As we continue on this adventure of trying to add character to a cookie cutter home I want to show you one of my latest projects! When we moved into our house 3 ½ years ago I began making a list of the things I wanted to do in order for our new build to seem more established and less builder basic; adding built-ins in specific areas quickly was added. When I looked into how much built-ins would cost to install on either side of our stone fireplace I was floored by the prices I was seeing… Anywhere from $5,000-$8,000! Whelp; sit tight because that isn’t happening anytime soon. So there I sat at my kitchen island glaring at the blank white space on either side of my fireplace growing exceedingly annoyed that I hadn’t hit the lottery yet. One day, while staring at this blank space and browsing through design magazines, inspiration hit and a workable alternative was born. Hallelujah! I didn’t need to quell my patience any longer! I mean it! I immediately called my husband with my idea and convinced him to bring home my alternative that evening.
What was my solution to this costly project? Bookcases and one of a kind art pieces! My in-laws have a few sets of these beautiful lawyer barrister bookcases with character galore (check!). When I measured them I knew they would fit perfectly and add the visual interest I was looking for. Aside from some simplified styling I was well on my way. Now here is where it gets fun. I started scouring the internet looking for bold art pieces that would tie in with my accent color I continue to utilize on my first floor, cobalt blue and took my inspiration to the next level. A friend of mine, Vanessa Durrant, is talented and not only has photography as a side business but she is also an amazing artist. I sent her some prints that I was eyeing on Pottery Barn to give her a framework and let her run with it. She used complimentary patterns in the same colors and even snuck in some extra love by including significant dates within our family into the pattern. The finished project is better then I imagined and has so much more meaning now. Sometimes just shifting your expectations can work out for the better. Those pricey built-ins may have just been crossed off the list for good! What do you think?