BEFORE & AFTER: MING COCKTAIL TABLES

A few months ago I picked up a pair of Ming cocktail tables for a steal. Never mind that we had zero need (or space) for them, I wasn’t about to let those quadrangular legged beauties pass me by.

So, into the back of my SUV they went, and I’ve been driving around like a modern day pioneer on the Oregon trail (forge the river!) ever since.

The Pursuit of StyleBefore

Needless to say, when the opportunity to collaborate with Glidden® paint presented itself,  I had just the project in mind. Their simplified palette spared me hours of agonizing and I quickly picked up a quart of Glidden paint Peacock Blue in High Gloss finish. This iconic Miles Redd bedroom was my inspiration.

The Pursuit of Style

Thankfully, I snapped a photo before I spilled it everywhere (oh, the perils of an early morning DIY!) but at least it was a beautiful mess.

The cocktail tables were great condition so this was as easy of a paint job as it gets. First, I wiped down the tables with a damp cloth to remove any residual dirt and grime. Next, I gave each a light sand with fine grit sandpaper to smooth away any imperfections and give the paint something to adhere to.

Another once over with a damp cloth and I was ready to paint! I used a cheapo bristle brush and was honestly shocked at how smooth the coverage was. After two coats, I let my foreman supervise the drying process while I spent a few hours by the pool.

The Pursuit of Style
The tops were a little more scuffed than the base so I opted for three coats to really get that lacquered finish I was after and allowed for a full 24 hours of drying time.

A quick styling job and it was time for these leggy ladies to make their debut!

The Pursuit of Style

After four years of living with a lucite coffee table, I’m loving the bold punch of color.

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Ta-dahhhh!

The Pursuit of StyleAfter

In interior design, paint is as close to instant gratification as you can get and I’m so happy to finally have these cocktail tables somewhere that they’ll actually be used and appreciated. Thanks for making it happen Glidden paint!

Keeping it Real: This post was sponsored by Glidden paint through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Glidden paint, all opinions are my own.

THE EVOLUTION OF OUR STAIRWELL

It pains me to lead with such an ugly before picture, but I thought I’d share one more space you didn’t get a chance to see in the tour earlier this week: our stairwell. This space has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging to decorate because the walls are so high.

This is how the space looked when we first moved in. Cream walls and track lighting. It stayed that way for honestly about six months–art stacked and everything–while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do.

The Pursuit of Style | Stairwell Before

The game changer was finding this palm leaf chandelier in Key Largo. Don’t hate me, but I think I paid $100 for it at a kitschy roadside consignment store–best find ever! That was the solution to the horrible track lighting that had slowly been killing my soul.

We rent, and normally I would just grin and bear a landlord’s questionable lighting choices, but once I found this beauty the only thing going through my head was: “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.” How could I not switch out that track lighting??

The Pursuit of Style | Palm Leaf Chandelier

Once the chandelier was installed, my wheels started spinning. The walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Seafoam Green, my vintage nautical charts were hung, and a gallery wall was created on the wall leading up the stairs. You can read more about that transformation here.

The Pursuit of Style

The thing is, I never really loved it. The stairwell is open to our living room, which is white, and the contrast between the Seafoam Green and white walls wasn’t sitting well with me. Also, as much as I wish it weren’t true, my gallery wall skills will never rival a kate spade boutique. Lastly, the chandelier/vertical artwork combo doing nothing for the space except make the walls seem even higher.

A few weeks before I was scheduled to have a some photoshoots at the house, I rather impulsively decided to overhaul the entire space. The Seafoam Green walls were re-painted white to match the living room, the gallery wall came down, and I finally accepted my beloved nautical charts just weren’t meant to be in this apartment and put them in storage (aka the laundry room).

This is what I’m working with now… a grid of 12 French constellation charts.

The Pursuit of Style

You can read more about my inspiration for the layout here, but basically I knew I needed something that would take up a little more horizontal real estate to balance out the crazy 13′ ceilings.

A close up of one of the constellation charts…

The Pursuit of Style | Constellation Chart

Overall, I’m so much happier with the space! The clean lines feel a bit more sophisticated than the gallery wall we had previously, and the monochromatic artwork makes a visual impact but still flows well with the living room below. The one change I would like to make is adding some black, or hot pink shades to the chandelier so it doesn’t get quite as lost in all the white.

P.S I swear those photos are straight in real life, it’s just next to impossible to photograph!

BATHROOM BEFORE & AFTER

Wow guys, I’m so flattered by all your tweets, emails, Instagram and Facebook messages about yesterday’s Glitter Guide feature! It can be a little nerve-wracking putting your home out there like that–as I’m sure you can imagine–so thank you for being so amazing and encouraging. I’m my own worst critic and your comments always help me be a little less hard on myself. I’m sure my boyfriend and mom would want to thank you too, ha!

I’m also excited because now I can share a bit more on what the design process has been like with this apartment. I think you’ll be pretty shocked by some of the before photos–particularly of the living room and bedroom. But before we get to those rooms, let’s start off with one you didn’t get to see in the tour, the bathroom.

The Pursuit of Style

Because we rent, we were limited to superficial changes but honestly as far as apartment bathrooms go this one wasn’t that terrible–I was thankful for white tile and cabinetry! Since we were doing white walls in the rest of the apartment I knew I wanted to go bold in the bathroom. Weirdly enough, the paint color was inspired by an old perfume box I had been holding on to. The color is Benjamin Moore Starburst Orange and it’s the happiest shade of coral.

Next I brought in some pattern via a custom shower curtain. The fabric is Robert Allen’s Crystal Lake in Chocolate. The hot pink monogram dictated my choice of a hot pink velvet when I was having my gold rope stool re-upholstered.

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I found the drawing of a giraffe at an antique mall in Alabama and fell in love with it. The mat happens to be chocolate brown so it worked perfectly in the bathroom. I have way more animal art than I care to admit, by the way. For above the towel rack I had been planning to buy one of Gretchen Kelly’s nudes but then I remembered I had this great piece by Lulu DK that I was having trouble finding a spot for. Problem solved!

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For comparison, here’s the before and after….

The Pursuit of Style | Before & AfterBehold the power of paint!

P.S I know this was way wordier than my normal posts so if you made it through you’re a saint!

Photos by Natalie Grasso for Apartment Therapy

OFF THE GRID

Grid Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Grid

Lee Radziwill | Elle Decor

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Apologies for the light posting this week, I have some exciting projects coming up and have been racing the clock to cross off those last items on my to-do list. Anyone else kind of thrive on the exhilaration of working under pressure? I’m sure I can’t be the only glutton for punishment.

Anyway, just when I thought I was “done” (it’s never done) with the apartment, I realized there was something about the stairwell I wasn’t loving and decided to give it an overhaul. If you were reading last August, I gave this same space a makeover for part of a six week challenge.

The final product was okay, but I never loved it and within six months that gallery wall came down. More recently I started to tire of the seafoam walls and feeling inspired by Elsie de Wolfe’s famous quote: “I believe in optimism and plenty of white paint” gave them a fresh clean coat of white.

Art was the next dilemma. With 13′ ceilings I needed something that would make a visual impact and break up all of that white. The nautical chart that hung there in the past was much too small for the space and only accentuated the height of the ceilings. I needed something to to balance the space. Having gone the more organic gallery wall route in the past, I decided this time I’d take a more clean lined approach.

The photos above were my inspiration and you get an idea of the direction I’m going from the tracing paper templates currently hanging in the space (admittedly looking a little worse for the wear having been hung around 11:00pm). Artwork is going up later tonight and I’m really really hoping this looks as good as it did in my head when I dreamed this up!

1/2/3

A PROJECT…

The Pursuit of Style
The Pursuit of Style

I think it goes without saying that this chair is going to need a whole lot of TLC, but listen to this… my mom found it at an estate sale for $3. How insane is that? My favorite chapstick costs more than $3!

I co-opted it while I was home (Brody, my golden, was non to pleased to share the back of the car with it on the ten hour drive back) and now it’s time to give this lady a much needed makeover.

Now here’s the question… ‘Amethyst Cream’ or ‘Purple Lace’? Kind of hate both ot those names but think either could be pretty great in high gloss. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

*Whoops I’ve been confusing everyone with the second photo. Should have mentioned that I’m going with a neutral fabric for the seat. That leopard is a pillow I took the picture on :)