Remember Catherine from Mill Valley? Yes, that one, the woman who won the Domino Magazine decorating contest. I posted the Domino photographs a while back. Followed a spirited debate about whether or not her place was children and men friendly, ( realistically, who cares. She won, let’s not be spiteful.) and whether or not her place “looked French.” To me, her décor looks entirely original, French or not, and daring. It turns out that Catherine is a lawyer. A tasteful one. The kind of lawyer who could switch career today and be immediately sucessful as an interior decorator. And, judging from the 'before' photo, the kind of laywers who might be able to see in their clients beautiful potential where others only see 30 years behind bars.
Look at the before and after picture of the room she essentially built around the pretty herringbone pattern of the fireplace's bricks.
Catherine writes: The gas fireplace is centered between the French doors. I built the fireplace “surround” (my first construction project). I reupholstered the old French chair, added some gold leaf and the surprise is on the back. You can barely see the white/green stenciled chinoiserie pattern on the wall. Usually one would build a structure to enclose the fireplace ventilation pipe. But it would have been too bulky and definitively divided the wall. I wanted the look of a small French fireplace and the top serves as a mantel. I simply adore the silver pipe which goes all the way to the ceiling and up thru the roof.
Catherine writes: simple crackle finish and glued on ornamentation enhanced the fireplace surround. (The corner is not perfect but that is what usually happens with any DIY project). The top of the fireplace is actually pieces of the white laminate floor I cut to size b/c the floor boards were the perfect width of the pipe.
(Notice above the fireplace the dabs of colors that timidly indicate that Catherine knew what she was doing right from the start.)