To see the inspiring video our agent put together for this property
click on the video link at the end of this post.
Click here to see the short video.
I have been feeling good about how our living room is
coming together. We started with the ebullient artwork
that became my jumping off point and then added the
blue and white trellis chairs, a neutral sofa, and the
black console table. Now I was ready for the lamps. My
first lighting purchase was a pair of buffet lamps for
the console table and then I brought in a simple, long-
neck table lamp. The room was evolving nicely. The
problem was, I still needed a lighting source on the
other side of the fireplace.
It wasn't so noticeable during the day but at night this
corner of the room was a dark abyss. Which brings me
to my first rule of lighting...
The lighting in a room needs to be balanced. Sometimes,
in a smaller room, you can get by with just three sources
of light but I prefer four and usually in each of the four
quadrants. This creates an even bath of light throughout
the room. In our space, I didn't like how the buffet lamps
on the console table felt a bit crowded or close together
for the size of the room.
So I eventually replaced them with wall sconces that
could be spaced further apart and beyond the width of
the console table. This allowed the light to easily per-
meate into the corners of the left side of the room.
LOL, yes, this painting has, over time moved from one
side of the room to over the fireplace. :D But I digress.
On the opposite wall, I had an end table and table lamp
to the left of the fireplace but I still had one dark corner
on the right and it stayed like that for over a year. Then,
last week, I found the perfect floor lamp.
Now my balance issue had been resolved and Rule #1 had
been met. So onto Rule #2.
We've all seen it, a room where someone has hung a
picture that is much too small on an expansive wall,
a sofa that overpowers the room, or an undersized rug
that shouts skimpy. This same concept applies to lamps
and lighting fixtures. Size matters. Consider scale. One
of the first mistakes I made when we moved into this
house was when I bought a pair of bedside lamps for
our master bedroom. I had never worked with the extra
tall ceilings that this house has and I forgot my scale
rule. As a result, the lamps looked ridiculously stunted.
Don't overlook the height of your ceilings. If it is a table
lamp, consider the size and height of the table top. A
lower table might need a taller lamp. A smaller table
will need a lamp with a narrower base. If you are using
two table lamps, they don't necessarily need to match.
It can be an interesting dynamic to mix it up a bit, but
I do like to have the lamps at fairly comparable heights
so one doesn't overpower the other. The same idea
can be applied if you are using a table lamp and a floor
lamp. Size matters and it all comes back to Rule #1.
Balance the light and balance the size of the lamps.
But it isn't just about how the lighting looks in the room,
they also have to provide a function, or as I refer to it,
There are different lights for different reasons. I like to
categorize them into ambient, accent, and task lighting.
The ambient lighting is the overall, general look that
the lighting provides a space. It is the cozy and
welcoming feeling that the light brings to a room. Table
lamps, floor lamps, sconces, and chandeliers provide
this ambient lighting. The accent lights bring real
interest into the equation. Use them to highlight art-
work, a niche, or architectural points of interest in the
Then there is task lighting. As the name implies,
this illumination provides enough lighting for reading,
cooking, and working. Ideally, I strive to have at least
one chair and a task light in most rooms. This gives me
the option to cozy up and wind down with my laptop
or a good read.
Rule #4 comes into play when you are well into the
design of a room. You have already brought in the major
elements and maybe other lamps. The final pieces you
bring in not only need to fit into the floor and lighting
plan but, as I stated earlier, they also have a utilitarian
purpose. There is a lot to think about. It might be
tempting to purchase a gorgeous statement lamp that
you just fell in love with at the furniture store but this
is where self-restraint comes in. Go back to the rules.
If you need a good reading light you want to think
about how much light that lamp provides. You might love
that black shade but it will cut down on the illumination.
Keep looking. If you are trying to fill a cavernous space,
you will want to look for a lamp with some heft. If
your room has extremely tall ceilings, you will want
to focus on lamps that are at least 34" tall and drop
your chandeliers down so you have approximately
seven feet between the bottom of the chandelier and
Then, and this is where it really gets tricky,
after all of those considerations, your final choices
need to play nice with the other elements and
other lights or lamps that are already in the room.
Mixing metals is fine but I don't like to mix more than
two. I am also a fan of the unexpected element but don't
forget your overall design concept. If you are trying to
pull together a Palm Beach ambiance, no matter how
charming it is, you obviously won't want to introduce
that primitive farm style table lamp. Look at what you
already have going on. Eclectic, done right, is fabulous
but if you find yourself second-guessing if this lamp
you just fell in love with really works well with your
previous purchases, maybe you need to keep looking.
Very simply, all the pieces need to play nicely with one
another. A statement lamp is great but if it overpowers
or clashes with the other elements in the room, then
it isn't the right lamp. Keep looking. It's out there.
Lighting is an often overlooked layer in design but it doesn't
need to be complicated. Just remember our simple rules:
and you will save yourself those frustrating and sometimes
expensive lighting missteps. Happy lighting!
I am sharing my lighting thoughts on these wonderfully inspiring blogs:
Shop the post:
Floor lamp: John Richards floor lamp from Naples Lamp Shop
Off-white elongated table lamp: Grace Modern Vase Lamp
Wall Sconces: Visual Comfort Grammercy
Entry chandelier: Currey and Co long leaf
Ginger Snap Crafts Wow Me Wednesday
It has been a year since we bought our home. We bought this as a second home that is becoming our primary residence. It has been a shopper's dream to start from ground zero but it is also, at times, overwhelming. Over the past year, we have added the large furniture elements and now I am beginning to bring in the accent layers that are giving this space personality.
These are the touches that have made this room feel more like home but I still needed something to pull it all together.
I needed a rug and this was a bit of a challenge. Blues are a new to my wheelhouse and as I am learning, they pose a challenge. There are so many variations of blue and although a lot of them will blend together easily, some can look like a total miss. Because I already had blue patterned chairs, I knew I wanted the rug to be a simpler, cleaner look. I also remember last year when we were looking for a house and studying Zillow images like it was our job, that a lot of the pictures had rooms with busy, almost distracting rugs. It was a disconcerting look. I didn't want the rug here to be the focal point. Instead, I wanted it to make the space more cohesive. I was looking for something to ground the room.
I ended up going with a custom rug so I knew that the blues would play nice and I wasn't disappointed.
Rug resource Masland custom rug via Hadinger Flooring and Rugs
I am sharing this post here:
There are so many things I want to do to our home but from the beginning, I knew that I wanted the artwork to take center stage. The first art selections came before we had purchased a stick of furniture.
Painting by Sharon Erbe
Across the room from this colorful and uplifting painting is a big black box of a fireplace. I'm just not a fan. At first, we put this Hollywood Regency mirror above the fireplace. It was a good look but I was hoping it would reflect the Erbe piece that I am rather obsessed with. It didn't.
So it was relocated to the foyer but that left the mantel looking very lonely and forlorn.
I am very aware that the living room is still in need of a better lamp, a fireplace update, and some key accessories, but those things will have to wait. Art is a unique one-of-a-kind item. If it moves you and you have space for it, you have to be able to commit right then and there. Let priorities be damned. This was the case with this painting by Brenda Belfield. It was love at first sight.
I think the integration of the framing and the canvas is beautiful.
Welcome to our coastal living room which is still a work in progress. We bought our home right before Christmas and it is a second home that will perhaps someday become our primary residence. In the meantime we are not bringing things from our Midwest home. We still need those items there and we want a different, more coastal, feel for this house. As a result we are literally starting over and to do this without taking on debt means going slowly.
We decided that before we added any furniture we would have the walls and ceilings repainted. By March we had added some artwork, a sofa and a cocktail table but it was still your basic white box.
I was drawing my inspiration from the artwork we had purchased.
We added a black sofa table to balance out the black fireplace on the opposing wall and that gave me some surface area to bring in a few bursts of color with accessories like this red and orange glass bowl I found at Wilford and Lee.
I have never ever been a blue person. Perhaps it is the coastal air but lately I am drawn to this segment of the color wheel. I think my big guy was as surprised as I was when I selected a blue trellis pattern for a pair of swivel chairs.
I usually don't like things too matchy match but I knew I needed to bring this blue into the other side of the room but I didn't want to spend the money for custom pillows. I eventually found some pillows at Home Goods.
The color was right but the pattern looked like I was trying to match and missed. I ended up finding pillow covers on Etsy that were the same pattern as the chairs. Score!
I will keep looking for a couple more pillows in coral or chartreuse to layer in more color and interest but at least I have a start.
A Global Views tangerine bowl and some inexpensive mermaids flanking the fireplace mirror also helped to infuse the space with life.
It is a fluid project. I am still moving things around trying to fill a home with too few pieces of furniture but I think we are actually progressing ahead of schedule.
Our next purchase will be a rug but really, I'm proud of what we have accomplished so far. A lot of the major purchases have been made, a more concrete design plan is evolving and now the interesting layering can begin.
Thanks for stopping by and your input is always appreciated.
It's been three months since we closed on our next chapter home and I am still struggling with color palettes and style. What can I say? I am a conflicted woman and I love it all. The trick is pulling what I love together.
I knew from the start that one of my colors would be coral. That perfect blend of pink and orange.
But what about accent colors? My first thought was pool blue.
And I've always thought that chartreuse is such a great neutral. I gives life to any color.
My design wheels are spinning.
I've never been a blue person. In fact, I've always run from blue. I think it is still a bit of a hangover from all of those country blues of the 80's and 90's. Somehow, though, here in a coastal state I find myself flirting with the cool blue side of the color wheel.
I have spent more hours than I would care to admit thinking and rethinking this whole color conundrum. Primarily I am considering how the colors will flow throughout the house, but I also think about the view from the front door towards the pool.
My inspiration painting, that now hangs on the living room wall is also directing my color choices just like I had planned.
So, even though that pool blue was my first infatuation, my latest crush is maybe a bit more sophisticated shade of blue. Still vibrant, but a bit richer, I'm toying with cobalt blue.
This new color had me playing on Polyvore again and last night's creation looks like this.
It is a daunting experience to try and decorate a home from seven states away but that is what I am attempting to do. I am, of course, reluctant to make any major decisions until I can actually walk through the space again but I have had fun pulling together some vision boards for the living room.
Sometimes inspiration can come from the craziest and most unexpected places. Recently I was shopping at Home Goods and I had a coral throw in my cart and stopped by gift wrap and added a gray and white stripe paper. When I put it next to that coral throw it looked amazing. Gray and coral, maybe that should be the color palette for Haydon?
The outside of the home, as you can see is coral. I never imagined having a coral house but it just adds to the tropical feel and I love it. So, it stays. Interestingly enough, the coral exterior is often visible from various spots inside the home so it needs to be considered when pulling together the interior palette. One of the color combinations I am drawn to is this color I call "pool". I really like it paired with coral.
For me, at least in this front room, it will all begin with the artwork.
This is what this room looked like the first time I saw it with our realtor.
My eye was immediately drawn to that colorful and uplifting painting. I became obsessed with the artist and have already located a gallery in the area that represents her work.
Since that first visit I have been squirreling away some mad money to make an art purchase the next time we are there.
The artist is Sharon Erbe. All of her work is explosively colorful and energetic and it will be my inspiration for the design direction in this space. I want the artwork to stand out so I will be going with a neutral paint color on the wall but I will achieve my color splashes with the paintings and accent pieces throughout the room.
The idea of a bold colorful rug is also appealing to me.
The addition of a bright pink also intrigues me.
I know navy is a trending choice right now and I think it could work as well but I'm not sure the hubs is on board with that. I might have to show him some inspiring images to get him used to that concept.
Oh decisions, decisions. I can't wait to walk through our Coral Casa again.