Posts Tagged ‘sunroom’

Before and After: My New Home Design Studio

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Working from home has been one of my biggest joys over the last 18 months. It was then that I left my 6000 square foot design studio for the comforts of our house. Since opening my business almost 19 years ago, I operated outside of my home with a design studio, and for years a retail store and art gallery. I couldn’t have imagined doing business any other way.

And I certainly couldn’t have imagined doing business in this space. Wow! Are you feeling inspired? Yeah, me either. We didn’t know when we started the renovation of our home, but the sunroom was going to turn into my new home studio! The rust-colored paint that reminded me a whole lot of the Texas Longhorns (an old Arkansas Razorback rival) and the aged brick floors weren’t exactly what I wanted to come to home (or work) to everyday.

And that 1970’s pass-through from the kitchen that made me imagine about what it would have been like to pass a 1970’s TV dinner into the sunroom to my family watching Three’s company or The Brady Bunch, didn’t make me automatically envision creating gorgeous client projects out of this space. But I knew this room had potential.

One thing this room definitely had going for it was tons of windows and lots of natural light. And the view of the pool and the golf course was a plus, even though the pool at that time, left a lot to be desired.

So after several years of stuffing down my desire to be at home more with my family, to not have to drive to the office after returning home from long trips away for work, and a longing to be at home for my daughter in the afternoons or when she was out of school , I finally decided why not work from home? After all, I was my own boss, so I was the only one telling me that it wasn’t an option. And this room suddenly became the perfect spot for our studio to relocate.

At that moment, I could imagine how a studio in this room could look and work. I love it when the picture in my head, comes to life in the “after” of spaces I design, including my own home. I just knew this room could feel like a glamorous hang-out that did triple duty as a family space, a work space and a pool-side party room. And now it handles all those activities and more, like a dream.

Amazing what fresh white paint, charming curtains and a few pops of bold color can do for a space, isn’t it? What once was Longhorns rust, is now crisp and clean with lots of bright white and blue. I think it even feels a little like Palm Beach, which is a perfect vibe for our 1960’s home.

I started by painting everything, even the brick floors, in America’s Cup by C2 paints.  The cobalt and white design is fresh, which is exactly what I wanted for my home office. We have a comfy seating area for client meetings with my Taylor sectional from the Tobi Fairley for CR Laine collection, and a pair of open arm chairs. On weekends these pieces become a lounging spot for my hubs or my teen and her friends.

I wanted to blend the blue from the rest of my home’s interior, with pink that transitioned to the outdoor space and also spoke to the pink in my dining room. I love how it feels a bit preppy! And those orange lamps are something I’ve had for about 8 years and couldn’t part with, so I made custom shades with one of my Tobi Fairley for Duralee fabrics and I am crazy about the result. The sitting area is also anchored with one of my rugs from my Tobi Fairley for New River Artisans collection. How better to sell my own licensed products than showcasing them in this space where I meet with clients?

Storage and organization are the most important factor when bringing your work into your home and this space had zero storage before the renovation. Now across from the sectional is this custom built-in that holds everything we need to function day-to-day!

We can give presentations on the TV, pull fabrics from the storage drawers below, and there are two work stations for my design team. We can close the recessed cabinet doors whenever the day is done and this room converts back to a family space for nights and weekends!

This long wall was a nightmare with openings, and doors and many other things interrupting the space.

Now it’s cohesive and extremely functional.  Those fun white lacquer and gold etagere’s from World’s Away on either side of the doorway are super practical, but chic. The baskets from Ikea hold all of the samples for our client projects, each with a little label to keep us organized. And the shelving frames the way into a vestibule to the Powder Bath, that services both my clients and my guests. I couldn’t resist using that little powder room nook to highlight another original piece of art, and I love how the art light makes the perfect little glow for getting in and out of the powder room at night.

And speaking of the powder room…the jungle-themed wallpaper and dark bronze “mushroom” sink pedestal were definitely not design details I wanted my clients or my guests to see. I didn’t even want to see them.

So I packed this Powder Bath full of personality with handsome David Hicks hexagon wallpaper, a custom cabinet painted in a great blue by C2 paint, and plenty of Kohler fixtures. The bright blue and white mixed with a hint of marble on the countertops from Dekton and hexagon floors from Daltile feed right into the studio color scheme and work seamlessly with the rest of my house.

And though we borrowed the leopard chair from my study for a fun little photo shoot (for my soon-to-launch new website), I didn’t want you to miss seeing the fabulous oval window I installed in the kitchen where the pass-through used to be. It’s one of my favorite architectural details in my home, and fits right into my gallery wall full of my original art collection. This fun array of color and composition is inspiration my team and I enjoy seeing while we work.

I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of my new Design Studio and being able to share it with my clients makes it that much better! Let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments below.



New House Diary: The Sunroom

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New House Diary

There is one room on the ground floor of my house that we haven’t talked about yet – the sunroom! It’s a long room on the back of the house, one step down from the kitchen and the living room. It lets in absolutely gorgeous light through a bank of windows across the back of the house that looks out onto the backyard and the pool.

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It’s a quirky spot, but a big space, too! And I thought a lot about how to use the room. Since it’s right off the pool area, I could see this being a great hangout for family and friends, particularly in the warmer months. But I debated with myself on several key design elements. For example, would I use a ceiling fan or not? Sometimes I prefer pretty lighting fixtures, but this room can get warm with all the sunlight, and it could be more efficient to cool with those fans – maybe with gorgeous lucite ones like I used in this project:

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The other debate is whether or not this room would have a TV. I joke with my friends that just about every room in our house has a TV right now, but isn’t that how we all use our homes? We use our televisions to stream movies, to watch sports, to play video games – and each of those activities could happen in a different room. There are many, many days I am in rooms in our house that I never turn the TV on, but when my husband is in those same rooms, he hardly turns it off. So having the option of TV seems to make the most sense for us both. And after all, he lives here, too!

Besides just the TV, I think this room could be a major “game room,” which could mean board games, football game days, or poolside fun days. So here is what I’m thinking as far as the layout:

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I am envisioning a game table in the part of the room nearest the living room doors, which could be used for crafts, homework, cards, or board games. It’s also going to be another dining space for holidays or events where my dining room won’t seat everyone. And as the centerpiece of this space, I’m thinking one of my great sectionals that I designed for CR Laine would make the perfect spot for watching sports on the weekends. The Taylor sectional with the chaise is SO COMFY. But I think I’ll do it without the buttons.

And that big rectangle by the windows? Well that’s my treadmill. Speaking of “That’s just the way we live,” I am one of the people that actually uses their treadmill all the time and it needs to be in a place where I want to be so I won’t want to skip my workouts. So for cold winter months or steamy summer days when the weather just isn’t right for my outdoor walks, I look at the pool while I sweat it out on my treadmill! Like TVs and ceiling fans, some things just don’t make sense to hide.

So what do you think of my casual hangout space? Let me know in the comments section below! I can’t wait for it to be done so my family can start having fun in this great sunroom!