Red is for Christmas

Did you know that the first drawings of Santa were in a tan suit and he was an elflike figure? It was not until the 1870’s that Santa received a wardrobe makeover on the cover of Harpers Weekly when cartoonist Thomas Nast decided to depict him in red. One can only speculate that Nast chose red because the original character on which Santa was based, St. Nicholas of Myra, wore robes of red as a Christian Bishop. St. Nicholas also had a reputation for secret gift giving and thus became the model and inspiration for the Santa Claus we know today. Those are fun facts but I want to focus in on use of the color red. We all like red and we all think of red for Christmas but would you think of red for a living room sofa or how about a love seat? Red is beautiful but in smaller doses and for one homeowner red became a bit too much. Let’s take a peek at a wardrobe makeover in the living room of an Orchid model in which the homeowner decided to use red only at Christmastime somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Bought home furnishedlight, bright and inviting, Christmastime somewhere in the heart of The Villages, Dining-Room, Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
The homeowner bought the home furnished and they tried to live with the red. However, what often happens with too much red or too much anything bold, the homeowners just decided one day they could not take the red anymore. Also, it was time to pull this place together so let’s decorate too!

• The focal wall
The focal wall in this model is long and it connects the dining room and living room. This wall shows best with a wall treatment that is fresh and light. We covered the large focal wall in board and batten. The wall was divided and the boxes are 4’x4’ all along the wall. Adding the applied moldings gives the wall texture and interest rather than it just being a big wall. The wall is then painted all white. The white keeps the space light and pops against the wall color which is a soft tan.

• Custom shelf
The TV console that came with the house was very nice and the homeowners wanted to keep it but we all agreed it needed more definition in the space. We commissioned a woodworker to build a custom shelf with corbels that fit the over the TV console but just hung on the wall embedded in the board and batten. A faux finish artist added the finish and it matches the TV console creating a unique and custom look while keeping it simple.
We added a clock as the center of the accessories on the shelf and finished the shelf with a boat and some greenery.

• New Sofas
The sofas are brand new and super comfortable. These sofas are covered in a performance fabric that is a woven tan and crème weave. The sofa manufacturer allows the customer to pick the depth of the seat, the firmness of the cushion and the styles of feet, arms and cushion shape. These sofas really fit the human body and many of my customers who buy them are happy because they finally don’t have to put a pillow behind their back. The soft light colors of the sofas keep everything light and airy which is so much more pleasing than the dense color of the red in the space.

• Side tables
We kept the round side table that came with the house but we moved it to the left end of the sofa so that we nestle in a chair beside it. Then, we purchased a square table for the area that the sofa and the loveseat meet. This allowed the homeowners to have a lamp on each side of the sofa for task lighting.

• Rug
The rug came with the house and it is a beautiful hand knotted wool rug that had to stay. The print on the rug is the Tree of Life pattern and it has a bit of red in the print. It works so nice to have small touches of red in the space rather than red being the primary color.

• Dining room
The dining room shares part of the focal wall and we had to make it look like it is connected to the dining room table but still a grand part of the focal wall. The buffet is beautiful and we hung a picture of a bird over the buffet and the mate to the bird we hung off to the side. The birds look as if they are a pair that has been hung but in a stagger style. We added a large clam shell with white Phalaenopsis orchids on one side of the buffet and we added a large mother of pearl lamp to the other side and in between the two pictures. The whole wall looks unified but you can still recognize the rooms as two different rooms.

• Mirrors
The wall that opposes the sliding glass door in the dining room of an Orchid, Lantana, or Iris model is usually a dark wall and the dining rooms of these models can be a little dark since they are far away from the windows. However, this problem can be remedied with mirrors. We chose two large rectangle mirrors for the space and you can see how they capture the light and throw it back into the space creating brightness. Also, the windows reflect the beautiful golf course view so that it can be seen entering the home or leaving the home.

• Re-upholster the chairs
Since the furniture was purchased with the house the dining room came with the package. The dining room furniture was very nice but the chair fabric was tan bonded leather very much like the color of Santa’s original suit. Unfortunately, as all bonded leather does at some point, it started to flake off everywhere and the chairs became unusable. We re-upholstered the chairs in a high performance fabric that was a soft teal color.

• No rug
We did not have room for rug in this space because we chose to angle the table and the rug would hang out awkwardly in the walkway.
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Before and After Pics Below