12.01.2015

Easy Refresh For A Colorful Country French Living Room


Look what I am participating in this year! 
 In fact, while I was enjoying a great family Thanksgiving in Palm Desert, California--I found my mind drifting towards Christmas decorations.  Even though I was looking up at this...
I love working with people's preferences... not just sticking to a particular/my style.  In this case, Arleen is a big fan of Charles Faudree's French design.  He died two years ago but is legendary.
She just wanted a refreshed look.  Buffalo checks and floral patterns are back.  So, I told Arleen that I thought we should keep the curtains and sofa and chairs...they are in great shape and she loves the patterns.  

 We freshened things up by painting the gold walls Benjamin Moore White Dove
 and the backs of the book shelves a custom khaki/gray color that is in the kitchen, similar to
Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog..

And after...

 We restyled the book cases and lengthened the curtains
The curtains should at least "kiss the floor."

 A solid throw blanket (hint: good Christmas gift for Arleen) over the sofa back would soften the look.
 I used most of Arleen's blue and white china
 We also replaced the dated rug with a new, larger basketweave seagrass from Restoration Hardware in Honey.
...and this bench from Noir was purchased for in front of the fireplace...coming soon! (Send photos, Arleen :)

One last thing, our son Thomas started his new job in Southern California yesterday.  He found an apartment with two friends.  I'm not sure how much help he wants decorating, but I did a floor plan for his bedroom, at least.   And I picked these two up at Salvation Army for $69 (got any suggestions other than Old English?  I think that's a real leather top).  
 

Also bought two of these from IKEA for him...
I miss Thomas already, but it's nice to still have him on the west coast.

Back to the Christmas Home Tour
... starting today!  Get your inspiration on...


12/11  Suburban Bitches  and   Our Storied Home   

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30 comments:

  1. I still love country French. Her room looks so pretty.

    I have a suggestion ... try Howard's Feed & Wax for cleaning up the wood and after running a barely damp cloth over the leather top to remove dust/dirt, apply a coat of clear/neutral leather shoe polish. Both usually work like a charm! If the leather top is very dark or reddish, you may want to go with a darker or oxblood shoe polish. Apply wax, let haze, then buff until you think your arm is going to fall off and it should look nice and moisturized - also, more resistance to rings left by condensation on glasses. Good luck at the new job, Thomas!

    http://www.howardproducts.com/prod-feed-n-wax.php
    http://www.amazon.com/Kiwi-Neutral-Shoe-Polish-1-1/dp/B000UBOZZU

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    1. Perfect, Wendy...thanks so much! This will be great.

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    2. You're welcome. And I should have said, apply the polish (not wax) until it hazes but I'm sure you know the drill. :-) It's still too early in the day for me!

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  2. The new paint colors, rug, and restyled bookshelves really made an impact in your friend's lovely room. And congratulations to Thomas on his new job! How exciting, I'm so glad he's still pretty close to you.
    xo
    Leslie

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  3. I've used this mixture on my kitchen and bathroom cabinets and it works great! Mix 3/4 cup of any oil (Canola, Olive, etc), add 1/4 cup vinegar (I used white), mix it in a jar, then rub it into the wood with a cloth. You don’t need to wipe it off; the wood just soaks it in. The shoe polish for the leather top is a great idea!

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  4. You are the master at making simple changes that provide maximum impact! So pretty! Those chests that Tommy found are fabulous! I feel an updated Ralph Lauren look coming on!!

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    1. Ha!!! That's sort of what I was thinking, Cindy, RL on a budget!

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  5. How did you lengthen the curtains? When I've tried by letting out the hems, I couldn't iron out the crease left from the previous hem.

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  6. Arleen was able to iron the crease out and she used Stitch Witchery instead of thread.

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  7. Beautiful room made even more beautiful with your changes. So cheerful and elegant at the same time!

    Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Charles Faudree at an antiques show and book signing. He was quite charming. (Just like his rooms, now that I think about it.) When I heard of his death I was saddened, and I found myself worrying about what would become of his adorable King Charles Spaniels. (With apologies to Chief, I do think that King Charles spaniels have just about the sweetest faces of all canines. But Chief is adorable too.)

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  8. Adore the blue and white China throughout the room. Chests are a great find ... RL for sure. Congratulations to your son!

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  9. So beautiful! i always say this Mary Ann, but I love to see you work your magic! Congratulations to Tommy....I mean Thomas!
    xo
    annie

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  10. What an amazing difference paint, tweaking the bookcases and rehanging draperies can do...want you at my house!!

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  11. Nicely done! It really is incredible what paint can do. Looks great!

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  12. Wow Mary Ann, it is amazing what JUST PAINT can do, before you even change anything else!! It looks great. And I love that you lengthened the curtains, too. Does this mean I shouldn't get rid of my red toile curtains in my FR that I was about to pitch?!!!

    Sheila
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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  13. You are making me think it might be time to redo our bedroom, BM "Marblehead Gold" with a white! Five years and it's looking old, and dull. It is always amazing what paint can do!

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  14. I have often wondered whether my boys will allow me to get involved in decorating for them when they leave home. It will be hard not to. My oldest moves out to university residence next year where the decor is soooo dismal! I can't believe the bargain chests you bought. They are beautiful! xx Sharon

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  15. It's amazing how much the longer length on the curtains makes them look so much better. Love the Tommy chests. I'm afraid you are entering into the twilight zone where Mom's have to step aside and hope for the best (that he finds a partner with most excellent taste). Until then, maybe he needs his own Chief to add that moveable flair and charm!

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    1. Yep...I need to let go of any decorating...not sure how neat those boys will be anyway.

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  16. Simply perfect changes Mary Ann! No wonder your clients love you so much!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Books for the Holidays!

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  17. I still do like the French Country look! You've done a wonderful job updating it and giving it a current vibe. What a find those small chests were for Tommy's room! Hope we get to see them when his room is finished! So excited about the Christmas Home Tour that you're part of! I know yours will be my fav!
    xoxo Gail

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    1. I hope i can get some good photos, Gail...so much light form the Bay :/

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  18. So glad the classics are back in style....lowering the length of the curtains was brilliant!! Great job on the refresh!

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  19. I've always loved buffalo checks and blue and white jars.....Great job Mary Ann! ...

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  20. You always do such an incredible job at freshening up a room. Beautiful space!
    Shelley

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  21. wow! love this! but how did you make the curtains longer? did I miss that? fabulous room!!!

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It's SO nice to hear from you!

 
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