Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Before and After: Bloomington Avenue

This reveal is a long time coming!  We shot the family room months ago but just shot the living room and bedroom today.  If you follow me on instagram or have looked through my portfolio, then some of this is not new to you.  But the living room came out so pretty, it's worth a peep!

My client originally called me to work on a previous home.  A while after our initial consult she called to tell me she didn't need to redecorate, she needed a divorce.  (Amazing how often we humans try to solve the wrong problem!)

Once she was settled in her new home, we got to work together, making the space into something that reflected HER taste and her new life.  I think this is such a great example of the power of decorating.  We did almost nothing architectural (just a built in window seat in the family room), but paint, furnishings, window treatments, and a little bit of styling can completely transform a space.  We hardly even changed the furniture arrangements!  I think my favorite thing about this transformation is that we didn't buy a lot--instead, we transformed her old things into something she could love anew.

These "Before" shots are before she bought the place:

Living room before:

Living room after:

 The new wall color is SO much more complementary to the beautiful woodwork.  Rugs are miracle workers.  And of course I love a solid dose of color like those revamped loveseats.  (Here is the loveseat before!):

Looking into the room (back) before:

Looking into the room (front), after:

A few other details, just for fun:

How about the family room?  This was a 1950s addition to the older home, built over a garage, and it had all the trappings of that decade, with wood paneling, acoustic tile ceiling, and scalloped window cornices.  It's a big room but it wasn't being fully utilized.



We updated the woodwork, added a window seat, wallpapered over the ugly ceiling, and painted EVERYTHING the same mossy green color. (Coincidentally, I chose the same color from her old living room, but it reads very different in this light-filled space.)



Woodwork before:

And after:

(I loved styling the shelves with her things.  And those bolsters with the perfect fabric placement at the ends are one of my favorite things in the room! And also we shot on such a snowy day you really can't see the window treatments, which are such a pretty striped linen.)

View from the couch Before:

And After:

We masked the weird bump out in the wall with the enormous custom wood entertainment unit she brought from her old house.  You can see how much the all-one-color paint trick helped this side of the space.

I mentioned before that we transformed a number of her old pieces.  I think this is the most dramatic.

Ottoman before:

Floral, skirted, button/channelled top, and two rows of traditional cording.

Ottoman After:

Black faux-hide fabric, squared corners, no skirt, and two rows of jumbo sized nailheads.  You would NEVER know this was the same piece!

 Armchairs before:

Armchairs after:

LOVE the black piping defining the arms.   (I often have some small regret on a project.  In this case, I REALLY wish we had done the buttons in the chair backs in black,  My client wasn't into the buttons in the original chairs though, and would have preferred to have none, so we made them in the same fabric to let them recede.)  You can see the dotty fabric a little better in the image below. 

So much better, right?

After completing those two spaces. the client came back to me for a BUDGET makeover in the bedroom.  We did a lot with a little.  

Bed before:

Bed after:

Much of the budget went to stripping the wallpaper and having the space professionally painted.  This weird grey, with some purple undertones, does such a good job of cooling down the room.

Before: the bed was on a strange angle.  Rethinking furniture placement went a long way here.


The dresser stayed where it is, but we added radiator covers, pretty breezy curtains, and a reading corner (with a high quality, low-price chair and ottoman from a consignment store)

This was the view in the door before:

That poster was the inspiration for the feeling and palette in the room.  We reframed it and hung it on that wall.  It's not quite enough to hold down that wall and needs some eventual companions, but for now, it's still an improvement!

There you have it!

I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

From nursery to little girl's room

Man, time flies.

I designed a tiny little nursery for one of my best friends' daughter about 4 years ago.  Since then, she moved in with her brother to make way for a new baby, whose nursery had to turn back into an office, and now it's time to move Lucy back into her own room and let the boys share.  Time for an update!

They never took down the custom pelmets (which, I mean, hooray!) and they still have a wonderful crocheted floral rug we selected from Serena and Lily.  My job: to make the most of an 9x10' room and bring on the girl factor.

This is the (tight!) layout:

The desk can double as a vanity, nightstand, and play or art surface, and will be the thing you see form the hallway.  (We wanted to tuck the clutter within the room.)  At the foot of the bed there is room for a pair of poufs to pull out for extra seating or a pair of floor baskets for extra storage.

I love how the shape of the pelmet is repeated in the mirror and headboard, and the little ribbon shape of the chair is repeated in the euro sham.  The palette is definitely girly, but the main pieces are not purple or pink--plenty of room for an updated palette in the future.

I always say girls rooms are my favorite to do, and this was no exception!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Before and after: Modern style in a Dutch Colonial

Over the last two Wednesdays we did some final install and photography at a project that was LONG in the making.  In fact, these were some of my very first clients, and have remained some of my biggest supporters.  We initially met at a wedding in Seattle more than a decade ago, and then bumped into each other at a kids music class when I moved back to the Twin Cities.  I was initially hired to hang a gallery wall of family photos in the stairwell, and it just sort of unfolded from there.

This is one of my most modern projects, and certainly my most minimalist (so few rugs! Not a dingle curtain!).  The before shots aren't really fair--a lot of them were shortly after they moved in and they didn't really have furniture, plus the paint and lighting were mostly holdovers from the previous owners--but I think they are great to show the power of paint and to demonstrate that we can re-use items and still find a new look.

This was also one of our toughest shoots--we were installing simultaneously, and every time I got a shot ready, the clouds would roll in and the rain would pour down.  You mostly wouldn't know it from the photos, but I know what was happening off camera. :)

At any rate, shall we take a tour?

Entry before:

And after:

Stairway Before:

And after:

Living room before:


 Seating area before:

After (looking the other way.  Also, this was the darkest/stormiest moment of the shoot, and it shows!)

Far corner before:

And after:

Fireplace before:

And after:

Couch wall before:

And After (looking the other way):

A close up of the floating bookshelves in the corner (plus you can actually see the fabric on the window treatments):

Dining room before:

And after:

Powder bath before:

And after:

Girls room 1 before:

And after:


And After:



Girls room 2 before:

And after:

Window seat before:

And after:

Master bed sitting room before:

And after:

Master bedroom before:

And after:

Landing to the master bedroom before:


Details and other angles:

(So i love with the dining room window fabric)

There are so many things I kind of want to point out or mention, but it just took 2 hours to get all of that edited, organized, and probably should have been 2 or more posts!


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