Friday, June 22, 2012

Creating a blissful bedroom...

Sometimes you come across a photograph of a room that inspires you so, it stays with you. In this case, it was the photo directly below that inspired me to create the look in my bedroom. As many of you know, I just moved back into my old house in the Carolinas and have been redecorating as I unpack. My goal in this case wasn't to recreate the exact room, but to use what I had to create the same beautiful look and peaceful feel.
So far it's turned out to be the easiest room in the house. I did not have to repaint the walls ~ that lovely soft sage green has weathered extremely well ~ and I did not have to buy a single thing. The antique bed suffered a few scratches in the move, but nothing terrible. I used my favorite peachy-pink linens on the bed ~ a gift from a friend about seven years ago ~ and hung the drapes that used to hang in my living room at the windows. I took down the mini-blinds (hideous, awful things) and put some gauzy sheers underneath the drapes for a bit more privacy when the drapes are open. Since the drapes are lined, pulling them closed at night creates a wonderful cocoon.
The black rug I bought years ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and the antique rocker and oval mirror once belonged to my grandmother ~ God bless her wonderful taste. The other bits around the room were all pulled from my belongings. There are still little things to be done ~ I need to install proper curtain rods and a new ceiling fan ~ but I'm loving it so far. What do you think?
I want to extend a very special greeting to those visiting from Pink Saturday, where my blog is the featured blog of the week. I hope you enjoy your visit and will come back again soon.
Wishing all of you a lovely weekend...

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. Stop by Beverly's place for more lovely pinks.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully; third photo from Internet

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celebrating summer's arrival...

Summer is here and the flowers in my yard are blooming away in celebration. Being greeted by a riot of glorious color walking to my front door is simply divine.
May the season bring you glorious gardens and lovely, relaxing days. I hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful week.
Be sure to stop by this weekend for a look at how my bedroom turned out. I'm absolutely loving it. Until then...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lamp love...

I am so happy to stumble across the perfect lamp for my hall/library, I just had to share. The room is not quite finished ~ I'm in desperate need of more bookcases ~ but finding the right lamp for the top of the chest has gone a long way toward making the room look more complete. I had another lamp in there as a place holder, but was searching for something dark and more modern. When I came across this one, I knew I had found the right lamp. The dark bottom is sleek and the square gold shade echoes the gold trim on the dresser and the gold in the rug. What do you think?

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pink to sandstone: an armoire makeover...

You have a plan, it all works in your imagination and then the reality is, well, not quite right. That's what happened with my armoire makeover.
The original "before" picture is directly below ~ just whitewashed wood. My original plan was to paint the armoire pink to go in my still-in-progress pink living room and replace the hardware. I found some lovely hardware and went ahead with my pink plan. The results of that are below.
It's not that the pink armoire by itself was bad, exactly. It's that it was bad in the living room, where it had to go. As you can see from the bottom photo, there was simply too much pink (though it pains me to admit there is such a thing). It also struck me as too girly, which is not the look I am going for. Casual feminine elegance, yes; girly, no. There's a fine line I am riding in having a pink living room. (As a side note, the floral couch is not staying; it's just something to sit on while I hunt for a new sofa.)
So less than 48 hours after I had painted it the first time, the armoire went back for another re-do. Since my living room is basically going to be pink with white and gray (read more about my plans here), I decided to go with something in the gray family for the second re-do. I chose a color called Sandstone Cove that I've since fallen completely in love with ~ in person it's a sort of warm gray, if there is such a thing. It's a beautiful, refined color; not beige and not gray, exactly, and yet it is. It's so lovely, in fact, that I repainted my big round coffee table from glossy white to Sandstone Cove. I've got a couple of fab old wooden end tables for the room that are going to get a coat of it as well. I think it will be a unifying color that won't compete with the pink, a complement to the room.
As you can see from the photos above, the armoire came out beautifully this time. I wish you could see it in person; the photos really don't do it justice. Sandstone Cove, how I love thee.
On a different note, I've been so busy I only just realized that I missed a couple of important blog milestones: My blog is 3 years old now and I've done more than 400 posts. I also discovered earlier today that I've crossed the 100,000 page view mark, which really astonishes me. Thanks to all of you who keep reading and sharing your comments. Blogland really is a wonderfully supportive place.
Wishing all of you a beautiful weekend...

If you would like to see more photos of my messy, still-in-progress pink living room, visit my other blog here.
I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, June 4, 2012

Progress and problems...

Happy June, everyone. May just sort of slipped away from me there at the end as things got a little crazy here at home. As with any move, things go wrong. This move had gone pretty smoothly until about a week ago, when I discovered we seemed to have imported some bugs along with all of our stuff from storage. On top of the bugs that already seemed to be here, it was too much to deal with on my own, so that meant an exterminator. And that, of course, meant basically pulling out everything that had been put away and putting everything into the middle of the room so they could do their thing. It was one step forward, four steps back, if you know what I mean.
Things are looking up now, though. We seem to have conquered the bug problem and the house is slowly turning back into slightly more ordered chaos. I have been busy painting and putting away as time allows and have lots to show you over the next few weeks. I know I promised all of you some before shots, and you'll see those as we go along. Today I thought I would show all of you my purple/plum hall, which is located in the middle of the house.
This is the pass-through room in the house and the key to the layout, in my opinion, as it's a large part of what makes the house flow so well. The room has six doorways leading to six different rooms: the TV room, guest room/office, bedroom, bathroom, living room and dining room. In the photo directly above, which I took before everything arrived, you can see the dining room to your left (the french doors lead into the living room, which you can also see through the doorway to the right in the hall) and just a glimpse of the doorway to our bedroom on the far right. I painted the hallway walls this color about eight years ago; the ceiling is a pretty taupe. This room and my favorite bedroom are the only two rooms I asked my friend not to paint. (One of my good friends rented my home for the six years I lived in California. She now has her own old fabulous old fixer-upper.) She left the color as asked and the room looks as good today as it did when I first painted it (as it should since it took two coats of primer and three coats of paint to completely cover the yellow that was there before).

Since there are so many doorways and you must be able to walk through the room easily with little obstruction, I decided to use this room as our little library. And as you can see, I'm in desperate need of more bookshelves. I'm getting another just like the tall, skinny black one (it has to be custom made to fit the space), possibly two. The hall is also the perfect room for displaying some of my really bright art. It just pops on those purple walls. The prints below are by Jonathan Green, a wonderful Lowcountry artist. I have a couple of other watercolors I bought from local artists in Georgetown, S.C., hanging here as well, along with some other art and the portrait a friend did of our Emily.
The fabulous black dresser I found at the Salvation Army years ago for a steal. I have never done anything to it other than reattach the handles when they have come loose. It just looks like it was always meant to sit in this room and was the inspiration for doing everything else in here in black. In addition to the new bookcase that's coming, you'll see another in here that needs to be painted. It will be black along with everything else. When I get the remaining bookshelves and completely finish the room, I'll show it to you again.
And now it's back to the grindstone. Wishing all of you a lovely week...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully