Sneak Peek: decorating a condo

Here's a quick shot from a recent job decorating a condo in downtown Halifax. Most of the pieces are in place, but there's always a delivery or two to wait on at the end! Once we've got everything in place, we'll show you the entire fun, modern, functional space! decorating a condo - a sneak peek from this fun, functional modern space we are working on.

This project offers lots of lessons about making the most of open spaces, using smaller spaces, and considering dual functions to make the most of what you have, so stay tuned!

Before and After: The Dining Room

It's another before and after for you - today's edition is the dining room of a home we've been working on recently.  It's the same home we feature in the Living Room Before and After last week. An older home that had some patchy work done before being sold to our clients, the dining room was a drab putty tone and the light fixture was a bit dated. There was little to make this room stand out as the entertaining space our clients wanted. BEFORE:

Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

AFTER:

The dining room was painted the same calm grey as the living room, and a subdued but still dramatic wall paper was added to one wall. The clients wanted a to make this room a feature while still looking clean and smart and it was decided that a chandelier would take it past that point. A simple, modern light fixture on a dimmer switch was chosen to contrast the pattern and color of the wall paper, while still offering sufficient light for dining and socializing.Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

The table is a vintage find, which is often a great way to mix up the look in a dining room and stay on budget. The moulded chairs provide a contrast, both against the wood of the table and floor, and the color of the wallpaper. They also tie in nicely with the white light fixture.

Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

The dining room is a fairly small space, and a hutch or large bar would have eaten up the room and made it feel a bit crowded. A small, portable bar fits nicely in the corner, and can be wheeled out to the living room for a bit of smart cocktail entertaining.

Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

You don't need a lot of stemware on show in your dining room if you don't have a large hutch or case for it. Pick a few of your favourite things to display, along with a few bottles of the things you love best. Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

The dining table  has a leaf, and extra chairs are simply placed in two corners of the room, ready for use either in here, as as extra seating in the living room when entertaining. Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

 Clients often shy away from the idea of darker walls, as they have been taught that they make small spaces feel smaller, and rob the space of light, but that's so often really not the case.  Our clients were wary of the dark wall, but trusted us to make a decision that was aligned with their vision for the room. Making the far wall darker not only gives you a focal point, but it can make the wall appear further away, tricking the eye into seeing more space. This room also has a large patio door, and a wide opening in to the living room, which has a huge window. Having both of these sources of natural light meant that I would have been confident to paint this entire space dark and know that the natural light would keep it from being claustrophobic. In the end, the wallpaper provided just the right touch of drama to the room, while never overwhelming it.

Before and After: a drab dining room becomes a chic but relaxed space for dinner parties and everyday dining. Wallpaper accents one wall, while a vintage table and new moulded chairs offer an eclectic feel.

A final bonus is the view of this beautiful wall from the living room or kitchen, which simply makes you want to enter the space and take a look. CP LR 8

 

Kitchen Trends: Mixing It Up

Looking to 2016 and beyond, a kitchen trend to watch will be a move away from looks that stay strictly within one aesthetic to those that mix it up. So rather than the all-white kitchen, or completely urban industrial room, a more relaxed mix of looks and materials is on the horizon.  I love mixing things up for an eclectic finish, so this news suits me just fine. But for many, it can seem difficult to achieve a mixed look that stops at just the right level of diversity without becoming simply mismatched. In reality, it's not. Here's a few tips to show you how you can get the look.Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 9.27.11 AMOnly mix and match a few: By this I mean, choose two main looks you are interesting in contrasting - say modern with bit of country. Very Donny and Marie! Then choose your color range. Again, keep it simple and within a few colors. Once you've done this, you'll then have a range of materials that you can choose from - marble, wood, metal. You can use a bit of variety here, but step back periodically and make sure you're not just firing in something else for the sake of it. Our choices here: In the example above, we've gone for a modern/traditional mix with some very modern stainless fixtures and lower cabinets with more traditional items like the Aga range, wood floor and kitchen accessories and cookware. Our color scheme is primarily a simple mix of white, greys and natural woods tones. Contrasting with the warmth of the woods and textiles are the shiny metals, glossy cabinets, and the marble tiles.

Source this look:  1. Arrabesco Carrera Tiles | 2. Pendre Mirror | 3. Luftig Range Hood | 4. Sektion upper cabinets | 5. Sektion lower cabinets | 6. Bamboo Island top | 7. Oak Driftwood Flooring | 8. Loloi Anastasia Rug | 9. Aga Legacy Range |  10. Kraus Stainless Steel Sink | 11. Hansgrohe Faucet | 12. Cyan Design Canisters | 13.  Le Creuset Dutch Oven | 14. Food for Thought Tea Towel | 15. Sur La Table Crate and Bottles | 16. Windsor Whistling Kettle

 

I Recommend: Spitalfields Life

Do yourself a favour today and take a visit over to Spitalfields Life, a wonderful blog that deatils life, art and beauty in the east end of London. Here we have a stunning old home whose walls and spaces are now lined with a collection of original French nineteenth century designs for satins and silk velours, created at the Lyons factory of Antoine Donat between 1840 and 1865. L2082733

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Just stunning. View more of these and then lose yourself for a while in the beautiful stories there.

A Converted Barn in the Cotswolds

This gorgeous home in the Cotswold region of England is exactly what many of us imagine when we hear the term "converted barn". Derelict when it was purchased, it has been transformed into a charming, cozy, and stylish home. Beautiful converted barn in the Cotswolds. A wonderful mix of rustic and stylish pieces make this a cozy but stylish space.

The kitchen shines with a wooden worktop and concrete base, mixing with the cobble flooring and stone walls. Fun touches like the blue carboy on top of the hood and the cozy dog bed tucked under a shelf make this a unique space.

Beautiful converted barn in the Cotswolds. A wonderful mix of rustic and stylish pieces make this a cozy but stylish space.

The living room mixes rustic and contemporary with ease. A mid-century Lady chair  and modern lighting are juxtaposed with exposed beams and an old fashioned wood burning stove.

Beautiful converted barn in the Cotswolds. A wonderful mix of rustic and stylish pieces make this a cozy but stylish space. Check out this amazing silver bathrub.

And the bathroom steals the show with the steel boat bath giving a modern and vintage feel all at once. Again, the brick flooring and plank walls compete the cozy, rustic feel.

To see more of this amazing home, go here.

Christmas sale!

Tis the season! SeeSea Interiors is having a Christmas Sale. Buy any Interior Consultation package or Color Consult and get 20% off with the coupon code MERRY20. You can purchase for yourself, or make it a gift (just add a message to us in the order notes). A great way to treat yourself or someone you know.

Check out our great packages here.

Check out SeeSea Interiors Christmas sale - use the coupon code MERRY 20 to get 20% off interior consultations and color consults. We do virtual packages!

House Tour: A Colonial Home Renovation

I absolutely love Colonial architecture, and I especially love it when it's given a sympathetic update that preserves features while bringing in modern elements. This stunning townhouse in Philadelphia certainly fits that bill. A stunning colonial home renovation in Philadelphia with beautiful modern twits. Gorgeous white bathroom, big fireplaces and stunning fixtures like the chandeliers.

The white walls and trim give a blank canvas where the room's features, such as this stunning fireplace and beautiful chandelier, can shine

A stunning colonial home renovation in Philadelphia with beautiful modern twist. Gorgeous white bathroom, big fireplaces and stunning fixtures like the chandeliers.

A simple chandelier echoes the relatively unadorned Colonial style of the past, while a walk in shower offers a welcome modern addition.

A stunning colonial home renovation in Philadelphia with beautiful modern twist. Gorgeous white bathroom, big fireplaces and stunning fixtures like the chandeliers.

The kitchen renovation also kept it simple and modern, yet with throwbacks to the past in the cabinet hardware and area rug.

A fantastic renovation. See the whole project here.

House Tour: A classic, chic space.

Check out this house tour featuring the very chic home of blogger Erika Brechtel. Dark colors mix with lush metals for a timeless but edgy look. Check out this house tour of a gorgeous home featuring a monochromatic palette with gold and brass accents.  It's chic and edgy all at once.

What to steal from this look? Experiment with  a monochromatic palette of greys, black and white, accented with gold and brass. the place setting is classic and simple in style, but the gold edge fills out the picture, bringing an element of luxury to the look, without drowning in detail.

Check out this house tour of a gorgeous home featuring a monochromatic palette with gold and brass accents.  It's chic and edgy all at once.

The feature wall showcases how to bring together different styles and colors of frames in a less structured shape.  Your picture wall doesn't need to be measured to the last millimetre, and have only uniform frames and images. Put together things that mean  something to you, or that appeal to you. Your picture wall should say something about you - don't get hung up on perfection.

Check out this house tour of a gorgeous home featuring a monochromatic palette with gold and brass accents.  It's chic and edgy all at once.

The living room  sticks to the same formula - a monochromatic palette with touches of brass and gold.  The look is sophisticated and always in style.  Check out the whole gallery here.

Painting a Fireplace

We're back to work on a project for new homeowners who are revamping most of the main floor. The decision was made to leave the old fireplace intact, with an eye to adding an insert down the road. But that still leaves us with a fairly tired brick face. The house painter will be arriving soon, so we decided to paint the fireplace in advance of that, so he can cut in clean lines around it. Here's the old face:

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Stained and sooty, the fireplace was first given a thorough cleaning, and wiped down with a degreaser. We opted to leave the firebox alone, as an insert is planned, and a beautiful, vintage brass grate was found to cover the opening.

And our current state:

CP Fireplace progress

The primer is on, and the next step is the paint. The room will be a pale, neutral grey, so we opted for a dark charcoal on the fireplace, hearth and mantel. the uniform color will completely change the look of the whole fireplace and surroundings, and will give it a quiet sophistication that we are going to take advantage of.

Mixed metals and a masculine but warm aesthetic will rule in this space. New wall sconces,  brass accents and some beautiful furnishings are coming up in the next few weeks as we complete this room and the adjoining dining room. Stay tuned for updates!

Inspiration Board: Going Grey

Using grey in your decor only sounds boring. In reality it is color that can achieve a very classic, grown up look. It can also look a bit cold for some people's taste, hence people often shying away from using it as a primary shade when they decorate. If grey and chrome is your look, go for it! But if you want to retain some warmth while still enjoying a calm, grey palette, we've got and inspiration board with some tips for you to design a beautiful, serene space that still gives a cozy feeling of home. Inspriation board with tips on decorating with grey while keeping a warm and sophisticated look in your living room or any other room. Using warm metals like bronze and gold, greenery and soft textures.

Visit us on Polyvore for links to everything on the inspiration board.

DIY: A Herringbone Headboard

A headboard is not an essential for your bed - some folks prefer the simple look without a headboard. However,they can be a simple way to add a bit of polish, or even some oomph, to your room's decor. If your current bed doesn't have a headboard, and you fancy doing something a bit unique, check out this DIY headboard from IHeart Organizing. DIY_Herringbone_Headboard_header

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This is a great, clean looking headboard that gives you visual interest through the pattern, and allows you to choose the finish. Get creative and use different shades of stain or paint to draw out the pattern. A very versatile project. You need mid-range DIY skills to take on this project, and access to some tool and equipment. But if you are handy, or feel like it's time to learn a bit, check out their step by step instructions. 

Restoration: An Old House Dream

I may have mentioned that Old House Dreams is one of my favorite sites. I could spend hours drooling over the amazing old homes up for sale. They range from near knock-downs to splendidly refurbished. This Greek revival in Alabama, is closer to the latter. The latest owners have clearly given it the love it deserves, as well as a small but beautiful modern kitchen! 508-Main-St-202

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Sure, it could use a bit of landscaping (!), but the interior finishes are wonderful - so many small details to notice. Check out the full tour here, but don't say I didn't warn you about the rabbit hole you are about to enter,

Design: Alessi's Tea Pot Whistle

Alessi is an Italian design house who have been producing beautiful objects for your home since the 1920's. They are known for taking their time to create relationships with designers, which in turn results in wonderful products. For their Fall/Winter 2015 line, they turned their eye to one of the most coveted objects they make - if you judge that by the object most often pinched by others and thus need replacing: the whistle for their iconic kettles.  The results are stunning. Alessi-FW15-2a-Graves-Tea-Rex-600x737

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There are a series of these in different colors, as well as a whole range of beautiful stovetop espresso makers, teapot, dishes, tableware and more. Have a look here.

Design: A Modern Bungalow

The bungalow has slid into these modern times, and has done it with style. This version, by Arnhard and Eck, is sleek and gorgeous. Full of dark walls, expansive windows, skylights, natural wood and that fabulous Wittus Shaker Woodstove, this is modern design done well. It's a small space, perched on top of its garage. tumblr_nvk4tuqhwB1qbsmp2o6_1280

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To see the full slide show, visit Vectro Ave. 

 

Today's Beautiful Thing - and Instagram!

Which is not to say that I might not find another one or twenty beautiful things today to share - which I do, on Instagram! Follow along there and you get to see not only some gorgeous things I find while out and about, but you get a peek into my shameful love of food and cooking as well.  I'm at @seeseainteriors - meet me there and give me your hearts ;) But for today, we've got some delicate and lovely air plants that I spied at a garden centre yesterday. The weather is turning here and the garden shops are selling off so many wonderful things and getting ready to slow down for the winter. I popped the plants in a terrarium (read: old globe vase)  and found them a home next to my beach rocks. Lovely.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 8.59.50 AM

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hump Day: A Bath With a View.

It's a rainy Wednesday in my neck of the woods, so here is a simple image to inspire us all. Wonderfully designed bath with lounger and sauna, and that million dollar view. brazil-bath

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It's the sort of bath that you can just sink in to for hours, and then, emboldened by a sense of privacy and the wonder of nature, you stand bolt up right and shout "Here I am world, in my barest form! Take me or leave me!"

Invigorating...until the neighbours drop by to discuss a troubling site-line they have from their living room. And then you're on the hunt for a new home. Welcome to Hump Day.

Decor: Chinoiserie, in a limited dose.

Disclosure: I LOVE Chinoiserie. If you're not familiar with it, well, you probably are and just don't realize it. This decorative and artistic theme that uses imagery of China (real or what we imagine it is/was like)  can be seen around the home in everything from drapery to wallpaper to vases and other decor. When the decorator or home-owner goes full bore with it, it's quite a spectacular sight. Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 1.00.15 PM

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But Chinoiserie is a big look to commit to and many find it overwhelming, or even too pricey to go whole hog with - especially if you are thinking forward to when you want to redecorate again in two years ;)  If you want to incorporate this gorgeous look into your decor, we've got some great tips here on adding it in measured amounts.

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Writing this post has me in a chinoiserie state of mind, so I've reached for my small touch - a single serving teapot that doubles as a pretty piece of decor. Why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and start thinking about covering some panels or getting a throw cushion or two?

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 1.09.22 PM(follow me on Instagram - @seeseainteriors)

Psst: If you are thinking of starting a decorating project, get our Free Guide with 6 Easy Steps to save you time, money and headaches  take before your start your project!

Image sources on inspiration board: 1.   2.   3.   4.   5.   6.