Tuesday, October 30, 2012

City Cottage Living Room

 since the weather is getting cooler,
 I thought I would start a story on Kris's living room.
As many of you know.....
She's my bidness partner.
We are very successful bidness women.
We have been in bidness now for 7.5 years, 
and have almost gotten out of the  red!!!!!
Kris's goal is to make 25 cents.
I keep offering to pay her, but she insists that I get paid all my money back first.
I like acting like a big money bags.
I keep waving quarters in her face, but she feels I'm being flashy.....

As I said, this story is timely because of the encroaching cold weather.
Her home is all toasty colors.
She is an orange, red and brown kind of a gal.
She is very attuned to her husbands sensitivities, so I was not allowed to go crazy with flowers.
She had me stick to paisleys and stripes.

I have met all my best friends through work.
A million years ago....(or 15, whichever is less....) I got a phone call from Kris.
I did not know her.
She did not know me.
We did not know each other!!!!!
She had seen some of my work in House Beautiful, and lived one town over.
What had struck her the most forcefully, was that I seemed to decorate for people who had children and dogs.
She ended up hiring me and we slowly became 
friendlier, and
friendlier, and

This is how her living room looked when I first saw her house.
The Foosball table wasn't in the living room, but everything else was like this.
Check out the fireplace with the bookshelves on either side.
I will now do a side by side so you can see how I did a little architectural tweaking to make the room feel more gracious. 
The brick fireplace stuck into the room, so the previous owners had added those board bookcases to line up with the projection.
Since the wall angles into the bay to the right of the fireplace, the bookcase just kind'a smushed into the wall.
I had the bookcase ripped out and the wall framed out around the fireplace to create a more traditional detail.
Then I found this beautiful mantel from a company that makes beautiful mantels!!!!
Don't ask me who the company is.....
If Kris and I were to do this room today, we would have wallpapered it.
But this was in the days before I knew her as well as I do now, and I didn't know that she was so easy to brainwash.
So instead of wallpaper, we have covered almost every inch with dog pictures.
I like dogs.
She likes dogs.
Her husband likes dogs.
He's not so sure about so many of them in decorating.
He told her not to bring home any more dog paintings or figurines.
So, here's a picture of more dogs!!!!
Let's get closer.....
There is so much to talk about in this room,
but I'm kinda tired from yesterday.
Being scared for so many hours is exhausting.
The hurricane came through here and we lost power for two hours.
Worrying about not being able to make hot air pop corn has worn me out.
I was on the phone with Amy Chalmers talking about the fabric I was painting for custom pillows in her store when the lights went out and my phone call was dropped.
And then I was all alone in the dark with no popcorn.
I was going to pop it after my conversation with Amy.
Thank goodness for my ipad.
So I chomped on an apple and ready my mystery in the dark.
Anyway, that's my excuse for ending here.
I will continue showing you guys this room later this week.

Latah, Gatah
partying at:
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20 North Ora said...

Pretty room. I like all of the dogs!!


Lee said...

Can there ever be too many dogs?! I think not!
Maybe that is what my LR needs....
Thanks for sharing. Always get some chuckles.


I can't never have too many dog figurines, but paintings, I have none!! Wish I did..should I hire you? I love your style and if I was close and you did such great decor, I'd be your friend too! Although there's just hubby and me, our grand girls always have come and stayed for a week or two with us and we let them play and paint in our den, so I love your style. Have a great week and hope you come on over and criticize if you wish.

Anji Johnston said...

I am so glad I found your blog yesterday whilst, like you, was cooped up waiting for Sandy to do her business. I was not, like you, planning on popping popcorn though. I do hope you managed to have some later in the evening. I was quite upset I didn't lose power as I hauled all my camper gear out of storage - next time...Thank you for your witty banter - I love it! You are also a wonderful visionary - this living room is so stylish. I am a cat fan btw, just saying. Hope you didn't have too much clean up after the hurricane/cyclone/mega-storm/blizzard.

Sam I Am...... said...

What a makeover! That room made me realize there is hope for even the humblest abodes! Thanks for the hope and your sense of humor....nice to see one for a change...there are so many out there that need to "lighten up" ...obviously they have not had their daily recommended amount of popcorn!

Anonymous said...

Hi Betsy! First of all, I'm so glad you're okay. The damage from that storm is amazing and just heart breaking! Now, how beautiful you made Kris' room! What a difference bumping out the fireplace wall made! You're just the smartest one and I guess that's why you're the most famous one with the money bags! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

l.jay@sympatico.ca said...


I've had three funerals this week and you just made me laugh out loud . . . thank-you for that . . . and for your on-going creative genius . . .

Babs said...

Betsy, So glad you're safe and hope you finally got your popcorn. Great looking room, too. Can one ever have too many dog pictures? :)

Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nutbird said...

Don't you live next to your parents? Couldn't you have gone over there? Two hours isn't very long. My house in CT (I'm not there now) won't have power for days, maybe a week. I love the coffee table. I saw the perfect Lee Industries rolled back chair with casters with ottoman in my Colorado thrift shop today. It wasn't marked yet, will probably be $150, but I had to walk away. I have way too many chairs in my house. I was able to have a sit down dinner for 32 a few weeks ago in the family room, using a few benches and lots of chairs. I have 3 Morris type chairs waiting for magic. Ann

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Betsy...so glad you are safe and sound...Love Kris' room..so warm and inviting....such an amazing before and after!...

Anonymous said...

Betsy - That's actually an air hockey table and not a foosball table. Love your decorating and your blog! I learn a lot from you! Meta

Debi Jaynes said...

Thank goodness you are okay. Love the room! We have three dogs so we decorate with a lot of black hair!!! HA! You can't have too many dogs or orchids!

Karin said...

You are never alone if you have a dog!!! Just saying. I'm so glad to read that you are ok and did not suffer any damage. The images on tv are just heartbreaking. I love, love, love this room and its amazing transformation. I hate my sitting room-not enough dog pictures!!!

Anonymous said...

I applaud Kris for having the guts to show you her room when it needed help. It was pretty bad. But you took out all the bad and brought in all the "I never would have even thought of that!" good. Guess I am the type who cleans up before the maid comes 'cause I'm too embarrassed to send you pictures of my rooms ;-)

Bet you go north from your FL house to avoid hurricanes :-) crazy weather these days. To the commenter who said she's upset because she dragged in all her camping gear & maintained power...ARE YOU CRAZY? Have you ever been in real hurricane before? It takes months and months to dig out even when it is a near miss!! Just sayin'... I live in South Florida.

Scribbler said...

So glad you are fine! I enjoyed the room, looks cozy and warm, lived in, but stylish.

Jaybird said...

Thank you for posting...I was worryin'.
Yaayy for Kris...that is one absolutely beautiful room...is she gonna' share more with us????
I have that paisley fabric in my den. Does that make me uptown???
Blessings to you,

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Betsy,
I was thinking of you and how the storm was going to affect you. Thank goodness you and your parents (they live next door right)are OK and you were able to rest with a hot bag of Popcorn :)
I was worried for you....
I love Kris's living room, it is warm and friendly also sophisticated. You said now you would have added wallpaper...you still can.
Sending hugs your way and again I am so thankful you and your family are safe.

Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

What a pretty after, and what a dramatic change from the before--this is lovely! I love the coffee table with the curved legs in particular.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I completely agree... there can never be enough dogs. To that end, love this room! You girls are good, and husbands are easily tricked into thinking that they were the ones who wanted the dogs in the first place.

Glad you survivied the storm sans Jiffy Pop!



Lady Courtney said...

As always Betsy, this room is gorgeous! I have loved your designs for decades! This room is warm, comfortable and gorgeous!

fixitfaerie said...

Hi- This is weird and I know it, but, I thought of you and all the other bloggers that I read on the East coast. I said a prayer for all of your safety, but, sorry, I didn't even think about your popcorn machine not working. lol
I like the above room, I have a friend in Virginia that buys every dog picture that she see's, crazy, cause she is a cat lady. WTH Paula

The Cottager said...

what a great room! visiting from savvy southern style.

Anonymous said...

Stunning! Love it!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Betsy, I am in love with this and especially the dog pictures. Thanks for sharing this beautiful room at the Open House party.

Divine Theatre said...

I tee hee'd at the dog keister in the before photo! Your muse?
W. Edwards Deming was the guy that went into Japan after WWII and helped rebuild. You remind me of him! I think your work was more of a challenge, however!
I love dogs too! My handsome husband also says "NO MORE DOGS!" I don't have any dog paintings. Just dogs. I don't listen to him either. Plus, I have been quietly collecting cats. They are easier to hide!

I love your blog so much that I am your newest fan!


......Michele @ Portlandia Vintage said...

I love that you don't listen to her husband. I am now going to start looking for dog paintings. You can tell her husband that.

Ann-Marie ~ Brambly said...

Now, that room is right up my alley.Love all the dog pictures, love the colors, love the warmth.Beautiful!

Katie Drane said...

Wow, what a beautiful transformation! I am so glad to be following you, LOVE your blog:)


Sarah Nello said...

That looks so warm and cosy, super! :)

Kim said...

Holy crap Betsy yer killing me! I couldn't Pin these rooms fast enough!! Love, love love....

Rose, Happy Home Decorating said...

A picture tells a thousand words. I don't need to say anything any more, other than: I gotta show these pictures to a friend of mine. Her house looks like the 'before' pictures and her husband thinks nothing can't be done about it.... Thank you for sharing 'm on our blog at the Wednesday linky party!

Andi's English Attic said...

I'm in England and this living room looks a lot like mine could look. I love it. Yes, I get comments about my dog pictures too! Thank you for giving me some ideas of how to make my room look more cosy. xx

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Love this~dog pictures and all! laurie

The Charm of Home said...

Just a beautiful room! Thanks for linking up with HSH!

Kathy said...

Amazing transformation, Betsy. It has a wonderful English Country Cottage feel - beautifully done! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Anne Birdsong said...

Hi Betsy, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com), and I’m visiting from the More the Merrier Monday.

This room is so beautiful! This is my kind of color scheme, as well. Actually, everything about it is "my kind of...". I love it!!!

Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you’ve never visited yet, I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

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