Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Oh, Now I Remember...

Honestly, I think I'm just waking up from a long, long coma.

Finishing the faux fireplace facelift has sparked the decorating passion again. And as always, I'm coming up against a zero budget, though I have the 'go ahead' from the hubby to paint the living room. At first, I was in despair--but as I re-discovered and hunkered in with my favourite design sources I realised all will be ok. I may, just may be able to figure this out. But I'll need some help.

At first I was like a nubile teenager--in love with any heart throb the magazines and blogs threw my way. It settled into three sorts of looks.

1) super saturated colour like at Daisy Cottage.

Frankly, though I love this, I'm scared of it, truth be told. I think I may find it irritating after a while. There's just so much visual noise, I may be easily overstimulated. (Though it might snap me out of the doldrums I seem prey to as well.) And it reminds me of my super red dining room. I got tired of it after about five years. And, I'm not sure that my aesthetic is focused enough to pull it off--though if we had decently priced second hand stores around here, all I'd reall need to invest in is paint. But that's an awful lot of decisions: and lots of opportunities for things to go wrong.

2) neutral with loads of texture.

I'm sorry to say that at the end of the day, this is too expensive for us. Sigh. It depends upon fabulous materials and a lot of cleaning. Both of which take time and money--and in the end, I may risk being bored.

and then, 3) this.

Somthing in the middle, maybe?

(Please click to embiggen).

I'm not sure what to call this. There's lots of colour--but not so much that I'll find it overstimulating, nor tiresome in a year or so. I might be bored and want to change it up: but if I do it right, that should be doable on a low budget. I think. Maybe I'm just delusional.

Can you help me analyse this and tell me what you think is going on?
I'd really appreciate some feedback.


lorijo said...

I like the expensive one in the middle. Of course, because that's not an option. So, I think that the bottom living room in yellow is rather nice, and looks do-able on a budget of nearly nothing.

What color are the rooms that you can see from your living room?

Anne (in Reno) said...

Hmm. I'd say, start with the neutral walls from the expensive option. Add color in lamps and pillows, and add pattern in curtains. Also, apparently, add hydrangeas in a vase (more solid color). Most of this can be done on the cheap, whereas adding any real texture beyond your already-done fireplace project sounds like a much bigger project (like buying a rug or sofa, oy).

Also, can the handy guy who built that fireplace surround build some doors for the cabinets on either side? That would add texture AND cut down on visual clutter. Just a thought.

Mella DP said...

I agree that the loads-of-super-saturated-color can be overwhelming and too busy - also, imo, the results run a somewhat high risk of looking amateurish. The look in the Category 3 pictures, echoed in Anne's suggestion, of making the accessories more high intensity than the backdrop, is probably more digestible.

On the other hand - and this is just a speculative thought - at your latitude, you have a lot of darkness a lot of the year (not helpful with the moods), and perhaps more brightness inside is an appropriate response to that? I'm sure there's some optimal balance in that respect, though I don't know how you'd go about finding it.

Fireplace is fabulous, btw.

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks everyone.

I find it interesting that in latitudes with northern light, like our own, folks tend to add colour--but it isn't the highly saturated hues: it's more like the third palette. (In fact at least two of those images are from London.) Daisy Cottage exists in Georgia! I think that these colours will look garish in our light--and especially in the living room where it never gets any direct light at all.

drwende said...

There's something about the colors in the third set of photos that seems true to the best qualities of your house. Structurally, it's cottage-y, but it's not a FUNKY little cottage, and trying to funk it up probably would feel false after the first rush of novelty.

Also, you usually seem to have tastes that are on the elegant and traditional side, in a "comfortable country house" way, and the schemes in the third set of photos match that.

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