Living Room Layout

The seating area is coming together with the addition of artwork and furniture transitioned from the loft. As a reminder, this is what the living room looked like in the listing (staged).

Living room in the listing photo

And, the living room when we moved in:

Delivery day!

The living room offers a good amount of space and light but as I’ve mentioned before, the paint job was not high quality (stray painters tape, drips and drops) and I am not a fan of gray, so our first step was to paint the entire space Wimborne White and start FRESH.

The moldings, walls and ceilings were all painted Farrow & Ball Wimborne White

The paint made a huge difference in unifying the space and making the moldings pop!

A fresh coat of paint unified and brightened up the space 

The paint brightened up the space and highlighted the woodwork, providing a great fresh slate for furniture and art, beginning with the Pink Eyeshadow Monkey.

The Pink Eyeshadow Monkey fit perfectly in this nook (Ralph Lauren upholstery)

The living room will have two seating areas and each will be anchored with two matching rugs. After some time spent swatching, I decided on two Restoration Hardware Teen rugs that were on sale in 10×12 size. Unfortunately they will not be delivered until August, but they were relatively well priced and the colors fit the space.

Our choice RH rug with neighboring fabric swatches and papers (Gucci, Room & Board)

We faced the chairs away from the fireplace which is a trick I first noticed at Twin Farms in Vermont and I like it here because it includes the couch in the conversation vs. facing the chairs towards the fireplace and away. The Sapien bookcase, artwork and furniture came together nicely to frame the fireplace until the rug comes in.

Final furniture layout in first seating area, pending rug

Our real estate agent purchased the horn vases for us in Africa, the bookcase is an Amazon find, the coffee table was a floor sample from Molteni, the chairs were reupholstered in Ralph Lauren fabric and the chaise couch is from Room & Board.

almost forgot. ­čÖé

I almost forgot the flowers!

The Story / Sapiens Bookcase

How I make a good looking book stack

Design Within Reach has finally re-released the famous Story Bookcase in a short and tall version here. I purchased ours on Amazon in 2017 before the re-release here. The Amazon version is 79.6″ high, 14 shelves and $285 + $43 shipping. The DWR version is 75.5″ high, 12 shelves and $295 + $21 shipping. If you’ve ever seen this bookcase in a photo and wondered how someone can possibly stack their books so neatly without them falling over, well, this is how.

The Sapiens Bookcase from Amazon

While the bookcase is a bit pricey, I love it because it can hold a ton of books in a super space efficient way and it looks chic.

 

Large to small, white bindings out (or pages)

I stack my books from large to small, bottom to top (I wouldn’t recommend any other way), with white bindings or pages facing out. Yes, this means that if the binding is colored, it is facing pages OUT and binding IN such that the entire front of the stack is in shades of white. Of course you can stack any way you’d like.

Time consuming exercise to get this right!

To most quickly order the books from tallest to shortest I first line them against the wall to gauge height and organize on the floor first, into groups, then transition to the shelves.

 

 

I leave a bit of room at the top for extras that tend to collect around the house

The Sapiens Bookcase is such a great architectural piece that adds nice interest to any room. If short on floor space, the short stack can be added to the top of a desk or console for equal impact.

The den, in process

Railings, by Farrow & Ball

The den has been painted Railings by Farrow & Ball. It is a sophisticated color and makes for a cozy room! A flashback to where we started:

astor den 2
Remember where we started? The original listing photo was a bright gray bedroom.

And, where we are today. A completely refreshed base for what will be a den.

The choice of color was an easy one, working with the fireplace surround, but I was in suspense leading up to the big reveal and wasn’t disappointed. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works did an impeccable job.

Den painted Farrow & Ball Railings matches the fireplace surround nicely

You may recall that a prior owner had painted around the mirror, leaving the space beneath a surprising shade of pink! We cleaned that up this time around.

The windows are original curved glass from the late 1980s

The windows are pretty, but are old. I solved for draft with SewSixThree on Etsy draft stoppers that are beautiful and smell great.

We sprayed paint over the fireplace with Farrow & Ball Wimborne White for a beautiful finish

A sprayed finish is the way to go for smooth surfaces like doors, and detailed surfaces like molding, with a brush sprinkled in as needed for more detailed trim. I must say that I am a true Farrow & Ball subscriber after seeing the finish compared to the prior paint.

The bookcase will provide great visible storage once we are in decorating phase
The radiator will be left uncovered. It didn’t look as bad as I was expecting

We still need to identify a good spot to hang a television and make a decision on drapes.

The finished color is so sophisticated relative to the gray we had previously
Cozy plaid draft stoppers filled with balsam pine by SewSixThree on Etsy
The mirror from prior owner is back in place and the perfect fit!

Now that the base is complete I am considering furniture ideas and searching for the perfect plaid rug. Let me know if you have any ideas!

Ann Sacks Kelly Wearstler custom floors, in production

Sample received from production

The custom floors have been in production for approx 4 weeks now and I just got my first peek at them! I misunderstood the timeline and had thought they would be delivered in 4-6 weeks, but both the production process AND shipping EACH take 4-6 weeks. Needless to say, the floors are not here yet!

As a reminder, the rendering of the stones we selected, for our specific floorplan, looked like this:

Production just came back with a swatch of floor for approval before they start to produce the entire footprint. Here it is:

It has a nice neutral look to it, while being bold and forward. It will go really well in this traditional home. The only stone that is missing from this swatch is the rubicon black (stripe), but otherwise this is the finished product.

I’m very excited for these floors to be installed.

Guest bedroom, wallpapered

Bird and Thistle, for the win!

The guest bedroom has been papered in Bird and Thistle by Brunshwig & Fils, and I’m excited that the entire place is coming together as planned and on schedule.
As a reminder, this is where we started:

astor bedroom, kids
From the listing photo, the guest room before we started work
astor bedroom kids 2
The small bookcase behind the door was one of the first things we removed

And, this is where we are today!

Bird and Thistle wallpaper by Brunshwig & Fils, in the guest

I am thrilled with the results. Walter’s team at Tapia’s Works in Chicago did a great job installing this paper with no waste. We completed this entire job with our budgeted paper and will use the remaining strips to cover wooden tissue boxes (craft project!). The room is painted in Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. The original moldings and doors are spray finished. The doorknobs are antique brass.

The window boxes were painted in Wimborne White by Farrow & Ball
The wood floors will be revealed this week
The leftover paper will be used to cover wooden tissue boxes!

The build-in bookcase is great, but it wasn’t finished particularly well. The middle strips should be covered with molding, which we will add.

The bookcase face will be cleaned up with new molding

For lighting, I chose the Aerin, by Visual Comfort, Modern Rosehill Semi-Flush Brass and White Strie-Glass light fixture. I’m a bit worried it will be too small, but it is the same size as the flush mount previously installed, so it should be okay. There is a larger choice, but I didn’t appreciate this until after the order was placed.

Rosehill.jpg
Aerin Modern Rosehill Semi-Flush Brass and White Strie-Glass Fixture
The Bird and Thistle paper is set off perfectly by the Wimborne White finish

The lighting fixtures and drapes will come next. I am planning on a bamboo shade paired with Bird and Thistle matching drapes.

 

The den, in process

Painting in process

The den is draped in a lovely shade of Wimborne White paint. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works carefully painted the detailed mantle, trim and ceiling. The den is now ready for a coat of Railings which will be a dramatic update for this space and make it a super cozy place to hang out.

The window boxes and trim have been painted Wimborne White

I’m excited about this room because it will be painted Railings, a softer alternative to black. You may remember what the room looked like before we got started. The brick on the fireplace was the inspiration for the wall color.

Hmm… a pink surprise underneath the mirror…

It is funny to me that the previous owner painted around the mirror, but  not underneath it. The mirror was purchased from the prior owner for $500 and will be re-hung once the painting is finished.

We will not be keeping the pink square!

I am excited to move into an era of paint that is NOT gray. I am tired of the gray paint that I have been enjoying for the last 10 years (aren’t you?!).

The bookcase has been taped off and the door has been separately painted

The finish of Wimborne White on the trim is Estate Eggshell and the walls will be painted Estate Emulsion, a chalky finish.

Original details of the fireplace have so much character

One of the neighboring units did restore their mantle to original wood and it was gorgeous, but out of budget (and time!) for us to restore, so we have kept with white paint and will enjoy the character with fireside drinks with family and friends!

Guest bedroom, in process

Painting has begun

The guest bedroom, along with the rest of the house, is getting a fresh coat of paint, starting with the molding. Of course, all of the molding and ceilings will be painted Farrow & Ball Wimborne White. We chose Wimborne White because it is beautifully suited to the warm eastern exposure of the home. All of the painting and wallpaper hanging is the work of Walter from Tapia’s Works, and his team. As you can tell from the photographs, Walter and his team have done an exceptional job prepping the space and protecting all surfaces.

I was a bit skeptical that the Farrow & Ball finish was truly superior to the less expensive paint options, but as many would agree, it is. There is a beautiful texture to the paint and depth of color that was very noticeable to me, particularly after looking at the shiny paint that had been applied so poorly prior. For a historical home like this, I wanted the paint to be perfect and it is looking great so far.

Wimborne White sprayed on the trim in the guest bedroom

The walls of the guest bedroom will be papered in Bird & Thistle.

The floral radiator also got a coat of Farrow & Ball paint

One of the best tips I received while planning out the paint colors and wallpapers was to keep the window boxes consistently painted white, including the empty box below. The molding was a unique challenge that this tip solves nicely for. Each of the windows will be framed out as its own piece, with white trim and box underneath. Wallpaper will flank each side.

The entire window box has been painted white and the walls will be papered Bird & Thistle

The window treatment will likely be a mix of natural grass and custom curtains, made from Bird & Thistle fabric to match the wallpaper. I have been keeping an eye out for fabric on Ebay and Chairish that is discounted and am expecting I will find something over time.

Walter and team from Tapia’s Works have protected the built-ins

The built-ins were not wood, so they will not be painted. Instead, the shelves will be finished with wood moldings on the face of the bookcase and filled with “things”.

The entrance to bathroom and closet have been sealed and the doors have been painted

It is exciting to see the painting come together so quickly and the finishing being done so well by Tapia’s Works, who have been great to work with on this project.