We are just back from a gorgeous wedding in Connecticut, and my list is a mile long, but I wanted to pop in and say hello.
I have always been deadline-driven, and last week, with a photographer coming to my house, I had a doozy of a deadline. The goal, in a nutshell, was to finish. Yup, finish. Like, everything.
I remembered that I made a list of home goals, way back in the beginning of 2012. It was funny to look at it and see the things I checked off, 2.5 years later, that I didn't even realize I had planned for, like "amazing modern adirondack chair for the front yard," which my husband designed and built, by the way, or "indoor tree in dining room window," which is done, courtesy of Ikea. Lots of other specific little things changed all together.
I'm holding off on sharing much in pictures, but here's just a quick list of what we have recently accomplished, and why I haven't been too available lately:
In terms of "being done," well, I am realizing today that I faked a bunch of things that I will now have to finish. Like, the new shower curtains for the girls bath is really a pair of curtain-curtains and will need to be adapated for water-resistance. Or, the trim I added to the guest room bedskirt is actually just pinned on, and not even on all three sides. Or, those pillows I sewed for the girls room are still open on the bottom, where you can't see them.
The good news about all those odds and ends is that I will have plenty of little projects to share in the coming weeks.
I will say this: it is so interesting to look back over photos of the house these past four years. I absolutely love where I have landed. I completely Love My Space,
When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a small powder room with gold damask flocked wallpaper, a shiny gold sink, and fluted gold faucets. There was a conservatory full of plants, complete with the small brass spray bottle for misting the leaves. There were dressing rooms for the pool that smelled of cedar and bathrooms upstairs with seemingly endless doors. It was magic.
My own parents had a redwood coffee table with nooks and crannies perfect for parking our matchbox cars in "caves." There was a lazy susan coffee table that served as the kids table for big events, and the fun of rotating dinner plates with cousins was endless. The dining room had a wall of mirrors behind a huge assortment of potted plants; the doubling effect turned the room into a jungle. The leafy beige wallpaper didn't hurt, either.
When I came home yesterday, the tree wallpaper was up in the powder room. Clio, who is eight and weary of all the changes around here, went in and declared "I love it in here!" and immediately started finding hidden words in the leafy design.
I remind myself often that decorating is a luxury. But sometimes I am reminded that design can be magic.
Thanks for following along as I take you through the process on an ongoing project!
Monday we looked at the before and talked about the plan, Tuesday we chose a floor plan for the living room, Wednesday we perused some design boards, Thursday we tweaked the accents. Today is the big reveal!
As a reminder, this is how the living room and dining room looked before.
And here is what they look like now:
And some details:
The living room from the dining room:
I often feel like I want to move in when a project finally comes together, and this was no exception. Now, my client feels like memories of her family are all around her through the beautiful things they collected, but they are not overwhelming HER presence in her home. I love the way we were able to accomplish that, and all the personality that her parents' thing imbue to a very current sensibility.
I'm sort of sad that this one is over! Though we do still have her office to work on.....
Yesterday we looked at design board for my client's living room. She chose a layout for casual entertaining, and the key piece was a sectional. I mentioned yesterday that we made some tweaks to the chosen design, the biggest was changing from a grey sectional to a more glamorous piece in teal with nailhead trim! We also went with a chair more on the "save" (versus splurge) end of the spectrum, this classic '50s design from Ikea.
With our large pieces pinned down, and key lighting selected, it was time to pin down the accents. We needed two side tables, a table lamp, and baskets for under the console, and I gave her three "looks," shown in columns.
and she also had an amazing tree-slice coffee table that we decided to keep.
I shared the dining room options on the blog here. This was the final:
Since the living room is open to this space, the two rooms had to play nice. We decided on a couple of key elements before I even started sourcing: grey sectional, natural fiber rug layered under the silk one, and white linen curtains. From there it was a question of where to put the color, and pinning down a "look."
Look 1: Slightly Coastal
This one has natural wood elements to play off the vintage coffee table, and crisp white, glass, and nickel for clean contrast. One strong pop of coral is fun and fresh.
Look 2: Modern Organic
Here the color palette emphasizes teal and black, and the accent elements are more streamlined in shape but incorporate rustic finishes.
Look 3: modern pop
The most contemporary, this look has classic mid-century lines on the console, chair, and lighting, ans slick finishes and bright coral to contrast the natural textures.
I won't make you guess: Look 3 was the winner. BUT, we changed a lot when it came time to implement months later. Tweaks up next, tomorrow!
Yesterday I introduced you to a projectthat has been long in the making. We chipped away at the whole-house shell over the course of a year or two, putting in some hardwood floors, replacing carpeting, stripping wallpaper and re-painting everything.
My client was living in her parent's old house, where she had lived as a teenager. Often we get set in our ways, putting a couch against a certain wall simply because it has always been there. What we needed to do was create a space that worked for HER life.
In came the floor plans.
Generally, there are a couple of good ways to configure any given room, and I usually give options. I find that clients usually know pretty quickly what layout will work best for their lifestyle.
Case in point:
The living room has a bay window at one end and an archway to the dining room at the other. It is visible from the front door, and a step down from the hallway that leads to the back of the house. Here are the options I presented.
This option orients the space to the view out the front window, and uses the bay as a cozy reading spot. An armoire houses a stereo and books. and there is plenty of ambient light.
This option orients the room towards the dining room and creates natural flow between these two public areas, and the entry. A sectional is perfect for seating a group, or stretching out when home alone.
This option leaves the flow between the two spaces, but creates a tight conversation area within the living room. The chairs back to the hallway and create a sense of wall between the two spaces. Strong symmetry and pairs also feel more formal and buttoned up.
Great for TV
A pair of facing loveseats flank an armoire with a flat screen. Each perch has its own large side table for drinks and popcorn.
We were lucky that the client was starting from scratch for furniture, since no one existing piece dictated our layout.
What would you choose? What do you think she chose?