The Tale of The Country House and The City House

Our tale starts with a beautiful, sprawling house in the beautiful, sprawling countryside by the beautiful but narrow Bayou Teche. And, while extremely beautiful and sprawling, this house in the country had a very brown past. Brown stain covered the great room’s tongue and groove cathedral ceilings and the open floor-plan kitchen cabinets and island. The walls were a shade of tan and the cement floors were stained a dark tobacco brown. The previous owner’s brown leather sofa with brown chairs and brown wood furniture made the room seem so brown.

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The new owner loved the bones of the house but longed for some “happy and fresh” added to her “beautiful and sprawling.” In our initial meeting, she only asked for two things: city sophistication mixed with her country charm and no more brown. Challenge accepted.

Inspiration for this room occurred by pure chance. I was shopping at my local home improvement store and like all shiny things, it caught my eye. Its sparkle and color was mesmerizing. It had everything that I was looking for. It was the perfect necktie to my plain Jane suit. It was my Holy Grail tile for the backsplash. Each square in this multi tile had the color of the wall, floor, countertop and appliances.

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With tile sample in hand, I headed into the design room to complete the look and draw out my idea on paper for the painting of the accent wall and staircase. Two shades of turquoise, two shades of cream and graphite grey paint was selected for the walls, island, banisters and cabinets. Typically, I am against painting beautiful wood cabinets but with the sheer amount of same brown tones, something had to be sacrificed.

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I wanted a casual elegance in the upholstery and wood furniture. A combination of oatmeal poly linen blend on the sofa, heavy slubbed turquoise on the recliner and deep lagoon velvet on the accent chairs. Accents of chartreuse appear in toss pillows, rug, and leather upholstered counter-stools at the island. This is balanced with a rustic farm table in a darker finish and an ivory painted hutch filled with Royal Albert Country Rose china. The original light fixture was hanging three feet from the apex of the cathedral ceiling. A new fixture which looks like two tiers of flickering candles was dropped to three feet above the dining table. This gives ambient light for dining as well as being a focal point upon entering the room from the foyer. The look is warm and elegant yet relaxed and homey.

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The client loves her beautiful and sprawling home along the beautiful but narrow banks of the Bayou Teche and with this, our tale comes to a very “ happily ever after” ending.

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