I bought this tray table at the Hell's Kitchen flea market about two years ago for $30. I negotiated the price down from $40 because the trays were in a little bit of disrepair. It was an easy enough fix since they have dovetail joints that needed to be reglued. I really liked the simple lines and functionality.
The frame was originally wood and the bottom of the trays a fairly awful laminate. I'm sorry I didn't get a before shot because this gal really needed some makeup to look so pretty. I spray painted the frame a satin black from Rustoleum and lined the trays with some textured grasscloth wallpaper that has tones of black blended in with the tan to tie in the frame. I could cover the bottom of the trays with plexiglass but I'll probably just paint on a coat of sealer to keep the grasscloth looking sharp.
Despite my procrastination, this was a really easy project to pull off and now I've got a great place for keys, mail and other small items when I walk in the door.
As promised, here's some more information about the project I posted last week. If you look through the before and after shots, you'll see two different issues in place. The first set of built-ins (living room) is clearly a case of not enough accessories to adequately dress the space. It is a formal room, so leather bound books, family photos and decorative boxes are appropriate. But I also added some shine and sparkle to keep it from feeling to heavy. You'll note the crystal spheres and the peacocks (aren't they awesome?!)
The family room had the opposite problem--too much stuff! The basic idea, however, is still the same. Here are some things to keep in mind:
*Make the items appropriate to the space
*Keep heavy items (visually and literally) on the lower shelves
*Use a variety of shapes and textures to create interest
*Repeat certain elements to create some unity
I wanted to share an update on the home staging project I worked on a few months ago. Now that it's officially sold, I can share the great news I heard from the broker who contracted me. After six months on the market with no offers and potential buyers saying the apartment was both too small and too expensive, it sold for full asking price within one week!
If you have a home you're trying to sell, get in touch with me today so we can work together and get it sold!
Those of you wondering why I haven't been updating this section much lately, I've been pretty busy with a new home staging project. Take a peek here to see the before and after pictures of this one bedroom apartment in Woodside, NY. And if you like what you see and are in the market, go here for more information.
I updated the Redesign Projects section of my Portfolio to include an accessory homecall I did today with a designer I work with at the day job. The client had some great pieces but the room felt a little bland. Some items she owned were not being shown off to their fullest potential and other areas lacked color and interest. This simple redesign shows how just a few additions can make a big difference.
This room setting was originally in a showhouse on Long Island. There were 2 of each chair instead of one, square end tables and 4 large leather ottomans grouped together as the coffee table. Obviously that would be way too much furniture for this space. Working with the sofa and one of each chair, I added appropriately sized items to finish off the room.
I added two new room settings that I did for the day job to the Retail Projects section of my portfolio. You may notice as you click through that one room looks familiar. I moved a living room setting from a larger to a smaller space. For those of you planning to move (or who have recently moved), this will give you some ideas about repurposing your existing pieces. For instance, the artwork over the sofa used to be above the bed. It's important to rethink your items as your needs and lifestyle changes. I'll go through both new settings more thoroughly in upcoming entries to give you insight into the design rationale I used to complete the projects.
There are lots of great ideas to take away from the new room setting I did for the day job. First, using 2 smaller scale sofas facing each other is perfect for creating balance. This is set up works great if you've got 2 focal points across from each other (fireplace/window and TV). The sofas here are in a neutral khaki which is the perfect backdrop for the red pillows and artwork. Think of it like wearing a tan coat with a red scarf.
What to do with that long sofa wall? It's something a lot of people struggle with. One piece of artwork alone (even if it's hung at the correct height) is not going to cut it. In this family room, the sectional is across from large windows featuring a beautiful yard and adjacent to a fireplace flanked by built in bookcases (see previous entry). The best way to address this wall is a grouping of items, preferably something that works with instead of detracting from the view.
I've added a new project to the Redesign page. I worked with one of the designers at EA to add some accessories to help fill in the built in bookcases in the client's family room. Take a look to see how we used their existing pieces and added some new ones to freshen up the look. There are future plans to line the back of the bookcases with grasscloth wallpaper, which will finish it off beautifully.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in NYC. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.