Tuesday, September 11, 2018


One of the challenges of small business is knowing when (and how) to grow.  I thought about what kind of help I needed for a long time before essentially getting desperate and hiring a part time assistant in January.  Guess what?  Best decision ever.

Fast forward to now, and my wonderful assistant is moving to North Carolina.  

Seeing: half time design assistant with the potential for growth to full time in the next year.

Must be a creative problem solver with a love of interior design and a willingness to do the grunt work.  (I do it too!)  Must be computer proficient with drafting skills and some image management.  If you have basic proficiency and a willingness/ability to continue to teach yourself, I'm happy to support you as you grow.

Time is split between design work and general assisting.

Design: Create drawings in drafting software (preferably sketchup), including kitchens, bathrooms, and custom work such as built-ins or custom furniture.  Basic proficiency required with the ability to learn additional skills as needed.   Source furnishings, fixtures, and materials.  Measure spaces and enter details and dimensions into floor planner.  Create design board drafts.  Create material samples (paint boards etc).  Option to move into project management.

Admin/ general assisting: Run errands.  Manage material samples.  Create presentation materials.  Assist on installs and photo shoots.  Enter items into Olioboard and Studio Designer.  Create pitches.  Manage images for website.  Assist with blogging.

Desired skills:
Proficient in Sketchup
Image Management (photo shop and illustrator)
Basic handiness
Ability to lift/haul (furniture may be moved, product will be hauled)
Willingness to learn


Currently in the process of moving over to Studio Designer, which has built in accounting software akin to quickbooks.  Experiece with Studio Designer a plus but not required.

Seeking bookkeeper to manage billing on a weekly or biweekly basis; payroll, and monthly sales tax filings.

Email cover letter, resume, and (for designer) work sample of some kind to heather@heatherpetersondesign.com

Bonus for both positions (not required): send me an image of an interior that reflects your aesthetic and tell me why.

Positions begin as soon as October.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Before and After: Elmwood Place sunroom

I shared the living room of this home yesterday.  Get ready for the sunroom--it's actually the biggest transformation of them all!

I have to say, sharing the before doesn't feel quite fair, and I think the after stands alone.  I'm sharing both because in some ways this was a restoration project, with the intention of bringing the space back to what it might originally have been.  Somewhere along the way (before my clients bought the house), the gorgeous windows got covered with storm windows and the original tile floor was covered with carpet, so the shell itself was diminished.  It was also the hottest room in the house in summer, and the coldest in winter--it literally had newspaper for insulation.

We replaced the windows with all new custom ones, added spray foam insulation, and chose a new hand made terra cotta tile floor that nods to the original.  We added a built in banquette, a table with two leaves that extend for a big group, wallpaper on the rest of the surfaces, and even added an indoor-outdoor television and hidden speakers (not pictured though).  It's now my client's favorite room in her house (and possibly my favorite room in my portfolio!)


(even more unfair that the before is winter and after is spring!)




(I don't have a before shot looking in to the room, so this take a little more imagination.
The space has these beautiful doors on both sides--the one below is what the next "after" was taken through.)

(here looking in from the dining room.)

You can see we also added storage under the bench and sconces on either end of the room for a nice glow.  The top of the banquette (behind the backrest) has outlets and a charging station built in.

A close up on that corner--we also added radiant heat to the floor so we could eliminate the baseboard heaters.


Love this set of four vintage etchings I found at Clarabel Vintage--they were basically made for the space--really pretty on the straw colored grasscloth, which has a bit of a sheen to it.  I'm super into fringe these days and love the weird olive green tone on the brush fringe with that Schumacher print on the pillow.

One more angle:

(Okay, this is a cell phone pic --obviously--but it shows you the transformed windows):

I honestly wanted to shoot every single angle, but since the room is 100% symmetrical, it didn't make a lot of sense.

This is one of those projects that I was sad to wrap, because I came to love this whole family so much.

All of the "Afters" (save my cell phone pic) by the very talented Rob at Spacecrafting Photography. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Before and After: Elmwood Place

I finally photographed one of my favorite projects, and I'm really excited to share with you!
The client is just the loveliest family, and we have been working together now in various capacities for about 4 years.  I shared the transformation of their entry, hall, stairwell, and powder bath here.

This was one of those cases where they moved into a much larger home that needed work and started tackling the big projects.  Before I got involved, they renovated the kitchen, lower level family room, and library.  As a result of the time, energy, and money spent there, other spaces were a bit of a mishmash of pieces from their former home, hand me downs, and things picked up on the cheap.  Two of the most usable spaces in their home, the main living room and a charming sunroom, were totally under utilized.

I'll show you the living room here and the sunroom in another post!  I shared sketches for the living room a million years ago--here.

Before: Looking in to the living room from the front hall:

When we worked on the entry, we added millwork that feels original to the house, added a slate blue grasscloth, and upgraded the stair runner.  In the living room, we lightened the palette, scaled the furniture more appropriately to the room, and added polish.


Before: After considering a number of possibilities, we ended up keeping the same L-shaped seating for the floor plan, but with two different couches and a pair of chairs to flank the beautiful original fireplace.

After: By using two couches instead of a sectional, we were able to push the layout back into the window niche, making the room feel bigger.  We also ended up with much more seating--now everyone in their family of six has their "place" in the room.

There was a family workstation in the front corner, but it was bulky.
We designed built ins for around that window (and to cover the radiator).

The built-ins feel original to the house and provide a more streamlined office station (the drawers on the right are file drawers.)  

We lined the backs of the shelves with a paper that feels like venetian bookend paper and added antique books and lovely objects.  We also added sound throughout the main floor and used compact bookshelf speakers.  You don't always have to hide your electronic components.

Before: The long wall of the room was the only place for the TV.

We hid the TV in a gorgeous armoire--a french antique from the 1800s.  The scale of the piece really balances the scale of the room and stands up to the large feature on each wall (fireplace, bookshelf, couch in large window.)

The thing I love most about this room is how many different textures we were able to incorporate for lots of interest and patina.

All above "after" photos  ©Spacecrafting 

I have to say, I LOVE having these gorgeous photos, and having another eye on my work.  I do miss having every single detail shot, like when I was shooting with my husband, but it is an excellent exercise in editing.

Stay tuned for the sunroom reveal!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Before and After: Upton Avenue South

This project was completed last summer (and it feels very summery!).  Where does the time go?  It was fun to revisit it recently and to finally take some pictures.

When I walked into this charming home for the first time, I thought, they don't need me!  The house felt very calm, lovely, and put together.  While my job was partly aesthetic, I think the real triumph here is in maximizing the square footage and making the space "live better."

Living room before:

And after:

We considered a number of possible layouts, but ultimately decided that what was most needed was more seating, and that more seating in a small footprint meant a sectional.  


To keep a suitable walkway into the space, we had to nix the large armoire.  We replaced it with a smaller one and moved it to the entry wall.

To keep the sectional from feeling too heavy, we chose a lighter neutral fabric, a pretty arm, and a slim, curved leg.

All the tables have a metal base to connect to the barn door hardware and to counter the sweetness of the color palette.

Living room Before:

We kept a chair in the corner to complete the conversation triangle but scaled it up to balance the sectional.  Framing the front window with curtain panels helped define the transition from living room to entry.

dining room before:


We repeated the same curtains in the dining room.  A small space can feel bigger and more cohesive when a single strong element is repeated.  The back of the sectional serves as a "wall" to divide entry/corridor from living room.

Dining room before:

And after

The most significant change was adding a dining bench.  The client told me this has totally changed the way they use this space.  Now she and her daughter will hang out in here and watch shows together on the ipad.  To make it work visually, we moved the chandelier over to be centered on the seating arrangement.  An oval table is great when you have a narrow clearance--no corner to hit.

We used some of her existing art (like the large piece over the couch).  For the dining bench we wanted a series of pieces instead of one large one.  I loved the idea of colorful silhouettes of their family--the vintage charm is perfect for the vibe of this space, and we were able to customize colors to fit the scheme.  The kitchen is open to this space, and I love that my client can see something personal when she's cooking.

This project was just two rooms, but there is always a ton of thought that goes in to every project.

One more thing.  Whenever I do a photo shoot, I try to buy flowers that match the vibe of the space and feel right for the client.  I showed up with these tulips--and my client had just bought the exact same ones!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Before and After: York Ave Condo

Oh, this was a fun one.

The clients decided to downsize from their long-term family home to a "retirement condo" well before they actually retire.  The style of the building--a sort of 60s modernist box--was VERY different from their 1920s tudor house, and they decided to change out most of the furnishings.  They did, however, bring their art and collections--the IDEAL situation, if you ask me.  This way there is tons of personality to get you started, but also the freedom to choose just the right type and scale of furnishings for the new space.

The apartment hadn't been touched, and sported wall to wall carpeting, walls of sheet mirror, a mix of louvered or slab doors and really dinky trim.  The real selling point of the 6th floor apartment was all the light from the large glass doors and windows.  The weird soffit and shelf on the long wall in the living room?  Not so great.

(Beware: cell phone pick below.  I realized as we were leaving the shoot that this was a shot I needed!)

Dark wood engineered floors, new french doors, and amped up trim made a huge difference!

To orient you a bit, here is the floor plan for the open living area:

The kitchen is off the entry, a breakfast room opens onto the dining room, the den is off the living room, and the bedrooms and bathrooms are off the doorway to the left.

The clients managed the construction, but I got to specify materials for the shell.  This made for quite a fun collaboration.  In the decor, we landed on red and teal as a predominant color scheme and brought in both deco and industrial touches, like the deco patterns in the rug and large pillows and the rivet detail on the side table.

The dining room is off the living room but sandwiched between the den and breakfast nook, and gets no natural light.

I knew that removing the sheet of mirror would lose light, so we subbed in reflective materials that were more attractive (and less dated!):  a mirrored buffet topped with a tall mirror to double the light from the crystal chandelier, glass column lamps, and wallpaper with a pattern made from glass beads.  While it is not a sper bright space, it is glimmery and sparkly and moody--just right for dinner parties.  The rug and lamps came from the dining room in their previous home.

The clients found this very cool bar with industrial details at RH, and the extra dining chairs fill out this wall nicely.  (You can see a hint of the breakfast room on the left and entry on the right).  The back of the cabinet is also mirrored.  Since it faces the french doors, it provides additional light during the day.

In the bedroom, they originally thought they would put the bed on the long wall.  

I was super surprised when they went for this layout, which allows a progression from the more public to more private uses of the room:  The desk at the entry for home office, then this seating area (the chairs face an armoire with a TV), then the bed.  

The chairs and rug were in their previous living room--moving pieces from one type of space to another can make them feel new.

Despite the strong color and mix of patterns, the bedroom feels like a serene hotel suite.

(Cell phone pic from the hallway!)

The home office area, with personal photos from their travels over the desk.

The challenge with siting the bed on the far wall came in the form of a way-off centered window.
Window treatments to the rescue!  We did a wall of ripplefold drapery, mounted behind the crown molding and in a color that matches the walls.  Closing them as far as the left edge of the window gives a sense of balance, and when all the way closed it's like a complete fourth wall.

When their grown son officially moved out, we turned the second bedroom into a guest space.  

The gabbeh rug, pine cabinet, and vintage eames lounger were existing, not to mention the very cool mask collection.  We brought in a daybed (in teal--with red, it's the throughline color for the apartment) and sculptural pieces like the tripod floor lamp and african-inspired stool.

In the hall bath, my main contribution was the zebra-print wallpaper, which ALMOST didn't go (the husband wondered if it was too feminine), but the addition of the Avedon print of a man shaving tipped the balance.

I always like it when an entry announced the major elements of the whole space, and therefore do them last.

The husband was a rugs dealer when he met his wife, and I loved finding the right vintage rug for the entry--while red persians are common, finding one with turquoise (instead of navy) is more challenging.  The light fixture gives us the gold that repeats through the space, and a hint of deco, which was also a theme.  We took a cute little bench from Wisteria and recovered the plan canvas cushion in a graphic print from Schumacher.  The mirror they originally selected for the hall bath.  A single flat panel on the bifold doors and crystal knobs dress up the wall of closet.

Kitchen before--view from the entry

The kitchen was basically a cosmetic gut job, and led by the clients.  I suggested the material mix--white cabinets, soapstone countertop for drama and contrast, plus glass backsplash and crystal knobs.

Den before

Peeks into the den, after:

The furniture was all existing.  I recommended a moroccan rug and the client found this one.  With this type of layout--an open plan living area and separate private rooms--I like using a light neutral in the large space and deep, cozy colors in the private spaces.  The den and guest room are the same velvety, minky grey-brown.

Finally, I love when I get to do accessories and styling.  By the time we get to that layer, I tend to really know my client's taste and love picking things out for them!  The coffee table is a mix of things they had and items I sourced--but you would never know which is which!

Okay, I'm done.  Perhaps this should have been multiple posts?

Hope you all have a wonderful week (and not too harried) preparing for the holiday break.


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