Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Monochromatic schemes are one of my favorite approaches! I love all design, colorful too, but time after time I find myself being drawn to monochromatic rooms. There is something that is ethereal and relaxing about them.
The project I am showing you today is one that I completed at the beginning of this year and is a study in monochrome. The client and I love it!
In the image below you can see how the space looked before. One of the restraints of this design was that we had to completely design around the house and paint colors as is because the homeowners were planning on moving. They wanted to spruce up their home with items that could be taken with them on their move. So, you will notice that the paint colors, light fixtures etc. had to remain the same.
The very first problem that we addressed was the scale of their furniture. The family room and kitchen are one in this home and have a 'great room' effect. While selecting their new pieces, it was important to keep this in mind and increase the scale to match the proportion of the space.

We decided on 2 matching sofas and reupholstering her existing chairs. We laid them out in an L shape but the beauty of these furniture choices is that she will be able to change the configuration if she tires of this one.

We selected light fabrics that have interesting textures and we let that be our focus instead of color. The lighter fabrics dramatically brighten the previously dull space.
Don't be afraid of light fabrics if you love them. Scotchgard!

To help define the spaces and minimized the 'great room' effect and make it more cozy, we put a refectory table behind the sofa holding two large ceramic pots and branches. This visually, and physically, defines the two spaces. I love the symmetry that we have created in this room as well.

One of the most important things that we added to the space were window treatments. In the 'before' picture below you can see how bland the windows were. The hard lines of the architecture needed softening. Plus, the lack of window treatments created a room darkening glare in the space from the strong backlight.

I had panels made to go well above the window to draw the eye up and take advantage of the wonderful ceiling heights in this room. Just look at what it does for those windows! They look almost twice their size, and dramatically brighter! The folds of fabric covering the sheetrock soften the wall.

The chairs in front of the window were the client's as well. We recovered them in a light graphic pattern that complements the floral pattern in the panels. Pairing a graphic with a floral creates a tension and provides a masculine-feminine balance.

We also kept the client's existing table, but we changed up her accessories and removed the dark, heavy lamp.

A cocktail table with a gorgeous, creamy marble top was added to our seating arrangement. We kept the accessories on the table light here as well.

We also added some light accessories to the dark, stained bookshelves to perk them up. These bursts of light and white throughout the space contribute to the overall brighter look.

In the image below you can see the fun bird fabric on the new barstools. My client loves birds and you'll see birds throughout her new space. Surround yourself with things that you love and make you happy!

We couldn't be happier with her new space! It's fresh, clean and bright.

I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. We hosted for the first time this year. My sweet family came all the way from Dallas to make it easier on us with our new lil bug. It was wonderful. Maybe I'll post some pics if I get around to it... :-)
I hope you're having a great week!


Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Thanks for reading Jenny :-)

jbrannon said...

Love this! We need to incorporate some of these ideas to our "great room", especially the window treatments!

Kathy said...

You created a elegant and beautiful room here, the drapes make such a difference and the fabric choices blend so well, that marble cocktail table is gorgeous, can I ask where you found it?. Kathy.

Amy King said...

Wow. So beautiful. I stumbled across your blog through a Well dressed Home and spent the entire evening yesterday going through your blog posts. You have done some amazing work. I love it all. I too just had a sweet baby... love on her because she'll grow way too quickly. Enjoy your time off and keep up the wonderful work you do.

Amy King

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Thanks Jenn :-)

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Thanks for reading Kathy. The cocktail table is by Sherrill.

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Welcome and thanks for reading Amy! I love that you found me from Emily's blog, she is a sweetie! Thanks for the compliments :-)

Jean @ Flower Hill said...

Beautiful! I'm your newest follower!

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Jean, welcome and thank you for reading :-)

AFJ said...

Hi Maria,
What a tranformation! I just discovered your blog and really enjoy it. I have a question about the drapes you have in your nursery...(congrats on your beautiful baby by the way). I am trying to finish my baby's nursery and have been looking for window treatments to match the ruffled grey crib skirt I bought from Restoration Hardware. I love that grey trellis fabric you used and was wondering where I could find it? Also, our nursery had two windows and a french door and I stumped on what to do with the door to block out light yet still match the windows. I would love to do the wooden blinds under the drapes...but would that work on a single door with glass in the center? Just curious what your thoughts were. Thanks so much! Andrea

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Hi Andrea, thanks for the compliments and for reading :-) My nursery fabrics are all F. Schumacher. If you need a source, they can be ordered through me at M. E. Beck Design. Woven woods look great on doors as well as windows, and I use them in that application all of the time. I hope that helps :-)

Mom of 2 Cuties @ Sprinkles of Joy and Laughter said...

Very elegant but cozy and welcoming all at the same time. Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing

carolyn bradford said...

I love finding new blogs that really matter and so glad I found this on Pintrest! I love your warm tones and inviting rooms! Truly beautiful! I loved seeing the "Book of Virtues" in the picture with the coral! Someone gave my son this book when he was born! ANd I love it and keep using it in my bookcases! It's wonderful!
Anyway…glad I got to see this and would love for you to visit my shop's blog or my own! Hope you are doing well as I know this is an older post!
Carolyn Bradford

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Thank you Carolyn! Glad you have found me :-) Thanks so much for reading!