Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Evolution, not Revoltution

After this last weekend with a house full of kiddos,
I should be mopping floors, changing sheets,
and cleaning bathrooms...
but no,
I'm snapping photos of the Living Room
trying to decide on lampshades
and ways to de-fussify my tooooo fussy space.

Vanessa from At the Picket Fence
has a great post on a close subject;
how to add elements of a new style into an existing decorated space.
I can identify...

We purchased a lot of our furniture nine years ago when we moved here,
and my tastes have evolved since then.
I still love it,
I just like to change things up every once in a while.

(The monster armoire was one of our first purchases
 when we were married.
It's been a fixture for all these years,
and I wouldn't change it for anything.)

But when you buy "break the bank" furniture,
I can't justify buying new just because I have an itch for a clean slate.

So I'm in an ongoing process to evolve my spaces into more of "who I am now",
verses who I was "then".
Can you relate?

I'm a big proponent on letting your house dictate the furniture "style" and mood.
Just like I wouldn't put modern furniture in an 1800's saltbox.
Some people might be more gutsy than me...
but that's just my opinion on interior design.

Our house just has a more formal feel to it.

Sorry these photos are washed out,
I was trying to show the little vintage rug
that I recently changed out for summer.

I was done with the red.

(and believe it or not,
 I actually have edited some of my stuff since this photo!)

So I'm continuing to move toward a lighter more neutral palette.
Like just adding a vintage linen table runner
to help cut the vast expanse of dark coffee table.

I'm thinking of painting and distressing it and the end tables white;
not sure if I want to take that huge plunge quite yet.

So now to the culprit lampshades at hand.
I want something more updated on these puppies.
I'm not ready to buy new lamps
 even though I'd like to do away with all the brass in here.

It's everywhere...

Yes, there are two of them;
one for each end table and each sofa...

I'm thinking these linen shades, sans the lamps,
 from Pottery Barn
may be just what I need.
Can you visualize them with me?

OK, stay tuned for more of what I've been doing in here.

I also have an itch to paint out my grandmother clock,
(scroll back a few photos on the left.
It's new, not an antique)
which I think will be a project soon.
I want that French/Scandinavian look for it.

My sister-in-law has threatened to beat me if I do...
guess I'll have to chance it.

I'm open for ideas on how to change things up.
any thoughts?

linking with these parties this week:

love you guys,
see ya Thursday for

Hope you'll join in!


  1. Oh my word! Puleeeeeeze don't paint that clock! It looks gorgeous!
    I think I would have white or creamy slips made for the sofas......I still like some dark pieces of furniture in a room to play off lighter colors. You have a lovely space to decorate there.....can't wait to see what you do!
    BTW, I totally agree about the brass lamps, we only have one but I'm sooo over it!

  2. Debra, I understand about your taste changing over time. We have made a practice of buying nice furnishings too...the only hitch is when your taste changes and you still remember how much you paid. The two just don't go together. Guess that's why they always say to change things up with accessories.

    I have to tell you that your living room is one of my favorites! It's beautiful and not too foofoo to me. Now about that clock...don't paint it! I have stared at that beautiful clock. Remember, one day you will wake up and not want the scandinavian look anymore.

  3. Oh Debra, Beautiful room, I can see a few places that I would change a bit, Paint the Brass Lamps ~ I've done it, used spray paint & Loved it, Love the shades you want to get.... Paint the Tables, If it were me, I would also get a new (Or Paint) that Brass fireplace screen & Paint the Huge Frame above (even just a bit of white washing), it all just Screams Brass or Gold ~ The couches are still pretty neutral... BUT,the the Matchie Matchie Pillows have to go, just add less pillows in a plain (French Linen) I think just a few changes (especially to the Brass) would work & DON'T YOU DARE PAINT THAT CLOCK! (not yelling just making sure I get my point across ~ LOL) hope you don't mind me throwing in my 2Cents...

  4. I like the shades you are thinking of getting. I'd paint those lamps so fast it would make your head spin. I think painting the coffee table and side tables is a win win. And if that grandfather clock is not an antique...then I'd paint it too with no hesitation. If it's an antique...I'd think about it. I have always loved white painted furniture. I've been painting furniture white for 30 plus years and have never regretted a single piece. Now...I realize back when I first was painting white...it was not so in. But white furniture never goes out of style.

  5. I like the washed out images - it's a great look.
    Your decorating is fabulous and whatever changes you make or have made, I'm sure are wonderful.

    I agree, don't paint the clock. tee hee

  6. *giggle*
    I'll protect you if she tries to beat you. LOLOLOL

    LOVE the new lampshades you're checkin' out!!!

    ;-D robelyn

  7. I love your room. It is gorgeous. I have been doing exactly the same thing. Just editing a ton of stuff out and giving my rooms a more open look. Love the shades and I think they will be perfect. Can't wait to see them on your lamps. BTW, I love the lamps. Hugs, Marty

  8. Hello, Oh what a beautiful post, your home is just lovely, thank you for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful week. Hugs, Terri

  9. I can relate, Debra! I think it's about every 7 years that changes go on; within ourselves and our homes. For the past few years mine has been to not have as much "little" stuff out making visual clutter. I'm more into lightening up. I'm also finally taking steps to get rid of as much oak as I can, although doors and trim will have to wait until we move to another house. I have already told hubby {and thankfully he agrees} that I want white doors and white trim in our next house!

  10. Hi Debra! Thank you for visiting me this afternoon! Your approval of my booth space means the world to me! I've enjoyed reading about your living room and the changes you are making, or considering! It's fun to read other's comments and responses too! I think your ideas are great and I'm sure whatever you do will be beautiful! I say, it's your stuff...paint what you like!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  11. Oh Debra, I just love your beautiful home the way it is!... but like you, I do change things around a bit from time to time... I also do not part with things easily... most of our furniture is over twenty five years old, but was a wise investment then, and I still love it... it will withstand the test of time... so I just add some new pillows and such... I am already thinking about my "autumn" decor, if you can believe it... I know, it is only July, but I love the beautiful colors of Autumn and Nature... wish you were here to help me decorate my home, you are a pro at it!... love the runner on your coffee table too!... xoxo Julie Marie

  12. Hi Debra,
    I can so relate to wanting to update our homes to who we are now and what we love. It's true that our styles evolve and change over time, and believe me Blogging has altered my style tremendously! LOL!

    When we lived in the mountains of WV my style was more formal and now that we live in an open floor plan on the coast, it's more white, light and coastal.

    I think your home is beautiful and I know that whatever you change or do will be lovely.


  13. Everytime I've seen your home I've admired your beautiful things. I realize that brass has been the "kiss of death" for the last few years but the firescreen looks good with the mirror above. Any metallic, shiny surface brings light and life to a room. Silverplate items look great on black furniture. When I looked at the pic of your fireplace, I see exactly what I had on mine previously until I realized that seen all together, I had too many vertical shapes. I love the green toparies. Leave those but you may consider moving the floral containers on each end of the mantle and putting some greenry that drapes down at least on one end. Just a thought.

    I'll be back to see your changes. I know they'll be great.

  14. Hi Debra, I just want to say your living room is just so gorgeous! I agree with painting the coffee table and side tables, but I would only paint the bases not the tops. I would still sand them back and restain to a lighter colour, sort of to match your mantle. I wouldn't touch the clock and even though I absolutely love white painted furniture I wouldn't touch a piece so lovely as that. I LOVE all your urns and topiaries but would remove the 2 vases with flowers on your mantle and put your little lamps on the ends and just spread everything else out. I would also remove the little carpet from underneath the coffee table and the picture you have on top of the gorgeous armoir and let that birdcage get all the attention. To be honest I don't mind the lamps you want to change but I suppose the new ones will add a pinch of modern to the room. Hope I haven't over done it here.. but you did ask .. lol! take care, Maryann

  15. Hi Debra, I love your living room.... but totally understand wanting to change things up. I absolutely love white and off whites in decorating. I say if your taste has changed and you want to paint some pieces then you should paint, i think your coffee table and end table would look great pained! Can't wait to see what you do!!!
    Hugs~~~ Daphne

  16. Hi Debra
    This is such a beautiful room. Those high ceilings are gorgeous. The furniture is lovely too but I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT wanting a change. I would paint the coffee and side tables white. You can always go back to a wood stain later. Even a lighter stain like the amoire if you don't want to go white just yet. Also those lamp shades you are looking at are real fashionable now but will be passe soon as they are every where. Perhaps try to pick up some lamps from garage sales that don't match. Also you could change your cushions. You could add a story of fabrics, say stipes and patterned in the same colour tones.
    My other rule when decorating is declutter as much as possible.
    Just a thought.

  17. You have a great space to work with. It's beautiful! I like it now and am sure to like it with your changes. I new leave well enough alone either!

  18. wow! such big decisions. I wouldn't try to even think of what may work for your updated look. I think you are on the right track and you know what you want already the new lamp shades are great looking Let us know and see what you decide.

  19. Love the new lamps. They hint of modern, with elegance of sparkling. That's always a good balance. Most of all do what feels right.
    you did a great job the first time.

  20. I have been thinking so much as you have...wanting to change things out but the investment in my furniture holding me back. Your comments on this post were very helpful to me, and I hope for you. I know your living room will be as lovely as it is now, just more "You"!


  21. Okay, here's my two cents...
    First of all, it all looks lovely and elegant, but since you want to change, I suggest:

    Don't paint the clock, but definitely scale back on the brass. I notice you've got the brass going on in the fireplace, too....any thoughts about changing that maybe?

    I'm just in awe as to how you keep that carpet so clean!!! ;-)

  22. What a beautiful space! I too have to operate with what I have in some rooms... even though now I love the all white & light look. I would leave some of the brass though. I love your white brick!

  23. I think getting rid of the brass especially the fireplace will make a big difference. Your chair slips are adorable, have you considered a slipcover for your coffee table? Look at the photo here
    The sofa pattern kinda resembles yours in a way, the slipcover is on an ottoman in the photo but would look just as good on the coffee table. Just something to consider. Hugs

  24. I can relate...but please don not change that wonderful clock! Move it into another room-it would be a shame if you changed it!
    Thanks so much for sharing...I really enjoyed it!

  25. Oh Debra, your room is lovely! I agree with you ....real life is living and enjoying what you have, who you are...and thanking God that we even have furniture...as compared to the rest of the world! We went to a thrift/consignment store and bought a couch a couple of years ago and the owner told us he had one customer who bought new furniture every year because he wanted to stay 'up' with the new trends! Wow!~
    I love your look and I commend you for not getting caught up in the blogging 'can you top this' mentality. It's just not real life.
    I agree with everyone...I love your living room!

  26. I just looked at your room again and I would cover the couch and chairs with slipcovers. I would move all the smalls out and rethink a new look that way. You repeat the urn/pedestal shape in the candlesticks, planters and in your lamps and perhaps that needs to change.
    The clock is yours to paint, but I would either move it to another room, sell it or, use the colors in it as a jumping off point for the colors for the slipcovers, pillows, smalls, etc. Keep us posted, it will be fun to see what you decide.

  27. Also, I really like the shape of the lamp shades you currently have. I just found this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=220712996813
    Visualize a similar treatment on your lampshades after you've painted the lamp base some shade of white and distressed it a bit.

  28. Ok, Debra....you probably know exactly what I'm going to suggest, but I'll do it anyway. lol! I would paint your end tables and coffee table with that awesome Annie Sloan chalkpaint in Paris Gray with Old White on top and then distress them. I love the lamps you've chosen. That will certainly lighten up your space, too. And I wouldn't hesitate to order some creamy white slipcovers for your sofas, either. Then throw on some vintagey pillows in burlap, linen, or grain sack material. You could even paint some of those gold picture frames in a soft pastel gray, too! Have fun with your floofing - and be sure to take lots of photos for us! :)

    xoxo laurie

  29. I, too need to de-clutter my home. It's soooo hard because I love so many things. Let me know if you figure it out:-)

    Good luck!

    Also, I hope you're feeling better:-)


  30. You have such a lovely home! The exposed beams are amazing! Can't wait to see what else you do with the room.

    And thanks so much for checking out my posts to your party. I really appreciate your comments!


  31. Ok here we go with my 2 cents. With all the great ideas you have to choose from a transformation is just waiting to happen!
    Not sure about the clock it looks pretty amazing just as is but I would remove the rug from under the coffee table to make a clear expanse of carpet. The armoire is wonderful but the picture above it interfears with the view of the objects on top. I would take the top picture and put it above the small table to the left. Remove the one that's there and remove the small picture to the right of the armoire. Slight de clutter. How about some greens in an arrangement on the otherside of the top of the armoire? I also love the idea of painting the coffee table and end tables white but leaving the tops wood grain. Oh yeah, paint those lamps too. Hoe about some burlap shades and throw pillows too. The worst part is still to come. . .wait till you begin choosing a shade of white to paint all this stuff. I was doing some of that this weekend, Yikes! The color I use for all my white furniture is Cottage White by Behr. It's not a white white but when it's on the piece it sure looks like it is. I'm in the process of darkening it a bit with dark wax. Have fun.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  32. You will not believe this Debra! I was scrolling through one of the parties (Kim's I think) and saw your thumbnail and title and thought, "now that is someone I can really relate too" not realizing it was you, and then clicked on it and it took me over here!! LOL! No wonder I could relate! :-) Thanks for the sweet shout-out and for helping me to not feel so alone in my style dilemmas. I think this room is absolutely incredible! I love the 2 sofas facing each other and the chairs with the new slipcovers and your fireplace is just gorgeous. Seeing the reflection of the chandy and the wood beams in the mirror is just stunning and I love your ideas for some small changes here and there. Now I'm wondering if I should slipcover something...hmmm... :-)

  33. WOW everything looks amazing! I love that monster armoire!!
    And I love that rug!

    Can't wait to see what you do!

  34. You have some beautiful pieces to work with. I would slipcover the sofas to match the two chair slips you did. Leave the coffee table and gorgeous armoire as is - the dark will look lovely against the white. The end tables and the lamp bases paint white, just change the shades. I would also leave the clock as is. I have found many photos online with white furniture and dark wood pieces mixed in and the effect is quite lovely.

  35. Hi Debra, I like your room, but I know what you mean about your style evolving....me, too! Every room looks better with a painted piece or two, so I agree about the coffee table and side table. Leave the top stained, but the rest of it could be painted and show off those gorgeous legs! Several people had wonderful ideas that I enjoyed.....remove the pic above the armoire, for example. I love your idea about the lamp....nothing updates a lamp so much as a new shade. Then you could decide if you wanted to paint the base or leave it. Can't wait to see what you decide to do! Linda

  36. I think you have pretty good advice on all these comments, I just can say that I can't wait to see what you do with the space. You have a great taste.
    XXX Ido

  37. Bonjour!
    Gorgeous living room and very beautiful blog. Such lovely photos too!
    Looking forward to your future posts.
    Check us out! http://www.etsy.com/shop/chezjolly
    Talk to you soon..

    -Jessica & Holly

  38. Debra, Your room is delightful! I read your post last night and all the comments and thought- ask two women what they would do and you will get two different answers but it is fun to hear ideas. I would suggest before you do anything drastic is to do like the designers do and remove all the accessories ( little rug, coffee table items, all mantel accessories and hearth accessories) ...then take pictures and think on it a while. I would paint the mantel white and paint the brass cover. When you do that the elegant mirror will pop. I love the brass lamps and think they are classic! I don't think you need to change the shades. As for the coffee table - it is beautiful and with a simple elegant bowl your eye will travel around the room and your gorgeous clock and beautiful mirror will shine and shout ELEGANT! You probably already have the paint needed and you did not spend a penny. Ultimately, it is YOU that must like your room. Don't rush into anything.

  39. French Scandinavian...sounds heavenly to me!!

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new header!

  40. Debra, I say paint the tables and possibly the brass lamps but do not paint that gorgeous clock! Add some pillows to the sofa in a pretty linen fabric and change out the lamp shades. Your room is one of my favorites but I do understand the need for change. Just do what makes you happy! Thanks for joining the Open House party this week.

  41. Firts up, tale ALL the accessories out of the room-ALL of them. Slip cover the furniture in white/neutral cotton/linen etc. Paint the ceiling the palest blue you can find-"Rainwater" by Martha S. is one I have used...

    One the ceiling is done, and the covers are on the couches/chairs, bring in the accessories one by one. SLOWLY, LOL

    You can redo any of them to whatever you think would be great-paint the gold/brass stuff if you want, OR leave it and let it shine among the white/pale colors.

    I find it easier to get rid of everything in a room so you can start fresh-even if you are using all the same stuff, it hels to clear it all out.

    Enjoy the process-and please let us all know what you decide to do!

  42. What a beautiful space! Thanks for joining my linky party this week.

  43. You have a very pretty and inviting house. And I can certainly relate to your wanting to change some of it out. I am in the process of adding white to my great room. But don't know quite how to "lighten" up my almost new brown leather sofa. Maybe with whitish pillows or a throw? Can't wait to see what else you do.

  44. I can not believe I found someone who owns the same sofa as I do. I too bought mine about 10 yrs ago & like you I can not justify getting rid of such good furniture. What I have done to give my living room furniture & room different looks during the year is changing out the pillows & accessories. For spring/summer I have light blues, brown & golds. Late summer/fall I switch to leopard prints & taupe/browns, creams. Then for the winter months I switch to reds, black & gold colors. I start with neutral colors in the accessories but then I change out the vases, boxes, plates, candles to reflect the color changes for that season. I know you think that that is alot of stuff to store but really you are changing out a minimum of things to get a totally different look by using pops of color here & there. I also have dark wood tables & armoire would not dream of painting any of it as I do love the wood. So, I would recommend you give your sofa an update by replacing your pillows first. Then edit your room & add colors that will compliment your new pillows.

  45. I like those new shades for the lamp. There are so many nice metallic spray paints now, you could easily change the brass bases, too. Nickel would be nice. It would work on all the brass stuff and be a nice update. Or bronze if you don't like the nickel.

  46. Forgot to add, throw pillows that don't match the sofas would be less fussy/stuffy, IMO. Those are great sofas!

  47. I love your style. You have a beautiful home!...Christine


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