September 20, 2017

Decorating for someone else

In the last years, I have started offering my interior decorating services in my hometown {Check my website if you haven't already done so}. It has been really fun with small projects as well as quite large projects, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! My dream would be to work as an interior decorator full-time, possibly with a little decorating store as my home base. But for the time being, I am happy to do it as a pass-time.

Most recently, I have undertaken two separate projects at our local hospital: one being the redecorating of the cafeteria, and the second being the development of a hospice room for palliative care. I came in mid-way through both projects, just in time for the fun stuff if you ask me. I was able to help pick out colors, flooring, furniture, decorations, etc. as well as recommend layouts and finish the final installation of decorating items.

For the cafeteria, it needed an UPGRADE! It was outdated and very yellow! It had been redone some time in the last 10 years or so, but now it was showing it's age. The layout here was not really changing however we were removing some table seating and replacing it with booth seating, and we were also introducing bar-height seating. Staff were also requesting a more lounge-like area. So we started with flooring, layout, paint colors, laminate to refinish the tables, and selecting some seating. We also elected to build a fireplace feature wall in the living area. When all construction, paint and installation was done, I was in charge of the most fun part: SHOPPING for furniture and decorations! I carefully selected my pieces to create a subtle rustic feel with black accents, all while keeping in mind our accent color of olive green.

My biggest challenge was the 2.5 stories tall wall that needed to be filled with something impressive. After much time thinking and perusing Pinterest and Google in general for ideas, the manager of the project suggested birds flying across the wall, and bam! that was it! I found a seller through Etsy {shout out to Natalie Underwood at byrdiegraphics} who could customize an order for me of a mallard flying. I requested it in the different sizes for dimension and in our olive green accent color. Over a few hours, we installed all 30 or so birds across the large area to achieve this look:

I wanted the placement to look somewhat free-flowing and random so did not follow a specific order for the different sizes. The final product looks great but is hard to really show-off in pictures!

Without further ado, here are the before and afters of the entire space:



I believe it is quite a nice transformation: a few rustic touches and very classic.

The hospice is due for its official opening in the next few weeks and I will gladly share photos of that project as well.

June 22, 2017

Absolutely floored!

Well, I did it! I gathered the courage to pull-up the carpet in our little cottage. For those of you who have never laid eyes on my carpeted cottage, here it is from last year:

I called my friend, Roxanne, and waited for Jon to leave for a weekend fishing trip {hi hi hi} and we did it. Thank goodness Roxanne was super duper strong, cause I was not {which I already knew}.

When I was waiting for Roxanne to arrive so that we could start, I was tempted to remove an area of rug because I had no idea what was underneath. Lo and behold, and much to my excitement, this is what I found:

I never would have dreamed that this would be the floor underneath! A few hours later, this is what the cottage looked like:

There was one section, the kitchen to be exact, that we were unable to remove as it seemed to be glued down somehow. But that didn't worry me too much... nothing a little bit of leftover vinyl or linoleum can't fix, so I will look into that later {stay tuned}.

For now, I am torn between two finishing options:
1) sanding and staining:

2) sanding and painting with a pale greige by Benjamin Moore called Seaspray:

I know most people will lean towards staining, but I am personally loving the painted creamy floor look. Keep in mind there is already A LOT of stained wood in this cottage, so toning-down with a bit of off white would be beautiful, calming and it would ground the entire space. 

I have also hung curtains in both the kitchen:

and living room {sorry, no close-up pic but they are a creamy off-white and hung very high above the windows}.

From the curtains in the kitchen, I would like to pull the following colors {also from Benjamin Moore}:
Danse de Soleil for the entrance door {both sides} and the table legs:

Fiji for the front of the kitchen peninsula and barn doors for the bedrooms {yes, I said BARN DOORS!}:

Are you surprised by my color choices? Or by the lack of apple green? I decided to step away from my much-loved apple green for this space, but not forever... 

Other than these painting to-dos, I would like to recover the couch cushions for the built-in, and that is it! The rest will stay as is with all its charm. I will also find beachy accessories and signs to fill the walls. I was thinking of using one of my favorite photos of last summer, blowing it up and dividing it straight down the middle into two large frames to hang in the living area:

Sort of like this:

What would you do with the floor: stain or paint?

April 5, 2017

Living room update

The last time I blogged about my living room was to announce that I was removing my beloved gallery wall for something more simple and sophisticated. 

Since then, I have worked on two large canvases in my accent colors to hang on either side of the television unit, but after reworking them several ways, I was not pleased with the final look of the canvases {Boo-hoo #1}. 

A few days ago, I decided to start physically taking down the gallery wall in order to start patching the many holes in my swiss-cheese wall. But as I started taking piece after piece down, I started feeling really emotional... You see, there are many things in this gallery that have very special meaning, and taking them down means I would be putting them away as, let's face it, I don't have enough wall or shelf space to hang or display all these items somewhere else in the house.

For example, I had framed a beautiful doily that was hand-made by my Great-Grand-Mother Hachez. The rose from my Grand-Mother Villeneuve's funeral was inserted into a shadow box and surrounded with a string of beads. And then there are many frames from our wedding like a picture of Jon and I framed with my beloved damask fabric, or a frame with the date of our wedding, or the first words to our first dance song... all of these things are very meaningful. So needless to say, it was saddening me to take everything down {boo-hoo #2}.

Reluctantly, I went downstairs to find my left-over paint, only to realize that I had no left-over paint {boo-hoo #3}, and I have not yet bought the new paint that I want to try {basically because I haven't had time or energy to repaint the entire living room}. And seeing as I did not want to live weeks if not months with an unsightly wall full of patches, boo-hoo #3 led me to hang everything back... Thank goodness I had a picture of the gallery wall on my blog because it was like trying to make a puzzle without the picture on the box.

After all of that, I have chosen to keep the gallery wall for now, which is still very trendy, and instead I will update a few of the photos from my nieces and nephews with more recent photos of my two boys. And my two painted canvases will be tucked away for the time being until I have another crafty moment to rework them.

I have been working on some larger projects for Decor By Mylène, my decorating business, and I look very forward to sharing those befores and afters on my blog!