I have detested my kitchen/family room since we moved in. Really. I knew going into this house that I would need to live with the kitchen and to most degree, the baths, with many a decorative coating. But, I was not able to gut them as I normally have done. In fact, prior to this house, my past 2 homes have been down-to-the-studs renovations which I thoroughly enjoyed and personally managed.
When we moved here, I had literally 60 days to find a house before school started. Coming from LA where we lived in a corporate apartment for 6 months while we gutted our mid century home, there was no way I could ask anyone in my family to live in temporary housing again for a long, long time. So I did it. I agreed to buy an adorable historic New England style home with great bones and that needed a shit-ton of decorating but not a lot of construction per se.
Need is a relative term. My family room has undergone a mini-makeover since the March issue of BH&G was shot over a year ago. But, I didn’t go far enough. I recycled the Bruschwig LeLac drapes and rid myself of red, gold and green primaries, and chose to introduce turquoise, chartreuse and oranges. I did this in form of new drapes and textiles. Make no mistake, my kitchen and baths are not in need of renovation. They are in “want” of renovation.
Wanted by me, that is. I would never in my wildest dreams have designed or built these rooms. So, I went with the grain of the hair –as my mom would say. I have gold toned granite in the kitchen so I used cork colored grasscloth on the walls. (Did I ever tell you how much I hate gold granite???) Let alone a yellow marble bath, but that is a post for another day… The cabinets were great high end quality but beaten up stark white, so I had an umber glaze applied to them —not “me” in the least— but it softens them which was my goal.
The biggest mistake was painting the island black. Oh, if I could go back in time… people love it, and it looks good with my black vintage Queen Anne dining chairs, but every time I think about it, I get ancy. I should have left it the same as the other cabinets. And I actually knew that to some degree, but I pushed the envelop, as I was still bored. But it’s what I’ve got, and I gotta make it work– for now. See, designers make mistakes, but ONLY on their own property. That is the unwritten code.
So, anyway, I have a family room centered around everyone’s favorite fabric, Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon in Mocha– the least ubiquitous colorway. Even the sofa is being covered in this fabric. I don’t care what anyone says, I love this fabric and it is crazy enough to keep my curiosity. Here is my grasscloth and here is my– stutter– kashmir gold granite.
I have decided the ocelot rug that I bought 5 years ago from Stark needs to go. My client’s recent comment that Ocelot rugs were very “Ballard Designs” was the straw that broke that camel’s back. It was already broke, but now it’s in critical condition. I have a painter who owes me a favor. I am going to call it in and paint the cabs a cooler taupe grey-beige. That and a rug swap should keep me calm.
Goodbye glazed cabinetry and black island. There is a new sheriff in town. And she wants out of her brown gold and camel glazed cube. I think I may step in this direction:
Will this make a difference? Probably not much. But maybe a little. It will tide me over until I re-do the entire room again– in a few months:)