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Barbara's Living and Dining Room
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What happens when you just can't make up your mind on a decorating style? Well, for Barbara, it meant a home of mixed characters -- too many to make any cohesive sense. It was Shabby Chic meets Mexican with a modern twist and some traditional furnishings were thrown into the mix. This jumbled dÈcor was not what she wanted, but she couldn't see any way out.


The major challenge for Barbara's Facelift was to bring a sense of unity to the overall ambiance. We emptied out the living and dining rooms and started from scratch. Every element from floor to ceiling was given proper attention. I chose a serene Asian theme, employing soft colours and earthy textures to create soothing surfaces.

My first decision was to replace the existing parquet with a new bamboo floor. The unique markings and tone of the wood connect and ground the rooms beautifully. The living room walls are now a dusky sage green, the sofas have plain Zen brown slipcovers, and we built a low coffee table that has a touch of bamboo and a timeless, worn finish.

The dining room is bright with many built-in details. Chinese-inspired paneling was built around the lower walls, decorated in an intricate pattern with thin pieces of molding. The upper walls are pale blue, and on one wall, a large chinoiserie design makes a subtle, yet dramatic effect painted in the same white as the paneling.

A chest of drawers was redesigned with modified shelves for holding Barbara and Smily's growing wine collection, and two store-bought cabinets were joined to make a low console with simple lines in keeping with our theme.

For contrast and to add some whimsy, we created a bamboo chandelier painted deep red that hangs over the mahogany dining table. And now, wherever your eye moves throughout the main floor, there is a sense of clarity and purpose to the rooms. Inviting, comfortable and spirited.

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Coffee Table Bamboo Floor Bamboo Floor Living Room Bamboo Floor Bamboo Floor Coffee Table Living Room Console Dining Chairs Bamboo Lampshade Dining Room Walls Bamboo Lampshade Dining Chairs Dining Chairs Dining Chairs Dining Chairs Dining Chairs Dining Room Walls Dining Room Walls Wine Cabinet Console