Archive for the ‘Before and After’ Category

Before and After: Kitchen and Family Room

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We’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen on my blog in the last week or two, haven’t we? There is nothing I love more than a good kitchen renovation, and this week’s featured project was one of my favorites!

It’s Halloween and I thought a peak at the before of this space might give you a scare! It’s certainly scary when you imagine a family of 8 using this space. As you can see below in the before shot, this tiny little space would never have worked for such a big family. Eek! I took their existing kitchen and, with the help of Carolyn Lindsey of Yeary Lindsey Architects and Contractor Scott Greenwood, we expanded it into a large family room. You can see the work in progress below. The overhead beam and columns (you’ll see them in a moment) are where the back wall of the house used to be. 

Kitchen Before (1)



In the after photo below, it’s more clear how we opened up the kitchen to the larger great room behind it. The turquoise cabinets and matching backsplash coordinate with the rest of the open-concept room. In a large area I like to wrap the space in one color which makes it then work as a neutral. This space may have looked busier with white cabinets because the contrast would cause the eye to stop. This blue wall of lovely cabinetry makes for a seamless transition across the space that’s easy on the eye and this sea-inspired color is easy on the blood pressure with 6 kids in the house.

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To give you more insight, we took out the back wall (on the left of this image below) and expanded beyond what was a super-small kitchen and breakfast area. That’s how we creating the large family room.

Kitchen Before (4)

In the family room’s mid-construction photo, you can see the beginnings of the fireplace, wet bar, and the bookshelves. This was designed to be the focal point of this great gathering space.


The after shot below, looking towards that same set of bookshelves, really showcases the color in this room. The shades of blue offer a serene look, and was inspired by this family’s time spent on or near the water. The home has to work for 8 people–five girls and three guys, so I really wanted it to appeal to all of them, and blue really is everyone’s favorite color.

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As for functionality, I wanted an open plan that would allow each member of the family to be included in meal prep, entertaining, dinner time, and so many more activities. As you can imagine, this small peninsula just was not enough room for everyone.

Kitchen Before

You can see the beginnings of a more spacious gathering area in this photo.


Isn’t it amazing what a transformation color and pattern can make? This after shot really shows that this is an all-inclusive space for a great blended family!

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Let me know what you think of the transformation of this kitchen! Oh, and Happy Halloween! Be safe everyone and I’ll see you for another “Spooky” before and after transformation soon.









Before and After: Playroom

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It’s Before and After Friday, hooray! I gave you a look at this playroom on Monday (including the fun snack bar above) with a nod to all things Americana. Today I want you to see what it looked like before I gave it a facelift.

Before it was a playroom for younger boys. By the time I entered the scene the boys were getting older and needed a space that reflected their age and interests.  Here is the before…


The after is a cool hangout for lots of friends. It’s a perfect place for video games, board games, television and more.


Here’s another before of the space. The air hockey game was hard to access and it really didn’t take advantage of the dormer.


In the after, I used the dormer as a window seat with a game table for board games. You can really see some of my favorite details in this shot including the chambray wall treatment, the rugby style stripes on the ceiling and the fun mix of fabrics including many of my Tobi Fairley Home Fabrics in custom colors for this space.  And don’t you love that Scott Carroll original artwork? I used it in my Richmond, VA show house a few years back and found a permanent home for it in this great space.


And here’s one more before of the space looking towards the back of the room. It had cute storage and a fun mural but the boys had outgrown this look.


I don’t have a professionally styled and photographed look at the back of the room, but I have to at least show you a snapshot. I created a fun wall installation to look like red and white art but it’s actually a magnetic metal dry erase board. So the kids can hang their artwork on it with magnets, use it as a dry erase board for keeping score when playing the air hockey game that I placed underneath or leave it blank and enjoy the graphic pattern.

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As always, I’d love to know what you think. Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite part of the transformation.

Happy Friday Friends! xo,

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Before and After: Gameroom

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I love this little pattern we have going of showing you a before and after each Friday. I think we should make it a habit, don’t you?

So for today’s “Before and After Friday” let’s take a look at this handsome and sophisticated game room. Below is the before shot where the TV built-in was shoved into the corner and the sectional placed directly in front of it. It made the room look heavy on one side and didn’t maximize the floorspace. The Game table was placed in another corner in front of a doorway to a storage room which made for difficult access.


And the after…


I opened up the room by centering the TV on the wall, including 2 sectionals which added seating with 2 storage ottomans. I created a traffic path behind one sectional with easy access to the storage closet door.

Next the before of the wall with walk-out access to the back yard lacked wow factor.


The after is much more architecturally interesting with panel molding added to the walls and then painted in lacquer. The drapery also adds depth and interest to the wall of windows and with black-out lining allows for better light control when watching movies.


And did you notice I painted the storage closet door to match the walls so it virtually disappears? This keeps it from breaking up the focal that holds the TV.

In the before, the stained bar was a strong contrast to the light tone of the wallpaper. With the cabinetry not going to the ceiling, it didn’t take advantage of the nice ceiling height. Plus shorter cabinets can look a bit like a builder spec home and not the appropriate scale for this custom home.  Not to mention the fact that all the open storage was harder to make look neat or store more utilitarian items like extra snacks and glassware.


The after has full-height cabinetry for added storage and the entire room is wrapped in Sherwin Williams “Alchemy” for a retro vibe that is seamless and super cool. The new dark hardwoods speak to the black accents on the drapery and the fab barstools.


And where did the game table go you ask? Well there was a perfect place for it beside the bar that was otherwise a big gaping hole in the room. So I took the opportunity to take full advantage of the floorspace by placing the table here with a great view of the TV and the back yard.


What do you think? Lots of added seating, function, and storage right? I love this space. Leave me a comment and let me know if you do too.

Happy Holiday Weekend. Hope you are relaxing and hanging out in a game room of your own for the next few days.


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Before and After Part 2: Soulful Sunday in the Sun

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A couple of weeks ago I revealed to you the before and after of a glorious outdoor space I recently designed for clients. Today I’m giving you a before and after look at the adjacent pool house that was part of the renovation.


The before of the project looked too traditional and a bit too dated to give the fresh, resort look the client craved.


With Dorothy Draper chairs and my Tobi Fairley Home Saville Row chevron fabric on the drapery, the new look is a bit palm beach and full of resort style.

Previously the client had a large bar that was heavy and didn’t allow seating in the pool house.


With a great new outdoor bar, the poolhouse now has a sectional sofa with a bed inside perfect for guests or grandkids to use for sleepovers. And my Tobi Fairley Home Marrakech fabric in a custom color is shown on the ottoman and pillows.


The before held a piano that didn’t have a home in the main house, and though we don’t have an after photo,  a TV now lives in that spot.

And below is just a glimpse of a former storage room that was attached to the back of the pool house. It has now been opened up as a second room that is a workout facility with cork floors and a tread climber plus a murphy bed which could be great for a home health professional to live in for future years if the homeowners decide to stay in their home in as they age. I think the fretwork wall treatment we created to mimic my Marrakech fabric is the epitome of chic aging in place, don’t you?


So what do you think…quite a fun outdoor retreat that doubles as a guest house, right? Leave me a comment and tell me if you love the new look.

Happy Soulful Sunday. I think if I had a pool house like this one, I could certainly get in touch with my soulful side. Could you?



Before and After: Master Bedroom

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I couldn’t let this day get away from me without bringing you another fabulous before and after. This time we are in the Master Bedroom of my client’s project that was recently featured in Traditional Home Magazine.

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The original bedroom layout had the bed facing the view, although the window treatments didn’t really allow for much of a view. And it also placed the bed to the side of you when you entered the space instead of allowing you to see to front of the bed which is my favorite placement whenever possible.


In the after, I used the angled wall just past the bed to anchor a gorgeous seating area that is much more appropriate now for enjoying the view. The new panel molding and two-tone paint choice make the walls more architecturally interesting. So what did I do with the wall that originally held the bed? Well though you can’t see it in these photos, it now holds the television and a cabinet below.

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In the before, opposite the entrance to the room was home to the television and an entertainment cabinet that didn’t work well with the high ceilings and light color palette.


The after takes advantage of the lofty ceilings by incorporating a tall 4-poster bed and lovely floral drapery hung just below the crown molding. These design selections really emphasize the height of the room but the fabric and textures help to make the room cozy and warm.


And though I don’t have a before shot of the wall to the left of the new bed, here’s the after. A great desk area is always a functional addition to a bedroom. It’s great for working on your laptop, writing thank you notes and more.

So what do you think? Another dramatic transformation, right? Leave me a comment and let me know what you love most about the new and improved Master Bedroom design. And if you love this before and after, be sure to share it with your friends. They just might like it too.

Happy Friday Friends! xo,

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