Thursday, August 4, 2011

Creating warmth with color and fabric

You can have a beautiful new house, 
but without a color plan or fabrics you won't have a home.
My clients, Jill and Jason, were in that category.
I had decorated Jason's mom's home about 15 years ago,
and when he gave me a call to help pull it all together, 
it was a very nice compliment!
I'm now officially old enough to have decorated for two generations.
J&J have two little girls, Ella and Lyla, and another baby coming in September!
Beautiful dark floors, a massive black distressed island, 
warm white cabinetry and an open floor plan all set the stage 
for wonderful things to come.
The only pattern in the room was a bossy red rug,
 which was repurposed in another room.
There were plenty of neutrals but no magic.
Two basic beige couches and no curtains in sight!
You can see a sneak peek of the new rug~
but where did our inspiration come from?
Jill loved the paint color Woodlawn Blue, 
and I green lighted it for her dining room walls.
Jason did a board and batten wall treatment,
 and he doesn't even follow any design blogs and
 realize how hot this treatment is in blogland! 
The Woodlawn Blue looked dynamite above it.
New white linen panels from Pottery Barn on rods installed under the crown molding
replaced some yellow linen panels that originally hung from the window frame.
What a huge difference it makes when you hang your drapes up high!
My recommendation is for them to paint the base of the table blue
and then to cover the leather parsons chairs with the Ballard slipcovers in white.
Feels like a boardroom in there with all those leather chairs.
The floor can't be dark, and the table dark and the chairs dark
and then the walls light and dreamy!
No, we have to create a symphony of repeating color and lightness.
Imagine a large bowl in that beautiful blue color 
for the centerpiece on the table.
The first thing Jill bought was this cute desk chair from Home Goods
upholstered in blues, creams and greens. Nice job!

 Once we picked the blue paint color, we brought it in to the kitchen and living area.
Jason painted the beadboard back to the home office desk hutch the same blue. 
 Jill accessorized it with some of her white ceramics
 and these charming dishes from Pier One.

Really pretty~
Gorgeous...but hey, its kinda boring!
How about a little blue and white damask to brighten things up.
Play with some of the accessories to repeat the color.

This is a great place to mount a valance when you have an upper tier of window
lites with a divided trim piece. This treatment is stationary.
A netted wood tassel trim in blue, beige and cream gives this a fun look.
 Some large custom pillows in the kitchen fabric look smashing against the basic beige~
look how great this room is starting to feel!
Jill found the rug at Home Goods too. 
We still need some more lighting, a chair, a coffee table....
I grabbed this pair of X benches at my local Home Goods. 
Every magazine you look at lately will 
have at least one room with a pair of x benches!
They are always wonderful for extra seating with style.
The big empty window wants a pair of floor length draperies!
And they want to be hanging off of big dark rods and iron rings.
The massive black fireplace balances out the big island on the other end of the room,
but all of these dark pieces need some companion pieces with color and lighter values.
Fabric always warms up a room.
This is the fabric I want for their draperies.
A paisley that combines our blue, gold and cream colors.
It will totally warm up this end of the room.
These walls are BM Providence Olive, which is a khaki tone.
Jason painted the lamp with the Woodlawn Blue~
he might be a future DIY blogger.
This is where this story ends, for now~
its got a great beginning and middle part,
now we just need to get to the end,
where they all lived Happily Ever After
in their charming family home.


  1. Very pretty home. Love the advice you've given them. I really like the valance you made in the kitchen and pillows. Have you told them to paint their fireplace white yet?

  2. What is the fabric you used for the kitchen valance? Love it. It's not in your face yet makes a huge impact. Also, the paisley is great. I have loved paisley since high school. We even had a cat named Paisley.

  3. So cool, I mean warm. Have them save some blue paint and make an art piece with family hand prints or footprints when the baby arrives. I would like to see some Novogratz personalization art!

  4. What a good post, filled with useful info! Thanks for showing the step by step of it all!

  5. Love this color scheme, Amy! The lightness fits in with what I'm hoping to do when we downsize. That rug is just gorgeous and I love how everything is tying in from the rug to the valance in the kithcen! Can't wait to see the finale!

  6. Really great tips..(again..)

  7. Gorgeous home and I see the "Amy" touches everywhere. Love the fabric for the windows....the colors are perfect and the whole color scheme is one of my favorites. So soft and really pops against those dark wood floors. Beautiful!
    PS Love her girls pretty.

  8. Yes, it's a great story. The shade over the sink is just perfect and the paisley panels will make a big impact on the family room !

  9. What a difference these beautiful touches of blue make. I love this post, it is fascinating watching you work the rooms. The dining room is such a pretty shade of blue, and i love how it is repeated on the beadboard on the back of the cabinet and then pulled into those soft pillows on the sofa. I can't even imagine a red rug in the living room now...


  10. I love it all! Any chance you will show us how that window treatment in the kitchen was made? ;)

  11. OH Amy its going to be beautiful!! The colors are so soft. Can't wait for the next installment. The fabrics you picked are so pretty.

  12. Nice job, Amy! It is going to be great when you have it all pulled together. You have so many of the right pieces there already! Nice job with colors and accents! xo Diana

  13. With just splashes of color it adds so much interest. The rooms are wonderful and I love the desk chair also. Thanks for sharing, Kathy

  14. so pretty Amy! I love the starting points and that blue is FABulous!!! I am going to have to write that one in my file.
    Thank you so much for the compliment on my outfit the other day! :) You really made me smile.
    Have a great weekend!

  15. I love what you are doing here! I have to agree it was very boring and it does need window treatments. Love the valance in the kitchen and the ceiling colour. I can't wait to see the window treatments!!
    That was funny about decorating for two generations...i work with teenage girls and their moms are my age ugh!!!! How can this be???

  16. A really lovely job Amy! Hey, congrats on making the blog section of the latest Romantic Homes mag! (*_*)


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