(Top image is before; bottom image is after)
Christi M. Estes, ASID
It is always gratifying to be able to see a job come to completion. But it is extra gratifying to see one start out dated and unsightly and end up absolutely stunning! This was the case on a recent project of mine.
The project began as an interior update and turned into a full-blown, whole house renovation. Walking into the home for the first time, I could see that the house was bursting with potential. The architectural bones were beautiful and the details amazing; yet the flow, furnishings and accessories were straight from the 1980’s. And rightly so. The home’s last update was in the early 80’s. Think mauve, baby blue, forest green and lots of heavy draperies and brown furniture. My client, a wonderful lady who has an exquisite eye and great taste, wanted to bring the stately home up to date and capture the essence of it’s original splendor.
Upon touring the house, the room that immediately caught my eye was, interestingly enough, the dining room. This room was fully visible upon entering the home. It featured a wonderful cut crystal chandelier, a huge bow window with views of the home’s grounds (soon to be perfectly manicured), and a dated scenic wallpaper that had, over the years, become faded and water stained. The room also featured lots and lots of BROWN furniture. But in my mind’s eye I saw glamour, sophistication, texture, ambient lighting and blue!
As we worked on finding just the right finishes and pieces for the room, we also worked to improve the visibility of the room when entering the home. We raised the existing cased opening into the space and widened the doorway, flanking it with pilasters which matched those already in the house’s original architecture. We removed the existing hand painted wallpaper and replaced it with a Glam Grass paper by Phillip Jeffries. The hint of silver in the paper works beautifully with the cut glass chandelier! We also enveloped the room with a crisp painted wainscoting, adding raised molding details.
Choosing to keep the huge brown wood dining room table and buffet, we combined these staple pieces with contrasting dining chairs and lighted china cabinets from Hickory Chair. These pieces incorporated blue upholstery and paint accents as well as a wonderful creamy/beige paint finish that perked up the brown furnishings. A curved, gold gilded console from Amy Howard was selected to float in front of the bow window and was flanked with caned armchairs (Hickory Chair) upholstered in a velvet harlequin pattern. Surrounding the room, a soft glow is cast by beautiful lamps and interior lighting in the china cabinets. Heavy draperies were replaced with a Lee Jofa linen print and a plush wool area rug from Sharian adds additional softness to the space. Italian glass art and original artwork finish the room. The result is a masterpiece of sophistication. Simply stunning! Just see the pictures and judge for yourself!