Sooooo, with that said, let's start the answers!!!!
The first question concerns space planning, a sore spot for many professionals as well as DIY'ers. Sometimes there is no easy solution, but I will do my best.
Misfit (I love that name!!) wrote me an email at email@example.com
asking for help with the furniture arrangement in her bedroom.....
"I got home late yesterday and forgot to send the picture(s). I have these in four emails so it's going to drive you crazy - I'm very sorry. I won't be offended if you delete them all. In this one is the object I need to situate better in the room. Beloved solid oak armoire".
Betsy says" I would never delete someone's pictures before helping them!!!
(Unless I can't come up with a solution, or I don't want to answer the question, or I don't like the question, or I got up on the wrong side of the bed, or.....)
"Here is where I have considered putting it - between the windows. As you may note, the armoire is around 40" wide. The gap between the drapes is around 24". The gap between the window frames is probably...33"? I know I can overlap the drapes in theory. (It fits fine where it is now, it just looks really awkward. I don't know why - I didn't expect that.)"
"For reference, this and the next picture show the rest of the room. The armoire is sitting just out of the frame, on the left. The two-windowed wall is opposite the wall with the headboard. (Not moving the bed because I wallpapered that one wall as an accent wall.) Also, yes, I know the room is a total disaster. I am not actually a slob; I'm just not cleaning or straightening ANYTHING until I am done with all my projects in a given room - here, repairing the door and finishing the duvet cover. Until then, energy goes to wallpapering the dining room..."
And she finished with...
"Last for-reference picture. The window to the left of the armoire is one of the pair that are on the same wall. The room is large-ish (by my standards) but there's a window or door (or more) on each wall. And the bed is centered and throws off everything else. I think tiny rooms are easier..."
Now, I actually had a similar situation in my little cottage in Watertown. My den had a pair of windows on one wall, and I wanted to put an armoire between them to house my TV. (this was in the old days of deep TV's). I would like to take credit for the solution, but I think my designer buddy, Greg, is the one who came up with the answer. AARRRGGG!!!! I need a scanner, so I can draw a picture of what I did, but I'm in Florida, and my scanner is in Massachusetts. Well, I'll explain it as best I can, and maybe I'll go out tomorrow and buy a scanner. I'm really making a lot of money, writing this blog. (Let's seeeee.....I've bought a new camera and tripod, I want to buy a wide angle lens, I need some other photography stuff......Thank God I'm retired, or I'd go broke!!!)
This is what I did!!!!!!!
I treated the two windows as one.
I had a valance made that spanned the full width of the two windows, and I hung it at the ceiling line.
I had two pairs of draperies made that flanked the two windows.
I placed the armoire in front of the drapery panels.
The main point is that the glass was not covered by fabric or furniture, just the window casing and the wall were covered.
I had a space of wall show between the two windows, I didn't want to do a whole wall of fabric, but the span of the valence united the treatment. ACTUALLY.....now that I think about it, and the same thing would work in the situation above.....The valence came down to the top of the armoire, so none of the wall behind it showed.
I try to NEVER cover glass!!!!! (Except with blinds, shutters and shades). I keep drapery panels, valences and cornices off the @#%& glass!!!
Betsy's point # 1: Glass is to see out and let the sun in (except at night, it's O.K. to close the draperies at night.)
Now, if the armoire overlaps the window glass, I would leave it where it is in the room, and set a pretty chair in front of the window, perpendicular to the armoire, angled slightly away from it.
This way you start building an arrangement of furniture into the corner, so that it doesn't look like you just stuck a piece of furniture over there, not knowing what else to do. (I know, that's what you did, but I don't want you to feel bad about it.)
Here's a picture of my den, unfortunately, the image is cutting off the armoire, but it shows the left side of the drapery treatment I'm talking about.
I know, I know.....
The table is covering the glass a little. I always seem to be breaking my own rules.
They're my rules, I feel they are important, and then I ignore them.
Do what I say, and not what I do.
Question 2!!! (I am so excited that I got me some questions!)
(Working for free!!!! My Dad will be sooooo proud!!!)
Katie from Wildwood Creek asked:
We live in a rustic cottage and the kitchen is a dark cave. I'd like to paint the walls and cabinets white. Do you have a favorite paint and color for painting kitchens?
Wellllllllll, the first thing I'd do, is raise the valences up a little bit to get the fabric off the glass.
I know, I know, that's not what you asked me, but you'd be amazed at the difference it will make in how much light comes into the room. I mean, you're covering a quarter of the window!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's a cheap and easy fix.
The cabinets will look AMAZING painted white. Good idea!!!!
The white I use the most is.......
Benjamin Moore, color: White.
Not Linen White, or Navajo White, or this white or that white, just plain @#%& White!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's crisp, it's pretty, and it goes with everything.
I wouldn't paint the walls white.
I can see that they are nice board paneling, so painting them white is a classic way to go, butttttt......I would paint them a buttery, creamy yellow, very light, that would complement your blue accents. I would paint the woodwork around the windows the same white as the cabinets. Yayyyyy. Benjamin Moore "White"!!!!! To find you a nice yellow, I went to my large Benjamin Moore paint chip samples, that only us super duper decorators get, and found this as a possibility:
Name: Natural Beech, #253
I can't believe I tried to take a picture of a paint chip!!!!!!
Of course the color is WAYYYYYY off.
But, I do think it would be nice to have some contrast between the cabinets and the walls, just sayin'.
It would also pick up some of the warmth of the counter tops color.
Sissie from Sissie's Shabby Cottage gave out a cry for help.
She wrote: "Amy sent me over to have you look at my living room pictures. I must say that it's a little intimidating to ask a famous designer questions about my simple decor. But here I am and any suggestions you might have will be most appreciated."
I would start building up the stuff on the bookshelves. Maybe do collections of white pottery and mercury glass. To keep it from looking too stark, layer in some wooden objects and some paintings leaning against the wall.
If you want to bring some color into the room, go to Homegoods to look for cheap pillows with the color you want, and paint the back of the bookshelves a matching hue. Then do draperies to match the white of the upholstered furniture.
Here's an example of what I mean.....
This is in my living room in Massachusetts
Don't go for this heavy a look, because your room is so light and airy.
But fill more stuff into the shelves.
I think a lot of mercury glass with accents of white pottery would be really beautiful.
To add some life to the mantle, how about a pair of matching mercury glass vases with some fake bouquets of roses in them?
I just love me some fake flowers!!!!!
On the console table behind the sofa, what about a lovey potted orchid set in a mossy container, it will bring some life to that part of the room along with some more color and texture. I lucked out and found some fake ones at Home Goods, but a real one would do. (I know, real flowers!!!!! I must be loosing my mind!!)
Here's a fake one I found at Home Goods along with the pot. The clay pot that came with the orchid was reeeaaallly small, so I stuck it in this white pot and filled up the extra space inside the pot with sphagnum moss.
Sissie then asked.....
"My next project is what to do with these huge windows. See the rods up there.....I'm trying to decide what kind of panels to make.
As I mentioned above, I think white panels would be really pretty, if you bring other color into the room. You could sew a contrast fabric onto the lead and bottom edges, but I think in this light and airy space, just white would be lovely.
For a more elegant look, I would do a rich lined brocade, like the sofa. If you want something a little more casual, why not floaty sheers? Make sure they are full enough, and I always like them a little too long, so that they break on the floor. Try to have as little fabric as possible cover the glass (am I beating a dead horse with this point????). Just a simple straight panel in this type of a classic room is what I feel is the best.
This question is from my buddy Amy at Maison Decor. I have a sneaking suspicion that she just wanted me to have some questions, so I wouldn't feel like a complete dork. Butttt.... I will answer it any way.
She asks...."Are my bookcases too busy?"
"my question is, if I have a floral background in the bookcase, should I tone it down with the contents or what?"
My answer is: Or what!!!!!
It's funny, until she asked me this, I hadn't given it any thought.
Now that I look at it, I like the whole megillah!!!!!
I happen to love a whole jumble of stuff on a bookcase.
I think it looks very cozy and charming. I particularly like that little green tray leaning against the wall.
I even like her mirror and vases on her mantle. But if you haven't been to her house, you don't know that SHE HAS A MIRROR ON EVERY @#%& WALL!!!!!
AMY go buy some freakin' art work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Am SO happy to have recently found your blog. It is quickly becoming a favorite!
I am struggling with a design issue that doesn't require sending you a pic. A few years back we bought a 15 year old house that we love-sort of "French chateau" in feeling with Brazilian Cherry floors, large windows, cherry cabinets and white painted woodwork, leaded glass with my fave Fleur de lis inserts. You get the idea.
But all bath fixtures, door hardware, hinges, etc. throughout are brass. I keep hearing brass is still "out" and have changed a couple of pieces we felt we could when doing some upgrading, but am wondering what the "rules " are about everything matching? For consistency must they be the same in all (7) baths? To change them all-hinges, door handles, knobs etc is out of the question due to cost.Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated!
Best wishes to you in your blogging adventures! Thanks, a new fan!"
NO!!!!!! All the bathrooms don't need to match. As for whether brass is passe or not. WHO CARES????
The most important point is: Do YOU like it????? This is your home, if you like it, and it works, then how can it be wrong? I think what's more important than finish, is the style of the fixtures themselves. If they are appropriate for the house, then that's GREAT!!!!
What I do try for though, is that inside each bathroom, to try to get all the metals to work together. If the bath has chrome, then I try to have the door knob that is on the bath side be chrome also. Same goes for towel bars, etc.Hinges on the doors are up for grabs, as they show on both sides (see, I am brilliant, I know that!!) (Not that I am brilliant, but that hinges show on both sides.) (Oy Vey!!! I just looked at my doors, they don't show on both sides!!!! Who knew???) So the hinges should match on whichever side they show. Oy.
That's it for today, please don't be shy and next week ask some questions. See, I was sort of nice, not too mean, and I hope this was helpful.
The reason the font has gotten so big, is because the blogger program is giving me fits, it won't let me set the last 2 questions in the size font I want.
Has anyone else had this problem?
Now I'm asking you guys questions.