Thursday, 21 January 2016

Living Room Before and (Kind of) After

I'm calling this the "Kind of After" because this room is not really done, but has come a long way since we purchased about six years ago.  Actually, I always joke how my rooms are never really done because I'm always changing them and this room is no exception.

This house has been a bit of a challenge because it is a very basic builder home lacking any character.  I love older homes and had never lived in a new home prior to this (previous house), so this move was hard.  It was also previously owned, so we had no say in any of the design choices that had been made before we moved in. But I like a design challenge and firmly believe that any space 
can look beautiful.

This room is the first room you see when you come in so I wanted it to be a bit more know, first impressions. I always like relaxed, formal spaces--if that makes sense.  We had also had a lot of stress before purchasing this house and I wanted the palette to be very calm, so I chose the soft grays.
So here's the before...boring, right?

You can see from this before pic that the room is quite small, (8'x12') but it has 9' ceilings. One design trick to use when you have a small room is to use long pieces to draw the eye up and out. I chose to visually lengthen it by using a couch (not a loveseat) with end tables flanking it to extend the focal wall.  I also bought three wooden Indonesian screens from HomeSense and put them on the wall to draw the eye up, and to add some drama to the space.  (These screens would also look amazing as a headboard, and I'm itching to change my headboard, so they might move).

Another before pic...apparently these window treatments are coming back...

These are the realtor's pics of the room...sorry not that clear but it shows you what the room
 looked like when we saw it.

The heavy valance and sheers the previous owner had just brought the window down.  I chose to buy longer curtains (90") and extended them to their fullest, giving even more height and width to the window (again making the room visually appear larger than it is).  You can see that I hung them above the window trim and also took them right over to the wall.  I also used lots of layers, like a chair in front of a desk and a fern in front of the window, to extend the room.  Layering is another design trick to make a room appear bigger.  The Spinet desk and chair are antiques that I purchased years ago...I love a mix of old and new.  (And the curtains are lined & velvet and were only $30.00 each at Fabricland...such a great deal!)

The lamps and mirrors are also from HomeSense, and the endtables (which are one of my favorite things) were from Walmart...Can you believe that?   I got them each for $98.99 about five years ago, but sadly, I don't believe they carry them anymore.  The shape reminds me of these ones.

Another way I saved was buying the coffee table at a garage sale for $25.00 and painting it a gray (Stone Harbour - Ben Moore)'s very similar to this Ikea Isala coffee table.  You'll notice my outdoor chairs in this pic.  I haven't bought any chairs for this room yet, so I just bring the chairs in for the winter.  Because I love gardening, I always like to bring some of the outside in and have some garden elements in my spaces.   I'm also in need of a rug and I'm thinking about this striped one in gray.

Oh ya... I forgot to mention the's a very light gray velvet from the Steven & Chris line...great quality and beautiful lines. 

And I'm still in love with my black stairs.  Can't believe it took me so long to do them...they also add some real drama to  this room.

(Photos taken by me with my iPhone.)

So there you have it.  The living room.

Seems like every January I purge, paint and move things all around...Is this just me?  This year we did a big bedroom switch and some furniture changes...more on that later.  

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 11 January 2016

My Fashion Picks from the 2016 Golden Globes

 Kirsten Dunst wearing Valentino
 Love the lines of this dress...very chic.

Lady Gaga wearing Versace
Beautiful dress on Lady Gaga, however, thought her hair was a little too yellow...other than that, stunning.

Taraji P. Henson wearing Stella McCartney
...and that purse!

Jennifer Lopez wearing Giambattista Valli
Jennifer's dress has a lot going on but somehow she pulls it off.  The necklace and the lips were a little much but other than that, I liked it.  (And just an aside here, just started watching her new show Shades of Blue...very good...a big thumbs up.  She's got her cop look on in this pic...haha.)

 Kate Winslet wearing Ralph Lauren

Gina Rodriquez wearing Zac Posen

Jennifer Jason Leigh

 Malin Ackerman wearing Reem Acra
There were quite a few shiny & shimmery dresses but this beaded dress was the only one I liked.  Most jump out at you but this one is calm &, makeup and dress were spot on.

Eddie Redmayne
And let's not leave the men out...not sure who Eddie's wearing but thought this subtle navy blue, polka dot jacket was quite dapper especially paired with black pants.  A nice twist on the common tux...well done!