Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Britain Living Room/Playroom Progress

Thought I'd check in to show some progress photos over at my New Britain project. The big pieces are all in and things are really coming together nicely. I had stopped over last weekend to help install some art so I was able to snap a few photos.

Here is the plan that they chose:


I was thrilled that they went with the fun rug plan :) This rug is really awesome and looks great in the room. It anchors the room nicely and was also my color inspiration and basis for the palette that we're working with now.

Here is where we started...


And here is a progress photo that I got from my client...how awesome!!


The previous rug really wasn't doing much color-wise for the room. The yellow undertone in the rug "matched" the walls, but now the walls are a nice compliment to the rest of the room. SCORE! :) It really is a great feeling when your vision starts coming together.

You can see the shades in the top left corner - they look great. And the new glider has replaced the old one - it's super comfortable. And a new rug and pillows have also been added. 

It looks fresh and fun which is perfect for this young family, and a great place to hang out and for the kids to play.

Here is another photo that I took the other day...



They've embraced the process and ordered some prints for the wall. We stacked these two prints vertically to create some additional height in the room. I love this little corner. My client used the color palette established in the room to guide her in selecting the prints...so proud :)

Here is the far wall before - this is where most of the toys are stored and where the kids play. 


The goal here was to establish a focal point while at the same time being very functional.


Using what they already had, we positioned two cherished framed photos on either side of a mirror that they had in storage. I love the balance here. And the storage piece not only functions for the toys but can double as a buffet on holidays or if they want they can add some other decorative pieces to the top.

Hooray for progress - more photos to come soon.



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Downingtown Family Room Project

Hello there! I wanted to post a little bit about my latest project. A former colleague of mine saw one of my posts on Facebook and sent me an email. We chatted on the phone to discuss what she had in mind for their family room. I sent her my new client questionnaire to complete and then we scheduled a consultation.

They moved to Downingtown about 2 years ago and brought most of what they had at their previous home with them but they hadn't really done a lot to personalize the home just yet. They painted and got new rugs and flooring in the kitchen, but other than that they needed to make this space theirs - zhush it up a little bit. They have 2 black labs and 2 adorable young kiddos. So the goal here of course is family friendly, dog friendly materials.


The fireplace is a major focal point in the room as you can see in the photo above. There are huge windows to the wall adjacent to the fireplace wall (not in view here).


The brown sectional is from their bachelor days. It's really too dark and swallows up the room - we're going to lighten things up a bit with the layout and the color palette. Not a great photo below of the window wall due to the lighting but you can see where a new layout will help this room tremendously - and new window treatments.


We met the other day to go over the plans that I put together for them and they're ready to go. It's so fun when clients are highly motivated and excited to get moving with a plan.

Here is where my plan started....


My clients design preferences lean toward neutrals so we're keeping the furniture fairly neutral and bringing the color in with the pillows, window treatments, and rug.

Because the space is very large and open with the vaulted ceiling, I proposed layering a rug into the space to anchor the seating area. And I'm thrilled that they're on board with this idea - I think it's going to look great and really make the room feel more cozy.

Look...even one of their sweet pups is on board with it :)


Here are a few more photos of how I arrived at our "final" fabric plan...all of the fabrics that you see on the right are confirmed sofa, pillows, windows. The fabric on the left is me playing around with glider fabric options. I love this large plaid but it was too busy with everything else.


I love this one but too light with the dogs...


Love a good classic stripe too but this wasn't working for me...(don't worry - my fabrics are only the ones toward the bottom - that large blue medallion at the top and colorful stripe at the top right are not for this project). 


And here is where I came to a final decision...neutral, family-friendly, and looks great with the rest of the fabrics. 


I'm really pumped about the mix of accent tables that will be coming into the room. There will be a  mix of sizes, textures and shapes. They really liked this and I'm super excited because I was secretly hoping they would - we're going to float 2 of these so that they act as a means of coffee table but also have the ability to move them easily around the room depending on the need. But great for kids too - love that. 


We're going to lighten up the mantel with new accessories and styling. We're also going to bring in some photos from their travels throughout Italy. It's important to bring in those details - moments and memories that you make smile. There will also be a small mini-makeover in the kitchen as well, so lots to do!

Will post some more updates as they evolve...have a great week my friends! 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Project Rip Up the Carpets

A little less than 2 years later and we finally got around to tearing up the carpets on our main floor and second floor landing of our split level home. My SIL took the girls for an overnight so that we were limited on interruptions to get the job done ;)

We knew there were hardwood floors underneath, so it was just a matter of seeing what kind of condition they were in when we were finished.

Here is where we started - beige carpets.


Old beige carpets...this was a gallery wall that I was working on for this room a few months ago.



Here we go...I was so excited to get these gross old carpets outta here! While I was driving the girls out to my SIL's Steve made some great progress...


This particular photo below really got me itching to do more - new trim, new paint color, possibly painting or restaining the banisters....isn't it funny how one project leads to several more?


Buh-bye beige carpets. Here are some of the trusty tools we used...my handyman also recommended a tack puller for getting the staples up but I didn't get a chance to pick one up.


Overall the floors were in pretty good shape. There are some obvious fade marks from where a prior owner must have had an area rug, and there are a few other questionable spots but overall they're good.

After we got all of the staples up, we swept and used a wet/dry vac to get the rest of the dirt, dust, etc up. Then we wiped everything down and mopped the floors with Murphy's. I know I've been told that Murphy's is a no-no on wood floors but it works for us and we have a ton of it. (another project to note - the fireplace)


And here are a few photos of the "after" - enjoying the fruits of our labor.



So satisfying. And the best part...FREE. :) Now the wheels are spinning even more as I strive to get this main living space into a bit more order. 


And the best part - actually putting my feet up and marveling in our shiny "new" floors. Sweat equity at its finest.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Living Room-Music Room Local Project

I feel like I haven't posted in forever and I have so much to catch you up on. I've been fortunate to pick up more local clients and have enjoyed a wide array of challenges with each project.

One of my local projects that I started on a few weeks ago was this Living Room/Music Room.


My clients enjoy hanging out in this room with coffee, listening to music (including playing this pretty piano that you see) and entertaining. They were not looking for a full redesign but rather a way to freshen things up a bit. They had recently purchased the two medallion print armchairs that you see here and a few of the other key pieces of furniture would stay but the rest of the room was ready for a makeover.


Have you taken note of the walls? They had a rag type texture application very popular in the early 90s and the colonial blue trim was also dating this room (I actually love a colonial blue in the right setting). Updating these walls would be HUGE.  Ready for this....


Look at the difference with just the walls and trim getting painted! I had gotten a text message from my client that she loved the color (whew!) but I was blown away when I got to see this in person. And just so you don't have to scroll up and down :)


The walls were painted BM Quiet Moments (1563) and it looks beautiful. It's a really nice blue-green and so complimentary to the entire room. It really makes not only the piano pop and really look stunning but the lighting even comes alive (which is hard to see in these photos).



It was a cloudy, dreary day so these photos are a bit dark. You'll see more photos soon. Now we're working on new window treatments, and we're also working on getting a console and art on the far wall (not pictured).


And you may remember a few months back, I did a preview of a combined Living Room/Play Room. The rug is in and we're waiting on the sofa and armchair to get delivered. The rug looks fantastic! While we're waiting on furniture to arrive, this bay window that you see below got an update.



Different angle, but you get the idea. I recommended a relaxed roman shade for the bay window and it came out really well. This window faces the front of the house so they wanted these are fully functional shades that they can move up and down. 

Well I hope to keep the updates coming more frequently. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Simple Styling

It's no secret that I enjoy creating vignettes around my house. If the light is good and I have a cup of coffee then there's a high probability that I'll be tinkering with a shelf, mantel, or table.

My advice today is this...the most simple vignette can sometimes be the most beautiful and appealing.

I picked up a new seventy-nine cent basket about a month ago at one of my favorite thrift stores (interesting baskets really appeal to me) . It was an interesting shape and a pretty color so I knew I'd be able to make it work somewhere - either in my home or in a client's home.

I stacked a few books (on top of our laptop), placed my new ceramic vase on top, and then set my new sculptural basket next to it. Simple, easy, pretty vignette. I just like how all of this really works together yet still highlights my treasured framed photos of the girls on the wall :)



It's as easy as that. By varying the height and the textures, I've created an interesting look to this console table in our living room.

And speaking of styling, I've added a few of my styling photos to my Portfolio page. Check them out if you get a chance and let me know what you think. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Big Girl Room Updates

Just about 2 years later and I'm still working on my oldest daughter's room...we're about 75% there until I can consider this one "done" and hopefully get it photographed properly.

I wanted to bring you up to speed on where we started and where we're at now.

Here is my inspiration board that I put together April 1st, 2013 (we were getting ready to move and I was pregnant with Allison) - I wanted to use blush pinks and soft blues. Both colors that are feminine but work well with neutrals.


My initial spark of inspiration was that bowl of ice cream, the wedding reception at the barn, and the Botany fabric by Thomas Paul for Duralee fabric shown at the top left.

I'm pleased to say that I've pretty much stuck to this game plan. A few tweaks here and there which is part of the design process but overall I'm really happy how things are shaping up.

Her bedding has been done for a while. I kept it really easy - I got the Jenny Lind-style headboard on Craig's List for $10.00 and the white patchwork coverlet is from Target (love this coverlet - it's worked so well but still very age appropriate) this one is similar. I also picked up a few of the pillows a while ago and recently added a new little pillow that I couldn't resist.


Isn't that house pillow cute? It was handmade by Tadpole Creations.  

And then a few weeks ago I decided to have the dresser and nightstand painted by Dana.

Here is a before photo of the dresser. This dresser was given to us by my sister-in-law and the size is just right for Sheila's room. It was my nephew's before they handed it over to us. I love the detail on the side of the dresser and you won't see it yet but it has a pretty curve at the base too.


You can see the old sports knobs on the left there next to the new knobs I got at Home Goods for a huge bargain. The 4-pack of knobs was $7.99!! I couldn't resist and they had 2 so it all worked out perfectly. And I was pleased to be able to bring it a little dose of black and white to the room. I got that cute elephant lamp at a thrift store for $10.00.

And here is a photo of the dresser that I snapped the day after Dana delivered it back to us.


Dana was really great to work with and made the process so easy for us. I can't wait to finish up the room and get some good photos taken to show you. It's coming together - stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Britain Project - Part 1

When I meet with new clients, I always like to get a tour of their home to gauge their color and design preferences. I also like to spend some time with them chatting about likes, dislikes, hobbies, wants, needs, etc, etc.  I also take my notes in a profile form like you'll see below, so I figured I'd go with it for this post :)

New Britain Project Profile

Who
Family of 4 with 2 young children (a girl and a boy) and a dog and cat

Likes 
Spending time at the beach in the nice weather, playing games, crafting, coaching, music, cooking/dining, having coffee, entertaining. Color preferences are blues, greens, and earth tones. They also like stripes, plaids, paisley patterns.

Needs
This family struggles with what I find to hear a lot...they know what they like but they're just not sure how to pull it all together or where to start. We're starting with their living room/play room and dining room (since the living room/play room flows into the dining room). They use this area to entertain especially around the holidays when they have both families over to their house. They need additional seating but they also need the pieces to be moveable/flexible so that they can be interchanged when the need arises. They also needed a color plan, meaning that the color plan I come up with will help them with other rooms throughout their home to create color flow.

Wants
Additional seating
New rug
Window treatments
New sofa (to replace existing)
New armchair (to replace hand-me-down glider)
Storage
Additional lighting
Pillows

Overview of Rooms

This is the living room/play room as you walk in. Right now, the room is mainly used for the kids to play in but the adults also like to hang out in here as well - read, drink coffee. So we're going to create a nice balance for them.

You can also see the big bay window that is in need of window treatments - roman shade, blinds, something to soften it up a bit but also create privacy as well.



When they moved into the house, they had their floors redone and most of the rooms painted. This room and the dining room are painted SW 7683 Buff. It looks yellow in these photos but it's actually very creamy and a really nice color to work with so no need for repainting. 


Below is the dining room that is adjacent to the living room. We're going to be replacing the existing panels with longer, lighter panels to brighten up this room. I also suggested removing the tablecloth and doing placemats or a runner.


The Plan



I had the pillows situated on the sofa for presentation purposes but moved them to the sides so that my clients could also see the sofa - and I never moved them back :) This is design plan A where I used a colorful rug to set the mood of the room. We're going for rustic/contemporary with a touch of beachy - if that makes any sense.

And here is design plan B...pillows are situated on this sofa and look SO GOOD.


This plan is a bit more neutral, mostly due to the rug, but you can see how the look we are going for is still being accomplished through those pretty pillows and ottomans that can be moved together or apart depending upon what they're doing that day.

Any ideas on what plan they decided on??

I'll be back tomorrow with Part 2 of this project overview and some more info on what I presented.

I'd love to hear what you think of this plan that I presented to this fun family.

Thanks for reading as always!