I have a wonderful photographer that takes professional photos of all my work. But sometimes I can’t wait. So I apologize for the iphone 6 pics. I am sure AJ is cringing somewhere.
I was hired to decorate a dining room for a young family of four. They had not done anything to the space since moving in, but now that they were more settled they were ready to make some changes. The dining room was originally painted in a moss green with white baseboards and window trim (no crown). It was a basic rectangle shape with one large window on the east side and it is open to both the kitchen and living room.
The clients wanted a family friendly dining room but also one that had some drama and sophistication to it. They wanted it to feel like its own room, not just a pass through to the kitchen or living room. I had my task set before me and got to work.
The existing table and chairs would stay but everything else could go. Though there wasn’t much more to go – just a baker’s rack in one corner, a small storage cabinet along the west wall, and a builder’s special light center ceiling fixture.
The room needed more storage. My clients have lots of dishes and cookware and already the kitchen was chock full. So along that long black wall I designed wall to wall cabinetry with glass door uppers – to help keep the room feeling closed in – and base cabinets with doors and a few custom pullouts. We got all the wants – glass doors, lots of shelving, under mount lighting, pullouts, wine fridge, the right color of white paint – for a fraction of the cost of true custom because we went with a plywood cabinetry company that does stock and semi custom cabinets. It was a bit tricky to wrap the end cabinet around the bump out (seen from the left): it had to be narrow to line up with the rest of the cabinets but it turned out to be a perfect closet for hanging aprons and such.
The countertop is quartz and the space between the uppers and lowers is actually a very thin back board painted the same cream color as the cabinets, to keep the look of the builtins consistent. The clients are adding crown molding at a later date so we left the top of the cabinetry with a simple cornice piece that could be replicated in the future crown.
Next I took the clients out of their comfort zone a bit and suggested that we paint the walls a rich, saturated navy (if you’ve read my blogs you know I love navy dining rooms). The blue plays up the orange tones in the floor and table and chairs, and also looks great against the cream trim. The quartz countertop actually has some blue veining in it too.
We needed to balance both sides of the room by making the window appear as large as the cabinets so I chose a bold Osborne and Little fabric with blues, reds, and golds in a beautiful large oriental pattern. The drapery panels are a width and a half each, and I hung them close to ceiling (leaving room for the crown) and about a half inch from the floor. Once AJ posts the photos of the windows with his fancy camera you’ll really see how the drapes make the room. I added crystal ball finials on the rod to echo the crystal pulls on the cabinets.
Lastly I knew the client loved capiz so I found a chandelier that was actually rectangular in shape rather than the more known round pendant style. It fits perfectly over the shape of their table and helps soften the space.
The room is really starting to come together and the client is very happy, which means the world to me.
All my current projects involve window treatments on some level. And that makes me happy. Here’s a sneak peak why:
In one dining room project I will be installing full length operating drapes. We started off with just a cherry wood table and then we were off! We’re painting the walls a deep, saturated navy blue (there are two navy chips in the photo we’re deciding between). The thought is either to do the drapes in a beautiful print with blues, reds and golds, or lose the blue and do the drapes in red and cream. Then we’ll continue to add the red in the chair seat cushions. The trim and custom butler’s pantry will be painted in cream.
I am so excited for this project – a little girl’s room! I haven’t done one in awhile so I am thrilled. The walls will be painted a soft lilac and on the two windows in the room we’re doing a fabric wrapped cornice (flower print), a roman shade (spotted fabric) and fully operating drapes with a blackout liner (naps rule). The fabrics are sweet but the construction sophisticated so they still continue to work beautifully in the room as she gets older.
Final photos will be posted when they are installed!
Lately I’ve been working on a project of my own: updating our sun room. We’ve lived in the house for almost three years now, and with the exception of hanging some embarrassingly cheap window treatments, I’ve done zero in here.
The room faces east and gets amazing sunlight due to windows on three walls (hence the name). We use it mainly as our computer room, but because the back door is there, it also serves as our dumping ground for shoes, bags, etc.
Last weekend I finally had enough of the white walls and the hideously-old- and-terrifyingly-dirty berber carpet. We (the room and I) needed a change. The rest of the house is fairly contemporary with lots of neutrals, so I decided it was time for color. It’s a small space and not seen from the rest of the house, so why not just go for it.
First, the design. Because the room has exposed rafters, a ceiling fan, and lots of light, I went with cottage. But I wanted a bold cottage, not a muted shabby chic kind of affair. I want Caribbean, or West Indies, or something hot and tropical. I wanted turquoise, to go with all my red accents (it’s my relationship corner, so the red accents had to stay. Well, the red is mostly in the adjoining bathroom, which is a terrible place for a relationship corner, but that’s another discussion. Sigh.) There isn’t a lot of wall space here, so I could use a big color without overwhelming the room. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Laguna Blue. This is a serious blue. This is an all out, better have your coffee before you enter, take no prisoners kinda blue.
On to the floor. Buh bye Berber. I think I pulled about 1,000,000 carpet staples out of my floor in the past two days. I mean, it was like the carpet installers thought that the carpet was going to suddenly take flight at night and run off, never to be seen again. This carpet was locked down. But after several hours of hammering, pliers and lots of internet radio, I finally said goodbye to the carpet and hello to…fake brick linoleum. Fake brick plastic floors. You know, I wasn’t holding out for wood floors per se, but this really threw me. I mean, fake brick. Like, was brick in such hot commodity forty years ago that everyone was running out and getting imitation? But whatever. It’s there and I have to deal with it.
My first choice was to cover the floor with a lovely seagrass carpet. The neutral tones and the texture would go so wonderful with the bright walls. But seagrass carpet wasn’t in the budget, so I went with my second choice: Flor carpet tiles in 2 of Hue Cream. It has the same color and texture as seagrass, as well as being as eco friendly, but it was way cheaper.
Before I can lay the tiles though, I need to address the giant gaps that now exist between my floor and the walls. The old carpet hid the gap somewhat, so now it’s gone I can really see the major difference. I first filled the gaps with some aerosol insulation but now I need to replace the wimpy baseboard with something more substantial (and prettier). I decided on 4 inch baseboards. They add some interest to the room as well as cover up those gaps.
While waiting to get the baseboards, I went ahead and reupholstered an old favorite chair of mine. A discount coral fabric was all this chair needed to make it into the new space. This chair is going to look awesome against the blue walls.
My budget was tiny and I used all the existing furniture. The only piece I bought new for the room was the fan. I really like the room now: it’s pretty and interesting and a nice place to sit and have coffee and check emails.