CREATING A CHILL MEDIA LOUNGE WITH RAYMOUR & FLANIGAN

It’s been quiet around here on the blog, but we’ve admittedly been incredibly busy! In our quest to finalize the remaining spaces in the downstairs of our addition, we have recently been working on a rather oddly-shaped room which essentially acts as a pass-through area between our new living room (which we were also fortunate enough to have decorated in partnership with Raymour & Flanigan!) and the stairs leading to the upper level. It’s a bit of a tricky space not only because of its bizarre L-shaped configuration, but also because of its inherently petite dimensions, unsightly HVAC duct work on one of the recessed walls that needed to be camouflaged somehow, AND the fact that this weird and tiny space is open and visible to the living room. Here’s what I’m talking about:

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 00

The new living room is off to the right, with a double wide passage. Notice the lovely HVAC duct that somehow needed to be concealed within the new design for this little space.

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 02

This is the back wall of the room…

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 01

And a view of the other wall in the room, with the start of the staircase leading to the upper floor.

So the plan for this space was to create a little lounge of sorts where we can chill and listen to music, with drink in hand. And ultimately, it would serve as a bit of an informal extension of the new living room so that people can still interact and flow between the two areas. With its defined purpose as being predominantly a media room though, the two major elements of consideration in the design were to include sufficient and attractive storage for our vinyl collection and all the necessary players and components, as well as cool and comfortable seating scattered throughout.

The first order of business was priming and painting the drywall, then designing a built-in for the recessed wall with the HVAC duct. Since it’s a narrow and recessed space, I thought it would be a perfect spot to store and display all of our vinyl in an artful way which didn’t take up too much space in an already small room.

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 03

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 04

My husband is clearly very happy to finally have a designated spot to house his music collection…haha!

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 06

Prepping for staining…

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 05

And voila…

MEDIA LOUNGE BEFORE 07

With the built-in finished, baseboard and trims installed, walls primed and painted, and lighting installed…now the decorating fun could begin!

In partnership with Raymour & Flanigan, I had the pleasure of choosing some absolutely AMAZING chairs to incorporate in this space. I am honestly always floored by the variety and quality of their pieces, and I was ecstatic to have had the opportunity to select an incredibly unique array of accent chairs from their collection that brings so much beauty and function to our little media room. I wanted the space to be modern/graphic/bold given that it is indeed a media room, so I opted for sculptural and iconic shapes for the chairs. And I am so in love with how everything came together!

So here’s a peek from the living room, looking into the media lounge…

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 05

And here is the space in its entirety!

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 04

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MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 02

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 03

Despite the room being on the small side, it was important for me to create a few different zones, punctuated by seating and some kind of accompanying table or surface. Along one wall, I placed a vintage bar cart (it was actually an unloved, roadside find but was easily elevated to something rather special with some matte black paint and new brass hardware and casters) and the GORGEOUS Chilton Accent Chair in all of its chocolatey glory. I seriously can’t get over the sumptuous form and comfort of this striking little chair!

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 07

It’s the perfect spot to pour a drink and perch!

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 06

Sumptuous and striking chair number two comes in the form of the stunning Verona Accent Chair. She’s crafted from buttery, ruched leather and is an absolute showstopper! Am seriously enamored with the design of this very special piece.

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 01

The opposite wall is graced by yet another beauty of a chair with unique, sculptural lines. This time, the Omega Accent Chair steals the scene with her bold, blue beauty.

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 11

And the final zone is one which I’ve unofficially dubbed the “man niche” (no “man cave” around here, as I truly can’t stand the sound of that expression…haha!), because I wanted this particular corner to be my husband’s exclusive spot. He has long been an aficionado of mid-century modern design, and I was SO very ecstatic to find an Eames-style lounger and ottoman that was beyond PERFECT in look and feel, and encompasses everything he appreciates in a lounge chair. The Grayson Lounge Chair and Ottoman is masculine, tough, iconic in design and so ridiculously comfortable that it’s virtually impossible to remove yourself from. It is seriously the most perfect chair for chilling!

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 10

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 12

MEDIA LOUNGE AFTER 08

And there it is! One more room wrapped up in our ongoing renovation here at Insieme House…just one more space to put the finishing touches on downstairs, then we’re moving on upstairs!

 

  • I have partnered with Raymour & Flanigan and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme

 

 

 

 

 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK SIX – THE FINAL REVEAL

And so we’ve finally reached the finish line of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge  … after six weeks of designing and doing, our little powder room is ready for her big debut!

Just to recap, this half-bathroom is a tiny, 5 x 5 ft space which previously found itself in this very crude state:

powder room before 2

My vision was to create a bold and dramatic jewel box of a room, fusing both traditional and global aesthetics in a way which felt fresh, chic and unique. I’ve always had a penchant for statement-making powder rooms, and I truly believe that the smaller the space, the more liberties you can take with your design choices! In essence, make it memorable. This powder room came together thanks to some amazing Craigslist finds, material from Home Depot and Lowe’s, some last-minute Amazon purchases, my amazing husband’s carpentry and masonry skills, and my own personal artistry on the walls. (You can check out previous posts to see the evolution.) And here she is now!

bathroom 12

bathroom 17

bathroom 14

bathroom 18

bathroom 13

bathroom 16

bathroom 15

bathroom 06

bathroom 05

bathroom 04

bathroom 03

bathroom 01

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bathroom 11

bathroom 09

We are so very happy with how it came together … thanks so much for following along and accompanying our design journey these past several weeks! Don’t forget to check out all of the other participants to see their transformations as well. A huge thanks to the One Room Challenge and House Beautiful for organizing and hosting this incredibly fun event!

 

 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 5

We’re in the homestretch of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, with only a week left before the final reveal!

So let me quickly catch you up on what we’ve been doing in our little powder room since the last post. Basically, we’ve been tending to the final installations of all the disparate elements to pull the space together. This past Sunday, our plumber took care of installing the following:

Our new Kohler toilet (purchased at Lowe’s), which ended up being a perfect fit in our tiny half-bathroom. She was pricey, but so worth it!

TOILET

As well as our glorious new sink and faucet, which I had sourced years ago in preparation for this eventual room:

SINK

I can’t even properly express how much I love this vessel sink! It is absolutely GORGEOUS! As well as this antique brass faucet, with its chic, bamboo design:

FAUCET

I found a matching toilet paper holder and towel rod (on Amazon) with an antique brass finish which is extremely similar to that of the faucet. Thankfully, they just arrived the other day and were installed last night. I really love how minimal and understated they are, while still evoking a bit of a glamorous feel:

TOILET PAPER HOLDER

(These are the stock product photos from Amazon, obviously…haha!) We ended up installing the towel rod on the side of the wooden vanity as opposed to the wall, as you’ll see in the final reveal!

TOWEL BAR

We also installed the mirror, as well as the lighting. For the overhead light, I purchased an art deco-inspired flush mount fixture (Amazon to the rescue, once again!) with antique brass detailing and a low profile:

PENDANT FLUSH MOUNT

And the two wall sconces, which I’ve shown you before, were also finally installed:

wall sconce

But prior to installation, these guys got a bit of a facelift, as I wanted to infuse them with a bit of drama, color, and global flavor. I had a collection of wooden beads from India which I decided would be ideal to embellish the sconces with:

BEAD CRAFTING 02

BEAD CRAFTING 01

And I’m afraid that’s all I can show you at the moment! Check in next week to see the final reveal…I’m so incredibly excited to address the final details and start shooting in there!

 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 4

And here we are at week four of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge where the most recent development has been tackling the wall treatment in our tiny powder room. My vision was always to incorporate a graphic, high-contrast pattern in this space. Reminiscent of, but not exactly like this:

queen of spain wallpaper

You may remember that I previously shared this in my mood board as a reference to the look and feel I was aiming for. It is the Queen of Spain wallpaper by Schumacher, and this beauty has been a longtime favorite of mine. I really wanted the boldness and drama of a striking wallpaper, but ultimately, wanted to create the art myself directly on the walls. There is something incredibly visually appealing about the naivete of hand stamping (former art student here, obviously…haha!), and it was a technique that I thought would work perfectly in this 5×5 ft half bathroom. In keeping with the naivete of the approach, I didn’t want to overthink the materials either…and in fact, they presented themselves most serendipitously. Our place is essentially one massive construction site at the moment, and among the miscellaneous array of debris scattered here and there, there were some leftover rigid foam insulation sheets kicking around. Which we were repeatedly trampling over and which would randomly break off into irregular shards. And it all of a sudden just clicked: they would be the perfect elements for creating a free-form, graphic pattern that would read as primitive and abstract all at once. Perfect!

WALLS 01

See the pile of them on the left hand side of the photo? They naturally broke off in ragged triangles, squares and rectangles, so to balance out the arsenal of geometrical shapes,  I carved out a circular form as well. The texture and materiality of the foam would also mean that I would never get a uniform effect from the stamp, which was also important to me, aesthetically speaking, as I was striving for spontaneity in the overall surface treatment. Sounds intense, but this was SUCH an easy and fun application…I just applied black latex paint (flat in this case) onto my foam stamps and let things roll:

WALLS 03

(Please ignore my frightening appearance…it was cold and I was dressed like a DIYing vagabond as a result…hahah!)

WALLS 02

And one by one, I would hand stamp the wall. I wanted the process to be extemporaneous and instinctive, so I didn’t measure or plan out any specific configuration for the layout…I just made sure to keep adequate spacing and a pleasing composition in mind and just rolled with it, quite literally:

WALLS 04

WALLS 06

WALLS 07

So that’s just a quick peek, as I can’t give too much away at this point. But you get the idea!

Also, I finally sourced the pair of elusive wall sconces which I will be further embellishing before their final installation. I had to purchase them from two separate shops on Amazon, as each vendor only had one:

wall sconce

 

And lastly, we permanently installed the cultured marble counter on the vanity. It was previously dry fitted, but we took it off when I was working on the walls. We’ve also marked out the holes to be drilled out for the sink drain and faucet installation:

VANITY COUNTERTOP

This weekend we’ll be finalizing the plumbing situation by installing the toilet, sink and faucet. As well as sorting out the lighting fixtures (sconces and overhead). Stay tuned for the penultimate week of the challenge…the final reveal is just around the corner, guys!

 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 3

Three weeks into the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, and fortunately we’ve been able to make consistent progress at a comfortable pace, and get things steadily crossed off the list!

So let me show you what’s been happening around here since the last post. The powder room finally got a door, which we purchased at Lowe’s.

DOOR 01

Random but pertinent disclaimer: Please ignore the atrocious quality of some/most of these WIP shots, as Brian and I usually work on our home renovation projects at night (hence the horrific lighting) in our downtime. Haphazardly strung task lighting doesn’t exactly make for professional quality visuals…haha!

Where were we?

Oh, then the floor threshold went down and door trims were installed.

DOOR 02

As you can see, there’s some patching, sanding, and painting going on at this stage.

I was so incredibly lucky to score two vital elements for the powder room – the mirror and a dresser to be customized into the sink vanity – that were EXACTLY what I had in mind for this space, on Craigslist. For nearly next to nothing, too; the mirror was $30 dollars and the dresser a mere $20. Seriously unbelievable…some finds are truly fortuitous!

The mirror I had long envisioned for this little half-bath had to be opulent and statement-making, with a nod to the antiquities. I had come across this particular image of a mirror which perfectly illustrated what I had in mind, being sold for an exorbitant amount on 1stdibs, and used it as a reference in my mood board for this room:

ornate mirror

And after some exhaustive online searching, this is what I was able to miraculously locate on my local Craigslist:

MIRROR

Totally worth the two hour drive to the seller’s house! I am SO absolutely in love with it! It’s crafted of hand-carved wood with a beautifully aged gilt finish, and is in amazing condition given that it’s nearly seventy years old. The only thing that it needed was a bit of gluing and reinforcing on one corner, and it was ready to go!

I deeply wanted an art deco, waterfall style dresser to customize into the vanity for the sink, and Craigslist came to the rescue, again! Unfortunately, in my zeal for getting things done, I completely forgot to photograph the original piece before we started modifying it for our needs (you’ll see what I mean in a bit). But it is extremely similar to the dresser in this reference photo (taken from another Craigslist listing) that I used in my mood board:

art deco waterfall dresser vanity

So the dresser obviously has drawers, but our plan for converting it into a vanity for the sink involved repurposing said drawers into two large cabinet doors (so as to access the plumbing and increase interior storage), as well as removing the wooden top to eventually receive a marble top and vessel sink. And here’s how we did it:

SINK VANITY 07

Drawers removed. Time to cut away and remove the wooden top, using a cordless circular saw:

SINK VANITY 08

SINK VANITY 09

Here, you can see that the top is now off, and we’re reinforcing the “floor” of the dresser for stability.

Next, the drawers were completely dismantled and broken down into individual panels so that we could use the faces for the cabinet door fronts. The back part of the new cabinet doors required some additional sheathing, so we just used the sides of the old drawers. Like so:

SINK VANITY 06

SINK VANITY 02

Then, we installed the dresser/vanity in situ, in the powder room:

SINK VANITY 10

And these are the new cabinet doors, which we have not yet installed as we are waiting for special hinges to be delivered. Hopefully tomorrow! We will be (re)using the old drawer pulls on the new cabinet doors, but haven’t installed those yet either.

SINK VANITY 04

We also dry fitted a cultured marble counter top (ordered from Home Depot) and it was a perfect fit!

SINK VANITY 03

SINK VANITY 01

And currently that’s where we’re at! Check in next week to see more of our progress as we start tackling the wall treatment in here!

 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 2

So we’re onto the second week of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge and things are solidly underway around here!

The first order of business involved priming and painting the walls of the powder room a flat white (we used Valspar Ultra-White as a base because these walls will be receiving a painted “treatment” of sorts in the coming weeks), and installing the cement board on the floor. Like so:

TILING CEMENT BOARD

And with the cement board installed, we were ready for tiling. As I had mentioned in the previous post, we had bought black and white marble tile from Home Depot and decided to configure them in a traditional, harlequin pattern. We initially made a rendering of the tile layout to give us some visual orientation before we started, to ensure that we sourced enough material and to serve as reference during the application if needed. With the mortar mixed, we were ready to go and the installation went fairly quickly and smoothly, given the small scale of the room. Nothing like immediate and gratifying results, right?

TILING 01

Because the bathroom is so tiny and only one person could comfortably spread out in it to do the job properly, Brian did the laying while I assisted from the outside, bringing him the tile, making sure the mortar stayed wet as well as keeping the wet tile saw “hydrated”, and, of course, documenting the process.

TILING 02

(My husband is going to absolutely hate me for using these photos because his underwear is showing in tragically cliche, contractor fashion, but these are the only shots I have…haha!)

TILING 04

Masonry, in any of its forms, is clearly not a clean affair…haha! Also, here you can see the printout of the layout we created and used for reference. As well as one of the multiple cans of La Croix that was consumed while finishing the job. Keeping it classy, guys…

TILING 03

Lots of measuring and cutting involved on the border tiles. But overall, it went quickly and we have now crossed wall prep and floor tiling off the list! And voila!

TILING 05

I chose black marble tiles that were heavily veined because I find them infinitely more beautiful and dramatic than the more uniform variety. They look more organic to me, and especially in this arrangement, they make the floors look classic and elegant as opposed to diner-y. No disrespect to the latter visual, of course, it just wasn’t the look I was going for in this space!

We also just ordered the toilet online from Lowe’s, which should be delivered soon as well. Because the powder room is rather diminutive, we opted for one of the smaller models out there, with a rounded seat, and ended up having to pay a bit more than what one would pay for a standard toilet, but such is life. A standard-size toilet with a larger footprint would simply take up too much space and overwhelm the room. We went with the Kohler San Souci 1-piece 1.28 GPF Single Flush Round Toilet and here it is:

TOILET

So that’s the status quo around here so far! I’ve just found THE absolute perfect mirror and art deco dresser to be customized into the bathroom vanity – both on Craigslist for a steal – and will be showing you those next time!

Stay tuned for more next week!

 

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YOU’RE INVITED – DINING ROOM REVEAL WITH RAYMOUR & FLANIGAN

When we were deciding how to configure the new spaces in our addition, we knew we didn’t want to expand our kitchen in any way, despite it being miniscule. Some people find a big kitchen indispensable, but what we really lacked in our a-frame was more ample room for living, in general, and entertaining. I absolutely adore cooking and gathering around a table sharing food and wine with loved ones, so it was a priority to squeeze a dining space into the floor plan however we could! The downstairs level of our addition is essentially a large, open space, with a half-bathroom, guest/laundry room and media room off of the “grand room”. I’ve already shown you the living room portion of the open space, and today I’ll be sharing the dining area, which is contiguous to the kitchen. Admittedly, it is a bit of an unusual space because it is where the addition meets the original structure, so there was a rather awkward, angled wall to contend with. Let me show you what I  mean:

DINING ROOM BEFORE 01

The wooden paneling you see in the background is actually the roof of the a-frame, stripped of its shingles. Also, we had a new HVAC system installed to service both the old and new structure, and as a result, unsightly duct work was also something else we had to contend with in that already odd space.  Because the dining room is actually a bit on the small side, we decided to construct huge built-ins (using builder grade bi-fold doors) to plumb out the wall, which would ultimately be super functional for housing all of our dishware and related dining accoutrements. So this is how the process went:

DINING ROOM BUILT-IN 02

First, we framed out the built-ins. The opening between the a-frame and the dining room is on the left; we were only able to demolish the wall after the photo shoot for this post, but for purposes of understanding the layout of the space, that is actually the passageway into the kitchen.

DINING ROOM BUILT-IN 00

So much geometry involved in framing these out! But it allows for so much shelving and storage space for the embarrassing amount of glasses, transferware and tabletop accessories I’ve collected/horded over the years…haha! Oh, and the duct work was enclosed in a cabinet, out of sight but accessible if the need arises.

DINING ROOM BUILT-IN 03

Bi-fold doors in place. Now, time to customize with our own design! Lots of trim work at play here, especially because we didn’t want to incorporate hardware for opening the doors.

 

DINING ROOM BUILT-IN 04

And then, lots of patching, sanding, priming and painting ensued.

DINING ROOM BEFORE 04

An ornate ceiling medallion was installed as well. I wanted the space to feel both eclectic and elegant with a few special touches via the lighting choices, and ultimately let the furniture make its impact and serve its function. Personally, I prefer dining rooms which breathe a bit given that there is always so much animation and energy contributed by the people who gather in it!

DINING ROOM BEFORE 03

Fully painted and ready for illumination!

DINING ROOM BEFORE 05

And then the real fun began! As I had mentioned, I wanted to create a chic and airy dining room that wasn’t cluttered with the unnecessary. I chose a bold, Moroccan tribal rug from my collection to provide a bit of visual interest and comfort underfoot, and found the PERFECT assemblage of chairs, table and sideboard from my friends at Raymour & Flanigan to pull our little dining room together. There are SO many things I seriously love about this company, one of them being the sheer magnitude of variety they offer in terms of furniture styles. It’s truly such an asset to their brand! I’m the kind of person who generally appreciates a mix and match approach when it comes to decorating, and this is especially the case in a dining room setting. Meaning, I tend to steer clear of “sets” of any kind. I find that it always feels more unique, personalized and surprising to design a room with a looser and more imaginative approach…because I’m a believer that beauty is always found in the unexpected!

DINING ROOM 00

Like I said, I chose pieces which were essentially from four different sets. I wanted a robust, wooden table with unfussy lines and the option of a leaf (for when I’m entertaining bigger groups) and the Sutton Place Dining Table was exactly what I had in mind. It’s seriously perfect, with such a gorgeous patina!

I really wanted to mix up the seating not only in terms of their design, but also material. The masculine solidity of the Prato Dining Armchair, with its striking curvature and incredible craftsmanship, juxtaposed against the wiry, mid-century lines of the brass Penelope Chair provide the perfect contrast I was seeking for this grouping.

DINING ROOM 02

DINING ROOM 03

I fell in love with the Echo Park Buffet because of its incredibly handsome carvings and felt that its Brutalist style meshed beautifully with the rest of the chosen pieces. It’s a rather substantial sideboard/buffet offering lots of interior storage and was from an entirely different set, of course, but all of the elements interact so well with each other.

SIDEBOARD AND CHAIR

I had painted a canvas specifically to hang over it, which I then flanked with some vintage table lamps from my stash.

SIDEBOARD 04

SIDEBOARD 07

And there you have it…the makings of our little dining room which I cannot wait to put to good use and make endless memories in!

DINING ROOM 04

DINING ROOM 01

 

  • I have partnered with Raymour & Flanigan and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme