Friday, December 2, 2011

In Principio...

Every endeavor has to start somewhere...

For those who are less nerdy than myself, the title of this post can be translated to "In the Beginning"...

And that's pretty much where we're at over here at The Do-tique.

Luckily, there has been some progress and I can show you where we've gotten to so far.

When we started, things were brown, very brown...The front entry was sort of like a dance party between the 70's and the 90's and no one was really getting along.

But after a bit of Sarah Richardson's Bisque paint and a few Restoration Hardware knock-offs found in the clearance bin at Homesense...this is what happened:

Still debating whether we should paint the inside of the door in a dark colour or possibly paint the wall around the door in a dark grey...
Kinda like this:

Sarah's House Season 4
Photo Credit: Stacey Brandford

I regret that we don't have the original photos of the living room any more, but here's where things are at so far - we carried the Bisque through into the living and dining areas:

Workin' on that equestrian chic part with the saddle (beside hutch)

I picked up almost all of the pieces in this room at an antique auction in Napanee and in barns north of Kingston before we moved west.  The trouble was choosing furniture for a home I hadn't lived in yet that didn't really go together in the first place. Plans are to have the side chairs re-upholstered in more modern fabric with a bold red pattern and a cream/neutral field. The footstool will probably go and this is the sofa that will arrive on Monday and be placed facing the blue love seat:

Fabric will be a lighter, neutral natural linen colour and
I changed out the legs for a turned shape to go with the antiques.
For fabrics, I'm thinking of drapery and accent pillows and like styles like these:

All three fabrics available through Tonic Living in Toronto

Next will be a coffee table and different dining room chairs.

Maybe this one from Urban Barn?

So, what do you think? What would you add? Take away?

As for the DIY aspect here, the light fixture was pretty easy to change. The long story is that we had an antique brass fixture that we inherited from my mom and it got dropped part way through installation and broke. The more modern light was easier to install...and made it up in one piece. The mirror involved Hubby driving home with his head poking up through the sunroof since it only barely fit into our pick-up truck, uh, I mean sub-compact, 2002 Mazda Protege. My mom contributed the painting part, which saved us a tonne of work.

As for the combo of antique + new furnishings (including new sofa), I put out roughly $3,850 to decorate everything you see in the entry and living room including paint. Expecting to spend another $1,000+ on drapes, coffee table and lamps/accessories. My fave Ralph Lauren lamps just got marked down at Homesense to $80 from over $200, so those might be coming home tomorrow...

We could have an entire blog post on my journey through antique shopping and auction bidding but I'll summarize to say that before you hit the auction scene, spend a LOT of time going around to different shops and dealers to develop a taste for what styles and items you like and what they cost retail. It will really help you decide what to bid on and how high to go in an auction sale that can get pretty overwhelming, pretty quickly.

DIY Rating: 5 
You could bring in a consultant from almost any furniture store 
for roughly $100/hr to help you do a room like this pretty quickly. 
It just might not look quite as unique. 

This project is more like a personal hobby or labour of love. 
Time invested hunting out interesting and bargain priced items is probably 
well above what any sane person would put in but very enjoyable for me.

I also think that though my time input was higher, that I got 
some great pieces for a fraction of the retail price.

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