Monday, November 23, 2009

Small change ... big difference

This sassy little bench is a huge improvement from ...

its previous forlorn state (what was I thinking??)

etting ready for company is a great motivator for many of us to freshen up our living spaces. There is nothing like hosting a party for a couple dozen guests to want to start all over again somewhere (or everywhere!) With the holiday season just around the corner, I thought I’d share some great before and afters from my client files that show how easy it is to make a big difference by changing a few things.

The main flaw in this good-size kitchen
was a domineering set of outdated cabinets. Newer black appliances stuck out next to the lighter oak of the woodwork. My clients, anticipating a future renovation, wanted to spiff it up in the meantime.

By painting the long line of upper cabinets a light creamy yellow (closer to the wall color) they are not as heavy and boxy-looking as before. The bottom cabinets got a fresh coat of a bright colonial blue (self-priming Aura paint from Benjamin Moore did the trick) which is similar in tone to the black of the dishwasher and oven, helping them recede into the background. Shiny new hardware and a pretty toile fabric at each window helps to update this kitchen from “I am living with this
to I am loving this. Even the vintage stove top looks stylish now, as does the red sink (blue, red and yellow are a great, primary color combination).

The homeowner of this family room addition was looking for a pop of color. Her collection of red and blue glassware inspired my suggestion to define the space above the built-in bookcases with a deep, rich red. To get her visually on board, I provided a computer mock-up of the space with the new color ...

Here is the newly painted space which is pretty close to the visual I provided. With Thanksgiving company coming, we did a furniture shop to find the new sofa, chair-and-a-half and ottoman pictured in the after shot above (and at the store below).

A chair-and-a-half is one of my favorite must-have pieces. It is perfect for curling up with a good book or snuggling with a little one to read a story. Two adults could also share the space (if they are in the mood, that is!) I actually have one of these love seats of my own that will be re-invented soon (it has undergone one-too-many transformations into a fort over the past few years). Check back around Christmas (?!?) to see my master bedroom relocation, which is where my favorite chair will be placed (out of harms way!)

Here is my soon-to-be-new master before ...

And here it is just about ready to be insulated ...

A note of warning to all of you out there lusting after old homes ... my husband and I fell in love with this 100-year old fixer upper, I think mostly for the “before and after” potential that we saw in it. If I had my chance to do it again, I would have bought it before having kids (not with 3 toddlers and a baby on the way, again what were we thinking???). Fixing it up with four little ones under foot hasn’t been the we-can-do-it adventure I hoped for! Although when this Cinderella-before-the-ball house is finished, I am sure we will forget all of the blood/sweat/tears/money that we poured into this renovation-without-end. Until then, I will have plenty of before-and-after-content to share with all of you : )

1 comment:

  1. can't wait to see the it will be beautiful! claudine


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