Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My life in Black & White

Last week as I was doing a little spring cleaning around my little house, I realized how devoid of color my interior rooms were. 

 You might think this is somewhat strange for someone who "picks colors for others" as a living, but nevertheless...that's the way it is around here.  In fact, after I had slapped some drab "greige" paint (which I love, btw) on my old kitchen cabinets a couple of months ago, I stood back to take a pic so I could show y'all...well, wouldn'tcha know it...I thought my daughter had messed with the settings on my camera once again and all the pictures were coming out on the screen as black and white. 

 I snapped a shot. Black and White. I fussed with the camera a little. Snapped another. Black and White. Snapped one more...black and white....What the???  Lo and behold...the room on the screen actually appeared black and white because there was absolutely no color in the room at all. Let me see if I can find a pic. to show you.... Okay, here's one...

Here's another...

And a few more.
Crazy, huh?
It doesn't help that the lighting in that room isn't picture perfect, but you get the idea.

No color. No color at all. (Well, minus a few pears in a glass jar).
And I like it that way.

One of my friend's tells me it may be because I have a "big, colorful" personality.
  (There's a compliment in there somewhere, I like to say).
 I do think that it is because I am a rather high strung person and the last thing  I need when I come home at the end of the day is a place that revs me up anymore than I already am. My husband would agree. Calming neutrals do a calming Christy make.

The other advantage of a neutral palatte is that in a house this small, my furniture can be moved from room to room and still work. In fact, I spent a little time moving sofas around last weekend and we're now sitting on the floor in my living room, but I love my new "dining/sitting" area in the front of the house. I'll show you that sometime soon.
You know how they say that you're often drawn to paint your walls the colors that are found in your closet? Well, have a look at this.......

Is that pathetic or what?

Soooo, if what they say is true. "You are what you wear. and you decorate like that too", (or something like that) than they've got me pegged. For someone who lived most of her life in the gray areas, I seem to have found things to be more black and white these days. Here's my life in Black and White:

The dominoes have been marked down to $12 (Shameless plug for my booth at Not So Shabby).
(The black and white floor lamps are for sale there too).

My precious girls in black and white.
Oh, one more thing.  On the topic of black and white. I try so hard not to be political or controversial on this blog, but this week my heart has been so heavy regarding the story of Trayvon Martin. I think Jen Hatmaker's blog expresses what I've felt in my heart as well. It's definitely worth a read. See you back here soon.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Spring/Summer!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Changing Rooms

I think I've shown you bits and pieces of this project before but I think it's worth repeating.  I've been working with the 'perfect' client over the past year-going room to room in her bright and beautiful house and updating carpet, color and accessories.  We've finished the kitchen area, back patio/deck, the "office-turned-den" and the "den turned office" so far.  We are working on the main living area and the upstairs guest and master bedroom now. She's the perfect client in the sense that she already has a specific style in mind and has her own unique look she's after, but she's open to advice on changing things up and she asks for 'homework' to work on so that the next time we meet, we are ready to keep progressing. Never mind the fact that she is just so super sweet and fun to be with that I almost feel guilty getting paid. She's just that great! 
I've also had fun painting some of her time worn antiques that seemed just a bit too 'fussy' now that we're going for a more casual, comfortable look.  Here's a peek at what their original office looked like before. This is a room just off the kitchen that she wanted to make more whimsical and inviting.  A t.v. viewing room that was bright and comfortable. Here's the before:

She was no longer enamoured by the floral carpet or the not-so-functional desk area.  She was however, still in love with the bright framed print that you can see just a part of hanging over the chair in the corner. That print we used as our inspiration for what direction we were taking the new "den".
Here's the after:

Here's another before shot:

After Shot
We replaced the floral carpet with a comfortable 'twist'. We added beaded board beneath the existing chair rail. We purchased new furniture, lamps and accessories and made this room their favorite room in the house now. We were still able to pull in her favorite colors from the original print that we had reframed. We had it placed with a larger matte board and reframed it in black.

This project was somewhat out of my comfort zone regarding color.  My sister always hazes me that I tend to "wipe the smile off any color". I'm not usually a fan of the bolder, brighter colors and like to make a statement with furnishings rather than color, but this room ties in so well with my client's bold, bright and 'oh so fun' kitchen, that I couldn't help myself. Plus...as I have to remind myself often...this isn't about me!!  It's about her and what she loves.

Here's a before pic. of their original den which is adjacent to their great room.  We decided to turn this room into a functional office space for her husband who works a great deal from home. First thing to go was the floral sofa and precious antiques. Do you recognize the curio? That piece I bartered my services for and ended up selling at my tag sale to a client to house her shoe collection? Remember that?


We darkened the wall color by painting the whole thing a deep buff color.  We wanted to make it feel somewhat masculine without being overbearingly so because the rest of her spaces are quite feminine and festive looking. Our next plan of attack is to bring in some of the darker elements to the adjoining room which is her living area. Here's the room that is next on our agenda...

So far, we've restaged the built-ins, painted the brass fireplace surround,  and replaced the carpet.  Next up...new fun toss pillows, a darker coffee table/ottoman and a new print for above the fireplace, (which I don't have a pic of yet..sorry). The sectional is great and still works with the direction we're heading. I'll keep you posted as we go.

Now that the weather is warming up a bit, I've found myself in the garage/workshop again painting clients' furniture. I can always tell when I ramp up the painting again. I feel it in my bones...and my muscles and joints. Spring has sprung and I need to join a pilates class to stretch out and gear up for the upcoming painting season! (I'm getting to old for this)!  I'll be sure to post some before and after pics of some of the projects I'm working on soon. Happy Early Spring!