Saturday, July 23, 2011

Black and white and red all over

Do you guys remember the old joke: What's black and white and red all over?

From my experience, there are three answers. One is a sunburned zebra. If the smarty-pants joker tried to fool you with the homophone "read," it's a newspaper. If you live with the G family, it was the point of inspiration for the breakfast-to-mud-room redesign, with the warm cherry trim and casements providing the red all over.

Black and white were a must for a bit of drama in the space. But the main color was tricky. Martha's Butterscotch really appealed to me and looked lovely with the cherry, but I worried the combo would be too Halloween. And we all know what happened in Halloween--naked, dead babysitters. And really bad acting. No thanks.

I moved on to the other colors in my muted citrus palette. Gold didn't feel right. Green? Hm. Maybe green. Then I started googling "rooms with green and black." Wow. There is a lot of gorgeousness to be seen, as long as you shield your eyes from the hideousness.

Green was it. Four weeks taken off my life because of wallpaper trauma, three coats of Spanish Moss, two silk-cotton blend drapery panels, and one new light fixture later... Welcome to our new mud room! Let's take a tour :)

When you walk through the door, you see:

Is anyone surprised? I am like a male cat peeing on trees. Must mark the territory with our G.

Across from the Ikea shoe cabinet pictured there under the monogram, we've got cushioned seating, BG's grandma's desk, and an antique cornice.


Here's a close-up of that fabric:


BFF-J gave up a weekend to help me choose just the right thing and sew up a storm (more projects from her to be seen in future blog installments). I like the fabric more every time I see it--which has been a lot--so I know it really was The One.

In our old house, the cornice served as a shelf for miscellany. Now, however, I've added peg-board hooks for backpack storage. If the system works, the four little Gs will never again be searching frantically on school mornings for their belongings. *uproarious laughter*

A girl can dream.

The two brushed silver indoor planters are for incoming and outgoing mail. 

And lastly, here is a shot of our new drapery, hardware, and light fixture:

I was totally inspired by all the lanterns in NOLA when I visited there with my friend EB. When I found one for a deal on Overstock, it had to happen. It was a horrible, stubborn fixture to install, but I think the pain was worth it.

As for the ceiling medallion, the lantern dwarfed the wee one we found within the epic peach incubator, so I painted Big Ma there black, added a bronzey glaze, and asked BG nicely to put her right back up. Unfortunately pics do not show the glazing details very well at all, so you'll have to take my word for it.

The drapery is so luxe. I ordered the panels from and hit a major sale on the 3rd of July. I freaking love it when stores go patriotic and sell me good stuff at a discount. Uncle Sam rocks, and I could not be more pleased with the quality of the window treatments.

The hardware you see... Anyone have guesses? I spotted a similar set-up during a playdate and Single White Femaled it without shame.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me, from the fourth circle of wallpaper hell to the bright light of an old-world lantern. I know the room could stand some accessorizing, but for now I'm just going to be [super] happy about how far it has come.


  1. Oh, my gosh! It's all so gorgeous! Supremely fab. BFF J did an amazing job on those cushions. And the lantern! Be still my heart. Super amazing job, MBG and BG!

  2. What a beautiful mudroom! Love the cushions, and the lamp is so freaking awesome! It's perfect. :-)

  3. I'm digging that room a lot! Yeah, that light fixture installation...I think I'd rather try moving our antique upright piano by myself that going through that lamp installation again. But the end result kicks arse!

  4. I just keep hearing EB's voice in my head saying "MBG...! MBG...!" because there are no words. The green is impeccable. Love all the repurposing. So classic and sophisticated with the cushions adding the right small touch of whimsy. Huzzah for BFF-J!

  5. PS - I know you know how much your title scared me. ;) :D Was that for my benefit? :D :D :D

  6. Oh Sarah, I'm a bad friend! I momentarily forgot about your hatred for red :D Sorry for the sike-out.

    I've gotten a couple of emails about the drapery hardware. Those are stem holdbacks that you see pictured. They are so perfect for fixed window treatments. I bought three pairs of Levolor stems on Amazon and divided them into two sets of three.

    The drapery doesn't have tab tops, so I affixed thick grosgrain ribbon in an impermanent way (safety pins!) and hung them up :)