what I do

what I do

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A living room reveal

When I moved into my house 23 years ago I had no idea the treasure that lived next door. The first time we met she came over and watched while I scraped (painfully scraped) 1" pieces of the old wallpaper off the dining room walls of our new home and the house where her friend had just moved from. She was not so sure about us at first, thinking we were going to just flip the house, and missing the family that just moved out.

Neither one of us had any idea that we would become the best of friends sisters at heart. It didn't take long though until we started walking and biking the neighborhood together and sharing our lives. I don't remember the first time we moved her furniture around but I don't think it took very long. Over the years we would arrange and re-arrange her living room furniture, adding new pillows and inexpensive artwork to give it a new look. We even picked up a new sofa one day, a lovely blue denim - very trendy (gosh, when was that?) and a cute antique desk.

Living room 'before'

This summer she decided it was time to fix a few things. Her wingback chairs were as old as her son and he was married with his own child. It was time.  Check out the denim sofa and the green carpet in the photo of the chairs below:

wingback chair before

We started planning and she found an inspiration photo that she really liked. We were going to "houndstooth" her sofa. I was thrilled and even posted about it here!

Client's inspiration clipping from House Beautiful

But as we got closer to actually starting the project she started second guessing the houndstooth. She thought it would be too heavy. She also wanted to make sure she could add new pillows and change up the room when she wanted and felt the houndstooth would be too committing. We went from deciding to put the fabric on the wingback chairs instead, to not using it at all. Redecorating is a process and often it takes a client a while to really understand what they like. I love that process. I showed her ideas, she looked through magazines and finally she realized what she wanted all along. Are you ready to see what we chose?

New wingback chair upholstered in outdoor fabric!

When my friend got married, she registered for beautiful aqua wine glasses. It has been a color that she has loved ever since and a "go-to" color in her wardrobe. But never in her home. So we changed that. 

Our inspiration piece was a watercolor that was painted for her by a friend years ago and was never framed.  We had it framed and used it as our starting point.

We took the watercolor and went to the design center to select fabrics. One of the first things we found were these pillows made up in the Kravet showroom. We started by having our own made.

Inspiration pillows from Kravet 

The new living room

We kept all of her old furniture and reupholstered it. I love that! The old denim sofa was updated by removing the skirt, adding legs, and changing the pillow backs and the arms to give it a more modern feel. 

The china cabinet was refinished and a mirror added to the back which adds a lovely reflection. The wall to the left of the fireplace that was previously an opening to the room behind it, was closed up and the china cabinet relocated. The top of the fireplace wall was painted white. We re-painted the walls the same color as before (because she loved it), refinished the wood floors that were hidden for years and years by the dark green carpet and added much needed ceiling pot lights. 

I love how the new fireplace screen mimics the fabric on the Chinese chair

The refinished desk is stunning in its new location.

I have always loved this bench ... but it needed a pick-me-up

We ordered a gorgeous area rug but it came damaged. It was very expensive and was going to take a very long time to get another. So for now, my friend is enjoying the beautiful wood floors. 

Tomorrow I will show you the dining room - you are going to love it!


lisaroy said...

It looks fantastic! I love the fabrics you chose and the fact that it was all existing furniture refinished and updated. It looks so fresh and modern now :)

My Notting Hill said...

Fabulous transformation. I love every singe fabric. The one on the Chinese chair is a knock out!!

17 Perth said...

I am seriously drooling over those chairs!! Gorgeous!

MrsS said...

ah!! it looks sooooooo good!!!!!!!!!

Olga DurĂ³n said...

I loved the design process and the fact that your friend finally "found" exactly the color and design that she loved. Everything is fantastic!

Warmest regards, Olga

A Perfect Gray said...

sherri, what a fresh new room that is. love the new chair fabric and nailhead trim. and that firescreen is beautiful. I know that was so much fun and it looks terrific...donna

Town and Country Gals said...

What a transformation! So fresh and clean and lovely! The fabrics are gorgeous and the furniture looks like new. How lucky to have a neighbor, best friend like you!

traci zeller designs said...

I'm crazy for all the fabrics! So fresh and pretty!!

Denim sofas = my bet is approximately 1996!

Belle Inspirations said...

Great work you would have had so much fun! Have a lovely weekend xx

Stephanie said...

Wow, what an inspiring post! The story behind your design of your neighbors/best friends house is so heart warming. I love how you used all the same furniture and just freshened it up. I can't believe those floors were under that carpet! The cool thing is, you two can sit in that room and look around and see all the years of fun collecting and "what were we thinking" the two of you had. So darn cool.

pve design said...

I wish you were my neighbor.
I just know we would be like sisters and I would love you to reveal my living room under your care.
What a transformation. She must never want to leave home.