Cozy English Cottage

My mantle wall had bookcases backed with fabric covered boards in a pretty blue floral~but now that winter was here, the romantic summery feel of the room didn't feel quite right~hence the makeover!

Here is a glimpse of the finished look for the mantle and bookcases as part of the new Monday Makeovers series by BlogHer.

The floral boards will be saved so I can put them back in when springtime arrives~kind of like slipcovers for the bookcases, if you know what I mean.

These cases have had a few different looks, from ballet pink to the blue floral look that followed. I had in mind a robins egg blue to play up the blue accents I had in the room, so I set about painting the shelves blue. This is a great shot of all the options I have used so far~my schizophrenic bookcases!

I was really liking this, I thought it pulled in the blue chandelier crystals and I added a blue mirror I had to tie it all together. Then I filled the bookcases back up and stepped back to admire my work. As the blue paint dried it got a little bit brighter!

Argh~suddenly it was feeling electric in here! This was not going to work, not for one more minute.

Plan B was quickly devised and a coat of grey paint was brushed over the blue in a cross hatching manner, so bits of the blue would still be seen~and suddenly the room was feeling calm and elegant. If you try something and it doesn't feel right, it is because it isn't right, so don't be afraid to try again.

The mantle was next in line for a coat of grey paint. The carved element over the fireplace was taken down to make the room even calmer.

What I discovered was that the grey paint was the perfect foil for the pretty colors I love. It lets the colorful accents stand out without overwhelming the room. Its pretty and grown up all at the same time!

You can see the background of the painted bookcase with its bits of blue showing through.

Everything I put on the shelves looked good against this medium shade of grey.

See how nicely it is coming together now? I had to share my mistakes along the way, because even as a decorator you can make mistakes...the point is not to live with them!

A watercolor of a pond near my parent's Vineyard home and this trendy french script fabric would be used to bring out the grey paint in the room.

My decorating style leans towards the feminine and romantic style~ I think this shows you can create a romantic space without over doing florals and pink. However there was still more to be done.

I added a vintage tapestry chair to the fireside.

And a cute needlepoint stool for the slip covered chair.

Pleated shades for the sconces, as well as some purple glass drops and purple transferware plates.

Leaving my romantic summer cottage look behind.

For a cozier look with bits of English cottage style!
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