Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our Entry: Progress

Our entry is a small space that has consumed a lot of my time and energy mainly because I'm trying to improve it on virtually no budget, except for some costly renovations that I discuss below.  Since moving into the home, this small space has transformed and I thought it high time to share it with you and my plans going forward.
Today - Still in Progress



Ok, please IGNORE the staircase.  It's bad.  The plan is to rip out the carpet and install a Dash and Albert runner.  The banister will be stained a darker color and I will remove the second banister on the opposite wall.  I'm also not married to the wall color.  It's not working for me and am considering something cooler.  To give you an idea of what I am thinking….


A new floor rug will be added (I don't like the brown one) and I would like add a slipcovered ottoman (for a hint of color) under the console instead of the wicker french basket.

Now, if you remember this is where we started.  This is the realtor photo when we bought the home.

Before (Realtor Photo)


Here, you can see how small our entry is.  Our renovation plans are to knock out the wall behind the console/mirror to make it larger.  In addition, we found out that some of the stairs (under the runner/carpet) are plywood so new hardwood will need to be installed and finished.  This will need to be done before I can install the runner.  So, these two renovations will be costly so therefore, I'm trying to make decorating improvements very inexpensively.

Anyway, let's go back to how the entry looks today.  

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This is how my entry looked last week when I had mainly blue and white accessories.


Many of you saw this photo on IG, and while pretty, the look was a bit too formal for me.  I really like the set-up below, but I'm known for changing things on a daily basis so we'll see!!



Friday, April 17, 2015

A Quick Fix - Before and After

Moving stuff around (#MSA) the house gets my creative juices flowing.   Nine times out of ten it is all I need for the room to feel 'fresh' again.  

This week I found a window of time and decided to freshen up our built-ins in our family room.  I recently purchased a Ralph Lauren blue and white porcelain lamp from HomeGoods and wanted to see if it would work well in the space.   So, here is the after (with lamp in picture)….

After



And, here was the before. 

Before


Major improvement and I am definitely keeping the HomeGoods blue and white lamp.  See how moving stuff around #MSA works!!!  Nothing is new (except the lamp).  

Of course, now I want to paint the back of the built-ins a blueish color.   I played around yesterday with samples and here is one option (see paint swatch behind lamp)…


I like it, but I think I want darker! :)  Now, just to find the time to do this!  Happy weekend!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Living Room Garden

Now that spring is here I am in the mood to do everything 'garden' related.  My husband and I worked gutting/cleaning out a 29' garden bed so we can plant 5 Nantucket Blue bushes to line our outdoor deck.  I can't wait until they are full bloom.

In the meantime, I'd like to start an indoor living room garden.  My vision is to have an array of plants clustered on an antique butler's tray table (already have one) with a woven mirror above it.  Below is my inspiration.


My clementine from Trader Joe's (repotted in a vintage herb pot) is a start.


I also envision potted begonias, ferns, hyacinths, hydrangeas and topiaries.  I actually just ordered a rosemary topiary from WS so I can't wait to add it to the mix!  Below is some more inspiration to get your wheels turning if you'd like to start one too!!





Here is hoping I can keep them alive!  Once my living room is painted (it's already primed) I will take pictures and share!  Have any of you tried this?  Which indoor plants do you love?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Window Solutions for Two-Story Windows

Do you have one of those gigantic two-story windows?


Are you at a lost for what to do with that large two story window?  I recently was approached by a friend for some suggestions.  She has a similar window (to the one pictured) and here is my suggestion to her.
The two-story window is so large that even if you frame part of the window (i.e. the wings of the window) with panels, you won't sacrifice much natural light coming through the main window.  And, depending on your preference, you can always open and close the panels to let in more or less natural light.  The top portion (half circle) of the window acts as a transom and should not get covered.

Now, to finish it off, I would put a roman shade (my preference is woven) behind the panels.  It should be hung at the same height as the top of your panels so as to create a unified line across the window.  This will help pull all the elements together.

Here is a mock-up I drew up if you have this type of window.


This mock-up, at least, gives you a visual of how all the elements are supposed to look and work together.  What do you think?

When you enter the room you'll eye will be drawn to the back of the room where the window is and to the views to the outside.  And, if you have a ceiling fan in your two story room, I would replace it with some sculptural (like the lantern) to give the room some presence.  You have the height so you might as well maximize it!!

Hope this helps!

PS:  Drapes shown are PB Velvet Panels.  Lantern can be found here.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our Dining Room: Progress

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Well, this has nothing to do with St. Patricks day and all to do about my dining room!  Ha!  Anyway, I'm trying my hardest to make progress on some rooms in our home before May arrives (translation: lots of family and friends visiting).

Here is one combination I am considering for our dining room (the fabric is for the drapes).


At first, I was ho-hum about the fabric, but my husband really likes it and lately, it is really growing on me.  I like how the navy and red keeps the color scheme grounded.

When picking out the paint colors for the DR walls, my sticking point was this cabinet/bookcase below which I plan on using it in our DR.  I wanted one of the paint colors to match it so it looks cohesive.  It took a lot of paint samples, but I got it.


I always feel that if you have one painted piece of furniture in a room it adds some whimsy and casualness which I really admire.  I did that for my daughter's room and really liked how it turned out.

The plan is for the lantern to hang over an antique dining table (have yet to purchase).   But, something along the lines of this…




I am considering two ideas for our DR when it comes to painting our walls.

Idea #1: Is to paint the all the walls ivory and to paint the trim the blue greenish grayish color.  Remember that the cabinet will also be the blueish greenish grayish color too.  Here is some inspiration:




Idea #2: Since my DR has a chair rail, another option is to paint the chair rail and the wall below the chair rail the blueish greenish color along with all the trim and keep the ivory above the chair rail.  See inspiration…




What is your preference?  Honestly, I like both styles so I think I am going to try both and see what I like better.  I'll be honest though, I am so nervous to paint the trim!!  Have you ever painted your trim a different color than white??

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Our Guest Room / Starting Point

I am in full-on over-drive to finish our guest room before spring arrives.  Once the weather warms up, we plan on having quite a few visitors come to Louisville.  The good news is that I have decided on most of the elements for the room and I just now need to pull them all together.  This is where I am ….


{1} I already own John Robshaw's turmeric fabric and plan on using this fabric for euro shams for the bed.  These will be propped against a white headboard.

{2} I would love to get Circa's french library sconces to flank a very large scale bulletin board above my desk (not pictured), but I'm still on the fence due to the price.  Maybe I'll be surprised on Mother's Day?? ;)

{3} Woven shades are installed and white drapes still need to be installed.  I plan on sewing trim on the edges of the panels.

{4} Remember how I said I wanted to add color this year as part as my New Year's resolutions??  Well, here it goes…I will be adding a pop of red as a lumbar pillow.  Love Quadrille's nitik pattern.

{5} The walls are already painted BM White Dove and I want to do a bold bedskirt to ground the bed. I love checks so it probably is no surprise that the bedskirt will be blue and white checked.  

{6} I would love to bite the bullet and invest a tortoise bamboo side table to add some warmth and texture to the room besides the woven shades.  Most bamboo side tables I've seen are in the the $300 to $400 range…..hoping I can find one for half that! 

Well, that is it for now…..Let the fun begin!!  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Design Project: My SIL's Great Room

My brother and sister-in-law recently relocated from Belgium to Annapolis this past summer and moved into their newly built home (of their dreams) over Christmas.  My SIL has asked me to help her with the design of her family room which is a literally a great room that sits right off of their kitchen.  They are a very active family (she used to be a NCAA runner) and have two young boys.   I am so happy for them, but selfishly wished they lived in KY! :)

My SIL loves the color gray and likes things a little monochromatic when it comes to color.  She is a bit more modern and rustic in her taste of furnishings.  She has asked for my help because she has enjoyed seeing the progress in my own home.

Here is the inspiration I drew up for them:


I picked a warm gray for the walls (SW Intellectual Gray) which will contrast nicely with the PB ivory velvet drapes.  What you don't see is a fireplace that'll be flanked with two white built-in bookcases that they are having custom made (hopefully)!


The RH Belgian Wingbacks in sand linen (two of them) will flank the fireplace, but will also serve double duty when they are entertaining as head chairs at the dining table.   Similar to below.


I already sourced the sofa from a local furniture store, and it will sit in front of the bank of windows.  She has ordered it in gray fabric blend that will stand the test of time!  The sofa in the design board is the exact sofa she purchased.



I chose a lighter top coffee table so it can contrast nicely with the sofa.  I found two options - one from Target and one from Crate and Barrel.   I love the side table in my design board, but it is pricey.  In all likelihood, she'll will probably end up with something like this or this (more realistic).  And, the rugs in the design board are from PB and Serena and Lilly.  I always think it is important to throw a bit of vintage or an antique in there to keep it from feeling too predictable.

I hope you enjoyed it and I'm excited for her to start decorating and to watch her progress!!