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Updating Old World Style To 2018 And Beyond

Updating Old World Style to 2018 and Beyond

It seems like most of my recent projects have been on beautiful homes that jumped on the Tuscany and Country French bandwagon about 15 years ago.  As challenging as it may seem, I have loved seeing the incredible transformation from dark, ornate and heavy to colorful, light and airy…..using many of the pieces my clients owned.

Are you in this same fix?  You just can’t start over!  You have spent thousands on your furniture and don’t even know where to start…..I get it on a personal level.  I was OBSESSED with Country French and couldn’t get enough of plaids, ruffles and accessories.  I have beautiful antiques I couldn’t give away, much less recoup what I spent on them.

Four years ago, I married a wonderful man.  He loved Danish Modern as I believe I mentioned in a previous post.  There was no way we were going to combine those two design aesthetics and make it work in the new home we were building.  With some eliminations and additions, we have a home we both love.

Two projects last year involved Master Bedrooms.  They both needed to keep their bed and nightstands.  Both similar projects, but with completely different outcomes.

PROJECT NUMBER ONE

In the first one, my client had original art she wanted to use and I really wanted that to be the focal point in the room.  She wanted a media cabinet for a television that had previously been hanging on the wall in a corner.  Here are a couple of pictures…..pretty dark….but it WAS a dark room.

Before

Before

 

I knew the leather sleigh bed was going to be my biggest obstacle and I could have covered it completely with pillows….but one of her other requests was that we didn’t give her those massive amount of pillows that we were all putting on our beds 10-15 years ago.  Another challenge was that we needed to keep the trim and shutter color….SW Blonde (very creamy).

Wallpaper

I started with an accent wall of wallpaper. It gave us a base of black, grey and a touch of the creamy trim color. As you will see, this is a very large wall (and room), and I think it really needed it as a focal point.  From there, we built the design piece by piece, adding and taking away, until we had this combination.  Even though there were still dark pieces in the room, by painting the walls a light gray and installing off white carpeting, it was going to be so much brighter than before!

Concept Board

Concept boards are a great tool for putting it all together so that my clients can visualize the finished space.  With everything on one page, it is much easier to see the cohesiveness of the pieces together.  In addition, I have physical “memos” or samples of all the fabrics, so that my clients can feel, touch and see the true color in their space.

Fabrics

Fabrics for Updated Old World Bedroom to Transitional

Lighting always plays a role when selecting paint, fabrics, rugs, etc.  The painted trim and shutters really weren’t an issue at all once we saw everything in the space.  SW Blonde can look very yellow on a 2”X 2” sample.

Here is the finished Master Bedroom.  We opted for a custom spread so that we could get the perfect tone of bronze.  A custom bed scarf from faux fur is at the base of the bed.  By layering textures and using various shades of metallics (the ceiling is painted in a steel metallic), we created an inviting, comfortable, and sophisticated space……all while using many of my client’s pieces.

Transitional Bedroom

Transitional Bedroom

Swivel Chairs

Swivel Chairs

Swivel Chairs and Silk Drapery

Swivel Chairs and Silk Drapery

PROJECT NUMBER TWO

My next project…..also a master bedroom, took a completely different direction.  Again, we were using the large dark wood bed and current nightstands.  These clients do not watch television in their bedroom.  Since I had worked on other rooms in this house, I knew my client really loved color.  When she mentioned “purple”……I couldn’t contain my excitement.  Someone willing to take a chance!

Before

 

Before

Purple, like all colors, comes in various tones, shades, etc.  I knew that my very favorite go to fabric vendor, Fabricut, would have something.  And they did not fail me.  An entire book of “Amethyst”……the most beautiful shade of “purple”.  Soft and subtle….perfect for a bedroom.

Here is a bit of advice to everyone…..even though I constantly preach this.  DO NOT select your wall paint color first.  Most likely, you will not be painting the walls the dominant color in the room.  As in, there is no way I am going to paint the walls in this huge bedroom purple.

We were able to reuse the drapery rod in her bay window but hung it much higher.  The beautiful medallion print of the drapery was what set the tone for the rest of the room.  Another bit of design advice.  Start with something you absolutely love.  Art, a rug, a piece of fabric.  Everything else should accent it.  So many people try to “be in love” with everything they pick out.  Don’t worry about that.  Your eyes need to have places to “rest” when looking around a room.  Pick something that is your “focal point” when you walk in a room.  The WOW factor.  In this room, the focus was taken off the four poster bed and it works.

We lastly chose SW Tony Taupe for the walls.  Again, the perfect COMPLEMENT to the amethyst and a less dominant color in most of the prints.  PERFECT!

The De Medici Collection from Eastern Accents has a great selection of solid color, quilted (and lightweight) comforters.  You can actually use them to cover up with!  No more “stuffing” heavy comforters, only to kick them off because it feels like a cement slab on top of you.

Voila!  Completed Master Bedroom and Bath

Touches of gold, crystal and lucite add the “jewelry”.  Beautiful chairs and table from Caracole replace the Bergere chair that we now have in the living room.  Again, repurposing.  Happy Designing!

Susan

 

 

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