Elegant & DRAMATIC New Wet Bar Redesign
Hello Farmers - Happy Autumn!
Let's talk Wet Bar Redesign. I know, crazy right? Our home renovation was completed not that long ago, and I'm already re-designing the wet bar? Let me explain.
When you’re focused on your rooms as spaces much as I am (I'm down right obsessed), it’s easy to become tired of them and crave something new, quickly. One such space was the bar I designed and had installed in the great room. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the space, I just wasn’t ever crazy about the wall paper, nor the execution of the architectural arch.
I originally chose the paper for its shimmer and texture to bring some elegance to the bar. The gray tone was selected to support the theme in the rest of the room.
This is our current great room dressed in a little bit of Fall color.
I’m not sure went wrong, but after installation, the paper didn’t seem to have the amount of shimmer it had previously, nor did it have the right gray undertone. The color was reading way too blue.
I tried to live with the it for almost a year. I wanted to tear it down so many times but didn’t. One day I was walking through the room, and I couldn’t control myself any longer. I just started stripping the paper. It felt so good. With no exact plan for what I wanted to replace it with, a little anxiety stepped in. Also fear. My husband doesn’t really ever notice changes I make with decor, but my goodness, if it’s something I DON’T want him to notice, of course he does. And this little exercise in mental anguish relief would certainly reach his receptors. As I played out the impending confrontation in my mind, worry seeped in, and I immediately stopped tearing off the paper.
This is what it looked like when delayed sanity stepped in. I'm embarrassed to say it remained like this for many months.
Early on in the original design process, I decided the elliptical arch-top transom above the front door would be an element I wanted to repeat throughout the home, and the first space that received the arch was the new wet bar. Without going in to all the detail, I can say it didn't turn out as I had hoped.
As my redesign played out on Instagram over the last couple of weeks, I showed these mock-ups below in my stories.
I just couldn't accept the resulting arch any longer. It was driving me nuts. It just looked incomplete and, well, lame! Both the room and Mrs. Colonial deserved better. In order to install all new trim to replicate the desired example above, the arch would have to be reworked, and the width of opening would have to be reduced. Instead, I decided to DIY it and give the illusion of a greater architectural feature without all the work.
Here's what I did.
First, I removed all the remaining wallpaper. (Except on the ceiling and the inside wall of the arch. That stayed in place.)
Next, I installed a thin trim along the inside of the arch.
Then, I painted on five coats of BM White Dove. I was very pleased with the illusion of a greater depth/width of the arch, and the layering of so many coats of paint gave it the appearance that it could be original to this old house!
After the arch was painted and complete, I gave the walls a good standing to try to remove the remaining wallpaper glue and patchy primer coat. Unfortunately, I was left with a surface that needed greater attention. There were significant "blemishes" that would not have taken the new finish well.
I addressed that by putting on a coat of joint compound in the problem spots. After a light sanding, I had a smooth surface and I was ready to finish the walls.
In my mind, I had four options for finish. I could:
1. Paint the walls green to match the cabinetry and give it that luxe look that is so popular today;
2. I could paint the walls black to give it an elegant, dramatic look;
3. I could paint the walls in a gray shade without the blue undertone to match the grays in the room; or
4. Install a new wallpaper, a scenic black and white paper I loved.
I was torn. I liked all the options and felt either one would work in the space. I did, however, have a favorite that I was nervous about pulling the trigger on. I decided to let those of you who follow me on Instagram decide. 80 percent of you voted for . . .
So three coats of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black it was!!! (Notice I used a dark primer coat to enable me to begin with a uniform surface.)
I'm so happy with how the new redesigned wet bar turned out.
Now the arch with added trim and White Dove reads like the other three cased openings in the room and contrasts with the black wall paint beautifully. It finally looks complete.
It's so elegant and dramatic. Now when I walk through the room my brain no longer painfully says "fix it", instead I get a smile on my face and I get a little thirsty, ha ha!
The finished space makes me want to send the invites out for an elegant cocktail party where this dramatic new space will likely be the star of the show.
Over the last several months people have asked me for my thoughts on soapstone. The truth is I LOVE IT! It's a "living", soft stone that continues to age with grace over time. It almost never looks perfect and that's why I chose it for Mrs. Colonial. It's a classic, timeless choice that looks right at home in a new space but one that gives a nod to an earlier time period. It does require routine maintenance. Just a quick oil or wax application to retain its beautiful luster. Some people don't want to take, nor have, the time for maintenance, however, its need for maintenance is also one of the benefits as well. Because it's a soft material that continues to change, scrapes and scratches can easily be sanded out.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing my elegant and dramatic Wet Bar Redesign. I'm enjoying getting my hands dirty and back to projects and putting the final touches on a number of spaces. I have a long list to complete. Next up, if you follow me on IG, you'll see me creating custom artwork to go in an unusual location. Am I an artist? No, but that's what makes it fun to me. I'm not sure what I'll end up with but it will certainly be unique and one-of-a-kind.
In case you were wondering, my husband did notice the torn wallpaper. It didn't seem to phase him much. I think that, after all these years, he's just comfortable with my design shenanigans. The good news is, he liked the space before, but now he loves it!
CHEERS my friends!
99 Bottles of Paint on the Wall, 99 bottles of paint, I took most of them down, passed them around, and then I had just four shades of paint on the walls and cabinetry, downstairs.
In all the homes I've ever renovated, I've used a lot of color in the interiors. I love color. I was expecting to do the same here at the farm. I hauled in dozens and dozens of colors, however, Mrs. Colonial wasn’t having any part of it. She was screaming for neutral, so that’s what she got! Oodles of white, lots of black, measured gray, with a sprinkling of green.
After many selections from my Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams fan decks looking for the perfect shade of green, I came up empty. There’s only a billion and a half out there in paint land and none of them felt right! However, when I least expected it, the most brilliant shade of green ended up right in my hand. It happened when my husband and I traveled to Palm Dessert for a visit halfway through the renovation. During our stay, my mother-in-law announced she had treasure for me to add to my treasure trove of old books that I had found on the farm. One of her books caught my eye. I had been searching for a shade of emerald with a dark under tone with lots of depth, and voila!, there it was. As soon as I returned to the farm and brought the book into the space, I knew immediately I had to have it color matched. The color on the wet bar cabinets will be known forever as Grandma Beverly Green!