what I do

what I do

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thank you Nate Berkus and my new living room

I've been in a massive "clean out" and "clean up" mode around my house now for at least two full months now. It all started with Nate Berkus. Well, Nate and House Beautiful.

House Beautiful has a lovely feature every month (well, I think it is every month and I would go and check but I don't have any of my past issues anymore - yep - got rid of them!) where they show a room makeover that is accomplished in one day. I think it was in April's edition where Nate took a couple's office / living space and transformed it. You can see his before and after here.

What inspired me was not so much what he did in one day although it was amazing or how he went about it because honestly, I do the same thing for my own clients. What inspired me is that I could do the same thing in my own house. I have said this before, but I am my worst client. I am never satisfied for long. I move things around constantly and tire of things easily. Which is wasteful not just in the pocketbook but also a huge waste of time. And so I wanted to fix that once and for all.

The way I tend to decorate for myself is not the way I would for a client. For myself, it has always been done piece by piece - a quick fix here and something new there. And that lasts for a while. But what I was longing for was to do a complete overhaul on my living room the way I would for a client. But I didn't want to spend any money. And so I decided that maybe what I should do is take everything out of the room and just start over piece by piece, using what a had but in a new fresh way. I would shop my house and see if I could have the same great results I saw Nate achieve.

I started with my sofa and moved it in every position I could think of and ended up putting it right back where it was. There was a reason it was where it was. And then I moved chairs around and tables and lamps from one side of the room to the other. I brought in tables from other rooms, and dragged my huge mirrored screen from one side of the room to the other. And I thought I had it. It was different and a change. And then I left to go visit my daughter for a while.

My "litmus test" for liking something is to leave it for a while. Coming back into it fresh will always tell me if it is right or not. And so I was excited to come home after this little trip to see my new moved around living room because I knew that this time it would be just right.

This is the room 'before' I moved anything- can you see the large armoire in the corner?

This is the room before I left for my little trip - I moved the sofa table in front of the windows ...

Wrong. I walked in from my trip and hated it. I literally dropped my bags on the floor and proceeded to move things back around again. But this time I was more drastic. I have had a corner armoire since we remodeled 13 years ago. It was supposed to house our TV - you know, the kind of TV that looks like a huge box and requires and even bigger 'box' to hide it? But we never put the TV in that room and the armoire just sat there unused as a storage unit for all my "stuff".  Which was great because it held a lot of stuff - but the problem was that it took up a lot of room and the color (a distressed green) kept me from doing exactly what I wanted to in the room. I had wanted to paint the walls a light gray but couldn't because of the armoire so I compromised. I wanted new drapery panels but the ones I had went so well with the armoire so I left them. I wanted to bring in fresher colors but everything clashed with the old drapes.

Do you do that? Decorate around an object that you can't change only to discover it would be a whole lot easier to just change that one thing? And so I decided it was time to just get rid of the armoire. Which was one huge task because it required that I find a home for all the stuff that I was storing inside it. And that was the beginning of the big clean-out. Well this weekend I finally finished. All of it. The drawers, the cupboards, the kitchen, the bathrooms ... it is done. For this time around anyway (remember it is a process!).

A cleaner "edited" look using all my same things - just moved around 

It may be difficult to see in the photos but the new room feels so much lighter, brighter and BIGGER. And I am happy to report that the "new" arrangement has not changed one bit. It has stayed exactly the way I moved it 30 days ago. That is a good sign. Gee, what am I going to do with all my spare time now?

Anyone want to buy a beautiful distressed green storage unit corner armoire?


Holly Gruszka said...

I enjoy that feature in HB as well although I don't think they do it every month either. I like it because I feel like it shows the designers stream of consciousness as far as what their thoughts are for the space. Just like you did here! I'm feeling the itch really bad to do this AND to paint as well. Hope you're enjoying your refreshed space - it looks so pretty!

Unknown said...

Doesn't it feel good when you clean up your home? I actually talked about this in my blog today.
Your living room looks amazing and you sould seat on the sofa and have a drink, you deserve it!

Jessie said...

I really love your living room, before and after! Both look gorgeous to me! But I agree that sometimes us decorators seem to got tired of things pretty quickly and always feel the need to buy new things or move things around! :)

P/S: Anyway, come by and enter my current giveaway for a chance to win a designer pillow ($65 gift cert) if you like!


Have a good day, Sherri!


StagerLinda said...

I think you did an awesome job! I think the hardest thing is figuring placements out in your own home. My rooms are constantly changing...if feel like I somehow need to justify it even when it's transition. You've inspired me to move out everything and start from scratch!

Marianne said...

Looks fabulous! Always feels so good to freshen things up. Loving the pretty pink peonies, too! xo


Sherri...since I am reading thes post backwards I have to tell you that I noticed the armoire gone in the pictures over on Kirsten's blog! It does make a huge difference in the room. I am just like you.....moving crap around until I have a headache!

Anonymous said...

Your massive "clean out" and "clean up" mode over the 2-month period is a big success. With a stunning living room like this, you can get a sense of accomplishment that all of your endeavors have paid off. I like your white sofa, by the way! The simplicity serves as the main attraction of your living room.

Waldemar Bureau

Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating said...

Saw your feature at 6th Street Design School, which led me to poke around your blog. How freeing to finally get rid of the one piece that was fighting everything else in your room, and be happier because of it!

Lynn Beck said...

Beautiful Sherri! I love your sense of style.