Monday, February 6, 2012

Cozy English Cottage

My mantle wall had bookcases backed with fabric covered boards in a pretty blue floral~but now that winter was here, the romantic summery feel of the room didn't feel quite right~hence the makeover!


Here is a glimpse of the finished look for the mantle and bookcases as part of the new Monday Makeovers series by BlogHer.


The floral boards will be saved so I can put them back in when springtime arrives~kind of like slipcovers for the bookcases, if you know what I mean.

These cases have had a few different looks, from ballet pink to the blue floral look that followed. I had in mind a robins egg blue to play up the blue accents I had in the room, so I set about painting the shelves blue. This is a great shot of all the options I have used so far~my schizophrenic bookcases!

I was really liking this, I thought it pulled in the blue chandelier crystals and I added a blue mirror I had to tie it all together. Then I filled the bookcases back up and stepped back to admire my work. As the blue paint dried it got a little bit brighter!

Argh~suddenly it was feeling electric in here! This was not going to work, not for one more minute.

Plan B was quickly devised and a coat of grey paint was brushed over the blue in a cross hatching manner, so bits of the blue would still be seen~and suddenly the room was feeling calm and elegant. If you try something and it doesn't feel right, it is because it isn't right, so don't be afraid to try again.

The mantle was next in line for a coat of grey paint. The carved element over the fireplace was taken down to make the room even calmer.

What I discovered was that the grey paint was the perfect foil for the pretty colors I love. It lets the colorful accents stand out without overwhelming the room. Its pretty and grown up all at the same time!

You can see the background of the painted bookcase with its bits of blue showing through.

Everything I put on the shelves looked good against this medium shade of grey.

See how nicely it is coming together now? I had to share my mistakes along the way, because even as a decorator you can make mistakes...the point is not to live with them!

A watercolor of a pond near my parent's Vineyard home and this trendy french script fabric would be used to bring out the grey paint in the room.

My decorating style leans towards the feminine and romantic style~ I think this shows you can create a romantic space without over doing florals and pink. However there was still more to be done.

I added a vintage tapestry chair to the fireside.

And a cute needlepoint stool for the slip covered chair.

Pleated shades for the sconces, as well as some purple glass drops and purple transferware plates.

Leaving my romantic summer cottage look behind.

For a cozier look with bits of English cottage style!
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37 comments:

  1. OMGOSH... you scared me...I thought you'd dumped the beautiful flowered walls. Whew...just removed for awhile. Okay, I can settle down now. I love the look of the new grey is very sophisticated and calm. Beautiful job! Well worth the work. have a fantastic day... ttyl... xoso Sandy

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  2. Absolutely gorgeous....love the new grey color! You have been very busy...all that work paid off though,your room is positively stunning :o)
    ~Des

    PS. I am now following you on Google...hope you will follow me back :o)

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  3. OH I adore the new summer cottage look. So soft and romantic. Isn't it nice to refresh things for the new seasons.

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  4. Amy, I love the new look. The gray is really pretty and makes the accessories pop. Yes, the blue wasn't going to work for my bathroom walls either. You and I are on the same path here. I even painted my mantel again a couple of weeks ago, but not gray. Love the picture of the pond. So serene.

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  5. Amy I love your living rooms new look! The grey was a perfect choice and really makes all your accessories pop. Love that tapestry chair too!

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  6. Yes! Love it. Such a calming effect. Your goodies on the shelves just pop. And the fireside chair is the crowning jewel of the room if you ask me!

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  7. Just gorgeous, Amy, I love both looks!! I just adore that new chair!!

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  8. Your new look is just so wonderful and I am anxious to see where you use the fabric. I found the same fabric at Hobby Lobby here and have used it on some chair seats. Just lovely what you have done. Now, back to painting my master bedroom.

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  9. Amy, for some reason when I look at your blog (and there is another one doing it too) all the pictures and words get scrambled all over and I have to wait for it to clear up. If I scroll back up to the top, it starts all over again. Weird! I didn't know if you've had anyone else have that problem before. It's as if it is loading funny. Anyway, I can see most of it, but can't really read all of it. I like your new look! I guess I'm the oddball in blogland, but I DO NOT change things based on the season. I leave my white slipcovers out year round and whatever else I like. I don't really pay attention to the weather when I decorate. I just do what I like no matter the time of year. Ha! See? Oddball! So....I liked your floral and didn't think it looked out of place. I guess, because I like the romantic look, and that is always going to look a little more summery than the lodge look! Ha! I am a huge fan of grey and white together. So I love your new color palette.

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  10. I LOVE the changes you have made in that room, it's so beautiful! I love the romantic cottage look, but this is also very pretty. You're right, "it's pretty and grown up" all at the same time. Doesn't it feel nice when we accomplish our goal and everything feels so right.
    Hugs, Cindy

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  11. It's fantastic how you painted over the blue with the gray on the shelves...what a big difference, for the better. And the mantel looks fabulous!! Great job!

    XO,
    Jane

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  12. Love your new bookcases and the new look of the fireplace and your vignettes. Beautiful. Hugs, Marty

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  13. Simply beautiful - I love the new look. Job well done. Thanks so much for sharing these great photos. Have a lovely Monday.

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  14. I love all your ideas, so clever. I realy like the gray too, what a beautiful shade. I would love to do something in my home in a light gray. Its very soothing.

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  15. Wow what a calming change. So nice that you will be able to change it out quite easily. I am not so brave as to step into the grey arena just yet. It looks beautiful.

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  16. I would be hard pressed to remove the spring/summer look come autumn. So light and airy! I admire the creativity you used in making floral removable boards for the book cases. I also love the architectural gingerbread that fits your fireplace--beautiful and inviting room! Greta Crank

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  17. Both great but I actually loved the blue color. Really popped! Love all the looks. judy

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  18. Love the grey but my heart really sings for the florals...gotta tell you that! No matter WHAT you do, Amy, it is always beautiful! xo Diana

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  19. The grey looks really nice on the back of the bookcases, Amy! I love your floral boards and am glad to hear they will be coming back out come Spring.

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  20. Amy you blow me away!! Seriously I love every single look, the solid gray looks more sophisticated, whereas the floral is more charming, country chic,shabby chic, etc....depends on your mood I guess. The blue is beautiful too. You are soo clever!

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  21. I love the new look! Great idea to have the floral boards that you can put back in later on though because I love that look too.

    Carolyn

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  22. Your new room is beautiful, but I did love the blue floral backboards - and my favorite thing was the carved piece over the fireplace (that you should probably sell to me). Anyway, I really like the new mantel, very restful! I also wanted to let you know that I am having a giveaway of a fancy apron to celebrate my publication in apronology magazine,
    http://houseofbeautifuldogs.blogspot.com/2012/02/fancy-apron-giveaway.html
    Love, Linda

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  23. Hi Amy,
    I love the changes that you have made. But, I really love that beautiful architectural piece that you had before.
    You have a great look going on.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  24. Wow Amy, the gray is really nice, it does soften everything, i would never have picked that color and i can't believe how pretty it is, and how it complements your accessories. It totally calmed the room... nice! I might try that on the inside of my little cupboard!
    I still love the architectural piece though... it was one of my favorite things in the room, even though the painting is pretty... I'm holding out for when you put it back up!

    Cindy

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  25. I really like how you can change out the shelves from season to season. That's a great idea! Lovely room!

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  26. Is it just me or does it look a little bit more grown up? I love it, Lori

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  27. I have to say i love the grey inside the shelves...it does really make the things on the shelves look extra special. Nice that you can still put the flowers back up if you want. I am off tomorrow (Tuesday) and I swear I am going to get a project done.

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  28. The grey shelves are perfect and I love your idea of changing out the boards for a different look. I can't wait to get started on built-ins for my living room!

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  29. I love this new look! And purple is my favorite color so I loooove the purple transferware and glass drops- yum! :)

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  30. I like both looks too. Will you be leaving the gray paint on the mantle when summer comes again? It's a very pretty and soft hue.

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  31. Great job! Love the grey and white. I'm in the midst of a kitchen re-do and it's exhausting. I've been painting my ceiling and my back hurts! Enjoy your day.

    leslie

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  32. Love the grey in the bookcases, much nicer than the blue. It really makes your collection pop. The room is definitely calmer. Looks beautiful.

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  33. I can't believe how much brighter that blue was once it dried! I love the gray, it almost looks a little purple-ish, I think it's perfect. I like that you can put the floral back up anytime, what a good idea!

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  34. The textured grey on top of the blue is brilliant! Another great idea to steal! At the beginning of your post I was getting worried that you would change your room and it would look like all the others in blogland. I am so bored with the neutral palette. I love your use of color in both room iterations.

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