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Pat's Paradise
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Pat lives on the main floor of a brownstone triplex that she shares with her loving family. The living and dining rooms badly needed attention as they had not been touched for twenty years, and that meant twenty years of accumulating mismatched furniture, curios and memorabilia. Her family calls Pat the Queen of Clutter -- a name that many of us can relate to. The dark woodwork and furniture made the crowded rooms feel even heavier. It was time to take stock and revamp.


Both rooms were emptied out so that we could start fresh. The only way to truly revitalize the space was to have an open mind and let go of the dreary bits. I painted pearly pink striped walls that are both cheerful and sophisticated, and a glorious tropical blue sky for the ceilings. Then there was an abundance of dark wood doors and trim work that had to go. I am often criticized for painting over old wood furniture and wood trim in houses. But this wood is not always good quality and a fresh coat of white paint will make an amazing positive effect to the overall mood of the rooms.

Solid wood interior doors were replaced with glass-paneled doors that complement the new, airy atmosphere. The woodwork was treated to different finishes, a strie effect for the trim work and an aged paint effect for the gorgeous etched glass doors that Peter created.

The old wood and brick fireplace was just too drab for the bright, spirited living room, so it was refaced with a breezy vine stencil that Jim applied with cement. The mantel, painted to look like the cement with shades of pale gray, and relief leaf pattern have turned this fireplace into a remarkable focal point. Bookshelves flank the stunning fireplace and a special display unit was built for the dining room wall to show off Pat's whimsical collections.

The light fixtures continue the Caribbean theme; we added pineapple sconces and a banana leaf light, and transformed the dining room chandelier with silver paint, glass beads and shades. Slipcovers renew the sofa and dining chairs, and lace and silk curtains are hung at the windows. We used plant hangers to hold the curtain rods out from the wall, a clever way to ensure that the curtains would hang clear of the radiator.

Pat is still surrounded by her favourite things, but the new colours and details in her surroundings provide a relaxed, nostalgic mood that emphasizes her loving and giving lifestyle.

Click on the small photographs to the below to view each of the different angles of the room.

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Fireplace Sconces Sconces Table Walls Patinas Walls Sconces Sconces Doors Chandelier Patinas Walls Walls Sconces Table Patinas Fireplace