Tweaking My Living Room!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Well, due to a tropical storm in Cabo, we ended up canceling the trip just hours before!! Lucky that we didn’t go as we had a pipe break in the house and spent much of the time cleaning and drying out. Unfortunately the room below was affected and we will have to once again redo the floors!! Water and wood just don’t mix! I had already written this blog, so I still wanted to share the small tweaks I gave to my living room – keeping much of what I had but adding a fresh feel.
This is my living room before. The furnishings had been unchanged for about 13 years, and the finishes had been there for much longer! The walls were previously painted BM White Dove with a glaze on top that contributed a warm glow. Notice the hand-painted tile design on the ceiling, the murals and the glazed fireplace. See below if you can tell what changed!
Connecting the entry to the kitchen, this paneled room read golden and strong against the lighter tones of the adjoining rooms. I wanted a softer feel, one that would convey a bit of today’s cleaner aesthetic but still use most of the furnishings which were an investment when purchased.
The first thing I did was to paint the paneling in SW Silverpointe. And you know me, I just couldn’t leave it plain! I added a complementary gray to the crevices, a dry-brushing technique to the paneling, and aged silver leafing to the rounded bead detail within the molding. I just LOVE adding a bit of metallic to finishes!!! Used sparingly the effect is sophisticated rather than over-the-top glitz.
It was hard to pull the trigger, but I plastered over the painted tile detail on the ceiling! I love the sheen of plaster and felt it simplified the room, giving it a more modern feel.
The fireplace murals and cabinet below looked great with the previous wall color, but they seemed so YELLOW next to the new blue-gray paint! Still loving both finishes, I had to think of a way to soften them so they would melt into the new room’s tones…
I dipped a rag into a thinned-out version of the paneling base coat paint and rubbed the mixture atop of the mural! It worked like a sheer film softening the different tones in the original paint. Thrilled with the effect, I used the same technique on the fireplace mantel and furniture piece, but using a brush instead! You can see the difference between the upper drawer and bottom door.
Voila!!! It worked! This made a huge difference in the room, and I was so excited to be able to rework and use the things I still loved.
Now for the furnishings! The French light fixture (look back at first picture) was a place I felt a contemporary element might now work. I found an incredibly well priced one from Aidan Gray. Even though I had to change the gold finish to a silvery champagne with Rub N’ Buff, I decided it was worth the risk.
I liked the airiness of this design so much that I am now carrying it in my shop! Only one left though… any takers?! A fun side note – at night, the fixture throws a wonderful pattern on the ceiling. I feel like I have a new ceiling treatment now!
The rug, purchased years ago from Matt Camron, had always been the inspiration for the room’s color choices. This time, I wanted to pull some of the blush pinks!
I found these chairs at an antique shop and originally was going to use them in my dining room. At $75 each, it was worth the investment to refinish and recover them.
I found the most perfect shade with a John Saladino mohair, at the Ken Kehoe Showroom. John’s colors are as beautiful as his rooms!! Ordering a bit too much yardage, I used the extra on the interior of the sofa and two chairs.
The French settee from Joyce Horn Antiques, was previously covered in two different fabrics. The inside and outside back was covered in a taupe velvet, the bottom cushion a French blue with bolsters and pillows lining the back.
I left the outside back the same, but covered the inside back and bottom cushion and placed newly made sofa cushions as the back. A simple, long B. Viz Design pillow from the Segreto Boutique rests in the middle. (NOTE:The fabric looks much pinker in the photos!!!)
I thought about changing the blue silk drapes to a champagne-toned wool or cotton-silk. After getting countless cuttings, none of which matched the samples I pulled (so frustrating!), I decided to keep what I had but alter them. Years ago, I had hung them with tie backs from Pottery Barn. Inexpensive and quick, I still liked the way they look.
So I raised them to the ceiling, cut off the puddle and changed the trim to one from Cowtan & Tout!!! I think they will last another 12 years!!
I’m currently obsessed with Lucite, so the new living room look gave me the perfect opportunity to add some!!! I found this console and two side tables from Lam Bespoke. Reasonably priced, they were the perfect scale just to set a drink on!!!
On the console, I added a lamp made from an antique American wallpaper press and a few of my grandmother’s hats. Dear to my heart – a little of her in every room just makes me smile! I am thinking about hanging this graphite sketch which use to hang in my entrance hall above… Thoughts?
Sticking with the theme of the existing coffee table which was made from a French bird bath, I accessorized it with a Lucite base and some Lalique birds I found at an estate sale.
To change or not to change? I still love the Fortuny fabric that I had used to recover this chair years before, but I am wondering if this oyster velvet with a hand-painted design in champagne tones from my new fabric line would be a better choice. What do you think?!
I created a small vignette using a chair, which was formerly in the main seating area, an antique pillow from the couch, a sconce that used to hang in my powder bath, and a furniture piece storing oyster plates! The pillow is from Dot & Dana and the rest from Joyce Horn Antiques!
I hope you like the changes to my living room!!!
( I’m working on becoming a better photographer!!!)
I need your help!! Spread the word to anyone you may know in Dallas!! Join me at The Mews this Thursday where I am giving a talk on fabrics and finishes and a book signing!
I’m heading to Dallas for a special event at The Mews, introducing the new Segreto Designs fabric collection from Coleman Taylor Textiles. If you’ll be in the area, I’d love to see you at the talk or the book signing or both!!! Till next week! I hope everyone has a good one!!