Renovation Magic

Even though they are  messy and always filled with surprises (often unpleasant ones) renovations are exciting to me. It’s like taking a person who thinks that they are washed up…that life has passed them by…and helping them find purpose again. I like to think of the transformation as renovation magic.

It is hard to see your own home the way that others see it. Because we walk through rooms every day, the familiarity blinds us to what is really there, I think. I know it is true for me. As an artist, I am a messy; so, when papers and paints and inspiration photos are covering every flat surface I just think, “wow, exciting stuff is about to happen here.” Everyone else thinks, “is she ever going to clean this place up!” LOL It’s what makes the world go ’round.

Sometimes, a room can be filled with good pieces that don’t need to be replaced but because of their age or the colors used, the room feels more like a museum than an inviting place to sit and visit. It is my job to see through the visual clutter and breathe fresh life.

Such was the case with this living room.

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renovation BEFORE

 

It has great bones and lovely family pieces that hold sentimental value but it was so dark and “stiff” that no one really ever used the room. My challenge is to lighten and brighten without significantly changing the layout or the furniture pieces used.

I started by stripping away the dated sheers and heavy window coverings, allowing the space to be flooded with natural light. The window and door flanking the fireplace open into a beautiful sunroom that we re-decorated a couple of years ago so there is no reason to have heavy drapery covering them. That change alone makes a huge difference AND saved the client the expense of new custom drapery and hardware for two windows, a considerable savings when you have 12′ ceilings.

Without really realizing what I was doing I actually just flipped the wall color and the ceiling colors.

The blue walls became white and the white ceiling became blue. Blue ceilings always feel like you are inviting the sky to come inside and bring its sunny effect with it. I am getting very happy!

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The only “before” picture of the foyer I could put my fingers on was one snapped in the process of decorating for Christmas last year but you can see the important stuff. The bones are fantastic but the dark brown and burgundy of the wallpaper and the niche felt a bit like Grandmama lived there. (Did I just say that out loud?) The marble floors were a bit dingy from 90+ years of feet walking on them. Hey I would be a little tired too wouldn’t you?

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renovation BEFORE

We carried the same color scheme through to this area to create a lovely visual flow that automatically makes everything feel larger. A soft cream and blue paper replaced the original everywhere except for the front half of the foyer where the walls were left white to open it up and allow it to breath.

The marble floors were cleaned up and no longer have a yellow tint. The wall niche was marbleized by Marilyn Heard to match the paper and now feels much more authentic to the space.

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The transformation of the library speaks for itself. Sorry about the grainy before.

jinks libr

renovation BEFORE

jinks lib

Stay tuned as this Southern Belle gets dressed up for the ball!

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Beautiful Doors Are The First Step Toward Hospitality

Beautiful doors are so important to me. They are almost the first design element that I consider when planning a new space. Doors invite our family and friends into our offered hospitality. They set the tone of the home. Doors weigh on me until I get them right.

We have been in the planning stages for a design/build for a family we have known since college days. Basically, I was asked to take the plans for their existing home which sits on a large lot in a neighborhood and re-work it so that it would fit on a pie-shaped lot that has amazing water views on three sides.

I can’t wait to take you along on the construction journey. We just came out of the ground last week!

Houzz

Houzz

Of course, I immediately started talking about the doors. I knew that I would be using them to add character and a sense of age to the new house but I needed to explore several style options to see what resonated with everyone. The first one considered was the door shown above with lovely old stained glass and a rather modern styled wood panel at the bottom. It reminded me of doors at Huntingdon College, a local university here in Montgomery, Alabama. I have wonderful sources for fabulous architectural salvage so I am always confident that I will be able to find what we need.

Then I found this one:

french door

a completely different look… basically just a badly painted French Door. haha  That one didn’t last very long on my mental board.

This one I love.

decor de provence blog

decor de provence blog

The proportion and scale, the way the arched transom hugs the door, the wavy glass and the finish all stopped me in my tracks. The fact that it is in on a French house didn’t hurt either.

I am always a sucker for Tudor especially if it looks like it came out of an old church like this one does. I probably would have roughed it up a bit though so that it is not so spit polished… know what I mean?

Doors by Decora

Doors by Decora

My friends at McAlpine Home never disappoint. This is from one of their projects.

McAlpine Tankersley

McAlpine Tankersley

Just that one simple curve added to the bottom made all the difference.

In the end, my choice was the one with the arched top and transom and happily the clients agreed so the mill-works folks will be starting on it tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Next up: stair talk. See you soon.

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One Day Closer To Move In

 

Back in Brantley today for the very LAST workday before the full move-in! Woo Hoo. We couldn’t be more excited.

The fireplace wall that no one believed we really had a plan for came rapidly together today. The cabinet crew did an amazing job of executing my vision for the concealed TV.

 

 

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The Tv is recessed into the wall so that it is flush with the face. The doors are then double hinged with concealed brackets and fold all the way back flat against the side walls. The opening around the firebox will be the same product that is on the floor for a seamless transition.

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