Mismatched Hand-Me-DownsYoung professionals Kristy and Matt Jewett are living in their first apartment and want to do away with the college-kid vibe. Their furniture is a collection of hand-me-downs and inexpensive finds with a few favored pieces mixed in. They love the lively colors and warm wood tones that they discovered on a recent trip to Italy and want to bring similar touches into their new home.
The living room/dining room is very small and full of secondhand college furniture. The couple recently refinished their dining room table and chairs and like the dark wood tone. The other contemporary light-wood furniture and cheap lamp can definitely go. However, their framed print of an Italian cityscape hanging over the fireplace inspires a warm Tuscan color scheme.
For all available product information, click on the After photo of the room.
Tuscan Villa StyleThe Solution
Interior designer Lee Snijders admits that it may be a challenge to bring the feel of Tuscany to such a small space, but with color and some design innovation, he thinks it's possible. The walls are painted a sunny Tuscan yellow, and the vibrant colors of the dupioni silk accent pillows and window treatments are evocative of an Italian sunset. Design coordinator Summer Baltzer builds a coffee table that incorporates wine storage underneath, and Charles Burbridge creates a new mantel from scrap wood and finds original art to liven up the space. A photo of the couple with the same cityscape in the background, from their trip to Italy, is displayed on the mantel in front of the larger framed print of the same view.
Paint – $60
- wall paint, Behr's Satin Potter's Clay, 2A20-4, $22.98/gal – The Home Depot
Drapes and pillows – $100
- fabric for curtains and pillows, $6 per yd. – Interior Fabric
- ribbon for curtains and lamps, Moss 5810247, 3/8" wide, $1.89 each roll – Jo-Ann Fabrics
Slipcovers – $70
- slipcovers, $40 – Bed Bath & Beyond
Chair – $15
- chair (used), $15 – St. Vincents
Table redo – $10
Lamps – $150
- lamps, Bronzewood, set of three, 720354510405, $129.99 – Linens 'N Things
- ribbon for curtains and lamps, Moss 5810247, 3/8" wide, $1.89 each roll – Jo-Ann Stores
End table and TV stand – $180
- side table, $79.99 – Bed Bath & Beyond
- TV stand, 02211305681, $99.99 – Kmart
Mantel – $0
Shadowboxes – $155
Coffee table/wine rack – $110
- wine rack for coffee table, 000000357089, $39.99 each – Cost Plus World Market
Rug – $50
- rug, multicolored squares, clearance, $50 – Marshalls
Art – $100
Total – $1,000
Original ArtInspired by the Jewett's Italian print, Burbridge visits an artist he knows to look for some inexpensive original art and finds some small portraits with an Italianate vibe. Most cities have an artist community, and artists often sell directly to customers through open studios or private appointments.
Pewter Finish LampBaltzer found a set of three lamps, but they need a couple of finishing touches. The bases are black, and she wants an antique pewter finish, so she lightly spray paints them silver — just a dusting that allows a lot of black to still show through. In spots where she applies too much silver, she applies a light dusting of black matte paint until she achieves the look of antique pewter.
Framed Shadow BoxesAccessories placed on the wall add a lot of interest, so Snijders creates shadow boxes out of old frames that he found at a thrift store. For each one, he builds a simple wooden box with an open back and stains it to match the frame.
Wine Rack Coffee TableIn a small home, multipurpose furniture is a must, so Baltzer builds a coffee table that also houses wine racks. She builds it out of plywood with veneer covering the edges. Using a handheld router, she etches horizontal lines down the length of the table so that it looks like several long planks put together instead of one sheet of plywood. Then she stains it and hinges it to the base.
Wine Rack Close-UpThe wooden rack looks like a cargo crate for bottles and adds a rustic touch to the otherwise sophisticated decor.