Spring Green Envy

Living Room with ArtworkThis time of year I always feel like I am waiting. I am waiting for the cool bite of the morning to go away and the cool chill that comes at night to stop. I am waiting to put my winter fleece blanket away and waiting to store my mini heater in the closet. I start the day in a jacket with the heat on when driving to work and by lunch I have the max cool setting on the AC in the van. I debate whether to where capris or jeans and can’t yet graduate to flip flops because my toes get too cold.

However, when I sit at my desk and look at the screen saver all I have to do is breath and my mind fills the sound of churning ocean while my lungs fill with salt kissed air. I am refreshed and hopeful that beach time is on the way and sand will find its way between my toes. I look to my right in my office and I see a beach cast in auburn glow the azure sky soft with white puffs rimmed with golden light and I feel that I am there. I look to my left and see a close up of just feet with bright red toenails in sand beneath the clear waters of the gulf. Three fish encircle them and nibble a tickle which makes those toes wiggle and they are “Happy Toes” the title of the moment portrayed by the artist Chris Vernier. I grew up traveling to the beach every Saturday. We dined on fried chicken, potato chips and gallons of sweet tea. My father taught us the fine art of catching waves on our blow up rafts and my mother tanned herself in the sun. I don’t think my parents set out to instill a love of the ocean but through the frequency of family outings at the beach the salt water soaked our soul and made a permanent impression. So then you can only guess that my house pays homage to the ocean but what about the woman that raised me? My mother has a love for many things so her taste is eclectic. She likes antiques, flowers, the color green, and a touch of the ocean. Let’s see how we made Mom feel at home in her colony villa somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

•    Paint
The Colony Villa has two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a fairly large kitchen. The key to painting in the colony is one color throughout the body of the home. When you start breaking a small space and doing accent walls, the accent wall will move into the space making it feel smaller. One color throughout the body of the colony makes it look bigger and all the walls recede.  You can paint different colors in the bedrooms since they are separate. We chose a mix that I made myself. I call it J and I mix. It is a half and half proportion of Ivoire and jersey crème, and however I happened upon it, this mixture creates a lighter look without being bright. I love this color; it is a creamy light golden without tan and bordering on sunny without committing to sunny.

•    Entertainment unit  
My Mother loves antiques and rustic woods. We used an old pine entertainment unit we got on at bargain store and we loved it. It is real wood and crafted well and a great size for her needs. In the bottom displays shelf we placed a picture of Regan as a baby in butterfly wings, super-cute!

•    Dining room table
The dining room table was an old Drexel Table that had to have the top re-finished. We had the top refinished and surrounded it by a grouping of “found chairs” because we found them around in different stores. The color of the table relates to the darker knots in the pine entertainment unit.  Also, we used a desk from the 1800’s that I purchased from a client as the sideboard for the dining room.

•    Couch and chairs
We bought a slipcovered sofa so it would be easy to clean and it looks nice. The slipcover is crème. We like recliners but in this small space did not want it to look like a recliner. We chose navy blue leather chairs that recline and they are comfortable beyond belief!

•    Windows
Living-Room-and-Dining-Room-at-moms-villaThis colony has lower ceiling’s so bringing the eye up is paramount, so that the space can continue to feel big. We usually accomplish drawing the eye up with crown molding. However, that was not in the budget so we had another Idea.
My mom wanted fabric to soften the space and I wanted to create architecture but crown was not possible. The perfect marriage of the two ideas is stunning! We had white wood cornice boards made for the three windows. The wood cornice boards add architecture because they have crown molding at the top and light with a strong pop of white that draws your eye up making the space look larger. Finally, the fabric hangs on each side of the window from beneath the cornice boards. The fabric is a light and bright apple golden green with a classic pattern in white running through it. I love, love, love the way these window treatments turned out and they make the space feel larger and complete.

•    Art
The art is a mixture of things that my mother likes and one thing that I like. She loves the oil painting of the Iris’s on the lake, the orchid with a pop of pink in the kitchen, and the bird studies from a Bahamian Artist. I love “Moon shell Maiden” a mermaid picture from the artist C.P. Wyatt. This picture looked great and complimented all the other art in the space while pulling in navy blue’s.

•    Lighting
The ceilings are only eight feet in my mother’s villa and having lots of hanging lights seemed visually distracting. We removed all the light and installed silver track lights. They act as beams of light that can be directed to highlight art, a table, or just a blank wall. They also look much better that the basic contractor lighting.

•    Kitchen
I love what we did in the kitchen. We found an old table on the roadside with claw feet. I had a woodworker fix and refinish it and it looks like a great antique. I don’t think the person who was tossing it knew what they had. Rather than put four chairs around the table we placed a bench along the long part of the wall after the pantry door. The bench seating is comfortable and works in a tight space like that because it is against the wall and tacking up less space. The other two chairs are “found items” at local retailers.  I did keep the chandelier over the table but it is a seashell chandelier for texture.

•    Mirror
I hung a large mirror in the kitchen because it opposes a large slider. This will allow the mirror to collect lots of daylight and throw it back into the space. It makes the kitchen look huge!
So, don’t be afraid to mix it up and express yourself, you might find out you have great taste. What are you waiting for?
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