I recently worked on a project with a young 20-something young woman in her first house- to give a face-lift of sorts to her kitchen and living room. We were on a budget, as most people are at such a young age. I wanted to make some big changes that would make her feel like she was in a new space, without making any changes to floors, windows or surface areas. In these situations, paint is an amazing way to make a huge change and is the first thing I would recommend if you are working in phases. Below are some pictures of her space when I first visited. The walls were a bit dark and the furniture did not fit the space as well as it could. Some pieces were too large and some were too small.
With a smaller budget, I started with new paint throughout the house, and new furnishings to mix with some of the old in a different scale to make the most of the space and allow for more seating and a better space to entertain. In the kitchen, we added new lighting and hardware to lighten the space up, and in the living space we are working on making a perfect seating area for conversation and social events.
We have a few pieces of furniture waiting to arrive and some finishing touches, but this shows the power of paint and thoughtful space planning to make the most of your home.
I recently finished up a living space and had several people asking questions like:
"What did it look like before?"
"How does the design process work?"
"Did the client have any pieces to start?"
"How do you get inspiration?"
So....here is a quick step- by -step to show you how this project played out.
First- I visit the space and measure, do an inventory of what we will use in the new space, and take any before pics for my reference.....
My client just had the whole house painted so I was working with a warm neutral wall. She also had a brand new piece of art, from artist Austin Allen James, that we knew would go in the room. Finally, she had a sofa and chair already picked out to use in this space if I could make them work. They were a light ivory with dark wooden frame- so I worked with that as my starting point.
This is the Austin James piece that was my inspiration for color.
My first step is to design a mood board. I will sometimes have a specific piece I know I want to use, like the coffee table here, and I then add ideas to show the client what I have in mind. I knew I wanted to use shades of blue and citron, and add lots of texture and organic shapes. The client has a great art collection so I planned on hanging art and possibly creating a gallery wall. My first instinct was to use lavender as a splash of color. My client gave me the go ahead to start sourcing specific pieces and fabrics.
This is an image of the presentation pieces I had to show my client after visiting fabric showrooms and sourcing the actual pieces I wanted to use. I found a few fabrics with dark reds that really stood out to me, so I changed direction away from the lavender. I found vintage chairs from Scout Design Studio that I wanted to reupholster and pieces from several different manufacturers and designers to create the look. She loved it all!
Here are 2 photos I took (no professional shots yet!) that shows the room at the end of install day. The wine cage in the back was already in the room. I took a piece of art from another room and hung it in the hallway from the entry to the living room to bring more color in.
Our next step is to replace the ceiling fan with something more updated or a light fixture.
The artwork in the gallery wall is painted by my client. I saw it and told her I wanted to incorporate them into the room. She thought I was kidding, but after having them framed and hung, it makes a really big impact and is very personal to her.
I try to do the installs all in one day whenever possible- the client is at work and I have my shipping and receiving team deliver everything at once and I get to move things around and decorate. When the client got home we cracked open some wine and enjoyed sitting in the new living room. The best part of my job is that I get to create individualized design that is unique to each person and family, so no room or space looks the same. Let me know if you want to design a space that is perfect for you!
Recently I had the opportunity to work on a home that was outdated and ready for change. Here are some images of the living area before we got started.
The walls were a very warm tan/beige with yellow undertones. As you can see, the floors were carpeted and the furniture's design and style were not conducive to the new owner's lifestyle.
Soooo......new paint and new floors made a big difference before we even purchased new furnishings. We used Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter on the walls and a dark hardwood-lookalike flooring that will stand up to many, many dogs, babies in rolling walkers and men with muddy boots from the oil fields of East Texas. Take a look below at the same room!
I went back and forth on using a light ivory upholstery on the sofa, but I really wanted something light and fresh that would stand out in a room with no windows. I chose a man made poly-blend fabric that is resistant to stains and we are having the piece treated professionally for extra protection.
I chose a soft shade of orange to be the main accent with the different shades of blue. It is a tried and true combo. By keeping the orange to some simple accessories, we can change/update the room easily down the road by switching just a few pieces out. Custom pillows in orange velvet make the base for the sofa. I also had blue and white zebra pillows made with the same orange velvet piping.
The rug has amazing depth and pattern in a tone on tone dark sea-foam green/blue that anchors the room while pulling color from the large, abstract art.
Finally, I chose a dark blue and white patterned upholstery for the chairs. Blue and white is a classic color combination and can be mixed with almost any accent color.
I can't wait to have this room professionally photographed when we add a few more pieces of furniture and lighting.
This client knew the room could be transformed with some work. I'm so glad she trusted me!
I recently completed a powder bath renovation and we are so pleased with the results. After an unfortunate crack and leak in the original sink, the client was ready to change the space into a lighter and brighter room that functioned better for their guests. Just by choosing the right materials, the room was transformed.
Dark, textured walls and a small, distressed mirror made it hard for the sunlight to shine through the window and bounce off the walls. A bamboo window shade also blocked light, making the already small room seem smaller......
I love dark, moody walls, but the elements in the room weren't working for my client. She was hoping for something light and pretty that would make her smile!
My inspiration for the room is this amazing fabric from Kravet. I found it 6 weeks before I knew this project would even happen, but I knew we would find a place for it in this house. Luckily the client was on board and I had a roman panel made that allows light to come through but still offers privacy. Pale blue grass-cloth was a beautiful companion to adorn the walls and immediately lightened the space up and added a splash of color. By choosing lighter fabric and wall coverings, the room already started to feel bigger.
The original sink and vanity were lower then what is now standard (this house was built in 1936), so we had a custom vanity built. I then searched for a lighter stone to be made into a counter top and had a curved back splash cut to add detail and height. Because the room is as small as it is, I had to search for the perfect sink to fit into our new vanity. I chose a wall-mounted faucet so we weren't completely jam packed. The polished nickel finish is gorgeous with the blue walls and the sunshine bounces off of it.
I found fantastic hexagonal shaped nickel door pulls and a pair of nickel sconces that coordinated with our hardware.
Finally, an oversized mirror allows the light to reflect into the room and it appears larger than it did.
Steps to consider:
1. How much natural light is there?
This bath has one small window, so using a lighter color on the walls makes it appear larger. If there is a lot of natural light, you can consider a darker wall
2. What are your window coverings?
We used a lined fabric for a roman panel that provides privacy but also allows the natural light to shine through
3. What additional lighting will you have?
Consider the wattage on your ceiling or wall lights....you do not want anything too bright but you also don't want anything too soft. 60 watts per lamp is good
4. How can you maximize the light?
Consider an over-sized mirror like we used here to really let the light reflect back into the room
With the right materials, it's easy to make the room appear larger!
This is where I share everything from design ideas and tips, images of beautiful spaces to fashion and recipes.... and of course stories and pictures of my rescue pup and sidekick, Frito Pie.