Braff is one of my favorite interior designers.

Laurel. Does she have a kitchen?


Oh silly! Of course she does! And, we’re coming to it right now.


lounge -white slipcovered chairs - interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

First is a seating area with four of the most comfy contemporary wing chairs ever. LOVE the slipcovers! Lotte says that this area is an addition and it’s actually her favorite part of the house. Everyone has a gorgeous view. And it’s a great place to hang out, watch TV


interesting book- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

read The Laurel Home Essential Paint and Palette Collection.

And FYI it is not available in print, but several people who’ve purchased my downloadable digital products, do have them printed out. Lotte’s husband did this for her at his office. You definitely need a heavy-duty commercial machine.

The fabulous coffee table is from one of my favorite vendors as well, Red Egg that is one of my featured vendors in Laurel’s Rolodex.

new sitting area- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Lotte designed the wonderful new TV cabinet.

TV cabinet caning detail- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

And check out the caning detail on the doors. Brilliant!


Lotte’s style veers to the Hollywood Regency which totally suits this home.

Okay, time to turn around to see…


fabulous black and white kitchen - interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY photo by Laurel Bern


the gorgeous kitchen!


Kitchens by Deane helped Lotte out and she recommends them highly if you’re in the Westchester County area. I have also heard good things about them from other people.


Interior Design Lotte Meister - photo - Laurel Bern - La Cornue Range -black and white kitchen - Rye, NY

Yes, it’s a La Cornue! Stunning, ain’t it?


Remember this wonderful black and white kitchen from a few months ago?


Interior Design Lotte Meister - black and white kitchen Rye New York - soapstone countertops-photo - Laurel Bern

I love this shot and the composition. And look! There’s a Dunes and Duchess candelabra from my friend and colleague Stacy Kunstel. You can see their fabulous booth at the High Point market a couple of years ago. And this was the first time I met Stacy.

I inquired about the gorgeous counters that are nearly black and have a subtle white veining


Here’s what Lotte had to say:

The kitchen counters are soapstone and they are amazing.  They do not chip, etch or cause me any trouble whatsoever.  They are a type of soapstone called Pinheiros Altos that is super hard and perfect for hard-working kitchens.  They read kind of black but have a little bit of a green tint  in them depending on the light.  I got them from Garden State Soapstone in New Jersey and highly recommend.  They saved the kitchen from being that clinical  sea of white you often see and in a weird way bring in some coziness.  I am all about the “hygge.”


deck- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Out the back door we come to a beautiful deck. Me like!

 home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Here’s Lotte. So sweet. I was cold, so she ran in to get my jacket and I couldn’t resist getting a quick shot of her.

renovated barn- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

And now, I have a bonus treat for you. The house comes with a barn!

And apparently, it was a total wreck when they bought the house and so they renovated it and it’s now more glorious than ever. They are using it as both a garage and a wonderful space for entertaining.

Let’s take a look inside.


renovated barn- retro fridge - bar area-interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Fabulous! I feel like I’m in a Nantucket beach house! (even though I’ve never been to Nantucket. haha) There’s a bar and the coolest fridge on the planet. There’s a nuker (microwave), however, they decided that they didn’t want to do any heavy cooking here, so no range. It’s like a little vacation cottage only 50 feet away. That works!

renovated barn- lounge area- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

There’s a comfy, cozy leather sectional. And yes, a monster TV, but I don’t need to photograph that. ;]

renovated barn- bird's eye view-interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Up the stairs, a birds-eye view. The runner on the stairs LOOKS like sisal, but it’s actually an indoor/outdoor polypropylene that Lotte says wears like iron! I do not know the brand name. Sorry.


Bedroom - Barn-fabulous black and white kitchen - interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

And, there’s a bedroom for me if I decide to stay over. ;] Just kidding. And a Moravian Star chandelier too! Please check out this wonderful Moravian Star Pendant on sale!

renovated barn- simple bathroom-interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

And I love this simple bathroom with an awesome porcelain console sink. The herringbone pattern tile is a wonderful accent. Actually, all of the bathrooms in the house are gorgeous and each one different from the others, but coordinated.

back of house- interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY
Another view of the back of the house.

Well, I hope that you enjoyed that.

I’m sharing with you what Lotte wrote me in an email about her work and what she does best:


I would describe my niche as smaller interior decorating jobs and occupied real estate staging (as opposed to vacant real estate staging).  I am a whiz at using what people have and adding and subtracting to make their spaces more current and attractive.  Whenever I stage, people tell me they wish they had done that before they were selling.  I love styling as well.  Bring me your bookcases, coffee tables, consoles etc.  I like to wake up tired spaces – whether people are staying or selling.

That is so good! I highly recommend styling your home before selling. It makes such a difference!


Please check out more of Lotte’s home and work on her beautiful instagram account.  And of course, follow her.


There’s actually more to the story, because Lotte is also an antique dealer, and wait until you see the place she took me to, but that will be coming up later.

In the meantime, thank you so much Lotte for sharing your exquisite home. I can’t wait to pin all of these gorgeous images. So many great ideas!




PS: Don’t forget to check out this week’s hot sales. Some really great ones and some are ending very soon.

106 Responses

  1. I have used sisal rugs repeatedly as area rugs and as stair runners.
    There was a line called Allison T. Seymour in Seattle that imported sisal rugs and they were kind of a staple for architect designed houses here in the 40’s thru the 70’s.
    My only major problem was with staff using inappropriate product to try to clean up dog vomit which bleached a dining room area rug which was a very dark bronze color. Had to throw it away. It was bound in leather and pony hide. Very unusual for when I did it.
    The same carpet used on the main stairs stood up for years.
    I changed to a synthetic sisal from Stanton. Looks great but is VERY hard to install on curved stairs.

  2. Hi Laurel (and fellow Laurel fans)!

    Hope this discussion is still active! Because I’m desperate for real-life comments about the latex backing on almost every fiber rug out there. Rug brands say theirs is “natural latex” and “great!” while actual consumers, like one commenter above, encountered problems like crumbling. Have you had an issue with latex disintegrating beneath rugs or reacting with hardwood floor finishes? Would a rug pad prevent this or is it a matter of You Get What You Pay For? Thoughts?!

    P.S. I found your blog recently, when I began my living room refresh, and within a week, my entire plan changed! Your posts not only inspire, but made me consider design choices more carefully—and saved me from myself! (The “me” who’s swayed by every Pinterest photo!) Thank you!


  3. Love this house! Do you have any idea where the square-ish mirror/gold leaf table is from in the room where you commented on the rug and lamp? Love it!

  4. I can’t stop salivating. The home is very beautiful. Do you have affiliate links to both the sisal rug and zebra skin rug layered on top, and the Oly coffee table?

  5. Love the pendant lights in the kitchen. The black and brass ones! Any idea where they are from?!
    Thank you

  6. I have been reading your blog for years and always enjoy your style and sense of humor.
    I live in Houston and we use a lot of natural rugs but not Sisal because of stains but we use Seagrass rugs which do not stain. I used Sisal for years because I loved the look, but I could not clean it and everything stained it. I have been using Seagrass for years and love love love it. In my family room I have a huge seagrass rug that is 20 years old and has no stains. I only use water to get spills up. It comes in any custom size,wall to wall,colors,designs etc. Please research it as I believe your followers will love it as much as I do. I learned about it – where else- from a Houston Blogger, “Cote De Texas”.

    1. Hi Janice,

      Thank you and I’m sure that you mean well, however, I think you might have me confused with someone else. I’ve spoken of the wonderful seagrass rugs on this blog too many times to count, so I’m afraid that you’re preaching to the choir. I’ve done dozens and dozens of seagrass rugs for clients too.

      Here is a link that will take you to every time I’ve talked about seagrass or sea grass. I probably spell it both ways. Oh, and I know that’s not all of them. You can see seagrass in this home I did a few years ago.

      Here it is being installed where Laurel goofed but they fixed it.

  7. Laurel, I have been stalking (more like devouring) your blog for months now. I’ve been reading through the archives, just drinking it all in. I feel compelled to finally comment! Why? First, Lotte’s home is beautiful. She is so talented in how she creates a liveable, yet stunning space. Second, I cannot live one more minute without telling how much I love your blog! I dare to say it’s been life-changing. (Really! I’m not just saying that!) I only wish I found you years ago; I could have avoided many mistakes! Your writing is so witty and honest and often makes me laugh out loud. Your advice is spot-on and your photos are gorgeous (and I love that there are so many of them)! So, my third reason I feel compelled to finally comment is to say THANK YOU! Please keep doing what you’re doing. I will be a life-long fan 🙂

    1. Thank you for pointing that out, Pat. It’s there, but invisible. It’s one of the three empty boxes. They are showing up at the bottom on my widget, but they might not be in that position for you. It’s not on my end, but I will have to alert the powers that be to look into it.

  8. What a gorgeous but completely unpretentious home. Your posts are always a treat to read and I learn something every time. Looks like you have found a new friend. Synchronicity indeed!

  9. Hi everyone. First of all a huge thank you for the kind words about my house. Decorating her has been a labor of love. She has been around a long time (circa 1873 they say) and it is a privilege to be able to bring her into the 21st century while still respecting her ancestry.

    Another big thank you to the one and only Laurel Bern. I have been an avid follower of hers for years and I still can’t believe she sat in my very kitchen and took such an interest in my home. I am honored and so happy to now call her my friend.

    On a more mundane level, I know that there are lots of questions about my sisal rugs. I think my particular sisal is so forgiving because it has a tonal texture to it. The raised part is a little lighter and the lower part is a little darker (dirt colored actually). So stains and everyday dirt kind of get camouflaged. I think flat non textured sisals tend to be less forgiving, especially in the lighter colors. In my opinion the bigger threat to these rugs is copious amounts of liquid that don’t get soaked up right away – that will distort the shape of the rug once it dries. But little spills here and there are no big deal.

    I am happy to answer any more questions about rugs or anything else either here or through my own Instagram account.

    And thank you all again for taking such an interest. 🏡❤️

    1. Thanks so much Lotte! The pleasure is mine, as well. But, I have a very important question. How are you able to make those little emojis show up at the end of your comment? 😀

  10. Oooo I love a cross-promotion. What a beautiful house, thanks for sharing! I think I’m narrowing myself down to Hollywoo Reg also. Such fun

  11. THIS house. Oh. My. God. I LOVE Lotte’s house. I would not change a thing. Stunning. This is my favorite of all that you’ve posted, Laurel. Thanks for showing it to us.

    BTW, don’t beat yourself up about the sisal rug warnings. I must read a ton of interior design blogs, because I’ve read that same warning a thousand times. It’s a thing. How would you know otherwise?

  12. Laurel,

    I had to laugh while reading this post. Against all of your advice about sisal rugs
    I loved the Pueblo rug so much I bought it for my bedroom and a runner for the hallway thinking it would be safe from excess traffic. But my poor Springer Spainel had a terrible “accident” on the runner and I was sure that it was ruinedBut with some Host carpet cleaner it’s good as new.

    Beautiful home, thank you for sharing.

  13. I so love this home. Even though it is very large, it feels so intimate and cozy. Wonderful job Lottie and thank you Laurel for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much Janet. Honestly, I don’t know where these ideas come from. I think there must be Angels that come swooping down and they whisper them in my ear. If I’m out and I think of an idea, I always have to write it down. Even though I think I’m going to remember it, I usually don’t which is incredibly frustrating. It’s often like a dream that vanishes soon after you wake up.

  14. Lotte’s house is just beautiful, and I love the back with the fish scale style sides to the house. (I happen to love Victorian architecture.)

    And thanks for the info about sisal, Laurel.

    1. You’re welcome Lisa. I love this style of Victorian architecture that’s not ginger-bready. Although, I appreciate the detailing, I far prefer this simpler style. I believe it’s Queen Anne Victorian.

  15. This is such a wonderful post! Truly enjoyed all the pictures of Lotte’s home. Any chance you caught the name of the exterior color she used? My tiny “minimal traditional” home cannot compare in terms of “bones” (see Laurel? Your readers learn so much from your posts), but perhaps I could at least mimic the colors. Thank you!

    1. I forgot to ask about the house color. Lotte calls it a pale yellow, but I see it more as a cream. It probably IS a pale yellow, but colors tend to wash out, outside with the strong light. I will see what I can find out.

  16. Long sigh…! What a lovely home and equally lovely photos and blog post. Another sigh!
    I so wish there were someone like Lotte who lived near me that I could hire. It would be so wonderful to have help accessorizing (since I have to live with the upholstered pieces we already have). And to help with other “little” things, like picking out handles for the kitchen. The oven broke and can’t be repaired. We cannot get white without a hefty surcharge!! So now all the appliances must be replaced to have them all the same color. Good excuse the change out the 20+ year old hardware — but with what?? I need a Lotte!

    Excuse my rambling — such talent revealed in this beautiful comfortable home. And nicely written, Laurel, as usual.

    1. Hi Elle,

      Please. Ramble away! I think that we all need a Lotte. What she told me is that she loves doing smaller jobs. Styling and decorating. That’s actually very rare. But, I get it too. Large jobs can be intense– especially if one is a solopreneur.

  17. Hi Laurel (and everyone)– Longtime loyal subscriber, first-time commenter here. I like the look of seagrass, sisal, and jute. But I hesitate to buy any of them partly because of the cleaning issue (thanks everyone for the advice), and partly because I assume they are scratchy or rough on bare/stocking feet. Is that wrong? –Elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Jute is the softest, but it also depends on the weave of the Jute. Seagrass rugs are very inexpensive. You could always buy a small one and see how you feel.

  18. Lovely home! I just wanted to chime in on the sisal issue…I do love natural rugs…But want to give a heads up to anyone considering seagrass (which I love). In my personal residence (as opposed to a clients-thank God!) many seagrass rugs. Some were off the rack Pottery Barn and several were custom made (uhmm…to the trade). They all had an integral rubber backing. Simple enough…Overtime the backing on the more expensive custom rugs deteriorated…and melded to my very dark hardwood floors. To say it was an epic disaster was an understatement…Ironically, the less expensive PB rugs held up pretty well (go figure). Just be aware of these rubber backs and make sure to use some type of protection. We are talking a pile of rubber powder and what wasn’t in the piles, was stuck to the floor, like glue.

    1. Hi Dawn,

      Yes, absolutely, one must use a rug pad, actually under any rug. They hold the rug in place and also extend the life of the rug, no matter what it’s made out of. Sorry you had that happen. I had something similar happen with some Alien strength double-stick tape. I saw my life flash before my eyes as it was for a client. Fortunately, it did come up off the floor without damaging it.

      And actually, Pottery Barn seagrass rugs are an excellent quality manufactured by Fibre Works which is my favorite vendor (to the trade) for all natural fiber rugs.(seagrass, sisal, jute, etc.) They have a version of sisal as well, that’s very close to Prestige Mill’s Pueblo pattern.

      That link goes to the custom sized seagrass rugs, for anyone who sees this and is interested and they are on sale at the moment. They also have some non-custom sized seagrass rugs on sale, but in various sizes.

  19. Wow! What a house, what a home! I think the thing that impressed me the most was how everything was in perfect scale. In fact, I didn’t notice how high the ceilings were until I saw your refection in the dining room mirror-and you’re not a short person!

  20. Laurel, Exquisite home photos. I have a similar traditional home and am enjoyed seeing the Black & White theme in the kitchen. We’re about to remodel our kitchen and have a few comments/questions. I am trying to convince my husband to do a matt black countertop surround on our current white cabinets (and maybe change up the island with a Carrera quartz top). Glad to see the recommendation on the black soapstone. More practical than polished black granite, correct? I also get concerned about dust showing up on jet black, so was thinking of a deep charcoal.
    2nd question, where did Lotte get those lovely B&W barstools in the kitchen? Adds such personality.
    thank you, Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      I love black and white kitchens and I think that Lotte got it just right.

      Those are actually counter-height stools. The way I remember it is that a chair seat for a regular table is about 18″ high, a counter stool = 24″ and a bar stool = 30.” I found them on Wayfair (link). They come in three colors and this is a very good price, too.

      And here’s a case in point. They are calling them “bar stools” but the seat height is 24″ so that actually means that they are meant to go at a counter which in a kitchen is always 36″ high.

  21. Thank you, Laurel, for sharing this beautiful home with your on point commentary. I really enjoy tour writing and always read every word, not just look at the pictures.
    I really wish that you had photographed the monster TV in the barn. Some of us really do need the “connect the dots” or “paint by numbers” guidance to dealing with this vital necessity of modern living (with men).

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Well, it’s on the wall perpendicular to the fridge, on the other side of the door.

      It is a big black rectangle. lol One good rule for a TV is to try to put it on a wall that one doesn’t face as they are coming into the room. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Another good way to “hide” the TV is to paint just that wall a dark color. I do have some TV posts. This links to them.

  22. Great post as always Laurel! I’m also one of those designers who bad-mouths sisal rugs, but love the look, so I use the faux sisal (Stanton makes a good one). I’ll definitely give these a try!

    1. Hi Anne,

      I was trying to think of a good analogy, but all of the ones I could think of are gross; I know that I can be, but there’s a line that I try not to cross. lol

  23. Wow. Everything – and I mean everything – about this house is so beautiful.
    You and Lotte are very generous to share it with us. Hygge and elegance together. Absolutely gorgeous. Love the Richmond Gray and the Ashwood paint colors here. Everything is so well put together. Talent and good taste are a dynamite combination. You both have that !

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Every time I see your name, my eyes light up. And that is because I know that what’s to follow is going to be the most wonderful, thoughtful comment. Every time! Maybe you should start a business. “How To Comment On A Blog.” And actually, I’m only half joking because if someone wants to increase their influence– online, one way is to suck up – lol to others who are further along on the road. I talk about that a little in my 150 page blogging guide. Of course, one has to suck up only to those that they genuinely like!

  24. This article is awesome! What a great way to pull together so many of the concepts that you teach in one place. My favorite of all was the Morovian star. that price is SICK!!!!! (good).

    Many hugs,

  25. Good morning Laurel,
    Thank you for showing us this beautiful home. And thank you to Lotte for sharing.
    She certainly has a gift of making a large home look comfortable & cozy!
    I’ll be waiting for when you get the cleaning info on her rugs. I usually swear by Seagrass because they don’t show any stains also.

    1. She’s a little overwhelmed with the response on instagram alone. This is what Lotte had to say about how she keeps her rugs clean:

      “Rugs are pretty much only vacuumed. When my dog would have pee accidents I would just soak it up with microfiber cloths. Poop accidents got blotted with a damp cloth. Isn’t pet ownership glamorous? My dog was a Westie so it wasn’t too bad. Not sure I would do a sisal rug if I had a Great Dane!”

    1. I tried to capture that feeling, but there’s nothing like being there. What is difficult to capture is the wonderful feeling you get when surrounded by very large old trees. The leaves are just beginning to turn. Because of the warm autumn, they’re a little late this year. The week before, everything was still a rich dark green. Thursday when I was there, was truly the first fall-like day we’ve had so far.

  26. Thank you for the mini-vacation this morning! Love the beautiful styling of Lotte’s home while still looking comfortable and real.

  27. Oh, my …

    Laurel, you really need to add a paragraph at the top of this page telling people to put on their drool bibs before proceeding.

  28. Laurel…I absolutely love this home! So pretty and light and bright. The rooms aren’t over crowded with furniture. I like that. I like to be able to move around. I have a question. I follow a lot of different blogs and have noticed that “a lot” of people have their furniture (sofa’s and chairs) covered. I don’t understand the reason for this? Is it because they want white furniture? Or are they trying to keep their furniture clean? Or the furniture is damaged or dirty or worn out? Not to be disrespectful to the home owner, because her home is gorgeous! But, I don’t understand the reasoning for it. I love all the animal print she has throughout her home. I wish you, or her lived close to me. I would have either one of you come over and help me with this new house. I think my problem is that I can’t narrow it down to what style I like. I want modern with a little bit of rustic glam thrown in. Just don’t know how to bring it altogether. I’m frustrated.

  29. Wow, that’s a beautiful home. I love the way she blends contemporary elements with traditional features. And I adore those teal fu dogs!

    Speaking of stylists, in Japan, when you move into a new apartment, you can hire a “decorator” who shows up at your home with an assistant and helps you place and hang all your art. Some landlords actually pay for this service, as they figure using a professional results in less damage to the walls. (Also, landlords would rather tenants not be killed by falling art and mirrors during earthquakes.) Helping people hang their art seems like it would be a great business here in the States, but none of my friends have heard of companies that do this. I realize I could hire a designer, but it’s not so easy to find the right person who is willing to do a relatively small job. I did once hire a museum installer to hang a very large piece, but I don’t need a curator for my apartment, just someone with a good eye and experience with the math of picture hanging.

    Anyway, if there is an entrepreneurial designer reading this, perhaps there is a niche for you out there.

    1. Hi Tsippi,

      Actually, my erudite, Queen’s English speaking ex-husband wasband was superb at hanging pictures and mirrors. But you’re right. This would be a great skill for a young designer to have. A couple of times, my drapery installer hung pictures and mirrors.

  30. Wow, that is a gorgeous home! I like everything about it. Thanks for sharing it Lotte!

    I’ve never even considered sisal, because of the legendary water spotting. Good to hear this brand doesn’t have a problem. I need to research that indoor/outdoor stair runner. My Tuftex stair runner is a mess, and it’s only a year old. Carpet cleaners are coming next week – hoping they can make it look better!

    1. Hi Beth,

      Thank you for this lovely comment. I’m remarking to myself how similar many comments are despite not seeing the others as they hadn’t been published yet.

  31. Wow! I love this whole house…..and the barn! I’ve never pinned that many pictures from your post before. Thank you especially for showing the sitting area with the four chairs in a circle. My interior designer had suggested I do that in my family room and I thought she was nuts because I had never seen that done in a real person’s house before. I had only seen pictures online that looked like stuffy, unrealistic scenes from furniture catalogs. I was actually planning on writing to you to see if you would include this topic in one of your posts because I have a room where I don’t think I could or should do a sofa of any kind and I don’t recall you showing us any layouts that had no sofa at all. When my designer mentioned the four chairs idea, I was afraid first of all that there would not be enough seating, and second of all, that it would like some kind of kumbaya or group therapy session. That picture gives me the courage to try it. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I’ve done that configuration twice and I have mentioned it but who knows when or where. Once, I did it also off of a kitchen and then, the open family room plus dining area was adjacent. The other time, was a smallish living room with high ceilings. However, on the far end it was a raised area and there sat a full-sized grand piano that was played by the accomplished husband.

      1. Thanks for your reply. If I did the four chairs idea, it would be in a casual family room that is semi-open to what is supposed to be a formal living room, except we are not formal people and we have no formal furniture. In the not-so-formal living room, we have two matching sofas facing each other so it seems like too much to have yet a third sofa in this adjacent space that is open to the living room. . I assume there is such a thing as too many sofas? And there’s probably some unspoken rule about not having two sofas side by side for fear it may look like a comfy bus stop. Anyway, if you should happen to come across more decent photos of this configuration with four chairs in a circle (or something like that), i’d love to see it! Thanks again for all your wonderful blog. Even though I don’t think I have the same taste, I admire and respect your work and always learn something new from your posts.

        1. Hi Rachel,

          I’m sorry I can’t advise as I can’t see your space, but as I recall, you’re working with someone? I can’t see the thread, unfortunately, just your comment which is a flaw of this system. I’m answering from my dashboard because I have to moderate the comments. But, if you don’t trust their judgment, then for both of your sakes, please end the relationship and find someone that you do trust. If it’s a matter of not trusting anyone, and you know this about yourself, then just take a deep breath. It’ll most likely be fine. You can also try looking on pinterest and putting in the search box “four chairs in living room” something like that.

  32. It’s Lovely at Lotte’s House. The soft muted colors make this home feel cozy.
    I love the mix of furnishings. As you say, quite Hygge.
    Synchronicity abounds
    I just saw 4 of those Chinese chippendale chairs at a consignment shop for
    $75.00, yes, all four.
    Oh dear, I need a bigger house 😉

    1. $75.00 for all four! Gettouttahere! That’s crazy-time. Sometimes, people don’t know what they have. They should be at least $75/each, but good quality new, Chinese Chippendale Chairs, are more like $750 each!

  33. I need to go get a second cup of coffee and re-read this whole post. Lotte, you have a beautiful talent, and Laurel, your photos are stunning. I have my toothbrush and am ready to move in! xoxoxo to you both.

  34. Hi Laurel! Absolutely beautiful house, sophisticated, yet supremely warm and welcoming.I especially love the entrance hall with its graphic leopard upholstered bench, and its black and white accents! Just ravishing..

    I will also give a plug to Garden State Soapstone here in New Jersey, because they managed to make my own old kitchen look new, yet still timeless, with the installation of soapstone counters.
    I absolutely love my soapstone counters!

    1. Hi Dolores,

      I didn’t ask Lotte, but I believe that those must be oiled soapstone which makes them darker and even more resistant. Or else, it’s just a particularly dark soapstone. And great to know about Garden State Soapstone. That’s a link. I forgot to add one to them in the post, but I’ll do that right now.

  35. What a beautiful home! Thank you for sharing, Laurel and Lotte! Back when you wrote the post on sisal rugs, I commented that I have always had them for years now in multiple homes, with dogs and a husband,etc. They are extremely resilient. The key to spots on sisal is basically “do nothing.” NO water. Water stains sisal. Just let it dry. Because it’s natural, any odor will dissipate as well. On the other hand, if it’s seagrass, you can spray water or Nature’s Miracle, etc. on it…says the woman with two dogs! Don’t know about red wine…haven’t had that happen, yet.

    Anyway, really beautiful home and great inspiration!

    1. Hi Bobbie,

      I’ve always known this to be true regarding seagrass. It’s a completely different animal; fine. Plant. And, it’s got a tough almost waxy kind of “finish” for lack of a better word. I don’t think that plants have a “skin.” But, whatever, it’s impermeable which is why you never see them dyed.

      So, what happens when your dogs or husband has an accident on the rug? (sorry, I couldn’t resist). But “doing nothing” also holds true for fine wool rugs. Or, at least doing as little as possible.

      Wool is also self-cleaning, but nobody believes me except for fine Oriental rug dealers. They know. You’re supposed to put your wool rugs in the hot sun for a few hours to clean them, the sun being a natural anti-bacterial cleaner. But, first vacuum both sides thoroughly. I know. Who does that?

      1. Yeesh….not me on the vacuuming both sides! Now on the sisal, if a precious pet has an accident on sisal, after you get done “silently” yelling at him or her, just drop an old towel over it and step on it to absorb some moisture and leave it there for a couple of days until it’s dry. The towel will soak it up. Stain be gone. If it’s poop, clean up as much as you can, let it dry if necessary, then use a hard brush on it to get it out of the crevices, then vacuum it up. (Then clean your vacuum!)

        1. wow! Thank you for the sisal rug tips. Especially, the silently yelling at your pet. awww… And really and truly, there’s no odor from the urine? I guess if it’s poop, you have to put crime scene tape around it so nobody steps on it? ;] Yes, I’m laughing too!

        2. Hahaha!Crime scene tape…I love it. And I’m laughing and crying at the same time because I’ve been cleaning our rugs quite a bit lately…one of our pooches is 13 and having some issues in that department! No urine odor that I can ever detect and I’m sensitive to bad smells! What does Lotte say/do?

      2. Re; ‘wool is also self-cleaning’ etc. Also if one happens to have a woolen blanket and since wool is essentially protein; fresh fallen powdery snow (NOT snirt) is a great cleaner for them as the ammonia traces in the snow will cause the dirt ‘n grime to solidify and fall out. -Brenda-
        P.S.: Isn’t Mother Nature and Science wonderful Laurel?

        1. Oh wow! The operative words are fresh and powdery. That only happens about once a decade around here. haha. Maybe if I was in Vermont. That could work. But, I do love the sun as a natural sterilizer.

  36. wowzer, Lotte is magical! so thoroughly enjoyed this tour!!!!!

    thank you for sharing Lotte!


  37. Hello Laurel, Lotte did a remarkable job of keeping the Victorian angles and moldings, while making the house light and airy. I would love to see the front of this house. Couldn’t Lotte send you one, or does she prefer to keep it private? About cleaning the rugs, those little Bissell machines that scrub and vacuum simultaneously often work wonders.

    1. Hi Jim,

      I’m really starting to wonder what’s going on. I had taken three shots of the front of the house. And, I don’t recall deleting any of them. But, they are gone. Hopefully, one way or another, we’ll get a pic of the front and I’ll add it and let y’all know in a subsequent post. Good to know about the Bissell carpet cleaners. Maybe Lotte will weigh in what she does if something spills. Well, for the dining room it’s ‘when,’ not ‘if,’ at least in my house.

      1. Hi again, I have had some problems using memory cards with some photos deleted to make space–it seems to create dead space on the cards. You can download all the photos and reformat the card, but since they are so inexpensive, it is cheap insurance to save the used cards as back-ups and buy new ones. Certainly the loss of even a few photos is worth more than the price of a new memory card. –Jim

        1. Hi Jim,

          Oh, these were taken with my phone! an eyephone 7s. But, one time I showed up with my DSLR camera and yep, busted memory card. I had no idea about a memory card– never even heard of it. Lesson learned. The phone is so easy and much faster. But with a real camera, I get lens distortion which is noticeable on straight-on images, but fixable in Gimp. With a cellphone, it’s a perspective distortion. And that’s what makes shooting the bookshelves an absolute nightmare. lol I spent a lot of time on Gimp yesterday.

          The only other issue or some sometimes blotchy walls which I should read why that’s happening. It might be the mixing of lights from different windows that the camera is picking up differently. And then sometimes what’s out the window is strangely blue or turquoise. Some of that I fixed in picmonkey.

  38. Ohhh Lotte. What an exquisite home! Thank you for sharing it. I am just quietly going to go off and put a match to my house now. lol lol. But seriously, great inspiration for rearranging bookcase and coffee tables..and that kitchen, to die for!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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