Monday, April 20, 2015

When Remodeling Projects Snowball...

I think we've all been there.
You do one little remodeling project 
and the room next to it suddenly looks a little tired...

In our case, it was our kitchen that started this snowball rolling.
I know, not exactly a little project, but...

I love the way the kitchen turned out 
and was excited to have friends over. 
Until I looked at our living room.

You can see it's history here.
It had been recovered three times.  
And rarely sat on.
Because it was pretty uncomfortable.
But back when we bought it, I was in love with all 18th Century Design 
and this Chippendale Sofa was about the most exciting thing we'd ever purchased.  
Along with the Obligatory Wing Chair and the Butler's Tray Coffee Table.  
Imagine, a whole living room SUITE! 
We were thrilled. 
Thrilled to move from our tiny one bedroom condo into a whole house 
and to actually have a living room.
And to have furniture in it.

It was all so pretty to look at, but none of it was really ever used.
The family room was where we spent our days.  And nights. 
The living room was lonely. And did I mention uncomfortable?
You just can't relax on an 18th Century sofa.  You perch.  

Enter the new sofa.

And see the Snowball effect.

Apparently, when you buy a giant, comfy, stylish new sofa 
your old furniture suddenly shrinks and fades and looks dated.  
How else to explain that I had never even noticed the "ombre" fading pattern 
on the chairs by the window.  Or how tiny they were...

Fortunately, Darling Daughter is thinking ahead and loves the old furniture, 
She'll be furnishing her own apartment in the not too distant future 
and she really wants the old sofa.  
I'm thrilled that she wants it and I am happy to store it until she's ready.  
(Mr. Grand, not so much.)

Back to the snowball effect.
The big comfy couch started things rolling.
I wanted new chairs. Comfortable ones.
So that when friends gather here, they are comfortable too.  
We don't want any fighting over the new couch.

In fact, comfort was my mantra for this room.
For years, the living room has served mostly as a walkway to the porch.
It was a waste of the biggest room in our house.
I wanted to make it a room where we would like to hang out.  

These tired green club chairs used to "grace" our family room, 

before that room was redone in the makeover 
You can read about that here.

I saved them, to Mr. Grand's chagrin, because they are sooooo comfortable. 
We dragged them up to the living room to see how they would fit.
Not bad... 
(Bonus: Now that they're out of the basement storage, there's room to store the old sofa!)

I had them reupholstered for the living room 
in a soft caramel textured fabric that is -wait for it- comfortable!

I asked the upholsterer to change a few details on the chairs.
I asked him to make the skirts longer 
and the backs slightly arched to match the sofa.  
I also asked him to add taller legs so that they were more in proportion with the new sofa.  
A good upholsterer can do all those things. Without grousing about it.

I love how they turned out.
Now I can sit by the fire, in a comfy chair, 
in a quiet room and read to my heart's content.


Then I got really creative and I bought some floor sample chairs 
in a raspberry velvet that I'm afraid might have had slight "Bordello" overtones.
Excuse the iphone photo...

They were so soft and comfortable 
that I actually considered keeping them this color 
for about five minutes.  
But my sanity prevailed 
and I found this gorgeous, plush, neutral fabric to recover them in.
It's really soft and luxe.

I love buying floor samples to recover.  
If I had ordered these new, they would have taken 8 weeks to make and cost a lot more.
Once I had my fabric, these were done in 2 weeks!
They have a slightly modern line that I like. Transitional, I guess.
I think they turned out beautifully.

The new chairs all look so nice with the big, comfy couch!

We sprung for a new coffee table, too. 
It's bigger than the old one and the scale is better with the sofa.
And we had the room painted in Crisp Linen by Sherwin Williams.

You can see I'm going with a lighter, brighter, more neutral decor.  
Easier on the jewel tones, but I gotta have some color!
I can not do gray.

So I'm keeping my soft green drapes. 

And the camel colored area rug still works, too.

All accessories are in play, however-
Lamps, pillows, art work, knick knacks.
Anything might stay. Or go.

I'm playing musical pillows.  
They're a work in progress.
Pillows are easy to change, so I can switch them out 
without having to make major furniture changes.

I love this pillow from Birch Lane, but it is back ordered til the end of May.

I think a couple of these will look great tossed on the new sofa.
They would tie the colors together and add some pattern.

And I know that I need something a little larger for over the sofa.
Maybe something more three dimensional.  

For me, the fun is in the hunt for those things.

If you need, me, I'll be right here...

Linking to:
That DIY Party at DIY Shhowoff
Inspire Me Monday at Sand and Sisal
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Pin It!


  1. Wow, love the sofa. Your room looks awesome and love the Crisp Linen walls too!

  2. Liked the Chippendale . . .
    Love the " new" even more . . .
    Like the similar in color from the "new", club and the "bordello" chairs.
    The dark of the coffee table, larger too, I . . .
    I agree, larger something behind "the new."
    Maybe pick up the dark stain of the coffee table in a larger print piece . . .
    Or introduce a new element, sculpture piece . . . not sure, I'd have to try things there.
    Yes, to the green drapery . . .
    You have such a gift . . . and fine pieces in your home to recreate with color, fabric, upholstery . . .
    Starting cold . . . in any of the rooms in my home . . . I have very little vision. But then, there are those moments, like this morning . . . some vision appeared through a Pottery Barn sham . . . It will be interesting to see if and where it will take me . . .
    All the best Erin . . . Sounds like the kitchen was only the beginning . . .

  3. The darker and larger, in the coffee table, I like . . .
    (When commenting through your iPad, does your message lock and make it impossible to correct a word spelling? Like I might have meant to write love and it types like . . . If I go to change it, it freezes and I lose the ability to correct. Frustrating . . . Does that happen with you . . . ?)
    Thus . . . the coffee table correction above . . .

  4. Certainly is a welcoming and stylish room now!

  5. Beautiful facelift! Your new sofa does look comfy and I do love your French pleated drapes. Your upholster also did an amazing job on the two chairs. -Brenda-
    P.S: Re the Chippendale sofa and your statement about it. Perhaps your daughter might want to consider having the seat cushion wrapped in a layer of Down which would make it much more comfortable.

  6. What a beautiful living room - I love the different type of seating and how it all ties in with the ( big comfy ) couch !
    Beautiful job !

  7. Erin, your room is beautiful and there's plenty of room for people to sit! I never would have thought to buy floor models to recover. Does it work out financially to do that? I guess it depends on the bargain you find. The floor model chairs have a neat shape. Love the drapes too.

  8. I am like you..but a 40 yr old Chippendale sofa...two coverings, but needs a new one. Almost like new. Have new white sofa in parlor with the wing chairs! Ha! Need to cover wing chairs too. Your update looks great. I would love for you to visit my blog! Sheila

  9. Love both sofas and the new room you have given yourself, beautiful! So bright and fresh!


Comments are very much appreciated!
Thank you so much!