Thursday, May 19, 2016

Subtle Changes

Each spring, I put out new ferns and move all the orchids out to the screened porch. That process sets in motion other changes to lighten up my home decor for warm weather.

This year, the time was right to upgrade some of my "make do for now" furniture and art. The changes are subtle, but the upgrade in style and function make my daily life much more pleasant.

The foyer (below) remains the same.

My office is just inside the front door across from this foyer. I create the blog and conduct the daily business of my company in this room. I spend many hours each day here, so form and function are of the utmost importance.

This view is from in front of the window.

This angle is the view from the door.

A new desk to hold my computer was the most urgent change needed. The old mission style table had no drawers and snagged my clothes often with its rough edges. Another change that lightened this room was to remove a table from in front of the window.

I admit to having some difficulty with letting things flow like a river in my home decor. New additions were coming in, but not enough was flowing out.

The dining area remains much the same. However, I did remove several items to give the area a lighter feel. This view is turning from the dining area to the stair wall.

The link here shows the previous decor.

This shot from the balcony shows the sitting area changes. I removed several layers of Italian trays, tables, and other items to give the space a lighter more modern look. I replaced the Mediterranean terrace print with a more contemporary piece of art on a plain canvas.

The dark, heavy table that was previously under the oversize Hudson River style painting is now being used upstairs as my makeup table. I added the Art Deco style small mirrored chest to the back of the sofa. 

Mirrored surfaces, straight legs, glass tables and unframed canvases all serve to lighten up and modernize spaces. I studied hundreds of Architectural Digest articles before making these changes.

I moved the pedestal with the urn to the other side of the room and added a small metal and glass table to the area by the stairs. I had too many curved dark wood pieces of furniture, so I replaced the curvy coffee table with a more modern straight edge dark distressed piece which relates nicely to the piano painting.

Fresh flowers and an urn full of seashells I gathered from beaches around the world are now on the bar cart. When my favorite Stargazer and Casablanca lilies appear in flower shops, they will be placed in crystal vases throughout the main floor. I adore lilies and white orchids.

I added a new round pedestal table to the breakfast nook.

In the master bedroom, I replaced two old mismatched chests with a five drawer chest and a matching three drawer chest. Their style complements the bed and the bench.

My very talented father made the table in the corner by the air purifier. The bronze Victorian fairy figurine was a long ago Christmas gift from Mr. M.

The walls are rather blank for now in anticipation of adding original modern art. My eyes have finally adjusted to the look, so I am ready to embrace contemporary pieces mixed with old. Future purchases will include different light fixtures and blinds, modern glass objects and original art (likely my own) on large simple canvases.

The upstairs sitting area outside the guest room also has a new lighter look. I removed some pieces of furniture and art here but did not add anything new. I shifted the location of several pieces to open up the area and make it appear larger.

The guest room is ready for your visit!

The table which was previously in front of the window in my office is now in the guestroom.

I enjoy the extra space for my makeup. That's a small fan on the floor under the table.

The Mediterranean terrace print looks so much better in the guestroom!

Below is a shot of my "store" located in the finished room over the garage (FROG). Home accessories are like jewelry; you need not show everything you own at all times. I will keep these unique pieces to use in rotation with the seasons. 

My high heel shoes collection also "lives" in this bonus room along with a bookshelf and other items. More on this collection in a future post.

Now that this project has been completed, I must move on to preparing for my talk at the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce Prime Of Life event. If you attend and we get to meet each other, you will know why I have all these bumps, bruises, and blisters. Moving around furniture and hanging, then rehanging (too many holes in the walls now) art gave me quite a workout this week!

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!


Susan B said...

Susan, it all looks so lovely and inviting, yet fresh and modern! You've struck a nice balance here.

Nancy said...

Thank you for this peek into your home! I would love to know how to care properly for orchids. I have received a couple while they were in bloom, and when the blooms fall off, I don't know what to do with them :(

The Memiors of a Reluctant Move-aholic said...

Good Morning Susan!
You did a lovely job on "refreshing" your home. I applaud you on taking your time and finding just the right pieces that you love and will enjoy for years to come.
As a designer I have spent many hours with clients trying to undo hasty decisions after a move or "just wanting a new look".
Can't wait to see what you do next.
Have a blessed day,
Judith Presgrove

Shelley Zurek -- Still Blonde after all these YEARS said...

I enjoyed looking at your housing choices it reveals so much of your personality. The neutral colors appeal to me very much.

elaine said...

Your home is beautifully elegant! I like the fresh lighter look. Good work!

Elaine @ Following Augustine

Unknown said...

Hello Susan. I like you blog very much, however I disagree with others. I feel the house does not reflect your personality. It is too neutral and almost funeral homeish. You are smiley and full of life. This house says calm to a point of snoozing. You are anything but boring. Everyone room should have one zinger of color or texture. Perhaps look at your wardrobe for a clue to what you like. Perhaps a shot of blue here and there like your eyes would really perk things up.

Lea said...

I completely agree with Elizabeth. There are too many brown and tan colours used and unfortunately, it becomes dull. My eyes
skipped over a lot because all the rooms blurred into one. Sorry, each to their own. I too, think that the home doesn't reflect your
sparkling personality.

Unknown said...

Oh Susan, you really can't win, can you? "Funeral homeish"? What gives people the right to comment in such a negative manner, when you weren't asking for our opinion, but generously sharing a very private part of your life with us!
I can see that you've surrounded yourself with objects that mean a lot to you, and have taken years to collate, and the new items were obviously chosen with great care to blend in.
When you work as hard as you do, (I work full time in fashion, so I understand), its so nice to come home to calming, lovingly chosen interiors; sometimes a "zinger" (?) can be jarring.
Thank you for being gracious and sharing your home with us.

Susan said...

I haven't always lived in the USA so I do not have an affinity for bright colors and loud prints. I am happy with subdued and calming spaces where my spirit can retreat from all the visual overload that surrounds and assaults us on a daily basis. Keep in mind that these photos were taken with a bright flash so that you could see the details throughout the rooms. The colors are richer than they appear.

Prairie Poulet said...

When a woman changes her hair, watch out! She's about to change something in her life.

Susan changed her hair....and now her home decor. Do tell, Susan, what other big changed are on the horizon? It seems exciting!

Canuck-Girl said...

Hi Susan; this is stunning and I could move into this space tomorrow! It is classy and classic like yourself. Thank you for sharing; it was such fun. Now you can sit back and enjoy your weekend when it comes.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely home! It is easy to see all the thought and care you put into your choices. Ladies I remember as a child my mother always said "if you can't sat something nice, don't say anything at all. We are are entitled to our opinions but that doesn't mean you need to share all of them!

Unknown said...

Your home is beautiful, Susan. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

Having spent hours poring over Architectural Digest I recognize the sophisticated, beautifully curated style you have created in your home. The subtlety of palate, texture and placement is beautifully expressed. I'm afraid I disagree with Lea and Elizabeth. It fits you perfectly... refined, well thought out, quietly stunning.

Taste is such a remarkable thing, really. Mine, as you know, is beachy cottage. All white slipcovers, distressed woods and eye popping colour. It suits my need for therapeutic internal sunshine by bringing a light filled beach into my daily life. My mother calls it trashy old junk. Bless her heart.

Your space would only be funeral home-ish to someone whose taste would never be found in Architectual Digest. My space wouldn't be attractive to someone who would turn their nose up at a copy of Coastal Home. But one thing I know about us, and that is that we both appreciate decor as an art form, and are capable of admiring everything from Craftsman to Mid Century Modern to Ikea chic! Just as we can appreciate clothing styles from haute couture, steam punk, rock-a-billy or American Sportswear.

We don't all have to like the same things. But "seasoned" women should be able to recognize that design is art, expressed in the form of taste, and that taste is an important clue to someone's inner being.

Your pal,


Lisa said...

I definitely see both sides. I don't think the commenters were trying to be critical, just pointing out that your personality is so vibrant, which is a bit of a contrast with the more subdued interiors. I like both sides and totally get that a restful, neutral space, with charming details, might be just the antidote for a busy and colorful life! Hope everyone here has a lovely weekend! ;-)

Cathy D. said...

Sorry I'm a little late in commenting. Unless you have tried to take photos of interiors, it's hard to understand how difficult it is, especially to get the lighting right. What, on a computer browser, may appear to be slightly dull may be very exciting in real life.

That said, there is little excuse for leaving unpleasant comments on someone's blog. If you don't like what you see, just look elsewhere. You might also want to ask yourself how much better you could do.

carolinascallin said...

The 'changing of the seasons' is one of my favorite things! There's so much joy to be gained from going through your home and wardrobe to get things ready for the next bit of the year! It's amazing what small, subtle - and sometimes not so subtle - changes can do for your spirit!

Enjoy your spring surroundings!