Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guest Post: Nicole's So Haute Living Room

Remember way back in July when I had a fabulous line up of guest posters filling in for me while I was in Kenya? Yea, well about that - there were a few wonderful women who were so kind to write a post and I somehow ended up losing it! I promise, I'm not usually such a scatterbrain but I have to plead guilty on this one. By the time I realized it, I had already announced the line up. I didn't want to just tack them on as an afterthought. Instead I asked their permission to hold off on posting until "later". Well the time has come! I'm going to share two of them with you this week so let's get to it.

Today's guest post comes from the uber chic Nicole of So Haute. She has her finger on the pulse of all that is new and hot in the decor world - and kindly shares all her knowledge with us via her blog. Her own words say it best - "the friend you'd call when you need great design advice". So no more holding out on you, let's sneak a peek at her fabulous living room redo.

Hi! It's Nicole from So Haute! I'm super excited to be guest blogging here at Brooklyn Limestone! I've been following Stefanie's blog for a couple of years now and it's truly one of my favorites! Stefanie has such great style and she never ceases to amaze and inspire me with her fabulous room makeovers and DIY decorating projects! So in the spirit of Brooklyn Limestone, I'd thought I'd share a little makeover of my own...a before and after of my living room.

Here's what my living room looked like when I moved into my apartment three years ago. The challenge? How to take a boring white rectangular box, infuse it with character and personality plus make this small space function as a living room, dining room and an office. It was also important for me to really transform the space into a room that was reflective of who I am and how I live.

I came up with a floor plan that has three separate zones for relaxing, working and dining. Since I entertain a lot I made sure that all of the zones flowed together so that each could offer versatility when I have guests over. For example, I usually clear off my desk and use it to serve drinks so my desk zone also functions as a bar when I'm entertaining which allows my guests to utilize the entire room and not just one zone.

This was my design inspiration. Calm and relaxed with a neutral gray backdrop, pops of pink and a mix of modern and vintage furnishings. I referenced images from Domino magazine as well as the general design aesthetics of Windsor Smith, Ruthie Sommers and Nate Berkus...three talented interior designers whom I adore!

This is the end result. I defined the living space with the use of area rugs and chose layered a natural colored cowhide on top of a sisal room to add texture. My modern sofa from Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams mixes perfectly with more traditional elements including a vintage brass coffee table, mahogany faux bamboo end tables, a french Louis XV style armchair and a fabulous pair of mid-century upholstered X-benches that I picked up from the Brimfield Antiques Show a few years ago. The bright pink lamps add a pop of color as do the flowers which also add life to the space.

Pretty dramatic transformation huh? Here are a few more photos so you can get a better sense of the space:

My skirted TV console is actually a Ikea expedit bookcase that I had my upholsterer make a custom slipcover for out of a linen-like fabric (also from Ikea!) that cost $6 a yard! I chose an ivory colored grosgrain ribbon for contrast. This piece provides lots of storage underneath and is where I keep things like CDs, DVDs, large books, etc. To the right is my desk area where I do most of my blogging.

This is my little dining area. The table is from Ikea, the chairs were a Craigslist find that I painted a blue-ish gray color from Benjamin Moore called Boothbay Gray and the seats are upholstered in a Suzanne Rheinstein for Lee Jofa linen. The buffet is also a Craigslist find which has the most amazing brass lionhead door pulls. I got this for a steal and it's one of my favorite pieces. I use it to store all of my serveware, wine glasses, liquor and table linens. My chandelier is a recent purchase that I just had installed a couple of weeks ago...Thomas O'Brien's Bryant Small Chandelier. I love its aged brass finish and delicate silhouette. Below are a few more detail shots from my living room and a few pieces from my collection of Buddhas which really infuse my personality into the space. I hope you enjoyed this before and after tour of my living room and thanks Stefanie for having me!