You all know I’ve been hanging in the northeast this last week, and it was SUCH the breath of fresh air I needed.  I ate too many snacks, stayed in my pj’s for far too many hours, handed my kiddies over to Matt way too often, and chatted with my best friend all day and night.
It was wonderful.
Sorry for the break in posting and Style Feature Saturday’s; I’m happily getting back in the swing of things and as always, my list of to-do’s comes back into sharp focus. 
Even as I begin to jot those down, I am learning as I get older, to remember why it is that I do what I do.  I don’t really need my life to be a mile-long list of paint projects for clients, one design and decor makeover after another, and writing lesson plans for our school. 
What I do is draw from inspiration, hope to create beauty from little, offering a haven for my family and hopefully for those whom I create, all the while striving to impart wisdom and character to my children.  
Life is not your list.  It’s reading between the lines.  
(I think I might make some art with that tag line I just blurted…speaking of to-do’s) 
One of those “read between the lines moments” came this week when I was hanging out with Lisa, my best buddy.  I saw her work in between her lines, creating beauty and love in her home, fixing me yummy salami and gourmet cheese lunches, pouring me my coffee for goodness sakes….and all I wanted to do was give her something back.
When she began asking questions about her home, I saw such excitement, and yet, some hesitation (don’t we all!).  After looking through her torn pages of inspiration, I saw three major elements:
Drama in color
Here’s her living room before:
Beautiful bones, right?? Love her furniture pieces…comfy and tasteful, and I loved her mantel, all the natural light. 

But y’all know the drill. We get in mommy mode and we pull our furniture to the ends of the earth to create more space. We just focus on picking up the toys, not fluffing our pretty pillows. All rightly so…but when I saw her favorite two photos,


I said, “Let’s DO IT!”  Her big eyes widened, and she gasped, “Really??” 
I mean, why not???

The first decision was obvious to me….paint something black.  Preferably the focal wall if she’d let me.  I could tell she was ready, but she just needed someone to tell her to go for it.  She was so funny….all I ever did was encourage her to go with her insticts.
We wanted a LOW cost makover, adding no furniture and really not many accessories, so after looking through the inspiration, I suggested we:
  • paint the focal wall a black, or at least a rich, dark color with depth
  • find a sunburst mirror if we could (NEVER thought we would!)
  • add metallic finishes and mirrors to reflect light off the dark wall
  • rearrange the furniture to create more conversation area, while keeping some openness for the babies (have I mentioned she has a 3 year old and twins Ava’s age??) 
  • create an eclectic wall scape above the mantel with existing art and new pieces to personalize her space a bit more
  • celebrate the things she already had!
So, after a little paint, some thrifting for accessories, and cozying up the existing furniture, here’s what we came up with…
That wall is fabulous.  It’s Behr’s Night Shade, the deepest shade of teal.  With light and shadows, the color seems to shift from black to green to blue.  It’s sultry and dramatic, and it amps up the glamour in a typical living space. 
I love the arrangement of the furniture.  Cozy, but still open for the kids.  I remember when my cousin, Jennifer, convinced me to rearrange my living room…it scared me to death.  It seemed it would close it off, but what it did was create the atmosphere that screamed “family.”  I hope Lisa and Jon feel the same about this space.  We still had to work around the doors (which is why we left off moving the cabinet to the opposite wall and the couch opposite it.) and the mantel…but I feel like it’s so much more cozy in there.

Pulling the leather chair in from the wall a bit left the perfect nook to hide the diaper/baby stuff basket (what good mom doesn’t have one of those?), and it added more defined conversing space.  They, like us, don’t watch that much TV, so the living room should be cozy and encourage lots of hang time.  I love the curve of her sofa and it is comfy.  And very french-inspired.

I swapped the side chair around to the other side of this little table, which helped the room flow a bit better for me…plus, they can scoot this chair in for additional seating whenever they’d like.  I grabbed a pillow from upstairs to add some color, texture, and interest to to the beige fabric. 
 It was SO much fun to work with someone who loved color, and adding all those jewel-toned pillows just added glamour and personality into Lisa’s space.

Then there’s the mantelscape.  Please keep in mind that I snapped a million photos on my way out the door to the airport, so not all are my best…but you get the idea.  It was gorgeous.  I’m SO glad we went with Lisa’s gut…that dark wall makes the room!

We used 3 of Lisa’s existing pieces of artwork (black frame and two little gold frames), a gold “S,” 2 new small mirrors, her pretty orchid, a silver candelabra. and 2 beautiful vintage books from their office.

If y’all could’ve seen this little mirror before it was painted.  It was this opaque, frosted plexi-glass mess.  We used my faux mercury glass method, priming the frame, spraying with water (it may have actually been water/vinegar cleaning solution, but who’s keeping tabs?), and then spraying with a bright metallic silver.  Read the full tutorial here to see the rest of the process.

Love this antique drawer Lisa scored from a consignment shop for 7 bucks!
Here’s our project cost breakdown:
paint/supplies $40 (we used behr primer plus paint)
sunburst mirror $3
drawer $7
candlesticks (not up yet) plus candles $2.50
Pottery Barn basket (see it on the ottoman) $4.90
oval mirror $5
Not bad, right??

And there she is in her newly dramatic and very her living room.  Isn’t she adorable??  If I didn’t love her, well, I might have to pray over my jealousy for her cuteness.  🙂
Thanks, Lisa, for being such a good sport and letting me go to town on your home!!  I’ve got one more project I worked on while there to show you guys!
Have a great Monday!