I don’t know how most decorators or just decorating-lovers plan their projects, but I have learned over the years that I am a very visual person when it comes to designing a room. I usually have an idea of what I want, but it really helps me if I draw out what I want, make a mood board, use tape to “sketch” my idea on the wall or floors, or look at photos online of something similar. I’ve been lucky enough to have used Photoshop for many, many years, starting in high school when I just had a hobby of making fangirl art of almost-celebrities like Jesse McCartney (facepalm). Yeah . . . lame, I know. However, this dorky teenage phase turned into something useful when I started my photography business because I already knew my way around Photoshop pretty well. Now, when I really want help figuring out what I want to do with a room or a certain nook of our home, I turn to Photoshop and play around!
For example, I really wanted yellow-striped curtains for our living room, but I was really worried about how they would look with everything, so I Photoshopped them into a photo I had of our living room!
Pretty cool, right? It was the encouragement I needed to go ahead with painting them. here is the after with the real curtains:
Obviously, they aren’t exactly the same, but that would have been nearly impossible. For fun, I also changed out the ottoman with a gorgeous wooden coffee table and added a navy lamp to the console behind the sofa (with the fake rendered curtains):
Here’s a little before and after gif so it’s easier to see the difference:
I’m so excited to add some wood into this room because I just feel it makes it feel more cottage-like, adds warmth, and is just so beautiful!
Before we added the board and batten in the dining room, I played around with it in Photoshop as well to figure out the spacing of the battens. Here’s the Photoshop version:
And here’s the real deal:
Pretty crazy, right?
Originally, we had meant to paint the dining room a darker gray than what was in the living room because we thought it would balance out all the white, but through color matching certain colors, the color ended up being almost exactly the same as the living room color (it is virtually impossible to tell the difference without knowing they are really two paints from two different cans). Before we added the board and batten, I also tried out adding a darker gray paint color to see what it would look like along with the gallery wall I want to add, some curtains and a different light fixture (just for fun – we still aren’t sold on any curtains or chandeliers yet). White curtains:
And gray curtains:
We decided against the darker gray after seeing these renderings and after installing the board and batten. We really like the lighter gray with the white (since the white pops so much more with the walls than it seems to in these renderings).
So, for fun again, here is the room with the lighter walls, the gallery wall, a fun chandelier, and different colored curtains. Blue curtains:
We also plan on switching out the black chairs for white x-back chairs and possibly upholstered chairs on the ends of the table, but for now it is just so fun to play around with all the possibilities!
I’m seriously slightly addicted to this! I’m working on one right now for the exterior of our house to plan out some of the landscaping, but that’s not a project we plan on tackling any time this year, so I’ll probably share it later after stewing over it for a while.
So, what do you think? Are you a visual decorator? What direction would you go in the dining room?
Last time, I talked about the pros and cons of our original kitchen (before we touched it). Today, I am sharing our inspiration and our plan for the kitchen (at least when it comes to aesthetics). As we talked about in our post about our dual decorating style, we like kind of a modern, bright, cottage feel. We like classic touches with some fun, quirky, colorful pieces thrown in there just to make it more comfortable and fun.
Our kitchen is a galley, so we looked at lots of galley kitchens to see what directions we wanted to go in. Here are some inspiration photos of galley kitchens that we really liked followed by what we really liked about them.
What we love:
- Of the three major appliances (fridge, stove, and dishwasher), we like two on one side and one on the other (for balance and a work triangle)
- A decent gap between the two sides of cabinetry
- Netural cabinets because they are so close to each other (not a ton of color everywhere)
- Light and bright to open up the space so it doesn’t feel or look cramped
- Lots of light coming in
We also looked through our Pinterest boards to see what paint colors, hardware, light fixtures, and other kitchen-related items we were naturally drawn to. Here are our favorite photos and what we liked about them.
Kitchens We Were Drawn to:
What we love:
- Dark or gray countertops
- If gray counters, then silver colored hardware
- If dark counters, then dark hardware
- Gray or aqua/turquiose-gray walls
- A modern classic feel with vintage/retro details
- Some open shelving to add personal touches and to break up all the white
- White cabinetry
- Classic hardware
We took what we loved from these kitchens and applied it to our kitchen. Here is an inspiration board I created to give you just a taste of the final kitchen (I used the exact products we used as much as I could). This doesn’t include the fun accents, art, and shelving items, but it gives you a taste of the more permanent finishes we chose.
- Benjamin Moore Aura Satin paint in Cloud Cover (for the cabinets)
- Benjamin Moore Regal Eggshell paint in Stratton Blue (for the walls)
- Oil rubbed bronze hinges (since our cabinets are old school and the hinges show)
- Oil rubbed bronze cabinet handles
- Oil rubbed bronze classic drawer pulls
- Black granite sink
- Vintage-inspired faucet
- Black Alicante formica countertops (this was a low-budget kitchen upgrade – one day we will have solid stone countertops)
- Nautical light fixture
- Ikea white shelf with bracket
Looking at the inspiration board, it looks like there will be a lot of black in the kitchen, but really, because the cabinets will all be white, the black is there to balance it out. The Stratton Blue wall color paint was taken from the inspiration photos (it is used in the third and fourth photos in this post) and it is so pretty! It’s the perfect color and just reminds me of Cape Cod, which totally fits our vintage coastal style that we love.
We can’t wait to show you the final kitchen (when it is complete), but stay tuned for many progress photos of how we are getting from the inspiration to the final product.