Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why I Design and Progress at my Downingtown Project

When I receive an update photo from a client, I know at that very moment that THIS, THIS is why I design. I design to make a space more special for the client. I design to bring their vision to life. And I design to share their joy when they see that space evolve and transform into one that they love and never thought that they'd be able to create on their own. THAT is what makes my job as a designer so special.


I knew that once the window treatments got installed that those would be a turning point for this space and they were, but then I received this photo from my client. I couldn't believe the amount of progress we had made by also adding in the new console and framed photos from a honeymoon trip to Italy. The personal touches are what make this space uniquely theirs.

We've been waiting on two chairs to get delivered and that should hopefully be happening today. And we'll also be adding some additional accessories to that great new console. Once that happens then things will start wrapping up and I hope to get this space photographed to show it off properly.

Happy Thursday my friends!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How I Updated My Gallery Wall {In Progress}

This gallery wall hangs in our Living Room. It's a work in progress but it's a wall that we see every single day and this particular frame that you see on the right in the photo below has been driving me crazy.


Would it drive you crazy or am I just being crazy? Call me crazy but the rest of the wall has framed white photos as well. Now there is nothing wrong with the wood frame, but the color is just a bit off in my opinion. It doesn't blend well with the other frames as you can see in the photo above. And I love the photo inside of the frame (Capital Teas in Annapolis - I took the photo when we were there 6 years ago).

The crazy thought crossed my mind of just spray painting it and be done with it. But then I was thinking about how much I really liked the simplicity of the frame above it (my super inexpensive frame from A.C. Moore).

So I got out a few supplies that I already had on hand: painter's tape, paint, and scissors.


My first step was taping off the inset so that I could paint the edge black. I taped carefully and then painted away using black acrylic paint (I used about 4 coats). Once the black was dry, I taped off the edge, removed the glass and the photo and spray painted the rest of the frame white.


Ah, so much better don't you think? I'm very pleased with the result. It's exactly what I had pictured in my head. And bonus points for being super easy, quick, and FREE.

Just for kicks, here is a before and after:


I love the new look - really pleased with the result. Not only was it a quick and easy update, but now the look is so much more cohesive. We have plans to paint the walls at some point, but for now my gallery wall is resting quite happily here on this wall.  I also plan to add more photos to the grid at some point as well. The key to a gallery wall is letting it evolve and building it with photos, art, and items that you love. The right combination is bound to bring you many smiles and happy thoughts.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Downingtown Project: Dressing the Windows

Well hello! I know I've been silent for quite some time but wanted to write a little bit about the windows at my Downingtown project.

Things are starting to take shape with this space. Furniture has started arriving and the window treatments will be installed very soon (just waiting on some hardware to arrive).

Here is a photo of the large window in their family room...the burgundy panels aren't doing much for the room so we're going to replace those with a lighter fabric. Initially I had contemplated proposing extra long panels that would get mounted above the highest window that you see below, but that was only going to draw more attention to the windows and they wouldn't be functional only stationary.


These panels are going to be functioning so that they can move them open and closed as they need. 

Here is a photo of some of my proposed fabrics that we'll be using. The fabric at the bottom middle is going to be the drapery fabric.


I think the new panels are really going to freshen up the space nicely and bring in some needed color. There is going to be a coordinating rug in that pretty aqua blue that will be layered in as well.


One of the issues that my client has with the existing panels is how they get caught on the rod when they try to open and close the panels. That won't be a problem any more once the new panels get installed using rings and they will glide over the new rod nicely.


I really can't wait to see these windows dressed with their new panels - it's going to be really nice. And here is a photo of the hardware that we'll be using.


We chose a simple finial. The finial, rod, and rings will all be in the same finish. Can you see how the finish has an aged look to it? The finish is called iron oxide and it's a black ground with a slight copper marbled look to it.

We're also going to be doing the slider in the kitchen that leads to my client's outdoor deck. We'll be using the same fabric and hardware as well for consistency.

I'll be back soon with some more photos once the install has been completed.

Have a great weekend!





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!