Thursday, May 7, 2015

From Show Home, To Your Home

While on our personal decorating adventure for our home (read: my adventure, with the hubs' approvals ha!), I have come up against a few obstacles. So, our house was built in 1991, the beginning of the open-floor plan era. This was high on our list of “must-haves.” What was not, but what we ended up with since it was all the rage back in the day apparently, were brass fixtures, light blond wood floors and carpet in the bathrooms (oh my, I am not lying). Some of these will be swapped out at some point in time (seriously, who puts carpet in the bathroom?!) and others, well, they just aren’t as important in the grand scheme of things. I am trying to focus in more on one room at a time – like, furniture to sit on (...kind of important), paint colors, and things to hang on the walls. 

A few weeks back, I was invited to attend the grand opening of the Atlanta Symphony's Showhouse just north of Buckhead in Sandy Springs on Northside Drive. It is the Atlanta Symphony Associates’ 45th (!) consecutive year of presenting the Decorators’ Show House & Gardens. All proceeds go to support the ASO and its community outreach and education programs. An Atlanta spring tradition, ASA’s Show House & Gardens is the largest event of its kind in the Southeast – and one the longest-running in the United States! This year, the duly named "Chateau Soleil" is a sunny yellow, gorgeous 14,000 square foot French style estate. 

Oh my goodness, y’all. This house is a stunner. It’s the real deal in terms of good bones. The main foyer is two stories tall, and there are rooms upon rooms upon rooms that ladder out to the left and right. The master-on-main features not only His and Hers closets, but His and Hers bathrooms, too. And the Hers closet was not just one room, but two, all of which were bigger than most of our old one-bedroom Buckhead condo! Le sigh. 

If you haven’t been to a show home before, they are really vaults of ideas. Each room is typically “done up” by a different designer, to play off what was in there to begin with and create a livable space with a twist. While you might expect a clashing style with each room side by side designed by different people, somehow it always works. Maybe its the grander vision of the home that comes through, allowing a room of jungle chic to be right next to a modern laundry room with preppy prints.  For those of you in need of decor inspiration, a show home is a great spot to check out. 

I had so many favorite spots in this house (other than that two-room Hers closet, of course). The formal living room off the kitchen was designed by an old fav of mine, Vern Yip. He was in the room when I did the walk-through, but I was too nervous to go say hi! Love him from his HGTV Trading Spaces days. His room combined a preppy feel with comfort, and maximized the massive windows that lined the space. #fangirl

The upstairs hallway was my second favorite. Yes, a hallway! Not only did it feature the original blond wood floors (!) it also featured a ton of mixed metal elements, including the original brass fixtures. In particular, the gallery wall really inspired me. We have a ton of black frames and prints from our condo’s gallery wall, but they feel out of place in our new home. Now I am inspired to grab a can or two of spray paint, update a few to be silver and brassy/gold, and mix them up for a “new” look. “Brass is back,” so many of the designers told me, so I am also feeling less pressured to swap our fixtures over to brushed bronze or chrome. They can work how they are, with a little polishing! 

Another fab space was the nursery. The designer in here mixed old and new, budget and top-line, and music and weddings. Um, hello, Katherine and BB central! The Cello Lamp was amazing, as was the framed print of lullaby sheet music. Both are totally DIY-able. 

The baptismal gown was framed in a way that allows it to be un-framed and used by the next generation. 

And how fun is the wedding dress bed?! 

The last part of the home that made me smile was the story of its color. Apparently, not only the home’s exterior used to be yellow – the whole inside was too! That’s how OUR home is! While refreshing, our home’s yellow beige is overwhelming to me. To see how the designers stripped out that color in this home to make an entering fresh new space, reminded me that "the one room at a time” approach can work for us here, too. The ASA Showhome used all Benjamin Moore colors (my fav brand) and I got a few ideas for some new neutrals that we might be able to use in our place. 

Interested in checking out the show home for yourself? It is open through Mother’s Day and would be a great girls-date idea, or a good present/fun outing with your Mom for her day (especially if you are looking for last minute ideas). Check out the details for tickets at their website

Disclosure: I received free entry for the show home as part of their Media Preview Day, but all opinions are my own. Go see it for yourself! The last weekend is this coming weekend.