Thursday, November 2, 2017

Adding a little color to life ~ my living room makeover. . . . . . . .

Confession time again!  
I was not happy with the white slip covers I had dyed earlier
 this year. In fact I was downright depressed.
I expected medium grey and they were more like dark, dull, dreary navy, 
appearing almost black in the evening light. This room is dark to begin
 with as it faces due north with no direct sun, despite a wall of windows.
The longer I looked at them the more I knew they had to go!
Needed to replace that old, too heavy to move, sleeper-sofa anyway. It was
 donated ta family who could use it . . . . . . . and we shopped for a warm
 mid-grey velvet traditional English roll arm sofa and found this one from
 Drexel Heritage.

So, over the summer months I was busy making some changes to my
 living room at the cottage. . . . . . . . . . . .and new upholstery started here!

The previous 'shabby white' slip covered chairs have been reupholstered.
I shopped for a good quality fabric for my big, comfy easy chair and footstool,
as this chair (Henredon) gets a lot of use.
I knew I wanted to put blues with the grey velvet and am still amazed
 at myself for choosing an animal print which I had not considered.
 When I found this print it was not the classic colorway for a leopard print
 In grey-blue/black on a natural creamy background, it just leapt out at me!
 I fell for it, especially as it's an excellent quality fabric.
I bought a yard and took it to the furniture store where the sofa was displayed,
and my decision was made - it was to be my fun print in the room.

When it comes to decor and changing things one lives with day after day, it takes
 a leap of faith. . . . . . . . .especially these days, the ones I call the 'trendy days' in
decorating, fashion, food, whatever. So many choices in everything, but little really 
built to last.
~ Daylight ~

I know indigo blue is 'trending' and I do love it, however I didn't want anything 
that dark. I knew the blues I was searching for were the ocean colors,
 aquamarine, turquoise, teal, Aegean, cerulean.
 Gold goes well with these shades whether in mirrors, picture frames, pillows,
 lamps and other accessories, all of which I already have.

~ Evening light ~

I know my style is eclectic. I enjoy a mix of traditional, a touch of industrial,
older inherited bits and bobs from grandmother and mother, small
 antiques especially from France, with thrift shop finds, and Anthropologie dishes
 and candles thrown in.

Where does one start making changes when living in a small, older home?
We may not be in this house forever, it's that aging thing which hangs over 
people in our group, so we hesitate to do much more requiring major remodeling 
and huge expense. Now it's more basic upkeep with some refreshing of space
 and elements.

So, these changes initially revolved around the sofa. I wanted a new one which
 didn't require slip covers, was open to the floor for easy cleaning (Swiffer I love you),
 was elegant but comfy, velvet, and grey. It also had to fit our small space.

My new pillows are an eclectic mix and probably will change now and then
 with the season.
The two large grey ones on the sofa I had made from a length of beautiful
 cut velvet fabric purchased from a dealer at ScreenDoor in Asheville, NC 
several years ago. The blue velvet edged in linen was a great find at
 HomeGoods, the gold toile with ribbon trim I made a long time ago.
 The plain grey velvet on my leopard chair is from IKEA some years back. 
The fabulous bright gold velvet Jacobean print I found recently at World Market
  - personally I think it makes the room, and all who've seen it have
 commented on it.
To top things off I found the cozy fringed throw in the perfect color
 at HomeGoods.
Another view - I was trying different pillow combos!

My other chair, Chippendale style, (Bob, has his leather recliner)
then needed to be clothed in one of those lovely blues.
  The fabric I chose is a heavy chenille velvet and I'm really pleased with how that
 chair turned out. It too is quite old, but made by Hickory here in North Carolina,
and will probably hold up longer than me! 
I've now had a couple more pillows made with leftover chenille fabric
including this neat little roll pillow for my back.
The space is a lot different from the previous look which I'd grown
 a bit tired of, and those white slip covers were so much work!
I do love color and enjoyed pulling the room together
with this new look.

What do you think? 
Should I paint the walls, add a rug? 
We do actually add a hearth rug in winter.
Should I hang more art above the sofa?
Feedback is always appreciated.

I'm not aiming for 'house beautiful' - just cottage comfortable
where I feel content watching a movie, reading a book, knitting
 on a winter evening.
So far it's all working for me. Just bring on the chilly evenings. . . . .I can't 
wait to light a roaring fire in the hearth.


  1. It looks so cozy! I love the new velvet sofa and the fun animal print. All of your choices are great Mary.

  2. There is so much I love here, Mary. The Chippendale chair is gorgeous and the colours you have chosen work really well. I love the wooden tray on the coffee table and the pop of yellow. It's all very cozy.

  3. Beautiful room! Love the touches of aqua/blue. I do think a big rug would add some more warmth to the room. Not sure about artwork above the couch, as there's already a lot of pattern, etc. going on in the room. Maybe just a pair of simple sconces flanking the mirror?

  4. Mary, You have a gift for decorating. It is all so wonderful. Wondering if Bob goes for whatever you choose? Jim has a hard time seeing major changes and tends to want everything to stay the same. I love your room so much.

  5. It all looks very welcoming and cosy Mary - I don't think that you need any help or advice with your styling as you seem to know instinctively exactly what goes with what.

  6. It is very YOU, Mary. I think you must smile a lot in that room. Yes, I think you might enjoy something more over the sofa. Any chance of shopping the house? Your chair reminds me of your trips to Africa.

  7. Just lovely - you have such a way with placing things in just the right position. Everything is lovely - your style is wonderful. I like the lighter colors too.

  8. I love the cozy, layered look you've created. You've thought it all through so very well. A rug in winter would be a great touch.

  9. It is a beautiful room, and your mix of colours, styles, patterns and textures does not need anything else (like more colours on the walls or the floor), it could become a little overwhelming.
    I love the grey, blues and gold! Although I am not a fan of animal print as such, it gives a nice twist to your room.

  10. oooohhh I love it! The print is gorgeous, very striking. I'm loving the mix of tones and textures. Velvet is absolutely my fave fabric .... both for furniture and for wearing! Very nice.

  11. I like the leopard print and the shade of blue you are using, it is a gorgeous room now.

  12. Mary, it all looks wonderful, you certainly have an eye when it comes to interior design, are you sure you don't do this for a living? Bon weekend!

  13. What a lovely cosy room you have. Like Maggie I agree You certainly have an eye for arranging things. It looks perfect. I'm struggling at the moment having moved from a big open spacious house & my large comfy settee & armchairs, to a tiny cottage, with stone walls, a feature chimney. I'm feeling very cluttered with two white two seater settees, which I always wanted, now i'm not sure if I should change one for two comfy armchairs. Also your comment about it being hard work having chosen white. Help !!!!!

  14. That 7th pic down is my favourite. Yes, you def have an eclectic style but, regardless, it always look so cozy! glad you switched things out to something more suited for you. Looks fab.


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