Design Crew

Posted on Sat, 28 Apr 2012 by midcenturyjo

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 Mish, a woman of few words who feels the need for change.

Hi love your blog.  Can I send u some pics of my home? Am so bored with it. Hate try hard or suburban. Love modern. Can u and your readers help with an upgrade. It has good bones. Due for a change need some inspiration. Want to throw a bit of money at it.

I’ve bought a voucher for a glass picture and I don’t know what to put in it.  It’s 80x80cm and I don’t want to get it wrong. Don’t want any family pics.

(Jo says… It’s a customised glass display piece where the image is printed directly onto the glass like the one below.  Except remember no family pics.)

oregonbird says:

Completely got into redoing the place, finished up, and my post was swallowed. I'm so very depressed.

Louise says:

@oregonbird When I write something long to post, I always copy it before I submit. So if my post gets swallowed I can paste it back and try again 🙂 I learned from past experience lol

Katie says:

I think that if you split up the materials a little bit by changing some of the wood furniture it would make a huge difference. If you change the dinning table or replaced cupboard doors with colour ones in the cabinetry it will create a feature colour instead of everything matching, it can be too much, if you aren't into eclectic but like modern I would suggest that you pic a few pieces that are easily replaced/repurposed and put a favourite colour in their place, even using white would break it up. Also some texture on the floor and in the form of cushions, still I would suggest sticking to one main colour/tone so that the emphasis is on the texture and not a shocking colour contrast.
Have fun with it, good luck!

oregonbird says:

Let's try this again.

You want something different. I can do that! I like the floor more than the matchy cabinetry, it's warm and powerful, so that stays.

Kitchen into focal point/hub — how about going adult and ultra lounge? Take out the small upper cabinets, clear that wall. This is where some money will go — your glass picture inspired me. Backlight art glass — mod style.
Check out #20, #21 & #22.
Face the breakfast bar with more jewel tone glass tiles, but in slightly darker shades. Lose the family-style drum light, go with multiple jewel-tone pendant lamps. Go with metal and frosted glass for kitchen cabinets, OR go with a high-gloss wall system with an undulating high-contrast line across the entire bank AND the back wall of the office area to the left. Don't look at kitchen pictures for inspiration, look at coffee and bar lounges.

Since the kitchen has been changed so dramatically, the table doesn't need to be changed out — it will be an oasis, a quiet zone. But to keep the lounge atmosphere moving, you need to upgrade the chairs. Something this-ish:
You will already need jewel-tone glasswear to go up in the kitchen, so go with darker jewel-tone dishes for use on the the table. The windows can use translucent tab curtains in matching colors – cheap and easy, but it will draw everything together.

I love your living room furniture — really, your 'before' is so practical and comfortable, most people would end there. But you want different — and that is very do-able, since you really are working with marvelous bones. Think boutique hotel lobby! Since comfort is important to your family, keep the sofas and chairs. The honey-toned pieces are excellent just as they are — just slip-cover the neutral grey with the jewel-tone of your choice and bring on a few brilliant cushions to contrast with black cushions.

The storage just HAS to go, I'm willing to bet those cabinets are one of the reasons you're so tired of the decor. I love the black wall in contrast with the floor — so reverse it. Go with a white or dark jewel-tone wall with black cabinetry. The long, low, lean look works beautifully on this wall, but lose the knobs and lines; something more minimal, more glossy, would give you a much more sophisticated atmosphere. This is where the rest of your money will go. Float the storage cabinets if you can, go with floating shelves and toss up some glass artworks and a few objects that reflect your taste and the colors you've chosen to work with. A few tiny spotlights or backlighting would be good. A black rug would have great impact — maybe match it to the angular shape of the new cabinetry. There are so many options on storage, from 1950's teak to metal lockers to a Sintesi wall system, but this is my favorite:

Good luck, and please — send pictures. Even 'work in progress' pictures!

Simona says:

Wow, a lot of good ideas you got for your house!

I agree with everything that has been said concerning accessorizing it. I do believe eliminating the shelves that your TV is currently standing is a must, because it just doesn't fit, it shadows the shelves you have on the left side of the television. I would also change the dining table before adding a runner on it, maybe with something white, colorful or even metallic. What i would also do is transform the side of the kitchen island that you can see from the dining room, even if that would mean eliminating the bar area. You could add some shelves on it, to have some bowls or other colorful objects that can change the matching colour.

I I were you, I'd already get down to work. You've received enough suggestions! 😛

acpgee says:

It's a great space with great views, but I would be upset by all that uniform caramel color. If it were my place I would be tempted to replace the fronts of the kitchen in a high gloss color, or re-sand and re-stain in pale grey or a darker brown. And lose the handles if possible. If that's too much work I would consider replacing the kitchen table with another wood–maybe walnut or sheesham. At the very least, to break up the caramel I would put a large patterned rug under the table. Something ethnic/modern such as one of these:

I like the rhythm of the audio visual unit in the living room, but agree that modern couches would look better. The Erik Joergensen EJ250 series would work well <; given the generous scale of your space.

I would brighten up the bedroom by buying a large graphic suzani to use as a bedcover. For example <; is a good size. A search on ebay under "suzani" should turn up many examples.

It's a lovely space, and you have some really nice pieces. Love the Aeron chair in a domestic environment.

rick says:

i wouldn't throw any of the money at contractors or painters. your house has great bones. but i might throw some at electricians.

redo/change most of your lighting. a single very large scale dining table fixture and better kitchen task lighting – island lighting, wall mounted sconces in the bedroom or again over-scaled bedside lamps. (i'd personally go vintage).

not a big rug person…but you needs them, at least two. a large dining room rug and a much larger living room rug that extends under all your seating.

more money to throw?
change your bedroom blinds – either a solar shade on a roller or some great linen panels which can coordinate with new bedding.
change the cover on your butterfly chair to a pop of solid woven color or a contrasting leather (animal hide?).
change your barstools. (i'd go bertoia wire either in chrome or powder coated but there are a lot of great modern and vintage options).

lastly, i'd ditch your couches/chairs. their scale, slipcovers, and curves will never be or read modern. you went for comfort which i get, but i'm typing this from my hans wegner papa bear chair/ottoman so i don't think you have to give up comfort if going modern. i would NOT buy a matching set or use one fabric. i wouldn't buy a coffee table but would get a much larger new poof/ottoman which could multipurpose as seating or a table.

Blanders says:

For your glass-printed picture, I saw this photo earlier today, and it would look great as a larger piece of wall art:

It would also add some much needed dynamism to your interior. The reason why you're bored with your decor is because you've played it safe with every choice you've made! You need to introduce some freeform items: a vase of twisty twigs, a chaotic oil painting, a big piece of evocative grey driftwood, some art glass, a modernist mobile, some 70s print pillows for your sofas, etc etc. Some things that bring unexpected organic lines to your safe organised interior.

Mish says:

I am overwhelmed with how fluid and naturally these ideas occur to the design crew. A million thank yous, I have always hated the caramel tones, I do need large rugs and throw pillows, new couch and animal print butterfly chair. And I'm not stopping there. Pics up in a few months. Xxx

Tui says:

It's a great space and you have an amazing view. You just need more color and a bit less caramel. With that beautiful view you could give it a bit of a blue/seaside/tropical theme (subtle not ott). Maybe add a nice vase with flowers or a colorful fruit bowl to your kitchen island. Plants are great as they add life. A colorful rug under your dining room table and maybe another one to replace the grey run in the living area to break up the caramel. Add a few cushions in your new color scheme and your good. All things that can be changed easily without too much money or work.
Just personally I think there is far too much cabinet space in the living area which makes it seem a bit overdone. I think simple and minimal is best as when you're crashed out on the couch you only want to have the one focus point – the tv.
If you really wanted to splash out maybe a new lounge suite – a chaise perhaps and a nice coffee table for the centre of the room.
Your bedroom seems a bit dark and dated, I don't know if it's just the photo though. If it was my room I would add color in the form of a new bed spread but I would also have a headboard on that bed. You can do so much with head boards now and they just help break up the room better. Maybe clear up the bed side, do you need 2 lamps?

For your glass print you could maybe do a nice photo of the beach, maybe even the one your home looks over.

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