Sunday, January 8, 2012

Living Room- Grand *Metamorphosis*

We have lived in our Grand house for 23 years now, and the living room has seen a few changes.
It started out with white walls and vibrant, blue Robert Allan fabric drapes that we negotiated strenuously for when we purchased our first house in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, in 1980!

Here is a very young Mr. Grand, maybe in 1982, enjoying the paper by the blue drapes in their first home, a little bungalow with tons of windows:

 I fell in love with that house and those blue drapes on sight
and we enjoyed a wonderful 2 1/2 years there. 

When we were transferred to Columbus Ohio, I still loved the blue drapes and so they came with us.
I was able to rework them and use them in our new house there.  
 This is me, back in my busy quilting days, with the blue drapes in their Columbus home, circa 1984.
Notice the sofa... more on that later.
It was a lovely stone Colonial and I loved that house, too!

 That was another wonderful 2 1/2 years.  

The next move was to our first house in the town we now live in, and again, 
the blue drapes made the move.  Here they are (below) with blue grosgrain ribbon tiebacks in a 100 year old Victorian house that was never quite me... Interest rates had dropped, houses were snapped up before ever going on the market and we were out of town buyers.  We saw this house by match light (it was vacant and because of it's age there were few ceiling fixtures!) and made an offer the next day.
Our son was born shortly after this photo was taken, so this was Christmas 1986.
I think I was as wide as the Christmas tree!
 Again, those 2 1/2 years were also wonderful..

The next move was a block away, to another Colonial, our current home, where, guess what?
The blue drapes were hung again!
Easy decorating for me -paint the  walls white and hang the blue drapes.
Sadly, no pictures of this iteration can be found...
We spent the next few years working on the Grand Project and not thinking about the living room.
Fortunately, the streak of moving every 2 1/2 years was finally broken and I was able to redecorate the living room and actually choose my own fabrics.  I fell in love with this cranberry red floral fabric and 75 yards later (!) I had new floor length drapes on the windows, a new easy chair and ottoman
and a table skirt all covered in it.  More was so more for me then....

It was a nice room for almost 20 years. We did tweak it a bit a few years ago by painting the walls a warm glowy gold.  This picture was taken last winter right after the big blizzard.
The night before, we had turned the chairs around and sat by the window to enjoy watching the horizontal snow.

 Alas, the red drapes were fading badly in obvious places and it was time to refresh.
I wanted to make some changes, but not completely abandon my colors and favorite accessories.
Here is a corner with mucho red fabric and a loud checked topper (OUCH!):

The chair below was also recovered- it had been red floral too.

Here is the same chair now in a more muted fabric along with the new drapes
which were custom made by my talented friend, Mary.
The drapery fabric is a luminous green taffeta that I scored at a fabric place in the city.
The pictures don't really do it justice - it is very ephemeral looking.  So much softer than the red.  

Look at these gorgeous french pleats!  Mary sewed every one of them by hand- aren't they elegant?

Here's another "Before" view showing the same sofa you have seen above in our previous homes...
It's a classic, it's well made and I never tire of it's lines.

Here is the same view with the new green drapes:

 The sofa has been reupholstered and swung around to the left.

Here it is with new fabric and pillows...
The fabric is Ralph Lauren, in a soft, sueded chenille.
Mary made the pillows, too.

This delicate fretwork on the legs of the sofa has survived 30 plus years of kids and guests and shoes
and vacuum cleaners bumping into it and has held up so well...  
It was a splurge when we bought it and it has really stood the test of time.. 

The way to the porch...

The other way to the porch...

The underskirt on the round table is scheduled to be replaced
(as soon as I can stop blogging and start sewing)
with a new skirt made from the much quieter new sofa fabric.

Here is the snowy window again, with the red drapers, Before:

And After:

I love how the room is softer and brighter but my colors still work.

The pillow fabric is wonderful but kind of expensive, so I used it sparingly.

Maybe I have learned my lesson on not using a big bold pattern everywhere?
We can hope...

Apologies to my brother Thom, a faithful reader of this blog,
who requested some more masculine topics.
I am thinking about that, Thom, I promise!

Linking to Debbiedoo's

Linking to The Charm of Home
Linking to 2805
Linking to At the Picket Fence
Linking to My Romantic Home
Linking to French Country Cottage

Linking to Savvy Southern Style

Linking to Between Naps on the Porch

Linking to My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Also linking to Common Ground

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed
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  1. Very nice!! So warm & cozy looking.
    I remember the 90's... all that waverly floral.
    (Yes, I had/have it also : )
    LOVE, love your couch, I am looking for something similar (been hoping to find a thrifted one... no luck yet ) The legs help make it look, not so massive, yet comfortable.

    Great transformation....

  2. Nice to know comments are being read by the editorial board. Thom is my internet nom de plume. You may refer to me as either Thom or Tom.

  3. Your latest version is beautiful. I really love that you have all those pictures. It was so fun to follow your decorating history :).

  4. I completely understand your earlier choices--sometimes I wonder if we'll look back to the "now" and wonder what we were thinking; everything comes and goes. Your new changes are lovely; I hope you enjoy them for many years. ~Zuni

  5. It was a treat to see early photos of Mr. and Mrs. Grand pre kids. And it's interesting story to see curtains carried from home to home progressing along with life...almost becoming a 'constant' as life moves along. Nicely told.
    Have a good week.

  6. What an absolutely lovely room! The new window treatments are just beautiful and I think your sofa is fantastic. :-) Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday!

  7. I love the changes you made! The colors are so fresh and warm! I would love for you to share this at my Show & Tell party on Wednesday. You can find the party at


  8. Lovely change--I'm really loving that chair and ottoman!

  9. Erin,your room is beautiful. Actually, I think it has always been lovely but styles do change and we have to move along with the current current. You swin nicely :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Love the colors! and the beautiful for a picture of homemade biscuits and a kettle full of homemade soup..!!!
    Guess who?

  11. Oh Erin, you did a grand fantabulous job selecting your changes!

    Just love this post, and strolling down memory lane with you!

    Ask Thom if he has any ideas? : - )

    By the way if you ever come back to visit Columbus let me know!

  12. Wow! I love your new drapes and new look. Enjoyed the metamorphosis! :)

  13. Thanks for the tour of homes, Erin! I would have negotiated for the blue drapes, too! The new ones are beautiful, so elegant, perfect with your timeless sofa!

  14. hi Erin...I saw you at a turquoise party and browsed a little bit. :) Love the new look of your livingroom!! p.s. I also had a son at Christmas time, 1986! Going now to become your newest follower. ~patti

  15. Mary, thanks for the tour of your home, I so hoping you would show off remnants of your blue drapes somewhere in your new home :-) But they survived well. I'm a new follower and would love for you to come by for a visit when you have a chance.

  16. Your home is perfection! I love every single thing about it. I can't wait to go browse around some more. You have incredible taste.
    I'm looking forward to being a new follower.
    Pop over for a visit sometime!

  17. Your new drapes are very pretty and that sofa is beautiful. That was worth the splurge, its surely held up well and it will never go out of style.

  18. Just beautiful! I happen to love this style of decor! I fell in love with it because it has such a echo of history with it. Thank you for linking it to Home Sweet Home!

  19. Hi Erin so glad I found your blog and beautiful home!! Looking forward to seeing more! Would love for you to stop over when you have a chance. Just became your newest follower:) Martina


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