Archive for the ‘Before and After’ Category

Before and After: An Organized Kitchen

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The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, especially if you have young kids. It’s the dumping ground for mail and backpacks, the central cooking and eating center, the gathering spot, and often a major spill zone.

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One of my favorite kitchen renovations was definitely that hub for a young family. The kitchen was too small and didn’t have enough storage so, like most homes, it was cluttered and sometimes chaotic. It was also dated, with old light fixtures and cabinetry.

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My number-one goal for the space was to lighten it up and to make it really function for this family, with lots of storage and seating areas. First we expanded the footprint of the kitchen, giving it much-needed extra space by taking in the back porch.

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I also lightened everything up, allowing the natural light to flood in, and giving the kitchen a beautiful palette that is inspired by the seashore (a favorite destination for the family).

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I expanded the windows, making them wider to allow even more light into the room. And I gave the ceiling the illusion of more height by adding the beams and painting the whole thing a gorgeous white.

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I also rearranged the footprint so each appliance was in a more functional zone, all within easy reach of a central cooking spot for the person preparing the meal.

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Adding a ton more storage was the real key! The cabinets go straight up to the ceiling, taking advantage of every square inch and helping to eliminate the clutter that can accumulate in the kitchen.

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Those baskets tucked into the island give the kids a place to drop their papers, bags, and toys so they won’t be dumped on the counter. It’s a great way to hide the clutter when guests come over, too.

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And I also added a built-in banquette in the breakfast area that has storage under the seat, making this a super-organized and high-functioning kitchen for a busy family.

What do you think of this kitchen makeover? Do you have enough storage in your kitchen? Let me know in the comments section below!








Before and After: Reinventing the Basement

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It’s such a shame when you have a finished, but unused, basement in your house! That wasted space can be turned into everything from a workout area to a media room, and I love delivering that hidden gem for my clients. This client had a large basement with its own entry that was really just one big storage area when she hired me. But she had a good idea for how she wanted to use that space.

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She has two adult sons who don’t live with her, as well as a lot of friends and family, so she wanted me to create a gorgeous guest suite for visitors, with a sleeping area and a sitting area. And she wanted to make it colorful and bright to avoid that “basement look.”

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The room also had one awkward pole in the center of the space, one that couldn’t be removed because it’s load bearing. So we needed to design around that while delivering the stylish space she craved.

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I took out all that boring beige – in both the carpet and wall color – and lightened up the room with a creamy white. Then I layered in great punches of orange and turquoise. But my favorite part was using draperies around the bed to create a luxe private sleeping area. It functions perfectly and even uses the column as a defining point to separate the bed from the sitting area. You can even see that I boxed in the pole to make the column look more modern with better proportions. But I also used this as an opportunity to hide the wiring for the fun sconces I hung on each side.

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We also used a new favorite piece of art to pull together the color in the room, and to be the inspiration for the more modern and sleek look this guest suite now has.

So what do you think about this basement makeover? Do you have a wasted space in your home? In the comments section below, tell me how you would rework it!







PS – Want a great “Tobi look” for your home, but you’re on a budget? Try my unique online design service, Inbox Interiors. Learn more here!

Before and After: A Chic Kitchen Remodel

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I’ve been talking a lot about kitchens recently on this blog – probably because I’m so close to getting my kitchen back after the remodel, and because it really is the heart of the home. I love redesigning a great kitchen for my clients, too, and this week’s before-and-after focuses on a room that was fun to redo.

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As you can see in the before photo above, there was a LOT going on in this kitchen. We had cabinetry that didn’t go all the way to the ceiling leaving a dust-catching space at the top. An open shelf above the sink that required decorating and made the sink area seem closed in and dark. Nn unusually shaped island, and a geometric tile backsplash. It seemed busy and overly traditional for this family that wanted a fresh space as the hub of their home.

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Another before photo shows you the hood over the stove top, and pilasters on either side on the base cabinet that also created oddly shaped countertops, and a lot of millwork – all of which was fighting for attention in the kitchen.

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I toned everything down with a calming neutral gray, and took out unnecessary extra cabinets that were just taking up space. And believe it or not, we reused the countertops. This was a huge remodel and the client was interested in using things that would work with our new design. We reworked the island to create extra seating for the family. New built-in cabinets in the breakfast area were added for a lot of closed storage when a built-in buffet style cabinet and countertop had previously been. It’s now perfect for storing entertaining items like china and serveware, so the everyday items could stay in the kitchen.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 3.05.59 PMMy clients did like having cabinetry that combined solid doors with panes of glass. A lot of people like this look in a kitchen because it allows you to hide some items like cans and jars or not-ready-for-primetime kids’ dishes, but also gives you an open look at the top. And I liked the idea of softening the look of a lot of solid cabinet doors. But this client is extremely organized and tidy so we decided to use frosted glass in the new upper cabinets to add so lightness but not be able to see clutter or have to “decorate” these cabinets.

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I also took the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling everywhere in the space, taking advantage of every square inch, while also eliminating that completely useless shelf above the cabinetry.

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There was also a breakfast nook area, but it didn’t really seem like a cohesive part of the kitchen, and the furniture was not especially beautiful or inspiring.

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I brightened the room with that same neutral gray from the kitchen, and added pops of bright yellow that can also be found in other rooms of the house. A oval table and a window seat banquette offer more seating and fit the shape of the nook better than the older rectangular table did.

So what do you think of this kitchen before-and-after? Is there anything you would have done differently? Let me know in the comments section below!







PS – Did you know that I can give YOU a great design for your home through my edesign program? Inbox Interiors is a great way to get a “Tobi look” on a budget! To learn more, just click here.

Before and After: A Grown Up Space

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Working on spaces for clients who have young children can be a challenge. If you’re a parent yourself, you know how quickly a gorgeous sofa can be destroyed by juice and dirty shoes, or how great accessories are just toys in a little person’s mind. And it’s not like it’s our fault as parents. We’re so busy trying to keep our heads above water most of the time, we can’t even think about our homes and keeping them clutter-free, right? So when I have the chance to take a client’s home from kid zone to grown-up space, I love it! I know it’s going to make a big difference in everyone’s quality of life and stress level.

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As you can see above, my clients in this project had some well-loved pieces of furniture, mixed in with a whole lot of toys and play areas. They wanted to take back their living room, and make it a chic space where adults could hang out, have great conversation, and enjoy some “me time.”

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I added in a lot of built-in cabinetry to hide toys, books, and clutter, to help these clients to keep the space fabulous and clean. I also lightened up the color palette, allowing the natural light to really shine through the living room.

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Dark draperies, muddy colors, and well-used items from the before image above needed to go, especially the tired furniture.

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And the furnishings I brought in have family-friendly fabrics on them, so kids don’t have to see this room as a no-go zone. They can still run through or play in this room without leaving marks and dirt that can’t be cleaned up.

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I also edited down the amount of accessories in the living room, taking out the candles, more traditional elements like the fabric runner, and knick knacks.

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It doesn’t mean they’re gone! There is now a place for everything in the shelves and in storage hidden behind those fabulous doors in the built-ins. When company is coming, it’s easy to hide the clutter quickly to keep the space looking gorgeous.

So what do you think of this before and after? What tricks do you use for grown-up spaces in a home with kids? Let me know in the comments section below!







PS – Did you know that I can give YOU a great design for your home through my edesign program? Inbox Interiors is a great way to get a “Tobi look” on a budget! To learn more, just click here.

Before and After: All About the Art

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I love clients who come to me with a great starting point for inspiration, and are fearless about color and pattern! In the living room I designed above, the clients collected a lot of art, which gave them pieces for me to design around, and also made them really appreciate how mixing patterns and colors can make a room come alive.

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This is the painting that they wanted to keep in the room, and to inspire my selection of fabrics, patterns, and colors for the room. It’s a great piece that definitely gave me a fabulous jumping off point!

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They also had a gorgeous mantle that they wanted to keep – the photo is a little dark, but you can see it above in the “before” photo. And this is the room that they gather in to watch TV, so they needed a spot for that, as well. But the cabinetry they had built in was dated, and also the furniture in this room was heavy and a little tired.

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As you can see in the close-up “after” photo above, the mantle and the art are at the heart of this room! The TV has a more sophisticated home, and the colors in the room complement the painting, highlighting its beauty without distracting from it.

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The room before was also a little cluttered, and the light coming in from the windows was gorgeous, but way too bright for watching TV. And there were no window treatments to help darken the room when needed.

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I added color, pattern, updated and refreshed furnishings, and gorgeous window treatments that can be closed for TV time, or opened to allow in all that lovely natural light! I do love to mix pattern in a room, and here you can also see that I followed my rule of letting one pattern be dominant, while bringing in other supporting players in varying scales.

So what do you think of this colorful living room? Do you like to design around art in your rooms? Let me know in the comments section below! I’ll have more before-and-afters coming soon!