Thursday, May 14, 2009

M Design Featured on Willow Decor

I was so delighted to be featured on the popular blog Willow Decor recently!

Check it out!! Here is the link!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Sitting Room Before and After

It is my passion to help people create beautiful spaces within their home.  It does the heart good to walk into a room and feel calm, comfortable, elegant and ultimately happy.  My client wanted to update her sitting room.  She wanted to customize the room to a current but classic look that would never go out of style.  I envisioned a Gustavian influence for her space that would offer a sophisticated feel coupled with comfortable style.  
Chandelier Before
The one thing that can dramatically change the look of a room is the lighting.  We changed her existing chandelier to one that was truly artistic by nature. Her previous chandelier was too dark in color and casted a heavy look to the space.

This chandelier offers an open and airy look that instantly sets a formal and upscale tone to the room.  I love it because the lines are flowing and it is painted with accents of gold and silver that will repeat throughout the room.  It immediately introduces the room as elegant.  

Fireplace Before
The fireplace before had a pretty reproduction landscape hanging over it.  The color of the room was a moss green and the dark color absorbed the natural light that comes in from the adjacent wall of windows (it was hard to capture a picture of that wall because there is so much natural light).  I changed the color to a neutral pallet which opened the space nicely and made the room look much bigger.  

I wanted a contemporary piece of art over the fireplace that would be playful in spirit.  The room was already designed to be upscale and formal but I also wanted the space to offer an Ora of fun and relaxation.   This wonderful painting by Jonathan Shaw communicated the look of both formality and fun.  Jonathan's painting is on a boxed cedar panel and the figure is made out of Phoenician plaster, metallic leafing and tinted waxes...very innovative!  The gold and silver figure reflects the light nicely and is part of the gold and silver repeat accents in the room.  I commissioned the art because my client's fireplace is long and "boxy" and most of the paintings we looked at did not balance the space according to scale. This painting, when it is hung, will be perfectly proportioned over the mantel.  

Here is a closer look at the original piece of art that was the inspiration for the commissioned piece.

Back Wall Before
The back wall opposite the fireplace needed some style.  I envision an antique reproduction mirror from Tara Shaw's new Maison furniture line... or a one of a kind hand painted trumeau from Julie Neill.  Once I find the perfect piece that my client loves I will update my blog with the completed look!  We replaced her dinning room chairs with chairs that are painted with the Gustavian patinas.

The back wall now is dressed with two beautiful arm chairs that are covered in Belgian linen with a cut velvet applique.  It is a traditional damask pattern with a current twist of Belgian linen introduced in the fabric.  The carved detail in the arm chairs are "simply" beautiful.  I love the cocktail table; the top is an aged mirror surface with metal legs and contemporary lines.  Again, it repeats the silver and gold in the room and reflects all the great light pouring in from the windows.  The crown on the table supports the playful and elegant air to the room. 

Here is an up close look at the crown...I love crowns!

Side Wall Before
The side wall before had a closet door that was painted the same color as the trim and it interrupted the flow of the wall.  Once the door was painted the same color as the wall it "disappeared."  To save money and time in completing the project we choose a paint color that would cooperate with the current trim color.  

Now the eye is drawn to the fabulous furniture and not the closet door.  My client loves the Aidan Gray lamp (she's not in love with the side table so you will have to check back once the room is finished to see what table she choose for the room).  I think Aidan Gray has a classic style.  The lamp is a quality piece that could be placed in any room.  I strongly suggest my clients purchase pieces that can be moved from room to room or home to home. 

Sofa Before
The sofa before worked well with the previous wall color but does not fit the style or tone of the room now.  It's rounded arms and two large back cushions are comfortable and would be better suited for a more casual room.  

Her new sofa fits the style of the room perfectly because of the color and shape. It is tailored and complements the two arm chairs because of the painted carved wood and legs of the piece.  I prefer a solid fabric on a sofa because it allows the flexibility to change the look and feel of the room by a simple switch of a pillow. You can have seasonal pillows, party pillows...the options are endless!  I hope that my client has fun switching out pillows with accent colors and different textured fabrics.  The bonus is that it looks like you have a new sofa every time you change a pillow.  

Food for Thought:
When I first begin a project with a client I like to understand how they wish to live in the space.  This sitting room calls for one to relax and enjoy a good book, entertain guests before or after a dinner party or just "be" and stare at a beautiful painting.  This room was dramatically changed by the paint color and investing in a few lifelong pieces.  The room is not completely finished but its foundation is complete because of the anchor pieces; which are good art, lighting and quality furniture.   The accessories are the fun part in finishing out any space.  I encourage my clients to build a room over time to truly obtain an acquired look.  More importantly, I encourage them not to be tempted to create a "manufactured" room that was displayed in a furniture store.  Don't settle for buying in bulk just to get the job done.  My client's money was wisely spent because she choose pieces that will last forever and be passed down from generation to generation.  You can always freshen a piece of furniture with new fabric or pillows.  I never advise buying a piece of furniture that will last for only so long; your investment should last forever.

I look forward to posting the stunningly completed room!  It will be well appointed with fabulous one of a kind accessories.  Maybe a pair of garden urns to flank the fireplace or classic end tables or an antique bench parallel to the sofa.  So many options...I can't wait to see the completion of this fantastic sitting room!