Taking the color leap!

It all started with a little catalogue my mom gave me from Gump's San Francisco. 

Poppies! Oh. My. Gosh...I fell in love just flipping through the catalogue! Word of warning...not cheap. But if I was ever going to spend $150 on a decorative pillow, I know which one I would get! 

Making drastic changes to something that has been a certain way for 14 years is a real challenge for me...as much as I like to change things up, I still want it to be the same. Now THAT is craziness!

So I won't do drastic. Just a little pinch here and there. 

This is my boring little dining "nook." 

During the holidays, I really dress it up with wreaths and garland and tons of fun stuff. But the rest of the year, it is just "ho-hum." Nothing really special even though it is smack dab in the middle of everything!

One reason I have the table against the wall is because it really is the "main thoroughfare" through the living areas and kitchen. We usually only use the table during the holidays. Occasionally Brian and I will sit at it when the bar is full of "kids"... but rarely do we need the entire table. (I considered moving the table back into the middle of the room until I dang near broke my toe on the vacuum cleaner left sitting in my bedroom...if it usually isn't there, I can assure you my pinky toe will find it in the dark) 

For years I liked to think of my decor as "warm and cozy." Now I am beginning to feel some of the elements are just "dark and dank."

Having "warm and cozy" (or dark and dank!) really isn't a problem in my house because I have soooo much natural light. That is a good thing but I am slowly coming to terms with the idea that "light" doesn't necessarily give visual interest to a space like color does! It just gives it "light." 

So here I go!

FOURTEEN YEARS! Yep, that is how long these pictures have been there, exactly as the were the day I bought them.

The pictures are simple little botanicals...the frame and matting is what really gave them their "visual interest." Not wanting to spend a fortune, I chalk painted and distressed the frame, painted the little decorative wood trim on the inside matting, removed the decorative tape on the black matte and changed out the large "rust colored" matte for a fun and bright red. (Yes, I need non-glare glass!)

With these changes made, the table looked very drab and boring. So I took my little Gump's magazine clipping with the beautiful poppy and hydrangea decor (my "inspiration"...I desperately want the $150 tapestry pillows...HA!) to Hobby Lobby and picked up some poppy and hydrangea silk flowers. I had made some little wooden "tool boxes" for my booth, so I grabbed one of those and painted it an "olivey green"  color (Gump's green) and distressed it a tad.

I am NOT a floral designer, and I know when to call in the experts. I called my totally awesome neighbor Trish, who use to be a floral designer, to help me make an arrangement for my table.

Trish is so much like me...rather than "help" me create a new arrangement, she loaded up all my "stuff" and took it home...and delivered this....

Isn't she crazy talented! She even added a few of her own poppies to give the arrangement more height! I love how she incorporated all the colors, including a little splash of lavender! It is exactly what I wanted! 

With these two little changes, this bland "thoroughfare" has turned into a spirited and colorful little "nook" that now has a tad more visual interest! I am considering breaking out some of my grandmother's china and creating a little table setting! With the boys older and the odds of flying balls and bodies wrecking havoc, I might just do that!!

This dining area is smack in the middle of my living room and den...and next to the kitchen. I really worried that the changes would "clash" with with burnt orange and black in the den, the blue, cream and brown in the living room, and the paprika and gold tones in the kitchen. It doesn't...it is the perfect "pop" this space needed.

Now I just need to get out in the garage and refinish my awesome mid century dining chairs...maybe find a new round table I can paint a bright color. I might even pull it out into the middle of the room...I will just have to put a VERY bright night light in the room so my pinky toes won't find it during my late night refrigerator raids!

I also want to change out the decorative pillows in the little mid-century chair in the corner...poppies maybe?! Then I might have to consider changing out the light...