For those of you that are new to BeColorful, I have been updating our family room this year. I loved how it looked before but the sun and time had taken its toll on this space. When I decided to redo this room I wanted to take it from the cottage vibe that was here before to something a bit more urban or transitional.
I am pleased with where I have gone with this space up to this point but it is kind of like the old Sesame Street game of one of these things doesn't belong here and for me that is this cocktail table.
Now don't get me wrong. I still love the table and I intend to use it somewhere else.
If you could lift that lid you would be amazed at all the stuff I have crammed into this storage piece.
Even though I am still so fond of this trunk I think it is a bit too rustic for the direction I am going here.
I have been looking at images all over the internet in an effort to help me narrow down my search for the perfect cocktail table.
I have been fascinated with the fabulous acrylic tables I have seen but I don't want to get too formal or too contemporary here.
I also don't want the table to disappear. This is a rather large room and I feel like I need the table and perhaps a smaller rug underneath it to ground this grouping furniture. I don't think the acrylic would do that.
It is beautiful though.
Moving on, I like the clean look of this square table. If I could find something like this inexpensively enough I would paint it a bright statement color instead of this black.
Round would also be a good option. The idea of bringing some curved lines into this space definitely appeals to me.
It's a Henredon piece.
Much too nice to put our feet up on.
A splash of bright color here would really make me happy.
I love the idea of chartreuse but it probably doesn't offer enough contrast to the green chairs and at 36" wide it isn't quite big enough.
Orange could be fun.
I could do something with the BeColorful flair
but I already have a couple of my own painted pieces here and I think that is enough.
Somehow I keep envisioning turquoise.
I think that is one gorgeous table but, again,
I sure wouldn't want to put my feet up on it.
Now this is a glamorous look. I might have to sell my car though.
Same thing with this one.
Maybe I could walk everywhere or get a bus pass.
What I have loved about the table we have here is that the more we put our feet on it the more worn it has become and the better it looks.
An upholstered ottoman in a forgiving pattern is perhaps the way I should go.
I thought this cocktail table was totally chic.
I like its dramatic size and low profile. Unfortunately it has been discontinued.
That fabric would never have worked but I like those lines.
Upholstered leather would probably be less of a worry for spills and soil.
I have always loved this Thomas Paul fabric and the idea of upholstered and round seems, somehow, perfect. This one, from Target, though is entirely too small.
but I sure liked the idea of pattern.
It all started a couple of months ago. I was in a Z Gallerie store in Las Vegas and I was oohing and awing over so many of their glammed up and Hollywood Regency vibed accessories. I was flying home though so I had to restrain myself. I shop the "Z" website often but sometimes it really helps to see things in person to really grasp the size and finish.
White I am actually in the store I usually take some pictures with my phone so I can remember what it was that I liked when I get back home. I asked the sales associate if the things I was drawn to would be available on line and most of them were, except for this guy. He was out of stock so I took the one they had in the store and had him shipped.
He had a little chip in his nose and cheek but I didn't care, especially since they discounted him for me. I loved him and now he feels right at home in one of our bookcases.
AfterI had been home a couple of days I scanned through some of the other items I had photographed and my mental list of things I was drawn to, especially these large white ceramic animal heads.
I loved how dramatic and modern looking they were but I wondered if my friends and family would think I was crazy.
I do live in the middle of conservative America.
Still, I haven't been able to quit thinking about them and I have been seeing more of these faux animal heads repeatedly throughout the internet. The more I see them the more I think I "need" one.
The Nesting Place
So after I admitted to myself that I wanted one I had to decide on a style. I find the less realistic heads the most appealing. I find the more realistic ones a bit creepy. The whimsical and colorful heads are a lot of fun but ultimately I think this is the look I would go for.
Now, where to put it???
Have a great weekend.
This is a more recent picture of our living room.
Notice that aborted table over there on the left with a lamp on it?
Yes, it looks like this.
It was undersized and unremarkable.
Even now it is still a bit underwhelming but I decided to add a piece of glass to it for a temporary fix.
Did I mention I'm going to NYC soon with a friend?
All I can say is a girl has to have some money left for shoes and handbags.
So I had a couple of coupons from Pier 1 and opted to put them to good use.
This 30" beveled glass topper sells for $40.00 but with my $30.00 in coupons and rewards it only cost me one Alexander Hamilton plus tax.
I am looking for just the right tchotchke to put here.
All in good time.
While I was tweaking I decided to set out these glamorous glass plates that one of my besties gave me for my birthday.
She had my living room in mind when she bought them.
It's so nice to have friends with taste.
I remember watching a design show about five years ago where they were discussing the top decorating "misses" and right up there at the top was using faux or fake flowers. It was news to me that this is a major faux pas. Now I'm not sure that I always agree with that. There are some really beautiful and hard to believe they aren't real artificial flowers out there and I think if they make you happy then go ahead and rock that fake look. I know I do.
This piece is still in our breezeway. I just love how it has been consistently in bloom for five years despite my brown thumb.
Sometimes I like to embrace the faux and add something to the space that is so obnoxiously fake that it is kind of an, " I know I'm fake, what of it" kind of attitude - like these oversized numbers that usually hang out in my studio.
Then there are times where I am on the fence. I wanted an organic element but I was going for subtle so I bought these dried green stems last year at Target and added them along with some of those lighted branches ( those are probably totally kitsch too - that will be another post) to a vase I had spray painted white. I can't believe I forgot to take my before picture. I guess I thought with all of the photos I had of our family room that I surely had a photo of this arrangement. You can see them in from afar in that top image but sadly, this underwhelming photo is the best I could come with of them up close before my paint job. I was focusing on the table but hopefully this gives you an idea of where I started.
When I was at Ikea last month I bought some reeds that had been painted black and white and that gave me an idea. These dried grass things were looking a bit too dried now and they had faded over time. So what's a girl to do to save them? Why spray paint them of course. So that is exactly what I did.
What? They don't have bright pink grasses where you live?
That's what I mean about embracing the faux.
I also moved them over to the other side of the room.
I move things around a lot.
Pictures make it very clear to me if a project is finished or not. This one wasn't quite right so I added a few more of those striped reed to help fill in the lower part of this arrangement. So I tweaked it a bit more. I would have shared another picture with you but it is raining and I am so glad it is raining here today that I won't complain that I couldn't get a good picture without my flash.
Now I'm thinking that plain white vase is needing a bit of an uplift. Don't you agree?
Welcome to our family room/sun room.
In January I sold most of the furniture that had been in this room. All that remained was the trunk that we use as a cocktail table, two accent pieces that I had painted, and a couple of table lamps. We're not there yet but this room is finally starting to take shape. Now that most of the bigger pieces are in place all it is needing is some of the jewelry and polish.
Just today I read a blog post from
She writes that you should come up with five words to describe how you want a room to feel when you are designing it. I was game and these are the words that I would hope would describe this space when it is completed.
Colorful, fun, comfortable, retro, and clean lined.
So far I think I am on track.
Of course, I am a woman so I can never be completely satisfied. One improvement seems to create a need desire for three more.
My current wish list includes the following:
1. Move the trunk to another room and replace it with something a bit larger and cleaner looking - perhaps something with a pop of color.
2. Add appropriate accent pieces to the entertainment unit as I find them.
3. Either replace the current carpet with a geometric patterned rug in a brighter color or layer another rug on top of the one that is already there.
4. Add a patterned side chair in the space where the painted clock is.
5. Add two smaller ottomans to the near side of the new cocktail table to bring the look of the furniture placement more towards the front of the room.
Whew. A pretty major list as I see it all written out.
I have to remind myself to be patient and that we have already come so far.
The first new piece to come into this room after the big purge was this
I've begun adding some accessories but half the fun is finding just the right thing and that can't be rushed.
A few weeks later the Petrie sofas from Crate and Barrel were delivered.
The 20" Eclipse Pillows are also from Crate and Barrel.
Thank you Ms. S. It took me a year to spend my gift certificate but it was well worth the wait.
A few weeks later the swivel chairs arrived.
The room was finally coming together.
The chairs are from the Candace Olson line for Norwalk and not only do they rock and swivel but I love that the fabric is from Sunbrella. Amazingly, it looks and feels like a normal upholstry fabric but will wear better and be much more fade resistant.
Finally it was time to bring in some side tables.
I found this little lovely on Joss and Main
and these two matching vintage pieces were from a friend.
When they first arrived they looked like this.
I painted them a mahogany brown for The Traveling Door sale but they didn't sell. I was disappointed at the time but now I am so glad that they didn't.
They have been stored in the paint stall of my garage for over a year so I decided to repaint them. This time I went with a soft white and now I love the retro feel they bring to this space.
A bit of higher and lower end and a combination of new pieces and vintage. Add a dose of black somewhere and a hint of glam and it will totally represent the BeColorful look. As I look at where we are today, I think we are off to a good start.
Linking my update post here:
For almost two years I have been thinking about painting our dining room a vibrant shade of raspberry pink.
It was this photo that got my color loving soul thinking about this scrumptious shade. Although I loved the color I didn't really want a pink living room.
Then I saw this one and thought that maybe this intoxicating hue should come and play in my dining room.
Our dining room is a large room with big windows on each end. I think it could handle a strong color like this.
Initially I considered pairing this bold choice with a brown and black leopard print but as our first- floor update has progressed a black and white theme has won out over the animal print.
To my eye this color just dances so well with black and white.
Case in point - how great is this color when combined with such an incredible black and white ceiling?
Then again, what wouldn't look good with that ceiling?
I would eat every meal in that dining room.
I don't have a spectacular ceiling like that but I am still crazy for the black and white rug I bought for our dining room last summer and I think it brings a fresh twist to our traditonal red walls and furniture.
I realize my red walls don't look much different from the inspiration photo but it really is a matter of degrees; the brighter lighter raspberry color here would definitely dial up that unexpected element plus I think our walls are actually a bit redder than they appear in this picture.
I also need to lose those valences. They came with the house fourteen years ago and they have seen better days but it seems like yet another week goes by and they are still hanging there. I seem to forget about them until I see them in a picture.
As our living room begins to feel closer to completion and the family room is pulling together, my thoughts are turning toward the dining room which is nestled between those two spaces. While surfing the web I've accumulated numerous images of pink dining rooms to inspire me.
Sometimes I am drawn to the coral pinks.
Other days I like the fuchsias
and on still others it is carnation pink that speaks to me.
There Comes A Yes
Laissez Faire Design
Another option in the dining room would be to go with a more neutral wall and to bring the rosy shades in as accents.
Apparently a lot of people are passionate about pink chairs because I am seeing a number of them across the internet.
Maybe I could get my pink fix from a dazzling window treatment
or neutral walls combined with a pink ceiling.
As I said, I've been thinking about a raspberry flair for this room for quite some time now. Sometimes I wonder if I have waited too long to do it. I am a fickle woman.
Have I tired of the idea before I even started or do I just need to revamp it a bit?
Today I saw something that made me think silver.
I like the idea of a bit of glam here.
Silver and pink are, of course, gorgeous together but coming off of my neutral living room with the copper ceiling I think a bronzey gold would be a better choice.
Metallic washed walls? Bronze and pink?
Seriously? What's a girl to do? I have too many ideas and not enough rooms.
Perhaps it was the early Spring but my thoughts have been turning from bathrooms and bedrooms towards what is beyond our four walls.
Style for the yard if you will.
You all know I love an unexpected element, that thing that makes you look twice and smile. A jolt of color, a touch of whimsy. These things make me happy. I strive to include at least one of these things in every room of our home but why stop there? Why not decorate the yard, patio, or balcony with that same sense of capriciousness?
These are images I have collected over time. Some of them I found before I began blogging and I do not know who to credit. If you recognize where they came from please let me know. As I peruse the internet it is pictures like these that are inspiring me to bring my love of the unorthodox to the outside of our home.
From stand up and get noticed pieces of brightly painted furniture...
... to those re-purposed furniture and architectural items dressing up the lawn in unconventional ways.
Confessions of a Curb Shopaholic
via Junk Revolution
Feeling inspired yet? I don't do well with plants but these statement pieces out in the back yard would be such a fun way to introduce some color and sassy fun to our outdoor spaces. I hope you found a few that stirred your creativity too.
Happy Easter to all.
A year and a half ago I delved into updating our living room.
Back in the day, 1999, I had decked this room out in a very traditional flavor of damask, chintz, elaborate fringes, and oriental style rugs.
I was a happy homeowner for about eight years.
Then, as suddenly as turning a page, I didn't love it any more.
In fact, I get the same feeling looking at old pictures of this room as I do of looking at older pictures of myself with big hair or shoulder pads.
I am convinced that when I started over in this living room that I was influenced by all of the neutral spaces and white rooms that I was seeing on the internet. As a result I followed the trend and decided to paint the walls a pale cream and introduce more conservative taupes and off whites to this room in the way of furniture and draperies.
For a color lover like myself this was a bold move.
I knew I needed SOME color so I had the ceiling painted copper - a color that warmed up the room but was still neutral enough that I could introduce any number of colors later and change them up as the spirit moved me.
Since I last showed you my progress here I brought back some lamps to the mantel that used to be here but then some time last year were moved into the library. I also stole the black and white and bejeweled accent box from another room in the house to bring a bit more interest to the mantel layout.
I've been thinking of painting that wall behind the mirror but I just can't commit yet or maybe it is that I have a whole list of projects that seem to be more pressing than this one.
I also know I need some accent pillows on those chairs but I haven't gotten around to that yet either.
I did, though, score this colorful canvas last week and knew it had to come home with me. I wasn't even sure which room I would put it in but I loved the black background and the vibrant flowers felt like a welcome dose of Spring.
For now I have settled on hanging it here...
... at the other end of the living room, and I think I am liking it. It brings a bit of unexpected informality, not to mention a mega dose of color, to this stylized room.
I had been thinking of a large nude charcoal drawing here. Something sophisticated and dramatic that would be more in line with the Hollywood Regency look I have been going for. I haven't seen what I am looking for but for now I think this splash of Spring color that didn't cost me much $$ will happily fill the bill.
I am even inspired enough to take my cue from the canvas and maybe add some bright pink or golden orange pillows to those chairs as a way of repeating the colors and bring a touch of life to the other end of the room.
It will be my Spring and Summer look,
because you know the only reason I went with all of these neutrals is so I can change it up continually.
Linking up my Colorful dash here:
Quilts, how wonderful are they to curl up in?
I'm definitely a fan and I have used them in our home for years now but as I get ready to trade up from my 2004 family room to something a bit more updated I am wondering if these fallback throws will still be an option for me.
Back in the 1990's I saw this red and white quilt in Monica and Rachel's apartment on the show Friends and I knew I wanted one too.
I never found one just like it that was affordable but I have had several machine made versions on the sofas in our family room for years now. Like throw pillows they are an easy way to change up a room for the various seasons.
As you may know, I recently sold most of the furniture from this room and I although I still like this look I am recreating it into what I call our "green room 2.0".
This time around the sofas will be a soft off white and there will be a pair of vivid green swivel chairs. I hope to accent the room with different colors throughout the year. The pillows will be easy but I'm not sure that most of the quilts that I've acquired will really work in this updated space.
So, like every red blooded American woman that is questioning her design direction, I went to Pinterest and Google for some inspiration and look what I found...
quilts sprinkled in numerous thoughtfully designed 2012 homes.
Not only were these colorful and whimsical creations used in on - trend bedrooms,
but they frequntly had a fresh look in some less traditional color palates.
Plus, many of these newer quilts flaunted the dramatic and graphic designs that are popular right now.
I discovered quilts being used as wall art,
as table runners,
as tree skirts,
and in pillows.
I want to use our quilts as something to wrap up in while watching television but will they work well as throws in a more contemporary space? I think so.
This time around I think I may opt for less pattern. I may even go for a solid quilt like this tangerine beauty from Trina Turk
or this texturally intriguing yellow seed stitch number from
Yes, I could definitely curl up in that. So after a bit of internet confirmation, I think these tried and true elements with their roots from the past will work amazingly well with the 1960's inspired sofas I just ordered for my soon to be updated 2012 family room. A style for the decades if you will.
Now I just can't wait for the sofas to arrive.
First off, I want to thank Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane for flattering me with this Versatile Blogger Award.
I think it is so thoughtful of her to recognize me in this way.
I will be passing this award along to fifteen other inspiring bloggers shortly but I haven't had time to write a proper Versatile Blogger post yet. In the meantime I wanted to share with you that Barbara is offering a great Tote Bag giveaway on her blog.
To participate in her giveaway click here.
As for me, I have been focused on replacing the furniture here in our family room. I sold almost everything that was in this room a few weeks ago on Craigslist and this minimalist look is starting to wear thin.
The leather chair and ottoman were moved in here temporarily so I have something to sit on while watching television. The round table is on its way out too
The walls may or may not go a bit brighter and I can see a patterned colorful rug layered on top of this sisal looking wool.
Since selling the older pieces I have ordered two new swivel chairs from Norwalk's Candace Olson line in a vibrant green hue and now I am ready to pull the trigger on the sofas. The plan is to have two of them facing each other.
I like the black piping on this Norwalk Blake option. The fabric I am looking at from this company is actually a cream colored Sunbrella that is highly stain resistant and the black, also Sunbrella, wouldn't fade like the pieces I had in here before.
This Crate and Barrel Petrie is my other fave.
Definitely more modern but also a bit more fun and that may be what I am looking for here. This sofa has a micro fibre anti stain treatment built in to the fabric and the reviews for this piece are good.
Tonight I'm leaning toward the Petrie.
I'll sleep on it and see if I feel the same way in the morning.
Oops, I did it again.
I sold a room full of furniture without having a plan in place or furniture on order.
This is a photo I shared this past Christmas of our family room, or as we call it, "The Green Room" .
So many of you had such nice things to say. Thank you.
With all of it's Christmas embellishments I thought it was pretty too.
After the holidays, though, it was back to reality and some strategically placed throws.
What I knew and you couldn't see was that the sofas were becoming quite faded. That and the fact that I think one of the kids must have had a party here while we were away because there is a very mysterious red stain on the flip side of the seat cushion of that yellow chair.
The other thing you couldn't have known, because I didn't show you, was the jarringly obnoxious look of the other side of the room.
Who wants to look at an eyesore? Right? This just hasn't been working for me.
Yep, the big black hole.
It all started when our son took off for Japan and we "inherited" (bought) his humongous flat screen. Although, I love the bigger picture of this screen, it obviously wouldn't fit inside my tasteful entertainment center. So, we quickly purchased this black TV stand from another one of our darlings. Now this kid conveniently works part time at one of the big electronic stores and he was so stoked that we were replacing our old tube set that he couldn't wait to show us this. The cabinet isn't bad but in the end it is just a whole lot of black in such an airy room. The other problem is I guess I didn't realize how dusty this place is. Wow. Dust and repeat, dust and repeat.
Even my big guy agreed that this wasn't the best look here but we were still finishing up the living room update and I was already making plans for a couple of upgrades in the library. The thought was we would basically put this room on hold until later this year but maybe go ahead and at least purchase a new TV cabinet.
So with a new TV cabinet on order, this one was quickly snatched up by our youngest and now our ginormous television is sitting precariously on an old shabby chic side table. The components are stacked on an end table and all the cords, manuals and such are piled up into some cardboard boxes on the floor. Just when I thought it couldn't look any worse, it does.
Bet you're jealous now aren't you?
I placed an ad on Craigslist this week to sell a few other pieces of furniture that I just couldn't find a place for and I had three of the nicest women come and look at what we were offering.
I had to walk them through our family room and when I did they all told me how much they loved the colors and furniture here. Now, truth be told, the hubs has never liked those sofas and has complained for years the they are uncomfortable. When he found out we had some interest in them he told me to get rid of them. Really? Get rid of them? You didn't have to tell me twice.
So in the span of about twelve hours I went from a room full of furniture to a room that looks like this.
The leather chair we stole from another room so at least one of us has something to sit on. If I had thought of it I would have sold the old phonograph table too. The trunk I wanted to keep, along with the rug and the pieces that I have painted.
I really think I want to stay with brighter colors in this windowed and porch feeling room and I know that red and green will still play an important role in my color scheme but I did have some fun last night pulling together some Olioboards to showcase some of my ideas and concepts for this room as we move forward.
I want a little less of a country look and bit more of a mid-century meets Be Colorful style.
I still love a green sofa and that Chive green from Crate and Barrel speaks to me but maybe the sofa should be neutral and the chairs could be green this time instead. If I got tired of red I could mix in some turqoise.
and without the blue.
Then again, red chairs would be a fun alternative too, especially with green walls.
Olioboard is yet another way I have discovered to totally blow off an afternoon.
It's kind of like pulling together outfits for my room.
So the adventure begins. I wonder where we will end up.
Months ago I stumbled upon a blog called Live Like You and I felt as if I had just discovered myself. How had this woman and her blog tapped into my soul without ever meeting me?
At the time I was in the midst of updating our living room and it was becoming painfully clear that I am a conflicted woman who loves many styles of decor not to mention every color ever imagined. I typically want to take away a little from here and little from there from the many blogs that I read but when I landed on this one it was like coming home. She hit all my design buttons. I was gaga for every image and even made this one my inspiration photo and used it as the wallpaper on my laptop.
The chevron rug, the pillows and the zebra chair. Be still my heart.
What made me pinch myself to be sure I was not dreaming was when I discovered this is not just a blog but a website and I can SHOP here.
I had been obsessing over some of her fabulous mirrors and those greek key pillows absolutely stole my heart away.
Then one day while reading one of her posts on the Hollywood Regency style I saw him...
I was in love.
I had to have him.
I googled him and found he was available through Neiman Marcus. Problem was he was sold out.
I never quit looking for him though. I even put him in a polyvore concept of where I was headed with our living room.
Then it was if the seas parted, and the sun came out. I was window shopping on the Live Like You website for the millionth time and there he was in all his glory and for less money than he had been at N.M.
Add to Cart!
Now he took a while to get here.
He did have to travel all the way from Italy and then he sat in port for what seemed like forever. I knew, though, that he was worth waiting for.
When he arrived this week I was so excited that I took his picture while he was still in the packing material.
Maybe it was because it was Christmas but
I had a moment that totally reminded me of the scene out of A Christmas Story.
The one where the dad is unpacking the infamous leg lamp from the crate and he declares, "Fra-gee-lay, It must be Italian". His wife then diplomatically suggests, I think it say Fragile honey."
Such a fun movie.
Anyway, I unpacked him and I think he is magnificent. Now my only problem is I like him in so many different places that I am having a hard time deciding on where he stands out best.
and he looks regal by the fireplace.
He looks stately at the end of the sofa
but I also like him standing sentry in the foyer.
I'm so glad he's here.
Merry Christmas to me.
How could you not love him? He doesn't shed, or chew the furniture. He doesn't need to be taken out and he costs nothing to feed but the best part is he is that nod to the Hollywood Regency style that has crept in to my design soul and that iconic statement piece I have been longing for.
Now all that is left to name him.
Life has been so busy for the past few weeks that I didn't even have time to introduce you to the genius in our house.
He came home with us earlier this month and is definitely here to stay.
Actually, the big guy and I attended a fund raiser with some friends a a few weekends back and we came home with a fabulous piece of art.
We were both so thrilled with our purchase and I have been waiting for some down time so I could share it with you.
We have wanted a work by Tomas Lasansky for several years now but I never expected to come home with one that night.
LIfe is so fun that way. When you least expect it, there are those big smiles moments that memories are made of.
A photo op with the artist
We saw this work from across the room that night and we both fell in love with it.
It is such an interesting study in psychology watching people bid on something and I was really fascinated watching my guy go for this piece with such calculated determination.
Tomas Lasansky's work is highlighted by his iconic historical figures and Native Americans.
Lincoln, Einstein, Walt Whitman, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Picasso are his most frequent subject matter.
The piece we purchased is an Einstein Intaglio.
The eyes and the detailing are magnificent.
We proudly hung him in the living room.
So now when I come down the stairs in the morning he greets me and I say, " Good morning smartie. What am I going to learn today?' and I usually wave to him again as I say goodnight and head back up the stairs. His wrinkled wise expression just makes me smile. He is like a new friend and roomie that just fits right in and he is so easy to get along with.
Today I decided to participate in the
Room by Room - Kitchens
event over at Cottage and Vine.
To see more kitchen ideas click on the icon above.
Our kitchen received a major remodel seven years ago. We were without this room for a full six months but in the end I would have to say it was well worth it and even though we are now seven years into it, there isn't much that I would do differently.
So, welcome to our kitchen.
I have always loved white kitchens. They are so timeless and because our home is nearly 100 years old I felt a white kitchen was perfect for a house of this era. When we began this project the only two things I knew for sure were that I wanted a traditional look and I wanted it to be white with gray granite.
My goal was to keep the larger and more expensive to replace features neutral and classic. So we stayed with white subway tile and wainscoting, chrome faucets, and cherry floors.
After living here for the previous six years with a dramatically smaller kitchen and barely functioning, nearly twenty year old appliances, Mike and I both had some definite wish lists for this space.
I am a bit of a dish addict so plenty of storage space was a priority for me. Our kitchen designer didn't let me down.
I thought this butler's pantry turned out to be so pretty
and I love this wall of cupboards.
Almost every single cupboard in this room has full roll out shelving to make items easier to find and put away.
I also asked for deep drawers under the cook top to easily store large pots and pans.
Mike had more to say about the appliances since he is the better cook.
We were rather land locked when we designed this new kitchen and as a result, even though we had a lot more real estate here than we had before, we had to make some choices. More storage and a warming drawer won out over a double oven and for us this seems to have worked out fine.
We went with a Sub Zero frig and a gas cook top with an encased commercial grade hood.
We opted for the Fisher Paykel drawer style dishwashers and I love them. I wish they had been side by side instead of on top of each other but this was the layout that worked the best and it really isn't a big issue because the lower drawer seldom gets used except for parties or large family get togethers.
We are fortunate to have two large windows in this room.
A large bay window over the main sink
and a triple window in the dining area.
Another priority for Mike was an island with an ancillary sink.
We had to move a wall out three feet into another room to make it work but the man knew what he wanted.
White kitchens with granite are nothing new but the one feature in this kitchen that is rather unique is the table we had made for this space when we did the remodel.
I remember being flabbergasted by what those legs set us back but they have held up beautifully through all the abuse that a family of five dished out. Not a chip to be seen and yes that is one big a** piece of granite for the top.
It took six guys to move it in here.
I'm sure that if we ever move it will stay with the house.
Finally, what is a kitchen without art?
We bought these two pieces from a local artist in Galena
and this Sticks piece was an anniversary gift from Mike several years ago.
It is hard to believe that this room is already seven years old. Since losing the old oak tree out back this summer I am thinking I may have to break down and add a roman shade to the bay window and I am ready to update the rugs.
Something a little less country and bit more like this.
Something with a bit more of an edge.
Thanks for visiting.
Now I am off to get some more kitchen inspiration at
Cottage and Vine.
Also linking our kitchen here:
A little more than a year ago I began the update on my living room.
Can you believe it looked like this just thirteen months ago?
I started by taking the walls from a soft yellow to a pearl white and then I decided to have the ceiling painted a metallic copper.
I replaced the fringed floral swags and jabots with clean lined luxe panels.
Except for the piano, everything was moved out for the painting.
The problem was, I didn't want to bring any of it back in.
Well, reality check. I would have to pace myself here.
I wasn't even sure what look I was going for. I just knew that somewhere between my mommy chauffeur years and early empty nester phase my tastes had changed.
My mid life crisis?
The day we put our son on a plane to Japan I knew I wouldn't see him for a year. I needed a pick me up. So like any heartbroken mama, I went shopping. While I was looking at bar ware at Crate and Barrel I picked out a sofa.
I was still sad about James but it made me feel better about my life, at least for a little bit.
This was a total 180 for me style wise but I was committed to change.
Over the past year or two I have found that although I am still a lover of the traditional style I am increasingly drawn to the flavor of mid-century modern and the glamorous looks of designers like Dorothy Draper.
A transitional meets Hollywood Regency look if you will.
In the spring I took the plunge and sold the oriental style rugs that had been here and purchased this black and white retro vibe tweed.
It was like a Chanel jacket for my floor.
It was a start.
A few weeks later we added the cocktail table,
and a mirrored chest.
(decorated ala Halloween)
Who knew decorating took so much time?
As for this chair, well I still like it but it isn't right in this space.
I may have it sold.
I see either a pop of color or a black and white accent chair in its place.
I will know it when I see it.
In August the arm chairs I had been waiting for finally arrived.
Then I found this fabulous table from Maitland-Smith.
The Pier 1 lamps were moved to another part of the house after I scored a pair of these from Joss and Main.
I found this shade at Tuesday Morning. It is helping me give a new look to an old floor lamp.
Now I'm looking ahead to what comes next.
These stone topiaries have flanked the fireplace since we moved in. I'm considering moving them into the dining room to make room for this iconic Hollywood Regency find from Live Like You.
He should be here later this month.
So this is where I am now a year later.
Quite a change. Don't you think?
My room is like a woman. She has her dress on but she still needs her shoes and jewelry.
Art, pillows and just a few significant and choice accessories.
A little Greek Key, a touch of quatrefoil, a fabulous mirror...
the joy is in the hunt.
I will be linking up my living room update here:
Our home is nearly one hundred years old and it is unusual to have a walk out basement but we do.
The house has a stone foundation that was later covered in brick.
You can not get cell phone reception in our basement even if your life depended on it.
I hope it never does.
Then again, the walls are just so thick I think you could survive just about anything down here.
This is the part of the house where I have my studio.
We have lived here for thirteen years and I know they gave us keys to this door when we moved in but we misplaced them. Then, finally, last month, after thirteen years, we finally found the key that opens this door. Yes, it has been locked and deadbolted the entire time. Consequently, my family, friends and clients always had to enter down here through the garage doors to the right.
This meant they either needed to know the garage code or I had to watch for them to let them in.
Kind of annoying but whatever.
We probably could have changed out the locks but that would have been too easy.
I always call our house a big old rambler and what I've learned is that with big houses there come numerous neglected projects. This entry way has been one of ours but now that I can use this doorway again I want to spruce it up and give it a fresh coat of paint before it gets too cold.
I've never been shy when it comes to color.
Our front door is a golden yellow and I have never regretted that decision so I will be equally bold here.
I need to consider that there is a lot of brick back here. Even our driveway is the original brick. It's pretty cool. I love the sound of cars coming down the drive. It makes this great low rumbling sound that I just associate with home.
So I've been looking at some paint options lately and these are some of my faves.
I love this corally red shade. It is probably my go to color in the crayon box.
This paler turquoise is pretty and would definitely be a break out color for me. I think I could get by with it on the back side of the house.
Then again, maybe this brighter version is better.
I find myself drawn to this color lately and can't wait to paint SOMETHING this color even if it isn't this door.
Pale pink is pretty. Again, unusual, but I'm not sure this is where I would want to use this shade. I'm just trying to have an open mind with myself. :)
I love these brighter pinks but not sure I would like them against the brick.
I did love this picture of the inside of the garage door.
I use one garage stall that is directly off my studio for spray painting and to store larger pieces of furniture. How fun would it be to do this in that garage?
But that is another project for another day month.
This Periwinkle reminds me of The Traveling Door.
I am also drawn to some two tone ideas
like this pink and white
or even black and white.
Oh the options.
I need more doors.
It's all about the pink today.
For starters I would like to finally thank Sabrina at
for this thoughtful award.
As the recipient of this award I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself.
Hm-mm. This is the hard part.
After blogging for three years I feel like you all know everything there is to know about me, my house, and the fam.
I am an open book and I have nothing new to say at parties.
So here are a few random tidbits...
1. I despise cheap toilet paper
2.The trunk of my car is an extension of my purse.
3. I really do throw like a girl
4. I sometimes get in such a hurry that I forget deodorant so I have a back up in my car ( see 2)
5. There is a bathtub in my hallway that has been there for two months now. I bet it will be there another two months.
6. I don't have one thing ready for the November Traveling Door show that I participate in. Yikes.
7. I work well under pressure. See 6.
I am also supposed to pass this award on to fifteen newly discovered blogs. I will have to get back to you on that. It is hard to narrow it down to just fifteen.
Thank you again to Sabrina. I hope you will stop by her blog and check out Pinkytopia.
Keeping with the pink theme, I did finally add those needed touches of raspberry to the breezeway.
After painting the oak piece in this unexpected shade, I knew I needed to balance it out with some pink on the other side of the room.
So this is what I came up with.
Pillows were a no brainer way to add color for not much money.
I found these at Younkers and TJ Maxx.
and this one matches a throw I bought last year. Score!
This uplifting artwork from Kathy McCullen also brought in that lively touch of color I was needing.
Flowers, a funky placemat from Pier 1 and my latest issue of House Beautiful completed my look.
As soon as I get a chance I think I will curl up in one of those chairs with that magazine.
For now, I am off to pull together a fall door candy idea for the front door.
I hope you will join me here on Sunday night for Motivated Monday.
I thought it would be fun to do a theme this time and that theme will be Fall Doors.
Hope to see you this Sunday.
Linking up my Pink Punches here:
Well not really.
Kathy McCullen didn't come to my house but her art work did.
How lucky am I?
I found Kathy's blog, Amusing Muses, about three years ago when I first started blogging and I was looking to pull together my own studio.
I fell in love with her and her studio first and then her artwork.
These two pieces arrived last week. Just in time for our party.
They are both mixed media pieces.
I need to ask her how she gets that layered bleed through look.
It is something I would like to try my hand at too.
Maybe it is a trade secret.
She also added some paper elements that give the piece that great added dimension and texture.
For me to fall in love with a piece of art it has to evoke some sort of emotion. These two pieces did just that. They both are just happy exhilarating pieces that reflect the feeling I want in our home.
Second of all, they need to showcase the space where I intend to put them. For example, I knew I wanted one bolder more dramatic piece of wall art here as opposed to several smaller pieces. The subject matter was traditional enough to lend a feeling of sophistication but the colors were vibrant enough to give this piece and the entry a touch of whimsical light heartedness that I am drawn to and striving for.
Then, as an added bonus the black and white pattern in the canvas seemed to reflect the rugs and the oranges and pinks were a nice repeat of the copper ceiling in the living room and the raspberry dining room.
I wouldn't choose a piece for that reason alone but it was nice how it worked out that way.
Someday I may move things around again and hang the two paintings together because they compliment each other so well but for now the smaller piece is in the breezeway.
Again, another uplifting piece that seemed to have the perfect vibe and colors for this space.
I just wish I didn't have to look at that thermostat.
I think I will be framing the smaller piece but I'm not sure about the larger one. Sometimes I like the look of an unframed canvas.
Don't buy it all now. Leave something for me, won't you?
Is is just me or does everyone feel the need to polish and update their home before a party in an almost manic way?
It started with a deep cleaning of the chandeliers.
I was a bit amazed myself how much better they looked after I was finished.
Guess they need to be done more often than every two years.
I also added a new accessory to the room.
I saw this tray at Phelan's and knew it would be perfect on this sideboard because it had the weight and substance that this space called for. I also liked that it had that vintage feel that is a nice contrast to the more modern touches I am hoping hoping to bring in.
It is true that we are in the middle of a design update here and I knew the new look would not be completed before our little soiree but I did feel the need to bring it as far along as time and the budget would allow.
So I was totally stoked when the rug I had ordered for the dining room over the 4th of July weekend finally arrived.
The old rug looked like this.
Also notice the chairs.
It was absolutely acceptable but where was the wow factor.
No shrinking violets allowed here on BeColorful.
If I wanted some wham bam damn I would have to start with the rug.
I had gone with the black and white in the foyer that leads right to the dining room so the two looks needed to blend well.
So I limited my searches to black and white and I needed a 9x13 for something less than the national debt.
I found this one and I liked it. It was a bit traditional but also had that wow I was looking for.
The price was good. After buying all of those Karistan rugs the first time around and selling them for a fraction of what I paid for them, I knew I didn't want to make that kind of investment this time around. I am too fickle. I only want to be married to my husband not my rugs.
So after I found this rug on an internet rug site I googled the style number to come up with all of the retailers that carried this design.
I was amazed at the price variance and guess where it showed up for the least amount of money?
Never would have thought to look there but don't rule them out.
They had this rug on sale for 40% off.
That had my attention. Delivery was a bit steep but even then I couldn't beat the price.
The next problem was the chairs.
Those gold and red stripes on the side chairs and the gold and red floral on the Host chairs just wasn't working. In fact, it was a huge detractor.
So, with less than 48 hours to go until show time I went to the fabric store and purchased a neutral fabric, loaded up my staple gun and went to work.
The problem was I have ten of these bad boys!
These chairs are Ethan Allen and I was a little less than impressed when I popped off the cushions and found that most of them only had only two or three screws holding them to the chair. Then when I tried to put them back together I discovered why.
None of the holes in the seat line up with the braces in the chair!
So much for more money getting you better quality.
There were more than a few expletives thrown around
As my friend Sally says, to listen to me you would have thought I have Tourette's.
But get it done I did.
I'm not sure how committed I am to these chairs so I went right over the old fabric that is upholstered much better than my hurried job.
If I sell them I will just take my coverings off again.
All in all, though I am pleased with the look.
I am thinking about losing the window treatments in the dining room.
Not sure we need them and the windows themselves are rather pretty.
I would like to change out the mirror with something with a bit more of a Dorothy Draper feel.
Also, I am looking at a new wall color to replace the red that I have lived with for thirteen years.
Time to mix it up a bit.
I am still thinking a brighter pink.
Although a silvered purple
has been on my radar too I think looking into this room that probably the pink would be better companion.
I have so much to share.
Too much for one post so this week I will try to bring you up to speed on our living room update, new artwork I am so thrilled with, and the pops of raspberry I brought into the breezeway. I also have some temporary wall decor, a bedroom failure and a workable temporary fix. Just so much.
Then there are the functional art projects I have been working on.
Too many post ideas, too little time.
I hope you can stop back.
There will not ba a Motivated Monday this week but I hope you will be here next Sunday night with a front door decor post.
I am thinking Fall already.
Can't wait to see what you come up with.
I will be linking up my dining room update here: