This room was decorated many years ago, using family furnishings and antiques. My job was to give it a refresh--and I was happy to accept the challenge!
I want to show you a couple of pics I took last week of a new construction project I consulted on. The homeowners, John and Diane, were wonderful to work with and the builder, John Dunning of Dunning Custom Homes, did a spectacular job. When Diane invited me to come see the finished results, I was happy to accept!
I've been crushing on stainless cable wire for a long time now, but it still gives me a thrill. When I mentioned this idea to John and Diane, they jumped right on it. Diane said waiting for it to be installed was like waiting for Christmas morning!
Another idea they ran with was to paint the barn door leading to the pantry a true red. This is Sherwin's Heritage Red, which is gorgeous, gorgeous. Most of the other doors in the house are hickory with a protective coat of polyurethane. The door to the garage, as you ca see, is white. I LOVE it when doors DON'T match! And look at that hickory floor. Again, just a clear coat of poly. Amazing.
Here's a better view of a hickory door in the house.
We talked a lot about using beams in the house. Final decisions can't be made until sheet rock goes up and everyone can really see the room taking shape. These are in the Kitchen and look great!
John and Diane are big fans of wood. They put this yummy walnut on the island counter. Love it, love it, love it.
The light was really mucking around with my trusty iPhone camera, the art isn't up over the mantel yet and decorating isn't complete, but I wanted to show you that built in shelving doesn't have to symmetrically flank the fireplace. My suggestion was to have the cabinetry and shelving on one side to display and store what they wanted, but to leave the other side open to create a cozy nook to curl up with a book. It's going to be a sweet spot in a beautiful room. I also convinced them to skip putting a soffit at the top of each niche. Bring the eye up!
I take no credit for this brilliant bit of great design in the Kitchen. It's built under the stairs and is out of the way from everything else in the room. Microwave, wine fridge, glassware, etc. - you can be pouring wine, heating things up, pulling out tableware, napkins, small plates, etc. and still be completely out of the way of the master chef. Like I said, brilliant!
That's soapstone on the counters. Lovely handcrafted shelving with puck lights make everything sparkle. A Wolf cooktop looks right at home in the center of it all!
The house, upstairs and down, is filled with great ideas, successfully executed. It's a wonderful example of attention to detail, creative thinking and pride in workmanship.
I've heard from several clients over the years that their Kitchen chairs are a little too short to be comfortable at the table. They feel like little kids sitting at the grown-up table. We had the same problem at our house!
The answer is to reupholster your chairs using thicker foam on the seat. We like our Kitchen chairs, above. They're by Amisco and made of white metal. The cheery floral fabric on the seats wore well for a number of years, but then just looked dirty, so I decided to reupholster the pads myself and finally raise them up with thicker foam to get a better height. Big mistake.
The mistake was thinking that I could do the job myself. I didn't take a picture of the messy side of my work, you'll just have to believe me when I say they looked like a child had done the job. If you look closely, you'll see some lumpy stuff going on because I made every mistake in the book. After wrestling with 3 out of the 4 chairs, I didn't have the heart to go on, so left the 4th in it's original state, dirty fabric and all, and stepped away from the project. For about 2 years. What can I say? Time flies.
They're finally fixed and looking great.
A short time ago I discovered Revolution Performance Fabrics, made right here in the USA. This fabric is bleach cleanable, well priced and comes in all sorts of nice patterns and colors. I used their Ombre pattern in the Flannel colorway. Off the chairs went to my oh-so-awesome upholsterer and they returned looking as you see above. Fantabulous. Tailored. Bleach cleanable (that bears repeating).
And with 5" foam on these seats, we sit high and proud at our table. Very comfy!