Recent Project - Wet Bar Makeover

Here are a few before and after pictures of a rather large project for one of my clients.  Over the summer, my clients completed a total renovation to their kitchen and master bathroom.  During the process, we made smaller tweaks to this adjoining family room just so the rooms flowed and functioned in a better way.   Here is a before of a wet bar area in the family room (the kitchen/breakfast room area is to the left through the doorway). 

As you can see in the images, this was a very traditional style bar area with the walk around to serve your guests.  There was also a step down from the kitchen area into the bar area.

And here's the after:

We opted to remove the "walk around" area for more square footage in the family room.  This also allowed us to widen the door way (you can see it in the left in the below image) between the breakfast room and the family room.  

The result is a fabulous updated look.  Just one more thing to mention - we decided on a copper countertop to save a bit of money and inject some rustic charm into this otherwise traditional home.  This is a win win for the budget and the look!

As I've said in the past, small tweaks can have a huge impact on your space.  This area functions in the same way as before, but does so in such a visually different way!  Hope you have a wonderful week. M.

Recent Project - A Family Room Makeover

  Back in May, I helped a client with a design plan for their family room.  When we started the project, the TV was on the opposite wall from the fireplace and the furniture was facing in with the fireplace and TV as opposing focal points.   This really limited the amount of seating in the space.  

In my design plan, I placed the TV in the bookshelves to really opened up the space and allow for additional seating.  Sorry for the blurry image!  I snapped these with my phone, and I'm no photographer. 

I wish I had taken a before of the fireplace.  It was stone all the way to the ceiling, and my clients were never really happy with how it looked.    The dark grout and stones made the room feel heavy, and dark.  So, rather than tear out all the stone work, I suggested we leave it and cover the upper portion of the stone with some architectural detail.  Here's the result.   

By reducing the amount of stone work you see, it becomes a lovely focal point adding great texture and interest to the space.  Also, the painted trim work above the mantle really lightens up the space and gives the entire room a less rustic more traditional feel which is in keeping with the rest of this beautiful home.  

We also painted the backs of the bookshelves a darker tone to help "blend" the TV into the bookshelves and ground that entire wall. 

I then restyled the bookshelves for balance and interest. 

Just love this flying pig! 

Lastly, we kept this well loved leather chair in the room, and I think it looks fantastic in it's new spot.  The patina of the leather really adds lots of character to the room. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour.  I'm going to try and remember to take more pictures of my projects in the future even if it's only with an iPhone! Hope you have a great day. M.

What Camp Are You In?

Happy Labor Day weekend, everybody!  I hope you have Monday off and are enjoying a long weekend.  I often think of this holiday in two different ways, and I'm wondering what camp you're in on this?  Do you think of this weekend as "One last opportunity to savor the Summer"

Or is it a "Let's get this party start for Fall football"?

I guess it could be a bit of both, but I tend to think of it as one last nod to Summer.  I guess because of all the amazing sales to be had on Summer clearance items.  I love to scope out discounted items that transition your home (and your wardrobe) into Fall.  There are so many sales going on this weekend that it's mind boggling.  Here are just a few I plan to check out today! 

C Wonder
I love love this shop.  We actually have one near us and it is so much fun to check out the offerings.  I do find their website has way more products and right now they are having a great sale with 30% off all full price items (aka, the new Fall items) and free shipping when we spend over $100.  It's no wonder I love this . . . 

and this . . .  it comes in three different colors (and yes, I know this has nothing to do with interior design. :)

Serena and Lily
This is another great go to website for me when sourcing bedding.  The quality is second to none and you have to at least peruse their offerings on Labor day for the sales!  Right now they are offering 70% off all Sale items.  I've got my eye on a few things.

This could make a fantastic wall hanging/artwork installation in a colorful bedroom, and the price is right at $11.99. 

Also, I adore these lacquered pedestal trays in the gray and white starting at $48.00.  These would look great grouped on a Fall tablescape. 

Rugs USA
This website has a couple of sales a year that are simply unbeatable.  I've snagged rugs for a couple of bedrooms in the past, and I'm constantly on the look out for client project when this sale rolls around. To ensure you get a high quality rug, keep your selections to 100% wool or natural materials such as seagrass or sisal.  You will thank me later!  Here's just one of many examples.

Now for some Fall fashion.  Here are just a few items on my wish list!

Trina Turk
Right now you can enjoy 20% off all sales items on the website plus free shipping.  But this will be over at midnight Monday, so don't delay! Just a few items to get you thinking. 

This would be another great transition piece for  early Fall weather (when it's still blazing hot here in the South). . . 

And last, I am in LOVE with this belt.  It's such a great width for belting a thin sweater or adding some interest is a simple dress.  I can also see it paired with white jeans (yes, we do wear white jeans beyond Labor Day here in the South), and a chambray shirt. 

With many of these sales, I can literally see the inventory vanishing before my very eyes!  It pays to shop early and make your selections.  Have a marvelous Labor Day - whatever you choose to do today! M.

Power of Paint - Before and Afters

Here's just a quick example of what a little paint can do for your house.  I had a client who called asking if I could help her with a exterior paint schedule for her home.  I was thrilled because I knew paint would completely transform the curb appeal of this fabulous house! 

When I got there, we immediately went to the back of the house where the issue with what paint to select was looming!  You see, the house has vinyl siding on the upper back area which does not paint out well.  You can certainly paint it, but most products do not last as long as painted brick so you begin a cycle of repainting the area more often.  Our goal - to find a color we loved that would blend and work with the color of the vinyl.  

Here's a before of the back (with a few samples up to consider). 

And here's a before of the front.

Since the sliding on the back of the house had a blue/gray tone, we were careful not to select a color with yellow undertones which can be very challenging when selecting a white.  We also did not want to go too blue as to give the house a "baby boy nursery" effect or even just a stark white feel.  So, we opted for a white that has a bit of gray and brown in it.  Our goal was not to match it, but to blend it.  Here are the afters.  I love the result!

And now for the front! A total transformation - elegant and stately!  
Notice we made the decision to paint out all the trim work the same color as the body of the house.  This down plays the arches over the windows and gives the home a more modern feel.  We also selected a darker color for the shutters and notice we painted out the tiny bit of brick on the chimney our shutter color.  It would have been a sliver of white and would have drawn your eye, rather than simply blending with the rest of the stack.  

Our next stage (which will hopefully happen in the Spring) will be to trim back the hedge in front of the large landing area to make the front appear larger and more welcoming!  But, for now, my clients are enjoying this major transformation to their beautiful home! M.

A Little Workhorse - An Ottoman Roundup

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  This piece of furniture is a major work horse, can be affordably added to any space, and makes a huge difference in the overall look and feel of a space.  I'm talking about the humble ottoman (aka stool or even pouf).

Ottomans are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can invest in for your home.  They can of course be used for over flow seating, or to kick your feet up to relax.  But they can also act as a coffee table, or even paired with a console table for some much needed softening of a space.

I love to think of them as an opportunity to inject a fun trendy style (like you think of pillows).

Most importantly, they are one of the least expensive ways to get some major WOW without breaking the bank or feeling wed to the piece for a lifetime!

Here are just a few of my favorites. 

          Ottoman: Threshold Ottoman - Gray

Orange Linen Stool with Brass Nailheads

When your space feels like it's not quite finished, it may be in need of a pair of ottomans! Enjoy your day. M.

Birmingham Locals:  Not sure if you're having trouble getting back into the swing of things now that school is back in session, but I wanted to share a service with you.  In an effort to make the transition back to school a little easier and to give back to our community, my church is hosting a Meals for Missions fundraiser.  The service is provided on Wednesday evenings.    The proceeds from this fundraiser are used to support our missions work.  The way it works - you can place an order any time before 5:00pm on Tuesday of each week.  Then, you simply run by Covenant Presbyterian Church (they are located across the street from Samford University) and pick up your dinner between 1:00 - 6:00pm on Wednesday.  Just think, it's for a great cause, you get a night off from cooking, and you have a yummy meal for your family!  
To see the upcoming menu and/or order your meal click here.   


What a Ride!

Wow.  I really can't believe how quickly our Summer ended.  It was such a special summer for me.  With my Mom's full recovery from breast cancer and my kids getting older (my son will be driving in February!), we started our summer in a completely different place this year.  It was really one of those sweet moments when you realize how thankful you need to be for your life.  We laughed a lot, ate some yummy summer bounty (learned a few new recipes), hosted a few parties, traveled to some special places, celebrated birthdays, read some very entertaining summer books (i.e., What Alice Forgot), toured a few neat places, rode roller coasters every chance we got, visited with lots of family and friends, stayed up late and slept in until Noon on several days.  Simply put, we had a blast!  Here's a tiny glimpse of our summer (if you're an Instagram follower, you've seen a lot of these!)  

In addition to all this, I took some much needed time to get organized for work.  Over the past couple of years, my interior design work has almost tripled.  I can't begin to tell you how blessed I feel about this!  The design work brings me more joy than I can express -  I'm truly grateful for all the referrals and inquiries.   With all the additional design work, however, it leaves less time for blogging.  So, my goal is to share more meaningful posts with you and use Instagram  and Pinterest for day to day images on projects and inspiration.  If you've not jumped into these other social platforms, I would encourage you to try them out.  There is a world of FREE interior design inspiration out there just waiting to be accessed by you!  Come join me!

With that said, you may find my posts are more sporadic than in the past.  Rather than visiting my blog and not finding any new content, you may want to subscribe to my blog by clicking on the "subscribe" button at the top of my page and entering your email address.  This will allow you to receive an email notifying you any time I've published a new post on the blog.  Here's an easy way to do this. . .

   It's going to be a great year!  I hope you will continue to join my on the adventure!  M.

Signing Off for Summer

I'm taking some time off to recharge, reboot, relax (you fill in the blank).  Time to stop and smell the roses for a bit.  If you would like to check in on my summer and any interior design finds, I will be on Instagram.    
I'll catch you on the other side of summer!  M.

Spring Series - Freshen Up Friday

The Reveal
Today is the final reveal of my daughter's tween room makeover!  I finally took the time to take a few pictures to show you the room in it's entirety.  I also wanted to share a few tips on pulling the room together.  Hopefully these will be helpful when tackling a room in your home.   First, here's the finished room.

The bed in it's new spot with fresh bed linens.  Notice the framed paper on the right to balance the oddly placed window on the left.

Now for the wall opposite the bed.  The dressing table is a family piece, and we really wanted to keep it in the space.  So, to make if feel more fun and unexpected, I paired it with a ghost chair.   The lacquered shelves are from IKEA and they give a modern feel that relates to the ghost chair.  They also bring in more of the teal color my daughter had been craving in the space.

Another trick I really like to use in children's bedrooms is to place any "clutter collectors" on the last wall you see when you enter the room. So, desks, bookshelves, vanity tables, etc. go on the door wall.  Then the bed and the fabrics can be the star of the room.

Here's a closer look of the reading nook we created by the window in the corner.

Lastly, the closet door wall. I have to show you a before to really appreciate the change.  Here's the before.

Now for the "after."  We painted the doors with a teal chalkboard paint. 

She's had a great time with writing only in certain sections of the door.  Also, notice the full length mirror from IKEA.  Hands down, this is the nicest piece I've ever purchased from IKEA.  It is super looking in person - beveled mirror and a silver leaf finish and very heavy - only $99.99.  My plan was to paint it gold, but when I saw it in person I decided to keep the finish.  We also liked how the mirror repeated the silver of the pouf ottoman paired with her upholstered chair. 

So, back to the doors.  It took three coats of paint and was super easy to do.   Thinking we need to work on our spelling a bit!  

This is the view as you enter her room.  The plates were in that same spot in her previous room.  They're the only thing that did not change following the makeover.

The Details
Since we started this project with a few items we needed to keep, fabric selection was tricky.  The drapery panels are a silk stria, fully lined and were expensive.  Also, I wanted to keep the upholstered chair which was very similar in color to the panels.   My daughter did not mind the pink tones but really wanted teal in the space.

So, here's the first trick/tip - Fabric can take you where you want to go!  Anytime you are starting with a few pieces that are dictating some of the color in the space, you need to find one really great new fabric that pulls in lots of other colors (i.e., aqua) while blending with the colors you want to keep in the room.  In our case, it was this very colorful back pillow for the bed. . .  I probably spent more time sourcing this fabric and any other item in the room.  I ordered lots and lots of swatches and we finally settled on this one.

Believer it or not, pinks can be very difficult to match in a room.  Some have cool undertones (a purple/ice pink) while others have warm undertones (think ballerina/peachy pink).  Our pink was a warm toned, so the oranges and yellows really tricked your eye into feeling like everything was selected together. 

Once we found the "tie it all together" fabric, this allowed me to pull in more of the teals/aquas and making these the star color and the pink the secondary color.  Here's another great fabric I found on Spoonflower with lots of colors in my palette.    My daughter did not like this fabric as much as the main fabric, so I used it as a lumbar pillow to break up the pink of the chair in the reading area. 

The bed skirt also gave me a challenge - I really wanted a velvet teal to give us one more color and to repeat the velvet of the chair.  Also, my daughter's bed has a trundle underneath it, so I was dealing with a non-standard height.  So, a ready made bedskirt was not an option.  Well, as luck would have it, I ran into these while on our first trip to IKEA - a pair of teal velvet drapery panels.  They were $69.99 for a pair.  

I took one panel and split it down the middle, finished off the cut side and used bed pins to create a custom length bed skirt.  The velvet was so thick I did not even need to line it. 

These bed pins screw into the top of the box spring and are sandwiched between the box and the mattress to hold them in place.  The other great thing is you can adjust the length of the skirt with these pins. 

I then used the second velvet drapery panel to make the smaller front bed pillow which I added some leftover tape from the drapery panels. 

Speaking of the drapery panels.  Here is the before panels with the traditional tassel trim. 

Now for the after on the drapery panels.  It's amazing how the tape completely transformed them into something more hip and chic. 

Last, but not least, I wanted to mention the duvet cover we added to the end of the bed.  I ran across it just before Christmas on Deny Designs and was totally smitten!  It is a hand dyed duvet cover which was made by an artist.    Around the same time, they had a sale and I jumped online and grabbed it.  I think the watercolor feel of the design adds more of the blending of colors the space needed.  

So, that's how it all came together.  She is thrilled with the transformation and I'm just glad it's finished! Happy weekend. M.