In another installment of this real rooms guest posting series, please welcome back Kate of Savour Fare. She is one of those amazing woman that seem to do it all - a goddess in the kitchen with a career and family and sparkling personality and fabulous blog to boot. Now that she has moved over into home ownership, she is tackling that challenge with gusto as well. Take it away Kate.
I'm thrilled to be guest posting from Savour Fare and a big thanks to Stefanie for including me!
Today I'm going to share with you a project in progress -- Our library, which I have subtitled, Really, you should go ahead and paint that room.
When we bought Stratford House, our 1946 bungalow, last year, it didn't need a ton of work. Everything was in reasonably good shape and perfectly fine to live with, just not exactly our style.
The most egregious example of this was the central room in the house - a former enclosed porch that was serving as a family room/den. It's visible from, and opens into the living/dining room, our bedroom hallway, the outside deck and the kitchen. And it was pink.
Here's a photo from the listing. The color doesn't translate well onto film, but trust me -- it was crushed velvet, dusty rose, deep reddish PINK. And to make matters worse, the light fixture, in addition to calling to mind Applebee's, circa 1992, cast an insanely yellow glow over the whole room, which reflected off the white ceiling.
Now, normal sane people would have repainted this immediately upon moving in, but we have two jobs, and a kid, and a blog, so we just plopped our furniture down (we're using the room as an office/librar) and lived with it. For six months. Six months may not seem like a long time, but may I remind you that this is six months of pink?
Eventually we made a few changes, like replacing the puke green velvet curtains with crisp white ones, and finally changing up that godawful light fixture, but it took a while before I could convince my overworked husband that we needed to buckle down and paint the room already. The color we chose was Dragonfly by Benjamin Moore -- a deep teal green that reads blue in some lights and green in others, and doesn't clash horribly with our sage green living room, green and white kitchen, and blue bedroom.
The paint has completely transformed the room. The trim (which also needs repainting - give us a couple of years) suddenly looks fresh and bright. The room now feels warm in the winter, but also cool in the summer, and even though the color is darker than the PINK, it makes the room feel brighter because it makes the white ceiling and trim really pop.
A few more details really helped make the room feel cozy and inviting -- a larger rug, and a few more pieces added to the walls so that it feels like a collection rather than a sad, asymmetrical, picture arrangement.
I especially love the art in this room -- it's anchored by the large painting over the sofa (a bargain my husband picked up at Shop Goodwill), but it really is a collection, and each piece has some meaning. The collection includes some original paintings done by my mother-in-law, a signed giclee print from a British artist I really love, an antique art deco convex mirror, a set of antique botanical prints my husband gave me for our first (paper) anniversary, and a reproduction detail of the Sistine Chapel that always hung in my grandmother's house when I was a little girl. We can also see the antique stained glass window we bought on a babymoon trip, which is hung in the living room. It's eclectic, but somehow, in this room it works. And it's a work in progress. As time passes, we hope to fill the empty frames and the empty spots on the wall, with beautiful and meaningful pieces.
With the calming green, this has become the central room in our house in more than just geography. This is where we read the paper in the morning, and where we sit and chat after our daughter goes to bed. In the summer, the sliding doors to the deck stay wide open, and the room almost becomes part of the outdoors.
It's really a retreat for everyone in the family.
Thanks for the attention today! For more glimpses of our house (and a lot of recipes), please visit me over at Savour Fare.