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We have lived in our home in Charlotte since September of 2011.  Recently, the realtor who represented the former owner and I were talking.  Lisa lives down the street and is just a wonderful neighbor, a great realtor, and a fun person.   She said that she had the pictures which she took of our home when she was listing it.  We thought that since it now looks so different from when we bought it and since she has a real estate blog and I have this blog, we should combine forces and do a “before and after” story for our respecive readers. I am not saying that my furniture or paint colors are any better.  What I am saying is that you can have the same room, but it can be absolutely transformed by what is in it, how the furniture is arranged, etc.

Here is what my dining room looked like when we came to see the property.

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I have often read that red is a great color to paint a dining room.  It stimulates the appetite and makes for drama.  But, I had been wanting to use a color called, “Palladian Blue,” from the Ben Moore paint store.  Since this is to be our home for many years, I decided to break out of my neutral design and paint this dining room blue above the chair rail.  Here is how it turned out.

I also changed the chandelier.  In fact the first blog that I wrote was about the small magnets that I added to this chandelier to hold the prisms.

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At more than eight feet, the center island is such a generous size and I love the fact that we can really spread out there. The granite was a speckled black and white and gray stone.

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What I wanted was a softer pallete with granite that was cream and beige and with some “movement” in the granite.  I also added items to the top of the cabinets and a shelf unit to the end of the island. On it I have serving platters, some majolica, and an ivy plant.

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The breakfast area of the kitchen is opposite the island.  Here is the before photo from Lisa Kelly’s real estate listing.

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…an here is the same breakfast area now.  I added black silk shades to the light fixture, made some curtains from a table cloth that I had, added the beveled glass window to the transom, and put a marble topped buffet on the long wall.  Then, of course I had to hang brown and white transferware plates around and above the buffet.  A friend of ours from Australia once made the plant stand and so I painted it the same color as the dining room and added a copper urn and some branches in the corner.  Pretend that you do not see the white extension cord under the buffet.

The light fixture had to be move about 14″ away from the wall to make room for the buffet.  So, I bought a celing medallion and one side of it covered the old hole in the sheet rock ceiling so that the electrician could cut another hole 14 ” beyond.  I also added conical glass flower holders to the bottom of the light and put rustic keys inside.

I think that I like the round table that was here before for this space but I love our pine table with the fretwork in the apron and probably will never get rid of it.  When all of the leaves are in, we can seat the whole family.

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You can change up the look of a light fixture by adding shades, subtracting shades, adding prisms, subtracting prisms…in the case of these little glass holders

Off of the kitchen dining area is the family room.  Here is the before. Note that the sofa and love seat are at a right angle to each other and the love seat bisects the room

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…and here is the after with way more furniture.  I seem to collect it like some people do shoes.

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The last photo that sent me for my blog is a before photo of the master bedroom.  The paint color has not been changed but in her photo it looks more yellow than I think it actually is. The yellow looks good with the red of the comforter on the bed.  I have always like yellow and red together. However, I think that the true color is more of a soft buttery yellow.

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I added curtains to the windows more furniture in the room. The bench at the end of the bed is the best idea ever.  It keeps covers from sliding onto the floor at night and gives us a great place to sit and put on shoes.

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Have fun with your furniture arrangement, paint colors, and accessories.  Create and be happy!

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