Four Reader Suggestions That Have Inspired Me In The Last Day

In all honesty, there have been hundreds of reader suggestions that have inspired me over this last year.  Even though I don’t always have time to respond, I really do read every single comment on every single post (on the blog and on Facebook), and I very often feel like the most spoiled person in the world having so many people send me awesome ideas that they think I’d enjoy and find helpful as I decorate my home.

But over the last 24 hours or so, I’ve had four suggestions that I’m almost sure I’ll incorporate.

1. Define the entryway

First was the suggestion (thanks, Angela!) of using two different wall treatments in the living room and entryway area — one on the left wall just inside the front door, and another on the other walls — just to give the entryway a little definition of its own.  I love that idea!  I’ve always kind of hated that the living room and entryway were one big room.  I much prefer a separate entryway.  But I have what I have, and I have to make it work.  So giving that wall its own separate treatment might be just what it needs!  And the entryway wall is opposite the fireplace, which will have an overmatel all the way to the ceiling with similar trim, so the two will kind of balance each other.

So I’m thinking that on that entryway wall, I’ll do this…

Beautiful wall trim moulding - living room design by AM Dolce Vita, via HouzzContemporary Living Room by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators AM Dolce Vita

And then on the living room walls, I’ll do this…

Beautiful wall trim moulding - wainscoting with grasscloth - dining room my Michael AbramsDining room by Michael Abrams, via Home Portfolio

Of course, the chair rail and the bottom wainscoting section will be the same on all four walls.  The difference will be that the upper part of the wall in the living room will be grasscloth, where the upper part of the wall on the entryway wall will be trimmed out and painted the same color as the bottom wainscoting.

2.  Paint a grasscloth technique rather than buying it

This is such a great idea (thank, Jeri!), and the funny thing is that when I read Jeri’s comment, I had just gotten back from Sherwin Williams.  I had gone to look at wallpaper, but both of their grasscloth books were checked out.  So on my way out the door, their faux painting techniques display caught my eye because one of them had a very similar look to grasscloth.  I started to wonder if I could really pull off that look just using paint, and then I came home and read Jeri’s comment.

And then this morning, I read a follow-up comment on that idea from Becky, who left a link to this faux grasscloth painted wall treatment by Kristen F. Davis Designs.

faux grasscloth walls from Kristen F. Davis Designs

Now I’ve seen faux painted grasscloth many times, but none that looked so authentic as this one.  I realized it’s because after Kristen did the striae design, she went back and randomly added some darker brown lines here and there.  That really gives it that slubby, natural fiber look that real grasscoth has.  I can totally do that!  And save hundreds of dollars in the process!

3.  Trim out the ceiling

Next came the idea (thanks, Paula!) to add some interest to the ceiling somehow, since most of my inspiration pictures yesterday had amazing ceilings.  I had just planned on drywalling, painting, and leaving it at that.  But I got to thinking about the ceiling a bit more, and realized that I could even use the ceiling to define the two areas in the one large room.

So I went in search of inspiration for ceiling trim, and I came across this.

Entry foyer by dSPACE Studio Ltd, via HouzzContemporary Entry by Chicago Architects & Building Designers dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

It’s subtle, but because it doesn’t take up much height (as opposed to a coffered ceiling) something like this would work perfectly in a room with 8-foot ceilings.  And I could use one of those “tray” sections to define the entryway, and then one to define the living room.  I’m still giving this one more thought (mostly about how I would even pull that off), but I’m really liking the idea.

4.  Brass-trimmed Fireplace For My Breakfast Room

And finally, Diana sent me a picture of an amazing fireplace by Douglas Mackie Design.

living room by Douglas Mackie Design

The fireplace design itself is a little too ornate for my house, but look at that brass detail on it!  Wouldn’t that be perfect in my breakfast room?!  Needless to say, as soon as I saw that picture, I started searching online for reasonably priced sheets of brass.  There are plenty of resources for sheets of brass, but the “reasonably priced” thing is a bit more of a challenge.  I’ll keep looking, though, because that design (or something very close to it) is going in my breakfast room!

So those are the four things that have been pretty much consuming my mind for the last 24 hours.  🙂

Oh, and I’m not just sitting around planning, thinking, and daydreaming.  In the meantime, I’ve been giving my fireplace a little makeover to make it much more traditional in style.  I hope to have it finished today so that I can share the finished fireplace with you tomorrow.  I’m loving how it’s turning out!



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  1. Love that fireplace! Mine isn’t the same, but has been finished with a couple of those foot plates usually used on the bottom of doors to prevent pet and foot damage to them. Not sure whether they are too expensive, but it’s worth a thought.
    Also, my last house had no defined entry, like yours. The ceiling in the living room section was left alone, but matching molding had been added to define the “entry” area, on the ceiling, in a similar manner to the molding on the entry wall. It’s subtle, but it worked, and was not as fussy as having molding everywhere. Having it everywhere, walls and ceiling, seems like overkill, and is hard to keep clean. Anyway, it’s a thought.

  2. OMG I love the brass accents on the fireplace and it will really carry over your kitchen design into the breakfast room. I also love the painting above the fireplace in this image as well. You could do something similar in maybe black and white with just a streak of green. It’s big, it’s bold , it contemporary and it could so work in your breakfast room. Just something to think about.

  3. OH! I’m honored that you are even thinking about my suggestion 🙂 (I have to use the smiley icon because there isn’t a “cheesing big time” one that I know of! I know you’ve said you elan towards squares and rectangles, but have you considered adding round or oval patterns to the ceiling? Perhaps a shape on the living room ceiling that mimics your doors? I can’t imagine how to make them, but I have no doubt you can figure it out.

    On the brass for your fireplace I did a quick search of “used brass fireplace” I found some cool things including this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-BRASS-FIREPLACE-FILIGREE-CLAW-FEET-SCREEN-FLOOR-BASE-FENDER-/121471049779?pt=US_Fireplace_Mantels_Surrounds&hash=item1c483d2033
    You might be able to put the word out at your local resale stores in case they come across one of these. It’s not as wide as your other insert but you might be able to do something really creative to make it look bigger: http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-Copper-Brass-FIREPLACE-Screen-Door-Cover-ANDIRONS-Chainmail-Doors-/390959565347?pt=US_Fireplace_Screens_Doors&hash=item5b07018a23
    and this peacock thingy could be really glam in your breakfast room!
    I don’t know if it will hold up to heat but I wondered about the paint you used on the bathroom surround way back when. I wonder if you could find a finish that would match your drawer pulls?

  4. Kristi, I’ll be moving soon so I definitely look forward to your posts – I’m learning so much! I love what you read about using decorative trim to separate a space. I can’t wait to see the firplace!

  5. I’m excited about you painting the grasscloth. The thought had occurred to me as well a few days ago for my dining room, and I was wishing you would do it so that I might learn how to.(I want to use green and blue combo in the grasscloth.) LOL I look to your blog for inspiration and how-to all the time !!!! Love all you do. Blessings.

  6. Oh my gosh, I really love the idea of having different wall treatments to define the entryway from the living room and for the ceilings as well. Also love the idea of the brass feature for your breakfast room…..that’ll look really sophisticated. Three really awesome ideas!! Can’t wait to see what you’re doing with your living room fireplace Kristi.

  7. I just saw some small brass subway tile online a few weeks ago. Perhaps something like that might work for your fireplace surround in the breakfast room…maybe in a herringbone pattern?

    1. That’s what I was thinking, but brass spray paint, with sanding in between to get a smooth surface. I used roofing pieces of metal flashing (they’re shaped like an “L” and come in two widths at Lowe’s) spray painted with copper paint to use as front flashing on the roof of my “she-shed/wellhouse” project. I overlapped them and they look great. I’m thinking about those brass-plated kick plates for the bottoms of my kitchen cabinets for a modern brass accent to my kitchen island. I am in DIY mode since discovering this blog!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t want to go to work! I want to stay at home and paint and remodel!

  8. Hmmmm,
    Still a little “confused” by brass being on trend again. I HAD thought I would paint the brass on my fireplace ORB, but THAT now seems to out of style. Sigh. See what I mean about indecisiveness? Can’t wait for you to “teach” us how to do the faux grasscloth! LOVE it!

  9. Wow Kristi!
    You actually replied to my comment with a personal e-mail. I am impressed!
    Love the ceiling picture you posted, and am so glad those ugly tiles will be history.
    Like all your other fans, I can’t wait to see what you come up with.I know it will be stunning.

  10. I never thought you’d have the time to read these comments or I would have posted many times. You are so talented with awesome style and such a giving nature to share them with all of us. I read your blog every single day.it is one of the reasons I get up and out of bed. Thank you for everything you do. A true fan!

    1. Yep, I read every single comment I get, both on the blog and on every Facebook post on my A2D Facebook page. 🙂 I wish I had more time so that I could respond to all of them, but if I did that, there would be no time left for projects! 🙂

  11. I LOVE that idea for the ceiling to define the space. I have a house where the big “great” room blends into the dining room. The two spaces are separated by 3 square columns at the corner of the dining room. I have been trying to figure out how to define the spaces as their own space and I think this is perfect. I can run one room one way and the other room the other way. Ceilings are 10ft so it shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks for the ideas and good luck. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. You kitchen is amazing btw!

  12. All amazing suggestions! I think the brass on the fireplace will give some sparkle to a black & white room which I can’t wait to see you start on! And I love the trimmed out ceilings! I have NO entryway – you show up right in my small living room – so I envy you the opportunity to separate them. I have to ask….beautiful trimmed out ceilings in the entryway/living room…any temptation to bring that through to other “public” rooms? 🙂 Gosh! I love those!

  13. You could use copper tubing! I don’t know if they make brass tubing, but they are similar in color. You could trim out your fireplace using the tubing as trim! Kinda like how you would use a quarter round. I don’t know if that makes much sense… 🙂 kinda like this picture http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/80/3b/d7/803bd7abcdc2ca67e4205a63b89f99e4.jpg
    And an end table like this would totally up the glam factor! And incorporate the pretty gold leafing in your kitchen!
    Happy DIY-ing! 🙂

  14. Kristi, I love all the amazing ideas that you have come up with as well as everyone elses. It is going to look amazing when its done. I’m wondering, if you have ever thought of doing barn doors to match your others at your entrance to give it more definition? I saw this and thought it would look great at your entrance. I know you don’t have the same wall but I’m sure you could fix that problem easily!

  15. Love all 4 of the ideas and can not wait to see them in your home!!! That brass on the fireplace with your black walls will look absolutely amazing!

  16. I love the ideas for both walls. For the fireplace in your breakfast room I keep visualizing it painted green with the gold leaf accent – just like your kitchen cabinets.

  17. Trimming out the ceiling is a great idea. In fact, have you ever seen the haunted mansions ceilings? I was watching Nightmare Before Christmas with my daughter this morning and caught a quick glimpse of them. Here’s the best picture i could find:
    As soon as I saw it I thought of your ceilings and how awesome they would look with some contrast in the trim, maybe brass to tie in with your kitchen. Plus, being up on the ceiling, i bet they’d sparkle just a little when the lights were on. Can’t wait to see it!