Friday, February 17, 2012

Move away from the wall

One of the most common conversations I have with my clients is furniture placement. My goal is always to make the space feel warm and inviting. Quite often people make the mistake of pushing furniture up against the walls,  or lining furniture up against every bit of open wall space. Which only serves to make the space feel scattered and unfocused.  By floating your arrangement within the space,  your eye is drawn “through” the furniture to the walls and windows, focal point!

FYI A conversation grouping of floating furniture should be about 12 feet from the back of one sofa or chair to the back of one sofa or chair.  And you need some circulation space (30inches or so) around that area so the furniture can “ float”.  These design rules are some times dumbfoundedly questioned ? I usually reply with,  “ We must follow the rules or they might send the decorating Police after us lol !!!!”

Seen below living room designed by Candice Olson

A beautiful area rug over dark wood floor anchors the whole area.

SHNS photo courtesy HGTV

A great layout for a smaller space is this living room ,  the door opens right into one side,  and a console table keeps you from walking straight down that side.  But because the furniture has been placed in a nice conversational grouping in one corner,  people can easily walk through. Keep in mind ( for a small space) you can place the front your coffee table approx 18” from the front of the sofa,  any less is a bit crammed. For larger space 24” is adequate  from the front of the sofa.  If you don’t have the space flexibility,  try reducing the size of your coffee table. As shown below with this round ottoman.  You could also use two 24” x 24” cube ottomans side by side.

South Boston Living Room contemporary living room

  This designer brilliantly used every bit of space in this room. As long as you have a place to set that martini down,  you can even make do without end tables!!!! 


Light saturated living room  living room

The same principle applies to other spaces in your home,  seen below furniture placement video for a home office.



Simple sketch of floating furniture grouping,  notice how the sofa is pulled away from the wall.

make sketch to analyze furniture placement


Finally,  if you really want to create an open elegant room,  try changing your arrangement to create intimate seating and a sense of airiness.

Thank you for visiting! I feel blessed to have you on board!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Architectural Salvage and a winner!

The real key to a good design is to introduce the unexpected.  I always rely on architectural salvage to pull this off! Take a look at a few of these gorgeous antiques, enjoy . . .




Massive Ha??? Not really sure what it is,  but very intrigued by it’s size and aged patina color!!!


Congratulations to Tracy Fisher IN,

She is the lucky gal who snagged one of my hand knotted burlap table runners!!!!

single layer burlap table runner

Photo courtesy of A Country Farmhouse


In closing, I would like to share one of my Grandfather’s favorite sayings

“ Everything in moderation including moderation!”



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Renovation Hammer

We've got some catching up to do,  week two of our renovation.  I can honestly say it’s been super fun,  since Robert turned 50yrs old last April. He seems to be a bit more mature in his mid life. So I thought, ha-ha- once an adrenalin junkie always an adrenalin junkie.  So Cal had a bit of rain last week,  and he decided to go out for a mountain bike ride, once the rain passed  . . . Ooops just a bit muddy!!! :-)

muddy mountain bike

I’ve had a few “do-it-yourselfers” interested in the mill work I chose. The reason I like to work with beadboard paneling and casing,  is because  you can get a nice professional look for a fraction of the cost of more expensive moldings.   See below for a detailed list of expenses.

Our cookie cutter home has laminate coated kitchen cabinets. yikes! Curious about painting  - Robert and I paid a visit to our local paint store,  and luckily found out that laminate could be painted over as long as we prime! Yeah!  They recommended Zinzer stain blocking primer.

The drawers and doors on the island could be painted.  This will be a substantial savings!!! :-) I was hoping not to replace the them,  this will leave more cash for vintage  lantern above the island, and additional upgrades.

With everything primed, we were ready to paint the island. I selected {Ralph Lauren Black Truffle.} It’s a lovely smoky black color.   The dark tones of the paint will complement and blend with the existing white cabinetry. Thus resulting in a stylish eclectic vibe. More plans for our white laminate cabinets at the bottom of this post.

Seen below first coat of paint . . .


island jan 31 003



island jan 31 006

Existing outlets to be replaced with black.


island jan 31 004

Note to mom: I promise to clean up the unsightly clutter behind cupboards. Even concealed places must be tidy and organized. Right mom?

island jan 31 005

Remove all doors before painting.


Fine grade steel wool between coats, for a smooth finish.  Always be sure to follow with tack cloth.

island last day 003

We chose a marine varnish, to repel any water spills on painted wood work. 

island last day 002

Here’s a sneak peek at the kitchen island,  before a few finishing touches and maybe a faux finish? We might have to break out the destructive sander ??? Isn’t this “VINTAGE  BLACK” out of sight?

finishd kitchen island 011

Really makes a bold statement don’t you think? . . . . “holla” ….


finishd kitchen island 002 

Next topic of discussion, We are planning to rework the two main kitchen walls.  First upper and lower cabinets on the wall with stainless cook top. Plan of action will be to carefully remove the cabinetry directly above the hood then build larger hood surround out of ? you guess it,  more beadboard paneling and moldings.  See custom beadboard hood on our inspiration photo below.

beadboard hood

Modify the two cabinets on either side, to half the size that they are currently. This will give us ample storage space,  stretching the space above the stove area visually,  and leave plenty room for our new custom built hood.

via aurora kitchen before 017 

Second will be to select larger crown for the top of cabinets. We plan to use my favorite casing again to conceal the opening around the fridge.

via aurora kitchen before 010

Island upgrade expenses

two 4’ x 8’ beadboard panels $20

casing moldings                        $13

caulking                                   $5

paint & supplies                        $63

hardwood floors         Dream on!

Total                                         $91


WOW, I think we’ll have enough for a new farm sink at this pace. lol 

Thanks for listening,  can’t wait to share more renovation with you!