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Parisian chic makeover in black and white

When I set out making this blog I wanted it to be a source of inspiration for others, showcasing the work that I do in my home but also provide examples where makeovers have done wonders to transform other rooms and homes. The internet and Pinterest are a constant source of inspiration for all of us but how do you find the most inspiring homes and unique transformations out there?

Well leave that to me and I will work like a fine comb to bring you and document such makeovers that will definitely inspire you to work on your own projects. Sometimes with a small budget, and sometimes not - just to be clear this is not a DIY your way to high end interiors although some times DIY can bring home some great results.

So, starting from today, I will bring you one great makeover every week and give you a breakdown of the obstacles, resources and planning that went in. The rooms I will choose will be examples of great colour combinations (or exciting new colour combos we haven't seen much of before), spatial design and innovation, and where possible show you how to re-use existing furniture/ pieces you already own but re-purposed to fit a new scheme.

Today's great room is from the Fall 2016 One Room Challenge (TM) and belongs to media guru by day and interior designer and blogger by night, Shannon Claire from Washington DC. The style is Modern French.

Shannon, who runs the blog Burlap and Lace (though her current style has long moved on to things more 'upmarket' let's say), has completely revamped her open plan living/ dining area to deliver a lesson in Parisian sophistication. But first, let's have a look at what Shannon started with. Here's the room with all the furniture moved out (and to see more before photos, go to Shannon's Week 1 post).

For those of you not already familiar with it (prepare to be utterly hooked), the One Room Challenge (TM) runs twice every year - in April and October - and includes 20 interior designers and bloggers transforming their rooms, with the help of an army of sponsors. There are also up to 200 guest blog makeovers running concurrently, promoted but not sponsored. The designs are eclectic, edgy, and very informative since the challenge runs for 6 weeks and there's a weekly update on the progress achieved in each room. It's more than just adding a lick of paint in your room!

Shannon's idea about getting all Paris chic was very clear from the beginning, and I have added here a great pinnable photo of what her theme would include. It's great to create little mood boards like this so that you visualise your idea - and share with others too. You can use POLYVORE to do so.

One of the first items that the designer had to change was the colour on the floors. Here's the thing: if you go into a design half hearted, it will never truly come together. Shannon's vision needed dark floors but hers were natural pine coloured. I'm afraid pine and Parisian Chic don't go well together! So before doing anything else, she worked on staining the floors to a much darker shade, as shown below.

As the theme was based on black and white, the walls were painted in Strong White by Farrow and Ball. Unlike what the name might suggest, Strong White is not a 'brilliant white' hue. It is the perfect white for use in modern homes, particularly popular in contemporary kitchens when combined with white gloss units.

In fact, Shannon used gloss on her window woodwork. String white is grey in tone but has an element of warmth to it when compared to the cooler Blackened. It is also the perfect white for woodwork throughout the house with any of the Easy or Contemporary Neutrals.

Next on the (long) list of tasks was to tackle the mammoth 6 built-in bookcases. Now, obviously ripping them off would have given a lot more space in the room but to the detriment of storage. And storage is always handy. You can never have enough storage!

To modernise her bookcases, Shannon used Farrow & Ball's Railings. So the important thing here is that the designer worked around the main bulky piece of furniture in the room. I feel this was the right thing to do, first and foremost because built in furniture costs a lot and unless you are prepared to replace them with something better, I would urge you to think twice before moving a single shelf. Now run to the top to have another look of the bookcases in the BEFORE photo. I know, the transformation is great, right?

The styling on the bookcases is on the spot. The use of black, white, brass and taupe colours with a dark background works to accentuate plain pieces and make them look more expensive. Use marble tea light holders and ceramics. And if you find that you still don't have enough wall space, you can always hung picture frames on the bookcase and turn them into your wall!

Style your way to a gorgeous bookcase: For this look try any of the above, all

The room now is a far cry from what it used to look like. Cleverly, Shannon emulated the charm and character of Parisian apartments by adding faux panelling on her walls with thin pine moulding. This is a great idea for when your home is not a period one and you are after a certain style. Use metro tiles for a similar herringbone effect in the fireplace. For a similar bust, try this from Mia Fleur. Wall lights: Jonathan Adler.

Are your walls not very inspirational even after adding moulding? Then add some abstract art. I always find that ETSY has tons of inspirational shops that can provide with this kind of prints or canvases and are great for all budgets. I have created a perfect little collection for you to choose from here.

Now, let's talk about the fireplace. When choosing a designer, ask them whether they can help you source certain items and whether they have sources of architectural salvage yards or antiques shops.

Shannon here actually bought her fireplace online - it was a steal at only - wait for it - $50 - but she did have to bring professionals in to remove and reassemble it, which cost her $300. But given how much this would have cost her new, it was a total steal. It is also the item that brings the whole scheme together. For a similar coffee table, try this one from Rockett St George.

Styling - as much as the colours make the room, styling is what takes it to a different level. The work done here is really eye opening. Shannon has managed to create a collector's look in here, as if all the items have been collected over a period of time.

The watercolour wallpaper used is a strike of genius too, because it looks as if adding a patina to the wall. The thin brass framed mirror and slim table lamps also add some glamour in the room. And spot the brass stool that can also work as a plant holder?

You have great design are when you don't have to take anything away from it - and I think that this room is going to work overtime for Shannon. If you look at her amazing blog (go go go) she has now been using this room for photography and seriously, you would think you'll come out of the room and be in Paris. Now Pin the photo below so you can always come back to this post and be sure to visit next week, when we'll be looking at another major makeover!

Did you enjoy the makeover? Leave a comment below and tell me if you have any questions or need any more info!

All photos credited to Shannon Claire Interiors.



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