Lightening Up By the Ocean

Lisa's family decided to move from their 
large home inland to a house about half the size...
 but two short blocks to this!

She knew she would have to down-size.  
Her friend/realtor told her how I had helped her edit and freshen HERE

I was a bit brutal when I first met Lisa, telling 
her that not only would we need to edit, 
we needed to lighten up!  Fortunately, she agreed.

Here are some before photos from the big house 
(incidentally, the majority of readers from my last post thought 
I should start out with at least one "after" photo).

 They have two gorgeous but destructive cats...so 
we got to thinking that already "nubby" and sturdy fabrics
would be wise.

Lisa wanted to use this soft, silky wool rug.  
It made sense to use it
in the new family room with the existing black built-ins.

Part of the plan...
Here is the after... with all the furniture 
reupholstered or slipcovered.
Their boat painting that used to be in a hall works with
the red and black.
 I had recommended some garden stools and their daughter
found these cool silvered brass ones from Wisteria.  

 This is the opposite wall.
 The new floor lamps are from Jamie Young.
 This is the foyer...
 The living room isn't finished (so I won't show you yet).
But the colors are inspired by the ocean 
and Lisa's lilac blue eyes.
And this area rug from the previous house...

The plan...
 These are Restoration Hardware chairs with custom 
Beacon Hill pillows made by Woodyliana.
 They are at the heads of the table with these recovered chairs
I haven't tried to sell Lisa, tons of new accessories 
after "the purge" (ha! except pillows...love pillows)
but we have had fun shopping for a 
few choice things like the rustic metal candle sticks 
and the blue earthenware vase to go with her green ones.
I'd love to show you more when the living room is completed.
It was a lot of work for Lisa... 
Can you imagine getting rid of half your stuff? 

But now...Lisa's family is enjoying a 
casual life style at the beach!

Speaking of light...
I made this from "Bon Appetit"
for dessert on Sunday.
My brother said, "This is really, really good, Mares." 
My family calls me Mares.

Thanks for visiting!
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  1. Sometimes I think it would be a blessing to get rid of half my stuff and other times I have no idea how I would let it all go... I love stuff. my stuff. more stuff. but have too much stuff! Love where you are going with this and I love to see a downsize... hope you will show lots more!! good stuff :)

  2. That dessert looks yummy. Whatever you start out with (before or after) I think it's an excellent idea to end with something delicious!
    The changes you made by lightening up Lisa's furnishings make such an impact. I love how that boat painting really pops on the white wall! It's also really interesting to see how you are able to incorporate a dark and traditional rug in with the lighter pieces, and it all works so well together. Thank for sharing your expertise!

  3. It all is looking fabulous! Looking forward to you revealing the rest of the new changes. Living near a beach would be heavenly to me.

  4. Mary Ann, this is so pretty. I am sure it was hard for her to let go of some stuff, but oh, I would too in order to down size and live close to the water. Can't wait for more.

  5. What a beautiful home and special location! Your advice and good eye will make this a wonderful and updated home. Look forward to seeing more!

  6. I have downsized to move close to the ocean before too and it is HARD, from 3500 sq. feet to 1200 sq. feet. We just took all of our furniture and decided when we got into the new house which pieces would work. The room looks beautiful and I love the pillows on the couch too. I really like the Restoration Hardware chairs with the pretty pillows.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Reading this makes me want to purge and I need to get rid of half my stuff!! Especially in the garage! YIKES. You are doing a beautiful job for your client. Love all of the choices and the touches of black, so pretty!

  8. I would totally trade half of my stuff for the beach! You did a great job, looking forward to seeing more!

  9. Gorgeous space! Makes me want to move to the beach!

  10. Beautiful work! I always love your pillows your lightening touch, but for some reason my favorite pieces are the lamps. Now I'm going to have to try that recipe! Maybe for our next cooking club. ;-)
    Abby M.

  11. Fantastic MaryAnne! Love the fabric on those dining chairs, too. Love. She has got to be ecstatic over your helpful and wonderfully good taste! bravo, AGAIN!!!!!
    xo Nancy

  12. You have such a great eye for culling through her stuff and transforming it in her new house. Absolutely beautiful rooms. She must be in love you with and your talent--and loving her new abode!

  13. Looks great! She must be so happy with the changes....and that you were able to include some of her existing pieces. That isn't always easy! Can't wait to see the living room. That dessert looks delicious. Yum!

  14. Love it, as I always do :) I agree with Abby that I was really digging the floor lamps, and of course the pillows. I have to say I would down size for that view, too!!

  15. I totally agree that Lisa needed to lighten up and you did that even with the rug...I really love that. And I like how the pillows stand out in the room (I love pillows, too). I can't wait to see the living room! Blues are always pretty in a beach home.

    The dessert looks fantastic! Mares, that's cute!


  16. Your right...it looks great with a lighter feel...and the black and white pillows look fantastic...

  17. Gorgeous...love the lighter airier feel...well done AGAIN!

  18. Very pretty and love the RH chairs! Great fabric choices.

  19. Oh yes, indeed, I CAN imagine getting rid of half your stuff...well a third for sure! We did that three years ago and oh, it felt so good! The house isn't that much smaller, but very different configuration (no dining room) and no attic or basement. This looks so great Mary Ann, and yes, so much lighter and brighter.
    Love seeing your angel food recipe: I am making one for a dinner party Friday night. But I'm going to actually make the cake (yikes!!) and was going to have David Leibowitz's chocolate sauce, but now I am rethinking with raspberries! Going to farmer's market this afternoon so we will see what they have!

  20. So pretty Mary Ann, Love the entry and the all of the new pillows so fresh, light and pretty!

  21. beautiful update!!! i bet they love it.what an improvement!!!!!!

  22. What a beautiful place! You do such great work. It would be really hard to let so much go, but living that close to the water has to make up for it. :)

    Have a great day.

  23. A great call on your part about going lighter. It's beautiful and feels spacious, love it.

  24. I'm so excited for your friend. How wonderful to purge oneself of heavy, dark 'stuff' and go live near the ocean. We are contemplating this same idea...I look forward to seeing how the decorating goes in her new place. Looks like the house didn't need much work and that makes it easy to focus on the fun stuff.

  25. Great job Maryanne and I love those Jamie Young lamps! Nice to see them in person!

  26. Very beautiful update. Love the blue colour, and the fabrics. Very good job!!! Evelyne.

  27. Very pretty. I love that it feels much lighter and very fresh feeling.

  28. Love the lightening and brightening, you really are the queen of coastal décor! I am hoping that you will comment on my latest blog post - wanting some ideas of what to do in Paris and I know you lived there for a while...it would be great to hear from a "local" x Sharon

  29. Hi Mary Ann! You know I'm swamped when I don't get to comment on my favorite blog for several days! Has someone been cutting hours from the days lately? I just love how you've brought such life into this clients new home by brightening it up with my fav colors.....blue and white! It just feel so right for that wonderful Corona del Mar neighborhood! I would gladly give up half my "stuff" to live in a house 2 blocks from that beach....or any beach for that matter! She had some wonderful items for you to work with and some great art work too. I love the painting in the dining area. They are so lucky to have you helping them with a clean, beachy, relaxed design for their home. I can't wait to see their living room.

    Don't you just love angel food cake? The idea of toasting it and garnishing it with raspberries and whipped cream it is genius!
    xo Gail

  30. I wanted to invite you to the Friday Flash Blog Party, the best linky in town! I hope you'll join us and link up. Who knows. You may just get highlighted!

    The party goes on through Monday.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  31. I wanted to invite you to the Friday Flash Blog Party, the best linky in town! I hope you'll join us and link up. Who knows. You may just get highlighted!Welcome back!

  32. Oh baby....you brought that room together so nicely! I can't wait to see what you do with that rug...I love the colors in it...so fresh and different! I know you will rock it!


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