January 29, 2018

Laundry Room Progress

hello and happy monday! i realized that i've talked about my laundry room project a TON on instagram stories but never here so let's fix that today! ok i'm taking it way back to the very original. weird beige walls, off white cabinets, and formica countertop, over mount sink, and cheap faucet that moved back and forth when you moved the handle. was it fine and functional? yes. but i knew it had way more potential.


it then went through various iterations. the major change i made but was replace the counters with white quartz, a much larger undermount sink, a sleek new faucet, and hex marble backsplash.

i chose a new paint and didn't like that so i wallpapered the whole space.

and this is pretty much it's current state. after all of that i still wasn't happy with it so naturally i hatched a plan that i knew would have some staying power. shiplap, painted cabinetry and replace the flooring. oh the flooring. it's a really bad attempt at faking slate. in some lights in gray, sometimes purple, and sometimes blue. i hate it - can you tell? ;) it will be replaced with black honed 3x12 slate laid in a herringbone pattern.

it sounds so simple right? except there are always things - with any project - that make life a little more complicated. example one, that ugly pipe in the corner. it's the dryer vent and why it's hanging out in that corner is a mystery. our theory is that they simply forgot to add the vent while building. 

in the view above, the shelf has been removed now and the outlets have been lowered down behind the machines. a cabinet will be added to each corner with a white oak shelf in between. but we still have the hookups and hose. i didn't want to go through the effort of changing that and actually there could be a code issue with moving it anyway. so while we come up with ideas of how to address these issues, i'm focusing on the fun stuff - paint colors, lighting, and hardware.

i rounded up a bunch of inspiration images that help me hone in on the overall feel that i'm going for. i've been fairly indecisive (understatement!) about the paint color for the cabinetry and that's because every shade creates a different feel and look. i want to make sure that in the end i am 100% happy with the completed space. the shiplap, which is being installed vertically, will be white dove. the cabinets i'm doing a soft greige which obviously implies that i want to to bridge that gray-beige line.

here i'm just focused on the color of the cabinetry in these spaces.

amber interiors

this one has my heart.

jean stoffer design

designer? tell me!

via country living mag

this one gives me all the feels.

devol kitchens

heidi piron

house & home

grant k gibson

jean stoffer design

tell me if you know the designer!

via home bunch

can you see it?! more to come i promise!

January 22, 2018

Client Project: Plain Road Living Room

you may have seen if you follow me on instagram that I WAS IN THE BOSTON GLOBE YESTERDAY!!! here's the link to the online version: http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2018/01/19/wayland-living-room-goes-from-fussy-fabulous/eGPFIAeliVD9rOZoixVptM/story.html

if you can remember back to october of last year when i posted the reveal of this house, there was one room that i had to leave out. it was this one! i knew it had been accepted to the globe so i had to hold onto the images until it was released. they require fresh, new content that no one has seen. so fast forward to yesterday when it made its debut and now i can share away!

first though, you need to see the befores! in the article i mentioned that the drapes were basically wedding dresses hanging from rods. you can see why below!

those drapes! i mean you can't even see the window on the right. and what is this bizarre furniture placement??!!

and AFTER!! *all photography by jessica delaney* please do not use without asking first!

the first thing we did was to completely empty the room (with the exception of the baby grand piano that the previous owners left) and strip the yellow textured wallpaper. we then painted the walls the same color as the trim in the rest of the house - navajo white. we also got cracking on the fireplace surrounds and switched this one to cararra marble as we did for the dining room and entry fireplaces.

these clients are art lovers and they selected all of the art in their home themselves with dimension guidance from me. when they brought home that gorgeous peter batchelder, that's when the palette for the room really started taking shape. we had already chosen a neutral sand-colored sofa and the white wood frame chairs. those would work with anything and they also let the art be the star of the show which was important. i pulled the purple from the painting and used it in pillows and since my client loves blue (no wonder we get along so well!), i sprinkled various tones of navy throughout the rest of the room.

i knew i wanted to use a large coffee table to anchor the space on the fireplace so we ended up choosing a custom made 40x60" table that's wrapped in navy blue grasscloth. it's a stunner and added some much-needed texture. styling a table that large was a beast! but groupings of items helped it make sense. and i made sure to use purple flowers in the vase!

another area of focus was the lighting - there was none before! i mean there are pot lights in the ceiling but no ceiling fixture. i am in love of the lantern that we chose - it's the perfect piece of jewelry for the space. and since it's glass, it doesn't block the art. i've used that floor lamp before and will use it again. it's the perfect shape and a total crowd pleaser. i also chose to mix metals with the lighting and while that might seem like a risk, i think it helped make the space more interesting.

the last two pieces to fall into place were the rug and the drapery fabric. we needed a pattern that was strong enough for the art in the room (there are two additional pieces) but that didn't overpower. i am so happy with the final choice. i also chose to add drapery back only on the large window in the front. the casing on the side windows touch the fireplace which caused the previous drapery to either cover the windows or be awkwardly bent around the mantle. no thanks. we let the light come in and made the largest window sing.

the husband is an avid cyclist so they commissioned a piece by heather blanton to hang on this wall. i think it's so cool and really tied in perfectly. to the right of the chair in this view is where the piano sits. we didn't end up taking photos of it because that angle didn't tell the story of the room. above the piano though is a very bold, large, almost lacquered, striped piece of art. since it makes such a statement in the room, i chose to keep the rug very neutral. it's a stried medium gray that is very easy on the eyes.

if the piano weren't a factor, we might have added some additional seating since the room is so large. in the end i'm thrilled with how the space turned out. it's a comfortable spot to entertain (and yes, we treated all of that light colored furniture!) that i think feels warm and inviting. thank you to everyone you left such nice messages the last few days. and a big thank you to jess delaney and marni katz for the globe feature. my first time being published feels incredible!

January 16, 2018

Client Project: Thomas Lane Living Room

hello! i hope you had a great long weekend - we had the strangest weather - hitting 60 one day and then back in the 20s now. these 40 degree swings are not cool. 😐 what is cool however is that i get to finally share a project that i worked on last year for some very special clients - my parents! you may be thinking why the change? the room had been largely unchanged for the last 10-12 years and felt heavy, traditional, and a little blah. they wanted a bright, fresh new look that still felt like "them". it wasn't easy to make such a big change and there were definitely times when i had to do some major convincing but in the end they trusted me and followed my vision. we were waiting on the last finishing touches and now i'm ready to share the entire project. all photos are by me so please bear with my photography skills. hiring a photographer was not in the budget for this project!

BEFORE! i stupidly don't have great before photos but these will help tell the story. the space was dominated by a blue sofa that was ridiculously comfortable but also ginormous. there was a leather ottoman, grain sack buffalo check chairs, and another wing chair. they had one side table, green walls, and valances with little buttons. 

new side table already added in this pic

check the valance in the reflection of the mirror!

new console and coffee table already arrived in this pic

here is a crude design board i quickly made for them. not exactly impressive but they weren't a paying client. :) because of their special status, it enables me to share every single source that we used which i love doing!

before i get to the afters, i thought i'd run through the things we kept, the things we removed, and the things we replaced. ok so what we kept: 
- overall floorplan
- the vintage persian rug they love
- the sailboat painting previously above the mantle
- the two small paintings near the sofa
- the wood console between the chairs
- decor items

what we removed:
- the valances
- the gigantic mirror and prints on either side
- extra wing chair

what we replaced:
- sofa and chairs
- coffee, console, and side tables
- fireplace art
- mirror
- lighting
- accessories

AFTER! my parents' style is much more formal than my own so i aimed to infuse some of my relaxed vibe without it feeling too casual for them. they also lean toward very warm tones. warmth is great but too much and it can feel dated. i tried to mix warm with more neutral shades to lighten things up! we opted to keep the floorplan and seating plan the same - they really like the way it works when they have company. there is a walkway from the front door all the way through the house out to the back porch that we needed to keep clear and that limited our options. my parents also didn't want two sofas - they liked the idea of separate chairs so we used stools that can be pulled up to create extra seating that's truly comfortable. as with pretty much every project i work on, there is a good high/low mix here. custom furniture paired with accessories from target and homegoods. let's get to it!

i think i'll break down each space by wall starting with the sofa wall. the sofa is by lee industries #3063-32 and is upholstered in lee's basket natural. the legs are stained weathered gray on maple with brass casters. i chose this style because it's streamlined yet comfortable and a total change from big blue (the predecessor). one thing that took some definite convincing was the pillows. it's hard to "go for it" on pillows and stomach the expense that are custom pillows but they really make such an impact in a space. especially in this case where we decided to leave the windows naked, pretty pillow fabrics were a must.

pillows from left to right: 1 | 2 | 3 (similar) | 4 | 5

my mom always wanted matching side tables and that was easy to deliver - these wood and brass tables with raffia tops are a gorgeous addition. since we used two side tables, we opted for a table lamp as opposed to a floor lamp. i love this lamp - it's interesting without taking over. the large gold knot is a favorite of mine as are the marble coasters. the blue and white bowls are antiques from thailand that my mom received as gift.

on the other end i used distressed vases with a little fern, a glass box we found at homegoods, and books my parents already owned. the art is from a gallery up near me called powers gallery.

vases | fern | glass box (similar)

on to the fireplace wall! this was a fairly simple makeover with new artwork that my parents selected themselves (using dimension guidance i supplied!) and a few new simple decor items paired with a couple of vintage ones. i left some open wall space to give a visual resting place since there is a lot to look at in the rest of the room.

the blue and white jar my mom picked up at a local boutique years ago and the brass trophy vase was a gift my great grandmother received at her wedding. i love that it has a home here and adds some wonderful character. the candlesticks were a last minute add that bring in some modern, architectural interest to an otherwise traditional fireplace surround. i also used my favorite white jars - they really work everywhere!

moving to the chair wall! we again used a streamlined shape for the chairs to work with the sofa but used a fabric with a small stripe to create some interest. i love the shape of the back and arm. the cabinet was an existing piece my parents love and i love the character it brings to the room. we moved the painting from it's original spot over the fireplace this wall and leaned it to help it feel less formal. the subject plus the thick gold frame makes it feel serious but leaning it takes the edge right off! i added a pair lamps and love the organic shape and presence they bring.

the chairs are by lee industries, style number 1293-01, and upholstered in lee's sterling flax. the legs are also weathered gray on maple like the sofa.

and last but definitely not least, the mirror wall! i knew i wanted to include a grasscloth covered console and a large round mirror here. the space needed some roundness! it's also a long wall so we needed to add something on either side of the mirror to balance the room - sconces were the logical choice (we didn't need more art) - but going through the effort of adding electrical was off the table. we started talking about non-electrified candle sconces and my favorite ones from dunes & duchess were the answer! this was another spot where i had to use my persuasive powers but i knew they would look amazing. we did navy lacquer and, as always, they came out so well. 

so many times you see stools that are intended as extra seating when guests are over but you look at them and think, how can anyone sit on that?! these stools are not that kind. they're large and comfortable and truly meant as a seating option. they are by lee industries #9259 with a wood base (charcoal on oak) and are upholstered in lee's migration blue. the bird pattern is truly perfect for this part of the country where birds play a big role in the local culture. plus we've always owned bird dogs (even though we don't hunt!) so it worked doubly well.

my mom fell in love with this oversize blue vase and it anchors the console table so well. i think having something so large helps to balance the stools and mirror. the mirror is 43" round to give an idea of scale! i love the lip detail that extends out beyond the glass.

almost forgot - the coffee table! we took a 180 from the leather clunker that was here before with this sleek brass and glass table. the brass tied in nicely with sailboat frame and the glass lets us see through to the rug.

my mom found that great tray at homegoods a couple of years ago and i'm still so jealous of it - it's perfect! the silver bowl is by georg jensen and a gift from my grandfather. the fern is a maidenhair which is super fussy but if there is one person who can keep it alive, it's my mother and her green thumb.

that's a wrap! the biggest comment from their friends who come over is how much larger the space feels. it's hard to convey that in photos but it's completely true - it's amazing what furniture and paint will do! the wall color is benjamin moore dune white and the trim is decorators white. as i mentioned in my stories on IG, we will likely layer a sisal rug underneath the existing rug since the one they have is a little small. i'd say the only thing i didn't "win" on was a ceiling mounted light fixture. but as with any client, what matters most is that they are happy and in this case, i know that's true!

January 2, 2018

MRD Favorite Paint Colors

happy new year!! you know it's been a while when you almost forget your password to log in to the blog!! but i'm back! and with a renewed excitement for sharing projects, ideas, and thoughts here. thanks for sticking with me.

i've been meaning, for a while now, to post a small round up of some favorite paint colors that i come back to time and again. this is by no means an all inclusive list but these are colors that are tried and true keepers. one thing i want to mention is that, regardless of the color, i always recommend picking a shade that on the paint strip looks a little "dirty" or "muddy". sometimes this scares people but the pretty ones never end up looking sophisticated. long before i realized my passion for design, i picked a color for our bedroom in our first apartment and we might as well have been living in a swimming pool. but it looked so pretty on the chip! so learn from my mistakes and i think you'll see that all of my picks below are a bit dirty. :)

white dove: this color is throughout my house on trim and on walls. it's soft and warm but still reads "white" without feeling stark.

simply white: this color is on my basement walls. i wanted to try something a little different and to me, this white reads a little whiter than white dove but is still soft. this color can really go anywhere - walls, trim, cabinetry and even exteriors.

classic gray: i used this color in our master bedroom and it is so clean.

wind's breath: this color seems to be really hot at the moment BUT i found it and used it before its recent fame. we did a whole home this past fall in this shade and it's the perfect compromise between a warmer gray but without it going too tan.

fieldstone: i am loving this shade for cabinetry and also in the right color scheme, i think it could be a pretty exterior door color!

design by classic casual home

greyhound: this is the color that i'm planning for my laundry room cabinetry! i love how moody it is and how it can read so differently in different light. consider it on doors and exterior shutters too!

chelsea gray: this is a tried and true medium, warm gray. i used it in the plain road project dining room console that we had custom made.

photo by jessica delaney photography

cape may cobblestone: i used this color on the inside of our front door and love how it turned out. it would be fab on kitchen cabinetry too.

kendall charcoal: i chose this color for our basement built ins for a change of pace (and paired it with simply white walls). it's a great way to add some drama when keeping everything else simple.

hale navy: on the surface, this color isn't very "pretty" but in reality it's beautiful! i used it on the inside of a front door to spice up an entry and it was perfect. hale navy can work on walls, doors, and cabinetry. it could even be a cool statement-maker on millwork.

downpipe: this is another color that bridges a couple of shades - specifically navy and gray - depending on the light. it's moody and dark in the very best way.

please tell me if you know the source of this beautiful work!

hunter green: dark green is IN but at the same time feels classic to me. i'm always careful not to choose a shade that goes too yellowy. this might be the perfect shade of deep green and i'm considering it on a bathroom cabinet in my own home!
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