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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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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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Kitchen Inspiration: Cheery Pie

My clients pulled out a picture of lemon meringue pie on a stick and said, “This pie is the inspiration for our new kitchen.” I knew this would be fun.

They are keeping true to the 1920’s integrity of the house with their alley kitchen renovation (yay!) and doing white cabinets, large windows and original-style moldings. For the soft design elements, they wanted to mix 1920’s classic style with youthful energy.

I took the inspiration pie picture, sampled colors directly from the image and added a pop of orange to create the general color scheme.

Cheery Kitchen Color SchemeHere’s what we have so far. The cabinets and moldings are white and the backsplash will be this long gray neutral tile, so we are adding color and pattern in the fabulous schoolhouse lighting, stools and fabrics.  I am still playing with fabrics for window coverings and the eating nook but I’m loving these bright bold graphic patterns.

Cheery 1920s Kitchen RedoCouldn’t you just sit down in this fabulous kitchen, enjoy a slice of lemon meringue pie and chat with friends for hours on end?

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