I'm just going to share a few teaser images of a home belonging to a neighbor and dear friend. We started working on her home last fall (I think?). The room is evolving slowly and with a budget. You know, real life. :) While not yet finished, the changes so far are dramatic and have made such a difference in the room. We started by repainting the room a pretty warm gray (it was too blue before), swapping out the printed rug for a larger, natural fiber rug, adding cheerful window treatments and creating an AMAZING gallery wall (I will show full wall in future post). They are EXTREMELY well traveled (recently spent a year living abroad in Rome) and have a stunning collection of pottery, antique etchings, and prints that make the room feel so special and so them. All that art was sitting in boxes in the basement; it was priority number one to get it framed (without breaking the bank) and displayed in way that complemented the room and didn't look cluttered. Another issue was seating. They had 2 sofas, one upholstered in an burnt orange fabric and the other in black leather (remains from former bachelor pad). Like most of us, their home is a collection of things accumulated over a lifetime, some items are timeless and always work, while others need a bit of help to feel fresh and fit as our taste changes and our homes evolve. The leather sofa got the boot in a garage sale, replaced with an antique chest of drawers (estate sale find - and complete score. Patience and persistence are so important to creating beautiful rooms, especially if you want the rooms to incorporate antiques). Additional seating came from 2 wingback chairs - a Craigslist find. Originally covered in a quilted teal/seafoam green fabric.
Here is a "before" shot from the same angle as shown above...
^^ If I told you what they paid for this chest of drawers you would cry. Such a lucky find. It is gorgeous and so much better than the black leather sofa. :) ^^
^^ The tiniest glimpse of their gallery wall. I wasn't trying to be this secretive with this post! I took my camera over the other day when Charlie was going over for a playdate and realized I had my macro lens on too late. The antique gold frames are actually ikea (I know!) made to look 100x more expensive with a little Rub-n-Buff paint.^^
^^ The small windows flanking the fireplace got roman shades and the large, front facing window got drapes. The pattern is perfect in the room because the reddish orange color matches the sofa perfectly making it appear intentional rather than a sofa kept because the budget didn't allow for a new one. ^^
The wingback chairs might be my second favorite thing in the room. (gallery wall is no. 1). Three young and active boys live in this home and the living room is their main hangout spot. It is also the room you walk into from the front door. Yes, linen would have been a stunning slipcover option, but impractical. I had seen other designers using outdoor fabrics in their homes and we thought if we could find the right color and texture it would be the perfect solution here too. Stephanie ordered a bunch of soft gray Sunbrella swatches and we were both pleasantly surprised. This one isn't thick, or plastic-y feeling like you expect outdoor fabrics to be. It was thin enough to create pretty box pleats and the color is exactly what we were looking for. I have recommended this option to other home owners since and I'm using it in my own home too. Slipcovers are practical, but unless you have white, you can't bleach them and if you happen to forget and leave them in the dryer a minute too long they will shrink, so yes, I love the look maybe more than the supposed functionality. These will never need to be washed. Just wiped with a damp cloth. Easy -peasy. ^^
A couple other examples of using outdoor fabric:
^^chair in outdoor fabric from Rachel Halvorson^^
^^Sofa in all weather fabric, from Amy Meier^^
More pics to come on this lovely room soon, just a few finishing touches AND a proper camera lens and we should be good to go! ;)
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