Primary Navigation Menu

Archive | Before & After

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.

image-1-5 image-1-4







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!




















Artsy Decatur

I have my clients do a lot of work on the front end to show me what they love. Usually, they have a board on Pinterest or they have collected dream rooms on Houzz. This client let her entire family collaborate on a Pinterest board for the dining room she wanted me to design — a fun activity that resulted in a wide range of styles.

We ended up keeping the basics neutral but full of texture (i.e., rustic wood, iron, silk, etc.), contrast, and adding our punch of colors through art. The family that Pinterests together also Art Fairs together — so we had an amazing collection of colorful and personal art to set off our neutral palette.

Textbook design experience, right? Um. No. No, it was not.

Something just wasn’t right. The room configuration was off. Ideas weren’t popping. I asked her to show me the rest of the house and the tour of the living room/study revealed another oddly shaped room that just wasn’t working for the family.



That’s when it hit me: switch.the.rooms. SWITCH THE ROOMS!

The dining room became the living room, which, because it was open to the kitchen, gave a more open gathering place. The old living room became the new dining room: great space management and a quiet place to work when homework is spread all over the table (because that never happens).

The living room needed new furniture since it was now doubled in size. Some forgotten pieces in the basement produced THIS CHAIR. I had it reupholstered with fabric that looks like it was made for the chair – and now it’s better than new. Yes. Better than new. Switching rooms was THAT magical of a change. Um, you’re welcome.

basement gem


Then the magical switching of the rooms made everything fall into place.



The existing dining room furniture was refinished for a new life. I added art, beautiful relaxed roman shades, relocated the light fixture from the “old dining room,” and finally added the mirror and accessories for interest. The family plans to add a punchy rug later when funds allow.



And there we go. We switched it all around. Being artsy in Decatur, naturally.



Bath House

My clients bought their 1960’s home from the original owners. The house had great bones but some seriously dated wallpaper and tiny rooms. Architects in the 60’s built fabulously sturdy houses but with no storage and tiny rooms. We modernized this home by moving some walls, starting with these new bathrooms!

IMG_6756 IMG_7145 IMG_7147 IMG_8428 IMG_7151 IMG_8380


Lovely Loft

There are times when your favorite client’s mom gets a posh new loft across from Ponce City Market and she insists said loft gets some Gina Sims Designs love. I love those times. Her mother was an absolute joy to work with:

Her mom bought an eDesign and then hired me to style and install the pieces. She started with a fantastic location, four blank walls, and some furniture that needed to be punched up. She also had an amazing collection of art resulting from her many travels and simply needed someone to help those pieces tell her story.


Timeout: I love love LOVE when clients have awesome collections with which I can work (read: not Precious Moments or cat figurines). Okay. Time-in.

We added one gorgeous piece to her collection and I opted to reframe and/or remat others to give them new life. We relocated her rug to another area of the loft and added a more traditional, neutral rug to anchor the space.


Switching out the rug allowed us to paint accent walls and add bold, gold window treatments that brought the eye up in this amazing new space.


In the end, we did a lot of rearranging and shopping around her house to style the area.

Her perfectly-sized loft is a personal, interesting, and bold statement: much like her. Mama’s got new digs!




Site designed by