The End Is The Beginning

Well, folks, we could finally put those get-up-at-6-am-to-turn-off-heat-so-that-dust-won’t-travel-through-the-house days behind us. Why? Our basement project is a wrap today, woohoo! It’s the beginning for me to decorate and furnish the new space. It might still take a few days of cleaning and organizing before I could show you the After pictures, but for now, I will show you our new staircase that leads to the new basement. 

For the basement staircase I used square wood spindles painted in white, different from our ground-floor flight with wrought iron posts. I want it to be less formal and more welcoming: this is the space where family are going to watch movies, drink beer and make a big mess. I think the contrast from the red oak treads in pewter stain and white risers & spindles looks pretty amazing.

Now that this massive project is done, we were able to spend some time tonight and put up the Christmas tree. We’ve decided the foyer is where the tree belongs this year –wouldn’t it feel great to come home to a twinkly and heart-warming Christmas tree?  

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Paint, Decorate, and Do It All Over Again

Isn’t that the fun of being a self-proclaimed domestic diva? 🙂

I am so glad that things finally taper off a bit at work this week. I’ve been able to work out of the comfort of my home office without having to spend the majority of the week in between airports/cities. We’ve also started to plan our London UK vacation this October…so exciting.

Home front, I was able to squeeze in a few small projects during lunch breaks and in the evening after dinner. Here are some pictures:

Upper hall is now painted in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter HC-172. We are going to leave it to a professional to paint the rest of the open-to-the-above foyer that’s almost 20 feet high. This is the upper hall with the light on. I need to have my camera checked as the color tone turned out a bit surreal lately (hint to the hubby that’s reading the blog: perhaps I can take a better digital cam as whatever-I-make-up celebration of ours? :-)).
This is a picture of the upper hall with the lights off. It doesn’t have that warm ambiance I was looking for, but the lighting was just right and it most truly represents the paint color.
This is my precious gold-leaf bombe chest now with the new paint color as the backdrop.

And these are those DIY headers I was bragging about on my last week’s blog. The most painful part was to remove the existing door casing, cut off two triangle pieces from the top corners to create a flat surface for the backband moulding to sit on.

Remember that dining room wall I kept changing my mind on what to put on, and that yellow color that I so didn’t fancy? Guess what? Surprise surprise, I changed both! The dining room is now also in Revere Pewter, and I added two of these candle sconces from Bowring. The wall is by far the most challenging part to decorate in the house: it is off-center from the dining table and hard to achieve a symmetrical feel entering the room. Hopefully these two sconces will define that balance on the wall. I am still not sure what to put in between the lights, if anything at all, so any suggestion is welcome.

Foyer and Upper Hall.

After many trips to local home furnishing stores and art galleries, I was finally able to dress a couple of plain walls with some framed art.

Interestingly, when I met a friend for lunch last week, he happened to ask about how to pick out art for his home. He lives with his wife and two kids in a 6000+ sq ft mansion, yet he doesn’t even know where to start when it comes to selecting paintings or framed art. I gave him the following suggestions:

1. Pick out a style of art to complement the overall style and theme of your house: for example, if your furniture has boxy, clean lines and it’s made of MDF coupled with some metal framework, chances are you should be looking for art with metal frame or plain soho poster frames. The art itself can be black-n-white photography, minimalist fine art such as Mark Rothko’s prints.

But if you have a lot of solid wood furniture like we do, original oil painting with gold-leaf frame will spice up the classiness. If your overall style is transitional, then I suggest you invest in some unique and vintage art prints with champagne-leaf frames.

2. Pick out the overall color tone of your furniture and accessories. If you are putting up a focal piece, try to pick out all the major colors in that room in the painting/art. If you are filling up some blank wall space, try to look for color tones in the art that either complement the overall color tone (e.g. muted green goes well with gold, champagne or seagreen), or do the opposite to give that “pop” or “wow” factor (e.g. fuschia pink with chartreuse, the color combination you can only find in some orchids!).

As usual, here are some pictures.

My birthday present from Anthony (xoxo): Silver Leaf Hall Chest (in the upper hall)

Upper Hall-1
Upper Hall-2: love my faux-douglas fir plan in swirl shape on a silver leaf urn.

Framed Art along staircase