Project Updates

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:

heritage_red_pantry_barn_door.jpeg

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:

gray_french_doors.jpeg

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?

gray_interior_glass_door.jpeg

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:

BM 483.png

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

3 Tips For Fireplace Updates

fireplace_mantel_before.jpg

Are you ready to update your fireplace?  If so, I've got 3 tips to share with you, along with a couple of photos from a recent project.  Above is the "before" fireplace photo.  My clients wanted to put the flat screen tv above the mantel and bring a more transitional style in the room. 

Here's what we did:

stacked_stone_fireplace_holly_springs_nc.jpg

It's like someone turned on the lights!

Tip #1 - create more visual space on the fireplace wall.  We did it by pulling the new custom window treatments over to the side.  This gives a more open feeling.

Tip #2 - use a new material.  In this case, we tore the whole sheetrock, brick and wood face down and rebuilt it with stacked travertine.  The stone wraps to the wall, creating 3" sides so it doesn't look flat.  The mason had to replace the old sheetrock with Durock cement board, but that's standard when working with heavy tile.  The hearth floor got a sturdy porcelain tile.  Looks fabulous!

stone_fireplace_wood_mantel.jpg

Tip #3 - Consider using a nice chunky board from the lumberyard as your mantel.  This piece of poplar, stained a walnut color by our crackerjack carpenter,  is less rustic, more refined than a reclaimed beam.  He also created what I'll call a backsplash with the poplar because we made the whole shebang a little lower than the old fireplace.  With 9' ceilings, we needed more breathing space for the TV.  I think the sound bar (sitting in the center of the mantel) looks better in front of wood rather than a painted sheetrock wall.  

fireplace_update_artwork_onecoast.jpg

Tip #4 - this isn't really a tip, it's a thought.  I understand the desire to get rid of entertainment centers, so the TV has to go somewhere--often it's above the fireplace.  But look how pretty the room is with a piece of artwork on the wall!  This is "Misty No. 1" by the talented Michelle Woolley Sauter of One Coast Design.  I photoshopped it in, with her permission.  I love the frameless style.

Take a look at where the TV used to reside in the room:

entertainment center.jpeg

This was a perfectly nice custom built entertainment center, about 16 years old.  Isn't it amazing how things have changed over those years?  It's hard to keep up with everything about TV's, including how to install them!

To recap - visually lighten the space, change out your hearth material and use a chunky piece of wood as a mantel.  Then light that fire and enjoy!

Ciao,

Anne

 

Sometimes things don't go as planned.

I started working with a fantastic young family this summer.  They had just purchased a gorgeous home inside the beltline in Raleigh and were ready to furnish and decorate it.  We had an exciting start--and then a job offer whisked them away.  Just like that, the project is over.  

Raleigh realtor Wilson Crow generously shared his listing photos of the rooms we were working on.  He's done an excellent job of getting this home under contract quickly.

Here's the Dining Room:

dining-room-blue-walls.jpg

 

The walls have been painted (Salty Dog) and that beauty of a rug came from Robert Fritz Oriental & Fine Rugs.  We selected the awesome light fixture and the dining table is new. Left undone--window treatments, new chairs and artwork on the walls.  Oh well.

family-room--recliner.jpg

 

A large leather sofa was immediately installed into the Family Room, another fabulous rug from Robert Fritz's shop added warmth and that big club chair is a recliner from Bassett.  A console table behind the sofa and window treatments were planned.  

 

family-room-leather-sofa.jpg

 

The leather sofa is bigger than it looks in the photo.  It's from Restoration Hardware and the whole family could fit on it for movie night.  Do you like the sleek fan up there amidst the coffered ceiling?  You can't really see the barstools, but their stainless steel backs are cool.  I love mixing modern with traditional (and a bit of rustic and some industrial.. .).

 

Cozy_family_room.jpg

 

In the back of the house, a Sitting Room looks out on a lush back yard. We furnished that room with the pieces you see in the photo, including the sisal rug (it's a faux sisal--soft on the toes and super easy to keep clean).  I love the chair in the foreground.  We purchased it from Dexter Furniture.  They've got an extensive fabric library, making it easy to customize.  This is a swivel, so visitors can look out the windows at the view or turn to face the fireplace on the opposite side of the room.  The prettiest drapery panels you have ever seen were going to frame those windows.  Alas, not to be.

 

led_chandelier_foyer.JPG

One more photo - obviously not the realtor's, just taken quickly with my phone. We chose this gorgeous LED light fixture for the foyer.  The owners said it reminded them of fireworks on a summer night!

I wish this family all the best.  Maybe the new owners will give me a call!

Ciao,

Anne

Keeping the French Country vibe.

french-country-before.jpg

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.  

french_country_family_room_raleigh_interior_designer.jpg

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.

floral_accent_chair.jpeg

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!

modern_ceiling_fan.jpeg

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).

chair_fabric_update_french_country.jpeg

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. 
 

french_armchair_detail.jpg

I love details like these. 

french_country_fireplace_paint_update.jpeg

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!

french_curtains_with_artwork.jpeg

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

sofa_fabric_nailhead_trim.jpeg

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. 

sofa_detail_family_room_design.jpeg

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.

french_country_toile_window_treatment.jpeg

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!

french_toile_curtain.jpeg

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!

updated_traditional_blue_family_room_chapel_hill_nc.jpg

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.  

leather-recliner_mans-favorite-seat

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.

WoodhamDen12.jpg

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.  

art_wall_update_planning_raleigh_designer

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:

art-wall-accent-pillows-blue-accents-family-room

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. 

animal-print-custom-accent-pillows-interior-design-chapel-hill-nc

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!

blue-white-ralph-lauren-table-lamp

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.

blue_white_custom_valance_buttons_accessories_family_room_update

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.  

schnauzer_good_dog

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