Friday, October 29, 2010

My Great Room

My great room is the place my family spends time together watching television, playing games, and just connecting.  It has a much warmer and cozier feel than my more formal living room, which in contrast and sadly, only gets used when someone is playing the piano.
The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Arizona Tan.  The leather buster chair is from Restoration Hardware.  You can see some of my Ethan Allen sale finds including the coffee tabledrum table and green urns on the wall unit.  The room has 25'  ceilings so I wanted to draw the eye up.  That is why I hung the picture above the wall unit.

To the same end, I hung the drapes all at the same height so that the eye continues around the room effortlessly (you can see that they are actually hung higher than the top of the window so that it matched up with the arched windows).  Since I needed so many panels, custom was really out.  Instead I bought these silk, lined and interlined drapes, from my favorite (now out of business) store, Fortunoff.  I have never seen ready made drapes that look as custom as these, especially for what I paid, which was around $50/panel (on sale) for 96" length.

The mantle was constructed a year or two ago.  Before that we had an oak, basic builders, mantle.  The person who did all of my moulding work in the house made this mantle.  I designed exactly what I wanted and he built it.  I think the mantle is gorgeous.  I need to work on what I have on the mantle.  Not doing it justice.  The sconces are still one of my favorite pieces.  I found those when we first moved in at another of my favorite stores, Bombay, also out of business.  You can see through the mirror that the great room is open to the second floor outside of my son's room.  The mirror, also from Fortunoff, draws attention to the high ceilings.  I had that mirror strapped to the roof of my car by the people at Fortunoff when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter - quite a sight.   My husband and father hung the of the most dangerous projects I think we have ever done.  We only had one ladder with two people hanging off of it - again...quite a sight.  The lamp on the drum table originally had a very contemporary glass shade.  I bought a beautiful linen shade from Pottery Barn and updated the lamp and made a contemporary lamp look more traditional.

Our game table is also from Fortunoff (boy do I miss that store).  The sliding door goes out to our soon to be new patio.  Beautiful view.

Our great room opens directly into the kitchen and you can see through all the way to the living room and front door.
We come full circle to the other side of the room where the antique chest of drawers I refinished stands.  As you remember when I took this piece from my grandmother-in-law's home after she passed away it was in terrible shape.  Check out how I refinished this piece here.

Please comment.  I would love to know what you think.  Enjoy Halloween everyone!!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chair Redo and Parsons Desk

There's more to the process of redecorating a room than just painting the walls and putting in all the new stuff.  The much less glamorous part is getting rid of or storing everything that you just took out of the room.  That was how I spent much of yesterday.  As you know I am in the process of redecorating my daughter's room.  I emptied the room this weekend and then painted the room.  When I emptied the room, I put everything into the hallway.  It was quite a sight.  Over the past few days I have been putting my house back together.  Yesterday was the day to put away those items I would be keeping and store them in the attic.

I am not the type to wait for the weekend so that my husband can help me.  No, no, no...I need things done now.  So I started up and down the attic stairs putting things away.  While I was up there I saw a white parsons desk I have had since I was a kid.  I thought until I found the perfect desk for my daughter's room, this would work.  I had been on Centsational Girl's blog where she was having her mom cave Home Goods contest and I saw this picture:
I decided I was going to bring down the parsons desk.  Please check out the attic stairs again...this was not going to be easy.  First of all it was way in the back of the attic (which only has wood in a few locations so you have to be careful not to fall through the ceiling).  Then, of course, there were 6 bins filled with Thomas the tank engine and all kinds of other things from my kids.  Once I got it near the opening I had to figure out how to get it down the stairs.  I did think...this is dangerous...but I work out, I am strong, I can do this.  So I grabbed it by the legs and guided it down the stairs letting it rest on each stair on the way down.  This desk is HEAVY.  But I made it.  Grabbed the windex, cleaned it up, and put it in her room.

The main difference between this parsons desk and the one in the "mom cave" picture, is that the mom cave desk has a drawer.  Ok, that's a problem.

While I was up in the attic I also found an old chair that has been in my family forever.  It was last seen in my son's room a few years ago, before we re-did his room.  It has been waiting in the attic for it's next incarnation.

I could do a quick fix on this and use it temporarily with the desk.  I had some fabric from JoAnn's that I had bought some time ago, but never used.
I got out a screwdriver and unscrewed the four screws.

Since this is really just a temporary fix, I didn't take off the old fabric.  Instead I added two pieces of lining and then my fabric (otherwise I could see the blue plaid through the new fabric).  I wrapped it like a present, being careful in the corners, and stapled it all around.

Used a little touch up paint in the spots with chips, and is less than 15 minutes, new chair.  I still may upholster the back...not sure yet.

This is the finished look - all by shopping in my own attic.  So a few questions to anyone out there who wants to answer - can I have this desk in her room considering I have a french country armoire and a shabby chic nightstand and bookcase?  What can I do for storage - the desk is only 36"wide x 18"deep - not enough space to put anything on the desk?  Can't wait to hear what you think.


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outdoor Pizza Oven

The outdoor project continues.  Honestly, it's moving along at a rapid speed.  It's only been a little over two weeks and I can already see the finish line.  Outdoor kitchens are all the rage these days and since we entertain a great deal, especially in the summer, it seemed to make sense to incorporate one into the new patio design.  As we always seem to do, we took this project a step further.  Since my husband is the chef in our family, it made sense that he should take the lead on the items he wanted in his our new outdoor kitchen.  Not to say I wasn't integrally involved...I was...but he is really the grill master.  The plan calls for us having a grill, warming drawer, side burner...all the regulars.  What's not so regular...his idea of putting in an outdoor pizza oven.  When he first brought up the idea, quite frankly I thought it was crazy.  He was very excited about the idea and when our contractor heard the idea he was even more excited about building one.  Over the past few years my husband has been coming up with unique recipes for pizzas grilled on the bar-b-que.  It's become one of the staples at our gatherings around our pool.  Long story comes the pizza oven.  Here are some updated pictures.

Pizza oven - part that looks like two eyes is the door to the oven.  Storage right below and wood stored below that.

This project is a masterpiece being built every day.  Each piece of stone veneer is hand cut to fit.  Our contractor is like a Renaissance man.  He is building this project as if he were building it for himself.  He has a large crew that shows up everyday.  The attention to detail is amazing and so incredibly refreshing (we have had bad experiences in the past i.e. the kitchen remodel...which thankfully in the end all worked out...but I wouldn't wish that experience on my worst enemy).   He is doing everything you would want a general contractor to do...and more.  His company is Pete Proulx Landscaping.  Check out his website for more incredible outdoor projects.

We also went to pick out the granite this weekend.  This is what we picked.  I absolutely love it.  It has so much movement and is the perfect colors.  I can't wait to see it all come together.

The rest of the appliances will be delivered on Friday.  Can't wait to share the next phase of the project with you.  Tell me what you think so far?


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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My daughter's room continued and lamp shade tutorial

If you checked out my blog yesterday you will know the dilemma I was having covering a painted border my daughter had in her room.  So... I went to my local Benjamin Moore paint store and told them about my problem covering the border in my daughter's room.  Although the primer I used is usually the one they would recommend, they thought I should try a different, oil based primer.  I bought a "stronger" primer, but in addition to it being stronger, I also had it tinted to the same color as the new wall color.  I am happy to report that after only one coat of the new primer and two coats of paint, the walls are perfect.
Here is a sneak peek of the room.

I have to still decide on window treatments, artwork etc.  I also still need to find her a desk.  I would like to find one on Craigslist and then redo it to fit her room perfectly, but so far I can't find the right desk.

Here is a picture of that feature wall that took me so long.  I haven't decided if I am keeping the bedding or not.  I have a vision of a much fluffier white duvet.  We will have to see.

In the meantime I wanted to share how I embellished a simple lamp shade from target to make it so girly and adorable.

I knew that I wanted something girly done to this lamp shade.  Where did I find my the scrapbooking aisle at Michaels.

These flowers come in multiple sizes and designs.  I also bought pink gingham paper fasteners.  I took the paper fastener and put it through three of the flowers (all of which have holes in the center already).   After that I used my hot glue gun to fasten it to the lampshade.

I then hot glued on the trim and I was done.  Less than a half hour to take a basic lamp shade to something so cute for a little girl's room.

Perfect for reading next to her favorite chair.

I'd love to hear your comments and see any lamp shades you have done.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

10 Year Old Girls Room

I went to the Ethan Allen sale last week.  I had gone looking for a three drawer from their Maison collection.  Unfortunately they didn't have it.  What they did have was this beauty:

It is the perfect start to my daughter's room.  It's sitting in my living room while I start transform my daughter's room.

This is my daughter's room before:

I had sponge painted the walls over ten years ago and had the picket fence border.  The border was not wallpaper.  It was a product that you held against the wall and put a damp sponge on.  It was kind of like the temporary tattoos you put on your kids.  It looked just like it was hand painted.  I had kept the packaging so that when the day came for me to change it I would know how.  It said simply to paint over it when you were ready to redecorate.

So bright and early yesterday morning I emptied the room of everything except for the bed which I left in the center of the it wasn't in my way.

I patched the many holes in the walls left from the picture hangers, drapery rods etc.  I then sanded and thought I was good to go.

I realized right away that paint alone was not going to cover the border (even thought I had bought paint with primer).  So I put two coats of primer over the border and sponge paint.  Then I painted two coats of the Benjamin Moore Whispering Spring on three of the walls, leaving the window wall for an accent wall.  After the two coats of primer and then two coats of paint, I could still see the border.  I continued to paint more coats of paint only over the border area.  I painted an additional three or four coats of paint and the border still showed through.  I decided to paint two more coats of primer over the border and then two more coats of paint.  Can you believe it...the border still shows through - I can still see a pink cast.

At this point, frustrated and tired,  I moved on to the accent wall.  I painted the accent wall Restoration Hardware Petal Pink (which I had left over from my daughter's bathroom).   The pink paint covered the border in one coat (I guess since it is pink??).  For this feature wall, I decided I wanted it to be stenciled.  The overall plan for the room is shabby chic/romantic/country french all rolled together.
I started by centering the stencil in the center of the wall and worked my way to the right first.

I continued in the same way working my way to the right and then to the left.  With a stencil you are supposed to line up the dots each time.  Not so easy as the stencil gets more and more filled with paint.  This was my first time stenciling such a large area.

I worked until 10:30 last night (I had begun work on the room at 8am).  The feature wall came out beautiful (it took four hours) - I will show it to you when all four walls are complete.  The other three walls I need to deal with this morning.  I will be calling my local paint store to find out what I can do to cover this border.  Otherwise I will need to come up with a plan B.   I can't wait to show you the finished room.

Let me know what you think so far...and if you have any suggestions as to how to cover the painted border when 6 coats of primer and 6 coats of paint hasn't worked so far.


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Outdoor Project Update

I can't believe how far our outdoor project has come in just two weeks.  Here are some updated pictures.

That is the wall furthest from the house.  There will be a fire pit in front of it.  There will be bluestone on top of the wall to sit on.  There is only dirt right now.  Pavers to arrive soon.

This will be the outdoor kitchen.  The appliances have been ordered and we are going this weekend to pick out granite.

The added a stone veneer to the foundation of the house.  I have always loved that look.

Only half of the bluestone is cemented down right now.  That's why the steps look uneven.

Soon to be fire pit.  This is just the template they build around.  It will be covered in the same stone veneer.

Soon to be pizza oven.  This should be cool.

Will update you in a week or so.  What do you think so far?


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inspirations for a 10 year old girl's room

My daughter turned 10 in May and it's probably time that we update her room a little bit.  She has a daybed, which she loves, and would like to keep.  I would love to get her a double bed, but for now I will concede the bed if I can update the room.  I haven't locked in yet exactly what I want to do.  I have been looking for inspiration everywhere.  For me, it usually is a fabric that gets me off and running.

Here is what her room looks like currently:

I painted the entire room when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter.  The walls are in dire need of an update.

I decided to try other furniture arrangements the other day to see if I would like her bed in front of the window.
Took a picture the day I moved all the furniture just to see how it would look
Try to picture everything put back together, humpty dumpty no longer up on the wall, the cornice and valance gone from the side wall.  It may look kind of nice in front of the window.  Still undecided on that.

In the meantime I have been searching everywhere for some inspiration.  Here are some of the pictures that are inspiring me for her room.

images from Land of Nod
I love the combination of these colors from Land of Nod.  I don't think this is age specific and may be a great way of bringing in all of the colors she loves.   Can't you picture that beautiful bedding with these beautiful drapes:

Image from potterybarnkids
I love this room.  I find myself looking at it over and over again.  I love the wall color.  My daughter wants her walls painted blue and when I see this, I tend to agree.  I love just the few pops of pink instead of a whole pink room.

Image from Baby Bedding
I'm in love with these fabrics, but my daughter isn't.  I guess it may be a little too juvenile for her now.  But aren't these just so pretty?

Image from Pottery Barn Kids
The Humpty Dumpty in my daughter's room looked great when her crib used to come out on an angle from the corner.  I've tried the bed that way.  It would work for a twin bed, but if we are keeping a twin bed we might as well keep the day bed.  A full bed just takes up too much room if put on an angle.  I do love how this bed looks out on an angle.  Unfortunately, it eats up a great deal of space.  It's a consideration.  The door to her room is on an angle, so by putting the bed on an angle, I would be working with the natural architecture of the room.

Image from Posh Tots

How about this gorgeous rooms from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child

Image from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child
Image from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child
I am open to any ideas out there.  Would love to hear your opinion.

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