Thank you, Dave!!
I'm so pleased to have somewhere to talk about decorating! I don't claim to be an expert, but I do have lots of opinions!
Thank you, Dave!!
What style of decorating do you like? I'm big on country myself. It started out being "early attic" many years ago but has become the rage now. I buy stuff at garage sales, etc. from friends, other people's castoffs and fix them up. It is almost, but not quite, as consuming a hobby as gardening. I am making plans now to stencil roses as a top border in my guest/computer room. Keep us posted as to what all you are doing.
What about me????? New house end May. Ideas folks - I could do with some inspiration :-) but definitely country, English or French. NO modern or contemporary!
Trish, I scanned the other thread you had going before Dave started this forum....so what color did you paint your walls (that you now don't like?) I did a terracotta color in the den of our first home, and when we were trying to sell it, people inevitably said "hmmm....what would you CALL that color????" After about three or four of those questions, it was time to get a couple cans of nice, neutral taupe. Apparently my first choice wasn't a good one!
In our last two homes (only two within four years, so you've got us beat by a mile!), I've found a color that's somewhere between parchment, khaki, and pale butter is a nice "neutral", and I use it in the common halls and the formal living areas to help keep everything open and flowing from room to room. It goes well with a lot of colors (I'm especially fond of the sagey greens with a bit of tomato-ey red here and there); and it's just dark enough to contrast against white woodwork, and make the trim look nice and crisp. I've also found a khaki-to-sage color for our den that is really soft and nice.
My tastes are probably best described as eclectic, although I cringe at using such a trendy word. But our furniture is starting to settle into a pleasing mixture of things that we've collected (we've finally gotten rid of most of the "early years" stuff....), and I gravitate toward the "old worn tapestry" look, and the faded florals, and some warm/dark woods with distressed finishes. They just seem so comfortable somehow, and if the kids put their feet on something, I still holler, but hey - it already looks old!
I can't do white walls; I think it's a reaction to the apartments we had for several years! I do love the white-on-white look I see in some magazines, but right now with three kids, two puppy/dogs and a black cat, there's NO WAY I'd attempt it - why go begging for trouble???? Maybe when we get that lake house after the kids are gone (ha ha ha ha ha ha.....by then the Jetson's space-age house will probably be the norm!!!!LOL!)
My favourite colours are green and russet red, or terracota. I love florals and checks and usually mix the two. I love beautiful soft sheer drapes in the bedrooms. Most of my furniture I brought with me to the States and consists mainly of English pine and antiques. I collect bone china and have many pieces - some plates I display on a wall. I prefer to have some white walls, and some wallpapered because they show off my paintings. I guess you could say that I am also 'eclectic' :-)
After having so many houses, I've done different things with all of them, and I'm trying something new, yet again.
The thing that I've learned is that no matter what you paint, when you sell, everyone is going to hate it, and demand white walls. I've given up. I fully intend to decorate the way _I_ want to, and if I move sometime soon, I'll just repaint everything white, for those people who have no taste :0 (no offence to white-wall lovers out there, its just not for me).
My problem is that I picked out colors while still in Atlanta, after only seeing the house once. Normally I mull these things over forever first, and take millions of samples home, tape them to the wall for awhile, ect...
I messed this one up- big time!! In the places I wanted color- I got colors that were WAY to bright (even for me), and in the places that I went neutral (den, formals, and master), the walls look boring.
OK- my kitchen- remember, I'm going for the French Country look here- Yellow (we're talking wear your sunglasses first thing in the morning yellow) on the top, and Green on the bottom- same color family. The adjoins to the breakfast area which has the same yellow on the top, and denium blue on the bottom. Breakfast area leads to the den where there is the blue denium furniture with _very_ neutral colors on the walls (read boring).
Because the house was in such terrible condition when we bought it, we actually hired someone to do the painting (strip 8 layers of wallpaper, and repair dryway, ect), so I never even got to see the finished product until it was too late, but we did invest quite a bit of money into it.
So- I'm looking for a way to soften the look of the BRIGHT colors, without totally repainting them. I realize that without curtains and stuff on the walls, it is a little stark, and those things will cozy it up some...
I was thinking to apply a rusty color glaze on the 2 rooms with the yellow. I really think this will help soften it, but what to do with the blue and the green? I feel that they will look flat against the faux finish?
Also, this neutral in the den, and hallway has got to go. I was thinking a nice sage green, or an olive color. The room is about 12x7 (guessing), so its not really big, and we downsized here, so there's a lot of furniture in this little space- only 7ft celings too. So do you think that a color will really close it in? Also, what about the greens? Clashing with the couch, and the walls in the breakfast area and kitchen too.
Ack!! You can see I need major advice with this one- and I haven't even told you about the rest of the rooms yet!!
Ahhhhh- I love this forum!!
Ok- the Sienna was actually the color I had in mind. I've also thought about the whitewash, and just can't decide between the two. I may have to just experiment with it or a scap piece of wood.
Greens with the blue couches was my big fear when choosing the paint for the den, but what I have is boring me to sleep!
Any other color suggestions for that room, keeping in mind that you can see the breakfast area, and a glimpse at the kitchen too?
Maybe not sienna, but I think a glaze could add depth and richness to the colors, and depending on what you color you mixed it, could soften/lighten/darken the color. Home Depot used to carry (I haven't seen it in a while) a series of Ralph Lauren glazes that were named nicotine/tobacco...they went from a light to fairly dark range.
I guess the thought behind it was to re-create the haze that time and cigarette smoking will bring to walls. When I first saw it, all I could think was WHY ON EARTH would I want to make it look like a chain smoker lived in our house????? And if you recently read my diatribe about smokers on another forum, you can laugh at my seeming about-face here!
But having had to "tone down" some too-bright paint myself, I've reconsidered my initial reaction, and I think it could work - I glazed the walls of a powder room in our last home, and it really added something special.
A decorator once told me a "trade secret" to glazing your walls, especially if they're painted with a flat paint: first coat them with a clear polyurethane (oil if oil paint, water-based if latex) before you glaze them. That way, if you don't like the effect, it comes off very easily. And it adds another layer of richness to the overall effect.
I also have used tone-on-tone flat and high-gloss paints to create a "striped" effect - very subtle and pretty darn cool. I painted the walls with the flat paint, then used 2" wide kraft-paper paint strips (and a level) to create the stripes with the high-gloss paint tinted the same color as the flat paint.....just some ideas.
Trish, you are really getting some excellent advice from these great gals. Go Vols, you are certainly a multi- talented lady. You are one of those people who seems to know a lot about a lot of different subjects. I can hardly wait to meet you. I think we can work something out by the third or fourth week in April. We always consider ourselves out of winter's harm by the 14th of April. I will be getting back to you. I am off the subject. Sorry! Trish, will you be giving us the "Complete Tour" of your home when we all come in August. That in itself will be worth the trip. I have a house you guys can come and decorate when you get finished with Trish's.
It's not a technical issue, it is a bandwidth issue. I agree that it would be helpful.
I'll talk to Dave about it.
If you come to the "Garden Party", you'll certainlly see our house. Oh dear! I have TONS of work today before late July!! GULP!
We've discussed allowing images in any forum at least twice before, and I have some good reasons for not doing it.
1. As Trish mentioned, Bandwidth, but this isn't the primary reason.
2. It makes the page take an eternity to load for our dialup users (who make the majority). An embedded image in a thread causes the page to not show until the entire picture(s) is downloaded. On an active thread with potentially dozens of pictures (especially in decorating, etc) it can be literally impossible to browse those threads on a slower connection.
I've solved this problem by giving people a Gardener's Journal where you can upload pictures into a special area that you create. Then, you just copy/paste the URL to the journal entry right here in the thread, and people can click on the link to see the photo.
For example, here's a picture of a nice Brug that SoCal sent us:
Good morning, Elena (my neighbor to the north!) I can't wait for us to get together - I'm so anxious for our weather to clear out!
Thanks for the compliemnt, but it comes down to necessity being the mother of invention.......when you have limited decorating dollars, sometimes you just ask yourself "How hard can THAT be???" (a question that has gotten me into more trouble than any other question in my life!)
Trish, I had an idea for your den - we did a "distressed leather" glazing in a study in our last home - it was a real selling point to the new owners of our home, and always got compliments when we had dinner parties. I think they make the leather glazes in green, red, "saddle brown", tan, and a few other colors. If you're interested, let me know and I'll try to sum up the "lessons learned" from our experience - top of the list is DON'T buy the $45 brush - we used a soft brush like you'd use to wash a car or truck (about $5).
Oh, dear....I tried the leather look once. In Dave and my office (we used to share). It was one of my decorating projects that I still cringe over! I love the look, but not the look _I_ came up with! LOL!
I'll keep it in mind....
It is a little touchy. We started in a corner that was behind a bookcase, which was a good place to start! And it really takes two people to do it, othewise, you get a patchy effect......
I bet you'll get a lot of good suggestions from DG members.....
Patty, Please share details of how you do it with this amateur painter. Thanks
I recently had the honor of designing window treatments for a home that was painted with bright colors in every room. Each room was visable to the others in varying degrees. They used a sienna sponged on glaze over ALL the rooms and the effect was not only unifying to the many colors but looked stunning. Their original colors were Bright yellow, green, turquoise and purple! The glaze was put on top with a sponge and they were careful not to blur it so that the colors were left vibrant behind the glaze. It toned everything down but left it bright too! Since I did not do the work I would reccomend making up some test boards to see what works for your situation. The Bigger the test board the better. And live with the boards awhile before you make up your mind.
It never occured to me to glaze _all_ of the rooms! Then, I could keep all of the colors that I already have. Maybe I could still change the family room color first, then glaze that too. I think I would leave the bedrooms out of it, tho. I have different ideas for those rooms. (Thinking out loud here)
I'll need to ponder this one for a little while....
I may have a project for this weekend! (test boards)
A couple of suggestions:
Adding mirrors to the wall in the den would open it up for you some.
Also, continuing the wall paint onto the ceiling for a couple of inches will add the appearance of more height.
I do believe the darker walls would close int he room. Use accents to add color.
Trish, I don't know if you have already done your test boards - but if you haven't I have a suggestion. Use foam core board for your test boards. This is the stuff that is two pices of poster board with a layer of styrofoam in the middle. You can paint two different effects on one board, the boards are lightweight and easily hung on the wall with making tape. They come in various sizes and take paint well.
Regarding the posting of photos: Have you thought of posting photos on a site like http://photopoint.com/ instead of filling up the server with pictures. The service is free.
Trish you did such a wonderful job on your girls room that I am dying of curiosity about what you have done on the other areas.
Not a thing :-) I've been so busy working outside, I haven't gotten to do any decorating whatsoever :( In fact, just yesterday I got around to buying the fabric for DD's curatins and bedskirt to finish off her room!
My windows are still bare, and just about every room in my house needs SERIOUS help....some more than others!
Oh! The wait til winter, when I can't be outside, I can do it later approach to decorating! I know it well! :} In the meantime just tell people you are trying the no frills approach to decorating.....it is all the rage in some areas don't ya know!
Zanymuse is right, Trish. You can do things like go out and get some nicely shaped branches and hang them over the windows, loosely drape gauze or filmy fabric or silk flowers over and around and call it a "window treatment". Almost anything goes these days. You just take "artistic license' and use your creativity and you will be "all the rage". Most of all don't forget that,..... "this is the way I like it".... rather than, "I haven't had time to do that." LOL