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Sigal's Den
Before & After Resources Tales From The Set


This family den was dark and gloomy. Yellowing wood paneled walls, a dark brick fireplace and the old parquet floor created a heavy, cavernous atmosphere that Sigal hated. The stucco and beam ceiling would be difficult to freshen up, and the odd bits of mismatched, hand-me-down furnishings did nothing to brighten the mood.


Sigal's declaration that she was happiest surrounded by white was the key to transforming this dated den. We began by unifying the fireplace wall with a stunning plaster effect. Faux brick panels were adhered to the walls on either side of the existing brick and plaster was troweled over the entire surface. The brick fašade was then painted white and aged gently with touches of light umber glaze, rubbed back to highlight the contours and crevices of the bricks underneath.

The wood planks on the main wall ran in a diagonal pattern, which showed through after they had been painted white. We altered the look with trompe l'oeil, which is a paint effect that tricks the eye. We painted in gray shadow lines crossing the diagonals, which now gives the impression of old Mediterranean tiles along with the plaster.

The messiest job was the ceiling. The rough, pointy stucco had to be scraped and sanded down, a hellish job for anyone. You must wear a proper mask and goggles to protect yourself from the dust and flying debris. Once the surface was smooth, Jim plastered corner stencil motifs for beautiful detail, and all was painted white.

I wanted large white tiles for the floor, but was forbidden to even think about this by Sigal's best friends who swore she would hate it. An alternative had to be designed, bought and in place within two days, so I brilliantly thought of using the simple Uniclic floor system and selected the most gorgeous cork floor in a rich merlot shade. Maybe they were right. This floor is durable, warm underfoot and the color grounds the all white room.

We introduced some color with the baby blue couch and burgundy slipcovers for a favorite chair. The television needed a home to hide in, so we bought a standard TV cabinet and revamped it. Doors were hung so that they could be opened back flat against the sides to allow for easy viewing. I dressed up the door fronts with pressed tin panels painted white and tea-stained to accent the pattern in the tin.

A series of thin plank shelving set up on aged metal brackets leaves room for displays, and the unique handmade coffee tables with their curved legs and painted highlights make the room personal and inviting.

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Tables Sofa Sofa Cabinet Floor Floor Ceiling Walls Sofa Sofa Tables Floor Cabinet Walls Walls Walls