Thursday, August 19, 2010

Advice and Good Advice

Yes, there is a difference and I found that out recently! I am working on the family room/dining room. It's a later addition to my cottage - used to be the garage back in it's original form but was converted to a large "everything" room with a wood stove, way before I came along. It had nasty brown carpeting which only got dirtier as the years went on. We carpet cleaned a few times but with 3 people in and out the French doors to the back yard, rainy Seattle weather, many cats, and a few messy eaters, a carpet can take a real beating so one day I ripped it out and vowed I'd live with the cement floor until I could afford new flooring. I did get new flooring - a 16" sand-colored porcelain tile. It was on sale at Home Depot for just 7 cents a sq foot. I had a 20x20 room. I could afford this! But it sat for 3 years before the person who promised to lay it for me did so. Two weeks ago I took 2 vacations days and helped lay the floor. I am still walking into that room dazed and amazed that it got done!!

I chose white grout after being told brown grout would be better. Brown grout would make it look like an 80's Mexican restaurant floor. White was best. I sealed it by hand, on my hands and knees, one Saturday night. Resealed the high traffic areas the next day. I was told NOT to buy another piece of furniture off Craigslist (a friend suggested that I had enough stuff in the house!) but then I found this amazing, well made sofa from the 1930's for $75, which will provide seating near the wood stove. Advice was given to me to decorate the room with colors different from my blue & white I use through the rest of the cottage (my favorite color combination). I tried for weeks to find a green or yellow that would work but nothing seemed right to me. One person after another gave me advice and I'd faithfully follow it until I'd wasted more money and time figuring out that it wasn't right.

What was right was following the advice of a few friends who knew me best and didn't let their own personal preferences get in the way. OF COURSE the room needs to be blue and white - it will then fit in with every other room in the cottage!
It must all flow from room to room.

So, the walls will be white - my signature shade of "Cottage Linen White" by Waverly.
It turns out to be the best choice to keep a large room with few windows light and airy. The ceiling will be light blue, and the windows covered with the blue & white toile curtains I used to have in the living room. I also have 12 yards of that toile in upholstery weight in storage. I can use it to recover the sofa. I just saved hundreds of dollars using what I already have.

I will hand paint the furniture white, as is my style. The 2 piece hutch and tables are either new, from the 70's or 40's and are not antiques so I have no problem painting them. In the end, the best choice I made was to NOT listen to anyone else when it came to making my home my own. The best advice from a few friends who knew best, was to follow my own instincts, and so I am.

Stay tuned for progress on each of these projects. Here are a couple of "before" photos so you can see where I am starting from. Everything is pretty raw right now. I have alot of work cut out for me.