Family Room

Keeping the French Country vibe.

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The above "before" photo shows a project I worked on this year.  You can see that it was already a lovely space in the French Country style:  nice antiques, art and meaningful family pieces.  The floor plan worked for tv watching (it's hidden in the armoire over to the right, out of view in this picture), entertaining and for grandbaby toddling.  What we did was to freshen things up and add architectural detail.  

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Est-ce fabuleux? Oui, ça l'est!  A couple of new chairs, new upholstery on some old pieces, changing out the art and painting the fireplace were just a few of the things we did.  Now it looks like the same room, only better.

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The large floral print livens up a corner and the contrasting welt gives this club chair some shape.  That custom accent pillow is just fun!

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Adding the beams to the ceiling--and the modern ceiling fan--gave this room much needed architectural detail.  Adding beams isn't hard and replacing a fan is very easy (well, not easy for me, but for the right people, both are very do-able).

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Updating this incredibly sweet bergere was such a pleasure.  Who doesn't love a houndstooth?  We added apple green contrasting welt and a simple white custom accent pillow with a black ruffled trim. 
 

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I love details like these. 

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The black fireplace was given a special paint treatment by Peggy Lee Mead of Peggy Lee Designs.  Peggy also gave a nearby door the same sort of treatment.  She's such a talented painter!  I'll link to her on my Houzz page in the project folder titled "French Country Update."   If you're in the Raleigh, NC area, call her for special painting projects!

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The window treatments in the Family Room pulled colors from the upholstery fabrics and colors in the artwork.  

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Here's a close up of the amazing upholstery job on the sofa.   The contrast welt in a soft gray coordinates with the french blue fabric and the antique brass nailhead trim is always a nice touch. 

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The custom accent pillows on the sofa have a burlap trim on the edges and a tape trim that features a hand-applied burlap accent on top.  Made with love by artisans--that trim was a lucky find.

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A nearby Powder Room got a sweet window treatment made of the prettiest french toile.  The walls were freshly painted and the ceiling color went from good ol' flat white to a deep teal.  Painting bathroom ceilings is a no-brainer!

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The Kitchen is open to this room and we continued the update a bit in there.  I'll show those off in the next post.  It's a gorgeous Sunday afternoon here and I'm headed outside for a bit!

Ciao,

Anne

A Family Room Goes From Tired To Terrific!

Before - back wall.

Before - back wall.

It was time for an update in this beautiful home in Chapel Hill, NC.  The owners are well-traveled art lovers and wanted their home to provide respite in between trips and be an easy place to entertain in.

Before -  side wall.  

Before -  side wall.  

Let's cut to the chase:  here's what we did to maintain the warmth and coziness, but also give it a terrific update that will last for many happy years!

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The walls were painted in a cooler color, the ceiling got a touch of warmth and we headed to Furnitureland South near High Point, NC, to gather up a few new key pieces (the entertainment center and coffee table).  At the same time, we reupholstered sofas and 2 chairs that were lanquishing in the basement.  New window treatments and other accents finished the room off beautifully.  

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There was a lot of furniture in the basement.  The recliner above is the Mr.'s favorite chair. The Mars and Venus war about recliners wages on, but I embrace them--as long as they're not the huge, pillowy version. We decided to surprise him by using it.  But first we gave it a new upholstery.

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I kept those curvaceous arms, the lovely tufting and nailhead trim. Then polished them all up a soft, neutral fabric with leather contrasting welt.  I'm the self-proclaimed queen of contrast welt and I wear that crown with pride.  

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Before nails go into walls to install new arrangements of shelves or art, I "draw" out new arrangements on the computer, usually giving the client both symmetrical and asymmetrical options (I do love asymmetrical arrangements, but they still have to be balanced).   The arrangement shown above was the winner, but then we laid everything out on the floor and tweaked until it was just right. We also added awesome LED recessed cans to properly light what's being displayed.  You can see the resulting wall next:

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The art wall now has a great mix of favorite, meaningful pieces.  There's a pretty sofa table right behind---the sofa!

Beautiful blue paisley fabric was chosen to replace the dark plaid on this chair and it's matching ottoman.  Fabulous upgrade!

Beautiful blue paisley fabric was chosen to replace the dark plaid on this chair and it's matching ottoman.  Fabulous upgrade!

We usually hide the arm covers under the seat cushions, but somehow they were left on during the photo shoot, which is okay.   My upholstery guy makes the most beautiful fitted arm covers.  They've got contrast welt on them too!  See the nailhead trim at the base of the sofa?  Little custom details are everywhere.    Like the lamp?  That came from Home Goods!  It was a score. 

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I wish I had a good photo of the desk we put in the corner--it's a beauty.  We kept the artwork on that wall--it's all paintings of their former homes.  Karen and I love those cushy animal print pillows so much that we had some made for our own sofas!

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Here's a peek at the Ralph Lauren accent lamp in a blue and white chinoiserie pattern.  Can you make out the titles of the books?  I have fun picking those out from my collection for photo shoots.

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The blue and white color combination was so easy to work with.  We kept the window treatments simple, but not boring (never boring!).  See the little buttons on them?  And the lovely blue welt at the top?  Micropiping on the curvy bottom edges, too.  

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I love meeting the pets of every client and this one was no different.  Sweet Riley was always happy to see me and even agreed to pose for the photographer.  Good dog!

Ciao,

Anne

A Stunning Living Room Update!

  During a 2 hour design consultation, we can often tackle two rooms.  So after talking through the Family Room I shared in the last post, we moved on to the Living Room. I looked things over, made recommendations and left the Homeowner with a plan (and about a week later I sent her a Resource List to help narrow down her shopping search).  She really ran with it.  I was thrilled with the chance to come back and see the wonderful results.   First off, let me show you the entry:

 

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Many interior floor plans suffer from no separate foyer.  So visitors walk right into a room, which can be a bit jarring to my delicate sensibilities.  But with the simple addition of a mat at the door and a substantial plant atop a pedestal, a transition space has been created here.  There's also a pretty desk over on the left  (you can't see it, sorry), which adds to the welcoming vibe. And I want you to notice the beautiful drapery panels, which Talented Homeowner made herself.

 

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As I turned to enter this freshly furnished Living Room, I first noticed those matching velvety soft club chairs, upholstered in a neutral fabric. What a nice choice.  And the new wool rug, in a Tree Of Life pattern, is exquisite.  I'm not exaggerating--my iPhone photo does not do it justice.  It came from NOA Living, a wonderful rug and decor store in Raleigh.

 

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The custom built in bookcase is a showstopper.  Previously it was a little haphazard and now it's thoughtfully arranged.  It doesn't look like a store display--it looks like people who love books and travels and special mementos live here.  The new sofa has a tight back, single seat cushion (never looks messy) and pretty legs.  I'll bet you're wondering where the coffee table is - they didn't want one.  Isn't that awesome?  Now I love (and need) a coffee table to be happy.  But these clients did what felt best to them.  Fabulous!

 

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Please don't ever forget to pay attention to lighting in a room.  Great lighting makes a lovely room useful, friendly, warm and inviting.  Go for 3 way switches, go for pretty lampshades, go for finials.  Do it up right.  These gourd lamps are perfect for the space.  Talented Homeowner made the custom accent pillows in the room.  They are squishy delights.  The framed art on the wall are hung at eye level - perfect.

I'm so glad that my 2 hour design consultation gave this client the right amount of ideas and resources to go full steam ahead and make the changes she did.  The other day she contacted me to report that she had used one of my suggestions in her daughter's apartment - the ripple effect!  Great job!

Ciao,

Anne