Jul 19, 2013 | Post by: mnanda001 No Comments

A Tudor to Treasure Blog Series Post #2: Real People. Real Home.

Wow!  Where has the time gone?  This is my first summer with M. Interiors’ blog up and running and I must admit with the summer schedule it’s been difficult to keep the ‘pen flowing’ so to speak.   My ideas/themes are abundant (all floating in my head), but getting it out in a meaningful way to all of you has been another story.  Thanks for the patience to all my loyal followers who inspire me all the time.  I love giving and receiving all the creative vibes that this forum provides.

Speaking about creative vibes….as a designer my dream would be to help decorate an entire room top to bottom with no budget.   Heck, I’m sure you all are thinking the same thing when it comes to your home!   However,  we all know this is not realistic (well, for most of us).     It’s fair to say that one of the biggest challenges for me when working on a project is to balance my creative nerve center of ideas with pragmatism and realism in relation to what that client needs functionally and aesthetically.    Often it comes down to this…Real people + Real home = REALLY extraordinary.  I embrace this formula and find this to be the most endearing part of my work.   We’re born to be real, not perfect. Same goes with our home.

A part of my role as a designer is to help clients determine where they will get their biggest impact and where they should focus their time and money,  but ultimately it’s their decision.   In other words,  it’s about impact, investment and project management. One of my goals is to ensure a client feels armed with a design plan to execute when it’s right for them.  Certainly, there are some elements in the design plan that I  ’push’ (maybe that’s not the right word…let’s rephrase)…that I highly encourage a client to do more than others.  I think my clients appreciate my honest and realistic approach which I hope makes decorating their home approachable, comfortable and most importantly, fun!

My “Tudor to Treasure” project is good illustrator of my approach in that it’s a room that my client wants to re-do completely, however, my clients are real people who have and are creating a real, authentic home for their family on a budget.   It takes some time getting to the finished product (kind of like this blog series!), but so worth it at the end and the journey is all part of the fun!

That said, I’m long overdue in sharing a second post to my “A Tudor to Treasure” blog series!   It may be a good idea to re-visit the first post because it’s been so long and this certainly gives a good backdrop to this project and the family behind it all!

So, again, here’s the space that we’re re-creating…


The design story for our design plan for this living room Tudor is  ”Old World elements meet tailored sophistication with vintage eclecticism paired with ethnic touches.

This design plan will be characterized by old world touches with some wrought iron accents and tufted furniture.  The tailored sophistication will translates to the ‘grown up’ elements of the space with proposed built-in bookcases.    Vintage eclecticism will find it’s way by adding charming,  fun, somewhat whimsical, bold  and unexpected patterns paired with rich and warm colors in the rug, fabric, pillows and lighting.  Lastly,  the ethnic touches will come in from their existing carved wooden mirror (on the mantle) and potentially wood accent tables or coffee table.

With impact and investment in mind, our immediate priorities are wall color, a rug, a sofa, re-upholstering the chairs from my client’s mother and lighting.  To elevate this room even more so in it’s tailored sophisticated ‘grown up’ look  I did recommend getting a custom built-in book shelves on the long wall across from their fireplace.  My client opted to re-prioritize this feature for the future, but when they’re ready to execute the plan is in place!    My recommendation is to have the built-ins incorporate some kind of antiqued-brass lighting and the entire unit painted out in this moody, rich and extremely sophisticated color called Lead Gray (Benjamin Moore 2131-30).   I’m seriously in love with this color and I think captures the charm and depth of this Tudor style home.  Even though my clients have opted to do the custom built-ins at a later date….Don’t you worry…we’re incorporating this paint color in another element of the room!  You’ll see how in my future blog post.

My inspiration for the shelves came from this photo (color is different, but still has a rich tone like the one I suggested) .

Moving on with our immediate priorities, we decided right away to use the existing neutral dining room paint color, Natural Wicker (Benjamin Moore OC-1)  for the living room.  We chose this color for 3 main reasons… 1) to lighten the room 2) visually connect the two rooms  and 3)  this neutral color would be a good backdrop for the pattern and other colors we’ll infuse in the room down the line.   (Aside: We also decided to paint the off-white radiators a bronze color to make this charming part of the home more rich and more elegant looking.)

{Dining Room Window treatments and paint, Natural Wicker.}

We used the dining room window treatments as the inspiration to infuse the eclectic feel to the living room.  I knew this window treatment fabric (that we sourced together months ago) was going to be the guide for me in choosing the rug in both color and pattern.   Here’s the rug I recommended.

Moving on to the sofa, I wanted to incorporate a tufted, old-world sofa  (kind of like a sofa you’d see in a law library) into the space.   I wanted something that was comfortable (my clients are both really tall), yet not too large where the room looked to be swallowed up with a sofa.  Finding a sofa with a cozy texture,  warm, but light in color and the right scale was important to me.  I found one at Arhaus in their Apartment Sofa Collection, the Tangier settee.

My recommendation was to have the sofa done in this green/yellow fabric color:

Bringing it together….This is one of the first vision boards presented to the client as it relates to the wall color, shelving color, sofa fabric color and the rug.

Here’s how it all works…..the rug picks up on the dining room window treatments both in color (orange and turquoise) and pattern.   It has some traditional elements, but has this bohemian, eclectic feel as well which fits perfectly in line with our design story.    The  built-in bookshelves’ color, Lead Gray,  provides a grounding affect to the eclectic feel of the rug infusing sophistication in this grown-up space and extra storage space which is always a bonus.  In addition, the darker color of the shelves will be a stunning contrast with the neutral creamy walls that will be sure be a show stopper.

The green/yellow soft warm fabric color of the sofa keeps things light again and draws the yellow tones from the rug nicely and again, it will be a great contrast to the lead gray colored shelves.    Although neutral in color the depth in it’s texture and richness in tone adds a dynamic dimension to the center of the room.

Here’s some pictures of the space mid-stream with the new wall color and the rug.  It’s already feeling so much lighter and warmer!    (Sorry for the photo quality…this was taken during one of our working sessions…work bag and tape measure in the mix no less! The photo with the sofa was sent to me from the client the day it arrived.  I promise to take some better pictures on my next visit!  Oh! don’t forget to check out the painted bronze radiators in the background too vs. the off-white colored radiators in the before picture above.)


Tell me…how does your home reflect the REAL you?

In my next post of this blog series we’ll talk fabric and discuss how the ordinary can often capture the extraordinary when simply looking at things a bit differently and keeping an open mind.

Until next time…..be REAL….be YOU.


(Feature photo via Hitch Print Shop}

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