Annabel's Tried and True Holiday Accents, Recipes, and Tricks!

Annabel's Tried and True Holiday Accents, Recipes, and Tricks!

With November’s arrival, the Holiday season is truly underway! And while I’m not one to festoon my home in cartoon turkeys or snowmen, I do enjoy the trappings of the season. This week I’m sharing with you my very favorite holiday season traditions, decor tricks, and a few items from my own holiday wish list!

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Before & After Living Room: #ClientMappersDelight

Be Gone! Benjamin Moore Marblehead Gold

An old friend of mine has had this color in her kitchen since she moved into her home multiple years ago. Every time I visit we laugh about the color. She doesn’t live in Marblehead, but I do. We always wonder why Ben Moore named it Marblehead Gold? She can’t stand it, and has been itching to change the color since the day she moved in, but there are other parts of the kitchen that need changing too, so Marblehead Gold it’s been...and may still be (Hi Lindsay, if you’re reading this, let us know if you’ve painted the kitchen another color yet).

Well, this color also seems to have made an appearance in the living room of clients we worked with earlier this year. And they felt the same way Lindsay felt about the color. Below, is the culprit: Benjamin Moore, Marblehead Gold.

Ben Moore Marblehead Gold

You can decide for yourself from the pics of our clients’ living room if you think it is indeed this color. Either way, it needed to go. Quickly. In addition to getting rid of it on their walls, their mandates for the room included:

  • All new updated furniture that’s comfortable, yet stylish

  • A new (or new to them, anyway) rug

  • Some type of configuration and layout where they can watch TV in here, but not have it be the main focal point of the room (they have an additional family room for that

  • A room that’s comfortable and welcoming and useable, but a bit more “elevated” in style than their more “lounge-y” family room

  • A room that feels like a gathering place and not a walk-through

  • A place to store firewood for the wood-burning fireplace

  • Make the room feel like it’s always been part of this 1930s home, not a recent re-do

Now, let’s look at how we helped our clients tackle these mandates. Here are a few before shots:

Probably the biggest challenge we faced was figuring out how to incorporate a TV in here. No one wanted it over the fireplace. In fact, we all wanted it to disappear as much as possible, but still have TV-watching be a viable activity in this room on occasion.

Since the entry to the dining room is on one side of the fireplace, we couldn’t flank the fireplace in nice, balanced built-ins and stick the TV on one side.

This is a long and narrow living room, common in older New England homes. That length can make it tricky to create an intimate seating area that entices you to gather, to talk, and to linger.

So, we managed to tackle 4 of the clients’ mandates at the same time when we developed our plan for the built-ins. First, we solved the problem of where to place the TV. Second, we created a layout that encouraged conversation, that centered the room around the wood-burning fireplace, a natural gathering spot. Third, we created a place to store firewood (and it’s quite the showstopper to boot!).. And fourth, because of the design we created for the built-ins, they look as though they came with the home, circa 1930, not 2019.

Lining the wood cubby in copper makes for a beautiful storage spot. It’s also a contemporary nod to the vintage copper boilers many people use to hold firewood (myself included!). DRH Custom Woodworking in Salem, MA built the bookshelves.

Samsung’s Frame is like a piece of art in the built-ins and doesn’t draw any attention to itself as a TV.

As for the soft furnishings in the room, it all started with one glorious vintage heriz rug we sourced. And we always recommend whenever designing a room, start with the rug and work outwards from there. The rest of the colors in the room were pulled from the colors in the rug.

We specified light, neutral fabric for the sofa and chairs, warmed by the natural wood detailing on the frames of the chairs and coffee table. A leather bench adds additional seating and texture to the room. Natural woven shades add yet another layer of texture. Throw pillows pull out the blues in the rug, as does the subtle wall color, Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light…a far cry from that Marblehead Gold. The built-ins and trim are Benjamin Moore China White, a rich, warm white that’s not at all stark.

Since we’re not fans of recessed lighting in rooms other than kitchens (and even there we accept it grudgingly), we recommended adding layers of light to this living room: a centered semi-flushmount, sconces flanking the mantel, and a statement floor lamp .

Our clients sourced a beautiful photograph to take center stage above their fireplace.

What’s your favorite part? We’d love to hear! If you like this Before & After, you definitely want to check out our Before & After post on #ClientKitchenNewRules.

—Jen & Annabel



What Do You Get When A Millennial & A Gen Xer Team Up?

What Do You Get When A Millennial & A Gen Xer Team Up?

The Trim Difference! Annabel & Jen met while working at a full-service interior design firm in Boston where they bonded immediately: a shared passion for interior design, world travel, the hunt for that perfect vintage piece, and one-of-a kind kilim loafers made up the common denominator.

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Our First Commercial Project + Kid-Proof Style

Our First Commercial Project + Kid-Proof Style

Did you know we also do commercial projects here at Trim? Well, we do! And today we thought we’d share a recent commercial project we did for the office lobby of a private elementary school in Southern California. Since this space needed to be extremely kid-friendly and durable, this project is full of tidbits that will be useful to anyone with kids at home!

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5 Steps to Pillow-Scape Like the Pros

5 Steps to Pillow-Scape Like the Pros

It seems so simple, yet pillow-scaping can make or break a room and has sent many a homeowner spiraling into madness. Lucky for you, we’ve put together some time tested guidelines to make this process manageable and even fun!

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