Saturday, August 6, 2011


We own a home in Naples, Florida, USA which we purchased 13 years ago before the real estate boom. We've done very little with this old 1970's stucco home which has extremely low ceilings.   For years it's been a short term vacation spot.... the inside decorated with second hand finds....very cottage style in French Country colors of mustard, greens and pine.  We actually still have the original olive green tiled bathroom.    

Eventually we're going to rent the home to other weekly vacationers leading up to selling it when the market is stronger. This compels us to face-lift creatively and economically - but unfortunately, every single room needs repair and updating.   What's tearing my hair out is how do I make each room look larger - the ceilings taller and - and accomplish a Seaside atmosphere -  on a very strict budget? 

The clean look of white was my answer.... so I'm collecting photos for inspiration. 

SOLUTION: Slipcovers!

I chose this because I have a cream brick fireplace with alcoves just like this on either side.  I need to build these bookcases.  

Love the look of the horizontal bead board.  It makes a room look wider - also creating an updated twist.   I may paint my own dining room set this way - leaving the top it's natural pine.  White and Pine are a great mix. 

Definitely seaside - but looking dated.

 The look of Restoration Hardware - kind of.... Swedish clean.  I have black leather wing back chairs and slipcovers would give them new life. 

Bringing the outdoor colors inside
More Swedish inpiration. 

 Very light blue walls - keeps it soft and feminine. It aslo allows you to introduce the blue and white (which I have tons of).  This in the master bedroom would be very calming. 

Covering books in white paper allows the wood on this beautiful old piece to stand out.  With the addition of seashells and the burlap lamp shade - voila- seaside atmosphere.  

Great look - but it's not seaside. BUT, this can be achieved in Hong Kong..  white Barcelona chair, Louis Chair, simple white slip covered sofa, sisal rug and silver metallic lamps.  Of course, there are plenty of crystal chandeliers in HK!

This is a little too contemporary for me.  Notice the punch of yellow.  FRESH IDEA:  Use the neutral white or cream in every room - then add a different color of punch.   Yellow in living room, apple green in the guest room, blue in the master, etc.......
See what I mean......

 I just saw tons of garden furniture at a 2nd hand store rusting away outside - never thought of it inside. Very cute - but only works with the wood floor.  I have that armoire - but already painted shabby cream years ago. 

My living room is an inside room - meaning there are no windows directly to the room.  I'm thinking of adding beams - it will make the ceiling feel lower - but cozy up the space.  I need to add mirrors creatively to help reflect light and add spots in the ceiling. 
See what I mean.  I would use something lighter and not as many.  

I have the same dog!  
Love the floors..........
This is my Toby with his hair growing out. 

Simple kitchen really.  Many elements working together.  The warmth of the wood and the coolness of the stainless steel.  Also the addition of shiny white subway tiles and the uniqueness of the wicker chandelier.  

How easy is this vanity.  OK- storage is not great, but in a guest  bathroom that's not as important.   Also like the wicker blinds - an earthy compliment to a neutral palette.  No glass shower door - which cuts down the cost. 

This one surprised me - the bookcases are not symmetrical and still work.  Think they could change out the painting. 

Drum lamp - It gives off a diffused light - not very bright -  keeping the lines clean....and the fussiness down.  

I will always love shabby.  You can't hurt it and you can always repaint it. 

I'm ready to get out my paint brush!

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