color

Fantastic Design In The 2019 HGTV Dream House

Fantastic Design In The 2019 HGTV Dream House

It’s full of ideas, but before we get into it, some housekeeping to give credit where credit is due.

The designer of this year’s HGTV Dream House is Brian Patrick Flynn. Brian did a great job of designing every room to be gorgeous, livable, warm and very, very inviting. The photographer of the fabulous photos in this post is Robert Peterson of Rustic White Photography unless otherwise noted.

Creating a library, sitting room AND music room: multi-function with "Wow!"

Today's families aren't interested in having rooms that get used once a year to eat a turkey. Multi-function rooms are great to have - and I don't mean a guest room that also holds unfinished projects, unused furniture and the laundry before it's put away.  In this post, multi-function means that the room can be used as a library, a sitting room and a music room.  In a guest room scenario, it could mean that the space is also used as a place to practice yoga, do a little creative writing and bunk those lovely weekend guests.  All things you would want to do on a regular basis.  

Sorry it's not all sharp and perfect, but this is a Before picture.  It's a beautiful Dining Room that I had a hand in a number of years ago. Now the family in this home needs to use the space differently.  And they want some Wow!

Sorry it's not all sharp and perfect, but this is a Before picture.  It's a beautiful Dining Room that I had a hand in a number of years ago. Now the family in this home needs to use the space differently.  And they want some Wow!

 

Decorating a room so that it's pretty to look at...as you walk by--is just not my style, and I don't think it's your style either.  It sure wasn't the style of this family of five.  They called me with a request to change the way they use their Dining Room and asked that I add some "Wow!" to the end result.  

Here's what we did:

 

This Dining Room was never used - and that's just NOT good.  So we made some big changes and now it's a favorite destination for this busy family!

 

Same room.  Now it's a multi-functional room they use every day.  Beloved books, the piano and people are the star attractions here.  It's right off the entry to the home and everyone says "Wow!" when they see it.  Mission accomplished!

 

In an open floor plan, the Foyer really sets the tone for the adjoining rooms.

 

 

Here's the foyer.  Look carefully to see a bit of the draperies way over on the left.  You can tell that it's now a dramatic, but family friendly entrance.  Did I hear you say "Wow!?"

 

Obviously the use of color was important in this transformation.  The homeowners had to have some trust in me.  Their favorite colors are beige and brown so I reassured them that my design concept of adding strong color on custom built-ins and wallpaper (for both walls and ceiling) wasn't going to make it a scary space, but a warm, inviting space that enhanced that multi-functional vibe they were after.  They trusted and here we are.

 

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This deep teal grasscloth from York Wallpaper creates a subtle texture in a not-so-subtle color (Wow! is not a subtle word).  Another fab paper is on the ceiling:

 

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Lighting was another important element.  We used classic fixtures that had some sparkle.

 

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This Hudson Valley adjustable library sconce lets us highlight those fabulous shelves that will soon be filled with books.

 

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This handsome hunk of a table lamp by Currey & Co. is a wonder.

 

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A closer shot of the Robert Abbey pendant in the center of the room.  Those brass details are just enough.

 

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Instead of painting every inch of the custom built-in bookshelves Peacock, I asked the carpenter to stain the shelves walnut to add a little dimension.  He did a great job.  And take a look at the gorgeous Robert Allen Design fabric we used on the new custom drapery panels!  The pattern is embroidered on a linen blend background.

 

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Now the kids are playing the piano...

 

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...everyone is reading and Mom has a very nice spot to relax over a bottle of wine when friends come to visit.  Don't worry about Dad--I did another room in the house where the really big kids (men) like to hang out.  I'll show you that one soon!

Ciao,

Anne

 

Embrace vibrant colors!

The fact that it's January seems to make me focus on color.  I really miss my leaves. So I scrolled through my photos and look what I found:

When you see that purple, don't you want to just fall into it?  Wouldn't you like to see some of that color every single day?

When I heard that Pantone had named Ultra Violet as their Color of the Year, I was thrilled.  The world needs more purple.  I probably wouldn't paint my walls with it, but I definitely look for this kind of purple--strong, vibrant, saturated--in accent pillows,  on throws, in art and definitely in fresh flowers.  

But maybe I would paint my walls with it.  Here's some serious inspriation:

It's the prettiest kitchen I have ever stepped into and I'll never forget it.  Those walls!  Look at how they're balanced with white, light wood finishes and sparkling natural light.  Using soft neutrals: gray, taupe, cream and white gives the eye some relief when using a showstopper color.  The eye always needs some relief, otherwise it's hard to take it in for a sustained period.  At least that's how I am.  

After the flowers in the first picture were gone, I still had a reminder because...

I painted an old frame to create a vignette with art!  That pop of purple on gray walls sure does make me happy.  That's what vibrant colors do--they make us happy.  

Then there's this:

A friend is using color to put his own stamp on a beautiful old home and the above pics show two of his rooms.  is this something you could live with?  I didn't think I could when he started painting, but now I can see they would make me incredibly happy.  And creative.  Like, all the time. The picture on the left lets you peek into an adjoining space.  The moldings in that room are painted the orange you see in marigolds and they're gorgeous with the red walls.  The guest room (pic on the right) is softer, but still unexpected.

You can get vibrant colors into any room with accessories, paint or fabrics. Whatever suits you best.

The top photo in the above group shows drapery panels in a vibrant pattern on red wall - I need to tell you about that color-happy client in another post.  I wrote about those sassy office chairs in this post and the blue chair with the cute-as-a-button orange pillow was in this post.  The gorgeous blue walls showed up in this very recent post.

Look for a favorite color that gives your brain a little jolt of happiness and put it in your house!

Ciao,

Anne

 

 

 

 

 

How About Some Color On Those Interior Doors?

I've always wondered why most interior doors are painted white.  Maybe because they match the trim color, or because it's easy on the eyes (nothing going on here!), or because by the time we looked at the doors we were tired of choosing colors.  I'd like to suggest that some of your doors should be painted or stained to look different than the others.

Here's a couple:

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Benjamin Moore's Heritage Red (HC-181), high gloss paint makes sliding open the pantry door a real treat! And can you see the natural hickory door next to the white back entry door?  All the doors aren't the same, even in this tiny space!

Another great door color is gray.  Look at these:

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I recommended Sherwin Williams Tin Lizzie (SW 9163) in a semi gloss finish for these french doors.  My client painted them himself and did a fantastic job!  He kept the door moldings a bright white.

Want to see another one?

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I chose Benjamin Moore's Amherst Gray (HC167) for this client.  They painted the door molding the same color.  There are two other doors in the room that I don't have photos of.  One is this color and the other a much darker faux finish.  They all tie into the french country vibe of the space so well.  Ignore the spirit in the glass.  She's a friendly ghost.

As soon as it's warm enough (it's winter as I write this), I'm going to paint the door to our garage a  pretty color--maybe a dark green, like a pond scum green.  I always like that color in paintings, go figure.   

How about this one:

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It's called "home on the range."  How perfect is that?  Benjamin Moore #483.  I'll show you when it's done!

Do you have a fabulous color on any of the interior doors in your home?  I sure would love to hear about them if you do!

Ciao,

Anne

Flower Power and Gratitude

  "I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude."  Brene Brown

That Brene Brown quote is so incredibly true and exactly how I felt after walking around the yard this morning.  We've got 2 acres here and every plant on it makes me incredibly happy.  If I don't pay attention, things will bloom without me!

I know I show you pictures of Casa DeCocco often.  It probably always looks the same to you.  But I see differences every day and I am in love with this sweet cottage.  Look at the fig tree over there on the corner of the front porch!  It's going to be HUGE again this year!

The side yard has benefited from lots of rain.  Grass doesn't usually grow there, and it will be gone as soon as the hot, dry weather sets in.  But I like the wild look of this spot.  It feels like the entrance to the forest.

The Annabelle hydrangeas are coming along nicely in front of the living room window.  Soon the big white flowers will fill the window!

The front porch is almost ready for me to hang up the Boston ferns.  First we need to wash away all the yellow pollen. Soon!

Gardeners out here call Hostas "crack for deer."  The only way we get to see it is if we fence it in.  I call it the Hosta Jail.  Sorry fellas--this is Hub's idea.

I've only got 2 surviving peonies, and this is one of them.  Peonies are my favorite flower.  Every year I say I"ll plant more.  Maybe this year?  The garden is in too much shade to grow veggies successfully so maybe I can have a peony garden, with enough to cut for bouquets without guilt.  Decadence!

This daffoldil is a late bloomer, and there's nothing wrong with that.  All the other daffys have dried up, so this beauty gets all the attention.

Now I'm off to pack for High Point.  The International Home Furnishings Market has started and I'll be there tomorrow morning.  I'll let you know if we find anything you can't live without!

Ciao,

Anne

Affordable Ways To Get Awesome Artwork In Your Home

  Last weekend was great at Casa DeCocco.  The days are getting longer, the sun was out in full force and temps were in the 60's.  I spent a little time in the garden!  In February!

My favorite accomplishment was getting some new artwork framed and up on the walls.  I'd rather have new art than new furniture, any day. What you put on your shelves and hang on your walls makes it your home.  And it has nothing to do with provenance or monetary value.  Wait, I take that back.  Provenance is everything.  Where you got it, who created it and why you display it tells the story of your life.

The endless supply of original art that kids bring home from school is a favorite source.  Grandboy did this one.  Obviously in the style of Picasso, in his cubist period (his art teacher is brilliant--exploring all the greats).  For DIY framing, I buy the needed materials at Michael's--on sale or with a coupon, of course!

This is where I hung it - at the top of the stairs.  When you come in the front door and look up, there it is.  Made Grandboy very proud to see it there (score for this Mimi).

Then this amazing photograph, taken by Jim Fenton, arrived yesterday -- a birthday gift from a childhood friend.  I dropped what I was doing and headed right out to get a frame for it!

I used a craft store frame and "glass," but since it's hung in a hallway with no natural light hitting it,  it should be safe from fading. If it gets moved to a room with windows, I'll take it to the framer.

Not to be a snoot, but there are two kinds of important art.  Above is the perfect example. The piece on the left is an oil on paper by Gary Bowling.  He's an established artist and I paid real money for this beauty and to have it professionally framed--including using museum quality glass so that it's protected from the sun.  The piece on the right was created, again, by Grandboy in celebration of Dias De Los Muertos.  The camera cannot catch the sparkly glitter and vibrant markers used to create that skull, but I feel both are safe under the craft store frame with cheap glass.   Both pieces are important, both are framed, both look great.  But Mr. Glitter will fade over the years because Mr. Sunshine visits frequently.

I look for original art everywhere I go.  This was found at Grandaddy's Antique Mall in Burlington, NC many years ago.  I paid under $100, it's just a wrapped canvas and is unsigned.  That scene evokes sweet childhood memories for a lot of people (as does a piano--chopsticks anyone?).

A closer view.  Love it.

Here's another example of combining the "free" art (nothing about kids is really free, is it?). The Vietri pottery fits right in with those masterpieces from art class.  We used plate hangers for the pottery and good ol' wasabi tape for the paper pieces.  By using the wasabi tape, I can color coordinate with the painting!  Look closely at the ones on the right.  You'll see the influence of Andy Warhol at the top and Vincent Van Gogh on the bottom.  Not sure about the influences of the flying baseball in the middle.

These sweet faces are in the Living Room, reminding us all not to take life too seriously.  Raleigh artist Ana Peralta paints all kinds of subjects, but her animals (and her colors) are my favorites.

There are many other works hanging around the house, but we all need to get back to work.   I created a Houzz Project folder based on this post, with lots of additonal pieces, some by artist friends. If you have friends who are artists, definitely buy their work!  You can see that Houzz folder by clicking here. 

Ciao,

Anne