Even though they are messy and always filled with surprises (often unpleasant ones) renovations are exciting to me. It’s like taking a person who thinks that they are washed up…that life has passed them by…and helping them find purpose again. I like to think of the transformation as renovation magic.
It is hard to see your own home the way that others see it. Because we walk through rooms every day, the familiarity blinds us to what is really there, I think. I know it is true for me. As an artist, I am a messy; so, when papers and paints and inspiration photos are covering every flat surface I just think, “Wow, exciting stuff is about to happen here.” Everyone else thinks, “Is she ever going to clean this place up!” LOL It’s what makes the world go ’round.
Sometimes, a room can be filled with good pieces that don’t need to be replaced but because of their age or the colors used, the room feels more like a museum than an inviting place to sit and visit. It is my job to see through the visual clutter and breathe fresh life.
Such was the case with this living room.
It has great bones and lovely family pieces that hold sentimental value but it was so dark and “stiff” that no one really ever used the room. My challenge is to lighten and brighten without significantly changing the layout or the furniture pieces used.
I started by stripping away the dated sheers and heavy window coverings, allowing the space to be flooded with natural light. The window and door flanking the fireplace open into a beautiful sunroom that we re-decorated a couple of years ago so there is no reason to have heavy drapery covering them. That change alone makes a huge difference AND saved the client the expense of new custom drapery and hardware for two windows, a considerable savings when you have 12′ ceilings.
Without really realizing what I was doing I actually just flipped the wall color and the ceiling colors.
The blue walls became white and the white ceiling became blue. Blue ceilings always feel like you are inviting the sky to come inside and bring its sunny effect with it. I am getting very happy!
The only “before” picture of the foyer I could put my fingers on was one snapped in the process of decorating for Christmas last year but you can see the important stuff. The bones are fantastic but the dark brown and burgundy of the wallpaper and the niche felt a bit Grandmamaish. (Did I just say that out loud?) The marble floors were yellowed from 90+ years of feet walking on them. Hey I would be a little tired too wouldn’t you?
We carried the same color scheme through to this area to create a lovely visual flow that automatically makes everything feel larger. A soft cream and blue paper replaced the original everywhere except for the front half of the foyer where the walls were left white to open it up and allow it to breath.
The marble floors were cleaned up and no longer have a yellow tint. The wall niche was marbleized by Marilyn Heard to match the paper and now feels much more authentic to the space.
The transformation of the library speaks for itself. Sorry about the grainy before.
Stay tuned as this Southern Belle gets dressed up for the ball!