I tend to be either 100% inspired and need to jump into a project immediately to see my vision come to life right away, or I stew in uncertainty for months or years, unsure of how to address a design challenge. This room falls in the latter camp.
Hawk Hill’s previous owner painted black and white stripes on three sides of the room, and left in it a long, antique general-store cabinet. The cabinet was great for storage, and a unique piece in itself, but my attachment to it, paired with a mix of disgust and ambivalence about the striped walls, meant I felt “stuck” in this room and so it was one of the last to be well attended to in regards to design.
Finally fed up with it, last thanksgiving I hosted the family meal and I convinced the men of the family to move the several-hundred-pound cabinet to the dining room- opening up the room to a total makeover.
I removed 90% off the clear glass window shelves that had covered the windows and tested several colors of Benjamin Moore grey:
Ultimately I picked Benjamin Moore’s Coventry Gray (HC-169) and love it! I had heard before how a busy room can “hide” a great view- but I never experienced this for myself until painting this busy room a soothing neutral color. Suddenly the view, which had been just a part of the busy-ness of the striped and decorated wall burst to life!
[This is where I give props to my man Ben Moore! I anticipated many coats to get good coverage over the black and white stripes, but two coats, with touch ups to a few trouble spots, had the job done right!]
I will confess. I don’t love houseplants. I’m not very good at remembering to water them, and I’m terrible at cleaning up after them- but I do enjoy mountains of ferns around my pond in the spring and summer, so I tolerate the houseplants the rest of the year. (The garden fountain ferns come in reside in this room in the winter) I actually love what the bring to this room.
For some reason, rooms featuring many potted plants have always reminded me of cat ladies and the stale smell of a closed up room, but I was pleased to find that adding lots of green to this room created a feeling that the green outside the window was continuing uninterrupted into the house.
I added a white-slipcovered Ikea Extorp sofa down one wall (the ektorp sectional, actually, minus the ottoman) and paired my writing desk with a homemade counter-height sawhorse table created just for this project.