Recently we have been making a few updates and changes out in the little cottage. Things like refreshing the paint, adding a bit of architectural ‘drama’ and sparkly new lighting.
You know what the fun thing is about updating a space? It is a chance to reinvent it and to give it a new look and perspective. A whole new feeling- within the same 4 walls. Anytime you tackle a refresh in a space- you can go in several directions.
Maybe it is simply a fresh coat of same or similar hue paint-maybe is a subtle change that is a tad different than what you had… and maybe it is a wild hair and more like a mid-life crisis makeover.
Behind the Makeover
This makeover has so many of my favorite things. Crystals on repeat, vintage French modern style chairs, antique gilding and old marble patinas, stacks and stacks of old books- and a bit of my favorite shade to mix into any setting- soft blush. And… it has a bit of drama. Okay. Maybe more like a whole lot of drama. That drama began with one thing…
When I told my husband I needed some paint for a project in the cottage and gave him a list- he stopped and grabbed 3 Farrow & Ball colors of paint for me. One blush, one gray and one charcoal black. Which one was I going with? Well…..
I know I shared a sneak peek of the dark charcoal in the little cottage recently- today you will see more of it- along with the most delicious elements from Lamps Plus that brought the whole look together.
The back wall and bookcases changed to mysterious and moody with charcoal paint. That darker backdrop with the gold mirror and antique marble against it?
Not usual- AND insanely beautiful.
Before you panic and think I have lost my marbles… (well, it is debatable) haha but -I have always loved dark and moody really- remember the huge chalkboard in the dining room? Definitely a drama queen.
But also- this dark and dramatic color change is inspired by a special project & photoshoot I was working on. I needed a bold and beautiful rich black dramatic backdrop – and so it I decided why not paint the entire wall and both bookcases since I was working on it anyway and enjoy a bit of that ‘drama’ it brings. And that dark backdrop also inspired me when I was shopping for the elements like the chandelier and furniture- it just fit so perfectly.
Books on repeat
Before anyone gets upset about the books missing covers and being backwards: Number one– Come back here and tune in tomorrow. I think you will LOVE it. (The post is UP here)
And number two– I personally have a big love of ruffle pages and neutral when it comes to vintage books- and I often turn the books around for a cohesive look. These are antique books – many of them are damaged or have damaged covers – and many of these books are missing the covers. So turning them around or wrapping them with plain paper is how I often display them for photos. I know that many folks despise the look-and that is okay with me- but the ruffly pages and woven bindings are quite pretty to me.
So how do you make a dark and moody charcoal black paint allllll over the wall work? One of the keys with going with a dark paint is to find the balance so it isn’t too ‘gothic’ looking. The reason that bold change works so well here- is because of the rest of the vintage elements- brass, gilding and marble fireplace- and the makeover elements that add a different feeling to the room from my partner Lamps Plus.
With lots of vintage elements like the marble fireplace and gold frame mirror- I wanted to keep the look vintage- but also to add a touch of more modern lines for a twist. These linen-look barrel back chairs with exposed frames on the back and nailhead details were perfect.
I have an issue with oversized chunky furniture- and the struggle to find dainty sized elements is real. I love that these chairs are small in stature and that you can use them in the living room for a seating group like I have- or at the dining table. They are also a crazy amazing affordable alternative to very similar look high end chairs ( They are currently priced under $250 each) I plan to add small slipcovers to them as well for when I want a different look.
I used 4 of these chairs to create a seating group around the fireplace.
A Whole Lot of Drama
My favorite way to add elegance and drama in a room? A crystal covered chandelier. And I cannot tell you how beautiful it is in person- I simply have not been able to capture the beauty and presence this has
This chandelier is HUGE- it is 28″ wide and 33″ tall- and it is SO SO beautiful in the tall ceilings of the little cottage. I love the cast metal frame that is covered in details. It is a silver finish but has a brassy gold tone coming through in areas.
And it is covered in crystals.
Tip: For a big statement in your room- lighting is key. I tend to go big or go home. I love the elegance and drama that a large crystal covered chandelier brings.
Here is is on so you can see how much it lights this space- it is from Lamps Plus – and is an incredible price for the size and statement that is brings. It absolutely makes the room.
Another change in here is the most delicious little brass table.
Can you be obsessed with a brass table? One with simple smooth lines and a whole lot of character?
Well, I am. And I can see this table traveling here and there to be used in several rooms. You can find this brass beauty here.
A touch of blush
With Allllllll that drama going on in the room with the dark bookcases, touches of vintage golds and beautiful bling- I wanted something to add a touch of feminine softness.
My go to way of bringing a soft touch in is with blush. I love blush with layers of whites in a room- and for being the ‘foil’ to the dramatic colors as well.
These pillows are chunky vintage style Turkish look pillows with delicate stitching details and patterns. The muted colors work well to add that touch of ‘neutral’ to the space- and since they are oversized- I love them as plop down casual seating on the floor.
Coming up next
Coming up tomorrow- one simple 20 minute change that makes this room feel more ‘Downton Abbey’ – and stay tuned for the elements we used for the dining room and kitchen lighting makeovers as well.
Happy Monday all!
Disclosure: Lamps Plus was my partner on this makeover- but all opinions are my own.
Bonnie Whitten says
OMG. Love love
Thank you Bonnie!
It is STunning!!! I love the contrast and definitely “the Moodiness” that the black bookcases and wall gives the room. The chandelier is fantastic too!!! I can’t wait to see more. Great job. Should be a lot of fun decorating for fall and christmas
Thank you Donna! Fun to walk on the wild side a bit and that chandelier is a show stopper!
The cottage is one of my favorites. The bookcases are great maybe I will repaint mine that color. It would totally change the room. Hum…..
Debra L Eisenberg says
Love so many detaiLs: petals on the table. Modern accent chairs with soft upholstery & gorgeous wood. Worn Books. Please show us, your fans, how to dry (or find) the dried line of flora. (Exactly what I’m planning for bathroom wall.) Ironically, I’m also searching for contemporary chairs, but had my doubts till saw yor pics. Need a modern high backed CHAIr for a living room corner & small chair for bedroom. Thank you for your invaluable advice & Exceptional design brilliance! During this pandemic, you are one of the few JOYs in my very small, solitary LIFE.(except for my 2 Maltese). Thank you!
Cindy Roth says
Wow, Wow, WoW! Apparently, you are going to have to do a Guest cottage book next! This was so worth the wait of the past few months you’ve been referring to it!
Can’t wait to see the rest.
Jody Baggerly says
Cindy, I love the Cottage book idea also! Hopefully courtney will put it on her “to do” list!
Karen B. says
You are amazing! I love the simple bouquets as well as the detailed floral bouquets you asemble.
You always inspire.
THE MAKE OVER IS STUNNING LOVE LOVE THE BLACK AND THAT CHANDELIER TOOK MY BREATH AWAY CAN’T WAIT TO SEE. MORE!!
The chandelier is INSANELY beautiful!!
Eugenia Annino Steger says
i love the charcoal walls, a great backdrop for all the pastels
Miche Ortega says
Just gorgeous — everything! The charcoal wall will be perfect for Halloween! That is my favorite Holiday, so I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Thank you.
YES!! I am so tempted to start playing with it already!
All of it is perfect! Absolutely beautiful!
NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE PHOTOS. I’D LOVE TO SEE WHAT YOU DID.
NEVER MIND THEY POPPED UP AFTER I HAD SCROLLED ALL THE WAY DOWN AND THEN BACK UP – ALSO THE TEXT HERE IS PUTTING EVERYTHING IN CAPS – IM NOT SHOUTING – I SWEAR.
Gosh- not sure what is happening with those. I am checking into it- thanks for the update!
So sorry about that Gina- lots of technical glitches yesterday it seems!
there’s still a couple photos that don’t show up – but the others are beautiful!
Happy Haute Home says
Absolutely love the black walls…definitely keep them for a while!! They are so beautiful!
They are so fun! And kind of fit my current ‘mood’ with everything going on. haha.
Hi Courtney: As usual you have hit the mark. The drama is wonderful and beautiful..Stay well..xxoJudy
Thanks Judy! Hope you and yours are staying well too!
This is so beautiful! I would like to order two of those chairs for our home library but am wondering if they are comfortable to sit in. What are your thoughts?
I find them comfortable- they are small so think dining chairs or occasional seating. They are so cute in person too!
Jackie Wild says
I love the black walls and bookcases!
They are fun!!