Scheming: Family Room Makeover

Earlier this month Paintzen (the Uber of home painting) sent over a totally adorable husband and wife team to paint our family room in Boston. Ever since our renovations a few years ago, the walls back there have been this taupe-y shade that I really didn’t like. When a press release for Paintzen popped into my overstuffed inbox I took notice.

Paintzen is a digital paint company that handles all aspects of a paint project,  big or small. The simple site walks you through the process and provides a quote. If you decide to move forward they handle everything, from getting the paint (all Benjamin Moore, and they’ll even do a color consultation), to scheduling and managing the job. The money goes through them too.  The painters show up, do their thing, no fuss, no muss. I was thrilled with the entire experience.

Now that the family room is grey, Benjamin Moore Steel Wool to be exact, I feel like I can motivate on sprucing up the other elements. The enormous grey velvet sofa will remain (all four of us fit to watch TV), but we desperately need a new rug, ottomans, a chair, and perhaps additional lighting. We have plenty of art, and worked on a new gallery wall arrangement last weekend (photo below).

So when Wayfair offered me the opportunity to participate in its #NewYearNewRoom campaign, obviously I opted in. The directive was to choose 20 pieces from Wayfair and its other brands, which include AllModern and DwellStudio, that would breathe new life into an old space. I’m so inspired by this scheme I worked up that I think I will use my $100 gift card to start on a refresh right away.

F A M I L Y  R O O M 

Family Room Makeover Ideas Grey Living Room With Gold Accents

Sconces / Clock / Portrait / Photo 1 / Photo 2 / Diptych

 Sofa / Pillow / Pillows / Drawing / Glass / End Table

Rug / Chair / Ottoman / Coffee Table

Vase / Tray / Candlesticks / Floor Pillow

I N   P R O G R E S S 

Grey Family Room Makeover Ideas Gallery Wall

Here’s the family-size grey velvet sofa, a glimpse of the new grey walls, compliments of Paintzen, and a few of the artworks we considered hanging.

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ARTmonday: Kishore Kumar’s Flora & Fauna Paintings

Oftentimes the best stuff comes through referrals by friends and friends of friends and the like. Earlier this month Anu Gulati, who works in alternative healing and is acquainted with Heidi Pribell, who is a designer I work with, emailed me about a social enterprise project she’s started to support Indian artists. Little did she know my graduate work was in Indian art. That said, I know almost nothing about contemporary Indian artists, but am eager to learn.

I fell instantly in love with pen and ink flower drawings by Kishore Kumar, and sent a link right over to David Webster at Webster & Company in the Boston Design Center for the Webster Art Project I’m helping to curate. He loves them too, and we can’t wait until the pieces arrive in the States. Meanwhile, I want to share Kishore Kumar’s colorful acrylic on canvas paintings of flowers and plants.

Kumar grew up in a small village in India, where he became very interested in plants, nature, and art. Despite economic pressures and the responsibility of being the only son, his parents supported his passions and Kishore joined Khairagarh Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Asia’s first university dedicated to the musical and performing arts, and from which he graduated six years ago. Today, Kishore Kumar lives and works in New Delhi and has exhibited his work in India, China, and the United Staes. 

Contemporary Indian Artist Kishore Kumar's Flower Paintings

Kishore Kumar, Spring Season 3

Contemporary Indian Artist Kishore Kumar's Flower Paintings

Kishore Kumar, Foliage 1

Contemporary Indian Artist Kishore Kumar's Flower Paintings

Kishore Kumar, Celebration


Kishore Kumar, Foliage 4

Contemporary Indian Artist Kishore Kumar's Flower Paintings

Kishore Kumar, Moon Night


Kishore Kumar, Hanging Memories of Summer


Kishore Kumar, Early Spring


Kishore Kumar, Patralata 3


Kishore Kumar, Patralata 1

Contemporary Indian Artist Kishore Kumar's Flower Paintings

Kishore Kumar, Spring Season 4

Contemporary Indian Artist Kishore Kumar's Flower Paintings

Kishore Kumar, Spring Season

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Design Diary: Spa-Inspired Bath in Boston

I featured this spa-like bathroom designed by senior architect Barney Maier of Feinmann Inc., a Boston area design/build firm, as a  Room to Love in the Address section of The Boston Globe this past fall. I love the simplicity of the design, and would happily spend hours in that tub, which happens to be in the same neighborhood as my own condo (which is glaringly devoid of such luxury).

The project combined two units into one, and transformed the original kitchen and bath of one unit into this new master bathroom. A wall across the middle of the room separates the tub and shower area from the sink and toilet side of the space. A new, elegantly curved wall allows for breathing room so people can pass by. It’s hard to explain, so scroll down to the diagram at the end.

Zen Bathroom Design By Feinmnann In Boston

Maier designed the clean-lined, floating  shelves, which were manufactured by Showplace Cabinetry out of cherry wood and stained dark brown. The pair of stacked, minimalist towel bars in satin-nickel are Cinu by Ginger. The wall is clad in matte white tile. Recycled-glass mosaic tile by Kamet, in a blend of light green, black, white, and taupe covers the curved accent wall.

Zen Bathroom Design By Feinmnann In Boston

The shower wall, back wall and backsplash are done in Ferro White by Sant’Agostino 12-inch-by-24-inch tiles . Instead of bull nose tiles, stainless steel was used on the tile edges and shelving trim for a sleek, contemporary look. Matte black-porcelain Ceramica Sant’Agostino Ferro 12-inch-by-24-inch tiles ground the airy space. A wooden bath mat adds warmth and reinforces the overall spa feel.

Zen Bathroom Design By Feinmnann In Boston

The floating custom-made vanity is on the flip side of the shower wall.

Zen Bathroom Design By Feinmnann In Boston


S H O P  the  L O O K 
from StyleCarrot affiliates. 

Contemporary Square White Porcelain Sink

Above Counter Lavatory Sink

Ginger Cinu Towel Bar

Kohler Choreograph Floating Shower Shelf

Gray Wood Effect Porcelain Floor Tile

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Saturday Say It: You And Me And The Cat

Affordable Art Print By Ashley Goldberg Etsy

You and Me and the Cat
Typography art print by Ashley Goldberg
$38 on Etsy

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Shop cute cat styles from StyleCarrot partners >

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Crafty: DIY Blush Sheepskin

Do you remember the model apartment I decorated in the Troy Boston last spring? I posted the artwork I curated (all by local female artists) and inspiration photos of charcoal & blush palettes.

I borrowed the main furniture from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (thank you Andrew Terrat) and filled in with IKEA, and added accessories from H&M Home, Target, and my own closet. There were a few DIY projects too, including dying an IKEA sheepskin rug.  I wanted a pale pink blush shade. You can see I ended up with a darker rose tone. Not the end of the world; you should have seen it initially. (And you will since there’s a photo below.)

I’m not at all a DIY-er. I could be if I had more time, but I don’t, which means I also lack the patience. However I really really wanted a blush sheepskin rug and the only ones I found online were in Australia and/or were too pricey. So I looked at a couple of DIY blog posts and figured it wouldn’t be hard to dye a sheepskin rug. Did I mention I’m short on patience? The Jenny Komenda’s DIY post on Little Green Notebook that I followed was simple and straightforward. And her results were really pretty.


Here’s the finished product. Not bad, especially at a distance. Komenda used an acrylic sheepskin. I neglected to notice that. Of course I bought the real thing.


Komenda recommended Rit liquid dye in Petal Pink and Lemon Yellow. (There’s also powder dye; not sure how that works.) Who knew Rit dye was hard to come by in the city? I had to trek out to Michael’s Arts & Crafts in Porter Square for these colors. I called the independent hardware store in Beacon Hill first, but they didn’t have these colors.


After soaking the sheepskin in plain water, she used three parts pink to one part yellow to achieve the lovely pale pink. Since I wanted something a little stronger, I amped up the recipe. Too. Much. Probably I let it soak too long as well.


I pulled it out of its bath. already you can see that the long outside strands are REALLY dark and hideously pink, while the underside is pale and even white. And yes, I stirred and swished it.


Lovely! Not.


Eventually I toned it down to this shade. I rinsed it incessantly, and bleached it. Yes, I bleached my sheep(skin rug). Twice. The result? frazzled, fried split ends. Yup. Ironically, I just this minute discovered Rit Color Remover. That would have been nice to know about.


So then I gave it a trim. Not kidding. A blowdry and a trim. And a vigorous brushing.


The final result is a sufficiently fluffy(ish) sheepskin rug in an uneven—but paler!—shade of pink.


Yes, it shrunk. Here it is layered atop a large synthetic sheepskin rug, smartly untouched.


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