I live in a lovely neighborhood with lots of great amenities. A lake, soccer field, tennis courts, volleyball court, pool and more. At the center of it all is the clubhouse, which neighbors use for various events throughout the year, but which is also a great rental space for others in the community who may have a tie to someone living here.
While the outdoor spaces in our neighborhood have been receiving their due upkeep and beautification over the years, the interior of the clubhouse has taken a backseat to other projects.
Check out these photos of what the clubhouse looked like just a few months ago. It was lovingly decorated several decades ago, but no real attention had been bestowed on it in quite awhile and it was showing its age. Not to mention, the key architectural features like the soaring ceiling and tons of windows were hidden and darkened by the very taste-specific burgundy colored paint and heavy draperies.
So many neighbors have, for years, been pining for some updates to this space, but no one knew what to do or how much it would cost. That's where my friend Melissa got to work. Her conversations with several key neighborhood association Board Members eventually got them on board with allocating a small amount of money to the project. Melissa then reached out to me to see if I would be interested in developing a design plan and working with her to project manage and implement the updates. I was tickled pink to play a role in this project.
Melissa and I spent several weeks brainstorming and coming up with a fresh, updated look that would bring the space into this decade...and on a very limited budget. Once we had vendor quotes and other pricing nailed down, we set to work putting together a presentation for the board. I was kind of in my element on this one, as I was accustomed to making client presentations from my years in advertising. I was also really excited to talk about some creative ways to integrate affordable decor that would really speak to the special things that our neighborhood has to offer. Many of these were DIY projects, making them even more budget-friendly.
We presented the recommendation in 3 phases. Phase 1 was general updates to the main common area that you see above. Phase 2 was intended to maximize existing architectural features by covering the central fireplace with stone veneer and adding beams to the vaulted ceiling. Phase 3 included a comprehensive kitchen update.
The Board was thrilled with our presentation and pretty quickly approved Phase 1. Here are some of the Phase 1 elements as they were presented to the Board.
1 - Paint throughout: Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige on the walls, Alabaster on the ceiling
2 - Slipcover the existing couch and chair frames and cushions in medium grey
3 - Rattan blinds to replace all draperies
4 - Focal point artwork to determine accent color scheme, which would then be carried to pillows and select accessories
5 - New lighting to replace existing chandeliers and floor/table lamps
6 - Photo wall to feature iconic moments from the neighborhood
As with any project, there were some hiccups along the way. We had to change painters, which impacted the budget, forcing the new chandeliers to take a hit. The total slipcovering of all the seating also ended up being cost-inefficient and the Board wanted us to keep the existing frames, rather than purchase new couches. We therefore, decided to just slipcover all of the cushions and paint the frames ourselves. Other than the wall paint and upholstery, Melissa and I, with the help of a few great friends, did all of the work.
So without further ado, here are the after shots. We are beyond thrilled with the transformation and have heard nothing but positive comments from friends, neighbors and the Board. Look at how light and fresh it is!
The lake painting on the fireplace was the inspiration for the accent color scheme. We love that it is a tad abstract, brings in colors from the outside and looks just like our beautiful lake. It came printed on a canvas, but I wanted to give it some weight, so I framed it out with 3"x1" pine and stained it with Minwax Provincial. A few simple and modern accessories complete the vignette.
The blinds are a significant change, letting in light but also adding color and texture. In addition to making slipcovers for the cushions, the upholsterer also reworked the batting to give them a boxier, more updated look. I saved the existing throw pillows and ordered very affordable pillow covers online, drawing colors from the painting into the living area of the room. A tripod floor lamp (and matching table lamp in the other room), new coffee tables, a basket tray on the wall and fresh faux plants make it cozy and homey.
Our photo gallery is one of my favorite features. I took a few shots and also used photos generously donated by neighbors to complete this sentimental journey of neighborhood moments. Melissa worked her Photoshop magic, making them sepia-toned and somewhat impressionistic. We then printed them poster-size and Mod Podged them to canvases. The last step was a simple frame-out using stained lattice boards from Lowe's. I simply love this part of the clubhouse.
Finally, the space had a few other furniture pieces that had seen better days. Melissa suggested that we paint this credenza with one of the accent tones so that the back side of the fireplace has a colorful focal point and usable surface for parties. The oars are a great nod to lake-life and the fern fronds add color and height to the tablescape.
We are so happy with the outcome and feel that the finished product is pretty close to what we envisioned. Melissa is a rock star for getting the ball rolling on this and being a great design partner. And we are so thankful to the Board and the neighborhood for trusting us with the plan and implementation. The Board also loved Phases 2 and 3 and we are hopeful that those might come to fruition in the next couple of years. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for popping by!
Pillows can be addictive. Even when you have more than enough, a beautiful pattern or texture in a trending color can make you want to start all over again.
Before you get sucked into a pillow-buying frenzy, here are a few guidelines that might make it easier for you to set some pillow collection boundaries.
1 - Find your inspiration.
Before you buy, make sure you have a clear idea of what your palette is. Typically, you will develop your palette by pulling accent colors from an area rug or artwork. Try to choose 3 and use a ratio of 60/30/10 when introducing those colors around the room. Your pillows should either match or be in the same color family as one of those accent colors. Neutral toned pillows can also be a nice addition, if that's your palette or if you want to break up the color continuity.
2 - What's your vibe?
If you love an eclectic look, vary your pillows by size, color, texture and shape. Casually toss them about to achieve a boho or wabi sabi look that's so prominent in the trendiest designer Insta feeds.
If your look is a little more put-together and carefully curated, you will want a more symmetrical look. For a standard size sofa, try a pair of 22" matching pillows and a pair of 20" matching pillows. Finish them off with a small lumbar or round pillow in another color to put the cherry on top.
3 - Think in 3's
3 is my favorite design number and I have a whole slew of "rules of 3" that apply to all kinds of design elements. When it comes to pillows, the easiest rule of thumb is a solid, a pattern and a texture. This combination should give you the perfect mix of visual interest and cohesiveness without being too busy.
Don't forget to add a throw to maximize the cozy factor!
Have fun pillow-ing and thanks for popping by!
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