Friday, May 14, 2010

The Living Room,"before"

Here is Amanda's brand new living room, nicely furnished and functional.She has done a fine job of furniture placement. That sleek, skinny new TV could actually stay right there and not bother anybody. Well, except maybe me. I vote we hide it. And, as I'm not a fan of fans, we'll replace this one with some drama. What the heck. Let's replace EVERYTHING with some drama.......

The Living Room, "after"

The first major purchase I made was the 11' by 14' Oriental rug. It defines the space, sets the tone, establishes a color palette and creates warmth. I found this rug at the Guild Shop for $717, alot of look for not alot of money.

The Living Room Strips Down

It all had to go before I could begin to transform.

A Living Room "during"

Things are beginning to take shape and come together.

A Living Room "after"

Accessories are SOOO important.

The Danish Modern Chairs, "before"

I haunt the Guild Shop. These beauties walked in the door five minutes before I did. I snapped them up in a flash. The next photo shows them re-covered and painted gold.

Hiding the TV...

is always a fine idea. Here, it lives in a stylish Chinese lacquer cabinet. I re-covered these classic Danish Modern chairs in a leopard print and painted them gold

The Entry Hall, "before"

This arrangement works. It's just not as exciting as I'd like.

The Entry Hall, "during"

This antique Suzani, although stunning, is TOO big for the space.

The Entry Hall, "after"

I finally found a great place for those blue vases. I also stopped fighting the limited space and scaled down my pieces.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Dining Area,"before"

Very unremarkable. No atmosphere. Kind of boring.

The Dining Area ,'after"

For those of you who doubt the importance of lighting and beautiful light fixtures,this transformation should convince you.
All I did was change out the light, move a picture, light some candles, and put a wonderful big bowl on the table.

The Bedroom Hallway,"before"

Here is the small hallway outside the bedroom. That sconce light fixture needs to be on a boat.

The Bedroom Hallway,"after"

The color on the walls is called "chamois". I love the ripped brocade on the slipper chair. An original drawing, dedicated to Amanda, now sits above the chair.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Mood Board

Here is the "mood board", a tool designers use to convey mood, theme, ideas, concepts, etc. Amanda, my client, "got" it right away.By the end of the project, it should all make sense.

Amanda's Living Room

Here is the living room "before".Pretty nice just as it is. Amanda has a good sense of design, color, and scale. Of course, I'll have to HIDE that TV, even though it is new, handsome and not hideous (for my feelings on "hideously huge" TV's, check the previous project).

The Mantle Close Up

Here is the mantle up close. I intend to paint the walls on either side and above the fireplace the two colors of red on the mood board. Because there are WAY too many squares in the room, some circle and odd shapes are called for. Maybe the mirror?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Amanda's Stairwell and Landing

The block glass window is very dynamic and just begs me to paint a dramatic flourish around it, possibly in black. The tiny alcove on the left will be highlighted with a deep color and unexpected objects.

Amanda's Kitchen

Here we see the kitchen, part of the landing, and the two alcoves on either side. My plan is to use vivid, luscious colors inside the alcoves and on the very limited wall space in the kitchen for pop and zing!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scary Storage Solutions

This picture needs no explanation. It's just sad.

Sublime Storage Solutions

Let's all breathe a "sigh" of relief. The red lampshades and the warm yellow walls are so elegant. That pesky TV is hidden inside the vintage armoir. The four poster is highlighted in gold. Another homerun.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Camel Lamps "before"

The camel lamps are very cute, but they just didn't hold their own among the rich colors of the Indian themed bedroom. So, without any prior experience, I decided to cover the shades in a beautiful turquoise sari material. I now have great respect for all covered lampshades.

The "Thirty Hour Lampshades"

Here is the delightful finished shade after thirty hours of a learning curve. What can I say? I don't give up easily.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Living Room Faux Marble Mantel

This is my living room. I don't have a true "before", but this is a "during". The inside 8" of the mantel is marble, and the wood surrounding it I painted to look exactly like it. I used the same high quality oil paints I use in my fine art work. The cabinets are edged in gold. I knew SOMETHING would go inside each panel, but I didn't know what.

Living Room Mantel and Painted Panels

I had gotten a bid for putting wallpaper inside the panels of $900. THAT inspired me to paint them myself, echoing the giant flowers in the entrance hall mural. I found the two statues and fabulous gold mirror at Gen's Antiques on 19th. The single fuscia peony in a vase is a major example of restraint on my part.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Ethnic Media Room

Switching again to my house, here is the media room. The colorful cloth above the bookcase is an Afghanistan tent piece. The carved wood above the bookcase is from a Chinese opium bed. I used an embossed gold wallpaper on the ceiling. I have lots more pieces of ethnic fabrics, but my husband says this is his limit.

Warrior Statue in Media Room

This wacky warrior statue presides over the media room. I feel sure she had something in her hands at one time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Donna's Dining Room ""BEFORE"

For those of you just joining me, here is the ""before" of my friend Donna's dining room. When this was taken , her dog, Harley, had been lost behind the boxes for two days. We could hear him,we just couldn't get to him.

Donna's Dining Room "AFTER"

Here is the dining room today. I incorporated most of Donna's favorite design elements. I used vibrant colors, shells, grand scale,animal prints, varied textures, and multi-functionality. AND, I hid the shredder and printer! Kudos to me!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

One of my Failures

One of my first purchases was a hip blue suede 50's sofa. Here it is covered in sheets to protect it from Harley. After a month of trying to fall in love with it, Donna confessed it wasn't comfortable. It was like a pair of stilettos...looks sexy but unwearable.
We spent 8 hours together "trying on" sofas. She had said from the beginning she wanted a comfy sectional. I didn't listen, hence this rather large mistake. We moved it back down the tiny staircase and into a resale shop.

Donna's Living Room "AFTER"

Here is the finished living room. The sofa is a sage green velvet sectional that took 3 months to come in from Pottery Barn. It is VERY COMFY and BIG.
I chose a palette of blues, greens, and purples. The purple bergere chairs and the drapes are different hues.
Another view of the BIG sofa and mirror.
Rosy at Best for Less made the luscious drapes and throw pillows.
A close up of the plethora of pillows. Remember, more is more.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

This is one corner of the bedroom "before". It needed a little work. That's a dress form on the right.

Here is the same corner. The TV is hidden inside the vintage armoire. The dress form wears a vintage prom dress of tulle and taffeta, and that's a painted Italian chair.

This "before" shows the big window, looking out to the parking lot and the appliance graveyard below, and the HUGE TV sitting on the floor. It is the "elephant in the living room".

I found the perfect black stand for the TV, which hides also the equipment. I magically found the cool sage green architectural piece above it. Adding something weighty above the HUGE TV dimishes its size and importance.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just changing things up a bit. This is a beautiful young woman who modelled for me. The lips , the hair , the flowing white blouse....perfection. At times like these, the paintings paint themselves.
This is the same lovely model.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This "before" is too dark to see much, which could be a good thing. You can't miss those blinds, which I think I actually detest more than ugly lights and appliances and ceiling fans. Who knew?
Believe it or not, this is the same window in the same room. I would call this a "home run".

Monday, August 31, 2009

I found this spectacular shell mirror at Heights Antiques on Yale for $240. If you know shell mirrors, you know that's a STEAL. Donna isn't wild about the antlers that I glued on top, and sometimes she just lets me have my way.

Donna is a founding member of ShellLoversAnonymous. I probably doubled the amount of shells on this mirror with my hot glue gun(see previous post). That's a pile of bleached antlers on the grey chest of drawers.

This is one corner of the entrance hall. Donna loves CROWNS, and we're looking through one.
Donna also LOVES hearts, and I found this one at H Gallery on 19th in the Heights. It is made out of oil drums by a local artist. Somehow the bird made its way up there.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In my opinion,every room needs some sort of crown molding to look finished and elegant. This picture demonstrates that perfectly.
The two dangling chains indicate a........CEILING FAN. Can you guess how I feel about them???
Alot is coming together now in the bedroom. As you can see here and in the next pictures we've painted the walls a yummy yellow and added crown molding. I know I've spoken out harshly against ugly lights and appliances, but I've been in the closet about ceiling fans. HIDEOUS!!!!!!!!!! I found an 8 light crystal chandelier at Lovejoy's. Instant glamour! I also found the wall hanging there. It is a vintage lap blanket used when riding in an open horse drawn carriage. Donna briefly considered making it a "Harley" blanket, but I said "no".
I'm also excited to reveal the $358 four poster bed I bought. Later you'll see how it looks with a major infusion of gold paint!
This is such a great "before" picture, as we see the non-descript wall color and lack(HORRORS!!!!!!!!!!!!) of crown molding(NOT my fault), and the grey bedside table and lamp(my fault). Donna stabbed me through the heart by saying they were "boring". I had hoped she wouldn't notice. It was also at this time that she realized she wanted an INDIA-themed bedroom.
This is not the finished bedroom, but many things are in place. Remember the $358 four poster I got? Here it is. The grey bedside tables and lamps were two "MISTAKES" that Donna labeled "boring". I felt as if I had been stabbed through the heart. I traded them out for the vintage Italian gold and white chests and the camel lamps.
Rosy at Best for Less made this wonderful corona from individual Indian sari scarves that I found for $5 each at Lovejoy's Antiques.
We painted this room a deep, warm gold and put up shiny white crown molding.
Above the bed is a spectacular temple piece of gold carved wood and mirror from India.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This "before" of the dining room is just a reminder. Don't linger.