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Fresh in the Highlands

My clients have a gorgeous tudor home in the Virginia Highlands suburb of Atlanta. It needed to be fresh and rescue dog friendly! Before I work with a client, I have them do homework to determine their style preferences. For this client, her boards were full of shades of aqua, teal and gray. That became our starting place and we had a blast unifying the space with color, his father’s photography and lots of plants for fresh air and an airy feel.

Let’s start with the entry!

When a living space does not have a formal foyer or separate entry area, it’s very easy to create a sense of that space with a console table, a great piece of art, and some seating. Mirrors and plants add light and freshness, welcoming you into the larger living room space.

In the dining room, our design plan called for the addition of a grand, industrial display and storage unit. This is not your mother’s china cabinet. We softened the room with some upholstered accent-turned-dining chairs, soft teal curtains, and the aqua-toned rug.

By adding a large sectional sofa, we separated the living area from the living room area from the entry to give the feel of two separate spaces. The round coffee table is a great contrast to the lines of the sofa; the art and throw pillows continue the color scheme into this space. The plants add the fresh element that connects this space with the sun room.

And last, but absolutely not least, is the sun room. Since we’re allowed to have favorites, obviously, this is my favorite. We started with great seating. Our objective was to use the aqua and teal accents to make the plants the real star of this comfortable room.

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Color Boost, The Sequel

When I first worked on this beautiful house for this lovely newly married couple, they liked the back living space of their house but did not know what to do with the front dining room, entry and reading room. When we finished that, they loved it so much, the living space now needed to catch up!

This year, we were fortunate enough to do that to complete the first level of the house. When we go through the design process together, I am always thrilled to be invited back into their lives! I love repeat customers. 

The house was a new build and they were figuring out what they liked when they built it. Often, our initial style might look a lot like our parents’. It is a gorgeous home but they might do things a bit differently today. Common story for a lot of us, right?

They did not want to modify the kitchen since it was practically brand new, but accessorize and address the easy parts to make it flow with our other interior changes. We added new island lighting and a great Roman shade, art, aqua upholstered stools and added fun accessories to make it feel warm and full of life.

The living room got a jolt of awesomeness with a whole new color palette, carried in from the previous design job. We painted the mantle a warm dark gray and painted the coffer ceiling with a gorgeous pale aqua blue. The sectional is a beautiful navy and we accented in coral and aqua with our pillows, rug (layered on top of our large jute) and accessories. I had fun with the mantle vases and art up the staircase.

The tile detail in the before picture in the back bar area was copper and not conducive to our design, so we had a wood insert made and painted navy to match the front entry way, creating a lovely back drop that does not take away from the room.

The bathroom got gorgeous wall paper in the color of the living room coffers and a new chest, lighting, bold art and vases and the existing vanity was painted gray to modernize the look.

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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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Color Boost

My clients built this gorgeous house when they moved to Atlanta as newlyweds. After a while, they decided it needed a shot of personality. That’s where my team comes in! We decided on a palette of navy, aqua, gray and coral to bring some life into their home. Boost!

I like “before & after” pictures because it helps show what we did, and what you can do in your home. Interested in doing a dark color? Try it in a small but impactful place like an entry way. Have an awkward room that nothing is happening in but happens to be at the front of the house? Turn it into a sitting room with outfitted shelves full of conversation starters, add comfortable bright chairs and a bar cart and now you have a place to talk with a friend or a quiet place to read. File this away for your place by pinning it here!

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Here’s the rest of the first floor, featured in Color Boost: The Sequel. Enjoy!

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Juju Hat DIY

I love juju hats. I love saying “juju hat.” They are those fabulous round feather pieces you may have seen around. They are actually African tribal headdresses. The texture and dimension and color make them a fabulous focal point! I have used them in this Moroccan themed bedroom as well as an amazing white one as part of an art gallery wall in this living room (post on this space coming soon!). They are dramatic and organic and can be any color under the sun. They run anywhere from$250-500, typically. While I bought the white one for the living room at an antique market, my client and I decided to get crafty and make our own for her bedroom.

You should know the feathers are not inexpensive. The project did not end up saving us a ton of money. We knew that going in. We were just up for the experience! We primarily used this tutorial although there are a bunch of others on Pinterest.

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What you’ll need to create your juju hat is feathers, a round object to glue them to (I used a woven charger), a harder object to give it strength and structure, and the almighty glue gun. It would be great if you could just hot glue a feather boa for this, but you can’t. We bought our feathers here. We went with the 9-12″ rooster coque tail feathers after looking at other tutorials. This company sent us a bunch of samples to make sure our colors were right and had great customer service. We used a pound of feathers for our 32″ completed juju hat.

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To start, lay out your feathers so they do not get tangled and so that you can see if you have enough or need to tweak before anything gets glued! Start with feather tips arching downwards. Glue in a circle, pushing the stems into the glue. When you have completed a circle, cut the excess. Do not spiral. The next circle should be with feathers arching upwards and alternating this way throughout the project to give maximum volume and dimension.

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When you’ve done this, you are almost done! At the end, take some of the ends you cut off in the process and glue a few of them in the center. We did about a dozen and used some of the samples the company had sent us earlier. We used white and orange to give a little color variety and, because of this, we tucked a few around the other strands as you can see Perri expertly doing here.

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And when you are done, you will be so happy with how easy it was and how gorgeous it is and what an amazing crafter you and your friend are, and you will put your juju hat on and you will dance.

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We just hung it with a 1.5 inch nail straight through the center. It could not have been easier, I promise! And we LOVE the result.

Give your house good juju with a juju hat. Or at least dance.

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