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Archive | Before & After

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.


And…. AFTER!


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.




From Brown to Bright (a Before and After!)

There are people in this world who consider it a sin of the worst sort to paint wood, stone or brick. Perhaps you are one of these people? You know who you are and so does everyone else because you are militant about it. If I suggest painting to someone like this, I get an evil side eye and a head nod towards the door. Don’t get me wrong. I love (LOVE) these natural elements but sometimes they need to be amended if they fail to fit the feel and needs of the modern home and it’s owners. I’m standing my ground on this one.

My clients Sandy Springs home is not a mountain lodge. Not at all. This room stuck out from the rest of the home like a cabin-eque monochromatic sore thumb. They have three small kids and big dogs and needed a space that could handle rough and tumble but were in desperate need of some grown up style. The sofa was a big investment and perfect for their lifestyle but it also happened to blend with the color scheme of the rest of the room. Brown.

Before – Brown walls, brown floor, brown furniture…just brown.

Before Brown Den

After! We kept the ceiling beams and painted the paneling white with gray trim around the windows for more emphasis. Window treatments were made in a pool herringbone with a graphic trim,  throw pillows, a rug and furniture finally make for a space they can live in, all with a hefty side of cozy chic!

White Bright Cozy Comfortable

Before – The front of the room is dark, the blinds match the walls and the sparseness of the space leaves it feeling cold.


After! We kept the stone and beams in their natural state, addressed the fireplace with paint, rocks and birch logs and added a box for floor (or hearth) cushions and blankets. And never ever underestimate the power of the coffee table. (Where were their feet and popcorn bowls going?) Now the space feels inviting and ready for entertaining!

After Cozy Bright Peaceful

On the other side of the fireplace, we put this lovely reading nook for a punch of color, pattern and texture. This spool chair is not only beautiful, it also happens to be crazy comfy.

Living Room Navy, Yellow, Pool

You may love wood paneled walls (I do too, I swear) but you cannot deny that this upgrade feels fresh, light and perfect for family and friend movie and game nights. Game on! What needs some refreshing at your house?

Photo Credit:  Cati Teague Photography


Blue and White and on the Lake

My client recently retired and moved to a beautiful home on the lake. She wanted a country bedroom that reflected the tranquil beauty of her surroundings. Blue evokes feelings of peace, calmness and spirituality as well as security, trust and introspection. We punctuated the blue with tones of white and antique brass.

Blue and White Bedroom Painted in WaterlogueBefore, the bedroom feels sparse and dark, even with the beautiful soft light.

bedroom overall BEFOREBefore view:  Across from the bed was the TV and storage.

Tv wall -BeforeWe took it up a notch with some lovely floral watercolors and some beautiful new storage.

Floral Gallery Wall

Floral Gallery Wall and table top viewBelow, her bookshelf left little to be desired as a cozy reading nook.

Before - bookshelf wallHer chair fit her body perfectly, so we updated it by reupholstering in a lovely ivory herringbone. I love hardwoods but in a bedroom, I like to feel something warm under my toes when I wake up. We had a custom tone-on-tone carpet installed and accessorized new shelves with her books, collections and added antiques and blue and white pieces.

Bookshelf wall and reading nookThe entrance of the room was a bit weak, but we found the perfect piece in another room. “Shopping your house” should be the first stop for any redesign transformation.

Bedroom Entry BEFORE

Room EntranceMy client loves her new bedroom retreat but her what part is she most excited about? These window treatments. What? You don’t see them? Exactly, ladies and gentlemen. She wanted to keep the windows bare but also wanted the option to shade the harsh morning sun.

Enter:  flush mount custom motorized shades. That’s right. She can raise and lower her shade from her bed with a remote control. That is living.

Motorized Custom ShadesAh, now that makes for a peaceful nights sleep.


Gallery Wall Tips and Tricks

Who doesn’t love a great wall of artistically displayed art and photography? When doing a gallery wall, the trick to making it look like a “collection” is to have a unifying element. For example, all the art or photographs have a bit of red in them.

Frames can serve this “unifying” function as well. If the frames are colorful or vary widely from each other, print the photos all in black and white. If frames are all different colors and the photos or art are also colorful, it can look a bit campy or childish (however, great for a child’s space!). Likewise, if you have a compilation of different types of paintings, drawings and photographs, make sure the frames are similar. They don’t need to be the same, however. For example, if they are all gold, keep the finish similar, but have different sizes, thicknesses and some with large mats and others with no mats at all.

I’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to the West Elm Gallery Frame.  I love these so much. I used the antique silver with the linen mats and black frames with white mats. The silver works with a variety of metallics since it is antiqued. They also have great gold, white and mirrored finishes. My clients will hang colorful pictures of their family here. This works because, although the frames are different, they are simple, and thoughtfully hung in a zigzag pattern and in variety of sizes.  These are beautiful to hang (come with a paper guide you can tape to the wall and hammer nails directly into) and look great in traditional and modern design alike! Whoop!

West Elm Gallery Frame silver and black gallery wall

What a difference, right?!


Other Designer Picture Hanging Notes and Tips:

1.  If you are hanging a picture on the wall, you do not need the table top arm on the back. It will make your art stick out oddly from the wall. Remove it. Most can be removed with a smidgen of elbow grease and pliers.

2.  You will never worry about crooked pictures again if you use a level and this putty.

3. Rules were made to be broken. Peruse Pinterest or other sites for galleries you like, figure out what you like about them, why they work and copy that!

What gallery ideas and tips do you love right now?


Traditional Living Room: A Before and After

Let’s get this new year started with a great “Before & After”! My clients loved their furniture and lamp, but once they purchased them years ago, they stopped, not knowing what to do next.  The room lacked warmth and the finishing touches that make a house feel homey. It was time to do something about that!

Before Sharon Den

To get things going in the right, warm direction, we added a rug and draperies.  The rug ties the colors together, makes things immediately cohesive and warm and the custom ikat window treatments add a megawatt of color and height. Art and simple accessories finish things off beautifully!

traditional den living room red brown yellow

This is a room I want to curl up in. Now get that fire going!


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