Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Time Reminds Us To Lighten Up

After a long winter, or many years in the same home, many of us settle into accepting the monotony of dull and sometimes lifeless interiors.  But the long, sunny days of Summer have a way of perking us up and stirring the desire to lighten up our rooms and our lives.

One of my recent design projects exemplifies this feeling, so I thought that I would share it with you.  One of my favorite clients and her husband have been living in their lovely home for a while now.  When they moved in years ago, they decorated it in a way that suited their phase of life and the styles of the times.  However, years later, with their daughters out of the house and off on their own, the home no longer spoke to their lifestyle.  There was nothing really wrong with the rooms… they just didn't feel as “right” any more.

These clients wanted to stay in the same place, but update some of the interiors without making a lot of significant or super costly changes, such as purchasing major, new furnishings.  Here is what we did:

Dining Room

Old Style: dark, dull sage paint scheme

New Life: lighter, neutral, warm and welcoming hue

Old Style: heavy, old-fashioned window treatments

New Life: lighter, updated linen drapery panels on iron rods

Old Style: traditional, dark and busy area rug

New Life: transitional, wispy, area rug

Old Style: colonial brass chandelier with rosy shades

New Life: bronze finish scroll chandelier with seagrass shades

Old Style: uninspiring fireplace wall with repetitious accessories

New Life: interesting mantle compositions and varied accents

Old Style: lack-luster and formal looking décor

New Life: lovely vignettes with charming accessories and consistency of finishes & materials

Sitting Room

Old Style: dark, serious paint scheme (especially for a garden-view room!)

New Life: light, relaxing hue

Old Style: uninviting furniture arrangement with lamp table by walkway

New Life: end table with different lamp moved away from the room's entry space

Old Style: traditional design dark rug

New Life: light and airy patterned rug

Old Style: tired looking accessories

New Life: fun, new colorful pillows, throw and accents that invite the outside in

I think that you can see what a difference that colors and materials can make in breathing new life into an old space!  In these rooms, there were some expenses in the purchase of rugs, window treatments (dining room only), some lighting and accessories, as well as painting.  But many of the accessories were "shopped" from other rooms or simply arranged within the rooms, and all of the major furniture was left in place.  And the resulting spaces are barely recognizable from how they began!

I hope that this motivates you to see your rooms in a fresher new light!