KSWL's Basement is Finally Finished.... Many Pictures!

kswl2June 14, 2014

Our Basement is Finished!

Well, almost, still working on bathroom and now waiting for things on walls, but we are using it and it is magically comfortable. My favorite colors are green and red, and these rooms use many shades of both with a kind of fun segue, the red into orange and green into small but noticeable touches of aqua.

Front room

Not happy with stained recessed shelving above, it will be painted the color of the trim.
Prints below are vintage book covers of natural history volumes, three are German, one in English: a couple of close ups:

Daybeds in front room (small custom table in area where they meet with fitted tableskirt and wood and iron lamp

Lamp detail (it is only 8" wide and very thin, fits table scale perfectly)

You will have to imagine four enormous botanical prints above the daybeds, lol. Below a shot from other direction at night:

Replacing the original picture with one now showing the botanical prints above daybeds:

Pillow detail:

And since original pix were taken, cocktail table has been replaced by two small, cute leather ottomans, one with a bronze gallery tray:

Console, mirror, majolica, sconces

Closer: rattan console with candlesticks and a glass vase purchased for the room

Some details:
Majolica asparagus plate in aqua and olive green

One of a pair

French piece I already owned

Art Deco ceramic candlesticks

Adding a later picture with the majolica plate wall finished, below. The new pieces add pink to the color scheme in vintage German and French plates
(one on either side) to pick up the pink in one of the botanicals that finally came for the adjacent long wall, which is the next photo after this one.

One side of FP seating area

Brass lamp detail

Minton dish

Other side of seating area, with faux bois ceramic lamp in a metallic glaze

Head on fireplace from pool table (this is dark because we need dimmers for all lights, even sconces are too bright!)

With chairs swiveled around (chairs look close to pool table but are actually about five feet from it, perspective is off and I'm a terrible photographer).

Fireplace detail one side of tv screen; copper and antique French containers I had already, the small ceramic pitcher we bought

Other side, combination of new and antique but all stuff I had already

Already owned bowl made by a friend filled with 3D glasses :-)

Closer on two prints:

Funny thing about artwork and walls: when I sent ID pictures of the botanical prints he was pretty negative, as even the store photographs did not do them justice and wanted to look for landscape paintings, which is what he knows I like. But here I really wanted a more relaxed feel to the space and loved the sort of biology class feel to the big prints. When he saw them in person he loved them, and even though they are admittedly a bit trendy we are ordering the entire series and using three on the long wall next to the pool table, two over each daybed and two more on bumped out walls in the back room for a total of 13! The walls are very light and he thought using the series all around both rooms would pull them together along with the shared upholstery fabrics. Since we seemed to be moving towards a natural history vibe he scoured my house for majolica and we decided to center our accessory shopping on lamps and majolica. Of course,when we found the book covers of natural history volumes we had to include those.

So I am waiting for nine more prints to arrive from Empirical Style in Australia, and the rest of the majolica to arrive (bought some at Scott's Antiques and have others coming from ebay purchase to hang on outside aspect of sconces over console).

Very successful couple of days, very tired, some mishaps... Furniture arrived early, Microseal arrived late, so furniture, rugs, pillows and pool table will be treated Tuesday. Still need to take light off one ceiling fan but couldn't find disk that caps it off. Bathroom needs a bit more tile, the paneled tub surround (cabinetmaker made to match fireplace paneling) needs trim and Azek tub edge needs paint, still looking for antiqued or satin brass faucet and taps, still waiting for shower curtain, ID wants wants wallpaper in bathroom, and am considering buying this Swedish 8 ft bench for towels, basket of toiletries, etc. It has original finish from 1870s but I want a milk paint /waxed look.

Still considering fabulous pristine mid century 31" round ottoman in orange pleather in front of daybeds, Instead of cocktail table (which we already had). Or nothing, which is my inclination.

And finally, I am deeply satisfied with the transition between the patio and basement, with the exposed aggregate bordered in brick going into a brick floor. There is a shared palette of greens (and red, yellow and orange in the outdoor sofa pillows) between the inside and out.

This post was edited by kswl on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 9:28

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Wow, Looks beautiful. Love the colors, your brick floors and all your accessories.

Looks like a great place for party!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Holly- Kay

Beautiful! Each and every bit of your beautiful lower level is outstanding. I love how you used Majolica and other ceramics, pitchers etc.

You know you have succeeded wildly when the whole space looks like it has been there and evolved over time rather than a splash dash furniture show room look.

I am so happy for you and wish you and your DH many hours of enjoyment there. It is truly a lovely success!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:20AM
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Congratulations, it looks great. I love how you get an indoor/outdoor feel in the basement, based on on your fabrics and botanicals and the lovely brick floor (that I remember when it first went in). That pool table area with the swivel chairs will be quite the party area.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Looks amazing! You should post these pics in houzz! Great job!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Thanks for sharing pictures of the (almost) finished rooms. The care you've taken with your choices really shines through. Congratulations! I hope you and your family enjoy the basement for many, many years.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:06PM
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Fresh, charming and elegant -- magazine worthy! :)

LOVE your choices in artwork!!! :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Lovely basement!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:09PM
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Wow! What a beautiful space. Please come visit me and help me with my house. :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:29PM
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As good as it gets!!!!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:32PM
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This is truly a lovely lower level.
You have taken such care with all the details and it shows in every photo.
I love the photo showing the door and shuttered window, it looks like an outside shot going into house instead of the reverse. Amazing.
A few questions... What is the size of pillows on daybed.?
I noticed boxed cushions in seating area, which do you find more comfortable of the two designs?
What us the wall color?
I am going back to look again.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:36PM
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I agree, magazine-worthy and definitely a most well thought-out basement design. Your good taste and execution thereof never cease to amaze me.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Thanks so much for all the kind words. ! I sent some pictures to DD and she immediately responded with "cool hangout space!" so I think that goal at least has been achieved.

Lyban the daybeds have a 60" (not 72" as I thought) long, 12" diameter bolster along the wall. In front are 24" pillows that are pretty stuffed. On the sofas the box pillows are flatter and can be used to support the head and shoulders better when lying down (which is usually where we are on a sofa). The flange pillows work under the head but aren't as supportive. ID likes a mix of pillow styles.

Wall color is Benjamin Moore Albescience in satin.

I'm glad you noticed that because I wanted the outside in effect from both sides of the door, thank you!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:45PM
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You hit it out of the park. Fabulous!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

That came out so nice. I esp like the botanicals over the sofas as they almost take the place of windows in the windowless space. Love the practicality of the ottoman/table too.

I think we should hang onto these as reference material for many of the less decor-oriented who visit here to illustrate how important the finishing details and accessories are to making a room look complete.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Annie that is exactly what ID said re the windows! They will be pretty evenly spaced throughout the space in both rooms. The colors are so vivid and striking they are almost mesmerizing. But I love botanical prints of any kind, so they may not have the universal appeal I imagine.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:25PM
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kswl Wow! What an awesome space. It's absolutely beautiful. I'm crazy about all the ceramics.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 3:14PM
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Wow. It should be against the law to call a space like that a basement!! You have done wonderful job, and your attention to detail is so evident! I LOVE those botanical prints. And definitely do get that antique bench!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Looks fantastic....congratulations!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:05PM
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Beautiful. Comfortable but elegant. Unexpected but cohesive.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 4:56PM
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all of the above, and more, what a great success and we learned a lot in the process of "helping" you......

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Lol, mitchdesi, me too! This is a great place to come and ask questions, float ideas, poll opinions, etc., and it's especially valuable seeing what others are doing. It takes me a long time to think about what I want even before I start gathering pictures or looking at fabrics. I am lucky to have a designer who has become a friend as well. (I told him about the very negative impressions so many here have of interior designers and he surprised me by saying that was the inevitable result of having so many "crooks" in the trade!).

Because we have been given / inherited much of our furniture I have never needed a lot of new stuff at one time. It's very exciting to have almost all new things at the same time!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:01PM
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It's so, so wonderful! Like when they used to have good shows w/ real designers on HGTV!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Yes, except those transformations usually take place at lightning speed, whereas.... Do you think anyone would watch Design in a Year? :-)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:32PM
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Holly- Kay

KSWL, a question for you please. What did you use to hang your majolica and other ceramics? I have been dithering about hanging plates in my bedroom and I loathe the spring/wire hangers. I found an adhesive hanger but that seems a bit precarious for pieces that I love and don't want broken. I also found an easel type that is a triangular piece with two projections that hold the plate. This method seems sturdier but the small projections would still be visible whereas the adhesive ones are invisible.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:46PM
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It's gorgeous. I love the colors and would probably spend all my time there.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:10PM
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There is no really good way to hang plates, Holly Kay, I agree. We used the spring and wire ones with clear plastic over the wire tips. I've used the triangular type but they don't actually grip the plate--- it just sits between those projecting feet and can flip out if the wall is banged into, for example. I'm afraid to use the command hooks on the few valuable antique pieces I have down there, and since I wanted to hang everything using the same method, the springs and wires were the elimination winner. I wish someone would invent something new for this purpose!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 3:24AM
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Good for you... It's lovely.
Great attention to detail! :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 6:41AM
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It all looks fabulous together. I really like the botanical biology prints!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 7:32AM
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Holly- Kay

KSWL, I am beyond frustrated with this. I have several reticulated plates that are antique Meissen in the Blue Onion pattern, I am afraid of the stress the wire and spring holders will put on them. My original plates that I may still use there are Lenox and easily replaced so I may just stick with those.

I have a few design ideas floating around in my head. I know if I come up with a good design I can easily have a prototype done but the set-up costs to run just a few pieces will be through the roof.

Geesh who thought home decorating would be so complicated

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 8:22AM
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Absolute perfection, even down to the small details. Thank you for sharing!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 8:29AM
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Absolutely amazing. I think the most beautiful basement I've ever seen. Should be in a magazine.

Where did you ever find that gorgeous rattan console?? I LOVE that the rattan looks like a curtain.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 8:37AM
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Thank you, Tibb, I love it too!

That table is from the 1970s, and was a reproduction of a 1950s design. I had a pair in our Florida dining room and one was irreparably damaged when moved, which was unfortunate as a vintage pair was much more valuable than a single :-( A couple of companies still make rattan tables like this but they are just insanely pricey now. Soane in the UK has a 60" version of this table for $9,000! Mine is only 45" wide ( we don't know where it was woven) and it is IDs favorite piece of furniture here. It was originally up in the library hall and we replaced it with a table that had better scale for the 14 ft ceilings in that area. We stored this one in cotton sheets with braces holding out the ripples. It is unique and nicely refers back to the rattan baskets under the daybeds. We are looking for one nice basket to put in the lower level of one of the coffee tables for magazines and an extra ipad.

This post was edited by kswl on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 15:09

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 9:58AM
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It is lovely, a perfect combination of practical and elegant. It's great to see how all of your individual elements have combined into a cohesive look and to eavesdrop into your thought process.

As Annie said ....." reference material for many of the less decor-oriented who visit here to illustrate how important the finishing details and accessories are to making a room look complete. .."

This is my downfall, several of my rooms are lacking those details that make the room complete. It does help to see hows have accomplished it.

May I ask how high your televisions are mounted? We are rearranging furniture and about to purchase another flat screen for our main entertainment area. We're conflicted as whether to mount it over the mantel as you have done or place it on a narrow console. Both have good sight lines. But I worry that over the mantel will be too high and we'll find ourselves with stiff necks from looking up.

Most seat cushions are 16" to 18" inches off the floor which makes me wonder if there's some standard to follow - i.e. if your seat is x inches off the floor then your TV should be mounted x inches?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:01AM
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This was well-worth the anticipation, and waiting to see the finished space! Awesome job!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Brava! What a wonderful, warm place and with so much to look at. It's terrific.

One thing I think works particularly well is the large black botanicals. The big downfall of a basement is the lack of windows. The size and shape and color of the prints actually, if you look quickly, reads like you have windows in the fireplace room! That's actually a great trick.

One q, sorry of it's answered above ... what is in the corner to the left of the exterior door?


    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 1:13PM
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Quilly, I will pull out the measuring tape tonight and give you an answer. You are not the only person who has asked me that question!

Mtn, that is an iron revolving photo display, ostensibly modeled after vintage postcard displays in stores. I bought it from Pottery Barn almost ten years ago, and everyone loves to sort through the photos as it is so much more accessible than albums. I have relatives' wedding pictures, our kids in Halloween costumes, vacations, my then-young parents abroad, a little bit of everything, including printed invitations of parties we've had or attended that stand out as wonderful times.

I think PB still sells this item; it comes in both floor and tabletop sizes. Everyone who sees it wants one!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Spoke with shop owner and Handy Guy will deliver bench on the 24th. The more I thought about it (and checked out other possibilities online) the more I liked the 18" width. It will barely intrude into the room and provide a long and wonderful surface for towels and everything else. I may put a robe hook on the back door, but I'm not sure I want a towel rack. Although I'm not sure how the towels will be hung up since the shower curtain rod inaccessible behind an arch. Hmmmm.

I plan to scrub the bench thoroughly and see what comes off, then we will decide whether to wax it or not. I really want it to look like My3dogs' chairs in the adjoining room.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 5:16PM
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This is SO PRETTY! Such a well done lower level.
I have a question about the FP room - what are the dimensions? What is the height? I have to plan the rough electrical for our basement and want a ceiling fan and my DH thinks the ceiling is too low. Yours looks great!
Also LOVE the stone on the patio- I also am trying to explain something similar to my DH.
I know you'll be enjoying this great addition to your home.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:27PM
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Well done!!!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:41PM
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ppbenn, I can tell you the height right away: 8' 6". We took down a dropped ceiling and this was all we could get out of it. Every HVAC chase, electrical line and plumbing pipe crosses this ceiling!

It drops from almost 10 feet in the front room, which is why we didn't trim out the new opening between the two rooms when we got rid of doors and 2 hallways, as I didn't want to call attention to the change. The back room is pretty big, about 28' long and the width varies. I'll take a look at the plans and give you real numbers tonight.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Fantastic! I could very happily live in that basement, so if you here someone down there don't be alarmed. :)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Oh my gosh the transition between indoor and outdoor brick is amazing! Such attention to detail shown here. I'm sure you'll get a lot of great living out of those spaces :) .

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:11PM
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Beautiful space!

ML. (glad you did not go with the plaid felt on the pool table )

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:00AM
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Lovely! thanks so much for sharing the journey and the outcome!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Thanks! The Microseal people have just left after treating both rugs, the new wool carpeting in the adjoining room (dh's office not seen in these photos) and all pillows and upholstery. I am relieved that is done and there is a lifetime stain resistance on these goods.

To answer some questions:

I was way off base about the room dimensions. The back room is 38' ft long and is the widest part is 23' wide and narrows to 18' wide in the seating inglenook.

The TV is mounted almost 5 feet above the ground. The mantel is 4 ft 4 1/2 inches and the tv is mounted about six inches above the mantel. We have no problem seeing the screen from all but the sofa seats closest to the FP. We are usually horizontal on the sofas and the line of sight is fine and a comfortable angle for one's head.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:23PM
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Wonderful space!! I absolutely love your brick floors. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:42PM
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OK, this is flat-out, drop-dead gorgeous! Everything works so well together: the colors, the accessories, the furniture, the artwork. Nothing is overdone. Nothing is too cluttered. I love it and hope that you'll show us more pics when everything else has arrived!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:45PM
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It is absolutely PERFECT. What wonderful taste you have. The red and green is so subtle and pretty.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Tinker, I am taken aback, no one has ever called my house subtle, thank you!

Lynn and lovestowalk, I appreciate your comments! We are enjoying the renovation. It feels like a whole new floor!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:49PM
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It started with the floors, which i still love. But you have done so much more that I almost forgot about them! Hope you enjoy the beautiful new space!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:01AM
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Love all your fabrics, accessories & the botanical prints are fabulous.
Looking forward to the bathroom reveal.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:55AM
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That is so beautiful. I love everything - the prints, the furniture choices and placement, the colors.

You have elevated the typical man-cave to a new level and it makes me wish I had a basement.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing the details. My favorite part is the black door wall with the ship lap siding and the brick floors. So very cool! But I do love it all. The whole space looks so perfect and inviting. I would have never thought of using brick but love it.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 5:04PM
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I love that aspect of the basement too, rtwilliams! I am adding some of the bathroom pictures now that it is complete:

Vanity, tile and mirror in a rustic gold/copper finish:

Bench, floor and runner, cushion:

Looking back at the door:

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Oh wow......your space is gorgeous! I love those two ottomans. Care to share where you found them?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 6:44PM
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With pleasure, nanny----they were purchased online from Grandinroad, the less expensive arm of Frontgate. They were very reasonable, well made, and (surprisingly) actual leather. For the price I was expecting pleather :-)

I have linked to them below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grandinroad ottomans

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 6:55PM
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It is beautiful, and looks so comfortable. Great job!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Very polished yet comfy and wow all in one! It’s really perfect but perfect in the way that I want to sit there and enjoy some saga with sliced green apples and a good wine.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 10:19PM
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Lol, jterrilyn, and if the wine were red it would look lovely with the green apples and the color scheme!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2014 at 1:46AM
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Looks fantastic! You're so lucky and talented. I've enjoyed watching this amazing project.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2014 at 2:49PM
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