Friday, October 30, 2009

You Know You're A Home Improvement Enthusiast When... open your refrigerator and in the place where food should be you see paint brushes instead. (Wrapped in a Target bag no less.)

The above is a draft I wrote months ago while in the midst of the Kitchen Redesign, but never posted.

I was reminded of this draft yesterday when Karla at It's The Little Things That Make A House A Home posted a link to Beth's post, Top 10 List For Decor Bloggers: Must Read. You know you are a true decor blogger if...

I clicked over to see what Karla had found so amusing. Yes, definitely laugh worthy, particularly number 6! (You have contorted your body into crazy and dangerous positions and perhaps even perched on top of furniture in order to get a good picture of an inanimate object.)

At the end of the post Beth asks if she left anything out, what would you add to the list? Well encountering paint rollers and brushes in a place one usually finds food of course, that is what I would add.

What is in your home that you would need to add to such a list?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Table Choice - Living Room Redesign

This was the discussion which lead to a table decision.

"Okay," I said to my husband, "here's the deal. If I go with custom and the table gets scratched, and it will because it's going to get a lot of use, I'll be upset because I've scratched such a nice table, and I'll be more upset because it was the more costly option."

"Okay, here's the deal. If I go with the Sonoma and the table gets scratched, and it will because it's going to get a lot of use, I'll be upset because I've scratched such a nice table, but I'll be less upset because it was the less costly option."

His response, "Then you've made your decision."

(I'd have to say he's becoming a pretty good design assistant! Ha.)

And with that I picked up the phone and ordered the Sonoma Table. Yes, having a beautiful custom table created for me by Phil Culbertson would have been fabulous, but in the end we decided this was not the best place to have something so special made. This table needs to be used with ease, from my work, to the kids playing board games, to people sitting around socializing. I think this choice is a great compromise between function, style and price.

Plus, the savings can be used to completely finish the space. When you look at it from this angle it is a no now on to lighting, paint, pillows and refinishing the console.

What design decision have you made lately?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My To Do List

Has anyone noticed the lack of posts detailing progress on the Living Room Redesign lately?

Well, I'm a bit busy and giving myself time to make decisions. (Read: I can't make up my mind.)

But while I ponder away, here's my to do list. If you don't see any progress in the upcoming days send me a reminder to get moving...please!

1. Table - It comes down to custom or the Sonoma from Z Gallerie.

2. Pillows - Need a few moments to sew these up (between finishing the Halloween costumes!)

3. Paint - The walls in the surrounding areas will be painted Sherwin-Williams Universal Khaki. The ceilings are high, do I pull out the extension roller or call in the painters?

4. Light fixtures - Ah, the slippery slope of design. Now that the living room has such a stunning fixture the entry and dining room fixtures stick out like a pair of sore thumbs. Time to start sourcing some options.

5. Console - Yes, I am still seriously considering refinishing this piece. Nothing is wrong with it except its color clashes with the (soon to be) new wall color. Time to come up with a plan.

See this bit of the new wall color tested behind the console? The taupe paint with gray undertones against the warm yellows of the console don't mix to make music to my ear eye.

So, expect some progress or all reminders are welcome...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Master Bedroom Retreat Update

This past summer a client's Master Bedroom Retreat was completed...well almost. Is any project ever completely finished? A side table was needed to be placed beside the Barcelona has been found and here are a few updated photos. A special corner filled with a collection of wonderfully designed items.

Alu Accent Table from Z Gallerie
Barcelona Chair & Ottoman - a classic that will never go out of style.
Blossom Linen Pillow in Duckegg by the wonderful Thomas Paul
Arch Floor Lamp (behind Barcelona chair) from Target - sold out, apparently too good of a deal to last.
Urchin Bowl by Heather Knight on Esty, now here is a talent!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sitting Pretty - Revisiting A Chair Makeover

What a wonderful luxury to have enough room in a bath for seating! While working on this Master Bath Redesign I gave two chairs, which originally belonged to my grandmother, a makeover with the look of the bath in mind.

Initially I had intended to paint the chairs ivory, but once into the project I decided to instead apply a finish that resembles the oil rubbed bronze bath fixtures in the room. I have to say I can't believe how well this turned out, indeed looking very similar to the hardware finish! Then the absolutely delightful Thomas Paul print, found at Calico Corners, brings an unexpected pattern into the room.

Below are photos showing the before chairs, their transformation and a run down of the steps taken which gave them a big dose of style. Finally, a look at the results sitting pretty in the room.

1) Seat cushions and fabric are removed.

2) The chair frames are lightly sanded to remove the old finish and prep the wood for primer.

3) Rust-Oleum's Ultra Cover Primer is applied.

4) The frames are painted with Rust-Oleum's Satin Espresso.

5) Three layers of color are then wiped over the frame to achieve the final finish, meant to look similar to the oil rubbed bronze fixtures . First platinum metallic paint, then a lighter brown paint and finally the gold metallic paint. I keep experimenting until the desired effect was achieved.

6) The cushions are wrapped with a new thick lining which is attached with staples.

7) The new fabric is cut and placed on the cushion, making sure the pattern is positioned identically on each cushion.

8) The fabric is stapled down, starting at the center of each side and working towards the corners, pulling the fabric slightly for a polished result.

9) The cushions are attached with screws to the chair frames.

10)'s a love affair. Every time I walk into this room the sight of these chairs make me just smile.

These chairs are attending the Furniture Friday Party at Miss Mustard Seed!
Furniture Feature Fridays

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ladies Night Out In The Neighborhood

Reading my post yesterday several people inquired
"why did you move?"
After all, the old & new homes are just three miles apart!

Community...a lack of it in one neighborhood
and the abundance of it in another.

What a joy, really, to live in a place where when hosting a neighborhood Ladies Night Out 30 women show up at the door carrying armfuls of beautiful food and drink.

Ready for the party to begin.

Was this label designed for me?

Upon arriving one friend laughed,
seeing the large array of drinks and food...
"Janell, I don't think
I've ever seen this much food in your home at one time!"

No photos of the food...too busy talking (and eating & drinking.)

What celebrations do you have planned for this weekend?

This Beautiful Thing is attending the Beautiful Life Friday party over at The Inspired Room. Go visit this party!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Before & Afters - My Previous Home

"Update: Today this tour of before & afters is attending Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch!

This is our previous home. I loved this house. When we decided to move I wished to simply pick it up and move it the three miles to our new neighborhood. Interestingly, both our old and new homes were built by the same builder. You know I asked if they would just build me another one in the new location...but they declined. (The Nerve.)

Anyway, with no progress to report on my work space let me show you a few before and afters from work done on that home. These projects did not involve any major renovations, rather the addition of millwork, new paint, a restained mantel and new light fixtures. It shows how relatively small changes can make a tremendous difference in the look and feel of a space.

Millwork. I can't get enough of it. The large opening between the kitchen and family room looked quite bland. (And where do you stop one paint color and start another?!) So I decided wrap the opening with trim. The wood pieces shown created a frame for the millwork, which slightly lowered the opening into the kitchen.

By enclosing the large opening with millwork that stretches out from the walls and drops down from the ceiling a sense of separation was created between the kitchen and family room. With high ceilings in the adjacent family room this division also created a cozier feel in the kitchen.

Here is the before looking from the kitchen into the family room and staircase.

After. Crown molding was run throughout the kitchen. Again, note how enclosing the large opening not only brought character and defined this as a separate space, but as a bonus the kitchen paint now had a place to stop! One of my all time favorite paint colors was used, Devine Blade from Devine Color. A light crisp happy green...just enough color without being too bright.

The before looking into the kitchen.

The after. Crown molding, Devine Blade paint...

new light fixtures, which cast better light onto the island while mirroring the lines of the hood...

...and the EAT sign, found during an online shopping spree at Pottery Barn's 75% off clearance section.

The before looking up the stairs to the upper hallway.

After. The thick crown molding from the kitchen was also added throughout the main areas of the entire house. What a difference. Sconces were added which beautifully illuminated the area and the richer paint, Miller Paint Flat Oaks, adds warmth.

The Before mantel and stone fireplace. Beautiful...but isn't that stain a bit bright?

The Flat Oaks paint color was selected to bring out the hues in the stonework. The crown molding runs up to the stone and the mantel was sanded down and restained a rich walnut color. What an improvement.

We ended up living in this house for just three years. In retrospect it was a lot of work to enjoy for such a short time. But there was a payoff. We were able to sell quickly in a declining market, while other homes on the street sat for months...some are still on the market over a year later. The house showed so well that with only seven showings we received multiple offers, allowing us to move to our dream neighborhood.

My husband occasionally confirms the above scenario is not in the works for our current house...