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When we moved into our home a few months ago, I instantly had a plan for almost every room in the house…except the dining room. I had a vague idea in my head of blue walls and gold frames, but no real vision. Everything recently came together when my husband found me some gorgeous original oil paintings at an auction. They screamed formal dining room at me and I knew I had to have them, particularly one very large parlor scene. Let me tell you, buying through an auction is not for the faint of heart! I could feel myself get more and more attached to the painting as the bids went up. In the end, we would have paid much more for it so we feel like we got a steal!
As we found with our basement bar project, Behr paint is so good you only need one coat…no primer. That is a major plus for me because by the time everything is taped and we are half way through painting I am always so over it. I’m actually not that into home improvement, I just suck it up and try do get things done as quickly as possible. To make our dining room feel cozy and define it as a separate space, we chose the color Starless Night by Behr.
Here are the various BEFORE pictures:
Here is our Dining room NOW:
In time, I’d love to collect even more art to fill up the salon wall, take out the carpet, upgrade the chandelier and hang some long, heavy drapes. Call me crazy, but I’m thinking leopard print. For now we are going to enjoy our holidays filling our dining room with candlelight, family, friends, and of course food.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the look!
Playroom BEFORE: It really had no focal point and the plastic storage bins always annoyed me. They are a necessary evil until I find a permanent storage solution I like.
This outlet in the middle of the focal wall was a real eyesore not to mention safety hazard so I decided to use it as a starting point for my fireplace measurements.
I used one of Avery’s preschool collages for the “fire” and backed it with thick paper and a velcro strip that I attached to the plastic over the outlet. This way if it gets ripped off it won’t tear and the outlet is still covered with the velcro strip so we can stick it right back on.
I bought these sconces at a thrift shop for 25 cents each. I didn’t know what I was going to do with them but I just kind of liked the shapes. Turns out when spray painted white they made the perfect addition to my playroom fireplace mantel.
I like the irony of using classic masterpieces to decorate a children’s playroom so I did a good old fashioned google search and picked a few of my favorites. My girls have a Degas over their fireplace and a Van Gogh in their dining room. I’ve been reading this book about art history and I would eventually like to create a Salon Wall of classics in their playroom.
The project took me three hours from start to finish (including cleaning the playroom) and cost less than $10 if you include the sconces and velcro strips I used to hang everything. The paint was just leftover from our bar.
Hope you like our cozy little playroom.
When I first started creating my Pinterest boards to get ideas for my new house (doesn’t everyone do this nowadays?) I envisioned our home office in the style of Ron Burgundy with many leather-bound books and smelling of rich mahogany. Then I realized that I am the one who works from home so why not make my office space a reflection of the things I love to do with my non-mommy time like writing for my blog and Stella and Dot (and Pinterest and Facebook).
I regret not taking more detailed BEFORE pictures of the house, because sadly this is the only one I got of the office. This was taken when we first toured the home. They actually had it staged with two full-size desks which gives you an idea how large the room is. Making a room this size feel cozy without using a lot of furniture was a bit of a challenge but I resorted to filling the walls with art in order to make the space feel lively.
The Keane print of the Girl in the Yellow Dress was purchased by my Mom’s mother on a trip to New York City back in the day, I’m assuming the 60’s. She bought one for herself and one for her mother, my Mema. Mema lived until one week before her 99th birthday and toward the end she insisted it was a portrait of her when she was a little girl. I always think of Mema when I see it.
I have had this Parasol since I was a child. I can’t believe it has held up through so many years and so many moves!
The collage on the wall here was originally made for Savannah’s nursery in our old house. It includes strong, inspiring women from Jackie O to Eloise to my mom’s passport picture from the ’70s. The ‘portrait’ of me was done by a street artist in Paris when I was 15, on a school show choir trip (jazz hands). Funny story, on the way back to the hotel I ended up getting lost with two other students and we landed smack in the middle of the Paris Red Light District at night. The walk to the Pigalle train station was probably the longest, most educational walk of my 15 year old life up to that point. The portrait looks nothing like me but it reminds me of that trip, which makes it priceless.
This pink fabric is from one of the first shirts Kevin ever bought me. The shirt would be totally out of style now but I always loved the print so I stapled it to a canvas I had and now it’s a bright spot in the room and reminds me of my hubby.
So that’s the quirky little space where I sit and write to you all. Thanks for reading and commenting. I never planned to have a blog like this, but it’s been such a creative outlet and bright spot in my days to hear from you guys. As one of my high school besties and I always say: Love you, love your show!
Happy Throwback Thursday! I thought I would give a quick update on my home decor now that I am settling into my new house with a little throwback to the “before” pictures. It was already beautiful when we saw it staged from the previous owners, but I’ve had a great time coming up with my own style. For me, home decor is an ongoing process. I’m always changing things around, moving furniture, trying different hangings on the wall (I get it from my mom) so I never really feel like a room is “done” but here are a few my favorite areas so far.
I’ve always loved the idea of having a little table in the entryway for flowers and there is so much space here that I can actually do it without fear of a child running through and knocking it over! The table and rug are both from Home Goods. Obviously there is potential here to do much more…send me ideas!
Hearth Room Before:
Hearth Room Now:
The painting over the mantel is one of my most prized possessions. It was a wedding gift from my parents and it was done by an artist, Nancy Milano, who knew me as a child but hadn’t seen me in years. They just said, paint something for Emily and this is what she came up with. It stuns me how reflective it is of my taste and aesthetic. It could not be more perfect. The rug is from good old Target and the bench is from Home Goods.
Formal Living Room Before:
Formal Living Room Now:
My husband didn’t really have any input on this room whatsoever, which is why it’s light and bright. He tends to like darker colors and more traditionally masculine materials like leather so we compromise in other areas of the house, but this room really reflects my personal aesthetic more than any other. If I have a quiet moment I like to sit here with a glass of champagne or a cup of tea and look out at our view of the trees and stream in the backyard. Maybe it’s the fact that I usually only sit here when my kids are sleeping, but I find it very peaceful.
Hope you enjoyed the little #tbt tour!