Casa Prestanski Parlour: One Room Challenge Week 1

Well, it’s my first time participating as a Guest in the One Room Challenge, and I’m just filled with so many emotions.  I’m nervous to open up my home to you.  I’m excited to finally get a large room in our home done after two years of living here.  And I’m feeling a bit like I won’t live up to all of the other fab designers participating in the One Room Challenge.  I think as artists, we are always our worst critics.  But, here we go!

The room that we’ll be working on over the next 8 weeks is our double parlour in our 120 year old Stick Victorian.

When we moved into this home it was completely grey-washed.  Every room was painted grey or greige… As lovers of colour, grey walls in every room just doesn’t suit Kyle and I.  It also doesn’t fit the home.

Late 1800 and early 1900 Victorian homes were opulent and showy.  You can see it in the bones of this room with the wide 12″ baseboards, stained glass windows, intricate crown and oh those floors with that concentric rectangle pattern!

The floors themselves aren’t in the best shape and can’t be sanded and refinished anymore.  So, until we can afford to replace them with a similar pattern to speak to the heritage of the home, I’ll be protecting the floors with rugs.

Here’s what we inherited (sorry about the haze on the images.. it was too bright when we viewed the home but I wanted to show you the grey and white state).

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Interior designer tackles living room in her old Victorian located in Windsor

Now, there was nothing wrong with the way the room was set up before, but we have four pets so white furniture is a big NO for us.  The rugs were way too small for the size of the room (I get it, they were trying not to cover up the floors).  And our style is more of a mix between modern and traditional.  We prefer more modern furnishings mixed with very traditional patterns in updated colours throughout.

What has really bugged me about this room after living in it for 2 years is the California Shutters.  They don’t fully open because they’re SO big you can’t place any furniture near them. And, they’re covering up the stunning stained glass windows!  So those are certainly going to go.

Our budget for this space is only $3,000.

That’s going to be a HUGE challenge given this room is 24′ long.  But Pandemic, ya’ll.  That’s all we can pull together right now.

That budget needs to address the following:

  • More lamps and lighting.  We have basically the same lighting set up as the previous owners right now.  3 table lamps and 2 reading lamps.  It’s way too dark and we’ll need more floor lamps throughout.
  • Wall treatment.  Historically this room would have had wallpaper.  So that’s what we’re going to do along with painting the trim, ceiling, and walls below the chair rail.
  • Window treatments.  The california shutters HAVE to go.  They block way too much light and we want to reveal the gorgeous stained glass windows.
  • Accessories and toss pillows.  

We’ll use our current furniture to complete the space along with some of the accessories we already have since it’s such a large room to bring it to completion within budget.

So let’s walk through the plan, shall we?

The jumping off point for the design was our French doors that go throughout the entire main floor of the house.  I painted them in Dress Blues by Sherwin Williams last year pulling the colour from the wallpaper in the foyer.

French doors in Dress Blues by Sherwin Williams are throughout the main floor of interior designer Heather Prestanski's living room

Here’s a view of the doors from our Dining Room.  There’s another set in the front of our Double Parlour that come into that living area.

The dining room is going to need a complete overhaul someday too.  It’s just grey walls and we don’t have enough chairs for our large table. So I’m not worried about how the space will tie into the Dining Room for now.

However, the front of the parlour opens up to the front foyer where we inherited this lovely french toile wallpaper in ivory and blue.  This paper goes all the way up the stairs and throughout the upper floor hallway and it’s not something that we want to redo.

Foyer in interior decorator Heather Prestanski's chatham home

We also have these great rugs from Nuloom that have the perfect blue to match the foyer wallpaper and painted french doors.

Area Rug selected by interior decorator Heather Prestanski for her Victorian home in Chatham

From there I went on the hunt for a wallpaper that would complement the Navy, and tie in another colour or two from the rug.  I came across the Tori Teal wallpaper by Graham & Brown, ordered a sample, and completely fell in love.

Teal chinoiserie wallpaper that interior designer plans to use in her Windsor living room

The aqua in the flowers of this chinoiserie pattern tie in perfectly with the rug and I just LOVE how the teal plays with the navy blue throughout the main floor.

Also, this paper would give me the opportunity to pop in some pink, which is PERFECT because my favourite stained glass window in this room is aqua and pink!

Arched stained glass window in pink and aqua is the focal point for the living room in this Chatham Victorian home

To top it off, the matte textured background and thickness of the paper made it technically perfect for hiding the waviness of the old plaster walls.

Once I found this paper, pulling together the rest of the mood board came together really quickly.  We’ll repeat the navy, aqua and pink throughout against the strong teal background.

Mood board for Victorian double parlour by interior designer in Windsor

Now, I KNOW that a lot of you are freaking out about all the strong colours and pattern that I’m talking about here.

And I’m positive that some of you are thinking “oh my goodness, they’re going to get sick of that real quick“.  So let me address this.

I’m an Interior Decorator and every day I walk into people’s homes and hear about what they no longer love in their space.

And every day I see room after room that was done in all neutral that someone has fallen out of love with.

Not ONCE in all my years doing this have I ever had a client say “I did this room in my favourite colour and I hate it.”  Not one time.

Neutral trends are strong.  But your favourite colours that you’ve loved since you were a kid will always remain your favourites.

Kyle and I have always loved jewel tones.  Rich, saturated colours.

And yes, we do need to temper the space with some neutral.  But our furniture is grey!  And there’s lovely grey tones in the bird’s tails in the wallpaper so I know that it’ll all come together beautifully.

This next week I’m tasked with:

  • Finding a wall colour that matches the background of this paper.  With paint stores operating curbside only, we can’t bring in the sample for a colour match.  So I’m going to have to find something from my fan decks.
  • Finding a ceiling colour.  I’m thinking pink!
  • Painting the walls, trim, and ceiling.  This is a HUGE room with some prep to do so it’ll likely take 3 full days with the two of us working on it.  Yikes!

The One Room Challenge is the perfect opporunity to finally get these things done in our house.  Like I said, it’s been 2 years and all we’ve managed to do is a powder room and painting some doors.  So, I’m looking forward to this challenge with a deadline.

So, until next week.  I need to get to work!