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December 21, 2009

Holiday Party Makeover

Are you still tyring to figure out how to get your home ready for the holidays?  Between considering who's been naughty and checking those lists twice, it may seem like a crazy idea to take on a makeover job now, but with a few supplies, a couple of hints, and less than 24 hours, you can make it happen.  

We moved into our house almost a year ago and I've been procrastinating on the final punch list for just as long.  Now that the holidays are upon us, I have this sudden surge of energy and focus to get things done!  Maybe it's pre-new years resolution time, maybe it's just the self-imposed pressure of inviting over family and friends for get togethers.  Whatever it is, it's got me going. 

I often share my thoughts on color and it's impact and in this edition of my colorful diary, I thought I'd put the paint brush to the test and let you decide if color can make impact.  What do you think?


My Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

With Color Added-- the balloons were just to celebrate my overnight makeover and made my toddler very happy!


My challenge was to convert a formal living room into a dining room in time for having family over for Christmas.  I took it upon myself to make it happen over the weekend.  With a little planning, a touch of paint, and a dose of energy, I got it together! 

Colorwise, the soft gray I initially painted the room would have been perfect if it were a living room, where you often add in accessories, books, and throws .  But a dining room is simple in furniture and accents.  The lighting, table, chairs and sometimes a bar or sideboard define the room and are usually in a palette of one or two colors so the walls definitely needed a punch to make it work as my dining room.  My table is ebony and zebra wood with wood backed, black leather chairs creating a dramatic collection.  Overall, I still wanted an injection of vibrant color that encourages people to be relaxed and confident rather than formal and austere.

Here's how I went through my design process.


My inspiration came from a hobby-- Photography.  This is a photo I took at a local restaurant's foyer. To me, the family of berries, oranges, yellows was the perfect choice for a couple of reasons.  Most of my home has mid-century-modern inspired architecture and color choices.  The palette is one of calm energy and for this room, the first room you see when you enter my home, I wanted it to be different.  These colors add an element of fun to the space, creating a perfect balance to the more formal furniture in the space.



There are many strong colors in the photo above.  Even the worn blue violet in the wood is beautiful, so how do you decide?  Go with your gut and the color that makes you feel good.  The energy of the orange above is what I was craving, so I found a complimentary orange (a bit deeper than what is in the photograph) called Autumn Cover 2170-30 on two walls.  I love the way it adds jolts of energy and pairs with the original gray, Pashmina AF-100, in a sophisticated way.   The adjacent room already has hints of blue through the rug and a grayed blue on the walls to bring out. 

For my window, I decided to go with a double rod drapery solution and simple modern panels of charcoal gray in front and a soft gray sheer behind it.  I really wanted my color to live within the accent walls and the photo itself.



My room is about 20' long, so I had a big opportunity to personalize it with something special.  Many people make a major oops when it comes to scale and proportion.  Make sure to use furniture and accessories that compliment the room size.  In my case, my 10' dining table still leaves a comfortable 5' on either end of the table allowing dinner guests to circulate easily.

For the art that would anchor the space, scale was critical, too.  My finished piece is 48"H x 60"L.  It's about 1/2 the length of my table and anything smaller would have disappeared on the wall.  I decided to use my original photograph as the personal touch.  I framed my photo with paint on a canvas by mounting an enlarged print to the center of my canvas and surrounding it with a combination of Razzle Dazzle 1348 (Using three 2oz Color Samples) and Autumn Cover 2170-30 (leftover paint from my two accent walls).  Just around the photo, I used molding paste to create a textured and paintable frame that I painted using another 2oz Color Sample in the color Marlboro Blue HC-153.  Molding paste creates instant texture to the canvas.  If you're not comfortable painting on canvas yet, look into more traditional framing options with your local frame shop to bring art to life.


Mounting my photo enlargement onto the blank canvas with white molding paste surrounding it


The finished work added the needed conversation piece and vibrance into the space

Whether you create your own art or use something that's store bought, try to define your space with a touch that speaks to you about how you want to feel in the room itself. 


Lighting can be the key element in any room.  It's light that helps us to appreciate the details and color and texture we add into a space.  For this dining room, I knew exactly the fixture I wanted-- James Moder's Broadway Chandelier.  I love this modern interpretation of a chandelier with it's single chrome bar that gracefully balances strands of Strass or Swarovski Crystals.  For my very long room, it's the perfect choice.




Ahead of time:

1. Select and order the photo print

2. Select and order lighting


1. Order and pick up my paint, painting supplies/tools, and canvas

2. Friday night, tape off walls to be painted and adhere photo to canvas.


1. Paint first coat of color on walls and let it dry for an hour (Natura dries quickly and left no odor)

2. While paint is drying, start painting on canvas with wall paint around the photograph and play with it for about an hour

3. Paint second coat of color on walls and let dry.

4. Add layers of color to canvas using secondary colors.

5. Have lunch and let it all dry!

By evening, the painting is ready to hang (enlist help from family or friends!) and your painter's tape can come right off the walls before bedtime.  Voila, a very quick, yet impactful surge of color to a gray dining room.  In my world, not everything works perfectly, though.  I'm still waiting on my contractor to come install that Moder chandelier this week just in time for Christmas.  

 Dining Room Christmas Tree

My dining room all lit up for the holidays-- I clustered several strings of christmas lights around the perimeter of the room for a little glow

In the meantime, I've strung up clusters of christmas lights around the room's perimeter in an effort of improvisational cheer for the season. 






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Thanks for the molding past suggestion, I'm going to go look at it. I saw something like this years ago, but couldn't remember the medium. Does BM have any buttons, etc., I can add to my blog?

It's fabulous, Sonu! What an impact with just a weekend's labor. Can't wait to see it with the light fixture. How could anyone have a bad time in this room?

Happy Holidays!
-- Kathy

Thanks for your comments! I had a blast doing this room mostly because I had been thinking about it for sooo long! Aneyefordetail, I'd love to see your project soon!

Oh my goodness: what energy! THis is fabulous. Aside from liking your colors, I like your thought process i.e "details, finding inspiration, choosing colors etc". I redid my dining room a while ago, am in love with it, and just might do something like this.... check back! It's a nice way to involve your readers while also giving new information. Thanks!
And, enjoy it all for Christmas!

Love it! So festive!

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