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Apartment Turns Home

Design can be healing. This is another amazing project to share because the process was so special to myself and my client.

She had just experienced a very difficult life change and found herself in a new space. Her request? She wanted this new apartment to look NOTHING like her old place. She needed her apartment to be peaceful, calm, restful, and healing: she needed that apartment to become a home.

You know those design shows that have the “white box” challenges? That’s what walking into this apartment was like. White box with a white sofa. The apartment complex had a no-paint policy — so we had to work to think how the furniture and accessory choices could provide that warmth and peace she was seeking. She loved the beach, and the complex was located next to a lake, so our inspiration became water. It was a great symbol for the peace, calm, and healing she was hoping for in this design.

One of my favorite projects here is the shelving unit we created in her room. I took the inexpensive IKEA VITTSJÖ shelving unit and gave it a couple of coats of gold spray paint. This is such a simple DIY project – and the result is stunning, sophisticated, and adds the right amount of elegance to her bedroom.

With a blank page in a new chapter of life and a blank canvas of an apartment, I designed a space that was rich with color, metallics, and texture to reach our goal of warmth without the use of paint.

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Townhouse Transformation

My client recently retired and is now spending a lot of time at home. She decided she had worked hard her whole life and deserved to actually enjoy her home. Amen to that! We painted and refreshed each and every space for an entirely new feel. It felt so good for me, personally, to honor her working life by giving her a beautiful environment for her retirement years. Welcome Home!

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Moroccan Nights

My client LOVES Moroccan decor, but her amazing, custom-built-by-her-husband-dream-home is ANYTHING BUT Moroccan. So, she wanted to go all out in her bedroom. I was game to make that happen.  Bedrooms are the place where we sleep, where we rest, where we love — but they are often ignored when it comes to designing and styling one’s home. Friends, listen to me when I say to you: MAKE THE BEDROOM A DESIGN PRIORITY!

Environment affects everything – especially for women. So make it fabulous. Style that thing! (And, Let me help you.)  When a client wants to address a bedroom – joy fills my heart.

Let’s get to it… the ‘before’. Neutral and boxy at the start, our goal was to give it the color and dimension of that sexy, earthy, north african fabulousness that she wanted to evoke.

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And…. AFTER!

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TEXTURE. This amazing blanket from Anthropologie (what isn’t amazing from Anthropologie?) was our starting point for everything. I bought it and started making pillows. This gave the room the massive dose of texture it needed.

Nothing says moroccan more than a wooden carved screen. A custom bed was born when we painted the screen and encased it in a frame.

We added a JuJu hat (African Headdress, you knew that) above the bed. It’s my new favorite thing ever. We could have bought one… but we wanted a specific color and size, so — of course, we made our own! It was super easy. I’ll post a DIY soon.

LIGHTING. Lighting is everything. It’s more important than a JuJu hat. We had to have lanterns — and not wanting to have the room feel too costumey or Moroccan movie set-ish — the lanterns we found were moroccan inspired but not too literal.

We wanted candlelight but didn’t want to burn the house down. A burnt down house is a big time mood killer. So we set LED lights on a timer that will come on at bedtime and add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the room. Wink

The window seat becomes a mini-destination after covering the cushion in a great fabric and adding tons of gorgeous pillows. A custom cornice board above the window defines the space.

COLOR. The white paneled walls can handle the intense navy wall color. Punching it up with yellow and orange keeps the room rich and spicy.

FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES. Obviously, she had to have a peacock chair. I would have judged her if she didn’t.

The magic of the internet supplied us with baskets, mostly from Africa. I do love the internets. (Since then, we’ve added half a dozen more baskets too!)

Finally, we perched the TV on top of this amazing sideboard by Carla By Design.

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Loft Bedroom Retreat

I created this bedroom for my client who wanted a peaceful, natural, retreat. She lives in a modern loft but her style sensibility leans more traditional. I blended the two styles with traditional tufting on the headboard and the jar shape of the lamps (which will flank her bed on the night stands) and made it modern by keeping the lines of the furniture straight and adding the tranquil airiness of glass. The Kelly Wearstler pillow is our only pop of color, echoed by the simple and gorgeous watercolors that will be one on top of the other between 2 windows, each covered by white linen drapery panels. We’ll keep the bed linens in a clean bright, white and the walls painted in a soft grey with blue undertones. Heavenly!

Bedroom Design Modern BlueAnd did I mention that the entire bedroom cost under $1400? Proving yet again, great design does not have to cost a fortune!

Are you ready to get started on your dream bedroom? Begin the new year right and contact me for a consultation. I currently have clients in 3 states and 5 cities so do not let proximity stop you from creating your dream home! You can have an eDesign like this client or full service design from top to bottom, whichever fits you best. (Also makes a GREAT Christmas gift if you are in the mood to win.)

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How to Create a TV Gallery Wall (and why I don’t trust people that don’t watch TV)

I respect people that say they don’t own a TV, but I am 98% sure we will not be good friends. I need to relate on some pop culture level. I do not need you to know the details of the Kardashian’s last sisterly fight or the names of all the Housewives, but a knowing nod and disbelieving gasp about House of Cards or Parenthood or Brooklyn 99 (the list goes on) goes a long way. Also, they might be evil. I mean, if people do not watch TV, what do they do with all their time? Probably build bombs. (And this post is how I came to be followed by the NSA, kids).

For the rest of us muggles, television is a necessary part of our lives and therefore we must decorate around it. I typically do not try to hide the TV but I do like to diminish its visual impact. I love using a gallery wall to do this.

I recently put together a lovely feminine bedroom suite for a client. She needed to be able to see her TV from her bed and sitting area. She found an artist she liked and we selected floral, feminine art to surround her TV.

TV Gallery Wall Floral

Floral Gallery Wall and table top view

My inspiration came from these beautiful gallery walls…

This wall works because the art ties beautifully together – it is natural, simple, lovely. It does not fight with the television but you barely notice that it’s there!

via theaestate.com

via theaestate.com

I love how this gallery goes around the side of the chest of drawers. I doubt I would do this on both sides of a piece of furniture but I might balance this on the other side with a large fiddle leaf ficus or a floor to ceiling drapery panel.

via burlapandlaceblog.com

via burlapandlaceblog.com

So be proud you own a TV, binge watch away and decorate that fabulous black box with a great gallery wall.

See the rest of my client’s room here.

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