Monday, February 8, 2016

Giving Balance In A Room Without Symmetry

I am a girl that loves symmetry and there is one space in my home that is off balance in my mind. I knew the day we found out that our fireplace would be off set that I would have a challenge in my future.

We purchased this home from looking at blue prints, there was no model to be seen, however we did get to go into another home that had this floor plan, but that was after we had already chosen the home, lot and signed on the dotted line.

The blue prints were not very clear so they actually had to confirm that YES in fact the fireplace was off center.

Since we have moved in it has not been a problem, in fact just the opposite. I enjoy watching TV and having a fire in the fireplace at the same time.

I wrote in another blog post  about how the TV actually balanced the wall for me, which was another surprise. 

Well, that was our older, smaller TV. So what once felt like a problem that we would need to address immediately got put on the back burner.

In comes a newer, bigger version!!

My husband has waited for years to get the BIG screen TV and we are now the proud owners of a 55" TV. When he installed the larger TV, my mind started spinning all over again. You see with the larger TV, the wall became unbalanced again.


This TV is not only larger but it is not as black, the other TV had a shiny black frame, and it grounded the room. This one has a thin line of black and the screen is actually a charcoal. 

Throughout the day I always have music on and with that there is a beautiful slide show of scenery playing so it is hardly ever off to show the dark charcoal looking screen.

The other TV looked prettier to me, this just looks, ordinary and plain.


"There are no mistakes in design, just another opportunity to become creative!"

I heard this once and I have never forgotten it, so with that being said I needed to get more creative.


We have plans on making this fireplace wall a feature, but felt we could wait so it fell lower on the To-Do list. 
However we are adjusting that list with the addition of the new BIG TV!!

One thing that was blaring to me was now the mirror that I once loved above the fireplace looked like a postage stamp. 

I knew I needed to give the area above the actual fireplace more presence. The console table that I love now is too small in scale to balance the larger TV.

Luckily I have saved copious amounts of inspiration pictures. What I originally thought I wanted needed to be simplified. I realized that after living here and having shutters installed, simple is better for that room.

Keep In Mind The Completed Look Desired.....
Even though we are not going to do the entire wall right now, we still need to have somewhat of an idea of what we are going to do in the TV niche. 

All possible moldings will need to at least be chosen to make sure they will marry well together in a cohesive design. 

It is not a good idea to choose one piece of molding and apply it to the wall without considering the other moldings that will be going in the room in the future.

Because our home is open concept I need to think about the rest of the home as well so that means I also have to think and plan clear to the entry hall. 

Oh my! That does seem a bit daunting, but trust me it is important to take the time to do it in the beginning and it will save heartache, or any major mistakes down the road.

So with that in mind and keeping in mind the overall feel I want our home to have, I think I have come up with a good plan.

I want our great room to have a traditional Nantucket/Hamptons vibe so that means more of a traditional type molding treatment. 

Before we moved in I thought I would go much more casual, however once we started living here the house basically told me what it needed and that was a little more of an elegant but comfortable look.

Throughout this post you have seen pictures of fireplaces with molding treatments that were in my pinterest file. Here is what we plan for above the fireplace to balance the new BIG TV!!

As soon as the TV went up even my husband could tell it was in need of some balance so what was once a project that was on the back burner was moved forward a bit. 

In my last post I talked about placing sconces above the mantel. The sconces arrived on Saturday and they are perfect. Simple, classic design with a soft, not harsh bronze finish, more blackish than flat black. I am beyond pleased.

Thomas O'Brien's Bryant sconce can be found HERE!

I made a simple mock up of the design I would like to apply above the fireplace and as soon as it went up I knew this was the right direction...

The mirror is not the actual mirror I will use, I still have to play with that a bit, however a round mirror seems to be the right shape for this area.

In this mock-up I have added the TV console that is larger in size which will also help balance the TV. As you can see it all seems to flow nicely. 

There will be molding added to the niche as well, but for right now we just want to balance the TV with the treatment above the mantel.

By giving the fireplace more presence and weight it will balance the larger size of the TV.

I feel very fortunate that my hubby is a very handy guy and can do beautiful molding, his want-to is declining so we need to move quickly, if you know what I mean?

I will keep you posted on our progress, wish me luck!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Lighting For Our New House Is On It's Way!!!

When you purchase a new home there is an endless to-do list and you have to prioritize. It is hard to do, trust me on this. My wants and needs get all mixed up.

 What's a girl to do?

One very evident, and blaring thing, or at least in my mind, is we are light poor in our great room. I have plans, trust me, some will just have to wait, but one plan is going to happen!! Yay for me!!

I did a post awhile ago about my plans for lighting in our new home. I had several options that could work. You can see them all here

In that post you will see a combination of lighting choices. One very important thing to remember when choosing your lighting in an open concept home is how one fixture will relate to the others that will be seen in the room or rooms.

With that in mind I needed to consider, my entry hall, dining room, and the table, and floor lamps in the Great room. Lots to think about and plan for, but a necessary step to consider before jumping in and buying anything.

Since we are light poor in the great room this is where I will begin my lighting concept and purchases, or in this case,  a single purchase.

We are going to start with the sconces over the mantel since that is one of the darker areas at the end of the room in the evening hours.

 Something New

You will notice in this image we have a new, "BIG!" TV!! This is something my sweet husband has wanted and waited for, for a very long time. I am so happy for him that he finally pulled the plug and purchased it. However, it has put me into somewhat of a tail spin.

First you have to understand I am not much of a TV gal, I do watch some shows at night with him, but during the day I have beautiful scenery playing along with soft music. I like the ambiance it creates. I know the console table is to small in scale and the mirror now looks like a postage stamp. I will have to live with this for awhile, but trust me I have plans.

Along with the sconces we are going to add some molding above the fireplace to help balance the newest, biggest member of the room. (More on that in another blog post.)

Now back to the lighting I have ordered the sconces and they are on their way. I am beyond excited, this is the first permanent design element that is new to us and to our new home. EEEEEEEE!!!

You all know me well, and know that the decision was made after a great deal of thought, and planning.

Here is what I considered in this process...

The overall look and feel I want for this home....

Simple, clean, uncluttered, warm, inviting with the look of Nantucket,  or The Hamptons. Somewhat traditional with a fresh look.

Here are just a few of my favorite looks.......

One of my all time favorite rooms.


The other thing that needs to be considered is the other lighting in the room such as lamps and floor lamps. 

Of course I have plans for those as well, but right now they are only plans, and will have to be put on the back burner. Even though they are on the back burner they still need to be considered in the overall plan.

Right now we have one table lamp and a pharmacy lamp, both of them will be placed in another room and down the road I would like to replace them with something like these.....

Floor Lamp
or maybe this.......

I will have a better feel for which direction to go once the new sconces are in place. However I do want some type of tri-pod floor lamp.

I know I like this style of lamp for this room and it will add to the feeling of a Nantucket, or The Hampton's style room.

The table lamp I am looking at is white with an airy feel to it.......

    It still has a traditional feel to it becasue of its shape. I like the black base on this lamp which will tie in nicely with the touches of black in our room.

This is more of a lattice style lamp without any black, it is equally as light and airy, and would also fit in our room.

I made a simple design board to see how all the lighting choices I have in mind will work together.

You can see in this next line-up that I plan on using my black chandelier from our previous home in our new dining area.

All lined up!

This shows the lattice table lamp without the black base.

As always I am having fun making plans for our new home and will continue planning, and sourcing as time goes by, after all that is what I do!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Warming Up A Room With Baskets And Cutting Boards


In the cold winter months I like to add a bit of warmth to my home with textures. 

I have to be honest here and say that I am not very good at adding texture in the form of textural fabrics, however I have found a way to add texture that is appealing to me with two elements that I love to use.


In this image I have a basket tray sitting on a storage basket that holds some of my design books.

Under my desk I take advantage of storage space for design magazines in this stack of storage baskets.

I have a vintage French market basket that I use to put magazines in during the year, but at Christmas time I keep my wrapping paper ready and waiting to use in the same basket. ........

I am on the look out for a Tobacco basket for our new home. I think it would look great in our new house.

There is a great source on Etsy, however keep in mind the shipping is as much as the basket so I will be waiting to find one in California.

When I took a trip to North Carolina about 5 years ago I was introduced to tobacco baskets and I have been fascinated with them ever since that trip.

The other element that I use to add warmth to my home is.......


I love to add cutting boards to my kitchen counter top to add a touch of warmth. In our previous home I had a little display....

 I loved the way the wood looked on our marble counter top.

 You can see a few other boards in this shot. I use cutting boards and baskets all the time, especially for entertaining......

 Breakfast display of fruit is made prettier with a basket liner under the plate.

 In the summer time I like to have healthy snacks out on the counter and putting them on a basket keeps them looking decorative and inviting. Notice there is a cutting board in use as well.

Baskets and cutting boards just go together in my book. Both add warmth and textures to a home.

 This is a great use of both a basket and cutting boards. I will have to remember this and try using my French basket to hold some of cutting boards.

You can't add much more warmth than a combination of baskets and candles to your home.

 I use mine on top of a stack of books.

In our new home I have been looking for a cutting board to put behind my stove to break up some of the white and to add warmth.

I received a package from UPS with this beautiful round cutting board. A very dear friend sent it to Doug and I as a house warming gift. Little did she know I had been looking for several months for just this style of cutting board. 


Once I find the storage box that has my long handled cutting board and wooden rolling pin I will be stacking them with this beauty!!

If you are interested in the willow serving trays  you can find them HERE!

If you like the basket candle holders which can also be used as a vase you can find them HERE!

You can find cutting boards similar to mine HERE!

Since I love both baskets and cutting boards I have two pinboards dedicated to both that you can visit and get even more ideas on how to use them in your homes.

Just click on the word HERE to go to links!