Do you ever find that you have one space in your home that you just struggle with? One that can’t seem to find it’s identity no matter how you try to spruce it up? Well I have one of those spaces in my home. The area in question is an alcove located between our dining room and family room. This space really only serves as a pass-through but it is large enough to hold some furniture. It’s been a decor thorn in my side since we moved into our house over 5 years ago!
The small alcove room has a larger opening to our dining room, a window on the wall directly across from that opening, and a door located on a side wall that leads to the family room. There is only one blank wall. The entire room is paneled wood that is still in its original wood tone. In true Courtney fashion I can not find a “before” picture to show you, so you’ll just have to be creative in picturing this space!
My original thought was that I wanted to paint the wood paneling to freshen up the space, however I had many, many visitors to our home that were opposed to that idea. So, that made me question that plan. I’ve changed area rugs, furniture, art work and more to try to make this space feel “right,” but I was never truly happy with the results.
Finally I reached out to my friend and neighbor, Samantha Sullentrup of Public House Co.. Samantha is familiar with living in an old home with quirky spaces, she has amazing style, an artist’s eye, and has transformed her old home into a true beauty. Samantha agreed with the masses that the wood paneling should not be painted. Instead, she had a different suggestion, to paint the ceiling. I hadn’t thought of this approach before. Her thought process was that by bringing a color to the space, not on the walls, it may make me like the wood paneling more. She suggested a green tone and to keep the color scheme of the space in warm earthy tones that would complement the wood walls. She completely hooked me with that idea!
So I went to work. First step was finding a good shade of green. I chose Springfield Sage by Benjamin Moore. This tone had all of the earthy elements that I was looking for and is a rich color while also retaining a neutral quality.
The change was so good! The sage color worked very well with the paneling and actually helped tone down the yellow in the wood, something I was not a fan of.
Once painted, it was time to outfit the space. Previously I had a very small console table placed under the window with a lamp and picture on it. The table was at an awkward height for the window and never really worked well in that space. There was black and white accent chair in the corner. I still love this chair but it doesn’t work in our home right now so it has been placed in the basement for future use. The last piece of furniture in the room was an antique china cabinet that I restored several years ago and now holds our wedding China. The China cabinet was the only piece of furniture in the room that I intended to keep in place.
Samantha suggested placing a bench under the window where the console table was. A bench was the perfect height for the window, would provide extra seating and look nice from the dining room. This element of the space proved the most daunting. I could not find a bench I loved! Patience however proved successful and, after a few months, I found the perfect cane bench from World Market. And, since I’m a budget conscious shopper, I watched this bench for weeks until it went on sale. Seriously, patience can pay off!
I completed the space with a light throw blanket, African mud cloth pillow that I had made with mud cloth purchased at the Brooklyn Flea, a small side table and lamp from Target and a vase of dried Pampas grass that I cut from our land in Louisiana over the Thanksgiving holiday. Hanging above the side table is the living art piece that I made last spring. You can read all about how to create this unique wall art from a previous post by clicking here.
I am so pleased with how the space has turned out. It has been a long road to get here, and that’s OK. Oftentimes, by not rushing into a project, you get better results because you truly take the time to let the space evolve in your head, make a plan, maybe change that plan, source your items, move things around, and just live in the space for a bit to see if it all gels. Home decor is ever-changing and, at times, it takes a few wrongs to finally get it right. It also never hurts to get a second, third, or 100th opinion! Sometimes it takes a village.
Having this space finished in time for Christmas decor has been a treat. Even Togiak approves!