Friday, February 13, 2009


After much ado...
At long last......

Pictures of the finished family room:  Sans solid wall, plus built-in cabinet, minus stained wood trim.





My first pass at the shelf makeover.  I need a few more books - although, I do not want it to be too busy.  Notice I painted the back of the shelf a deeper color than the walls throughout the room.  I couldn't be happier with this effect.

More to feast your eyes upon...the cabinet up close.

The wall - BEFORE (not our furniture):

The view from the front door, BEFORE:

We're very happy with the results. Both rooms are so much more open and bright.  Just painting the trim in the family room has been amazing.  For the first few days, all I could do was walk in the room and stare.  Money well spent.

As you can see, I'm still grappling with the mantel.  I'm leaning towards not putting a picture there - but perhaps arranging decorative pieces, instead.  Shelf/mantel do-over is a work in progress.  I move something else each day.  Will it ever be perfect?  Probably's fun to rearrange!

My Evenings at Emory

So, last night I had my second class in Design Basics at Evening at Emory. The class is taught by Lee Anne Culpepper, a 26 year veteran of the home design business. I have to say she is fantastic. I also have to say that I apparently know more than I thought I did going in to this course! I'm learning all sorts of new things, but am also confirming some of what I thought were instincts, but now know is pure-bred decorating talent! So far it's been a great experience - and with two classes left - I cannot wait to learn more!

Some tidbits from the past two classes that I have learned:

"Rules of Thumb"
  • Chandeliers: hang 27"- 36" inches above tabletop
  • Shower curtains: hang at least 12" from ceiling. Curtain should also almost reach the floor.
  • Rugs - under a table: all chair legs should rest comfortably on the rug when pushed in to the table. Ideally, when pushed back, the legs would remain on the rug. However, this a rule you can break in small spaces.

We've also learned some tips for decorating small spaces - like using glass tables in a small eating space to make the area look bigger. Painting the back of a built-in-shelf can add interest and a colorful background off which accessories can pop! (Hmm...sounds like a great idea. Must be why I've already done this in our living room!) I've also learned that my decorating style is ecclectic - which is a combination of several styles. I think that my particular combination is Colonial/Contemporary/Tranditional with a splash of country. Shocked that country is in there - but I have a love of painted furniture - which is an attribute of the country style.

Next week we will be learning about wall art - how to frame, arrange, create, etc! We'll also be discussing fabric options to make a room coordinate, but not be too matchy-matchy. Can't wait to sign up for Design Basics II!!

I've been working on my shelves in the living room since our construction is now complete. I'll post pics of the finished product and the shelf arrangement that is still a work in progress later this evening. Trial and error when decorating shelves is DEFINITELY a necessity! And it's so fun!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mantel Worthy?

If you've been following along the last few months, you'd know that I've been grappling with what to put on my mantel. This decision has been somewhat stalled lately, as I've been waiting to see what the mantel will look like once it is painted. As you can see below, this transformation is imminent - so I've been beating the streets to figure out what I should place on this coveted and high profile position in our family room.

This item will be one of the first things that people see upon entering our front door - now that our wall is open. I've been looking for something a little more personal than just any old canvas print (it must be canvas b/c our spotlight above the mantel casts a nasty glare on anything framed in glass.)

My love affair with Rodney White is ever-burning these days (don't tell my husband.) And I have discovered his letter Artaissance giclees. How about 'L' for our last name:

Our sofas are red - and there is some red in the area teal just yet - but I think this could be a great opportunity to incorporate this color. I love how the right shade of teal looks with red. The question remains - is it mantel worthy?

This pic is from an earlier version of our progress on the wall opening - but gives you an idea what you'll see when you enter our front door. The mantel is front and center - picture it in white/cream instead of the stained wood below. Honest comments? Please provide!

Progress, Take 2

Another shot for your consumption (excuse the poor pic quality - taken from my blackberry!). The room is beginning to take shape! Painting should be complete by tomorrow! After which I get to take the book shelf makeover by storm! I've been collecting books around the house, and taking off their covers. I'm even considering buying some old ones from used book stores! And I've purchased some fun items to place sporadically amongst the books. I'm excited about this one!

More to come!