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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Clean slate...Need help decorating great room

Lorene Frank FarriorDecember 22, 2012
One large room for living,dining and kitchen. Starting from scratch. Eclectic. Must be child friendly, cozy, elegant. I've started with a mid century leather sectional, clean lines, in off white (vintage) The rest is up to you.....please help!
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I would love to see long panels on the window, but I'm afraid of the close proximity of the stove. So I would do Roman blinds on all windows. These heavy duty ones with a strip are interesting:
Marcelo Brito & Pedro Potaris - Sao Paulo - Brazil · More Info
. Lots of neat objects in the room. This is a good print:
Family Room · More Info
Natural linen is another good look:
Seagrove, FL · More Info

I like the colors on the wall of this space:
Library Style Family Room · More Info
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
I like them all, thanks. Good food for thought.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:14PM
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I don't have a clue. But that's such a fantastic space you better end up with it looking gooooood.
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 12:37AM
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Are you planning to remodel the kitchen? I ask because having the stove that close to the wall would drive me crazy! There isn't enough room to put the raw foods to the left and the cooked foods to the right. That's just me, personally. Your floors are gorgeous, I would want to paint the cabinets the same appliance white as your appliances. Add some new hardware and wood blinds to the window, and declutter the counters.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 2:43AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
olldbobbi...this is a rental so I am limited to the changed I can make to the bones. I plan to declutter as soon as I get some furniture. I have gorgeous views from both windows so I'm hesitant to embellish them too much although you are the second one to suggest blinds vs drapes. Privacy or weather is not an issue. I would like to give the kitchen a custom look. I was thinking about taking some doors off and use for displaying pretty things...? Maybe a small island to seat 4, distract from the appliances and cabinets and elevate to see the view. At this point, for the kitchen, I need ideas to embellish it. I plan to declutter counters, thanks for reminding me:)
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
appennameandthata...I've been here for two months and agree, I want to be very selective. It is a special space and I feel so fortunate to be here. Shortly after my move, I had an accident and recovering in a hospital bed in this space. As you can tell by my lengthy comments, I don't get out much:) I'll be in bed for another month. I've enjoyed houzz.com while recovering. The plethora of ideas is wonderful eye candy!
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 12:54PM
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If the LL would allow it, I'd consider rustoleumtransformations.com for the kitchen cabinetry and try to bring it to a glazed version of the beautiful arched trusses. Then the floor will speak for itself and showcase a wonderful vintage rug. Agree that stationary panels flanking windows would look great. I guess you could remove the one near the stove in winter and put it back the rest of the year.
Eclectic Rugs · More Info
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
I love this rug! It's the exact blue I'm looking for. Is it for sale?
You've just reminded me that I have 2 glass doors from an old family china cabinet. It has beautiful wood moulding which is now a golden/green crackle. I currently have fabric behind it that can be changed out easily from season to season. You all are so worried about the stove...thanks for opening my eyes.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Where can I find fire resistant fabric? Just in case I go with panels....
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:20PM
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As far as recuperating, been there, done that. Still doing it. You are not allowed to change colors on walls, etc.? You are asking us about things you can buy and put in the space? Give us room dimensions and a pic of the sofa. Buy versatile things which will fit in a lot of places when you move. You need a dining set? Wonderful beamed ceiling. You are lucky to experience that. If it were my home, I'd paint those ceilings a wonderful light blue so the beams would stand out even more. Sorry this is a rental.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Fire resistant isn't fireproof. I would draw the drapes all the way to the other side if possible.

Everything burns if it gets hot enough.

I would not put up a panel just to take it down in the winter. It wouldn't look right for half the year.

Personally, I prefer shades.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Ramona... I'm going to treat it like home and keep it as long as I can afford it. I actually like the monochromatic walls but a wash of blue on the ceiling would be a huge transformation. Love the idea but I don't think he'd go for it. I will attach photo of sofa when it arrives. I'll edit and add room dimensions, thanks. Yes, I need a dining table for 4. It needs to be on wheels and will be a workstation as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:38PM
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All Inclusive Home Remodeling
what kind of budget are we working with here?
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Tres McKinney Design
I would recommend a long dining table 6'-8' long and chairs instead of a free standing island. It makes for an attractive great room separation from the kitchen and is more versatile than a small freestanding island. Place it between the living area and kitchen. A large table will stand up to the scale of the ceiling beams. It will be an inviting gathering space for family and friends to share a meal together and for children to do homework on.
If your landlord allows I would paint the kitchen cabinets. You also might remove some of the upper doors but you would need to fill the hinge holes which might not look so great if you are not allowed to paint. In the living room I would add one or two comfortable chairs across from the sectional and a coffee table for a comfortable conversation area as space permits. A large area rug to anchor this seating arrangement will give warmth to the space. Be sure to include low level lighting like floor lamps and table lamps so you don't have to use the flood lamps in the ceiling. I am glad you have a beautiful view while you are recuperating and that we can help pass the time with decorating ideas while you gain your health back.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
I have two old metal risers for lifting a car. Someone had to tell me what they were because I had no idea. I fell in love with the shade of blue. Since they are metal, maybe they can be turned into columns (?) that flank the picture window? Too shabby chic?
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:09PM
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I'm glad you like the idea for the ceiling. Collect pictures here and elsewhere and maybe the landlord will go for it. I like islands, but I agree with the idea that a large table would be more appropriate, useful and would probably look better in a layout. What makes things look too shabby chic in my opinion has to do with the finish not being applied well. I like whitewash, etc. just before it goes shabby. Once the finish looks good, it isn't shabby chic anymore, but rather sophisticated chic. Sometimes just rubbing with steel wool and a wax brings out the finish in a polished way. We would have to see pics to help you out with those. I think wonderful things can be done with found objects, and you would pay thousands to buy them in a design studio when they were really just someone's garbage. Go for it.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Old metal risers sound great. Not too shabby chic. Industrial chic!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:55PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Why budget? No one ever keeps it. If I love it I'll find a way to pay for it. The right table is a priority. Some of you have sent me a few photos. So far I like a long simple rectangle, maybe with a stone top. Not more than six feet and a metal base with wheels. I lead yoga and I need to be able to push it aside. If you guys can help me find a metal base that can be shipped, I can order the stone or glass (?) here.
I don't care for the flood lamps as well. I think LL will let me change them out. Pendants? I love modern light fixtures.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Metro Interiors
i would consider adding new iron handles to the kitchen cabinets for an easy renovation. the fire thing in the corner makes the room feel vintage so thats the style i would go with
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 7:07PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Metro: lol....the fire thing in the corner and I have a love/hate relationship. It keeps me very warm but it will only be used a few months in the winter. I'll probably block it out with a tall upholstered screen when not in use. Thanks for the laugh:) Sounds like I need new hardware in the kitchen...better start looking.....
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:09PM
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I like your profile. can you elaborate on the "Frugal with expensive taste. "
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
I'll give you some examples: my daughter works at a boutique and she says " Mom! You always love the most expensive thing in the room" then I'll wait for it to go on sale. Santana Row....Fell in love with a set of dishes at Z Gallery. I bought one bowl and use it for everything from holding jewelry, nuts, cereal and soup. Then gravitated to Anthropology. Everything I gravitated to was $500 or more. I went to the Sale rack and found some amazing silk palazzos for $59.99. I may find the most expensive set of chairs and just buy one. The best example though is upholstery fabric....if it's very expensive but I have to have it, I'll buy a 54" square to toss anywhere or 1/3 yard for pillows, runner, window valance. Pillows! I love....when I was in Paris I bought 3 awithout the down insert. Bought new clothes and tipped the hotel with my old stuff so I didn't have to pay for extra weight at the airport....if it's completely out of my price range, I'll trade or work for it:)
Best example: I don't live in the castle but I just rented the flat above the stables.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 9:14PM
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I can relate. I too want what I want and somehow find a way to get it. Its not easy having expensive taste, which I totally do as well, and not having the budget to go with it. But thats where people like us learn to be more creative in figuring out how to make it or make it go farther.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
designideas4me...It can be a curse though. In my last home I wouldn't move out until every idea was completed. It took 12 years. Now I'm into low maintenance and realize I can share my ideas instead of actually doing them. My last project was a garage apartment for my daughter and to rent later. I live in a college town so it's very easy to make rental income. A garage is a huge portion of the mortgage. That's a lot of square feet for a car. Over a few years, I salvaged beautiful stone tiles from all over the world. I did a mosaic on the floor. It took me 10 straight days and I lost 10 lbs. Now it's rented and I have finally moved out! It's so much harder decorating your own place..... I
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 9:46PM
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Now that sounds like a great diet. Where do I find stone to salvage?
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
designideas4me.....I asked for a quote to do granite on my counters. I went to look at stone slabs and noticed that they were throwing large pieces in the dumpster that they couldn't use. My first mosaic was black granite counter tops in my kitchen. I brought home several samples and it was unanimous. We all loved the black. I asked the guys to please save me the larges pieces for my work areas and I filled in with smaller pieces and glass marbles:). I had a large orchid collection at the time so I brought the owner orchids and brought the guys lunch. (They would have been happy with a short skirt.) Total cost including grout was about $150. It turned out beautiful for my first project. I helped my girlfriend do her master bath floor.. It looked like something from Versaille. I also helped another friend do her porch.
Then I realized the stone was getting too heavy to do vertical surfaces so I went to several tile shops and looked in their dumpster. Finally they just put their best pieces at the back door for me. Some very large squares priced at $75. I estimated that my garage floor is worth about $4000 in materials....
free. Literally, I could do the rounds in one day and have enough for 3 projects.It's heavy..In what part of the world do you live?
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Ok.. Thats it. I am going to start asking for all the broken pieces they are going to throw away. I need a counter-top and this sounds like a good way to get one. So what did you do about the edges of the stone? Did you but a straight edge yourself? Did you glue the pieces together onto a sub top? Do you have any pictures? I have short skirts too..lol
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
designideas4me....Aw skat! I just erased everything. I'll answer tomorrow. Is the white room with the leather couch yours?
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:32AM
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yes . please help..lol..............with your design ideas. I obviously need a floor and cabinets and a counter top. maybe lighting and artwork etc. Let me know any creative ideas you might have. Thx Lory
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:38AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
I have always liked rooms that are created around art work. For your living room I would start there. Paintings, photography, textiles, etc. A fun and cheap thing to try, with a bottle of wine or a pipe ;), is to paint your own art. Play with colors. Use different materials....wood, tissue, pop art,etc. The hardest part is deciding what. For that room, I see black and white photography, a large painting or some framed fabric. Frames and canvas cost nothing at a thrift store. Take your own photographs or find some online that you can reproduce. Frames and Mats can be painted with a .69 c bottle of acrylic paint. I framed some cool calendars. One with religious icons for Christmas and another with Japanese screenprints. I take photographs and then paint them later. On the backburner: a sign for the Capri Motel with a palm tree. What ever your into. Once you get some art up, then you can get a few accessories to coordinate. Even pretty paper or wallpaper looks pretty framed. I would start there. Remember, if you don't like what you painted, you can always paint over it. Also, a warm piece of wood furniture, or painted a warm color. You can never go wrong with red, orange and green. "Black makes anything look expensive"
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:03AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
designideas4me...With that said, I think I'll do the same. I'm going to begin posting on yours from now on. I think we can bounce off ideas...ok?
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Yes yes. I love your ideas. I love to make things and get inspired by what others have created. I have one current discussion thread asking people to share their creative unique projects. I am surprised more people have not replied. I like what your said about the photography and recently started taking lots of pictures of the water in my pool ( amazing abstract swirls) and the my cactus up close and the moon on a cloudy nite and of course my Babybear. I often think of painting these images or enlarging them and framing them. I also have some abstract artwork I did a few years back that when I look at it seems to ad such a splash of color to my very neutral palette that I just want to paint the wall pint or purple but seem to be afraid to. Its stupid I know. But on the other hand once I get that urge to paint I have been know to just just go for it and then there are like 20 colors on the wall and I end up just going over it with primer. I was originally going to stick with a cool color scheme instead of warm which I have always had but I just seem to struggle to make the whole house fit within that palette. For example the rose beige large sectional. I keep gravitating toward these cream pillows and the one with the bronze diamonds even know the rug is silver. But when I put blue or green or even gray on the couch it just doesnt feel right. And as I look around me at what I am comfortable seeing all the time, its always something I found on the ground ( like these little prickly balls that fall off a tree) or other odd unique objects. I cut off some roses daily and bring them inside and look at the colors to see how I feel. I love the light yellow and even the pinkish white but I have trouble with commitment..lol and its really stupid of me to not just be brave and paint the wall a bright color. When this handi-man was patching my back splash area after I had the tile ripped out, I loved the look of the drywall mud when it was still wet( its fuchsia) . But I couldnt get myself to actually use that color in large amounts. I know I must sound crazy. I think about color all the time. I tell my son I want to frame and hang on the wall so many things I find. The creativity is burning within yet I seem to not allow myself to fully enjoy and manifest my visions. God its just nice to have someone to talk to about this who understands. My house has a lot of potential and I did some drastic things to it from the start and then I kinda got stuck and overwhelmed ( money is a big source of fear for me). If I had ways to finish this place by making stuff or putting things together in creative ways but still keep it looking elegant and sophisticated and somewhat mainstream than I would be thrilled. I really dont want to spend 10 or 20,000 ( even know thats small in comparison to what others spend). I dont have to have a $15,000 wood floor or a 30,000 kitchen. I just want it to look good to me and not totally destroy the resale value if I ever do need to sell. I was talking to a designer this week on here who gave me some great ideas. I love the look of concrete and was admiring the fireplace he installed using concrete panels. He mentioned to me about creating a faux finish on some sort of board ( maybe its like a tile) that can be screwed onto the wall. I need to find out more. But my point is that if I could believe in my ability and have the knowledge of the use of products and techniques than maybe I can save money and create beauty on my own. I wont post all my pics here but I will add you to my idea book and you can look at some of my art and my house and my ideas and yes I would love to talk with you more. Debbie
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:53AM
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Sonia Nagar
Your ceiling is amazing in this room. I think the lighting you add to the space will be key to creating the cozy feel you mention... (the Seagrove, FL room image from houssaon is spot on).

Are you into boutique/vintage items? If so, www.boutiquemarketplace.com has some interesting one-of-a-kind pieces. What color are you thinking for the walls?

Also, is there an image of the sectional you're working with?
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:43AM
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Fabric fyi on the back of all fabric you will see all the numbers and information you need.For all interior spaces I work on on corporate I am fire retardant on all fabrics, and smoke density will show. OSHA requires this.
The numbers are for rubs this is how many times this fabric has literally been tested and the durability.Have you ever seen a chair or drapes that the fabric looks like it is old and worn through, for corporate rubs are important to us for guest chairs, boardroom chairs, chairs that people sit in a lot, arms etc.
If you have a very busy room you might sometimes see the seating in leather and the seat /cushion in mohair. Both wear like iron. The higher the rubs the better and you can get fire retardant which helps and smoke density low. You will not get fireproof unless you are metal. There are metal blinds and there are metal drop down mesh blinds. I hope this helps. It seems I came in the middle, hope I was not a muddle.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 8:44AM
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I would add an L to the end of the kitchen and make one of your granites tops or do it in glass. I would put storage underneath, and I would have the back come up to about 42" to signify kitchen end, work space and storage. I would sand down the cabinets and lime wax them it is hard work, but they will fit with the white appliances better.
Or you could purchase that silver paper, I have never done this, but a friend has and it looks great. She put the paper on all the fronts and made all appliances stainless looked great.
Next, since you can not paint the wall you may be able to put up a mural, they are removable and not expensive and look amazing. We just used one from Murals for me of a lavender field in an entryway to a master bedroom with a beautiful chandelier simple and the depth and color was lovely. They can go up high and wide 12' x 12' tall cost approx. 400. You can also send away and get any photo made into one and put on a board and attach to wall like a large piece of art work. Once again not expensive and they are stunning when they are something you did or someplace you have been. I prefer simple colors and simple murals. However, you will have to fill in any holes in the wall.
Using this effect on one wall creates one space, perhaps your sitting area with chairs in front and sofa facing them. If you get enough stone you can make 3 or 4 small tables, 14" square. The second area is dining and this is glass top and you can have the back painted white and it looks great.
I am sure if you go to one of the auction houses you will be amazed at what you can find, it is incredible. Chairs going for 100. sofas for 200! There is a lot of amazing furniture out there if you look around.
Enjoy decorating your home.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Lorene Frank Farrior
Great ideas guys, thanks! Appreciate the lesson in fabrics and enlightenment on lighting:) I too love the lighting in the Seagrove, Fl home. Debbie, this is so fun already!
    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Fratantoni Luxury Estates

I love the ceiling!!!

Best Wishes & Happy Holidays
Vince Fratantoni
1 Like    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 2:33PM
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