Monday, June 15, 2009 at 6:28AM
Love your blog and value your advice!!! Love your mom's murals! Do you know my mom? Every time I read what you write I walk around the house and do something you have suggested to others... I love to hear that! Thanks! Haven't tried wallpaper yet, but it is on my list, just because you said so. Gee thanks!- Please post pictures soon of more of your own home projects! I hope to finish my kids' rooms this summer... Reading what you write about them is inspiring, but I want visuals, even if they are works in progress, like my own home...
1. Is wood ever too precious to paint? no 1950's brick rancher with some neat architectural details I would love to highlight better. I keep painting the brick around the fireplace (it was ugly and old and needed a face-lift), trying to find a happy combination of colors. maybe you could cover it with a mosaic- or some cool antique looking hand painted tiles?? The mosaic below (Susan Jablon Mosaics) is only $10/ sf- I bet you could figure out the install yourself- use white grout- just trust me on that one... I love bright, saturated colors, and feel like I am competing with the orange-yellow tones in the wood. You are. Curtains are dark teal, walls currently khaki and will change after I figure out fireplace) I would LOVE to paint the built-ins and mantel white--would you? I know I need to simplify the mantel, clear out pictures-- Absolutely you are on the right track. Paint all of your paneling. In fact, if I were the swearing kind I would say @#*#* No! It's not too precious! Paint it today! White is a great idea. Go white (a Swiss coffee white)- on the paneling and the fireplace brick. I'm all for color- but don't draw attention to the fireplace brick- let's bring on the color elsewhere. Oh- and the hearts have to go. So- picture your woodwork and brick in a white- bring in some color with a cool rug like this one from my favorite new source- the Dash and Albert Rug Company. I have a little rule- no more than seventeen items on a mantle.. JK . Take it all off- and put it back on (some of it back on) in a very deliberate fashion. I have discussed mantle decorating in a million different posts- so I won't go into that too much.
2. Focal point wars raging in my dinning room: Couldn't afford the rug I wanted so I painted it upward. I think your ceiling rocks! Hutch could be painted again another color, going darker, or lighter. I would start by painting your walls- the red is way too much with all that you have going on in there. Go with the white in your ceiling- but a shade darker. Then- yes- paint the hutch black- with teal or green on the back where you now have red. Ditch the lamp in the corner- ditch the bench along the back wall- add symmetrical sconces on either side of the window. Take out all the furniture except the table chairs, and hutch. Take everything off the top of the hutch. Unless it is perfect and super cool- it is better off not there. Start hunting for dishes the colors of your chairs. Replace the chairs on the right with a bench painted the same green. Paint your table black.Ikea lamp stays=my favorite thing in the room! I love dramatic, artsy, fun but still want it comfortable and beautiful and now I want to hang a photo collage of family pictures in here. WHERE? On the wall on the left where you would see it first (move the hutch to other side and hope room looks balanced?), or wall on right, replacing the mirror over the sideboard? I would do a large collage and remove the sideboard and the mirror. Use all black and white photos. Paint your frames black and also shades of green and coral found in your chairs. You have too much furniture in here- it is all competing with each other. Put a plant in the corner in a cool pot with an uplight on a timer- dining rooms need ambiance. I really want to paint the walls a bright melon/salmon/coral instead of the old red. Hold on- stop it already! Your ceiling is so fabulous! It will look even better with the neutral walls that I instructed you to do already. Teal and coral, you were dead-on in your forecast. Yes- I know- thanks for noticing... :) Lately I've been thinking that pink is going to come on strong.. . Needs new curtains--what print would look good with damask ceiling or go solid fabric? First of all- no more bench- put your panels to the floor- I would get the nicest quality solid black panels (feel free to use an interesting texture- but no pattern)- that I could afford. Sheers are great- but you need them gong to the floor also. Do all of this and then take a photo. I REALLY want to see it. :)
3. And a nagging question: When you have a fireplace and a big picture window on adjacent walls, which one gets focal point preference? I would have to side with Frank Lloyd Wright and go with the fireplace. What is the ideal furniture arrangement in such a room? Furniture away from the walls- away from the window- but facing the fireplace. Please be honest/brutal with your suggestions.