Dec 4, 2009

house #5: study before/after

sorry the before pictures are not the best quality. 
i grabbed them from the original mls listing. 
(i never intended to include them in a blog. heck, at the time i was remodeling this house, i didn't even know what a blog was.)
again, nothing offensive...but nothing great either.
cream colored carpet, white walls, 
and a green chandelier...
but, the room had large windows, a set of french doors leading into the family room, a single french door leading into the hall, ALL topped with transoms.
i love, love transoms.
plus, the room already had crown molding
so it had a lot going for it. 
but, we just couldn't leave it alone.
oh, no.
we really wanted something unique in this room.
we wanted to do "something" 
with the ceilings...
but we weren't sure what.
we know we were putting a coffered ceiling in the 
family room, so we didn't want to repeat that in here.
we talked about beams, but that just didn't seem to fit 
the character of this house.
we went back and forth for several weeks, 
discussing options, coming up with ideas...
then, my brilliant husband/construction man 
came up with a brilliant idea...
here he is, laying out the floor...
and THIS is what he came up with.
isn't it pretty?
it's a rectangle, that 

and we repeated the same detail 
on the ceiling.
another view...
yes, i realize the light box is off center. 
don't worry, it will get fixed.
one more "during" shot
onto paint colors.
there were a few items that i knew would be 
going into this room,
 and those items really influenced the color 
i chose for the walls. 
i knew we were going to have our two, large bookcases, as well as a piano
and they were both black. 
i really didn't want either one 
to dominate the room
so i chose to paint the walls black. 
yes, BLACK.
the ceiling is painted the same color as the family room, (brandon beige) which is one shade lighter than the entry and halls.
the french doors
(as well as all of the main level and basement doors
 were painted
onyx black.
the floors are red oak, with a minwax stain called "provincial".
the walls are onyx black.
ceiling is brandon beige
i found the light fixture for around $200 on sale at a local lighting store.
a closer look at the ceiling...
another view into the room.
this room was never quite finished either...
i wanted to have a long slender credenza between the two bookcases, 
and a comfy reading chair near the window.
a closer look at the floor.
a view into the family room.
see how the piano and bookcases dissapear?
that's exactly what i wanted.
looking towards the front of the house.
the curtains are made of dupioni silk in alternating bands
of cream and a color called butterscotch.
the striped silk curtains were custom made from
the stripes are in "ivory" and "light gold".
they are made from one width of silk,
and are lined and interlined.

this room reminds me of how much fun i have working with my husband. 
you always hear that if a marriage can survive remodeling or building a home, it can survive anything. the two homes we have built and three houses we have remodeled have only brought us closer together. we love the creative energy that it brings. we have a great time coming up with ideas and discussing options. we really trust each other, and respect each other's opinion, and have come to realize that we each have our strengths and areas of expertise.
i love you sweetie.
i can't wait for the next remodel!

before/after pictures of the powder room 


  1. OH

    i love how brave you were to paint the walls black! it really does hide the furniture! AND that crown molding which mirrors the floor pattern? GENIUS GENIUS GENIUS!

    i'm seriously stunned.

  2. This looks amazing! I usually think of black as dark and gloomy color but wow I am amazed! I truly love how this room looks. Great job!

  3. this looks beautiful.... love the sharp/crisp contrast of did a great job!

  4. wow.
    this is so amazing.
    it looks great!

  5. This is stunning. The black is so inspired! I am just floored by your design talent, and your hubby does beautiful work! I'm so glad I found you on Design Sponge!

  6. I am so intrigued by that ceiling. Rest assured that my contractor husband will be hounded to do something similar to that in our living room remodel. Absolutely stunning.

  7. the black walls are really beautiful and inspiring. and i love the butterscotch curtains. they completely fit, yet are still surprising. and the desk -- gorgeous!


  8. It is truly a wonderful room -- bold and brave really paid off. You're an excellent designer, and I'm sure I'll learn a lot by following you. Should you have any suggestions on how I can make a pendant lamp shade to cover the light kits on my ceiling fans, that would sure be a wonderful help. We do indeed use the ceiling fans, so I don't want to eliminate them, but I sure would like to update them. I've painted them, but that's not quite enough. Someday, if you have time or run across anything, it would be great. Keep up the beautiful work.

  9. jan,
    i totally agree with you on the ceiling fan thing---i hate the wy they look, but they are great to have!
    i will keep my eyes out for something!
    thanks for the challenge!

  10. Oh my word Autumn... you and your hubby are quite a team. That's a lot of remodels to get through and grow through. You do beautiful work and have an amazing eye for design and detail.

  11. cara,
    thank you so much!
    the remodels seem like so much fun since i have my trusty contractor by my side..he makes everything exciting and fun. we really have a great time planning and designing our spaces. i am hoping we will be able to find our next "project" really soon. i am getting anxious!!

  12. I am new to your blog and just wanted to let you know that you are a genius. I never would have thought black would have worked in that room and I absolutely love it. Gorgeous!

  13. Just found your blog - you are very talented. Thoroughly enjoy seeing the remodel pics and love the fact that you include paint colors and resources. I'll be visiting often!

  14. Wow what a design team! This is such a sophisticated looking study! You truly are boldly gifted to go with unique styles and colors... I love it!

  15. um you are my new designer crush and i will be following you from now on!!

  16. Did you make the curtains yourself? If not, where did you buy them? Love them! The whole room is gorgeous.

  17. betsy,
    thanks so much!
    i had the curtains custom-made. they are made from two shades of dupioni silk (cream and light gold).

  18. I remember this space waay back when. I am so glad to come again to your blog and can now be a follower. I am going to start from now and go back to see all that I have missed.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  19. I discovered your blog yesterday in a link from the Home Decorating forum over at Garden Web. I've spent two days here! Love it! You have unbelievable talent and I'm so jealous!! I hope you will answer a few questions for me?? First, where do you purchase your dupioni silk? Online or local? I'm getting ready to do silk drapes in my dining room and study and just can't afford $200 per panel!! Also, love your coffered ceilings and have been trying to talk hubby into this. Some of your photos show the detail enough that I think we could handle it. Are the blocks used for attaching the "beams" screwed into the floor joists above or did you use another method of attaching them?

  20. hi bren!
    welcome to my blog!
    these silk panels were actually custom made by a workshop called "the village workroom". they specialize in custom silk panels. you just pick your silk, the length and header you want, and they make your drapes and send them to you. adding stripes/bands adds to the cost, but compared to buying the silk/lining yourself, and having them made locally, i think they are a great value.
    if you are looking for less expensive silk panels, you might want to try zgallerie or
    as far as the ceiling goes...yes, the blocking/supports for the coffered ceiling are attached to the framing/floor joists.
    let me know if you have any other questions!
    so glad you found me.

  21. Hi Autumn-
    I've been a voyeour on your blog (and slightly obsessed:) for a few months since finding your pink and navy nursery. My little girl is due in a few weeks and that nursery provided so much inspiration! Anyway, we also just moved into a new home and am loving the coffered ceiling look, but I am not sure with my 9 feet ceilings in my living room that it would make the room feel smaller? My home inspector hubby and I can't seem to agree if it would help to make it appear bigger or smaller? As you can tell we are missing our high ceilings from our old home! Fantastic blog and thanks!

  22. That is STUNNING!
    I saw this picture somewhere before and just absolutley loved it-thats one for the inspiration file!

  23. Hi Autumn,

    My husband and I love how this room turned out - he wants to know, though, how did you manage the cords/cables for the Mac? Do you just have them running down the back of the desk in the middle of the room or did you manage to conceal them somehow? Thanks!