Thursday, October 27, 2016

Collegeville Office Photos

I'm excited to share with you some photos of the completed office at my Collegeville project. 

As a refresher, my client had a great handle on how she wanted the rooms to function. The switcharoo plan would be this: the current playroom would become the office and the unused living room (who else has one that doesn't get used or needs to function differently?) would become a room for her growing boys to be able to play, spread out the Legos, lounge on the sofa, just hang out and be comfortable. And I'm happy to report that they are thrilled with the new rooms.

I should also add that this was a true collaborative effort which is such a fun way to work. What my client needed was a coach to her quarterback role. She had a true grasp on what needed to happen, but she needed a plan and she needed someone to guide her with the plan and keep her focused.  And that's where I came in to play.

Here is where we started....

And here is the same room today converted to the office...

One of my biggest goals when we first met and chatted about the room was really brightening up the space with a new color palette. Brighten and lighten up the walls - make it a room that you are excited to sit in and work, pay bills, or fiddle around on the computer. The wall color is Benjamin Moore CC-700 Smoky Green and it looks amazing in the room.

I also wanted to soften up the large bay window by adding some stationary drapery panels to bring in some pattern and color (these were a starting point for my design plan).

I also wanted to balance everything out by floating the desk and chair and having two tall shelving components on that back wall as a focal point. Mission accomplished! (By the way - my client did ALL of the styling on the shelves. Pretty awesome, huh?)

I devised the plan and my client executed the plan perfectly. The two items that probably took the longest to decide on were the desk and the chair. The function of the desk was always going to be very simple (they didn't need a lot of storage) and the chair needed to be comfortable. I love the nailhead details on the chair.

The acrylic console is everything I dreamed it would be and more. I love how sleek yet simple it is. I wanted it to just blend into that wall and I love how it turned out. The stools below the console can be pulled over to the desk if one (or both) of the boys want to join in at the desk area - love that! And as the holidays approach, if they end up having friends or family over this becomes a great area to plop some snacks down as well.

My clients really embrace the notion of making a home special by bringing in photos and art that is personal. The black and white prints above the console have great significance to them and who doesn't love a nice clock?! 

Because this office is shared by both parents, we wanted to make sure there was some balance of masculine and feminine which I think we also accomplished quite nicely.

I love the details and elements that brought this room together...

A bright and functional office space to be enjoyed for a long time.

We all agree that one of the best parts about this project is that everyone wins. The office that was needed is now in full swing and the boys have a new/larger room to hang out in for many years to come - and a great view from the office into the playroom.  Win/Win.

**A huge thanks to my friend Chris Pulini for taking all of these photos for me.  I love being able to tell my design story through proper photos. And a big thank you to my clients for bringing me into your home and allowing me to share my vision with you - you rock!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Collegeville Switcharoo Project

I've had the pleasure of working with a childhood friend and helping her switch functions in a few rooms in their beautiful Collegeville home. When my client first contacted me, I knew she had a good idea of how she wanted the rooms to function and also had a good sense of her style. She really needed my help with the planning and execution of the design in each of the rooms.

The Switcharoo Plan:  Switching the current playroom to function as an office and using the unused living room as a bigger kid/adult hangout room (love this idea!). No space unused!

Here are a few photos of the playroom when I first met with her:

The room was nicely organized and a great space for her boys to play. She did an awesome job with this alphabet collage wall below, but (sniff, sniff) her boys are getting bigger and were starting to outgrow this vibe.  

Inspired by these curtains....we'll be changing the color palette, adding in personal touches to make it cozy, and adding some additional seating and shelves for display and storage.

This room has quickly become a (dare I say calming?) office space to do work, bills, and glance out that pretty bay window and daydream ;)  More photos to come soon...

And then here is the Living Room when we had our first meeting...

This was mostly an unused space that was craving some function and personality.  It has another beautiful bay window (below) that my client had already gotten a quote to have built-ins installed on this wall - score for function!

And then the wall below houses a small desk area for their computer. Layout-wise the space is basically staying the same due to walls/windows/furniture that are in the room. We've added in a few more pieces to make it more functional for the boys, and lots of personality to make it a hang out room.

Here's a sneak peek of the progress in this room...(photo courtesy of my client)

Aren't the built-ins awesome? Doors will be added to either side of the cabinets flanking the window. I can't wait to share the finished spaces with you. Kudos to my client for taking my plans and running with them - she's a go-getter and I love it.

Both of the rooms have come such a long way, and my favorite part about this project is how much use each of the rooms will be getting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Blue Bell Family Room Project

I'm working with a great family on their family room refresh and thought I'd breakdown the process for you so far.

During our first meeting/consultation, I took measurements, lots of photos of the space, and asked my clients lots of background questions about what they like about the room, how they live in the room, how they want to live in a room, who uses the room, what changes they would like to see, what stays, what's going, etc, etc - lots of questions.

This is a photo of the family room from the kitchen. To the right is a door leading to their powder room and garage and to the left is a slider leading to their deck. When we first met, their biggest focus was on layout which is super important to the overall design and functionality of the space.

How can this space that they use so much work harder for them? Should the TV stay on the wall or should it be moved above the fireplace?

How can we maximize the space for them? Their budget allows for all new furniture, which is great because their existing furniture is too large for the space.

We're going to make this wall above work harder as well. The chair is getting in the way of traffic flow, so my plan for them will address this.

Fast forward a few weeks later, and it's time for me to present my plan and overall thought process for the new design and functionality to them.

First the floor plan...there were 2 floor plans presented but this one below is the one that they chose and was my favorite as well.

The TV is going to remain on that wall but I proposed moving it down a bit to center it on the wall (I just met with them yesterday and this has already been done). The biggest thing with this plan that you'll see is that we're moving to a smaller sofa, 2 armchairs, and a round coffee table. This is going to give them extra seating, storage, and overall better traffic flow. 

I've proposed a more open console for underneath the TV and 2 small storage ottomans on either side for more seating and storage. I proposed a storage bench by the slider where the armchair was - this will create better traffic flow, more seating opportunity, and storage.

Colors and textures - they like blues and greens but the husband also likes reds/oranges. The photos below will give you a good idea of where we are headed. My color plan started with that floral pillow - I love that it incorporates all of the colors that they requested.

These are some of the fabrics that I had selected for the armchairs. We eventually decided on the beige/blue striped fabric (2 in from the right). 

And below you'll see the final selections (note - this is not an actual color read due to the lighting in the store). The darkest fabric (which is dark blue/navy) is for the sofa, the mustard/cream trellis fabric will be additional pillows for the sofa, and the striped fabric is for the 2 armchairs.

My clients placed their furniture orders yesterday so that part of the process is under way. In the meantime, other smaller items can be decided on - area rug (which will also be huge to the overall feel of the room - I've proposed a jute rug), art, pillows. We're going to lighten up the fireplace with some new art and accessories.

I'm excited for my clients and this beautiful room we're bringing to life. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon. 

Hope you had a great weekend!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Design Giveaway!!

I'm sharing the love today....and I'm giving away a one hour design consultation to someone in the local Philadelphia area. If you're not in the Philadelphia area but you're interested in working together, please comment or send me an email and I'd be happy to chat with you about that.

**This awesome printable is courtesy of the ultra talented Mary from At Home on the Bay - I recently discovered Mary on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her style. 

Ok, back to the giveaway....leave a comment below telling me what room or project you would like to start working on. You can get an extra entry by leaving a comment on my Facebook page as well.

I'll be choosing a winner at random on Tuesday, February 16th.

Share with your family and friends - I can't wait to see what projects you want to work on!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Target Items I Love - January 2016

There is no denying that I love Target and this includes more than just the home decor section too. They have great prices on bread and cereal and snacks. I love their $1.00 bin area as you come into the store - talk about impulse!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite items at Target right now - half of which I own and the other half are so darn good I need a project to buy them for.

Clockwise from top left: 

Delightful room spray

Enjoy!! Any favorite items that you've seen at Target?

(Not sponsored just love <3)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blue Paint Colors I've Used and Loved

One of the most frequently asked questions that I hear are color questions and wondering what paint color would look good in a specific room. So I thought I'd do a post on a few of my favorite blue paint colors and break them down as to why they work.

First, a few tips to keep in mind when selecting color...

- There needs to be a WHY - why am I selecting this color? A paint color should be a portion of the color palette that you're using in the space and should mingle with the rest of the elements in the space.

- Color needs context. Before I select a paint color for myself or a client, I look at the existing room (floors, furniture, trim, lighting). From there I can make a determination as to what color might be a good fit for this space.

- Test, test, test, test, test. Always always test your color in large portions (preferably on a separate board that you can move around the room), but if you can't do that make sure that your walls are primed first before testing. If you test your paint color over an existing paint color you're going to get a false read. Testing is also important so you can see how the light affects the color throughout the day. The color is going to look very different in the morning than it does in the evening.

And now on to the good stuff...

Sherwin Williams Rainstorm
My Habitat project is the boldest I've gone with blue, and it worked for the space. My room was in the back of the house and for the hours of the open house I knew that the sun would start to be coming around and would be perfect for this color (I had to cross my fingers that we wouldn't get rain because I needed that natural light to make the most of this color).

My color palette for this project was rich jeweled tone colors inspired by a painting that I had found. I knew that this blue would be perfect paired with the crisp white trim throughout. I cannot imagine this room any other way :) (**Note that I could not change the flooring in this room at all, so that carpet would not have been my choice.)

Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue 
This is one of my favorite paint colors to date. We used this color in our first house when we repainted our kitchen. And yes there was a second time because the color was all wrong the first time. BM Wythe Blue was oh so right....ahhh...I miss this kitchen so much.
This paint color was beautiful in our kitchen. See how nice it looks against our cabinets and floors. It looks crisp and clean. It's a really great blue-green that pairs well with warm colors.  

Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper 
I'm noticing now that all of my light blue paint colors all have some green in them. This is the lightest blue that I've used but I love that it has the slightest bit of green in it.

It's a sweet color and looks great with the soft pale pinks and whites that I've used in my daughter's room. I would not use this color in a main living area. It doesn't have enough warmth to it for my taste, but I could see it working well in a bathroom or sunroom. 

Sherwin Williams Quiet Moments
Another blue-green with more green to it than Wythe, but also pairs so nicely with warm accents and crisp white trim. I recommended this color during a color consultation appointment last year. My client had beautiful furniture, but the dated wall application needed an update.

You can see the difference in this before and after below. By updating the trim and wall color, my client's piano, existing furnishings and floors all look so nice together.

And there you have it...a few of my favorite blues. Do you have any favorite blue paint colors that you love? Do share!

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or e-mail me at

**For anyone in the local Philadelphia area, if you're interested in working together please send me an e-mail with any questions you might have. You can also find me at some of my favorite social media hang-outs: Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Quick Look at Our Winter Mantel

Our winter mantel is probably the least amount of styling effort I've put in but it's also one of my most favorite looks I've done in this spot in our home for a few reasons.

I wanted the mantel to be very simple for the holidays: a plant on either side, a few pieces of milk glass for consistency, and some sparkle (and candles of course). I really loved having the plants on the mantel.

I've removed most of the holiday items (with the exception of the sparkle garland that I love - I got the little disco balls at Impact for $1.00 and strung them to some twine) and I've added another plant. I don't know what it is about plants but they bring so much to a space. Maybe the symbol of life, growth and the accomplishment of watching them grow is what I enjoy. And I think plants are a great way to beat the winter blahs.

There are a few random items up there but I'm really enjoying this look. And the left side needs a little help but it's 95% there.

I had done a fireplace mantel styling post a while back and glanced at my tips that I gave. My photo above meets each of the criteria on my cheat sheet below :)

Enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Look for Less - Jewelry Display Case

My organization posts have been wildly popular which is so much fun and a different change of pace for me. Thank you for all of your feedback on these!

Because my jewelry organization post was such a hit, I knew I had to share this scoop with you that I discovered the other night.

Remember my display case that I had shared with you the other day?

My exact display case from West Elm isn't available any more but they have a similar item right now and is $49.00. 

When I was checking out Target online the other night I found a display case almost identical to the West Elm display case and for less $$ that I had to share with you.

The Target Threshold version is only $14.99.

Also keep in mind too that if you're interested in a piece like this to keep your eye open at flea markets and thrift stores. I found the cutest small glass case last year at Impact for $1.00.

Happy weekend to all - and thanks so much for reading this week! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Favorite Storage Bin

I love to share new products that I see and love - especially those that I actually use in our home.

And since I've been on an organizing kick, I figured I'd keep up with that theme :)

This storage bin from Target is one of my favorites. It's the Room Essentials Y Weave storage bin.

Why do I love it so much?

It's super durable and can be easily wiped clean (hooray - great for kids!). 

It comes in a variety of sizes, which we have a few of scattered throughout the house. We have the large bins (shown above) in the girls rooms for books and also one down in the family room for books. And then I also have a few smaller ones on our main floor for small coloring books. I plan on getting a few other of the extra small size for drawers and art supplies. 

They're very inexpensive. The large size is on sale right now for $10.19.

And it's white which can seamlessly blend into the home (hence why I have so many of these). I also love the classic basketweave pattern too - it's a nice design that I won't tire of any time soon.

Do you have a favorite storage bin that you've been using? I'd love to hear about it.

(I also did a round up of storage containers specifically geared toward children a few years ago. I like going back to old posts like that to see those products some of which are still available too which is nice.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Place for Everything - Jewelry Organization

Thanks so much for your support on my post yesterday about working with a designer. I hope to do more business posts in the near future as I think people are interested in learning more about the design business and I think transparency is key.

Today I'm talking about organization and so far this year the theme in our house has been "a place for everything" - meaning that every item that we see should be put away somewhere, stored, or removed if no longer being used. We live in a very modest house so storage is a huge challenge for us.

Included in our lack of storage is our master bedroom. It's small and one day we hope to do an addition but for now we make it work. We have one very small closet that isn't the most functional, and then we share the top of this dresser below. My side is on the right and Steve has his items on left. Most of my side is dedicated to jewelry and other everyday items.

Prior to this photo below my side of the dresser was a hot mess - I had some receipts, old credit cards, random pieces of jewelry scattered, etc. Believe me when I say it wasn't pretty :)

This past weekend I cleared everything off of the dresser and dusted first (whew!).

Then I got rid of any pieces of paper and anything that didn't need to be on the dresser (this area is designated mainly for jewelry).

I went through all of my jewelry and put any pieces that I don't wear on a regular basis into a small clear storage bin that I can easily access. All of my favorite pieces and pieces that I wear each day are in the large glass storage case that you see on the right. I love that I can see everything in this case. The pieces are in a place but still visible to enjoy. This one is from West Elm and doesn't appear to be available but this glass storage case is similar.

I use the acrylic cube in the back for bangles and larger bracelets. This one was given to me when I toured The Container Store grand opening in King of Prussia a few years ago. I love that you can use it for a variety of things.

The small ceramic bird vessel is used for my stud earrings. I can get at least 10 pairs in there which is exactly what I need. This little bird was given to me by Marianne a few years ago. (Side note: If you haven't seen Marianne's work, I would highly recommend taking a few minutes to glance over her website. She is extremely talented!)

And that little sushi dish is kind of a catch-all that I had gotten up in New York years ago (I've never actually used it for sushi - remember to think of other ways to use things :) I love that it's pretty but can also be used for quick storage.

And there you have it - my simple jewelry storage system that works for me. How do you organize your jewelry? I have a few other projects in mind that I'd like to try but for now this works great. Ideally, I'd love to get my earrings up on some sort of storage system on the wall but for now I'm satisfied with this system.

Would love to hear about your organizing projects that you've worked on so far this year - what has been working for you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

3 Reasons to Work With a Designer

No pretty pictures today just thoughts :)

I'm happy to report that my design business continued to grow in 2015. I met with several new clients and worked on some exciting projects - both big and small. I thought I would share a few thoughts with you and maybe even break this down into a few posts as I reflect on business for me and what I've learned.

Today I'm here to share my top reasons to work with a designer and why it is in your best interest to hire a designer if you've been thinking about it.

Whether you are ready to embark on a major renovation, redesign a space, or need some help picking out finishing touches, choosing to hire a designer can help you in several ways.

We have a large book of resources and contacts available to cater to your space and needs.
Our job is to customize a plan for your particular space and tap into resources to fit your needs. We work hard to build relationships with artists, contractors, carpenters, electricians, etc. We know that your taste might lean more toward traditional, but we also want to use our resources to open you up to new ideas and concepts. It's a great feeling to introduce a pillow or fabric to a client as inspiration and seeing them light up and say "I never would have chosen that but I really like it".  Hiring a designer will help you discover options that you may not have found or thought of on your own.

We love being that extra set of eyes that you need to evaluate your space.
We are trained to think of a room from a technical/space perspective first and foremost, and then move to the fun-okay-let's-start-this-party decorating details. We're going to make recommendations and give you ideas that will help you love your space even more. Our creative minds are filled with ideas to share with you. We can also tell right away if that "neutral" paint color that you chose for your walls is not working - and we will tell you. My job is to be honest and candid and I will always offer suggestions and constructive feedback to improve challenging areas or places where you're stuck.

We will give you choices and assist you in making decisions.
I find one of the most common pieces of feedback that I get from new clients goes something like this "I walked into _____ and I saw a lot of really nice things that I liked, but I got so overwhelmed (and a little scared I would pick the wrong thing) and I just left". I've heard this many times actually and it's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It makes total sense - the retail world is overwhelming and there are a LOT of products out there that can make you "oooh" and "ahhh". When this happens to you, this is when you need to consider using a designer. A designer will give you a plan or some options. We look at the big picture and narrow down your choices for you - done and done. I love being able to simplify the decision-making process for clients.

I'll be back soon to talk more business and have a few project updates for you.

If you're interested in working together, please visit my services page and contact me with any questions. I've also added a new Testimonials button that I'm continuing to add to with lovely feedback from my clients.

Happy New Year and I hope to blog a little bit more in 2016 by sharing more of my projects.