How to Give A Tired Living Room A Lift Without Spending a Fortune

The husband over the telephone:  "It's dark and a little cluttered. JoAnn really wants this for her birthday."
 Later, with the wife in person, in the room: "We know it's time for an update.  We never sit in here anyway."  
Me: (thinking:  Be kind)  "I like the mantel.  But this needs a bit of work.  And the fake ficus needs to go." It looked worse than in this photo.
Wife:  "Oh, no Larry won't go for that."
Me: (not so nice anymore)  "Well, it's a deal breaker and you are going to have to consolidate some photos in here."

The Bergere chairs are arranged closer to the fireplace.  We bought two linen/cotton slipcovered Comfort love seats from Pottery Barn (on sale), a seagrass rug, a beveled mirror, candle sticks and a garden stool.

The bookcases from Ballard add some architectural interest.  I hung their artwork on either side and used her existing accessories on the shelves.  The West Elm raffia tray is an easy update for an older coffee table.

But here…had to do it.  Beautiful custom linen and cotton pillows by Liana in Ralph Lauren Rimba Ikat and Peter Fasano Chamba. 
And with a pretty West Elm throw blanket that matches JoAnn's eyes.

Happy birthday, JoAnn.  Love, Larry.

Please sit in here now.
Also, when I moved things around for Project Design:  Gallery Wall, the antique shell prints went into our entrance hall...
The grass cloth mats tie in with the grass cloth fabric on the bench.  I like that.
Thanks for visiting.


Project Design: Vintage Gallery Wall Completed!

It's been a fun process finishing our gallery wall in our 1920's apartment in San Francisco.

It is a difficult wall in our dining room as it has a bump out in the middle.  So, I decided to treat it as two walls.

Recap Goals:
  • Have a unique and vintage 1920's feel
  • Use what I already have...add a couple things
  • Mix old and new
  • Make it appropriate for a dining room and dining at night
So here we go...
The antique mirror from my childhood home was relocated to the opposite wall.

I started with the plan below but deviated from it…still, it gave me my initial direction (so, I recommend doing a drawing to scale).

All the sconces were from flea markets.

I put flameless Pottery Barn candles on the top sconces.  They are on a timer and turn on at dusk for four hours.

There is a nice glow at night for dinner parties...
I can also use this Chinese altar table for serving.
It's created a homey, dining room for us.

Cindy and I have ideas brewing for other Project Designs, with different groups in the future.   Please let us know if there are any small scale projects that you'd like to see/have help with.

And now check out these fabulous bloggers' Gallery Walls!