The Sky’s The Limit….

Next time you are in a room, look up.

Go ahead, I will wait…….

Notice anything?  Probably you are looking at a white ceiling with no interest or defining details.  Getting a client to agree to a ceiling treatment is typically pretty difficult.  I liken it to being 16 and trying to get your parents to allow you to stay out past curfew.  You may have a logical and completely legit argument, but they aren’t budging in their final decision.

However, you get those occasional clients who trust your vision and allow you to try something out in their home.  This was the case of my clients at the Calvert Court project.  As a quick recap, they have an amazing mid-century home which we are slowly working on.  At the moment, we are putting the finishing touches on the living room which leads into their dining room.  The living room has very much a “Mad Men” vibe to it with brass fixtures, faux-silk wall coverings, a curved couch….you get the idea.  However, the clients wanted to reuse the dining furniture from their past residence which was not quite mid-century.  Actually, it all was quite modern – white leather chairs, acorn ceiling fixture, mirrored bureau……and it was lacking.   We had furniture that didn’t feel grounded in the space.  We knew the space would feel slightly disjointed from the living room and we were okay with that but the space felt adrift, which was not what you want.

Initially, I suggested we swap rugs but the clients wanted to use their existing rug.  Knowing that we had spent a majority of the budget for the room on new captain’s chairs, I had to figure out a way to anchor the space.

Thus enter the ceiling.

Rather than paint an accent wall, which would have competed with the floor-to-ceiling windows in the space, we opted a large square centered on the ceiling.  After a few testers, we decided on Benjamin Moore Caribbean Sea – it is a hue of the peacock-blue we used throughout the house and it looks equally great  in bright and low light……

Painting the ceiling instantly grounded the room and directed your focus to the amazing windows.  It brought a sense of mood to the space and dulled the modern feel of the furnishings.  The rooms feel connected rather than competing now……

Best of all, the client called me and said “Thank you for suggesting this.  It looks amazing.”  Ummm, how awesome is that?  It totally made my day and put a notch in my “design belt”.  A few finishing touches and we should be ready to call the dining room done!

So tell me, do you like color on your ceiling or do you prefer crisp white?  Speaking of painting, I am back at the Hawthorne project as the painters are back finishing up the bathroom in shades of grey (no relation to the book).

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Dining Chair Slipcover Reveal

My technology fiasco continues to drag on with my old computer.  I am officially done with it I think and will be biting the bullet to purchase a Mac in the coming weeks (gives the one finger salute to HP).  So apologies for not posting yesterday…….

On Tuesday I promised to show you the new dining chair slipcovers and I am a man of my word.   A few months ago, I got this notion — this hankering — this need — to add pattern to the kitchen.  It was feeling a tad too sterile for my liking and was lacking warmth.  Or it could have just been that we were having a sucky and cold Spring — but either way, I was craving a change. 

On one of my regular jaunts to the discount fabric store, I ran across this fabric:

I instantly fell in love with the pattern — its large-scale print in greige, grellow and cream was the perfect foil to my white walls, charcoal trim and wood door.  It also coordinated beautifully with the teal I painted in the pantry.  What sealed the deal for me was that is was an indoor/outdoor fabric — perfect for a dining chair slipcover.  Who cares if you spill red wine!  Sticky baby fingers – no sweat!  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was $8.99 a yard plus it was sale day – SCORE!  So in my book, I scored the designing trifecta of beauty, function and price.  BOOYAH!

I bought 12 yards of the fabric (2 yards per chair) and called my seamstress to get to work on the project.  She whipped this puppies up in no time!  Here they are…..


I am really pleased with how they turned out and how well they fit into the overall scheme of the room.   And yes – I had my doubts…..I worried that since the chair wasn’t perfectly straight that the slipcovers would look bunchy and saggy.  While the slipcovers are not a perfect fit – I like the casual feel of them.  I am particularly happy that we opted to go with a pleated front to allow guests to kick their feet back rather than the fitted bottom I envisioned. 

The pattern is adding a lightness to the kitchen and a casual quality that I am loving.  It feels fresh and inviting – so mush so that I am having issues with Scruffy wanting to jump on the chairs now to take a nap.

So with this project done, I am now back to focusing on how to hang the chandelier I found for the dining room and mapping out details for the master bedroom make-over.

I am off to count my pennies for these other projects and potentially to sell a pint of blood to make them happen.  Have a great weekend!!!!

Upcoming Project: Slipcovering Dining Chairs

Happy Belated Easter!

This week I am traveling for work and pleasure…mostly work, but a boy’s gotta have a little bit of fun right?  In between school, design projects and running the household, I am stretched pretty thin at the moment.  Fortunately, classes end for a month in two weeks and one design project is winding down, so I have a bit of a breather.

So with this bit of down time, I can focus on at least one household project……slipcovering my dining room chairs.  Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE my dining room chairs…….

The Miles Chair from Room and Board is a versatile chair; slim in profile, they look fantastic with my glass dining table and equally awesome when pulled out to the patio for a casual dinner.  However, I don’t think the chairs were meant for the heavy wear and tear that I have subjected them to along with intense hours in direct sun thanks to my sliding glass wall.  The backs of two of the chairs is starting to warp and bubble and one has a small tear in the leather.


So I have two options: (1) replace the damaged chairs and at $175 a pop, that is an expensive proposition or (2) slipcover these bad boys.  By now, y’all should know that I like to look at the frugal option  before parting with my cold hard cash.  Slipcovers it is.  But slipcovers can quickly spiral out of control and I could find myself spending a butt load (yes that is an official designer term in my book) on fabric and labor.

Fortunately, I visited my favorite discount fabric store and found this fantastic indoor/outdoor fabric in an oversized leaf motif:

The fabric is a fantastic mix of butter yellow, greige and green — it sounds odd but in the kitchen, it adds a fantastic pop of pattern and looks great with the teal in the pantry.  But the cincher is that the fabric is $8/yard.  I estimate that it will take 2 yards of fabric per chair so it cost me $100 for fabric and about $100-$150 for labor.  For a grand total of $250 or slightly more than replacing one chair, I can get basically six new chairs and a whole new look for the kitchen.

Now I just have to put this plan into motion…….and that is always the difficult part isn’t it?

So do you have a killer fabric you are dying to use in your home?  Share it in a comment!