Before: Lost in TraditionBefore: Lost in Tradition
David and Heather Helfer want to emphasize their living room's Spanish-style features. Color Splash host/designer David Bromstad creates an inviting south of the border family room but doesn't give them the customary preview of the design sketch for the project. In a playful act of reprisal to this unexpected twist, they insist an ugly lamp be included the design. Will the Helfers like the saturated colors and Southwestern design once it's finished?
Unfortunately, the shelving units that frame the fireplace look like they have very little to do with the look of the wall as a whole. They also stop short of making full use of the space and the lines of the vaulted ceiling. The wood ceiling and tiled floors are good indicators for a style that could really work in the space.
After: Stylish HeritageAfter: Stylish Heritage
Arches bring in that Southwestern style and unite the shelving into one large-scale unit. To tie the wood in with the rest of the wood in the room, Bromstad does a color wash using paint and a spray bottle of water. The water thins the paint so the grain and knots of the wood show through, maintaining that natural, rustic feel. To bring color to the shelving, Bromstad places earthenware pottery all over the room.
When you've got a great architectural feature, play it up. Bromstad highlights the vaulted ceilings by hanging wrought iron medallions. As an architectural feature, they bring some of the Southwestern design into a previously untapped space.
Before: Barren LandscapeBefore: Barren Landscape
Although the built-in cabinets are useful, they don't really do much for the aesthetic of the room. A spacious room like this really needs some unifying element to pull all of its features together.
After: Oasis of Color
She applies several coats to achieve a crudely made, yet ornate wood-grain finish. The effect is reminiscent of a sun-baked, weatherworn piece of furniture that you would find in an adobe home.
To cover the lines of the painted paneling, Hirsch mixes one quart of paint to two gallons of sheetrock compound. This gives the paint texture and creates a stucco finish on the walls. If you're mixing joint compound with paint for a textured look, make sure you choose a paint color one shade darker than you think you would want. The white color of the joint compound lightens it a bit. Pairing a deep blue wall color with wood ceilings and earthy floor tiles instantly gives a Mexican/south of the border feel to the room.
paint: wall (776 Santa Monica Blue), glaze (798 Blue Suede Shoes), cabinets (2110-10 Taupe), (1103 Camel Back) – Benjamin Moore
Reiner cobalt vases (item #120590887, #120599649, #120590692), Ondo amber vases (item #121155088, #121155337, #121155856), Singletan chandelier (item #140003133), Maraiirie sconce (item #591240165), red Shinya vase (#120076723), pillar candelstick holders (item #142777112, #142777429) – Z Gallerie
Diana stool (item #2157067), Bradenton chair (item #2107947), Brandenton cushions (item #2119640) – Pier 1 Imports
long bench (item #YD1243PL), console table (item #T037B), telephone table (item #YD095) – Nadeau Imports
Jute Boucle rug (walnut) – West Elm
Affordable AdaptationAffordable Adaptation
A Southwestern rug, a bench, some batting and a foam pad give him the raw materials to fashion his customized version for a fraction of the cost. It's a simple matter of upholstering the rug to the bench. De nada. Since it's covered with a rug, go ahead and put your feet on it; it's okay! Move it around the room: seating. Get a tray and set a drink on it. It's great, kid-friendly furniture.
Light HumorLight Humor
Fabricating his own little joke, he insisted that an ugly old lamp that had been with him since he was a kid had to be a part of the living room. Long story short, Bromstad agonized over how to make this thing go with the room's decor. Ultimately, using tricks to make it disappear into the room, like a dark shade and painting it the same color as the wall, created a tolerable lamp. Helfer felt a little guilty, but now insists that it will be in the family room forever.