Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 3:42PM
Today- my comments are in terracotta. :)
Reading your blog is my guilty pleasure as of late. After years of watching Divine Design, subscribing to House Beautiful, and following Phoebe Howard, I'm finally realizing that I know just enough to be dangerous. That said, I'm hoping you can help me with my family room/breakfast nook dilemma. Our home here in Texas is two years old and we love it, but after owning two 50+ year old homes with tons of character, I must admit I'm a bit stuck on how to jazz this place up without painting all the walls.Specifically, I'm wondering if you have any suggestions as to what I should do with the two recessed areas above the built-ins on either side of my family room fireplace. We've tossed around lots of ideas - having shelves put in, Yes- they look a little awkward do me- like built-ins were started and not finished. I would add shelves that match your lower cabinets as much as possible. adding recessed lighting of some sort, I like the hidden rope lighting put on the inside lip of the shelves. Otherwise- only your top section gets lit. Skip the lighting in the TV area of course. painting or tiling for visual interest, Painting is OK- but I especially like to actually change the wall surface in niches. Check out the "stone" wallpaper below. hanging complimentary paintings by a local artist, This is not a place that I would display art- something small on an easel perhaps- but there is too much shadow- even if you do add lighting- it is not the best place to display art. I would be very simple, and very deliberate- ceramic vases- chargers- cool boxes or baskets. Don't get items that are too small- and don't get too many items. etc. If you have any other suggestions that don't involve a complete remodel (including why I can't seem to properly outfit my mantle), I think your mantle itself is out of proportion to the stone fireplace- I would get a larger one. The mirror is reflecting your ceiling fan... This is your focal point- and it is a reflection of a ceiling fan. Mirrors are only as great as what they reflect. The painting at the top of the post is my suggestion. It is 54 x 47. (I don't know your dimensions- but I am guessing that this would fit- and really fill the area.) This will give you overlap with your accessories. The vases can stay- they will be in front of the painting- which I would have sitting on - or very close to the mantle. But I would just remove the frame- it is too small to go up there. I'd love to hear them. My second question has to do with our windows in the breakfast nook, which you can see from our living room. We currently have woven wood R78uoman shades with nothing to soften the look. Do you think a fabric valance or cornice is the best option since there is limited space between the windows for a panel? No- your look is too clean to have valances- and I almost never like cornices. The area needs something- it is a little on the dull side- although you have made nice, tasteful selections. Add a table runner- I like this one from Crate and Barrel. Then replace your small bowl with a large tray like this one from Crate and Barrel. You can put fruit in it- or keep it empty. I would add a couple of matching drapes- like the ones in the family room- in your larger areas- on the far right. The panels do not need to be between every window. I can't see well enough- but fly me to Texas and I will tell you exactly where to add them. Another thought- if you don't feel comfortable with the drapes- your spacing does seem a little odd on the windows- you can jazz up the area with some vinyl decals- like the paisley ones below. If you go that direction- don't use too few- get a generous amount. OR- in your area there on the left where the ceiling goes higher- you could do a simple plate collage. Plates like this one from Crate and Barrel is what I imagine. I'm also interested in switching out the builder's light for something a little softer. I'm in love with this one from Room and Board: http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/product/detail.do?productGroup=19707 In an open area like you have- start with consistency. You have some cool grayish blue drapes- and have repeated the color in the pillows- but you need more repetition of that color for it to really be a presence. If you want to add terracotta- or other colors- do it after you have a more established pallet. With that- I like the style- but go with a gray or bluish gray- something that further establishes your first pallet. What do you think? Am I on the right track at all or do I need as much help as I think I do?
You are doing great Melinda- Your furniture arrangement is good- and your large furniture choices look very nice. Below is the stone wallpaper for the niches- and the vinyl paisleys.
P.S. I never know how to describe my style, but I love decorating with natural materials (maybe a little too much) and probably fall into the transitional bucket when it comes to furniture. Love clean lines and minimalism kept in check, but have some traditional furniture, as well.