Category Archives: Living Room

My Design High aka Paint Color Plan

OhMyGoodness.  What a fabulous paint color consult appointment I had with Sunny Goode.  Is there such thing as a design high?  If so, I am completely buzzed.

I really soul-searched before our meeting and I asked her to help me with paint colors on the neutral yet warm side of the spectrum.  As I poured over images of my favorite rooms and spaces, I realized that I am drawn to rooms with bold color and “punch” used in the art, fabrics, and accessories, with the paint used in a supporting role.    Plus, that approach complements my ADD short attention span and tendency to constantly move and shift furniture, pieces of art, mirrors, pillows and accessories.

Sunny was wonderfully sweet, creative, funny, professional and full of amazing ideas.  I am still digesting all of our conversations and her inspiring suggestions, but here is some of our plan so far:

Entry hall, staircase and upstairs hallway: Farrow & Ball Blackened

blackened

For the family room: Farrow & Ball Borrowed Light

borrowedlight

with Farrow & Ball Mouse’s Back behind the built-ins

mousesback

For the dining room: Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath (pretty paint, weird name!)

elephantsbreath

For the master bedroom: Benjamin Moore Fanfare

fanfare

For Clare’s room: Benjamin Moore Hint of Pink (1/2 strength)

hintofpink

For Julia’s room: Benjamin Moore Silver Satin with white stenciled polka dots

silversatin

So, what do you think?  We are going to get started upstairs, probably with Clare’s room first.  I am so excited to try a stencil in Julia’s room.  Seriously, I am on a giddy design high!

{All images can be sourced here}

True Pinspiration

So, about a month ago, I saw this on Pinterest:

pinterest

and I thought it was so festive.  When we moved into our new house, we have 2 fireplaces and we haven’t had a chance to get either of the chimneys cleaned or inspected yet. About a week before Christmas, I saw a lone strand of big, vintagey -looking lights at Target, and gave it a whirl….

partyplace

We call it our “partyplace”.  I love it and am thinking of keeping the partyplace burning even after the Christmas decorations come down!

It is a great idea for a nonfunctioning fireplace or a festive summer party.

Have you actually put any of your pins into action lately?

Design Crush: Suellen Gregory

I love running across amazing Richmond-based interior designers.  I stumbled upon Suellen Gregory on Pinterest and was giddy to find that she is based a few miles down the road.  I really like her traditional, timeless aesthetic mixed with a few impactful and unexpected modern details.

suellen

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Isn’t she wonderfully talented?  All of the pictures are from her website — go check out her entire portfolio for some serious inspiration!

P.S. Are you on Pinterest?  Come find me there!

Bookshelf Styling

Hi!  So, we’ve moved.  And our new house still feels like a the moving van blew up inside of it, but we are slowly making progress.  The “house tours” of the old house are on hiatus because my desktop (where the pics are) is still not set up.  The main cable router was set up in an awkward place and I am still trying to figure out where to put the computer.  So, the laptop and the iPhone camera have been getting a workout!  (Hence the iPhone pics in this post because my “big camera” uploads to the desktop — pesky logistics!)

I took the length of the baby’s nap on Saturday (about an hour and change) to luxuriate in styling the built-in bookshelves in our family room.  There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to style bookshelves, and I followed the general guidelines of one of my favorite design bloggers, Emily A. Clark, as posted about here.  Generally: 1. Start with the books, 2. Arrange vertical/tall pieces, 3. Insert a collection (I skipped this step), 4. Add texture and small accessories, and 5. Rearrange, rearrange, rearrange!

Here is the before:

before

I emptied all of the shelves and added clusters of books:

books

Then, I added the vertical/taller pieces, then some textured items and smaller accessories.  Finally, I spent the rest of the weekend tweaking and rearranging, and here is where I ended up:

after

Here is a close-up of the left side:

left

{Do you spy my beloved stack of old Domino mags?  Elle the Elf is guarding them!}

And, here is a closer look at the right side:

right

I think it really helped that all of my accessories and books were newly unpacked and hadn’t been put anywhere yet.  I was working with truly a blank slate and nothing had been “earmarked” for a specific spot in the house yet.

Also, I had to restrain myself from filling all of the empty space.  I started “over-accessorizing” and it began feeling cluttered and claustrophobic to me.  I have seen spaces with chock-full bookshelves and it seems to work, but in my own house, I wanted enough breathing room to be able to see and appreciate each piece.  I wanted the arrangement to feel unforced, relaxed and clean.

These bookshelves will always be a work in progress, and that is the fun!  This weekend, I may take down the pinecone wreath and replace it with some art, and add two Christmas wreaths, like this, but probably fresh and green:

wreaths

{P.S. I really love this space, but isn’t that random floor lamp on the right side really distracting?  I wish I could photoshop it out.}

Any tips or guidelines for styling a bookshelf for me?  I’m all ears.  I love to hear strategies used by other people to style spaces, especially bookshelves!

Merry merry, y’all!

Family Room — House Tour Continued!

So, it’s official — we closed on our new house yesterday.  I have been over there twice today and I am happy as a clam picking out paint colors and scheming about furniture layouts.

But, leaving this house is so bittersweet.  I have so many “forever” memories here.  The family room was the reason we bought this house and continues to be my favorite room.  It is where we unwind together at the end of every day and throughout the weekend.  I’ve napped with newborns, watched countless movies with my girls and cozied in front of the fireplace on cold winter nights in this room.  I love the natural light, the treehouse feel and the open layout.

I searched high and low for a “before” picture of the family room (c.2006) that didn’t have random people in it, and below is the best I could do.  It looks from the kitchen into the family room.  We inherited that soul-sucking mustard yellow color from the previous owners.  It kind of looks like Rainbow Brite’s house!

And here is the room now:

I will miss those lush trees in our backyard so much!

The art on the mantel is by our 5 year old, and the baskets on either side of the fireplace hold infant toys and throw blankets.

It’s a fun before/after.  Getting rid of that yellow was life-changing!!!

TGIF and have a great weekend!  We will be doing a “soft move” across town.  Be back next week with more of the house tour.  :)

‘Round Here

Happy Friday!  It’s still rainy around here, so the light is not the best, but below are a few shots around the house these days.  Seasonal decorating is such a challenge for me.  I don’t want to get too kitchy, but with a 4 year old who loves to help decorate, I want the house to remain playful and fun, especially for Halloween, which was one of my favorite holidays as a kid.  So, I tried to incorporate a lot of brown, orange and black with some kid-friendly touches.  Oh, and if you make it to the bottom, there is a little bonus sneak peek of the nursery paint….

{Corner of the mantle}

{Living room}

{Front hall console}

{Dining room}

{Corner of the family room}

{Front door.  Need Pumpkins!}

{Painted nursery.  Mentally remove the mess and insert better lighting!}

Have a happy Fall weekend!

An Open Letter to Rachel Zoe

Dear Rach:

Rachel Zoe is beand ambassador for Exude lipstick

I love your show and happen to think that you are BANANAS.  Your fashion styling is impeccable, spot-on and always uber fashion forward.  However, your interior styling needs some serious help.  I die, literally. 

 

I know you put a lot of stock in your new assistant, Jeremiah Brent, who has some interior design experience, and I agree that he is adorbs to look at, but lemme tell ya, hmm how to say this, umm well…HE SUCKS. 

I know he was under a time deadline and you and Rodge love clean, white and glam, but he HAD NO BUDGET, and this is the best he could come up with for your dining room?   

No rug, no fabric, a builder’s light fixture.  Really?  YAAAAAAAAAAWN.

May I suggest….

Which is still white and black with pops of yellow, but is way more glam, warm, and sophisticated and not THAT complicated.  Bloggers DIY floors like that everyday.  See what I mean, girlfriend?

Moving on to your living room.  Le sigh.  It has some nice features like the tufted sofa with nailhead trim, but the lamps are the wrong scale and look straight out of Homegoods.  And I happen to detest the overgrown bean bag chairs, SO. NOT. GLAM.  Are window treatments too much to ask for? 

How about this?  Which is way more sophisticated, not THAT complex, yet still simple and chic….

And finally, the library/ study.  Sweetie, this is just plain sad.  Couldn’t Jeremiah find more furniture for the room?  Shoot, head on over to Ikea.  The bookshelf styling, well, isn’t.  This room needs some oooomph, like stat. 

You need something like this where you can relax, read your fashion mags and gossip with Kate Hudson:

Clean, bright, warm, functional, simple, inviting. 

So, Rachie-poo, as cute as he is, Jeremiah ain’t cut out for interior design.  Call me.  We’ll chat and get you pointed in the right direction.  In no time, your house will be EVERYTHING.  But I can’t promise that I will get along with Joey and Rodge — they are serious divas.

xxoo, ada

P.S. I miss Brad.  Like, a lot.

{To see more pics of RZ’s digs, go to Bravo TV.
Photo credits: 1. People Magazine, 2. Casa Sugar, 3. Casa Sugar, 4.  Pinterest, 5. Casa Sugar, 6. Skye Kirby, Elle Decor , 7. Casa Sugar, 8. Here}

 

Living Room Update

Thank you all so much for all of your kind comments on yesterday’s post.   You are all so sweet.  They made my week! 

Today, I am sharing recent updates to my living room.  This is a strange room in the front of our house that doesn’t get used much, but hopefully that will change.  When we first moved in, I used it as my office, but after Clare arrived and she spent half of the day downstairs with the baby-sitter, I knew this wasn’t going to work.

{I can’t believe I found this picture!  It’s c.2006 and way pre-blog.  Do you spy the old-school blue blackberry on the right side of the desk?} 

 Since Clare came along, it’s been a “living room” filled with a random assortment of orphan items that didn’t really flow together, including that fair isle rug.  I can’t find a picture of the living room set-up, and didn’t even want to take a “before” shot!  I am hoping to turn it into more of a “Mom Cave”  and use it for reading and chatting on the phone away from the hubbub of the rest of the house.  :)  Sounds luxurious, right? 

For my birthday in May, my husband got me the gorgeous “Blues Comes Through” print by Alice Dalton Brown pictured below (that I have been coveting for a while and blogged about in August of last year).  The old decor clashed with my beloved print.

Based on what I already have, I am going with a color palate of light blue, yellow, white and seagrass.

So far, I have updated the room with Ballard Designs’ Seagrass Rug and replaced the old pillow covers with the light blue Jute Braid Pillow Covers from Pottery Barn.     

I like how the long, rectangular rug makes the room appear bigger.  The previous rug (a 5 foot circular rug above) made the room appear much smaller. 

I replaced a red/white/green framed Georgia O’Keefe poster with this framed illustration from our family room.  And I already had these pillows from Target (which are ubiquitous in the blog world!) and the throw blanket from West Elm, which was also in the family room.

In the short term, I would like to: 1. replace the dark blue pillows on the long couch with a pair of these:

ONE new 18x18 multi color, red, turquoise, green, gold, ikat, medallion, pillow cover, throw pillow,  decorative pillow SHIPS WITHIN 24 hrs

2. Purchase a small and light coffee table, preferably thrifted, but I also like the look of this one from CB2:

and 3. Style the bookcase with some interesting and fun pieces and books. 

Longer term, I would like to replace the end tables with some that add some  height to either side of the long couch.  I would also love to add a fun chandelier or lantern and some airy, flowy curtain panels. 

I am resisting the strong urge to make this room too beachy or coastal, which would be easy to do given its colors and current elements.  However, I don’t live at the beach or in a coastal town and that decor would NOT match with the rest of the house, so I am staying away from seashells, capiz, coral, etc.!

So what do you think?  Any good ideas for me?

Next up, I will share an update on one of my New Years Design Resolutions!

Styling with Minimal Commitment

{I found this image on Pinterest — do you Pinterest?  If not, you don’t know what you are missing!  If so, come follow me: http://pinterest.com/adamarie/.}

Anyway, in my opinion, the styling in this living room is genius.  This look would be perfect for a renter who needs to keep the walls white and doesn’t want to commit to an expensive design aesthetic.  The individual pices are so versatile — a white twill love seat, a gorgeous gourd lamp, that amazing purple ikat chair (which makes a HUGE statement, but can be recovered at a moment’s notice), and simple side and cocktail tables.  I love that nothing matches perfectly, but everything works together.  Oh, and those fish prints could easily be printed from the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery and popped into gallery frames from Wal-Mart. 

 I like this guy

I am a big fan of commitment-free styling because I love to move everything around and try new things in different spaces, so I try to buy really versatile pieces that can be used easily in another room. 

J. Lo’s Gorgeous California Home

Jennifer Lopez’s house featured by Veranda is stunning.  Surprisingly so.  It has an amazingly understated glamour and elegance. 

I start with this image because it’s the entrance to the home, although it’s not my favorite part of the house.  I love the wide runner on the curved staircase and the light blue couch, but I would do away with the fluffy wheat sheaves/feathery things next to the couch and add a more impactful piece of art
at the top of the steps.

I love this serene kitchen with the beautiful soft blue cabinets, pristine marble counters and gooseneck faucets.

The unexpected light fixture is perfect.  Great table and nailhead trim on the chairs.  Oh, and I love the styling — cupcakes, yes please!

The furniture placement in the family room is brilliant.  I love the use of chaises with those gorgeous mink pillows.  I would enjoy a punch of color in this room, maybe magenta or even a brighter blue like turquoise or teal.

This dining room is perfection: the luxurious wallpaper, the tufted chairs, the glamorous crystal chandelier, the pop of red and green from the calla lilies and peonies (?), and the ethereal window panels.  Ooooh and aaaaah.

Below is my favorite image — I love the whimsy of the flamingoes, the simple art  layered on top of that amazing wallpaper and the pretty styling of the lucite console. 

Can you believe that this is J.Lo’s house?  It’s a far cry from what I would expect to see from her on MTV’s Cribs (remember that show?).  Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, she’s still, she’s still Jenny from the Block….