Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Project, and its Tablescapes

Many of you know that I work for a regional developer in the area who has management and ownership interest in several multi-family apartment complexes throughout the area. One of those communities happens to be in a very nice area of the collection of Buffalo suburbs, and is within walking distance to downtown amenities, and one of Buffalo's most highly regarded private Universities. The model apartment for this complex was decorated about 10-years ago, and was catering to a style and taste that wasn't attracting the young, urban professional that the leasing staff was showing apartments to. One sure fire way to attract renters or buyers to a property is to have them enter and leave thinking, "Wow, I could see myself here!" With that said, can you see yourself here?

As you can see, it was a taste specific decor that was leaving a sour taste with many of the prospective dwellers. So, a co-worker who saw the article on our home in the Buffalo News suggested that I be in charge of re-vamping the space. Catering to a 24 - 34 year old urban professional man or woman. The task seemed easy enough, until we talked budget. Now, the bottom line, in any project, is the most important when you are talking dollars and cents, and the lower the better in this case. I constructed a budget, (a TIGHT budget) and brought it in at just around $3200. With cash in fingers crossed hands I set out to find furniture that would work well in the space, for very little money. Enter the chair I teased about last week. And enter the beginning of our before and afters, and the collection of tablescapes I did for the space. You can see more beautiful tablescapes by linking over to Susan's blog here. (Please excuse the lighting issues in these photos.)

The living room after. (Taken at night.) The chairs flank a modern table made to mimic the lines of brick layer tables. The sofa, a contemporary classic is covered in a mushroom brown colored velveteen cotton and stools serve as additional seating, or as convenient side tables. The collection is meant to be fresh and sophisticated, urban but eclectic, and gender neutral.

I opted for warmer colored fabrics and softer more textural fabrics in this space to give a warm and welcoming, "Cozy" feeling to this space. With more than 6-months a year lost to snow and ice, coming into a warm and cozy living space is what we all long for.

The dining room area before:
And after:

The dining room after. The table before (which will make a re-vamped debut soon) was much too big for this space. I opted for this bistro size table and chairs (BigLots, $187.) and this bookcase/buffet (Christmas Tree Shop $129.99) to give this space a larger feeling while still having all the function.

I replaced this:

With this:

My favorite vignette/tablescape, taken in the daylight. The wooden bowl atop the black cabinet relates back to the warm wood tones of the living room tables, while the cream accents and green-stained picture frames bring in color tones of the accessories found throughout the space.

The kitchen after. Another "tablescape" I worked with very little money to create. A new lamp shade from Hobby Lobby (14.99) on an existing lamp, and 4 bottles of Pellagrino behind a bamboo cutting board ($6.99 - Christmas Tree Shop) was all it took to create a stylish, high end display.

The master bedroom (largest bedroom) before. (Above.)

The vignette/tablescape atop the master bedroom dresser. Existing artwork was layered along with black felt boxes to create depth and interest. The palette was soft and neutral with a pop of ...

Peacock blue! Oh, how I love thee! White pintuck duvet layered with a peacock blue throw, 2 dupioni silk toss pillows and we had a soft but equally masculine feeling space - don't you think?

And to minimize my art costs, I extended the rods 3' to either side of the window and hung peacock blue drapes I found at Pier 1 for $39.99 per panel. Sheer voile panels in between make best use of all the light the room gets throughout the day.
The guest (smaller bedroom) before:

And it's new "Green" makeover:

The second bedroom after. Ikat in navy and white pair up nicely with kelly green trellis duvet and art that is an Artie original. To bring the color of that green around the room, I simply stopped at Hobby Lobby and picked up this 24x36" canvas, and then color matched the green of the sheets to Lowes "Globe Artichoke" by Olympic Paints. A small tester size paint can for $2.94 was all I needed.

And how about a wall decal that is oh so easy to install. "Green is the new Black" is a fresh, modern, hip sorta saying don't you think? And with a woven jute mirror, large handblown glass jugs and enormous shell on top of gorgeous kelly green leather boxes ... I think we might have fooled them from thinking this room was actually smaller than the other one completely!
I hope you enjoyed your tour, I certainly enjoyed putting these rooms together. I never thought I'd get to actually hear the remarks of 24-34 year old men and women who might be interested in renting in the community, but it just so happens that I was showing my boss the unit when the manager of the complex brought over 3 couples, all between the ages of 20 - 35 to view the newly finished model.
The remarks:
"Oh, this is nice!"
"It's so beautiful!"
"Does it come furnished?"
"They do have it furnished beautifully."
So, it wasn't all in vain. The came, they saw, and they approved. I hope you do too! Be sure to let me know what you think!