WWMD? (And Some House Updates That I'm Excited About)

Saturday, October 25, 2014


This is a questions I ask myself at least weekly, if not daily. 
What would Mary do? (Mary McDonald that is, my design hero.)

It never happens in client's houses, but in mine, sometimes I am too close to it to really see it clearly. (Seriously, my own house is so hard, whereas with clients it usually isn't. I think this is common, at least or my other decorator blogging friends). 

Here is an awesome trick that I use all the time, whenever I am too close to a room or am stuck.  Turn your back to the room you are working on and hold a mirror up and look at it in the mirror. It gives you a reverse image, or a completely new perspective. It really is like looking at a brand new room, and it helps a ton in seeing it with fresh eyes. Sometimes when I am stuck, I do this and 9 times out if 10 the problem with the room jumps right out at me with the new perspective.

For those of you that on Facebook, you know that I have been making some changes in my master bedroom, and have been struggling with it a bit. The main reason is that the light is a little bizarre and paint colors read a lot warmer in that room than they do in other rooms.  And I am definitely not a fan of paint colors in my house. I don't really know why, but cool colors just look better in this particular house.

So anyway, I have painted the room four times in a week. I should have known going and that I would have ended up with white. Because of course I ended up with white - every room in my house except for the dining room is now white. 

I tried a Valspar color that I absolutely hated, and then revere pewter and another Benjamin Moore. I didn't hate revere pewter, but it was actually a little dark and too warm for this room.  So then after all of that effort and money, I pulled out a can of white ceiling paint and put it up to test, and loved it. So, white it is!  (I will of course put another coat over this and will use a real Benjamin Moor color, probably Cloud White or Dove White).

But that hasn't even been my biggest struggle. Really, I've been struggling with the rug. Here is the one I initially box, which I have decided I am definitely returning:

I bought the blue sofa in the photo above at home goods and all four of us really love it. It is nearly impossible to match a blue rug to that, so I am not going to try to do that again.

I thought and thought and thought about this, and kept asking myself "What would Mary do?" 
I looked at every single published image of her rooms as well as about 10,000 rugs. That is not a lie or and exaggeration – I literally looked at 10,000 rugs (5,000 on overstock and 3000 at rug studio and more than 2000 at various other places).

The one that I think Mary would choose, and that I knew I would choose the second I saw it, it's coming from one Kings Lane. This one:

As always, I reverse image searched this rug and found that it was a Feizy. I only found it online at one other place, and it was more money for a smaller size, so I was sure that OKL had the best price (see here to learn about reverse image search - if you buy things online, you MUST learn this!

Can you believe what a  disaster the room is? I have two benches from Home Goods, 3 different colors of paint, no bedding, a rug that is going back, etc. I'm showing you these in the interest of letting you see what a wreck it is before a room comes together. This is the worst part for me - I just want it to be done. I guess everyone probably feels that way. But at least I have a clear plan now. 

This is the bench we are keeping, although the lamp is being exchanged for a smaller one and the mirror is just a tester. The one I hang will be narrower:

The darker bench is going back:

 I cannot wait to show you the rug in the room, and hopefully by then the rest will be done, too. Stay tuned!

And on to the other room I've been changing a bit - my office.  I love love love the gray rug that I had in there, but it is a dark room and felt very gray and sometimes dull. This time of year, with the days getting shorter and with the inevitable rain (and recent nor'easter that we just had), it can be too gloomy.   Here is the room before (although this was still under construction in this photo, too):

So, when I saw this amazing hide at Joss & Main last week, I grabbed it. It was more than 1/2 off retail, and I spent a LOT less than at other places (the hides are HERE, if you are interested. Some are only $200. I spent about $360, and I think it was worth every penny). 

Here is my sweet (and strong, thank god) husband after moving the furniture and replacing the rug for me. In this photo, he is restyling my desk the way I had it because he remembered better than I did:

Oh, and the pink benches are most likely either being recovered or going to my daughter's room.

And closer up of the rug:

When I first opened the rug, it was a lot more silver and flashy than I expected.  I came tis close to returning it and replacing it with a plain white one (a lot more expensive, unfortunately, because they use albino cows I think). But, I decided to try it and see, and I'm so glad I did. It is way toned down by the furniture.

The way you position a rug in a room has a huge effect on its color. So if you do not love it facing one direction, turn it 90° and look again. In this case, I lucked out because of course I want to head back end of the hide under the chaise (it is a pet peeve of mine to be walking into the rear end of the cow – call me crazy), so I was really lucky that it is less shiny from both entrances to the room. To see the very shiny side that I don't really love, you would have to stand in the back corner of the room, which we would never do.    So from this angle, I feel like the silver accents give it some depth and dimension but do not appear too shiny:

My iPhone pictures always come out too yellow - the walls are very white and don't really look this yellow, even with the lights on.

So please let me know what you think. Do you like the bedroom ideas/changes and the hide? I know they are not for everyone, but I am curious about what you all think. 

Happy weekend everyone!

My favorite sales today:

Official Elite Serum Website


Christine Hendrickson said...

I now agree with you on the rug. I like the softer shades of color is the new one. And I like the hide.
I LOVE that you're showing everyone your work in progress.

Merlin said...

Trust me...I FEEL YOUR PAIN (I looked at easily 5,000 chandeliers...and sent back the one I FINALLY CHOSE!!!) I absolutely love the new rug for your bedroom (just purchased two smaller rugs from there for my bathrooms!) It will be beautiful!! franki

Katherine said...

It is much harder to make choices for our own homes than it is for a client. Maybe it's the emotional aspect when it's your own house.

No doubt you will get it just right.

tish n said...

Love the new office rug! Love Hides, can't go wrong! Can't wait to see the bedroom!

Taylor Greenwalt said...

I'm so glade your posting about your decor projects again...I want to paint all my walls white...adding some wainscoting would be nice to! Cant wait to see your bedroom and I love how your office turned out...

The enchanted home said...

Your office looks amazing...love how you are always evolving and sharing the progress with your readers, that makes it such fun and having a willing and able husband certainly helps:) Looking great!

michelle said...

The new bedroom rug is gorgeous, and I love all your choices-I can't wait to see the finished room!

Jennifer@ClassicStyleHome said...

Who knew you would have to pay so much more for an albino cow? That's so funny. The new rug looks great though, definitely not too shiny. I can't wait to see the master bedroom. I love the blue and taupe colors together. I don't blame you for not wanting to match that rug to the couch. Too complicated! MM would just have it custom made to match lol.

Segreto Finishes said...

I love the new rug!! And have to agree with other commenters- your office is amazing!!
xo. Leslie
Segreto Finishes

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Knowing you...the finished product will always be simply amazing and elegant!!!