How to Create a Livable GIVING-ROOM
In thinking about the room I wanted to share with you today, the “Living Room”, I started to think about the name. Is it really the room we do all of our living in? As opposed to all the other rooms in which we don’t live? It’s one of those names that seems normal, until you really think about it.
I hope this post finds you happy and healthy - Welcome Farmers!
One of my first appreciations for this house was its proportions. The easy flow from dining room, to foyer, to living room, to sunroom is something the architect achieved so beautifully. There is what seems an effortless glide from room to room. The living room with its substantial size, beautiful natural light, very large crown molding, and wood-burning fireplace really hit the mark with my design sensibility. True to the Colonial style, it is formal and symmetrical in every sense.
This is how it looked when we first saw it. We really were nuts to buy it!
However, with everything out, it's flooded with natural light.
The window at the left of the fireplace will be removed and a new opening will be installed that connects this room to the new master suite addition.
To bring it alive again, the first order of business in this space will be to remove the original grasscloth wallpaper. If we’re unsuccessful, then we’ll need to do a skim coat over all the walls. Next, we’ll need to remove the hardwood floor. It’s high quality and beautiful but, unfortunately, it’s so warped that you can actually stub your toe in certain areas. We’ll be bringing in hydronic heating for this house so the new hardwood floors will be comfortably warm. The main focal point in this room is the fireplace. While it’s okay as is, I want to give it a whole new look to elevate its appeal. To do this, I will flank it with built-in bookcases giving it more importance, and create a space to showcase some of Grover and Mercy’s books from my treasure trove found on the farm. This treatment will not only accentuate the fireplace at the middle of the room, but it will further define the main seating area. I’ll give the leg, header, mantel shelf, and upper columns a faux stone treatment. I’ll remove the marble and mirror from the upper portion, replace it with sheet rock, and paint it in a contrasting color to the walls to bring additional interest. Then, I will install new stone at the hearth and internal surround. Something like this:
Faux finished to look like marble.
Next is the south-facing wall that will overlook the new courtyard with pool and spa. I’ll make access to the new outdoor space easier by installing french doors.
French doors to a courtyard with pool and spa.
And finally, this third wall is ideal for installing a wet bar.
With new french doors installed, a bar will be easily accessed from the rear courtyard.
This room will serve as our entertainment room, so we’ll want to have a beverage center right at our fingertips. While I want it to be very functional, I’ll need to be careful that I don’t make it so large or over-the-top that it competes with the fireplace, which is the main focal point on the adjacent wall. My idea is to have an armoire type cabinet that once opened has a sink, refrigerator, and lots of storage for everything bar related.
My overall idea for this space is that it will be classic with its original architecture, however, I’ll bring in an eclectic mix of furnishings to give it a comfortable, put-your-feet-up vibe. I’ll give it personality with a mix of different furniture styles and textures, and I’ll make it inviting with a palette of soothing earth tones.
I know I told you in a previous post that I always put a touch of black in my rooms, but what I didn’t tell you is that I’m also giddy for green. It just grabs my attention in a soothing, inspiring way that appeals to the “NATURE-al”, small town girl who is at the core of who I am. Have you ever said: “someday, I want to have this in my home?” For me, this is a green velvet sofa - I think this room will be the perfect place to have a “someday”.
I’m approaching this home, not as a collection of rooms, but rather a place where living happens. There won’t be a living room, only a “living house” where every room is lived in. And this room that was once the living room, will become a space to entertain and give enjoyment - we’ll call it the “Giving Room”.
Thank you for joining me on the farm today. I hope you’re all GIVING yourselves ROOM to be your unique, wonderful selves in a space alive with inspiration and rejuvenation.
CHEERS to a wonderful week ahead!
Sandy Sheldon Schedule