Lightening Up in Kenai

What a fun weekend in Kenai transforming my friend's home into a space reflecting her desire for fresh, clean and bright.

As it turns out, Shelli already had many suitable pieces and accessories which made our job much easier.  After throwing in some adorable flowers, glass bottles, and shells from my partner-in-craft JoLynn, Shelli's house is well on its way to the Cottagey/Beachy look she wished for.

Below is a picture of Shelli's living room before we got started. (You'll have to forgive me for using only iphone pictures; I chose to leave my Canon at home this weekend.)

Shelli 's first request was to do something about the fireplace.  She seriously disliked the oak trim and longed to dispose of the mirror above it.  Without a carpenter on hand, we brainstormed ideas while painting her long wall of dining/living room windows Behr's "Ocean Pearl."

Having recently installed new windows & a sliding door with white trim in the dining room above, we painted the two corner windows' trim in the living room to match the new trim.  What a difference this made!

We also hung black curtain rods, a nice contrast against the light-colored walls.  After deciding on the blue silky panel above, Shelli will be purchasing the remaining nine panels to complete the window treatments.

Our fireplace brainstorming resulted in three solutions:

1. Prime and paint the mirror the same color as the wall.
2. Prime and paint the oak trim around the mirror, also the same color as the wall.  As JoLynn accurately pointed out, "Don't we want the whole thing to just disappear anyway?"  Yes, we do.  And yes, I think we succeeded :)
3. Paint the oak trim around the hearth gray to blend in with the rocks and the carpet.

All in all, I think this single transformation quickly became Shelli's favorite.

See that little blue cabinet in the right corner below (and the edge of it above)?  That's Shelli's tv cabinet which holds her electronics and movies.  The tv rests on top. I spray painted it Rust-Oleum's Slate Blue, and we all agreed the cabinet's makeover helped boost the room even further in the direction Shelli wished to go.

Plus, it's just the cutest cabinet ever.  I wish I had a close-up shot.  Instead you get to see the smiling faces of two wonderful people.  JoLynn is busy de-stringing shells from necklaces she'd saved, a job Shelli may have to continue for many more hours while watching taped shows of Design, Inc.

We opted to use the dark colored bench above as a coffee table since it was a piece Shelli already owned.  Her plan is to paint the bench a lighter color to better blend in the space.  I would've loved to have finished this for her, but sorry, Shelli ~ we simply ran out of time.

I did test the bench out as a foot prop later that evening and just for the record, it performed beautifully :)

We made a huge change in Shelli's dining room by removing all the chairs, turning the table into a desk, and adding an office chair (which JoLynn found at an estate sale on the way to Shelli's house Saturday morning!)  Shelli is a school teacher and often does her work at school since she didn't have a suitable work space at home.  Since Shelli doesn't use her table and chairs for dining much, this solution made so much more sense for the way she lives on a daily basis.

My husband's response when he first saw this picture?  "There's nothing on the wall behind her...."

Well, sweetie, you're right.  And that's okay, because Shelli's plan (being a Social Studies teacher and all) is to find a large world map for that space. 

Won't that be perfect?

We snagged these bookcases out of Shelli's bedroom to make her new office space seem more "officey."  We added beachy/cottagey accessories to further enhance the feel.

Finally, because Shelli loves surrounding herself with memories of friends and family, we displayed postcards, family pictures, her father's camera, travelling momentos, and gifts from old college roommates and colleagues throughout the two rooms.

As Shelli said later, "Everywhere I look I see something I love!"

And that makes my heart very, very happy.

 Happy Birthday, dear friend.

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