Friday, September 28, 2018

Before and After: Prior Lake Modern Farmhouse

It's been a while since I shared a proper before and after!  This project was completed earlier this spring but I wanted to photograph it with full greenery out the large windows.

The house is a really lovely new build in a suburb of the Twin Cities.  The builder did a nice job with what I think of as "fresh classic" materials: nothing crazy, but the selections reflect the time.  (so for example the grey-wash floors and the kitchen backsplash say 2018 but are classic enough that they won't feel dated in a decade.)

This client loves COLOR, and my job was to warm things up!

This was a spec house and the "before" photos are all from the staging--not my client's stuff.
The major impacts that we made:

- right sizing the furniture
- rugs to define separate spaces
- wallpapering the ceiling tray to further define the living room
- drapery to further define and frame the dining room
- window treatments in general!

Great room before:

Great room after:

Living before:

And after:

Living towards master suite before:

And after:

Dining before:

And after:

Kitchen before:

Kitchen after:

Master bedroom before:

Master bedroom After:

We also brought color and pattern to the laundry room:

All after photos: © Spacecrafting Photography

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

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!


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