Got a problem? Need some help? Just standing there shaking your head? Don't know what to do? You're not alone. Send us a link to photos of your design quandary and let the Desire to Inspire design crew help you .... that's you lot ... the readers! This week's problem comes from Jackie.
My hubby & I (and 3 children & 1 yellow lab) live in Reading, Mass about 15-20 minutes north of Boston. We've lived in our 1901 4-square colonial for about 4 1/2 yrs now. We love it and there is so much potential with our home - but we don't know where to start. 1st off - all original (dark) woodwork throughout the home. The front hall is huge for a "hall" - its more like a greeting room so we don't know how to decorate it. We have pocket doors, 2 sets of stairs and a fireplace immediatly greeting you as soon as you come in.
We never see a house/woodwork like ours on any design shows and I am at such a loss as how to decorate with it all. Its very warm & beautiful but it can be so dark. Yet everyone tells me not to paint it - none of it. (including my husband). I look in a million magazines and email sites ... Nobody shows anything like our home. It seems woodwork is painted white 99% of the time. We have 100+ yr old woodwork we really don't want to paint (at least not all of it).
The house is a diamond in the rough. I love the home & most of our belongings - its just that I feel right now the house shows more like an older person's house & not a young couples ... I would call our taste Traditional but with a modern twist. Right now between the dark wood & all our antiques/wood furniture - I feel it just looks like Grandma's house! ;0 I want to funk things up...and lighten things up! I have had 2 different ladies in here to help us & ...well lets just say those are long stories .
We are on a budget. We plan on:
- Fireplace: replacing the brick around the fireplace. Maybe go with a deep high shine/gloss green subway tile??? We recently removed the top of the mantle & replaced the small rectangular mirror w/ a HUGE wood mirror. But should we do art instead? Maybe a sea side sunset w/ pinks & purples in it & a candle or electric sconce on each side? And what to do for furniture placement by fireplace? We use the F.P. a lot in the chilly/cold months - but we'd use more if we had furniture by it!
- Front door/Entry way - Paint the outside of the front door a high gloss color so when door is open it will look nice in the little entryway. I was thinking black w/ brass or pewter kickplate & new hardware/letter slit, etc. And I'd love to do some cool colorful wall paper in the little front entryway w/ only a narrow & maybe a tall leaning mirror in there?
- Kitchen - Getting ready to do a small addition & entire kitchen/3/4 bathroom remodel in rear of house. I'm thinking white/cream cabinets, a dark wood island, white subway tiles & wood floors.
- Dining Room - We have some beautiful Thibaut Damask paper for the dining room. I can't wait to see that up.
- Staircase - Runner?