If you followed along with me at all on Facebook or Instagram you know this last week was huge for me, both in terms of design but also in time away from the family as a whole. It truly was like living our own reality show that week. Daddy stayed home all week with the kids and I went out into the world and was the worker. Isn’t that some sort of Swap show? Well, ultimately, we both gained a new appreciation for each other’s roles in our traditional family. I would come home tired as a dog at night just wanting to relax and do nothing and The Chief started getting the itch for a “break”.
The upsides for me were stretching the imagination and creativity, learning more about Fredericksburg and falling in love with it, and surprisingly the bonding with the children who became my design assistants. The downside was the pure physical perseverance required of a pregnant woman; but with a good pair of Crocs I managed to stay on my feet and move, move, move to get the work done. I do believe, perhaps, any farther along in my pregnancy, back- wise, may have proven too much! Still, it was sooooo rewarding and worth it, and if they invite me back next year, you bet I would jump on it!
The home that was selected for me was quite small compared to other homes on the tour and was renovated into a very modern home. The owner, who was so pleasant to work with, had a very eclectic, contemporary style. She was a very hard working business woman and mother to three grown children who live in different states, so she was home very little throughout the whole process as is the norm for her year round.
As the before pictures show, the holiday decorating really didn’t start right away as we needed to do some restyling first. This meant we needed to get the home to its optimal layout. You know me and my motto: Good Design begins with a Good Space Plan!!!! From there, I began to bring in the elements of style that really reflected her tastes but she didn’t have the time or energy to focus on in her career and lifestyle. Once we achieved that look, I brought in Christmas one ribbon and ornament at a time.
*Let’s have a look at the one room that had the most significant change on this home tour—The Parlor (isn’t that the coolest name)!!
As you can see from the before pictures the room struggled with shelf styling and furniture layout. The owner, admittedly, knew her furniture was too big for the space. It was a mistake that happened in the measuring and ordering process and I knew this was the very first thing to correct in here especially given a crowd of 2000 was expected to have to walk through here on to the dining room.
Also, the shelves were a hodge podge of books, knick knacks, and pictures frames of different colors and styles that she had collected over the years which had no display style. They were just there if you know what I mean.
In this after, I took the too big chaise that was previously faced towards the TV and angled in the corner to open up the space and allow for a better traffic flow. I also brought in a table from the other room to put up against the armless part of the couch to create some balance in the couch since the chaise never fit together with it.
I cleared all the shelving saving only the best, most cohesive pieces to style with some items I picked up from the Goodwill and Home Goods with my allotted $750 budget. Stay tuned later this week for a post on how-to turn hideous junk from thrift stores into one-of-a kind style.
This before angle shows how obtrusive the chaise was to the dining room next door.
Here in the after, I added some pillows from around the house and a tray to the newly angled chaise. The tray helped to bring the eyes there instead of on the massiveness of the chaise. Basically, it broke the chaise up visually!
As for the the shelving it was a labor of love for me. I first cleared the shelves, this helps start with brand new eyes, then added fresh greenery. I styled it with small wrapped presents adorned by vintage books with pages facing out on some shelves to break up the monotony. I found the clear container, grass, gold Christmas tree, wood wreath, and container with style balls all from the Goodwill. I know! Great finds, right?!?! The antelope with gold antlers I found at Home Goods.
Here’s another view of how the couch had been separated leaving it armless. Also, take note of the small pictures on the wall that I knew needed to be changed out.
So, I styled the shelves on left side of the mantel similar but not identical to the other side making it cohesive but not twinsy. Again, brought in some presents, books, fresh greenery, and a wooded nativity scene from Home Goods. The wreath was from Goodwill and the rest of the accessories came either from my home or were hers.
Hard to see here, but I replaced those small pictures with my own mirror which helped to bounce light off the Christmas tree lights in the adjacent corner to give a nice sparkly feel in the room. Mirrors also help to give a room depth which makes them “feel” bigger.
This before picture shows the view of the entryway leading into the parlor as well as the chairs which were positioned in the room. You can also tell that outside of the shelving lighting the only other lighting source was the small light on the secretary there.
In this after restyle, I took out both chairs and moved them into the dining room. I stored everything on top of the secretary and added a nice trio of candles and greenery as well as replaced the square modern pictures with the gold rimmed (part of the color scheme) vintage picture I found at the Goodwill.
I also added a make shift table (Christmas tree box sitting on top of a plastic box with tablecloth over it) to make a sofa table behind the couch. It allowed me to bring in more Christmas and again draw your eye up and away from the couch which I didn’t want to be the second focal point in the room.
Finally, I brought in my own large basket and placed it under the secretary to fill in the negative space there. To the couch I brought in pillows from another room and adorned them with ribbon and greenery to add a Christmas touch.
Hope you like the pictures and learned something new…more to come, of course.
This week I will be concentrating on more Christmas design in parts 2, 3, 4, etc—like how to determine the best Christmas colors for your room, tree style in which I will feature the Candlelight Tour’s tree which I didn’t show here, and how to create rich colorful garland over the mantle.