Finishing Up a First Floor !

Howdy . . .

Mixed a little work and pleasure with one of my favorite clients over the holiday break.  Maggie and I got together with Susan for a little holiday Thai, when we got around to talking business I was thrilled she gave me the green light for her new dining room design.  Thrilled because I have wanted to use this wall paper from Phillip Jeffries from the moment I saw it !  

How gorgeous is this grass cloth !  

We have worked together over the past couple of years transforming her town house.  We started in the back with her great room, moved to her home office, into her upstairs landing and now it's time for the dining room.  This space is a bit on the awkward side in that you step into the space from the front door and the "hall" to the main living room cuts right though it.  In an effort to avoid jogging around the dining room table my thought is to move the light fixture off center and create a banquet in the corner offsetting the dining table and chairs. 

A corner banquet and three of these silver leaf side chairs surround a wood dining table with lucite legs all on top of a Stark jute rug.  It's now the type of space you can just hang out with a cup of coffee and a lap top or have dinner with friends.  The best part of it all, the drama you will see right at the front door !  Love it and can't wait.

Take a look at the other rooms we created in this fun and unique townhouse . . .

The main great room . . 

The art filled upstair landing .. . .

And the home office . . .

photos by mekenzie loli

Really looking forward to this dining room redo !  Thanks Susan !


When You Have Down Time . . .

Hey There . . .

Minus the rain, and the fact it hasn't been below 70 degrees this entire holiday  (I'm a Connecticut girl, a white Christmas would have been nice),  it's been such a great break !  My little family of four and our three four-legged crazies stayed home.  Having a finished house and it appearing in the December issue of Charlotte Home + Garden was my present ! (check out the entire article here). We hosted the holidays with Keith's brother and my parents and kept that Big Green Egg blazing under the rain umbrella.  Saw movies I wanted to see and didn't check my email for days, it was delightful!  Both Bree and Maggie became newly engaged and the renovation at the office is well underway.  If you've driven by and texted me wondering what the deal is.. we are not moving - just changing it ALL up.  Fresh new deal for 2016, stay tuned!

I love this time of year.  I have the time to work on my "year end" photo books (do it every year so I never get behind) catch up on sleep, eat what I say will be the last of the carbs before Jan 1 (this WILL be the year), organize my closet, goof around with the girls as well as have the time to play with new, big projects.  I love creating these design boards and I can certainly get in the zone when I do them, so it doesn't feel like work. 

Yesterday I drove up to High Point, to meet with clients of mine who are ready to update their entire main home.  Last year we updated their lake house and now it's time for the "big house."  I knew this project would be involved and while it may sound like "work," I actually thoroughly enjoyed created this entire new look over the break.  I couldn't wait to get their reaction, so I headed up there to see what they thought of this whole new look . . .  Happy to say, it was well received !

This plan starts at the front door and carries all the way though.  I needed to work around a few main things, the stone color on the foyer floor as well as the fireplaces and the style and color of the kitchen.  We don't want to change any of that, it's just time (after some 20 years) to update the colors and furniture.  Out goes the heavy, in goes the light with a good combination of modern and slight traditional.  I worked on creating a cohesive plan to really give them a visual of the first floor as a whole in these design boards, take a look !

The huge entry foyer has a grand staircase and is visually open to a living space and dining room on the right.  To give a fresh new look,  I am flipping the dining room and living room and having them relate to each other with new, lighter colors.  By changing from tans, reds, hunter greens and heavy iron light fixtures to whites, greys and a touch of tan it immediately lightens the entire feel of the first floor.   We'll be painting most of everything to a semi gloss off white as far as the woodwork and a subtle pale grey in the huge foyer and hallways.  New furniture with more modern lines and interesting textures is the ways I want to go.  

One of the first pieces I chose for the foyer was this round table to sit under the stairs filled with interesting pieces. By using two of my favorite chairs currently in the living room, it creates a pretty visual right when you walk in.  All this will be under a new chandelier in a bold black.

Filtering in wall paper of course and more modern art in the new piano space to the right of the entry door.   We are relocating the piano from under the curved staircase to the front room in the bay window. 

This is a classic Antelope X area rug from Stark.  I love how the pattern and colors warm up the grey and compliment to classic look of the home so it all doesn't go too modern.  A new console storage piece in the niche backed with antique mirror to reflect all the light, as well as two wall mounted sconces . .  so pretty !

This chandelier will have a presence as well, the light and subtle color will pop from the wall paper and not fight it or look to chaotic.

I feel art is important in this space (and every) and should be abstract in this case.   It will be very focal from the front door and an eye catcher.  With all the tone on tone neutral colors I want to use a big pop of green thoughout the house.  This piece by Windy O'Connor gives me the green I am looking in a bit of an isolated way.  I love how the white will pop from the new paper and not conflict.  Hidell Brooks represents Windy and looking forward to seeing in person and snagging it when I get the ok.

New wall paper introduction by one of my favorite vendors, Osborne and Little, large scale with touches of greys and tans.  Modern yet not too and a bit on the feminine side to soften all the straight lines.

This hide and hammered leg bench adds a little more texture and interest and serves double duty as piano bench and extra seating in this space.

This room only has two walls really.    With columns on two sides it really feels more like an extended foyer.  The goal is to give you great visual impact and set the tone when you walk in.  How cool is my palm planter?!

Straight ahead of you as you enter the home will be the new dining space.  How gorgeous will it be to look at that fire in the marble fireplace while having dinner, as well as a view through the french doors to the back patio and pool.  Perfect place for the dining room and moving everything around will really make it feel all new !!

Currently on either side of the fireplace a large chest and tall glass breakfront full of accessories.  To clean the look, modernize it and call more attention to the new individual pieces I wanted to add simple, tall, upholstered screens (with lots of detailed nail heads!).  With a good 3 foot dip back from the fireplace, they will be recessed enough to place the new head chairs, tall and in grey flannel, in front of them when not in use.  I love the simplicity.

This large, round mirror projects out with soft curves and when placed on an accent black wall or this ombre grasscloth, it's all the "accessorizing" this wall needs.

Soft velvet in this graphic tone on tone pattern cover six barrel back (major comfort) dining chairs on casters... 

Having recently installed these chairs on another project I know just how comfortable they are, and the lower back will allow for a clear view of the back patio.

Take a look at a recent install with these gorgeous chairs . . . 

photo by mekenzie loli

To create an even cleaner look, this simple pedestal dining table with a beautiful zebra like wood grain.  Two chandelier as oppose to one and open not to obstruct your view as well of the back yard.

More art for this space with more touches of green.  This piece is by Paule Marrot from her propriety archives.  As a legendary textile artist, engraver and painter Paule Marrot (1902-1987) comes this beauty !  Her rich colors put her at the heart of the Art Deco movement.  Influence by Renoir, Marrot captured the natural world in a simple lyrical style that's as engaging and contemporary today as it was during the height of her popularity.

Another piece, along with those killer foyer chairs,  is this console cabinet.  It's warm colors and beautiful inlay gives you that nice juxtaposition to the modern dining table !

With the touches of green in the art and plant material in the entry, this sun room gives you a bigger dose.  Overlooking the back yard, you might just feel like you are sitting out there with the large leaf pattern paper.  I love that it's hand stamped on white grasscloth and while applied just peeking around the windows, it doesn't swallow you too much in the jungle.

Bringing back those black and tan touches really create a cohesive flow.  I am keeping another table from the former living room.  This black coffee table adds the perfect mix of old and new.

This comfortable swivel chair I plan to cover in a rich emerald fabric as the sofa is a light grey/cream.

Love this find, marble and antique gold nesting tables.
Loving the look from this space into the kitchen and family room.

The office on the first floor off the foyer has gorgeous wood paneling chair rail down.  Currently the walls are a light colored faux finish.  My plan is to have this room feel more grand and continue the color to the ceiling.  Using this rich, textured grasscloth will accomplish that.  But to keep the space from being too dark, pop in light pieces in the way of large art, lighter fabrics on the sofa and occasional chair.  The rug as well should be a lighter color, this one a nubby thick braid in a pale grey.

Lighting is key in a dark space as well.  This fixture as well as being just gorgeous has plenty of light to highlight the wood coiffured ceiling.

With the furniture being somewhat minimal, it's important to have great detail in each piece.  I love this side table with it's stone top and antique gold edge.  Open iron also keeps it from looking bulky.  My client has another pretty inlay round, wood side table I spotted in the living room which I can move to this space - it's perfect.
Large floor lamps with large white shades for more light and a custom cream sofa with the pop of that kelly green in one pillow.

Cutting through the foyer and piano room you hit the great room.  Vaulted ceiling with a towering stacked stone fireplace.  The first thing I'll do - new paint colors to lighten the room and a lighter rug - two things to open it all up. 

To fill that dead air up in the vault a grouping of three light fixtures.  Maggie recently installed these in a vault living room and they were so amazing I wanted to pull the same idea in this space.  So down goes the fan and in goes one large and two smaller fixtures clustered together.

The chesterfield.  Classic look.  I have one and love it.  Chestnut leather to tie back to the stain color in the nearby kitchen cabinets, I chose it deliberately for two reasons.  I can custom make the two sizes I need, giving them a specific depth for added .. never want to leave... comfort!  The style will also compliment the type of house and it IS such a classic look that can be mixed with other more modern pieces.
Original art, two pieces stacked over the stone fireplace.  Again the colors drove this choice and the simplicity.  The stone is busy so the art needs to be sticking yet somewhat simple and these tree trunk rubbings do it for me.

How about this console table.. again complimenting the fireplace with it's stacked look, the right size for behind that chesterfield and just plain cool, wood on one side, metal on the other.

Just behind the sitting area above, a breakfast nook in a bay window.  A curved banquet and a few chairs sit on a flat, felt - super kid friendly rug.  The ceiling in this space raises high and to a point.  With all the neutral color going on I wanted to give it some presence and punch.  This green/yellow grasscloth will certainly do that.  I pulled this new curtain fabric from the overall colors on the first floor.   I have been dying to use . . .

Design by Abigail Borg, hailing from London.  Just love it, looks very "illustrated" and happy for this dining space.

Take a closer look of the pattern in the rug... reminding me of the detail of river rock - with the stacked stone fireplace, nice compliment !

Being that I have gone the direction of greys, yellows and greens, when it came to creating a look for the master bedroom I wanted to keep it going.  Without looking too light and to place an impressive, tall bed opposite the tall bookcases and fireplace, I chose this one with a darker fabric and lighter frame.  As like us all, needed to keep the fan.  I chose a white one to basically disappear, but then chose two chandelier to drop over the bedside chests... best of both worlds.

These drippy, pale green glass dogwood petals and antique brass branches are organic and add that touch of feminine to the space in an artistic way !

And look how well it ties to the new curtain fabric !  Yum.

Well, that's the first floor !  After our meeting we talked about incorporating a new look for two powder room downstairs . . .  thinking I am leaning towards these looks.

This crane paper is new and I love it.... That deep emerald green is so saturated and fun.  A big dose of it in a powder room would certainly wow guests.  I'm thinking it would be perfect off the office.

The upstairs is in the need of some styling up as well !  The first space I worked on was the guest room which will, on occasion, have a "baby-on-board."  Though the kids are building next door,  sleep overs will happen at the Grandparent's.  When working on this space, I wanted it a little more youthful, but not "baby with a theme."   With new grandchildren coming into the picture, I want one of the guest rooms to have a more whimsical feel yet still "adult".  This paper has that feel yet is still in keeping with the look downstairs and ties to the new bathroom tile they just installed.. score.

It's a large room, big enough for a small sofa and chair.  I just love this little chair to sit along side a sofa.  While we may re purpose one of their sofas, I'd love to see something in an off white with a black cording to tie to the wall paper and crib.  All of this sits on a vintage "like" rug pulling the greens and yellows from downstairs.  The intro of the blue upstairs helps coordinate to a rug and wall color in the next guest room !
 Isn't this a cool light fixture !  New from Taylor Burke, it's large in diameter for presence but not too long to bang your head !  Perfect for over the big bed.  The black give the blue a little weight.

Then down the hall there's a long playroom.  While one side houses all that kid stuff, the other is a perfect spot for movie watching.  Using the blues and greens, I'd like to add a grey sectional and a dose of wall paper on the slanted walls.  One of my favorite rugs has a big splash of green and yellow in a fun, abstract, modern pattern, and I would love to pull that in.

Lastly, another guest room on the second floor.  I love the current rug in place there.  Greens, blues and a dot of red.  With a nice wood sleigh bed and dresser, plan is to add a few pieces, change the paint color and style it up.  Enter the big, vintage red glass lamps I have been holding onto for just the right space.  Their size is perfect for that heavy bed.  I'd like to see lighter side table to coordinate with this bench I came across and purchased not too long ago !  The little bit of black in this case anchors it all as well.  My great-aunt (an amazing designer ... embedded in my brain that every room needs a little black).  Pulling their silver star burst mirror from the hall to this space so we can jazz up the hallway finishes this room off !

With the exception of a few hall sconces and family photos, this should give the entire home a new life.  Cannot wait to start !!

What a fun project this will be. . . .