Becca Gaines is an interior designer living in Collierville, TN. She's a longtime customer of Bella Vita, and is currently helping us bring our home to a style all our own. - Stephanie
An Awkward Space
Stephanie and Brent have a great, large living room with tall ceilings. The space is open to adjacent rooms on all sides, which creates a lot of traffic and several potential focal points. Without the right layout, this room could be awkward.
I wanted to bring in some large scale furniture pieces, because larger pieces would highlight the size of the space while simultaneously drawing the room in to make it cozier. There is a brick fireplace close to the center of the room on one wall. If we could find a large vertical piece to mirror this focal point, we could build a cozy seating arrangement between the two masses.
Stephanie and I both enjoy furniture with a past. I began hunting for a large, old armoire to mirror the fireplace and provide storage. I found this stunning piece in California, where it had landed after traveling half way around the world. This armoire dates back to the 1780s in France. It was found at a flea market in Provence and sent to the USA on a container full of other French warehouse and flea market goodies.
A Beautiful Armoire...After a Little TLC
The armoire has serpentine paneling on the doors and old rusty hinges and hardware. It arrived in a beautiful bleached oak which we had planned on altering. The old wood had such great character that we didn't want to cover it with paint, but we needed the piece to be a darker grey to offset the wood color from another old piece in the room and the floor color. We enlisted the help of a talented local artist, Jamie Roberts of Off the Wall
, to delicately wash the armoire with a stain. The old hinges were causing the wood to oxidize (one beautiful sign of a true antique), creating dark stains near the metal hardware. We used this natural patina as a guide to create our own grey stain.
Now the armoire sits across from Stephanie and Brent's fireplace, flanked by two contemporary yet majestic armchairs. If only pieces like these could talk... As the Singleys enjoy their cozy new living room, I guess these sweet moments will be added to the armoire's hundreds of years of silent archives.
Becca Gaines is an Interior Designer in the Memphis area. She lives at Home in Collierville with her husband Jake, and 17 month old Jovie. Becca is a graduate of The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and is registered as an Interior Designer with the Tennessee Board of Architecture and Engineering Examiners. She’s also been awarded certification by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Oh yeah, and she worked as an intern at Looney Ricks Kiss Architects too.
Our Small Home Reno
About Becca Gaines