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

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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!

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bathroom 01

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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 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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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 1

So I’ve recently decided to join up as a guest participant in the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge, hosted by Lisa of Calling it Home and House Beautiful as their media partner! I’ve always watched from the virtual periphery as legions of talented designers (including both the featured and guest participants) embarked on this six week-long adventure, twice a year, working their unique magic in a single room of their choice. Since my husband, Brian, and I are in the midst of an endless remodel of our property – having initially renovated both the interior and exterior of our A-frame ourselves, and subsequently adding on a rather substantial addition which we are currently in the throes of doing the finish work on – I figured it would be fun to enlist in this collective design challenge and document the transformation, from beginning to end, of one of the rooms in the addition. We’re currently working on several areas in the downstairs, simultaneously, but for the One Room Challenge, we will be focusing on the teeny tiny powder room on that level.

At a whopping five by five feet in dimension, this little half-bathroom truly deserves to be bold and beautiful! Personally, I adore striking, statement-making bathrooms and have always envisioned this powder bath to be a jewel-box of sorts, fusing elements of the traditional and global with an eclectic and glamorous touch. Sounds slightly insane, perhaps, but that’s how I like my interiors. To be a bit unconventional and surprising in terms of their aesthetic overlaps.

So here is the space in question, in all of its crude and basic glory, with absolutely nothing to boast of other than unpainted drywall, sub-flooring, and its electrical and plumbing rough-ins:

powder room before 1

powder room before 2

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This is what needs to happen in here over the course of the next several weeks:

  • install cement board and marble floor tiles
  • prime and paint walls, as well as decide upon and execute finished wall treatment
  • source and install customized cabinet as vanity
  • install baseboard, trim, door and marble threshold
  • install cultured marble slab atop vanity
  • install sink, faucet, toilet and tie up any and all plumbing issues
  • source and install mirror
  • source and install two wall sconces and flush mount ceiling light
  • source and install towel rod and toilet paper holder/rod

I’m sure I’m missing something, and it’s possible that other considerations will arise as the project progresses, but that is the gist of the work involved. Admittedly, this is such a tiny room that I don’t foresee any serious and/or unexpectedly difficult issues emerging, and am just really looking forward to seeing this space unravel into something special!

Here’s a quickly thrown-together mood board which illustrates a bit of the “look and feel” I’ve long envisioned for this powder room. I actually don’t ever create concept boards when designing rooms in my own home (the ideas have usually been marinating for eternity in my decor-obsessed brain…haha!), but for the sake of documenting this process properly, I’ll show you what I have in mind:

moodboard 2

So let me break this down a bit…

  1. Gray and White Cultured Marble Slab from Home Depot. For the vanity top. Already ordered, not yet delivered.
  2.  I’m looking for two, dramatic wall sconces which incorporate both metal and chunky wooden beads. And I intend to customize these elusive and impossible to find lights with additional beading in striking hues to add a bit of global intrigue.
  3. (see 2. above)
  4.  The floor will be tiled in classic black and white marble, in a traditional harlequin pattern. Tile from Home Depot has already been ordered, delivered and is ready to go.
  5. Seeking an ornate, gilded mirror of baroque or neoclassical persuasion. This particular example came from 1stdibs and is apparently worth more than the GDP of several countries on this planet.
  6. The Queen of Spain wallpaper from Schumacher has long been a favorite of mine because I absolutely adore its graphic, high-contrast motif. My plan is to actually paint or block-print a bold pattern myself on the walls, so I am merely including this beloved wallpaper as a source of visual inspiration.
  7. Been scouring my local Craigslist (where I found this beauty) for an art deco, waterfall style cabinet to customize into the vanity for the sink. Fingers crossed it’ll be the one!

 

And the projected basic layout of the 5′ x 5′ room:

bathroom floor layout

 

As for the particular sink (it’s a black vessel sink featuring concentric tribal etchings around the circumference…it’s really unique!) and faucet (gilded and bamboo-like) that we’ll be using, both were sourced YEARS ago for this very purpose. And are currently packed away, somewhere deep in the recesses of the twenty foot shipping container/eyesore which is parked in our driveway as we finish all of the construction work on our property. But we’ll be unearthing them soon enough! And also, we have to source a toilet with a small footprint, as well as a flush mount ceiling fixture. Preferably sooner than later.

That’s pretty much the lowdown of what the plan is for this space…stay tuned for more next week! And be sure to check out the other participants on the official One Room Challenge page!

 

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GLOBAL EMBELLISHMENTS – THE BEAD CHEST

In my eyes, there is no better way to beautify than to layer on a bit of worldly charm – whether it be in interiors or fashion. (They’re interchangeable in so many ways, after all!) A well-placed touch of the exotic always infuses an element of global appeal, the kind which inspires wanderlust, intrigue and fascination. I’ve long been an aficionado of using artisanal wares of all types from far-flung corners of the world both in my home and my wardrobe, so whenever I come across an amazing source for beautiful product, I want to share it with those who also appreciate the same aesthetic!

The Bead Chest boasts the world’s largest selection of ethnic beads … and that is no exaggeration! Their incredible inventory is absolutely endless, from glass beads, to pottery beads, to bone beads and more – all carefully sourced and with the company mission being dedicated to supporting developing communities through ethical trading.

Here are a few strands of mixed beads, of miscellaneous material and origin (ranging from bone to pottery), which I cannot wait to wear as necklaces once the weather begins to cooperate around here and actually warm up!

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BEAD CHEST 04

Until then, I’ll be draping them in every pocket of our home. They’re such a gorgeous addition to any interior vignette, and truly add so much visual interest and textural beauty!

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In partnership with The Bead Chest, they will be offering my readers 15% off all orders within the next twenty-four hours! (Just use the discount code ASTRID15 at checkout.) They are perfect to wear as is, to incorporate as a decorative home accent, or for any myriad of creative projects. Their selections are already so very affordable, so this is a deal you certainly want to check out and take advantage of! Have a look and be prepared to be blown away with what you find!

Happy Spring … and happy embellishing!

BEAD CHEST 01

 

  • I have partnered with The Bead Chest and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme