Design challenge

mtnrdredux_gwSeptember 18, 2011

I need help finishing my LR. So far all that the elements have in common is that I bought them! I like the collected look, but I am not pulling it off here. ONE PROBLEM - I do not want to get rid of anything in the room.

The room itself, built by the PO, is a quirky octagon with a windowed cupola. Three walls are window seats. A fourth wall is the entry, with double French doors leading from a hallway, and a step down into the room. We have only one "normal wall".

This is our "formal" living room, in an informal house. It is not likely to get heavy use ... either when we have a couple over for dinner, or as one of several spaces flowing into each other for large parties. Also as a place to read (it's very quiet when you close the doors).

THE CHALLENGE : I am not willing to take anything away, but what can I add?

Here's where we are starting

The Elements that work together ok:

The Asian-inspired Amsterdam streetlamp chandelier, Turkish ottoman, Turkish silk rug, and Moroccan fpl tiles. The ticking on the window seats, a blue and off white ticking that looks kind of tobacco stained, matches the fpl tile colors exactly (the tile mfr used the fabric) The mirrored table - maybe not. It is one thing I could get rid of. DH wants to put a work bench w vise there, as a bar.

The elements that are less cohesive:

The rustic horse weathervane and the beehive fpl screen (a trick so that, when unlit, it is less noticeable that the fpl is gas)

The chairs are brand new, MGBW slightly distressed leather. I love them, perhaps because I was going through my Mad Men phase when I saw them. But I think it is both the color and style of these chairs that is throwing things off. The floors lamps, a must for reading, I think are fine with the chairs.

I need to figure out what to put over the fpl "mantle" (enormous, 3x8), but I am not terribly worried about that right now .. it's the kind of thing you can't force. But I do need help on:

1) Selecting at least 2 throws for the chairs. I think they should be light, like the ottoman

2) Something to put on the ottoman - dark like the chairs?

3) Pillows for the window seats

4) Someplace to put a drink in between each set of chairs

5) We need to decorate the shelves around the room at ceiling level.

6) I have some artwork that I want to hang on the molding between the windows, like some people hang on the wood frames of bookcases? Yeah or nay?

And of course if you have any ideas about a 3x8 platform over the fpl --- maybe a bunk bed!

Thanks in advance.

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Just off the top of my head:

something rustic instead of the mirrored table-I think your husband's idea is cool.
something with color as opposed to a light throw on a chair. How about that gorgeous orange Hermes throw that has the big H on it? I think a pop of color would be nice. Don't know if it would clash too much with the color in your fireplace tile, but that looks pretty subtle.
Books on the ottoman.
I think you may need to do a collection of something on the ceiling shelves to keep the continuity?
Definitely a large, beautiful, painting above the fireplace.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:54AM
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What a wonderful room! But, I can't see the last 2 photos so I can't see some of the elements you refer to.

I would fill the shelves above the windows with books, and add maybe a library ladder. On the ottoman, maybe a woven tray with a bowl of loose photos and a magnifying glass. I don't think you need more than one displayed throw in a room. For tables, small martini tables are easy to find and I really love the small campaign tables. I also think your room could use some more greenery, perhaps a huge elephant ear plant in a fantastic aged pot.

I probably wouldn't have purchased 2 matching floor lamps with the 4 matching chairs. I think it's a little too much symmetry (and I love symmetry!).


    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:11AM
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You have a nice start to a pleasant space. I would paint the niche above the FP the same green as the ones around the room/ceiling height.

The rug is too light for the room. Since the room is washed in sunlight, the stone floor, rug and walls all wash together. I would replace with a medium to dark rug with color(s) you can splash around the window seats and chairs with pillows. With the square seating group, I would look for a square rug - as big as you can get in the area w/o covering vents.

Ditch the mirrored table and replace with the wooden workbench. Weather vain horse stays.

imo, the pair of floor lamps are not cohesive with the room for talking with guest or reading. They are too high for the chairs, meaning light is going to shine in everyone's eyes. The way the one of the outside (right facing FP) looks better, but still points in eyes.

I wouldn't crowd the ceiling niches, but put only one thing in most (agree with something cohesive), some with two. Otherwise it will get a heavy feeling. My parents have niches above the double door ways in their foyer (going into LR and DR). Each niche has a porcelain Asian piece or two. Not crowded.

Everything in the room is angled - walls, chairs, rug, ottoman, stone flooring, etc. - so I think you need to put an oversized round or oval tray on the ottoman. Something distressed, looks old but might not be. Metal, wood or wicker. Wicker would be great - add texture to the room (isn't much there now). Would echo the wicker covered bottle you have on FP shelf.

I know you said you don't want to take anything out, but sometimes it's the way to go.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:14AM
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Oh mtnrdredux, I just love you! (You introduced me to the online French lighting site.) (One of) My current project(s) is painting mattress ticking strips on my 7 year-old's bedroom walls, and at the beginning of this year we had Cuban encaustic tiles laid in the laundry room. J'aime beaucoup Morocco! And Turkey. I like seeing your home because, well, I like it.

I'll need to pop back later but my first thought about your LR is the contrast is too great (the chocolate brown chairs and the v. pale ottoman and rug) and not weighted throughout the room. I do think a larger, dark tray on your ottoman would help, maybe if it were figured then it wouldn't be a flat dark, or a leopard (acrylic) tray. That would have some visual texture which spoke to the chocolate chairs but not be polka-dotty.

Are you planning on throw pillows on the window benches? You could have some real fun culling textiles from your travels. (I'm assuming, or of course there are all kinds of domestic sources for good paisleys, suzanis, ikat, etc. -- I like Ruzetti & Gow and eBay!)

What will be going up in the shelves lining the ceiling (or thereabouts)? That will probably also help inform more color and interest.

For the throw(s) on the chairs / benches, my eye would prefer to see one of the colors pulled from the rug, not the eggshell throw there now -- for *my eye* it is too stark a contrast, and I don't think that's what you're trying to do. Is there a pale robin's egg blue in the rug? (I can't tell on this monitor.) That color might be nice because it would also encourage the blue in the bench ticking.

Time to change a diaper. So happy to see you again!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Thanks, Henley,

I will post a photo of the workbench ... i wasnt sure if adding some more rustic as a good idea or not!
You dont think the chairs are too dark, and need a throw to lighten them? The fireplace mantel is 3' deep so I think I need something three dimensional. I love Hermes throws!

Thank you. I posted a few more photos below. I like the woven tray idea ...i love texture. I will do a search on martini tables. I fell in love with an antique library ladder but i hesitated and in one day it was sold! Still looking.

I see your point about one "Displayed" throw. Yes, it is too matched. I think I am stuck with that since I really want to read in here (the whole family reads 8-8.30pm for homework). But it's a good point to not repeat that mistake when i get tables!

Note - this was hung too high and will be lowered.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:25AM
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That is a lovely room!

Do you have a collection of .... anything... to display in the overhead boxes? If not, since you plan to read in the room, put your books there. At the least, I would try that out to see how it feels and looks. I think that follows the function of the room and, therefore, fits.

I know you said clearly that you want to keep everything in the room, but the only things that stands out as not matching, to me, are the "reading" lights. Any chance that stand can be shortened so they were at table lamp height? If not, please consider putting lamps (even in the same style) on tables nearby.

If you want to add color to the room, I think your tiles and window seat cushions are giving you good suggestions. Is there a blue, red or yellow tone you would be happy to live with in there? Maybe blue since this will be a calm space, mostly.... (If it were my room, I would go shades of brown/beige pillows mixed with a few muted blue for the window seat.... but it depends on how much color you want.)

RE: the rug, I like it muted like that. Just one opinion :) It seems to mimic the FP tiles slightly in color?

RE: your "dark" chairs, I love them. I like the contrast they bring. I think you are right to put something dark on the ottoman, whatever that is, to balance it. You always have plenty of room to bring other dark elements into the room to continue that balance...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:53AM
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Second the larger and darker rug suggestion. Like your dh's idea for the bar. Not loving the floor lamps. They remind me too much of work lights.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Regarding the throw and whether you need something light since the chairs are dark, I don't think so. You run the risk of having it seem predictable if you use white or cream in my opinion. You can break up the darkness of the chairs with a throw with color and give it another dimension. As far as the mantle, I didn't realize it was three feet deep. But you could still hang a painting with one of those amazing slightly ornate, heavier frames that look great even on small paintings. It might be nice to mix in something that looks a little traditional like that in the room.Then you could put a few three dimensional things on the mantle at the ends. I would stay away from the symmetry with whatever you choose since you already have a lot. Something large and three dimensional might be overwhelming I think. But I'm sure there are many schools of thought about that.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:36PM
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Wow! What a gorgeous room.

The workbench bar is a genius idea and will hit the collected feel you're going for. If it was me, I'd move that killer mirrored table over to the other side between the far right chairs.

I noticed that those beautiful lamps have adjustable arms and I'm wondering if angling them down more would look better. Or maybe they are a tad too tall? A lamp shop could shorten them a bit, from the bottom, if that's throwing them off.

OK....I'm afraid to say it but I can see a darker paint color in there. It would reduce the contrast of the leather chairs (Love the chairs.) Then the silk rug and floor would be highlighted rather than look washed out in all the light you have in the room. Might you consider putting a larger textured sisal type rug under the silk Turkish rug so that the chairs are sitting on the sisal to pull the seating area and silk rug into a larger "unit"?

I like the idea of hanging pictures on the mouldings in front of the windows. Also like the idea of putting large tray etc on the ottoman.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Thanks everyone, very helpful ideas! SInce everyone seems to like the workbench, DH and I are hauling it out of the storage barn right now and cleaning it up. Will post new photos and respond.

I had no idea this forum was so active. I've used the kitchen forum a lot, but the gardening forums are lightly trafficked. Delighted to find such wonderful help!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:56PM
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I think the fireplace mantle would like nice if it was painted a darker color like the colors in the niches near the ceiling.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:05PM
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You probably won't care for this suggestion as you've said that you are color averse, but I'd add accents that pull the brick reds from the fireplace tiles and rug as an accent. I do not object to the lamps at all, as, if this is to be the reading room, practical light sources will out. Otherwise, I'd find a spot for a Spitzmiller red lamp here or there. I'd also add some Bohemian/Moroccan/Indian touches in the form of textiles, e.g., pillows and throws. Maybe take a hint from a Kathryn Ireland room, as a color reference for accents.

Or from a Kime fabric.

While I agree that books in the spots above the windows may feel heavy, you're creating a reading room, so that's what I'd put there, along with a ladder for access. No obviously decorated bookshelves; nothing is more appealing in bookshelves than masses of accessible reading material. Please don't cover the books with barriers and decor, even in the form of paintings. Perhaps you should add quirky, unmatched drinks tables between the two sets of chairs. It's a wonderful room. Play up it its eccentricity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Color combinations

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:29PM
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I agree with a larger, darker rug. Also Allison's suggestions for something round for the ottoman. Perhaps a winnowing basket, something like the one below, which would tie in well with the rustic work table you're bringing in.

And I also like Alison's suggestion of one or two porcelain pieces for each of the niches -- maybe something like the "Indian Tree" pattern, with a bit more color than the usual blue and white. It would tie in well with the fp tiles, too.

And just to throw it out there, maybe something like an antique rocking horse or carousel horse for the big space above the fp. Maybe too horsey in the room though with the weather vane...


Here is a link that might be useful: winnowing basket at for the love of a house blog

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Here's another table idea. The iconic Eileen Gray side table.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eileen Gray

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 1:47PM
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What a great room!

I agree with books in the alcoves. I would do some entirely with books and then others with maybe just a stand alone item. I love the idea of a ladder.

I like the work bench idea. I love the horse.

Although I think a darker rug would look better, I really like the rug, so I would keep it. What seems like a stark contrast to me is the ottoman. Maybe a throw draped over the ottoman, in addition to a tray. I would recover the ottoman before i would change the rug.

I think a darker wall color would make things blend better--and contribute to a cozy library/salon feel. I like the feel of the room kitchendetective posted.

I like the idea of artwork on the molding in between the set of windows

I like the lamps--but feel like 2 of them is too much. I would move one to another room and bring in something else.

I would do the throw in a color=-not white.

It would be great if the mirrored table would work between the chairs, then maybe a smaller table for the other set of chairs.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:12PM
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I'm slightly confused -- there are 8 sides to the room, and I think I see 7 in the photos. What is on the wall to the left of the wall with horse?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Amazing room!

Would LOVE to see a darker round antique rug in there -- in the cooler months. With darker pillows along the window seat ....

Yes -- I certainly agree with adding LOTS of books to the niches -- and adding a collection of darker-colored rustic pottery.

And -- perhaps consider moving the mirrored table to another room? That niche (with the horse) would be amazing for a long dark rustic table (that has a shelf or two underneath) for a bar. And you add dark-colored woven baskets under the table -- one to hold liquor bottles -- and another basket to hold cozy throws and additional pillows. If you do a custom designed rustic table or bar -- you could even add a small bar fridge.

Yes -- hang the artworks between the windows. BUT watch for fading with the strong sunlight ....

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:49PM
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Great room. Love the 4 chairs in the center.

How does it change the feeling of the room if the rug would go the other direction?

I don't think the mirrored table carries that space; could it work as one of your side tables?

On the subject of throws, I think a nice mohair or wool throw is what I would want.

For reading throw pillows on your benches, I would get euro sized pillows from the company store, and then get or make some pillow covers in fabric to bring out the colors in the niches, fireplace tile, and the current bench fabric. This is the pallet here, IMHO.

The height of the space over the fireplace is very high to really view much art when you are seated in the room in chairs. So I think that it would be good for the type of art that is more color/textural than the type that is enjoyed for it's detail. I would like to see some saturated deep color there.

I think the ottoman fabric is a bit light, making this appear less grounded that you may want. I would see how it looks with 3-4 stacked coffee table books, maybe a small potted (live) plant, and a candle on a larger tray. I would probably look for a tray that was darker than the one you have there, or more shiny.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 3:11PM
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Hi all,

Since everyone seemed to agree on the workbench, we cleaned it up and hauled it in. I was thinking "bar" because bottles look cool and also I've seen it (was it PB?). But we bought an armoire/bar from the prior owners that is in the area between this room and the DR, so we don't need another bar.

I was looking at the trough in the back and recalling built in plant trays the prior owner had eleswhere in the house that I rescued from demo. Fabulous verdigris pans with pebbles and brass grates. I put them in the trough. I would like to find some plants but for now used what I had handy. I also put out some photos I had handy and some urns I got in Turkey.

I am delighted with it. It has really helped solve the problem of the weight of the chairs! I had been so focused on chairs and ottoman, not realizing that this wall was another way to get more balanced.

Here is it for now (healthier plants to come!)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 6:24PM
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The bar and horse weather vane look great together and do tie into the leather chairs. I wouldn't get rid of the rug but someone mentioned layering it with perhaps a sisal rug that would be quite large. It would set off the rug and help to anchor the leather chairs which, against the lighter floor, seem to not be connecting to each other or anything else. (except now the weather vane) and maybe make it about the colour of the bar. With the same theme as the workbench bars, some tables in the middle of the chairs in that same rustic idea might work.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 6:46PM
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You guys are fast workers. Love, love, love the workbench in there and the way you've styled it. That weathervane is perfect with it.

Before I said that maybe a darker paint on the walls, but now with the workbench I see how the light paint works so well.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:47PM
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Love the workhorse. Really balances out the room. I was also going to suggest layering the current rug over something large and rustic like sisal. I like the lamps although I think they would work better if they were shorter and I'd love to see copper shades on them.

A big dark rustic round or oval basket on the ottoman. I'd love to see splashes of the muted blue color from the fireplace tile as accent pillows and throws.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:54PM
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Your coffee table/ottoman is a wonderful piece, I am just not feeling it belongs in that space. I think the rug could be fine, it is the WHITE and height of the coffee table/ottoman that throws things off for me. I love your work bench. We just sold an identical one last year on my in laws estate sale. It is sized better for that space. I disagree that the mirrored table wouldn't belong here too, however. It just needs a different placement. It will be interesting to see if the tray tones down the coffee table enough.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:09PM
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LOVE the workhorse/bar! Just perfect in that spot!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Okay, now to respond to all this wonderful help. Sorry in advance if I miss anyone.

ALLISON, I like the idea of continuing the grey green (BM Hampshire Grey) over the wall over the fireplace. My only concern is that the wall is recessed by 3 feet so will it look like a dark hole? Maybe I will try a piece of cardboard painted first...

I originally planned on a sisal rug but got stumped when they could not cut holes for the floor outlets without it unravelling. On a whim I put my silk rug from Turkey in there, and I like it. Especially since it has a story to it and I have no other place for it in my home. I know it just barely violates the "all on or all off "rule.

Lamps - they are fully adjustable and I have lowered them some, still need to fiddle. I would use them only for reading, there are many sources of light in the room, all dimmable, for entertaining.

I really appreciate your point about not crowding the painted shelves.

I like the idea of a round, oval, tray ... now on the hunt for one.

RMKITCHEN -- thank you! Deco et cie. you mean? I probably have 7 or 8 things from them! I love unique lighting. You said it perfectly - "the contrast of dark and light is not weighted throughout the room". Yes, I need pillows --- how many? too much looks like a harem. I am thinking I should look for pillows first, and then find a throw. OMG love that Suzani site, but I didnt see pillow?

BANANA - Thank you! i did move the mirrored table where you suggested, and I think I like it. I need to accessorize it next, but I think it works there, I like it for function, too. IN re sisal, as I said above i can't use it because of the floor outlets. The walls are freshly painted Farrow and Ball ... our whole house is different Farrow and Ball whites, so that is not going to change, and I really love it. The only color we have is BM Hampshire Grey, on the front door, the dining room mullions, and these bookcases.

LOLAUREN - I don't collect anything per se but I have a lot of stuff, not all in this house. I need to look. As a practical matter, I would never just grab a book from somewhere so high, thought. The lamps I adjusted down and they can be made shorter, too. Glad you like the rug and chairs!

NATAL - they are indeed vintage work lights, with industrial labels and cords. I'm afraid I like that trend!

HENLEY - you make a great point, the throw does not need to be as light as the ottoman to make it work, it just has to be lighter than the chair! I am trying not to worry too much about what goes over the mantle -- i find that most of my fiascos in decor have come from trying to force myself to find something, kwim? Especially art!

CHRIS - we will try painting the wall over the fpl, good idea.

KITCHEN DETECTIVE - I hate red. I don't have a drop of it in my house and I even had it eradicated from the landscape. For years decorators were always putting a "pop" of red in my rooms and I won't have it anymore! : )
I like the Bohemian?Moroccan/Indian bent for the throws and pillows. Ikat, Suzani.I like your line "play up the eccentricity". We have a very eccentric home. Not all our own doing!

BECKY - Funny you mention a rocking horse. I have one but it's not the right feel. I bought it in Australia and it is a beautiful sculpture to my mind, but it's light in color and not at all distressed. OMG i love the winnowing basket! Thats be perfect. Love tha blog, too. I will take it all.

DEE - cool table, mix it up a bit!

KRISTINE - Thank you! Good point --- not all books, not all pottery, but a mix on the shelves. I also thought about a textile over the ottoman, maybe folded? The ottoman came from my dressing room, and it is too light. I anticipate it will need reuph soon anyway ... what color? The funny thing is when i bought these leather chairs, I bought a leather ottoman. But I put that with my white duck covered sectional in the family room... and the white ottoman here!

GWB - the last set of photos shows the mysterious 8th wall. It used to be all bookcase, we took them out and put in windows to match the others, but not a windowseat.

TEACATS - Thanks! I really like a lighter palette.I love the idea of a basket under the workbench for more throws. The bar fridge is a funny suggestion. The PO had something between a kitchenette and a large bar in that part of the room. We ripped it out!

JULIE - thank, I love the chairs, too. I can't move the rug because of the floor outlets, if you mean rotate 180. Or do you mean rotate 360? It is a silk rug and a fair bit darker the other way. Good idea about books to "change" the color of the ottoman.

HOME AGAIN -- Thanks! I cant use sisal because of the floor outlets. I am looking for a basket. Yes, I will probably use more blue.

ARCY - Yes, the ottoman is way too white. Trying to find ways to tone it down.

Thanks again all. I think I will 1) try to find a tray, 2) look for pillows and then a throw 3) see what books and doodads I have that I can use and 3) test using the grey green paint on the fpl wall.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:30PM
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Hey, it's your house. You asked ... we shared.

I hate red. I don't have a drop of it in my house and I even had it eradicated from the landscape. For years decorators were always putting a "pop" of red in my rooms and I won't have it anymore! : )

Reminds me of a certain British wannabe's hate of hydrangeas. I couldn't live without red ... especially in the gardens. Guess you don't attract hummers.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:52PM
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Natal -

Yes, and I appreciate it very much.

Oh and I'm wild about hydrangea ... none of them are red! : )

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:02PM
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I'm hoping for more pictures as you add stuff. I'm loving your room.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:22PM
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What a beautiful room! You could put a colorful lumbar pillow on the chairs........

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:15AM
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I agree about red. I don't have it in my house and only recently started to wear it occasionally. Red lipstick looks awful on me, so I never wore anything red before. It just isn't my cup of tea, but I am trying to not be so predictable. It still won't make it into our decor, lol.

My first thought was that the chairs seem squared off, like opponents, in their placement. I'd bring each pair a little closer together.

My next thought was to get pretty pillows for the window seats to draw attention to the great windows and view.

Your ceiling is to die for! I'd like to put a glossy paint up in the band that goes around (wish I knew a good name for it). That would highlight the natural light pouring in.

Since the room is very masculine, I'd want to put a feminine mirror up in the back of the fireplace niche to balance it out. Something with etched flowers in it like your grandma might have owned. You can then put a few well chosen objects in front, but make sure their backsides are pretty too ;)

I am not a big fan of more than one throw in a room. It starts looking messy to me. One is like a well placed scarf. I'd also go with a darker colored one. Maybe pull a color from the rug as inspiration?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:46AM
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Love the horse and work bench.
I like the rug actually. I agree that the color of the ottoman provides too much contrast - needs to be toned down some.
How about a darker but still neutral wall color that you pull out of the rug. Pity you hate red. That red that I am seeing in the rug would be what I would use as my other accent color. Maybe there is a green or other medium tone color in the rug that you would use as an accent color. I think you do need pillows on those chairs. Some one else suggested kidney pillows - that is what I would do too. I
Love the room by the way. Love that you went with 4 chairs and an ottoman - different. That is what we did in a room I am working on. I still have to get the kidney pillows for the chairs and a few little tables and maybe a bench for accessories for my room. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 12:52AM
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If you need to purchase Suzani pillows or pillow covers, look on ebay and don't forget etsy. I would only get embroidered, as opposed to printed on the fabric.

I purchased two from an ebay seller and so did Rococogurl. Takes awhile to get to the states from Uzbekistan but worth the wait. Stories on Atticmag, if you're interested you can go there and search suzani

Linked ebay selection below.

I don't have red in my house either, but have enjoyed putting very few touches of it in DD2's eclectic home.

Love the workbench.

Here is a link that might be useful: Etsy pillows and covers

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 7:43AM
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too funny, Allison, I was on etsy yesterday looking at suzani

maisoui, the room is freshly painted one of fnb shades of white, as are all the rooms in the house ... I like it very much and do not want to change that, even if it would make this particular room work better. I went with four chairs like these because I wanted maximum comfort. The particular slope and dimensions of this chair are ubercomfy for sitting and talking. No one sits in the middle sofa cushion anyway, so whats lost?

dianalo, thanks. I think red is a very hard color to pull off, perhaps because I tend to be fair. My whole house palette is very bland and I love it. I am going pillow shopping Wednesday, should be fun. the cupola already has special lighting in it (po) so i don't want to overdo it. The room's design is very feminine, probably why I went masculine on furniture. The rug is feminine. I have just the mirror you described, and thougght about usingg antiqued mirror over the fpl.But it would reflect the doorway you come in ... a bit odd. Definitely one throw, the rest in a basket (( we are a 3-4 throw family !)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:01AM
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I don't have anything to add to all the fantastic help you've received, but I had to tell you how much I love your room! What a great space!! We have a cupola but it's not open, and I so wish it was -- yours is gorgeous! I can't wait to see the end result (and I love your workbench and weathervane!)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:25AM
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Thank you, Hoosier.

When i first posted the room, I worried people might want to nix my weathervane. But I would never do that. I love it as much for how it looks as for the memory of buying it. My husband and I were in Mass. picking up a table we bought, and I recalled seeing on 1st dibs a dealer who was also in the area. They had a print I lusted after of the San Fran's Sutro baths. Except is was something wild like $25,000 and I could not see putting that in a pool area!

Anyway, we set off to find the dealer, and they are out in the countryside, in a beautiful contemporary home up on a rise. I do not like contemporary but I would take their home in heartbeat. Their home is also their gallery and we spent a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon meeting the owners, seeing their home and their collections. I left with the horse as a memento.

In case anyone is interested, i have a link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Splendid stuff and splendid people, too

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:35AM
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I love the work table's character and how you displayed on it. It all looks very nice in that space. I also love your overall style.

I agree that your room is very feminine on it's own. The chairs, horse and table all add masculine elements, but that's great. I think it could handle many more masculine elements since the room is very light.

RE: color/red, I support your muted lifestyle! I don't have a drop of red in my house and never will :) I think your space will be very relaxing when you add in the cozy pillows at the window and the last decorative pieces. I would only put pillows on the chairs if you will USE them. Otherwise, they will just end up sitting on the ottoman a lot of the time.

I'm looking forward to more photos....

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Love your room - such an interesting space to decorate. Maybe I missed it, but were you planning on any window treatments? Also, a slipcover for the ottoman could add some interest, if that's an option you would consider.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:15AM
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Hi Lolauren, You are so nice! We had a lot of fun styling the table, and since it was just stuff i sort of grabbed, I will no doubt be styling and restyling for years!

I hope I didn't offend anyone about red! I can see why people recommend it, but I have an aversion to it that borders on neurotic. May have something to do with a too-small red coat with fur in 3rd grade. : )

I like the look of lumbar pillows, but you are right. I don't know what it is about this chair, but it is just right for sitting and relaxing and a pillow would change that. Just like I no longer use pillows on beds that you dont actually sleep on and cant wash!

Thank you!
Our house is almost all windows, and only one room has any windows treatments at all --- the guest room, since some people just think they should have a curtain! The whole reason we bought this house was for the property. We are on 9 acres with a very large pond and beautiful stone terraces and landscaping, and 360 degress views of greenery. This room has some of the best views in the house.
You are right about a slipcover, plus in the scheme of things a slipcover should be pretty easy to make for an ottoman. Great idea, thanks.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:05PM
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mtnrdredux, I actually love your windows and wouldn't cover them either! The view sounds spectacular.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:41PM
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If you decide to cover the ottoman, a fabric you might consider is the blue ticking stripe - it would look great on the area rug.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 5:10PM
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Arapaho -- that is a great idea ... and the upholsterer actually gave me an extra bolt of it ... for something so simple it was surprisingly difficult to find a ticking that had the aged look.. I think it's Pindler and Pindler. I am going to roll it out and see how it looks

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 5:16PM
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"LOVE the workhorse/bar! Just perfect in that spot!" DITTO!

Actually love the whole room, including the gorgeous rug. Your lighter look/design is just my cup of tea~ kudos!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 5:26PM
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I know you don't like red, but I can easily see my Watt Pottery lining all those niches!

Rug is perfect!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 6:19PM
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Thanks, Loribee. It was fun to do. And i thought it might be too over the top, but GW emboldened me. I like everything light --- i should probably move to Sweden!

Oakley, I had to educate myself on Watt Pottery. I like it. Very pretty.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:32PM
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I came across "before photos" of the room. Unfortunately it is missing the wetbar and closet structure that used to be where the horse is now, and missing bookcases that used to be where we put in new windows on "missing wall 8".

Interesting to see how wildly different it looks.

View into the room, the same vantage point as my first photo, but further back. He had a desk where we put in a fpl.

Views of window seat areas

The ceiling - no light, contrasting trim and lots o' grasscloth

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Maybe a bit cluttered, but looks warm and inviting.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:15PM
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Love what you've done - architectural, graphic, strong, clean. I wouldn't change anything you've done so far. LOVE IT!!!

Here's my vision for the finishing touches, other than the obvious need for some awesome down pillows on the window seats...

1. The upper nooks need something strong but soft. I would get some old books & cover them in craft paper & then artfully write the titles longways in the spines on black sharpie or wide calligraphy pen. Just almost fill the spaces. If you put any decorative pottery in there, they're going to be lost & can't be appreciated.

2. Mantle - I see some softer shapes there. Maybe a large copper charger on a stand in the middle & 2 smaller ones on either side of the center one. This will give dimension & more texture as well.

3. End tables - 2 round tables between the chairs. (I would say red, but...I hate red too, so...??? I think you have the eye for the right thing when you see it.)

4. I would do lumbar pillows (all a little different) on the chairs & no throw anywhere.

I am jealous. AWESOME.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Thank you for your help with my window treatment post! I've been following the suggestions for the perfection of your room too; although I don't think it needed much and I didn't have any suggestions to contribute. It's a magnificent space and if I had a room like that in my house, I'd spend a lot of time in it. Enjoy. How lucky you are!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:56PM
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For me, there's a bit of free-floating going on with the chairs. You could try a couple of modified arrangements. First, pull them all closer into the center, tilting the ottoman so it actually makes sense for the chairs; in other words, with a point aimed at the FP. Then you could try pairing them up in 2 sets of 2; put 2 chairs next to each other, fairly close together, aimed at an identical pair opposite.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:01AM
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marcolo, you are right .. they appear to be skydiving

boysrus2, thank you!

jeana, thank you. I wish I were artful, but alas. I think pottery in that space would need to be chosen for shape ... maybe even creamware.
good point about using something round. Redphobes unite! what about a ceramic garden stool? hackneyed but small and functional. we use throws all the time when we curl up to read, and the chairs don't need pillows, so I will have to give a little nod to function.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 7:43AM
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Oh wow - those before photos could make me claustrophobic, I couldn't breathe in that room. I much prefer your lighter, cleaner look, very refreshing. ... Was that a dustbuster artfully displayed on the wall just before you enter the library?

I like the idea of creamware in the niches. Maybe it's my monitor but they look like dark little boxes because of the darker green paint and something light would bring the focus back to the forefront. For some reason I'm not keen on books in the niches. I love the work table, but compared to the look in the rest of the room the photo display seems a little cluttered - but you did say you're still working on that.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 8:37AM
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"they appear to be skydiving" Thanks for my morning laugh!! I do agree, they'd be better pulled in, in pairs. Good eye, Marcolo!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 10:46AM
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Natal, I give him credit for skillfully blending patterns on the window seats. He also had a lot of really interesting objet d'art. Not just a collected look, a collected life.

Maire, i like to leave visual open space. I find it more relaxing. My version of the room is just the beginning though ,.... the room isn't even done yet but I wanted to throw my things in there. So it's too spartan for now, except the workbench, which is a work in progress!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:13AM
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Don't think I see any votes on hanging the artwork between the windows - would love to see the pieces you're considering.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Thanks, arapaho. I have some prints and paintings, smallish, probably none bigger than 8x10. They all have sentimental value. I don't have them here, but when i get them I will post.

It will be kind of interesting to see the "room that GW built" as I go along!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:00PM
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You ARE artful!!! I think you did a great job in your workbench tablescape - I like the clutter & arrangement.

If you're going to put creamware in the niches, I wouldn't add do a ceramic garden stool - you need texture there. Maybe rattan...(this looks better in person)


Here is a link that might be useful: Rattan table idea

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:17PM
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I just want to say the chandelier, FP tiles, horse, workbench and your chairs are my favorite things in your rm. I think it shows when someone fills a room with loved treasures!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 2:13PM
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Crate & Barrel has some interesting round accent tables.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crate & Barrel

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 2:54PM
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Oh, wow, it is hard to believe that is the same room. Your version of this room is stunning. I have been thoroughly enjoying this post. I cannot get enough of your room. I think it's beautiful.

I like creamware in the niches. Also not crazy about the book idea. I wasn't crazy about it before, but then seeing the POs pictures verified that.

maire -- good catch on the dustbuster! Well, I hope that means he used it a lot to keep the dust out of all that stuff. Yikes.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 4:01PM
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I keep visualizing a quilt in the niche above the fireplace. I don't mean one that you would put on a bed, but more of a fabric with dimension and texture and pattern that would fit in the area.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 5:00PM
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I DID mean to rotate the rug so nap would look darker... I think this might give more contrast vs. floor and ottoman.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 8:20PM
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Interior, Thank you! Cool table.

Eandhl, thanks!

Arapaho - great selection, i like the foundry one? Sort of like my lamps? I also like that is it sturdy ...i have visions of red wine spilled on my silk rug.

Jill, you are so nice. I have to look around and see what I have to put up there! I may use books until i find the right thing..

Suero, the only thing is the area is three feet deep by 8 feet wide. Anything on the wall will be lost, i fear. Odd space!

Julie, I used to have this rug in an entry hall, and then in a dressing room. I was always turning it around to see the "light side" I don't like the dark side, lol

Anyway ... i went shopping today. I got a bunch of throw pillows, a tray, and another demijohn. I have lowered the lamps and moved the chairs closer together. The pictures all look too yellow or green, but in real life I am happy with it. I actually just picked a whole bunch of pillows, and i thought I would see which ones i liked when I got home. I like them all, together.

Here's where we are:

I chose some chocolate pillows to balance visual weight, and some blue and green to pick up on those shades in the rug.

btw, this shows the depth of the fpl shelf

Still - to do ... try painting above the fpl, throw (s) in a celery or light blue/aqua, pottery and small table(s). Note that now that I moved the chairs closer, the tables wont fit in between.

What do you think of this table?

Here is a link that might be useful: i know its a little out there, but i like it

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I like the pillows. Despite the different colors and patterns, they all look good together. I especially like the brown and white ones.

I also like the table you linked.

I am not sure about the new placement of the chairs--I liked them better before--although its hard to tell from the photo--maybe in real life, the new arrangement is better.

I would also look for something larger for the fireplace--it looks a bit cluttered to me as is--I think it needs something more distinctive.

The ottoman still seems very stark to me in relation to the rest of the room.

I love the room! I think if I just walked into it--without being asked for my thoughts--I would just think what a great room it was and how much I loved the cupola, window seat, rug, work table, and horse. The only negative I would notice would be how white the ottoman is.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:29PM
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Oh goodie, more pictures!

I'm loving the pillows you got. It's kind of a bohemian mix and not predictable at all. Really, really, really like them.

Something about the chairs though----I think they are too close to each other and the lamps aren't as much a part of it like they were before. I think the chairs were better angled. Or maybe the chairs need to be pushed away from each other a bit so the lamps can come forward? Those lamps are so great, they need some of the spotlight.

Love that table you linked to.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:37AM
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Just a thought to get opinions on - painting the wall above the fireplace the same color as the shelves?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Kristine and Banana and Arapaho,

I love the pillows, too thanks. I like bohemian, well put. I do NOT like rooms that look like you used a decorator or shopped in one place in one day (although for the pillows, I did). I like a room that has some tension in it and that goes together without matching. Of course, this is the hardest thing to pull off, and it's very subjective.

The big white whale in the center is still challengin. Rest assured it wil be dirty soon and then re covered. For now, the contrast in the photos, is I think worse than real life. This is a very hard room to shoot, esp w my krappy camera. The only photos that come close to the right color are the pillow close ups. And its almost impossible to show the room without distortion.

The fpl shelf is by no means done. It's not actually my goal to accessorize it... that cant be forced. I will keep the demijohns, but the painting doesn't work there and i will probably move the metal tub.

I got a lot of votes for painting. I will try it with cardboard first ... i do worry it will look like two black holes between the fpl itself and the wall. On the other hand, I have a band of green gray that stops there...

I ordered the funky moroccan table this morning. I found the coolest website that offers throw sin 1,290 colors! see link

Here is a link that might be useful: click on the word

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:41AM
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I am fascinated with this room! Love the colors of the pillows. Think the chairs look better angled - gives the room a warmer look, if that makes sense. The table you linked to gives a little bling to the room - similar to the mirror table. It would fit between the chairs nicely. I do like the C&B table as well. Keep the photos coming if you can, it's a wonderful study!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:44AM
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I would try your chairs "skydiving" but closer together so they could easily share a table between each pair. I *love* how it's coming together! The pillows are great! I like the table you posted, but don't see it working in your room. My inclination would be to find something at an antique shop, but that could take patience to find that "just right" pair of tables. I like the idea of ironstone or creamware in the niches; books don't do it for me there. Just out of curiosity, what is in the middle niches (it looks like there is some type of screening on them)?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:12AM
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Thanks, Hoosier! I do think there is some optimal positioning of my chairs and lamps but there are so many permutations I need some sort of prgoramming algorithm to figure it out. The table is ordered : ). I just got one, will have to see it in the space. It picks up on the tile and rug, but may look very odd next to the chairs. My second choice was one someone posted from c n b. (see below)

The shelves have speakers in the center.

Arapaho, I hope I am not wearing out my welcome with all my photos. I think it is sort of an interesting case study to see the room evolve.

Here is a link that might be useful: I liked the foundry or the brimfield tables

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Love the pillows. All of them. And love them together. You do have an amazing eye! Can I ask where you got them? What single store had such an amazing array of pillows?

I also think the chairs looked better angled. Maybe just not as far apart as they were before? But, being in the actual room you are definitely the best judge of that.

I wouldn't paint above the fireplace yet. I think that area needs *something* really special. No idea what. Perhaps another (smaller) weathervane? But, I think that you should wait until you find something special for that area, and then decide if painting will enhance it or not.

I will shamelessly ask for a picture tour of your home? Perhaps a different thread. This room, the view out those windows, and the picture of your front door in the other front door thread are all just beautiful. I would love to see more:-)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 1:21PM
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The pillows are very unusual. Where did you get them? I would like to see the embroidered ones close up.

It is a tough room. I understand you are trying to be eclectic, but if you just imagine for a moment you did not have the ottoman or the rug. Just think about what you might use instead. When you look at it that way, you may change your mind about what you want to keep or what you want to move out.

It is indeed a design challenge to work with an octagon, too. It looks like a pleasant room in all versions.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:20PM
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The pillows are great!!! I would also go back to angling the chairs, cause the room looks too uptight right now.

I STILL see chargers on iron stands on that mantle. :-) Or even large primitive wood bowls on stands.

And I love the ottoman - I wouldn't stress about that, & like those accent tables you chose.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 5:30PM
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I love the befores and the afters! They're done in different ways, but both done so well. You are wonderfully creative, and have a great eye for treasures.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Nancy, thank you. I am not creative, but I'm very aware of design and as they say, all art is derivative. A nice way of saying I steal ideas.

Interior, Will keep fiddling with those chairs! They are like unruly children. I agree on the chargers. As for the Great White Whale, as we begin to use the room, the kids love to read there but everyone is afraid to put their feet on the white ottoman. I might put a prayer rug on it ...

Kitch, You are right. But it is hard to resist the temptation to use things you have and like! My favorite pillows are the beaded ones. I have close up I took while shopping.

Jill, Thanks, they were fun. Pillows are from Lillian August? Sort of an ABC Carpet for the burbs. I chose anything I thought could POSSIBLY work and then could not bring myself to turn any of them away at all.

You dont have to ask me twice to post house photos. That's like asking to see someone's vacation slides! Be careful what you wish for. Funny though, the front door in the other thread isn't to this house. It's to the one we moved out of to move here; that front door is for sale.

I adore this pillow and its chair!

Odd detail - this one has patches.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Though we have spent two years and too much, by far the best parts of our new home are those we haven't touched. The house was lovely, but smaller then we wanted for our family and less open than we wanted. Unfortunately, and probably unwisely, we gutted most of it and added on a lot of new space and rooms. But the character is little changed, thank goodness. Like many GW'ers, it has been an time consuming love, down to every detail.

Here is the front, seen from the driveway

Here is the back of the house, seen from the path on the far side of our pond

Our pond. My kids fish, kayak and swim in it, and bike around it. Hopefully skate on too!

My favorite - the path that goes all around the pond, with flower beds, benches, lights and speakers (if only we could figure them all out). DH in the distance.

The stone work we love and have not touched

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:42PM
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Wow, wow, wow! Stunning! Your house and grounds are just gorgeous! Can I beg some more for more inside pictures :-)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 8:46AM
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Absolutely beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:56AM
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That is a slice of heaven, Mtnrdredux! I'm begging for more, too! Do you pinch yourself?!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:15AM
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Beautiful. In one of your earlier photos,of your beautiful room we could see what I thought was your neighbors house. Turns out it is all your house. Just beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:49AM
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Wow! How wonderful. I'm another who'd love to see more pics! Would you mind saying which state you live in? The trees and everything are so beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:19PM
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mtnrdredux every time I see pictures of your house it just takes my breath away. Gorgeous house, gorgeous grounds! Every little detail, down to the outswing casement windows, just combines to make it so perfect!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:36PM
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3 words for you...FAB-U-LOUS!!!

That's my dream house!!! You have your own private park!!!


    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:39PM
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Serene. Does it have a name?

I am confused. Which room is your living room? WHat are we looking at, left to right? It is hard to tell where it begins and ends. Is that a barn with a greenhouse?

It looks like a bed and breakfast!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Just GORGEOUS!!! :)

And yes! such a wonderful home should have a name! :)

Really beautiful -- and should be in a magazine! :)

Yes -- please post more pics! :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:12PM
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Jill, Thanks, I feel the same way!

SAS, thanks!

Hoosier, We only moved in a few months ago, but I hope I never get blase about it.

CTLane, Thank you. That is one of the things we love most about our property ... the illusion of having a thousand acres because we cannot see anything but green

Nancy, Thank you. We are in CT. I have tons of photos, mostly before (which was lovely), and landscape photos. I am not sure about the etiquette of producing my own house tour, or privacy issues. We are at the punchlist stage, so not totally done anyway. I will certainly post more and ive already posted a lot on the kitchen forum.

Beagles, Thank you. And i know from your project that you appreciate details! I know you will really enjoy your home.

Interior, that is exactly what I said. The realtor, no dummy, walked us right into the backyard, first, and took us for a stroll around the pond. As we did so, a blue heron flew over the pond. I was done. We saw it on a Wednesday, as a lark. By Monday we were under contract to by a home in a place we'd never before seen and knew no one and had no connection to! Oh, and we had no prior plans to move and had just finished every inch of our old home!

Kitch, My friends would surely snort derisively if I were to "name" a house. What for? To order snazzy return address labels? Don't think so.

Re your Q: Looking at the backyard photo, the LR octagon is almost all the way to the right. (Furthest right is a room with stone walls and clerestory, then comes the octagon.) The thing to the far left that looks like a barn is an indoor pool (PO) and, yes, that is a green house. It does look like a BnB. It is a bit goofy.

I have and will post photos, but we aren't done! Plus I think my camera stinks, or I need to read the directions to it. It took great family and vaca shots, but all my interior shots look greenish and blurry.

Here's another shot I love:

I adore this little house near the pond and have to figure out how to turn it into something!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:11PM
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I have really enjoyed seeing your photos and watching the room evolve.

Two of my favorite designers are rose tarlow and mimi o'connell, i think your style fits in with what i like about them.

I was thinking though, that maybe your seating area needs something to draw people to it? If i found myself there, i'd first notice the ceiling architecture, and then probably whatever you have in the upper shelving, and then of course id be caught by the view in the windows and there's lots to see in your photos and the interesting table.

I was thinking, what draws people to the seating area and invites them to settle? I was just thinking to myself, what would make me want to stay in the middle of the room. I'm not a designer, and i know tjis is kind of a hackneyed solution, but what about a stack of books near one chair, high enough that you could set your glass there? Or perhaps an ipad, artfully tossed on the corner of the ottoman? Just kidding.

It is a really interesting room to think about though. Just lovely.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:12PM
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Your house and grounds is about the nicest little homestead I have ever seen in my life! The room you are decorating looks real, I would keep the walls the same color part way up and have a mural drifting into fog with the tops of all the tree's around you peeking out and up into a sky. All my furniture would be ultra soft and white so I could feel like I was floating on a cloud. I would have a pale blue carpet on the floor.I might even have a Huge birds mobile hanging way down the center of the ceiling (saw one of these in a large gallery in N.W Michigan once). Ok, my imagination sometimes gets the best of me but that is how the room "feels" to me. So beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:23PM
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Thanks kiki, I will have to look up those names!

But your question is a very apt one, and the very question I had in trying to decide what to do with the space. As you can tell from the photo of the back of the house, this room is far away from most everything! It is off a little hallway. Having french doors and a step down make it seem even more removed.

Before I saw the house in person, I thought the room should be the MBR. In person that made no sense for a host of reasons. The PO used it as an office, but they also had a second office elsewhere that I preferred for that purpose.

It's best use, esp since it is close to the DR, then is a "formal" LR. But I don't like rooms you use a few times year, I wanted a casual house you use all the time. So I tried to figure out what would be a draw. For me, that means cozy and warm and convivial (hence the chairs and fpl). I read a lot, so that meant real lighting. And the last draw ... off of this room is a small rectangular room I think of as a study. We have placed "The Shrine" there. Of course I mean the MAC desktop. Our kids can only use it for school and 1hr per day on weekends. The Shrine means there will always be pilgrimages to that part of our home. : )

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:25PM
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I am just now peeking in again -- you are one speedy person! So exciting. I'm so happy someone like you lives there, someone who really loves the garden. It looks magical ....

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Jterrilynn, What a lovely thing to say! I am with you on your color scheme. That is why all of my walls are shades of white, and really the whole house palette is soft, muted, neutral, natural. This is my most adventuresome room!

Your bird mobile reminded me of the light fixture I put in my 8yo daughter's room. She loves it but so do adults. I also love this website so always looking for an excuse to post it, LOL

Here is a link that might be useful: bird mobile/light

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:35PM
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I misunderstood- I thought the "befores" were your "befores"-- before you redecorated or remodeled. Well, I still like what the PO did and LOVE what you have done!

I agree with rmkitchen, the garden is magical! The whole house and grounds are magical.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Ooo, it's mimmi oconnell, the other one is a female wrestler! She does light/white walls, ticking, a little moroccan influence, symmetry, ironwork, the feel is kind of spare, but not cold.

Rose tarlow .. Ineffable.

Even though she is the soul of taste, she's a little quirky and that's what i like most about her.

Cote de texas' blog has nice articles about both of them, it's where i first saw them : )

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 12:08AM
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Thanks, Nancy!

Kiki, I have Cote de Texas bookmarked and love that site. I didn't know either name you mentioned. But wow, thank you! Love the Tarlow rooms. I can't help it, texture and patina and light and nature always draw me in and make me want to spend time in a place. Overt color, not so much.

I looked at Mimmi's rooms, too. I love the handcrafted and native elements, the sense of travel in her rooms. And can't believe she cited the Amman resorts in Bali. Those are wonderful wonderful. The shots they showed don't do full justice. The pools cascading down to the beach and Amankila, omg. Paradise, literally.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mimmi's inspirations - take the picture tour

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 12:54AM
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I haven't followed the entire evolution of the room--- no great ideas except books in the shelves--he books being the highest and best use for shelves, always--- but wanted to chime in the general delight and awe of your property. The stone building....I want it! How lucky you are to be able to walk all the way around your pond and have one beautiful vista after another! Our pond (not nearly as big, with an area of only about a third of an acre) has a creek behind it and we have barely enough room to walk over the spillway on the far side. It is such a pleasure to see a place like yours that has the beautiful serenity that comes from having been there a ling time.

Please post pictures as you complete other areas.... Your house reminds me of Bunny Williams' Connecticut home that was chronicled in her book Affair With a House, similar sensibility and fabulous location. Thanks for the photos and keep them coming!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 8:20AM
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Thanks kwsl. You have a pond too! I love creeks and ponds and the lush green woodlands around them. Nothing like it, don't you think? I especially love my kids being able to spend their time exploring and getting muddy...

I think I will post the stone building separately and get ideas. It is a bit of a puzzle due to wetland restrictions.

Bunny Williams! I would love her parterre gardens, sigh.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 9:27AM
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Wow! Your home is dreamy! I think you should turn the little house into a bunky for me:)! I have no suggestions cause your home has left me speechless

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 9:41AM
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That little garden house -- Wow! I would just LOVE to have a true garden "shed" of my very own .... reminds me of the ones in English country estates .... tiny wee Witches cottage .... sigh .....

Yes -- your home DOES remind me of Bunny Williams home ....

... and here's another interior designer's website that you might enjoy on the word "Residential" to see more photos ....

Here is a link that might be useful: jackye lanham designer website

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Thank you, Teacats. And thanks for the link. Her work is exactly my "cup of tea". I will linger long over those pages for ideas to steal!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Lovely pictures, mtnrd, and beautiful house and garden. I remember some of the pics from the kitchen board. You'll have to post more pics when the leaves change (they have here already in western Canada).

Just browsing around online, it occurred to me that a good "placeholder" for the large niche over the fireplace might be some of the large and chunky pillar candle holders you see at Pottery Barn, Pier One, Cost Plus World Market, etc. They'd fit seasonally too for the next while, and would look good with the demijohn,

World Market satara holders,

Pottery Barn wood,

Pier One wood,

I would think metal or mercury glass would look nice too, if you can find them big and chunky.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 1:31PM
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i swear, Becky, I was just on another screen looking for pillar candles! I did a search on Apartment Therapy too. I love diptique but none of htem are right. Thanks for the links!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 2:03PM
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What a perfect little garden shed! Or a darling playhouse for your kids! I can't wait to see more of your paradise!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 3:00PM
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mtnrd, I would use the pillar candle holders with plain pillars for display in the niche/mantel, and then keep a Diptyque candle, to use, on the work bench or hearth. I'm picky about how candles look and how they smell, and I can rarely find both together, so I just divide and conquer!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 5:29PM
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How on earth did I miss this whole thread till now? Must have been unconscious or something............. Note to self; must go back and read, not just drool on pictures. I am awed by your grounds and setting - truly storybook.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 1:26PM
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