The great room in a lakeside living room has a nestled sofa and a fireplace large enough in which to stand. Carter Kay Interiors was tasked with giving the room a more human scale and creating a welcoming, cozy environment for small and large gatherings. The custom high-back Saladino sofa is scaled to relate to the fireplace opening and mantel. The designers had horizontal iron rods made for the draperies and had those same rods turn the corner, adding vertical straps to create an ever-changing art wall. The room also has a vintage iron and suede chair, a pair of iron lamps and lots of pillows for a cozy corner to watch the boats float by. The room is very carefully layered with rugs: sisal, Moroccan and hide, and textured chairs.
When you swap out holiday plates for items you use in your home throughout the year, look for new ways to display old pieces. Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs in South Carolina used vintage milk glass for this tablescape, including setting one bowl on top of a cake plate. The dishes already have a wintery white look. She filled them with paperwhite bulbs that complement the pinecones on the table, knowing they will bring even more warmth to the interiors when they bloom. “I love the texture of the bulb itself,” she adds.
The existing landscape provided a challenge, but also the opportunity to design outdoor living spaces on several levels. The flat-roofed family room needed a pitched roof to blend with the existing house, but the roof, along with the turret, couldn’t block existing windows. To accomplish the homeowners’ vision, interior walls had to be removed, but they were constructed of clay blocks, which supported two-story block walls above. We continued the 16:12 pitched roof over the existing family room, but shifted it back to allow light into the third-story window. The same pitched roof covers the garage addition, but a reverse gable with paneled accents provides interest and a carriage house feel.
Wool rugs are easy to clean and have fibers that contain lanolin, a natural stain repellent. They're a smart choice for family rooms, where kids and pets spend most of their time. "This open, second floor media room overlooks the living room below. We needed a strong anchor to be the foundation of the space and to define the character of the room. Merida's classic buffalo check was the perfect solution — boldly inviting guests to gather for conversation, nestle in with a book or cluster for watching movies. The check pattern instantly conveys a sense of warmth and familiarity. Additionally, our clients planned to using this space to watch sporting events — so we needed something to withstand rowdy sports fans and the beautiful, quality wool construction of this rug meant it was the perfect yet practical fit," says the designers at Foley & Cox Interiors.
If paint is peeling on the exterior of your house, sun and water can damage the wood underneath. Frank Lesh, owner of Home Sweet Home Inspection Company in Indian Head Park, Ill., recommends scraping down to bare wood, priming and allowing the primer to dry before applying new paint. “Paint at the right time of day, which is after the sun has faded away from the area you’re painting,” he says, “because sun evaporates the paint material too quickly.”
Peeling interior paint is an issue if it’s peeling off in rough squares, like an alligator’s skin. That’s a sign that lead-based paint is underneath, so if the area is large or if you have small children (who are very susceptible to damage from lead poisoning), consult a professional about removal.