Open and Light

I pushed open the sliding doors high on the seventh floor of our room at Hammock Beach, walked onto the balcony and looked out to the rolling ocean waves. The warm salt air filled my lungs and I could feel relaxation begin to flood through my body as I breathed in through the nose and out through the mouth. “Aunt Ruth! This is an amazing hotel room and I can’t believe I get my own bedroom and bathroom!” shrieked my twelve year old niece with excitement as she walked onto the balcony to see the ocean view. “I wish I could live here! It’s so big and bright!” she said in her dramatic tween fashion and went back inside, leaving me to contemplate the beauty I would get to enjoy for four days in an uninterrupted row! In the world of decorating, after a room makeover, it often feels like the house is throwing open the doors and letting in the light, while taking a breath of fresh air! Let’s take a look at a Gardenia that was brought back to light and life, somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Enclose the LanaiAfter Open-and-Bright
The homeowner’s decided to enclose the Lanai of their Gardenia so they could have more room and more light. The floor of the lanai was raised to meet the living room floor and the sliding glass doors were eliminated. This made the space look huge and added so much light but we had to deal with the old living room before we could deal with the addition.

• Paint
We had to repaint because the walls were a deep gold that absorbed light from the space. Patience 7555 was the perfect color for the space. It added the perfect creamy, tan with a golden undertone to give life and light to a space. To test the color, never paint on the walls as you see on TV. Instead, cut poster board in half and paint the poster board with sample paint; then hang those up in different light so that you can see how the light of the space affects the color. Also, never turn on lamps or overhead lighting, they cast shadows, always view new colors samples in natural light standing back from the sample board.

• Remove fabric cornices
I think this picture is a great example of how a dark cornice can look heavy on a window. The cornice draws the eye down and makes the room darker and the windows feel shorter. I usually, always remove fabric cornices unless the budget does not allow. We replaced the cornices with casement molding around the windows and headers at the top. The opening that was the slider was wrapped in large casement molding and a nice big header. Now all the windows and the entrance to the new addition look visually cohesive and beautifully finished.

• Furniture placement
The homeowners wanted to open the room and we did! The TV was moved to the wall opposing the opening to the new room and the couch was placed on the wall between the windows. In a Gardenia, when the light is pouring in through the sliders, the furniture that sits in front of the door as in the before picture will appear darker. When light is coming at the eye whatever is in view appears darker. So by moving the couch it appears lighter in the space.

• Art
When the room is open the wall between the windows becomes a great focal point to display art. The homeowners chose Gene Rizzo’s water color of the Sanibel Lighthouse and we ordered it Big! This wall needs big art! The homeowners also loved the Great Blue Heron by the same artist and we hung it on the small wall to complement the light house.

• Rug
This rug is always a hit! The large display of palm foliage is a real statement piece in a space and the colors are so current and refreshing! We needed an 8×11 to fill the space and most importantly, cover the electric outlet in the floor.

• Pillows and lamps
The couches looked lighter just by moving them around but we still needed some pillows to finish the look. We found these amazing pillows at a local retailer and they were perfect on the sofas. The lamps are blown glass with metal running through the glass. I like glass lamps in front of windows because they look great in the daytime with light from the windows shining through them and they look great at night with light shining down on the glass. Stay tuned for the rest of the addition next week!

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below