Sunday, January 05, 2014

Fresh Beginnings

You may have noticed my absence over Christmas (or maybe you were too busy to notice anything!)

I took 2.5 weeks off work and wouldn't you know it, I was down with severe headaches for ALL of it.  I'll not mince words - I felt like hell.  And of course, in customary fashion my headache cycle broke yesterday and with 2 days before going back to work, I started to feel human again.  Oh, it is so nice to feel like normal people do.  I suddenly want to make plans and cannot believe how alive I feel.  Chronic pain is a bummer - you don't even realize how depressed and listless you become.

Anyway, before the pain chasm swallowed me up:

I was planning to get a lot accomplished over my vacation, starting with a painter arriving at my house on December 18th to paint my TV room.  It was a major job unloading this room - there are a lot of bookshelves, and did I mention - I felt like hell. 

Anyway, here is the final product!  Sorry the light is not great as I grabbed this photo with the overhead light on earlier today.  This room gets beautiful light and I can't wait to show you once I get some decorating done here.

The fireplace was painted Skimming Stone (a Farrow & Ball colour) while the built-ins were painted BM Cloud White.  I regret that I didn't use a brighter white on the built-ins, but I was so pleased with the soft creamy beige of the Skimming Stone, a colour I've been dying to try.

I know you're probably thinking this room still looks pretty dated, with the brass semi-circular fireplace and the old hardware...  

But here it was before:

This was The Room That Time Forgot (back in 1973).  For six years I've been asking David to let me paint this room and he's refused.  I didn't want to push as he so rarely expresses a decor preference and he was the one spending most of the time here - watching football!  So it became the dreary man cave, with all our neglected furniture in here, and I simply didn't bother to decorate it.  

Until finally...he caved!  He finally said I could paint it, and I didn't hesitate one second to call my painter!!!

In Progress:

First our painter taped and covered everything and then sprayed all the built-ins white with an oil-based latex.  This saved sooo much time, although taping took forever.

The Other End:

The other end of the room (which normally sits behind the sofa), is 100% shelving and is so useful for our large book collection.

After removing all the books, I culled a LOT out and will only return our favorites to the shelves, for a much sparer look and also so that we can truly value and use our favorite decor, cook books and reference books which got lost in the clutter.

After the painting was done, I threw a few things on the mantel.  Here's a quick pre-Christmas photo to show you the wall colour.   Again, the brick and the walls are painted Skimming Stone while the built-ins are BM Cloud White.  Again I wish I'd chosen a starker white.  

Now where to begin decorating this room?  It has so much potential, especially with all the natural (dappled southern) light it gets.  

I'm going to start with a large new rug.  And then try to find a decent piece of furniture for the television to sit on - something low and antique?  I've been thinking of different furniture arrangements too and may run some ideas by you later.

I'd like to do a nice upholstered ottoman that relates to the sage green furniture.  And I'm also thinking of console tables and lamps and new side tables.  It's a good-sized space that I want it to feel airy and uncluttered, but still inviting.  I love being in this room now!

I brought in a little modern table I had, and like the black lines against the panelling.  I think I'll stick with black accents and a white/sage green palette, with soft stone and linen colours.  And maybe a little butterscotch gold, as it appears in the blanket basket and the little painting frame on the shelf.

I might buy a black fireplace screen to hide the brass fireplace, or I just might leave it be.  I kinda like it now, and I can't hide the vintage of this house without major renovations (which we are considering, but until then...)

So the moral of the story is:  if you can't change it - decorate it!  
(oh and don't cling to old panelling and ugly brick any longer than you have to)


  1. oh, congratulations on convincing david to paint! it looks wonderful - what a difference...donna

  2. I love it! I don't think it looks dated at all. In fact, when I saw the brass fireplace doors, I thought how beautiful they are. Please don't hide them! What a lovely room.

  3. Welcome back to blogland :) Happy New Year to you and David! Congrats on the paint - so fresh and updated! I love this change, Terri :) Beautiful colors.

  4. i like the fireplace terri! everything looks beautiful!

  5. I love the look you've created, it's so cosy, airy and inviting. The finish on the fireplace looks nice too! Xo

  6. The paint looks wonderful - so much lighter and brighter. I've heard that brass is coming back. But when we moved into our home 11 years ago, we painted that brass strip (ours is straight) with black paint because the fireplace surround is black/gray marble.
    Culling books is hard - I hate getting rid of any of them.

  7. It looks so bright and cheery -I'm sure you'll BOTH be very happy there!

  8. Pattym11:48 am

    Great color. Have you thought about hanging the TV over the fireplace? Normally I am not a fan of that but for some reason I feel like it would work in this room - maybe because the mantel is so low that you wouldn't have to hang it too high. Anyway, I think it will save you a lot of space and will give you more freedom in decorating. Good luck

    1. Yes it would give me tons of freedom and get it out of the way, but it just isn't an option sadly. I would need to flex my neck to look upwards - I already have enough headache issues thanks to chronic neck pain!

      The TV is at the perfect height. It should be at about eye level when seated to be comfortable. But a thought for people who don't have neck concerns...!

      xo Terri

  9. Terri, your makeover of this room is amazing! It looks so much better. In my opinion, I think a screen in front of the fireplace would be nice. I love how the paneled wall looks in the lighter color! I do feel a tiny bit sorry for David, though, for losing his "man cave." But I think your room looks terrific.

  10. That is a really nice change. We have so many rooms that are in need of paint but with 18 foot ceilings, we need a pro. Its nice to hear that you are feeling better. I bet that bright and airy space helps your mood too.

  11. It looks lovely Terri, the colors are beautiful and if you don't like the shiny brass you can try removing the lacquer to give it an aged finish. I especially like how the wall paneling came out. Isn't it nice how our guys cave in on occasion when it comes to decorating? I'm sorry to hear you were in pain for your time off, it's just not fair in my book. Bonne annee....

  12. It's looking great. Finding something for the TV is going to be a challenge but I'd find that fun. I can't believe how much nicer the floors look with the walls painted white too.

  13. love it all Terri, love to know how the painter did the brick?
    FYI (lazboy north store has an extra room of furniture pieces marked down to make room in our warehouse for the new store pieces) let me know what your looking for and I will check and put your name on anything that might work for you... 403-240-1000, if you want to call me.... I think the room will be opening this weekend... oh and my daughter had a baby boy on Dec 23rd... Aslan... best looking kid in Calgary! ok I'm the granny so I think he is, lol

  14. So happy your feeling the fireplace. Six years to cave? It's been seven and I can't get PF to agree to paint on brick. I can see the difference in light in your room. Details on how the painters did it please! I'm thinking of sending PF on a golf trip so I can paint!

  15. What a fabulous transformation! And I love the vignette in the last photo - with two of my favorite books no less ;-)

  16. There are distinct kinds of wedding reception venue and it's noteworthy to select the place that reflects your tastes, desire, and personality.

  17. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

  18. very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.