Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A ReDesign Project

Working with my designer friend, Mary Stevenson, last week was a lot of fun. Hard work, but very rewarding at the end. We worked on the foyer and familyroom, with some work in the diningroom. She had a painter come out and change the color in the diningroom from red to a soft creamy tone very much like Philadelphia Cream, Benjamin Moore. I can't remember the name of it now. The homeowner had pretty large (to me) budget to work with. Foyer, diningroom, and familyroom all got a facelift out of this budget. But it didn't go all that far when furniture, art and accessories are involved, as well as the designer's time added to the mix. She had enough left after we finished on Saturday, hopefully enough to find a diningroom table and a few other smaller things. Mary found this foyer piece along with the mirror, which really was a huge focal point for this entryway.
New lamp and accessories completed the look and it really did look great. I loved these boxes and birds which Mary picked up from a well-known designer here in town, Richard Tubbs. The homeowner especially loves many of his designs. Isn't this pretty when you walk in the front door?
Her client also loved some Pottery Barn inspiration pics, namely these painted Queen Ann chairs. Who would have thought that Pottery Barn would be going Queen Ann with their designs? I guess the funky colors is how they get away with mixing it up, but I sure wouldn't have thought I'd see this pic in a Pottery Barn catalog. Mary found some Queen Anns and the lady loved the black painted chairs, so Mary asked me if I'd like to take on the chair painting project so I did. Using spray paint, it went pretty fast and I was able to do it in a couple of hours. I wish I had thought to take pics of the chairs when I was done, but by then I was so tired I only snapped some pics of the finished rooms. The chairs were the first part of a diningroom redo, she doesn't have the table yet, so that is coming later. That's why I didn't take time to take pics of the diningroom. Anyway, the Queen Ann chairs we painted turned out really nice and the homeowner loved them. I was reminded of painting my Queen Ann breakfast chairs over 5 years ago and I still love them. Deja vu for sure!
I wish I had taken before pics, but I'll just tell you that the only thing that was original in here is the leather sofa and chair and one iron and glass console table. Everything else was brought in new. Rug, linen sidechair, artwork and most of the accessories were newly purchased. Mary spent 3 days shopping and then we spent one whole day putting this all together. She pulled the sofa away from the back wall, making the conversation area cozier and closer together. I'm having a lot of fun working with Mary. She's full of energy, has a great eye and lots of super ideas. I know I will learn a lot from her in both the decorating aspects, as well as business sense. She does great work and I'm happy to tag along and help her with these projects. She gets all her clients from word of mouth, which is usually how these things work. Back to the networking thing, that's what I have to keep doing to get some clients of my own. The large mirror added over the fireplace really reflected some light back into the room, which is much needed in this home. The only lighting available is lamplight, no overheads. You can see in the mirror that the room has very pretty ceiling beams too. We added some simple, but impact pieces for the mantle. What's great about working with Mary is she asks my opinion on everything and lets me really get involved in putting things together too, so it's fun to brainstorm. She loves collaborating and not just doing it her way. She's all about discussing things. We talk the whole time about what is working and what is not. I really like how she brings in contemporary art into a traditional space to mix it up. I think that's what I need to do more in my own home, although I still love all my traditional art, it would be hard to let it go. This little iron table was already in the home and used to be in the diningroom, so we moved it in here and it's a nice focal point coming down from upstairs. Added in a few things from the homeowner, like the box underneath, and a couple of framed pictures. Mary shops all over the city, from Homegoods (one of her favorite places to score deals), Tuesday AM, as well as lots of decor shops in Homewood. It was fun unloading all the loot and seeing what we had to play with. She got 3 large oils (one bigger one in the diningroom) from a gallery and those were the starting point for the colors and feel of the room. She buys a LOT of stuff, brings it in the day we are working and then takes back what we don't use, which ended up being quite a lot. That was fun, like having a store to shop from right there in the home.
Two of the oils are behind the sofa. They have some pretty vibrant colors of reds, greens, blacks, and golds. Most of the lamps came from Homegoods. She will buy lamps and then if she doesn't love the shade, just buys several extra shades and trades them out. We talked over which pillows to keep and how to place them and she ended up liking the ones I placed on there, so we kept it like that.
This linen chair was a Homegoods find too for $350, as well as the rug. The new chair really added a lot of appeal to the room.
These nesting tables were found at Tuesday AM and I really like how they look on this end of the sofa. Great to use around the room too when company is around. One wall I didn't show you has a BIG flatscreen TV on a black console table, so we were working around that too. It's just to the right of the sofa in this pic.

I hope you enjoyed this little redesign project as much as I did! It was truly a pleasure to work with Mary, picking up tips and ideas. She's a wealth of knowledge for me and I look forward to working with her more. The homeowner came home with her 2 small children, came in for the grand reveal and immediately started crying. It was so great to see her reaction! She couldn't believe it was the same room she had left that morning. That sort of thing is what I look forward to myself as my business grows. I want to help people make their homes pretty too!

One little tip I picked up from Mary on hanging pictures on the walls is this: If you have a large picture with 2 hangers on either side, take masking tape and tape all the way across the hangers and then poke a small hole with a nail just where the nail would go on the hanger when you are putting it on the wall. Then hold the picture up, taking one side of the tape off of one hanger when you have it placed on the wall at the level you'd like the picture to hang (probably takes 2 people to do this). Tape the tape up on the wall all the way across & put in your first nail. Using a laser level to get it level from your first nail, shoot a line across the wall, then move the piece of tape on the other side until the nailhole matches up to the laser line. Then put in your other nail (or hanger). Rip down the tape. Your picture will be perfectly straight AND the hangers will line up properly!

How's that for a great tip! I loved it and it works great every time. I am definitely going to get a laser level for myself, that's one handy item to have around.

Have a great week y'all! I'm checking in from Florida and Kim and I have 2 days of fun outings planned, so you know I'll be sharing those when I get home.

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Rue said...

The room turned out beautiful Rhoda :) The two of you did an excellent job and the fact that she cried over it, must have been such a confirmation of your talent. Congratulations on a project well done :)


Lizzie said...

Wow, I love what a cozy and inviting oasis you created for the home owner. Its very warm and welcoming.

Rosie's Whimsy said...

What a beautiful room. I love the colors. The white woodwork and ceiling our fabulous! What a treasure to have all that wood molding. :-) Rosie

Mrs. B said...

That room is beautiful! It looks like it had some nice bones to start, and now it's fabulous! I bet that must have been so much fun to work on! Great job!

Darla said...

WOAH! That's gorgeous! When can you be at my house?

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Donna Kay said...

I have been wanting a laser level too - I think that is what I will ask for Mother's Day!!
I love the black piece in the foyer. Yesterday, my daughter and I met at Baby Depot to look at furniture - she told she had seen this black furniture that she like for the baby's room - I though - huh!!! But is was beautiful - if it's a girl she wants to do it in black, pink & white. Can't you just see that!! She hasn't decided about boy colors yet. I love turquoise and brown for a boy.
Keep those tips coming - that is a great one about the picture hangers.
I've got to start a notebook!!!!!

Hooked on Houses said...

Very nice! This is the kind of room that makes you just want to sit a spell (the best kind). -Julia :-)

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Great looking rooms!!

Thanks for the tip on hanging pictures too!!

Have a most wonderful time in Florida.



the feathered nest said...

Wow, it looks great! That's a great tip for hanging pictures! I remember that PB page - that's when I wanted to paint my dining room chairs red cause those chairs in the catalog looked so cool in colors.


Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

I love seeing things like this and how things are transformed. I'm struggling right now with what to put on my mantle and large coffee table in my living room. You've probably already done posts on this, but if you haven't I'd love it if you would. I love the mantle you did here and would love to see photos of others. Thanks!

Donna Lynn said...

Rhoda, What fun to work with a designer and learn all her tricks and tips first hand! You guys did a great job, love the way the room feels so warm and inviting! When I work with clients the first thing I do is pull the furniture away from the walls...All Rowed Up, is my saying for that look, people tend to put things on their walls all in a row! Why I don't know!
Loved your post today,
Donna Lynn

Mary Isabella said...

The room is so stunning...

Sheila said...

Rhoda I have one word "fabulous" you are soo talented and you and Mary did a outstanding job! You are so lucky to be able to follow your heart and use your talent. Your appointment book will be full this time next year! Thanks for sharing, I am so proud of you!
Have a blessed time in Fla.

Anonymous said...

The room Looks fabulous! You certainly have a wonderful talent....I may need to bring you into our new house after we get moved!

Rosemary said...

Great job Rhoda!
Say hi to Kim, and have a great time.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful home re-do. Sounds like such fun to be working with a decorator.

Angelic Accents

Rue said...

Good morning Rhoda :)

Thank you for your understanding. It really was a very hard decision and if it would have been just my house without me, I would have agreed to it. I'm just not a in-front-of-the-camera kind of girl. I am honored that they asked though :)

Thank you for the complements on my home. Coming from you it means a great deal. I remember your home from RMS because it was in my saved favorites ;)

Have fun in Florida and on your shopping trip with Kim!


Sue said...

Wow, it sounds like we had a similar week. My daughter and I just did a guest house for her client (who just happens to be my Dad) in about the same amount of time you and Mary were doing this lovely house. I so enjoyed seeing all your pretty photos.
Hope your having a good time in Florida!

Beverly said...

Everything looks great. I love the linen chair and the painted chairs.

Anonymous said...

Love love love it! Wonderful job!

Stop by & wish us luck on our first MS Walkathon this year!
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A Hint of Home said...

Beautiful rooms and great tips. It sounds like it was a lot of fun as well as educating.
Have a good weekend.