Living Room: The Latest

July 8, 2010

cg roses in pitcher

I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I think my love affair with all things French may have begun when I was younger when I watched Gene Kelly in ‘An American in Paris’.  

Perhaps it was when I lost myself in Peter Mayle’s novel ‘A Year in Provence’ that I devoured many years ago. 

Most certainly, my l’amour was made permanent when I took my first trip to Paris in 1998. 

Whenever it happened, it happened, and my decorating style was forever altered.  I can’t help myself ~ I’m a self professed Francophile.


swirl snip

Despite my love of traditional French decor, I do like to inject a little modern flair, and the new mirror and trellis pattern rug in the living room certainly help.

cg liv room with rug


Here’s what the room looked like last year. 

cg living room fireplace

And now . . .

cg living room mantel and chair

Still a work in progress, but certainly lightened and brightened with the new paint, new wainscoting, and also a few new accessories. 

The paint color started out as Benjamin Moore’s ‘Tranquility’, but then I had the guys at BM pull two drops of blue out of the Affinity formula to arrive at ‘Tranquility Tweaked’ ~ my custom color ~ the perfect gray blue. 

The mirror was a lucky find . . . I was hunting for new light fixtures for my boy’s room a few weeks ago and found a floor sample of this Casbah mirror ~  I fell in love with the Moroccan shape and the 50% off price !   I was not  in love with the dark coppery bronze color, so what’s a girl to do ?   Spray paint in high gloss white baby !   


casbah before



mirror after

The candlesticks I found at a thrift store last year  ~  the textured raffia pillar candles are from Pottery Barn. 

These sandblasted manzanita branches are leftover from this project  ~  the shell ball I purchased in April at this antique faire.    

manzanita branches shell ball


I also replaced the twin light fixtures in the room, one hangs over the sitting area and the sister chandy hangs over the piano.   I ordered these inexpensive fixtures from Overstocks thinking they’d be golden, but when they arrived they were too dark bronze, so I spray painted them too, then accented the detail with a little Rub n Buff. 

chandy before and after  

Here are my new chandeliers, after a coat of Rustoleum’s Heirloom White spray paint, and some antique gold Rub-n-Buff accents.  

chandy detail trio

The black baby grand piano was a gift from our grandmother when our grandfather passed away.  It’s a family heirloom and classic piece, so there was no way it was leaving the room.  And call me sentimental, but I love to listen to my children learn to play on this incredibly gorgeous instrument  ~  there’s nothing that quite compares to the sounds of a home filled with music. 

cg piano in room


Who really cares that some of the keys are chipped  ~  it’s the imperfectly beautiful things that tell a story. 

piano keys living room


On the opposite wall, a few minor changes.  

cg new buffet

If you follow my tweets on Twitter, you know I found this antique buffet at the local thrift store last week.  I couldn’t pass it up at $300 at 50% off, so I picked it up for $150 dollars.  Solid wood antique with velvet lined drawers.  Love !

I had to slightly rearrange the gallery wall to make room for the new seaside oil painting we picked up on our visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea earlier this year.  We only buy fine art when it’s meaningful  ~  Mr. CG happened to love this painting because it reminded him of the the spot where we played on the beach as a family together.   How fortunate to actually meet the artist who painted it too !  

I love the subtle burled wood and art deco detailing on this antique buffet.  I can’t believe some of the pieces that I find in thrift stores !   This will suit me just fine until someday I save enough for the dream sofa to replace it.   P.S.  Pinch me, but my raspberry hydrangeas are insanely gorg this time of year.     

 buffet up close


With all the traditional style furniture, I definitely wanted a modern mirror and graphic patterned rug.   Originally, I was torn between these two patterns by Dash & Albert.  Aren’t they lovely? 

dash and albert samples


But then the kind folks over at Rugs USA sent me this wool rug for my foyer to review, and I couldn’t help but notice that the trellis pattern would look mega fabulous in the living room. 

trellis rug 

You can’t quite tell from the photo, but this particular rug is too small for the space -   it’s only 3.5’ x 5.5’.   The rug’s trellis pattern and large repeat is absolutely fantastic, and for the price, a great way to inject some modern style into your home.  But the rug itself is a little too thin for a high traffic area like the foyer – if I left it there, it would need a rug pad.  So I’m going to exchange it for the larger version in the living room ~ I think it will be the perfect pattern for this space.   

swirl snip

For now, there’s only a few things left to do:

cg living room to do

So far, the space feels much better than before.  I consulted with my future stylist-in-training ~ she thought her fluffy friends would enhance the space.


future room stylist

Give a girl some cred  ~  she happens to love soft texture and color!

For now, we’ll stick to the blue/white/gold color palette.    

cg liv room with rug

So that’s the tour so far !  I still need of some fantastic art for above the settee, I’m thinking a series of framed botanicals, and I’m sure in time I will find it somewhere. 

For now, the ‘new’ room is a breath of fresh air compared to what it was, but still a work in progress.  Thanks for following along ~ hope you like it too.  




145 Responses to “Living Room: The Latest”

Leave a Reply