Design

Studio Details — Deciding Which Black Accents To Keep And Which Ones To Change

The mural wall in the studio is soooo close to being finished! After his horrible weekend (which I shared about here), Matt had a really great day yesterday, which means that I had a big chunk of uninterrupted time from 3-9pm to work on it. I got most of the electrical stuff finished (wiring five outlets, wiring one switch, covering one switch plate and one outlet plate with wallpaper, etc.), and all of that took a ridiculous amount of time. But that’s generally how it goes when you get down to all of the little finishing touches. They seem to take forever.

But I did get all four outlets finished inside the cabinets…

And I got the one above-countertop outlet wired, and the plate covered with wallpaper…

And I got the one light switch wired and the switch plate covered with wallpaper. This was, by far, the most complicated of wiring projects I did yesterday. I used a dimmer switch, which has much larger housing than a regular switch, and I thought I was NEVER going to get all of those wires and the switch to fit inside that single gang box. This one thing alone took me well over an hour because I had to redo it three times to get everything to fit, and then I had to cover the plate with wallpaper, but I finally got it to work.

I think there’s a very good chance I can get this wall completely finished today. I just need to do one more coat of paint on the trim around the left window, caulk around the countertop, and do some touchups on the wall paint. Then I just need to get all of the dust and gold leaf vacuumed out of the cabinets and drawers, and it’ll be done! I’ll finally be ready to move on to another part of the room! (Edit: I keep forgetting about those countertop grommet outlets. Ugh! I still have to install those.)

I’ve kind of had tunnel vision while I’ve been working on this mural wall, but now that I’m down to the last few things on the “to do” list, I started taking inventory of what I need to do in the rest of the room while I was taking a yesterday. I got a bit overwhelmed. It’s a huge room with several different zones, so there’s just a whole lot to do. It’ll feel good to be able to check off this mural wall from the list of things to do, but even with that done, the room won’t quite be halfway finished yet.

Anyway, one thing that I’m trying to make decisions on is which black accents to keep, and which ones to change. But after giving it quite a bit of thought yesterday, I think I’m on my way to having it figured out.

The problem with me starting a room and then waiting several years to finish it is that my vision for the room will inevitably change during those interim years. Heck, my vision for a room can change completely overnight. 😀 So there’s no possible way that I was going to pick up on a room I started back in 2019 and just carry on with the original plan. That would never happen with me.

When I started choosing decorative items and finishes for the room back in 2019, I selected a lot of black accents, which are also carried into the studio half bathroom. But when I started working on the studio again this year, I decided that all of those black accents were a bit too heavy for the (new) vision I had for the room. In 2019, I evidently thought a whole lot of black accents were a great idea. In 2023, I want things to be light and airy and feminine.

Y’all already know that I started making changes with the two black pendant lights that were on the mural wall. They started out solid black (and very dusty 😀 ), which you can see here…

I love how those turned out, but now I need to decide what to do with the rest of them. First, there’s the pendant light above the desk in the office section of the studio. Right now, it’s covered in dust, but just like the mural wall pendant lights started out, this light also has a black canopy and black cord. I covered the shade in velvet and added even more black to the shade.

The cabinets behind the desk will also be pink with gold leaf accents to match the mural wall, so it makes sense to me that this light should coordinate with the other two pendant lights, but not necessarily match. One challenge is that while the other lights have solid plastic cords which were very easy to gold leaf, this pendant light above the desk has a fabric cord.

I don’t have to keep this light. I can swap it out for another one, but so far, I’ve struck out on finding one that I think would go with the other two. I could always swap out the cord for another one that’s solid plastic, and gold leaf it like the others. And then I could get a new shade, gold leaf the inside, and then create a fabric that coordinates with the mural to go on the outside. Maybe some colorful stripes? Y’all know I love some stripes!

Moving on. Next up, I have this bubble light in the back entry that’s all black and white (with a whole lot of dust and cobwebs right now).

I’m not a person who thinks that all metals needs to match. That’s not the issue to me at all. The issue is that this light looks so visually heavy compared to the pendant lights on the other side of the room. It looks like this back entry, with it’s black light and black curtain rod, and black doors, is so heavy that it’s trying to tip the room over.

I’m considering gold leafing this light. 😀 I had originally considered taking it down and spray painting it gold, but then I remembered what a nightmare this light was to install. It was awful. The light is heavy and bulky, and I was a little scared being up on a 10-foot ladder trying to wrangle this thing onto the ceiling. So the thought of taking it down to spray paint it hasn’t appealed to me in the least.

But it dawned on me that if I gold leaf it, I can do that with it in place! I wouldn’t have to take it down at all. It would be time-consuming, but I’d much rather do that than take it down and then try to install it again. Plus, I find the process of gold leafing to be time consuming, but I also really enjoy it. So I’m almost certainly set on that plan.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep all of the doors black, and also paint the other two doors in the studio (the side exterior door and the door that leads to the breakfast room) black as well. I love the sophistication that black doors add to a home. And if you’ll remember, this is the direction (in the photo below) that I’m heading with this back entry — much softer green walls, curtains in the same print as the mural, and that checked pattern for the half bathroom walls.

I’ll probably be swapping out the black curtain rod, though. I still have those acrylic curtain rods and the brass brackets that I used in our living room several years back, so I might use those instead.

But I think lightening up the bubble light with some gold leaf will go a long way towards giving the back entry a lighter, airier, more feminine look.

And as far as black accents in the studio go, that leaves my desk. It has stuff piled on it right now, so I can’t take a current picture, but below is the picture I took right after I finished building it. (You can see how I built it here.) It has a very dark top, and more black.

Right now, I’m considering giving this desk away and either buying or making a new one. I just can’t see this fitting with my new light, airy, flowery, feminine vision for the room. So unless someone has a brilliant idea on how to transform it to make it look more in keeping with the style of the mural wall, this desk may be finding a new home, and I might be searching for a new idea for a desk.

These changes were inevitable. Even if I had finished the room back in 2019, I have a feeling that all of these black accents would have been weighing on me by now, and I’d be swapping them out anyway. A little bit of black in a room is a good thing. Black is sophisticated, and it can ground a room. But I definitely went overboard on it back in 2019, and I didn’t even mention all of the black I put in the tiny studio half bathroom.

I won’t be too hard on myself, though. I started making these decisions for the studio in January 2019, and it was later that year when I finally finished my living room after trying several times to get it right and striking out many times.

Living Room – After

And it was also later that year that I finally finished the music room…

music-room-after

So that’s when I finally “found” my style, and really fell into a groove when it came to feeling confident in what I liked and what I didn’t like. So I’ll give myself a break on anything I tried in early 2019 and before then. I was still trying to “find” my style, and I got a whole lot of things wrong back then, including loading down my studio with a ton of black accents that all feel very wrong for the room now.

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