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Archive | Before & After

An Office for Two

A doctor and a writer. Odd hours. They needed a workspace that was functional, clean, and attractive given that it’s seen as soon as you walk in the front door. They came to this design party with funky art, cool tchotchkes, and great taste. Here’s what we started with:

Any workspace begins with a desk. A great desk. To appeal to their love of Danish design, we opted for drawer bases from IKEA: simple, white, functional. To maximize their workspace and streamline the room, I had a 12-foot, maple desktop created to span the wall.

Cati Teague Photography

It was important that the wall viewable from the home’s entry serve as the focal point of the space, so we painted the wall a rich teal and peppered it with dynamic prints and wall art. Given their tastes, I pointed them to some of my favorite artists (and because you’re special, you can visit them here, here, and here) and they selected their favorite images. I chose the sizes and frames, supplemented with other great pieces, and then mixed in a couple from their collection.

To further the function of this area, we commissioned custom magnet boards for each of them. (We love magnet boards: check out this custom board we made for a playroom!)

After function, we focused on comfort. An antique kilim rug is the perfect complement to the orange womb chair (what could be more comfortable than a WOMB chair?!), which provides a cozy space to read, relax, and retreat.

Cati Teague Photography

It’s time for your office to look this good: whether you can see it from your front door or not! Gina Sims Designs is now booking for 2018: call me.

 

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Classic Dining in Avondale

The first time I met my client was on the soccer field, and our conversation included the exclamation: “come and paint my dining room!” As the kids say: the rest is history. My client is a Classics teacher and has an obvious affinity for classical literature and languages, Rome (well, let’s say all things Italy), and has a house filled with heirlooms. Basically, she’s a dream client. Inspiration at every turn.

Let’s start, as we did at our first meeting, with her dining room. Here’s what we started with:

The room already had solid pieces. She’s the mom of two boys, so we needed to make sure any design could stand up to the activity of kids in the house. Spoiler alert: We did a bit more than paint it.

We painted those walls a beautiful, breezy blue and brought in floor to ceiling curtains to make the room (and the windows) seem larger and more grand. We swapped out the cart for a life-giving element — this fantastic, vibrant plant on simple plant stand, which will allow guests to more easily move around the table. The room is illuminated by a stately quatrefoil chandelier, which nods to her love of classical art and design. We replaced the rug with a neutral, natural toned rug to bring some texture into the space.

We swapped out two of the dining chairs with upholstered parsons dining chairs to add a modern touch to the traditional hutch and table. #PROTIP: Changing out a few (or all!) of your dining chairs for a contrasting style from your table instantly transforms a dining area or breakfast nook. For a personal touch, we hung her father’s gardening hats on the wall.

Finally, reorganizing her beautiful china and adding some decorative accessories to this amazing hutch make the piece (and its collections) seem new again. An absolutely charming and inviting transformation, just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Be our Guest (…and help with new Baby!)

I have worked with this amazing couple a couple of times on the living and dining spaces on the main level of their gorgeous house (check those out here and here) so when they told me they were having a baby, I was all in! They needed bedrooms for grandparents and friends to come and stay (read: HELP!).

They had just finished their basement and had a bedroom that was a completely blank slate. We decided to go a little more modern and punchy in the basement than the rest of the house. A navy accent wall, green headboard, fun art and mirrors, and a desk in the corner for them to work at, were a great way to start.

Upstairs, we went with a softer feel. Down the hall from the baby’s room and master, we did a soft pink accent wall with bold bedding and a navy headboard. Natural accents in wood, greenery and watercolors of cacti, made the room feel fresh and new.

So much so, that they did their newborn photoshoot right here! Precious!!

Photo Credit: Poppy La’Rue (poppylarue.com)

 

Guest rooms do not need a lot of storage. A simple night stand, a luggage rack and either a closet (which they have) or a small chest of drawers is all that is required. Framed pictures of the couple (and soon, the baby!), fresh flowers, a carafe of water and maybe a travel book about the sites of the city make a perfect, welcoming guest room. And if the bedding isn’t luscious, might as well call a hotel. This bedding has layers, softness and all the luxury for a good night’s sleep, even with a distant, constant whimper of a newborn.

Grandma, we’re ready for you. And please come often!!

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Southern (California Inspired) Veranda

This veranda serves as an extension of the amazing basement space we unveiled here. After we were done with the basement, this space met us outside:

We were definitely channelling California for the inspiration of this space. I grew up in California and it always has a huge effect in the way I see design – the function and style of a space. California style to me is all about lounging. It is relaxed, timeless, and has organic lines and lots of plants.

We did wide white panels on the ceiling to finish the look and did beautiful glass pendants (easy to wipe clean) that featured a metal floral sculpture underneath the glass cloche. Gorgeous!

A mirror reflects the yard and brings more natural light into the space. A seating area with custom chairs across from the swing is the perfect conversation area.

My client had that amazing swing but it was upholstered in really bright fabrics. We took it down a notch to stone grays with punches of strong black and white prints and a touch of soft pink.

All our fabrics were high performance and perfect for the outdoors. We love Perenials!

We had the dining room chairs – an iron cane beautiful chair to begin with, but we upholstered it in a grey aztec print with a black piping that won’t show dirt and grime for years to come. We decided to ditch her old matching table and we worked with a local woodworker to source the perfect stump as our table base. It’s perfect!

We used old shutters as a backdrop for the table and hung planters for them that my client can use for flowers or air plants. California is ALL about the plants and the cactus is king. Don’t be afraid of plants! You can always buy more if they die. I swear so many clients feel deep personal shame for not being able to keep a plant alive. It’s a plant. You are a good person.

A stylized zinc console with plants and candles on top rounds out the vignette and Voila!

Now the choice is up to you: Call a friend or grab a book, but either way, you’re not leaving this space. This is a space where veranda dreams are made. Leisurely afternoons with lemonade and neighbors or alone with a book. When I dream, I am here.

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Big Boys’ Bedroom

Last week, we revealed the playroom for the FOUR boys UNDER FOUR. Today, we reveal the “Big Boy” bedroom update for the oldest two brothers. When we started, the walls were bare, both mattresses were on the floor, and there was storage for clothing. Pretty much your basic kids room. Here’s a brief peek into the space:

A functional, well-designed kids room always starts with storage. We started with IKEA storage beds: this provided storage for clothing and toys while anchoring the room, getting the beds off the floor. Book storage between the beds and lights above them give them easy access for nighttime reading with mom and dad and on their own as they get older.

The “Big Boy” elements are expressed in the wall decor, graphic window panels, and the reading nook – providing them with a stylish retreat from their little brothers.

Like most kids, they love Legos. The storage table provides them with an area to sort and store their legos by color when they’re finished playing on the top (and keeps them from spreading all over the house!). Special Lego builds can be displayed on the wall shelves overhead until they’re ready to take apart.

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