Our New Living Room

I hinted at some exciting news on Friday and here it is…South End Style is moving! We’re not going far but we are headed back into a through-floor brownstone in the heart of the South End, my favorite neighborhood of Boston. We’ll be a few short blocks from all of my favorite local spots, including Picco, Hudson & Blackbird Donuts. I can’t wait!

IMG_3030.jpg

the adorable front staircase at our new home!

So with moving comes…you guessed it, redecorating! I’m actually selling a LOT of items so you local folks be sure to check it out (armoire, tufted bed, wood bed, tripod lamp, kitchen table, kitchen cart, gold side table, set of lamps, round mirror & nightstand)

We will be keeping some of our current living room furniture, selling a few pieces and adding a few to the mix. Our new living room has beautiful 13′ ceilings with detailed crown molding, a large fireplace, three huge windows & a whole lot of opportunity.  I’ll share more about our master bedroom & back deck (finally!) later but for now here is my design board for our new living room:

I’ll be keeping our current setup with this sofa, these two chairs, this coffee table & my new favorite rug (mine is similar and a killer Safavieh steal from Homegoods!). I’ll be switching out our current ivory/tan/gray pillows for a pair of velvet navy + some contrasting blush pillows for a little more color. I’ve also got a great neutral faux fur blanket that I’ll add just in time for cold weather. A gold + glass accent table will go in between the two accent chairs for additional surface space.

Our TV will be mounted on the wall (not above the mantle) so I’m still debating putting a thin, white console table to balance the space. Above the mantle I’ll likely style this round, gold mirror with a pretty vase and some eucalyptus branches to add some color. I’ll fill in with various white, wood & marble pieces.

To the right of the fireplace is a pretty large alcove (about 6’X13′) where I’d like to put a bar cabinet. I’m not sure which one yet but I’m liking this midcentury modern piece, this green glam piece and this classic, natural piece. Atop the cabinet, I’ll style with a pair of lamps and some bar accessories, like this mixer set. Above the cabinet, I’m debating between an oversized framed fabric piece or a light aerial beach print (I have one framed in white – will decide once I pick a cabinet).

So what do you think? Any suggestions for bar cabinets?

Advertisements

White Painted Fireplace: Before & After

Fireplaces can be one of the most beautiful, anchoring pieces in any room. They’re grand, warm, inviting & often the centerpiece of the room. While there are many styles of fireplaces, we often find that when doing a home renovation, the fireplace has to be updated as well. An inexpensive, but impactful option for updating a fireplace is to paint it white. Now this certainly isn’t the best option for every space but if you’re trying to update your traditional home to a more modern, bright feel – this may be just what you need. For instance, take my most recent home renovation project with a family in Georgia. See this beautiful white washed fireplaced with shiplap all the way up to the ceiling:

IMG_0471

cabinets still need doors (going on this week) & shelves need to be styled

Well, this was the before:

IMG_0003

That tv is blocking a half-built shelf. And that undersized mantle? This room was screaming for a makeover!

What a transformation, right?! When my clients wanted to make their large, vaulted ceiling living room feel more modern & bright, while keeping it family friendly, I knew exactly what to do. For starters, we painted the entire home interior (yup, every last bit) SW Repose Gray (the perfect greige!), added crown molding where needed, evened out those massive bookshelves shelves, also painted them white, and then revamped the 1990s looking fireplace. We first added shiplap the entire way up (and wrapped it around the sides), we added an 8′ reclaimed wood mantle & lastly, we had the fireplace white washed. The clients are so, so SO pleased with the finished product. And we had the entire project done in under 1 week!

IMG_0059

 Progress pics of the shiplap – don’t you love the dark bookshelf backdrop we did?

Here are some more examples of beautiful white brick fireplaces – there’s a mix of white wash and full white paint.

12345

{ 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5}

What do you think of white painted fireplaces? Are you impressed with this before & after?

Coffee Tables + Coffee Table Books

Lately, I’ve been helping a few friends who are moving into new spaces with their living room tables. Coffee tables have been an increased topic of interest, as this is typically purchased after their rug & sofa/chairs are selected. It’s often an afterthought of living room decorating but luckily it’s pretty easy to find one that works. With thousands of options out there, I selected quite a few that hit a variety of needs, including a couple for dual usage/extra storage. Typically, I prefer that the table doesn’t match the end tables. For example, try a wood coffee table with a glass end table.

Ottoman-style coffee tables are great for those with children, those with small spaces & those who need a place to prop their feet up (let’s be real). These type coffee tables can also serve as additional seating if needed. I recommending using an oversized tray atop the ottoman to group & level items (i.e. candles, vases, books).

Here is a roundup of coffee tables that I recommend:

{ expandable |tufted | black laquered | leather | round tufted | large wood | reclaimed wood + metal | round glass | acrylic }

Of course, we can’t talk about coffee tables without mentioning coffee table books. I mentioned on Friday that these are a great hostess gift and in fact, I think they’re just a great gift in general. I usually get a few every Christmas to add to my collection. In fact, you may want to go ahead and pick up a few to keep on hand for upcoming holiday gifts – there are a couple below under $20. A small price to make a big impact.Beautiful books can be used in various ways – on table display, to add height, to anchor another item, to fill space in a bookshelf, etc.  A roundup of my current favorites:

{ Tom Ford | McQueen | Southerner’s Handbook | Beaches | Living with Pattern | Styled | Nate Berkus | EOS | Kate Spade | Underwater Dogs | Ultimate Travel }

What’s your favorite style coffee table? What’s your favorite coffee table book?

An “Adult” Living Space Under $4,000

When I moved in with my fiancee husband (<– still SO weird to say!), we went through the typical “combining of pieces”. This meant his frat-house looking dark green sofa would be adjacent to my cute, tufted cream colored sofa. The dart board got the boot, but the surfing picture stayed. Compromises were made, but now that we’ve been in the space for well over 12 months, I am o-v-e-r it. As in, every time I walk into the living room & see that damn green sofa I get a serious case of the skeevies. Old stained sofa be gone!

So, we are currently plotting how to redecorate our space while (a) keeping it gender neutral (b) purchasing spaces that we can repurpose in the future and (c) stay within budget. Here’s what I’m thinking:

Presentation1.jpg

Put together by these pieces…

 

Of course, we’ll keep a few art pieces we have (especially this one and these frames with our black & white Paris pictures) as well as my favorite candle, ginger jar & pillow. Add in a few good coffee table books (this, this & this) and we’re done!

{rug | sofa | chairs | lamp | coffee table | mirror | vases}

What are your tips for redecorating a space while staying within budget & gender neutral?! Any amazing pieces out there right now for the living room?!

Rattan Roundup

Happy Monday y’all! How was your weekend? Mine was full of wedding planning (including a delicious BBQ tasting…details to come!), outdoor drinks with friends & squeezing in a workout or two (which was beyond necessary after that bbq!).

Right now is the perfect time to get your sunroom and porch spruced up and looking sharp for summer. After all, Memorial Day is right around the corner! Depending on your price point and weather conditions, you’ve got quite a few material options when shopping for outdoor furniture: teak, bamboo, iron, rattan & more. Rattan gives a bit more of a garden/beachy look but I think when used properly, it can be a great option.

Here are a few of my favorite spaces with rattan:

12345

{1/2/3/4/5}

Rattan pieces are just perfect for outdoor spaces & screened in porches! I’ve helped you get started by pulling a few great pieces that are currently for sale…

rattan.jpg

{chair // bar cart // chair // mirror // bench // sofa}

5 Ways to Bring Spring into your Home

First, congratulations to all of you who completed the Boston Marathon yesterday! It was a beautiful 70 and sunny day – we watched for hours and were consistently inspired by all of the runners, especially those running with disabilities. Those who ran with guides, the push-rim division, those with prosthetic legs, etc…what unbelievable athletes!

Now…let’s talk decorating for Spring! With longer days & warmer temps in full effect, it’s time to make sure your home is ready as well. I’ve put together 5 simple, effective ways to bring Spring into your home:

 1. Swap out some white accessories…vases, pitchers, potters, books…white accessories are fresh, clean & perfect for sunnier days.

1

{via}

2. Go for fresh flowers…cherry blossoms, tulips & hydrangeas all scream spring. I currently have pink tulips in the kitchen, yellow & white tulips in the den and hydrangeas in the master. You seriously can’t go wrong!

2

{via}

3. Trade out the textiles…I have a ton of different blankets, pillow covers, etc that I keep on hand and like to swap out! For spring, think light colors, floral patterns & palms. Now’s a good put away the faux fur throws & the heavy fabrics.

3

{via}

4. Get fruity…fruit is an inexpensive, colorful, practical way to bring spring into your kitchen& dining room. I like using lemons, limes, oranges, apples, etc & displaying them in either clear apothecary jars or an oversized bowl. Odds are, you’ll eat these yummy treats so simply replace when you head to the grocery store!

4

{via}

5. Tidy up! Really this should be number one, as I believe it’s the most effective way to make any space look fresh. Spend a day purging your closets, junk drawers & everyday spaces. Trust me, there’s no better way to feel like you’re officially in a new season.

5

{via}

What’s your best tip for bringing Spring into your home?!

Entry Table Styled 5 Ways

Happy Monday folks! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was working a conference all day Saturday so it felt like a super short weekend, but I tried to get as much accomplished as I could on Sunday. If you saw my Instagram recently, or follow me on Snapchat (@alexisf19), you’ll notice that I’ve been doing some entry table styling!

Your entry table is so important because it’s usually the first thing people see when they walk into your home. It totally sets the tone for decor & the rest of your home. Given that this is our mail collection spot/key holder/boot drop off/last mirror on the way out the door area, it needs to have a design that is functional, versatile & pretty!

Due to the fact that we are on a very strict wedding budget, I wanted a refresh without spending any money! So I collected all of our table top items in the living room:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and was left with a blank slate:

fullsizeoutput_241.jpeg

{white lacquer table & gold mirror via CB2 | side note: after seeing this picture, I’m in a vigorous attempt to either remove or paint those hideous outlets!)

From this, I tried to get creative and create 5 different style options for our entry table. When styling a surface area (coffee table, nightstand, vignette, etc) it’s important to incorporate high/low items, a natural item (think plants & flowers) and practical items – for an entry table, this means a catch-all for keys, chapstick, etc. Also, when in doubt, think in groups of 3 (it’s most aesthetically appealing!)

Here are the 5 entry table decor options that I came up with:

Option 1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Option 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Option 3

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Option 4

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Option 5

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Before I reveal which I decided on (hint: it’s a combination of two), I want to know- which is your favorite?!