Let me forewarn you — if my constant indecision and mind-changing irritates the heck out of you, you might want to skip this post. 🙂
The fact is that I’ve been feeling very unsatisfied with the direction I’m going in my living room. And once again, I blame it on my kitchen. This is the thing — if ever I designed a room that most clearly expressed my personality and design style, that room is my kitchen. I love the combo of casual subway tile with the elegant gold leafed cabinets, and the traditional style cabinets and columns with the more contemporary lighting, and the timeless stained hardwood floors with the relatively new idea of concrete countertops. And most of all, I love the bold color and the high contrast of the white and green. I love color. And I LOVE high contrast! So my living room just hasn’t been cutting it for me.
I finally realized that I was just trying to make things work — trying to force things — that just aren’t working, like the dark teal wall color, the draperies, etc.. So I’m kind of starting over, but not completely. Here are the things that are staying…
- My mom’s painting and the frame — this is probably my favorite thing in the whole room.
- The fireplace, although it will be getting a small makeover to make it more traditional style.
- The ottoman — probably my second favorite thing in the room.
- The marbleized end tables that I showed you yesterday (not shown in the pic above).
So after deciding which things I definitely wanted to stay, it was time to come up with a new plan. But I had no idea where to go from there, so I went in search of inspiration.
Remember the other day when I said that my style, if I had to put a name to it, would be transitional? Well, I misspoke. After giving it more thought, I think my style is colorful traditional with contemporary and modern touches. And if there’s one designer out there who captures my style the most, that person is Tobi Fairley. So I’ve spent several hours over the last few days literally studying her portfolio, picking out my favorite rooms, and trying to pinpoint exactly what draws me to those rooms.
My favorite project of hers is Inverness, which I believe is (or was) her own home. Her entryway shows that she’s certainly not afraid of using a bold wallpaper.
But I did notice that most of the time, she uses neutral paint colors (or colors that read as neutral) on the walls, and then brings in bold colors in furniture and accessories.
This green and white living room is probably my all time favorite room of hers. I just love those green and white wingback chairs!
Another favorite is this Lakeview Estate living room, again with a neutral color on the walls, and bold colors and patterns used on the furniture and accessories.
I also really like her use of color in the Richmond Designer Showhouse room that she designed, but again the walls are neutral. She did use color on the ceiling, though.
But again, she’s not all about neutral walls, as you can see in this Monticello dining room.
And also in this Crestwood bathroom.
Another thing I love about Tobi is that she seems to have a similar love of window treatments, and draperies in particular, just like I do. I personally think that window treatments make a room, and find it very hard to leave windows undressed.
So after studying her portfolio for a few hours over the course of a few days, I think I’ve come up with a plan. First of all, the high contrast walls in my living room are going to go. I still want wainscoting, and it’ll be white, but the top part of the walls won’t be so dark. I do love high contrast, but I don’t really need that on my walls. And next, I’ve selected some fabrics that I’m considering for the room. I was only able to check out three books at a time, so the fabric in the upper left corner is copied and pasted from a cell phone picture that was taken under fluorescent lighting. The green in the houndstooth is closer in color to the green linen.
So here’s what I’ve got. The Robert Allen Graphic Fret in Flax in the center will be my new draperies, and they’ll be edged in the Robert Allen Linen Slub in Turquoise and the Robert Allen Linen Slub in Malachite. I haven’t quite worked out the design just yet, but all three will be used on the draperies. Then I’ll use the Jaclyn Smith Theater Velvet in chocolate (or something similar to it) for the sofa. I’m not sure if I’ll use the sofa I have, or get a new one. That’s still to be decided. The dark teal ottoman that all of these fabrics are on will stay. The fabric that is currently used as my draperies will be reused somehow, but I don’t quite have the details worked out in my mind. I’m thinking possibly the backs of some chairs, like this…
…as well as some other accents. And then the green and white houndstooth I’m imagining on two small ottomans that I plan to make that will fit under the console table in the entryway, which of course will be getting a makeover.
So that’s the direction I’m headed so far. I’m very excited about the new direction. It’s not a complete departure from what I have now, but it’s just a rearranging of ideas and reusing ideas and colors in a very different way than the direction I’ve been heading. And I think the end product will be more “me”. But of course, this could all change yet again. I feel like the process of decorating this house has kind of become a journey of self-discovery. I’m learning more and more about my own true style a little bit more each day.
UPDATE: I might mention that I would be willing to sell my current draperies if any of you might have a need for them. The fabric is P. Kauffman Florabunda in the color Sea Glass. The very darkest teal areas in that fabric are a good match to Behr Mythic Forest paint color, which is what I have on my walls, just to give you an idea of the color. Each drapery panel is two widths of fabric, they are lined with blackout lining, and pinch pleated at the top. I don’t remember the exact height (though I can measure them) but the height works well in a room with an 8-foot ceiling. If you’re interested, just let me know in an email to [email protected]