Posts Tagged ‘ceiling’

Before and After: Dreamy Living Room

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I used bright and bold colors in so many rooms of my fun farmhouse project that I knew I wanted the more formal living room to be a little soft and dreamy. So I toned down the palette with gray, lavender, and of course the aqua that is used throughout the house. The velvets and patterns still pay homage to the farm theme, but it’s a bit more sophisticated with those amazing French doors and the coffered ceiling. And don’t you just love that chandelier made from vintage milk bottles? That’s a nostalgic touch for this family that I knew they would appreciate.

Since this was a new construction project, we were able to add those architectural elements right from the beginning, and they really make that more formal statement in the room.

Here’s another up-close view of that fab ceiling!

The art helped set the tone for the room, with a more subtle and quiet look than some of the other rooms in the home. I used traditional furnishings, too, with updated forms like the sleek cocktail table to keep it from being too formal.

But the surprise in this room is where I hid the television. You can see the inset panel in the wall above where the TV was going to be housed.

In the “after” photo above, the television is hidden behind panels of art that are hinged to swing open! That keeps the TV out of sight until the family is ready to watch it. And aren’t those chairs fun? I love a good wing chair and I spruced these up with new fabric and a kicky lavender color.

What do you think about this serene living room? And what about that hidden TV? Let me know in the comments section below!






Before and After: A Country-Chic Family Room

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One of my favorite gathering spaces in a home is a family room – especially when there’s plenty of seating for everyone in the family! In my farmhouse project – featured in the April issue of Traditional Home – I wanted my client’s large family to feel right at home in a chic and sophisticated country space.

One of the first elements to go into this gorgeous space were reclaimed beams for the ceiling and big beautiful windows that would take in all of the natural light. I loved working with architect Carolyn Lindsey of Yeary-Lindsey Architects on this project. She helped make these architectural details a reality.

Above is another view of those beams after they got their gorgeous stain application. Against that off-white ceiling, they aren’t just playing a starring role, they are really the star of this room!

The navy and cream palette was highlighted by touches of red, which is also a color I included in the connecting kitchen and breakfast area.

And we built a natural stone fireplace that also helps bring the outdoors in, and adds a chic country style to the room.

Because a big family can also mean lots of games and toys, I also had cabinets built in on either side of the fireplace to help hide any clutter.

What do you think of this big and beautiful family room? I like that it makes a grand statement, but still feels cozy and welcoming for family and friends! Tell me what you think in the comments section below!






What Is That Color? The Stroke of Midnight

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I often talk about how people need to remember the “fifth wall” when designing a room – and of course I’m talking about the ceiling! You can create drama and surprise by adding color and pattern to the ceiling of any room. So I loved doing just that when I painted my client’s ceiling in a deep midnight lacquer.

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The deep blue looks like the night sky in this glam master bedroom, especially when it’s paired with that stunning star-like chandelier, designed by Jonathan Adler for Robert Abbey! For that night-time hue, I chose Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Navy in high gloss. It has such great depth and dimension, especially at night with soft lights in the room.

So what do you think of this dramatic ceiling? Is it something you would try in your home? Let me know in the comments section below!

Colorfully yours,






What Is That Color? Perfectly Purple…or Is It Pink?

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Balance is one of the key design elements in any successful room – there has to balance of scale, balance in proportion, in pattern, and so much more. I like to have a great balance between masculine and feminine, as well as dark and light. So that led me to a fun color choice for the dining room ceiling in my Riverside Penthouse Project.

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The stunning de Gournay wallpaper was an early design decision for this room – and the client and I loved the deep green background for the pattern. Even though this room has a wall of windows on one side, I didn’t want the room to be too dark and heavy with the rich green. Plus, with such beautiful architectural detailing on the ceiling, I didn’t want it to be overlooked. So I used Sherwin-Williams Wallflower, a pale pinkish-purple shade, to help lighten the room and draw the eye up.

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This gorgeous shade is one that I think of as the palest of orchids, but others see as a soft and sophisticated pink. It was inspired by the color in the blossoms on the wallpaper, and it was the perfect color choice to complement the dark greens, chartreuse, and black lacquer in the room. I repeated a slightly richer shade of orchid in the drapery and custom rug to create a cohesive look. And I love how this perfect shade on the ceiling brings out a bit of color in that fabulous chandelier!

So what do you think about this pop of purple (or do you see pink)? The room is bold, but balanced, and really is one of my favorite color combos!

Colorfully yours,






New House Diary: Making a Ceiling Look Higher

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New House Diary

I have really loved planning the reconstruction on my house and getting every detail just right. However, there is one thing that I can’t change with a remodel, no matter how much I may want to, and that’s the height of the ceilings – especially when there is an upstairs already in place. I would have to take the roof off and undergo the kind of construction (and cost) that I just don’t have the patience, energy, time, or money for. Plus, I really like how our second floor functions and is laid out. So higher ceilings are just not an option. But here is where having an interior designer (or being one) really comes in handy.

There are ways to “fool the eye” into thinking those 8-foot ceilings are much higher up than they are, and I plan to use a few of them to create that space and light I’m going for in my new house. I had the same issue in my previous home because, like in my new home, we live in a traditional that was built in the ’60s (our last home was built in 1976), and ceilings in our neighborhood built during this period are typically 8 feet high. We just aren’t willing to trade our location for higher ceilings because it’s exactly the part of town that we love. Plus we have lots of other positives about our house like the master bedroom being on the first floor, a golf-course lot and view, great flow to our home for entertaining, and large interior rooms that suit our lifestyle to a T. But the good news is that I know some “tricks of the trade” that really work.

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First, painting the ceiling a lighter color than the walls – or even going bright white – helps create that idea of space and “lifts” the ceiling in your mind’s eye.

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Using vertical lines, like in the built-in shelving I have planned in my living room above, can really help draw the eye up. Thankfully my living room and sunroom were probably additions and they both have 9-foot ceilings (unlike the rest of our home). But this trick also works with panel moulding or bead board placed in thinner and more vertical shapes, or even using vertically striped wallpaper or painted walls.

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I also will hang draperies floor to ceiling – that helps elongate the room and gives a sense of height that these rooms really need!

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And of course you need to avoid using any ceiling fans or low-hanging lighting – unless it hangs over a table or bed or another piece of furniture! We don’t want you or your guests hitting their heads, and bulky low-hanging light fixtures interrupt the open and airy feel of your spaces. Instead, I’ll use flush-mounted lights or can lighting where overhead light is needed for function – except places like the dining room, breakfast room, or over the kitchen bar where a chandelier or pendants still work.

What do you think of these ideas to help create the look of more ceiling height? Do you have any tricks that you use? Let me know in the comments section below!