This house belongs to my sister, Julie. Julie is a misplaced Southern Belle. Perhaps it was the couple of years we lived in Mississippi when our Dad was stationed there? Anyways, sipping mint juleps in a big Southern Tara-esque plantation home in Buckhead would be her ultimate dream, but it’s not happening anytime soon. In the meantime, she sips mint juleps in her southern colonial style home in Snohomish. Yes, it is the only southern colonial home in a 2,000 mile radius, but that’s okay – it’s what my client wanted. Julie originally found a house look she liked in a magazine. If you are looking for stock plans, sunset magazine and southern living have very nice plans. In my opinion, of course, you’d be better off finding a nice architect….
To see the first floor, click here: first floor
To see the second floor, click here: second floor
The real reason I want to show you the house is so you can see the inside. Julie’s decorating is definately dramatic. She describes it as elegant and traditional with a contemporary twist to keep it fresh. My photos do not do it justice, but I tried. Our local newspaper featured her house in an article a couple of years and she shared some tips there. Here are some of those tips and more:
1. Mix expensive with cheap; pair that expensive french antique desk with a $250 8×10 wool carpet from overstock.com
2. Don’t go too trendy; i.e. don’t do a whole house with just pottery barn stuff…mix bits and pieces of fun trendy stuff (like pillows) in with the old. Go for timeless, rather than than a look that screams “2005”.
3. Update your colors, at least every 10 to 15 years. Be aware of color trends. People usually always like the same colors, so as the years go by change the tone to match the times. For example, Julie likes red. So, in the eighties and nineties her accessories were more burgundy. Now, she uses a more true red. Don’t be afraid of color.
4. Buy neutral, classic big pieces (i.e. your couch) ; they won’t go out of style so quickly. Add color and print with a cheap $150 dollar accent chair from TJ Maxx. And…hopefully, this is not you, but, if you have a pink and baby blue floral couch sitting in your living room right now, that you bought eighteen years ago, it truly must go….
5. Don’t hang your pictures too high. They should be at eye level and not ceiling level. If you are hanging large art or a mirror above a piece of funiture, in general the bottom of the frame should be no more than 6″ above the top of the furniture. Remember proportion. Don’t hang your child’s lone school photo in a skinny frame alone on a big wall near the ceiling. Instead, group a bunch of school photos together for a focal point.
and, last, but not least….
6. Never ever buy a couch with reclining chairs with drink holders built in. It will soon become a bed and sport greasy head spots. Ugh!