I am so excited to tell you about our design that I teased you with on Friday! I will try not to be too wordy, but this post is as much a journal entry for me as it is a description of the room… so it probably will be wordy!
It all started about a month ago when I got contacted to go to an event sponsored by HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw in none other than Asheville, North Carolina um, let me think about it… YEAH!!! I was seriously excited about the event, but a little worried about the kiddos. Especially since Lydia has never had a bottle… and absolutely WON'T take one!! So, we bought Justin a ticket too and he played daddy daycare and we had the added benefit of about 3.5 days of hanging out with our old friends which was not long enough AT ALL! (I will share more about our hanging out another day).
The details of the event were foggy, on purpose. All I really knew is that I would be working with another blogger to create a room in 2 days. That other blogger thing was sorta scary, we didn't know who they would be or what their style was, or what even we were really going to do. So, I must admit I was nervous.
Fast forward to me arriving at the Inn on Biltmore (absolutely beautiful!) I checked in and then met Rachael, who gave me my agenda and the secret envelope containing my partner assignment! I totally screamed with joy and relief when I saw Roeshel from the DIY SHOWOFF because we have been online friends for almost 2 years!
We went up to our room to get settled. Etta was so excited! She ran around telling us everything she saw. The bathroom was the funniest “Oh look shower! Oh tubby! Oh a potty…”
Anyway, let's skip to the event that started that night. We went to the Deerpark Restaurant on Biltmore and they had a cocktail hour… I don't drink, but the water was fabulous- especially since it was swelteringly hot! During the little mix and mingle we looked around at the carpet samples and met (to quote Dan in Real Life- favorite movie!) “all the head mucky-mucks” who were amazingly nice and most of my nervousness started to melt away!!
They had us get together with our design partner (5 pairs of bloggers) and draw out of a bag what products type we would be using from the HGTV by Shaw line. Roeshel let me pull from the hat and the fates were with us when we got hardwood and an area rug! (I had been eyeing their beautiful handscraped Alto Pass in Chickory wood flooring)
At this point they gave us a floor plan of the space and an image of what the “bay” looked like that we would be working on. Roeshel and I got together and quickly discussed our goals for the room, we wanted a mostly traditional space with a bit of a country/farmhouse feel. We both gravitated toward the Alto pass, but then we noticed Rockbrigde same coloring and texture but a much wider plank at about 6 1/4 inches. This thicker, hand scraped look gave us a bit of that country or farmhouse feel that we both love and were searching for.
The rugs were fun to see! I personally want the India in Teal blue for my house. But I also love the Ikat Panel which we choose to use for the room for it's traditional feel but seriously hot style and of course the great color palette! We made our “orders”, and that very night the team at Triuizio-Hilliard (the studio where we were designing the room) installed the floors.
We finished up the night with a candle light tour of the Biltmore followed by a beautiful dinner that was set up in stations from fried green tomatoes over grits, lobster mac'n cheese to adorable mini freshly made maple donuts! The whole meal was amazing!
The next morning, we all loaded onto a big old bus to make the 2 + hour trip to Greensboro NC where the studio was. While on the bus we were given little plastic boxes with some furniture images, magazines, fabric scraps, a few scrap booking embellishments, a glue stick and a pair of scissors.
Roeshel and I went through the box and narrowed down a small pile of furniture pieces and fabric samples that we even remotely liked. Then we went through it again to choose the pieces and images that would go with the look of the room we were hoping to create. We searched through the magazines and pulled a few images that had elements that we loved.
Once we narrowed down the selections, we started arranging them on the boards. I have to admit this is where my OCD kicked in. In college, when I had to do mood boards, I used to draw them out before hand in Autocad, go have mattes cut to perfectly frame everything that went on the boards, or print it all out in poster size using photoshop. Since we only had glue sticks (and I saw a roll of tape that I commandeered) I had to get a bit creative. I asked if they had an extra board of foam core, luckily they did. With that I was able to cut up pieces to place behind the images to give our board a three dimensional look!
I laid it out into 4 sections. One for the living room's colors and fabric ideas, another for the entry, a section of furniture inspiration and lastly the collage of the room elements that we wanted to incorporate.
I asked Roeshel if we could sketch out a few floor plan ideas because let's be honest floor plans are one of my favorite parts of a project. AND without them, I just wouldn't know where to start. I grabbed my pad of paper and just put down our basic thoughts for the space(since we didn't have graph paper and the scale was in question!
Once we agreed on a basic plan, I felt that we at least had a great direction for where we wanted this room to go. We wrapped up with only a few extra minutes to spare before arriving at the studio.
They gave us a tour of the studios (when we first walked in I had to claim a vase that was perfect for us with a red bottom half and a turquoise finish dripping over that, see if you can find it in the space…) Our tour ended up in a little section where everyone was waiting to welcome us, including Lisa LaPorta!!!
Okay, I am really not one to be start struck, (although I have never met Gerard Butler so maybe…) but I was super excited. Actually, I had to laugh a little because before the event when we heard it was an HGTV event my husband said to me and I quote “Maybe you'll get to meet Lisa LaPorta!” and I did!
She announced the basic premise of the event designing they photography bays and we got to see our spaces in real life.
The first thing that we found when in our space is that it actually had board and batten walls, and beautiful large windows. It seemed to lend itself well to a beach house design, so we started to think about adding that theme in to the space.
We were assigned a designer (Linda) to help us navigate what was available and where. Mostly she helped us find the things that we needed, and we couldn't have lived without her navigation! Roeshel and I really had the room planned out so design wise we might have been little hard headed though!
The first thing we did was run to the warehouse to find furniture. We picked out a fireplace for the space. Then we went to look for furnishing, at first I was overwhelmed by the shear amount of furniture, but then we showed Linda our floor plan, and got the first blow. We learned that we really couldn't do two sofa's facing each other… (which I really wanted) but they just didn't have two of the same sofas. The second blow is that a lot of the pieces felt very modern in style, so we went running through and were having a hard time finding anything that would work.
Finally we located a sofa that would work, we wanted simple and neutral. Roeshel stayed to check that the sofa would work (it was on the third level of these huge shelves so we weren't positive at first). She had to get strapped into the lifter-thing-a-majig and go up there to be sure we liked it. (there were 4 levels of shelves full of furniture kinda like the big old shelves at Home Depot or Lowes). Then I went around tagging any furniture I thought might work.
We ended our visit to the warehouse in the lighting department. We walked up and I saw this rather flowerey chandelier, that reminded me of this painted chandelier I featured once- and I whistfully thougth about how cool it would be to paint it red. But, we found a black chandelier that was okay, but we weren't in love, while we were discussing it Lisa LaPorta (we were getting tight by now… ha ha) came over and we were talking. She mentioned painting the chandelier too! But we didn't really think that we would be allowed to, luckily we had Linda and she assured us that we could. At that point I ran back over to the homely, white, flowery, totally dated chandelier and said okay we need this is red. Roeshel picked Antique Red from the HGTV Sherwin Williams collection, and they took it to the prop room to paint! YEA! This one little detail guided the rest of the room.
Still feeling a little unsure about what furniture we had even tagged, we went to the prop room, while the furniture got moved over to our room. The prop room helped us immensely.
First, I found the Cabinet of Natural Curiosities book, it is a huge white book with red coral- trust me you have seen it in a magazine at least once in your life. It sorta mirrored the look and idea of the chandelier that we had just asked to be painted. Once we had the book in our cart, it sent me looking out for red coral to use. Now for sure, the beach theme was set!
I also collected a bunch of antique red books. I found a carved horse that was totally beat up and wonderful, grabbed the red and blue vase, then we collected pillows. In particular, one pillow we used was a grain sack pillows with print on it, this actually sort of started the tyopgraphy theme that was also in the room.
We took back our first finds to the space, and while we were walking back I saw an old rusty section of cast iron fence that I knew needed to be used over the fireplace. Roeshel had found a great large clock and we layered them on the mantel. It was the first thing we did, and from there the moving of furniture and arranging of stuff took over!
On the second trip I found an art easel. We tried it with a mirror, but it just didn't work and I really wanted to use the easel (we actually had one on our mood board too… and I want one for my house!!). Luckily on the third “shopping” round Roeshel found a cool subway art poster, seriously a match made in heaven. It looked great on the easel.
At this point Roeshel “ordered” our wall paint color Copen Blue part of the HGTV line for Sherwin Williams. It is funny because Roeshel and I both have that color (not exact, but you know what I mean) in our homes, I have it on the ceiling in my living room, my entry walls, upstairs bath, and million other places including my whole last house every ceiling and a few walls! It was nice not to have to paint the walls our self, because we only had about 4-5 hours that first day to work on the room (and about 2-3 the next day).
We weren't sure what exactly to do, since the walls were supposed to be painted, we felt like we had to wait. Finally, we just decided to start moving furniture into the room and see where the holes were. The sofa ended up being perfect and we found a coffee/end/ sofa table set that worked beautifully. ** Actually just a side note- I personally or should I say usually would never use a “set” in one room, but since finding furniture that worked was being difficult, we just went with it. Besides, they had rustic farmhouse look we wanted and it ended up looking great.
When we started moving everything around, we realized we needed more furnishings. I had seen a wicker chair that I thought might work, but hadn't tagged. I asked one of the guys moving furniture if he would just go grab it. This is where we got lucky! He brought back a wing back wicker chair that I LOVED, but neither Roeshel or I had seen. That created a need for an ottoman. Todd from Shaw told us about an Ottoman he had seen with letters on it. He took us back to the warehouse to show us. While walking out there we kept our eyes open. I found a white table and while I waited for them to get up to the ottoman, (which had matching pillows- another thing we weren't finding!) Roeshel found the matching wicker wingback chair!!! It was like heaven was smiling down on us!
Basically from there we just kept moving a tweeking things. Right before we left we found a lot of great art and decided to make a gallery wall, which may or may not be in the final pictures, but the room needed to feel finished!
My feet were killing me, so I threw some socks on… it may have looked funny, but it was worth it!