Friday, August 13, 2010

The Domino Effect in Decorating

I have been busy working on my living room makeover.
It is taking longer than normal because there are so many things I am doing.
It started in the living room and then ran into the dining room~
something I call the domino effect.
I bought this rug at Company C. 
When I put it in the living room the pink and yellow
in the dining room seemed overpowering with the aqua. 
You can't have three colors in equal strengths. 
There is no balance.
 There were too many colors going on in the house now.
So I decided the bright pink had to go, and with it the chairs.
Here is a glimpse of the changes that ensued.
I added beadboard wallpaper and frenchy blue chairs.
I changed the window treatments to simple sheer swags.
Now with the chandy painted and a new frenchy mirror.
But let me back up...
I got my pretty chairs from Bridget at Rustique In NH.
Loading up to head back to my place!
See that mirror with the fleur~de~lis? 
I loved the shape of it and bought that too!
It was finished the same as the chairs in soft aqua blue.
I bought it for the living room, but as it turned out,
I don't always know exactly where something is gonna go. 
I do know if I love it~
it will end up looking fab somewhere!
 Meanwhile in the living room to make the rug work 
(you can barely see it laid on top of my cream carpet to check it out)
I painted and glazed my mantle in pale blue.
Hubby hung my iron and crystal sconces that 
I had been carting around forever.
My Lillian August couch was in serious browns and golds
and this was going to have to change.
It was going to get some slipcovers for the cushions
 to totally transform the look of this piece.
Here is the new carpet thrown down in the room for a look see.
Yes, slipcovers are a must, and mantle was yet to be painted.
I tested out some pink and yellow toiles and polka dots
going with the playful mood of the rug.
The mantle was still grey in this picture.
Only the cushions were going to get slip covered, 
not the tufted frame.
The upholstery has pinks and oranges 
in the brown chenille fabric which is hard to see.
The walls were changed from a
beigy yellow to a clean buttery yellow.
Top is painted fresh, bottom still beigey...
believe it or not this subtle paint change was huge.
Then I took apart the chandelier and set my sites on that offender.
I painted it with an oil based primer and the difference was incredible!
 I can see some crystal strands hanging from the arms.
Here is how it all turned out:

The new mirror looks beautiful in between the windows.
I love the bead board wallpaper 
and the iron garden settee as well.
View from Living Room into Dining Room 
note the white iron chandelier, 
eliminating the dark color was a major factor
 in the lightness of this room. 
You can see the living room a bit...
New pink and yellow toile cushion slipcovers. 
Dining room curtains are in this space now. 
They look so much better in here!
What a happy couch! What a happy room!
I brought in this mirror from dnrm 
along with the antique desert plates. 
It pulls together the pinks and yellows
 of the curtains and the cushions.
Pink and yellow tassel trim detail.
See my conservatory in the garden?
I eliminated the coffee table and
 replaced it with a leather ottoman
 I bought two years ago at Costco.
A tole tray holds books and drinks.
The strong colors of the rug are 
supported by the pinks and yellows.
The blue is repeated in the mantle and the dining room.
My bookcases are dressed up with books, 
special pictures and touches of blues.
My tabletops hold little collections of aqua blue tins,
 flower frogs, amethyst bottles, limoge boxes
and family pictures of my kids when they were little....
...and some French opera glasses for birdwatchin'....
Oh, and that's my Nana holding my now 30 year old son Justin!
These watercolors by noted artist 
Mary Waters Jacobs are of my first two sons.
Its a happy coincidence that their shirts match my decor!
The mantle has a window frame with rose botanicals
 in each frame in cheerful pinks yellows and greens.
A galvanized tin of  pink flowers sits on the hearth.
A view looking across the living room towards my dining room.
A baby grand piano is coming tomorrow!
It will be in the corner on the left.
Here it is a day later!!!!!
I updated this post to show the piano in place.
How about this for a perfect painting
 over it in all the right colors!
I bought it over a year ago because 
I loved the romance and gentility of the scene.
How cheerful is this pretty room?
My colorful living room makeover~
I'm already thinking about the winter look for the room 
as this has a very spring and summery feel. 
Changing the rug out to my black needlepoint rug
and swapping out the mantle artwork will be the plan.
We love both of our rooms!
Use the power of paint, edit your accessories,
 and add prints and patterns 
in a balanced manner to transform your spaces.

Linking to 
Company C
My Romantic Home: Show and Tell Friday
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Friday
Funky Junk Interiors SNS
Metamorphosis Monday


  1. Wow, that was some domino effect! The rooms look bright and cheery. Some favorites--your oval mirror and dessert dishes, the fabrics on your sofa. You must have had a lot of fun.

  2. I love your transformation...the colors are SO pleasing and gentle yet have their own pop! Love the fabrics you used on the sofa and the beautiful job you did with your mantle and chandelier. Wow!


  3. Love, love, love the changes Amy! And here I thought I was the only one with watercolors of my kids! Your new yellow color looks like my kitchen, it wouldn't happen to be Bee Pollen would it? At any rate, fab job Lady!

  4. I am loving your changes Amy. I love the pink and yellow toiles and soft muted colors in the paint. The rug is so fun and ties it all together. I absolutely love the shape of the sofa and the mix of fabrics.
    I also really love that oval mirror with the plates over it. It all looks lovely...makes me want to sit there with good book and a cup of coffee. Very inviting!


  5. Just blew up the pic of the living room...I also LOVE the floral window hanging on your mantle...that is so pretty. Did you make that or buy it that way?
    Also had to zoom in to see the mantle with 'Memories'. How sweet is that?
    You look so cute in the pink shirt too!
    Love that!
    Have a great weekend!


    One more thing and I promise I'm done. A week or so ago you sent me an email and commented about having a piano moved in. This is so ironic but I was on Craigs List looking at baby grand pianos and for no reason I just clicked my email and there was the email from you talking about the piano. What a coincidence! I called my husband and was like, "here is what I'm looking at" and "here's the email I got"! We had an upright Grand that my husband had inherited and it was burned up in a fire several years back. We miss having a piano in the house terribly so I'm always just looking around trying to find a good deal on one. Oh well, thought I had to share that with you!


  6. You have been busy! I love the transformation. That rug is very awesome!

  7. Can you say "S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G"????

  8. I love the changes you made. My favorite is the new cushion cover and pillows on the sofa!!

  9. Everything turned out beautifully! What a huge transformation with just small changes. When I say small, I mean you kept the same furniture (in your LR), but it looks completely refreshed and updated... gorgeous! Even though I'm an all white kind of gal, I love the way all of this fun color looks in your home... just beautiful!
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    ~ Jo :)

  10. Yes, the yellow and white walls look fresh, bright and cheery!

  11. The yellow paint is from Lowes and is Valspar Signature. I asked them to make a Ben Moore color called Harp Strings. It covers in one coat. This paint is very impressive! I have always used Ben Moore paints but am discovering this paint quality, the one coat coverage and the price point are hard to beat.

  12. I just found your blog and knew I would love it as soon I saw the images you chose for your header. Love what you are doing to your house. Our color schemes are very similar - pale yellow, aqua, pink, white.

  13. I have been down this road! I am dying over those french dining chairs - they are incredible. What a fun visit I have had to your blog. Will be following and hope you can stop by soon!

  14. Oh I love the yellow and both rooms are just gorgeous. Wow, you have really been one busy girl and the results are stunning. Love it all. Hugs, Marty

  15. I love your changes! Your home is so bright and cheery! The yellow is so beautiful and your furniture looks so comfy. Love your home.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  16. Love the transformation! So pretty, bright, and cheerful. Super job! Susan

  17. What a pretty and cheery transformation!! The yellow is so fun - I for some reason am a little hesitant about using yellow but my, it looks great in your room!!

    The pretty blue chairs and blue accents are another great addition to this room!!

    Great job!

    bee blessed

  18. love love love how both your rooms came out!!
    simply beautiful and so cheery and inviting.
    you should be very proud of yourself.
    blessings, Nellie

  19. I love what you did to your fireplace! All the details sure make the space.

  20. This is lovely! I am so tired of looking at everyone's completely white or Pottery Barn gray/beige houses. The decorating world is so afraid of color! You go girl, this is awesome!

  21. Your had me at the word color in your thumbnail icon. :) Crazy how one purchase can snowball into an entire decorating project. Great to see some fresh color choices here. A totally feminine and airy look.
    Pam @ BeColorful

  22. What a gift you have - this looks beautiful - and good advice, not having three colors of the same strength - I think you may have launched a domino effect in my home now!

  23. Can you share where you found that great round ottoman? Thanks!!

  24. Hi Anonymous, We bought the ottoman two years ago at Costco. My husband loves anything upholstered in leather so it came home with us! You can get great furniture deals at Costco..check them out online.

  25. This post was pure delight !
    Thanks for sharing

  26. I enjoyed reading this post!!...Great Job!
    I will be back


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