Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

Remember me?!  

 

I am the one who used to blog, but then suddenly disappeared for a few weeks….

 

It’s never intentional.  Life gets busy- my mother has been sick again, I’ve been trying to spend more time with my family, and we’ve started a few new projects.

 

When I haven’t been with my family or working, I have been traveling quite a bit.  One of the places I visited last month was New York City.

 

As I made a stop into the Saks on Fifth Avenue, a transformation on their second floor knocked my socks off   caught my attention.

 

Saks- Justin Bridges Photography

 

 

Gone are the racks and racks of clothes on this floor- though they still have some active wear and accessories for sale.

 

It has become a Wellness Floor called The Wellery, and I loved what Saks has done with it.

 

In a world where I feel like I am trying to find a balance because I am being pulled in 10 different directions, I actually felt my blood pressure drop as I walked around.  

 

If it wasn’t for my girls urging me onto the escalator, I probably would have circled the space a few more times.

 

I don’t claim to be the most healthy, but I do love the thought of trying.  

 

With the exception of a juice bar, this floor has Everything.   From a nail salon, to bikes, to exercise classes, to salt rooms, to dermatology services, to gym bags and activewear, it’s all there.  

 

And it SPOKE to me.

 

I’ll take a green bike, please…. The Wellery, Saks Fifth Avenue, NY

 

 

 

JUST BREATHE……..

The Wellery offers Salt Rooms.  Has anyone tried this before?

 

 

 

The Wellery, Saks Fifth Avenue

 

 

It is such a new, innovative way to position a clothing store, but it got me thinking…..  

 

Health and wellness are not just what you eat and if you exercise.  Living Well is a way of life-  

 

I have talked here how a healthy lifestyle is one that encompasses all facets of your life, not just a few areas.

 

It carries over to how your home makes you feel when you walk through the door.  Does your home stress you out  or make you feel at peace when you walk through the door?

 

Living well is taking all of the chaos life throws at us and keeping it all in perspective.  

 

Keeping perspective when life doesn’t give much of one.

 

I understand- with a sick mom, children, and quite frankly, hip and female issues, life is not always rosy…

 

But I am going to continue working hard to be the best version of myself that I can be.  Warts and all.

 

So how can you live well?  Does it involve tweaking your home so it works and functions better for you and your family?  

 

If you need help creating a customized space, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com.   We would love to hear from you.

 

Here’s to a well-lived life, despite all the chaos life may bring-

 

Dana

 

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  • If you’d like to read more about The Wellery, read this Domino article here.

A client reached out to us about helping them with a few rooms in their newly purchased home.  One of the rooms they commissioned with us was the Dining Room.

 

The house is a typical 80s style house on a stately lot, and I wanted to add a little edge and detail through the interiors.  A Dining Room is often nondescript, making it important to layer so it feels soft- and special.

 

Here are a few of the “Before” pictures:

 

BEFORE

 

 

BEFORE

 

 

We kept the wall color and her buffet, but everything else was a clean slate.

 

 

The goal was to make it feel warm, casual, and dramatic.   Maybe it was the mood I was in, but Cocoon was the word that kept coming to mind.

 

 

We decided to drape two of the walls in the room with a sheer that blended into her newly painted walls.  I wanted this room to draw you in, just as a Dining Room should.

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

I went with an upholstered table to add a little more drama and softness in the space.  I also love the touches of black and gold throughout.

 

 

Upholstered Table Detail, Dana Wolter Interiors. Photography by Graham Yelton

 

 

After adding a table as big as the room could hold for maximum seating, there was room for a piece of furniture between the windows, but we had to watch its depth.

 

 I decided to go with an Etagere to give her a place to stack her china, crystal, and serving pieces.  Who says these type of pieces have to stay hidden in a cabinet or drawer?

 

The Etagere added a little more of a casual feel to a typically formal space, and it will look better and better the more pieces are added to it.

 

 

This piece will only look better with time as items are added.  Dana Wolter Interiors, Graham Yelton Photography

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors, LLC

 

 

So here’s to making your home feel like a cocoon; warm, inviting, and a reflection of you.    If we can help you turn your house into a home you love, email us here.   We would love to hear from you.

 

Dana

 

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A few recent projects have been for families moving to smaller, yet more custom  homes.  And while moving to a more refined home can be a huge blessing, it can be hard when you are used to more square footage.

 

It’s amazing all of the stuff we accumulate over the years.  I feel like I am constantly cleaning out my house and I try to watch what I bring into it. 

 

It can sometimes be overwhelming in deciding what furnishings to take and what to replace or give away when moving, so I thought I would give six helpful tips to streamline the process.  Here goes:  

 

1. Go Through Each Item and Decide What You Love Or Will Use.    Simple enough- Do you love it or  use it?    If not,  get rid of it.   Life is too short to have pieces you don’t love taking up space in your home.   No more storing things you “might” need in the future or because you feel guilty getting rid of them.  

 

2.  Are There Pieces That Can Be Repurposed?    If there is a piece you LOVE but don’t have a place for it, can it be reworked?   For instance, can the doors to the large, deep French armoires that were popular in the 90s be taken off, stripped and reworked to go somewhere else?   Reworking pieces can be a tedious process, so make sure you LOVE the piece to make it worthwhile.

 

 3. Unsure What To Keep And What To Give Away? Hire A Professional.    A designer can curate through your things to decide what can be used in the new home.   We have gone through storage units to  measure and photograph existing pieces to see what can be included in the furniture plans of the client’s new home we are furnishing.   An objective eye may be just what you need.

 

4. Simplify- When Looking At Your Pieces, Give Away The Extras Of The Same Items.  After all, you might need a few extra sets of sheets, but do you need five sets for the same bed? No- so give away to someone who can use them.

Pinterest

 

5.  Think Long And Hard How The New Home Will Work For You.   There is something refreshing about simplifying your life and surroundings.  But with less space, you need to think long and hard ahead of time to make sure the new home functions like it needs to for you.

 

If working with an architect, hire a designer before the plans are drawn.   An extra set of eyes for how your family will live in the house is invaluable.   Every square inch needs to work hard so you can have the pretty with a purpose.

 

6.  Let Go Of The Guilt.   I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is hard to get your money out of furniture and rugs (and even some antiques) when selling.  Just know this is the case and let go of the pieces…. Do not hold onto stuff for any reason other than you love it.

 

All aspects of downsizing can be a blessing if you allow it.   Look at it as a way to lighten your connection to material “stuff” and create spaces that are customized and truly special to you.

 

Hope you find these six tips helpful.  Let me know what you think-

Dana

 

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Five Design Ideas To Create A Healthy Home, Happy Life

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I sense a change is taking place…   People are tired,  tired of feeling exhausted and stressed.

 

It is time to slow down and enjoy life more.  Find a balance.

 

Because life is short,  embracing the good and surrounding yourself with positive, healthy ways of living are more important than ever.

 

Don’t get me wrong.   I am the first to get caught up in everyday life.  Little things, that in the big scheme, don’t mean much.

 

But if we can make healthy changes in our home that have a positive impact on our quality of life, isnt this a good thing?

 

 

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Here are five, easy, design ideas to create a healthy home, and therefore, a happy life.   Here goes:

 

1. If you don’t love something in your home or aren’t using it, get rid of it.  Clean out, pair down,  and keep only what speaks to you and brings you joy.

 

End of sentence.   Period.

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Assign a purpose for every room in your home.  Every single room, even the little “catch-all” closet.     What exactly is the closet going to store?

 

 

3.   LIVE in your home and ENJOY.   No more off-limit rooms or  saving your china just for special occasions…   Use the dishes one night for dinner, just because…..

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4.  Make your home a reflection of you.  Do you like a little edge but your home doesnt quite capture who you are or how you want to reflect your style?  Reach out to a designer and hire someone who can turn your vision into reality.   Ask around and check with their references to make sure their style, type of budget they work with,  and their personality are a good fit for you.

 

5.  Create a space somewhere in your home that makes you feel calm and relaxed.  It doesn’t have to be big space- maybe it is a corner in a room with a chair, a blanket, and a table to place your morning coffee.  Do a little self care and create a spot to call your own.

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photo by Jean Allsopp

Dana Wolter Interiors. Photo by Jean Allsopp

 

 

Hope these five design ideas help you create a healthy home, and therefore bring a little happiness into your life.  Let me know what you think-

 

dana

 

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#DiamondsOfDesign Vignette- AmericasMart 2017

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I came back from Atlanta last week just in time to bypass getting stuck in the snowstorm that hit the Southeast.   We only had a dusting, but it was the ice that closed us down.

 

I was in Atlanta setting up my #DiamondsOfDesign vignette for the AmericasMart market that begins today.   It is their 60th anniversary and to celebrate, they had 10 designers from across the country create spaces based upon a style icon from the past 60 years.  I chose design icon David Hicks because of his mix of elements, his love of new and old pieces, and his bold use of pattern.   His rooms in the 60s and 70s were always beautiful, warm, collected, and many times, bold.

 

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David Hicks, Google images

 

 

RestyleSource was kind enough to do an interview with all of the designers.  If you would like to know a few of our favorite things, you can read about them here.  Don’t judge that I like a home-cooked meal, as long as it isn’t cooked by me.  Ha!

 

Each designer’s space is made up of pieces curated from the vendors at market.  I am loving the addition of antiques to the AmericasMart as I like a “collected” look in any space- even if it is newly designed.

 

The space is only 10′ x 10′ in size, and I knew I wanted some sort of library or sitting room feel.  Something warm, and collected, and a space that makes you want to sit down and stay for awhile.

 

I began by selecting this wallpaper from Schumacher for the walls.

 

Schumacher Whirlpool Wallcovering in Champagne

Schumacher Whirlpool Wallcovering in Champagne

 

 

They were gracious to donate it as well as this IKAT fabric for pillows for the sofa.

 

Schumacher Kashgar IKAT

Schumacher Kashgar IKAT

 

 

Lots of vendors lent us pieces for my vignette.  Everything from a loveseat to lamps to art to accessories to books make up my space.   I can’t show the finished product yet, but here are a few quick snapshots of my vignette.

 

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Diamonds Of Design, AmericasMart vignette, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

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Loving this Currey and Co. floor lamp, Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

If you are in Atlanta for market this week, stop by and see the designer spaces.    There are so many good ones!

 

I will also be sharing pictures from it and a few of my favorite finds from market this weekend.  If you would like to keep up, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest.

 

Have a great week-

 

Dana

 

 

 

 

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Are you ready to leave behind the stress you find in your surroundings and create a healthy, happy life that begins before you walk out your front door?

 

 

Your environment is one of the seven top causes of stress, and your surroundings attribute to your health just as much as what you eat,  who you surround yourself with, how much you exercise, etc…

 

 

Think about it…   If you try to eat healthy, exercise, get good sleep, does it make sense to spend the majority of your time in a a space that is cluttered, dark and disorganized?

 

 

A healthy lifestyle is one that encompasses all facets of your life, not just a few areas.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong…..There are days when your house is going to be a mess.  I have had people in and out of my home quite a bit lately, and with the holidays, mine is now.   Too many children pulling things out and not putting them up.

 

 

But the difference is that when you have a mess in a healthy home, it is because things are out of their specific place versus having things randomly lying around and piling up.

 

 

 

Take a step back from your home and make an honest assessment about how your home makes you feel.   Does it bring your joy and peace?

 

 

 

If you find your house a place of uneasiness, apply these few tips to your home and see if you can figure out why :

 

  1. Organize your home so everything has a place.  Incorporate hidden storage where you can create a visual calm and store alike things together.

 

You would never know it, but the hidden door under my stairs allows for all kinds of storage for my family.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

 

 

2.  Find a Purpose for every room in your home as no room should serve as a “walk-through” or a room used once or twice a year.   Then take a step back and assess the items in each room.   Do they bring your joy or are they useful?  If neither, it is  time to give them away or throw them out.

 

 

This may also mean switching rooms around, or changing how the furniture is arranged in a room.

 

 

Take this room in this cottage below that we worked on a few years back.  It was a walk-through room, a catch-all, and the it was the largest room in the house.  

 

 

By changing the type of furniture placed in this room, we were able to create a place to sit and relax, play on your phone, read a good book, etc…  The chaises draw you in to sit and stay for awhile.

 

 

 

 

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BEFORE

 

 

 

 

Dana Wolter Interiors

Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

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You can see more Before and After of this house from this previous post here.

 

 

 

We did the same thing with this home.  The biggest room in their house was the “walk-through’ room.  It was rarely used while this family of seven used a small sitting room off the kitchen to watch tv.

 

 

 

BEFORE

BEFORE

 

 

 

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What you can’t see in this picture is that we tucked a television on a side wall that can be pulled out when needed.  Our goal was to create a family-friendly space for this family to enjoy while keeping it formal enough to serve as a living room if needed.   Mission accomplished!

 

 

 

3. Find a Balance with how your home flows and functions.   Your home should work well for everyday living and be able to transition to host a party when needed. 

 

 

4.   What makes you smile and bring your joy?  Whether it is a sparse room, layered objects, bright colors, or a wall filled with books, use discernment in adding these touches to your space.   Find ways to add what makes you smile to bring you Warmth and Joy in your house.

 

 

 

Elle Decor, Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

Chad James Interior Design, Elle Decor, Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

 

 

If you need help into turning your house into one you love, reach out to us here.   We would love to hear from you.

 

Here’s to a healthy, happy life-

 

Dana

 

 

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#BootcampHomeTransformation: How To Make A House Your Home

Lately, it seems as if I am being reminded that every day is truly a gift.

While I have one friend celebrating a new life (her new baby is beautiful-and big!!),  a sweet teenage boy in our community has osteosarcoma and is fighting for his.

Life is about enjoying the present with family and friends, and your surroundings play a huge part in it.   Your house is where you LIVE– it’s where you create memories, nurse people back to health, celebrate milestones, and even mourn disappointments behind closed doors.

I am not saying you have to go out and spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to create memories.  What I am suggesting is if your home doesn’t make you happy or if you don’t find it a restful retreat, why you waiting to do something about it?

 

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I love my job because I  see over and over again what a changed environment can do for a family.  I have seen how making sure every square inch of a home is functional and cohesive can improve the quality of life for a family.  Yes, better for all of you.

Your house does not have to be perfect because we aren’t.   Let it have its little quirks- keep it real.

 

 

I want this post to be an action post to turning your home into a space you love.  Let’s call it #BootcampHomeTransformation.

It won’t be easy, but I promise if you will follow the steps, you will see some change for the better.   Follow along this week and next and let me know how it is going for you.

 

So…. Let’s get started.

 

Step One: Decide on your room and come up with five words to describe it for when you are done.

Pull out a piece of paper and write down the room you want to begin.  Choose one room and one room only to focus in on today.    I want this to be doable, so if you are overwhelmed right now with your home, select a small space such as a foyer versus a large living space.

Come up with five words you want to use to describe this room and write them down.

 

Step Two:  Assess the function of each room.  It does not matter whether you have a 1,500 or a 15,000 sq ft home, every room should have a purpose.  The goal is to utilize every square inch in your home, and love it!

Write down the function of this room.  For instance, it may be as simple as a place to greet my guests, a place to read, a room to lay my keys, a place to put my shoes on before heading out the door, etc….   Is that extra bedroom a study, a guest bedroom, or a workout room?  Or is it just pretending to be all of those things when it’s really just storage?  Give the room an identity so you can organize and decorate accordingly.

 

I want you to wait a day or two before tackling the next step.  I want you to process how this room is to work for you.

 

Step Three:   Clean Out

Take everything- yes, everything-  out the room.

Ask your self about every piece your fingers touch- Do you use it?   Do you love it?   If no is your answer, give it or throw it away.  Yes, it is okay to part ways with a family piece you do not love.  I give you permission, so get rid of the guilt, and let it go.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  The rocking chair from my daughter’s room was her great-great aunt’s, but because she has outgrown the need of one, I gave it back to my parent’s.

Just because it is a family heirloom or your aunt gave it to you for your wedding doesn’t mean it belongs in your home.  So many tastes are out there, and I bet you can find a home for it (your sister? your niece? your neighbor?). So do it.  Pronto.  De-clutter.

Keep only what you love and use…and you will definitely see and feel a difference in your home immediately!

 

 

 

 

don’t the objects here just FEEL loved?  by Nate Berkus

 

 

 

This is it until next Monday.  The only thing I ask in return is to follow each step and give me feedback.  Let me know how it is going, and please share with others.

 

Here’s to living today at its fullest,

 

Dana

 

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Five Ways To Create A Healthy, Happy Home (and Life)

Wellness is a lifestyle that begins at home.   With so many outside stressors these days, your home needs to be a place you love and can relax.

 

If you are trying to eat healthy (well, most of the time), exercise, it doesn’t make sense to come home to a cluttered, dark, depressing house.

 

Environmental stress is one of the seven biggest causes of stress, and your surroundings attribute to your health just as much as what you eat, how much you exercise, etc…

 

 

Here are five ways to create a healthy, happy home and  life:

 

1. Clean Out. 

Say NO to pieces in your home you do not love nor use.

 

I talk about this one a lot because I see it way too often.  Homes filled to the brim with stuff.   Stuff clients don’t necessary like, but they feel guilty getting rid of it.

 

Let go of the guilt and take action.   If you don’t love something, aren’t using, it,  then bid it goodbye.  Dispose of it or give it away to someone who can-and will-enjoy it.

 

If you have two, or three, or more of one particular item, give the extras away.

 

 

2. Assign A Place For Everything.     

Even if things don’t stay where they belong (like my house right now), every single item in your house should have a designated spot.

 

Store alike items together, and things least used go in higher and harder to reach storage.   If you are not good at this sort of thing, hire a professional organizer or ask a good friend to help you.

 

 

3.  Assign a purpose for every room in your house.

Wonder how this will simplify your life?  It helps keep a room from becoming a “catch-all”.

 

By utilizing every square inch of your room, it makes your home work for you, which in turn simplifies your home and your life.

 

 

Here’s a good example:

 

The room below was the largest room in a client’s home, was a “catch-all’ for them, but the only purpose for the room was to walk from the foyer to the rest of the house.

 

 

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After discussing with our client what needs were missing from their current home, we decided to add two chaise loungers for the kids to read, listen to music, etc….  We added more casual, comfortable pieces, too.

 

We kept it formal enough to function as a living room, but see how much more inviting it is once we finished our magic?

 

 

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AFTER- Dana Wolter Interiors

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

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Dana Wolter Interiors

 

 

4. Create A Balance In Your Home.

 

What type of space energizes you?   If it is a room with more of a calm, relaxed feel, make sure you have several of these type of spaces throughout your home.   If it is a space with a vibrant edge, that is fine too.  Regardless of the type of room that energizes you, all rooms should have some sort of comfy seating that draws you in to relax.

 

 

5.  Hire a designer to make your home a place you LOVE.

Why wait to turn your home into a place you love?  Life is too short to waste time living in haphazard spaces or spaces that make you cringe.

 

You should look forward to spending time in your home.   There are designers for all budgets and all price points, so find one you are comfortable with that suits your needs and your budget.

 

While the bulk of our firm’s work is full service interior design, we do offer two different packages for the person who wants our guidance and style but wants to implement a plan as their budget and timeframe allow.

 

We offer a one time 3.5 hour consult with me where we can discuss all of your design dilemmas, and we also offer a design online service for any type of room.

 

You can read about the 3.5 hour consult here  and the design online service we offer here.

 

As always, email us at info@danawolterinteriors.com for more information and inquire how we can help you fill your needs.

 

 

Hope you find this post on creating a healthy, happy home and life helpful.   Here’s to simplifying and creating a happy home, one step at a time.

 

 

Dana

 

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Give Away What You Don’t Love Or Use, But If We MUST Keep, How To Display Your Clutter

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Summer is here and I find myself cleaning.  Cleaning out drawers, wiping down drawers, etc…   Makes me happy!

And while I preach to throw away or give away things that you don’t love or are not using, I know there are times when you want to keep certain things just to keep.

I thought I would rerun this post from a few years ago on how to display your clutter  stuff …….      Here goes….

 

Dana

 

The holidays are over, and who isn’t looking for a few ways to declutter their home?   It’s easy to discard the items you don’t use, but what about the knick knacks you love and want to display?

Do your “special” items look like a pile of mess to others?   If so, what should you do?

Create a few vignettes in your home.

Start with your big items, such as the painting, sconces, lamps, and urn in this picture.   Next, stagger your accessories throughout, making sure you balance out each side.  Notice how they did not forget the space under the console.

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http://katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com/

 

What a great job they did of taking family keepsakes, which, after all, make a house a home, and displaying them in a beautiful way.

How about adding in a few of your personal items when entertaining? At this client’s home, instead of just setting out her china and everyday, we decided to mix it up a bit.

Speaking of entertaining……

What do you do for all of the silver and crystal you have crammed into your cabinets?

Display it as we did in this client’s home.   Here, we mixed in some of her silver pieces with her crystal and pottery.  Everything has its place, and it is beautiful!

photo courtesy of jean allsopp

When creating a focal point, whether it is a vignette or glass cabinet, don’t forget to layer and add different textures.

from dana wolter interiors

So, the key is to make the space your own by displaying your items in a neat, organized way.

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Even when there is a family pet involved- such as the frog for this family- can you display it in a clever way.

What A Difference A Plan Makes- Part One

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I thought it might be fun to look at a few BEFORE and AFTER pictures of the home featured in TradHome (click here to see the full article) to see why I took the design approach I did for this project.  This is going to be in two posts, so here goes part one….

When the homeowner first contacted me, she was frustrated.   She had purchased a few pieces that did not fit in her home and she wanted to unify her choppy, cluttered, mismatched home.  She wanted it to reflect their fun personality, but she also wanted it to feel calm, cohesive, and be a place to retreat from their hectic lifestyle.

Below is the foyer, which sets the tone for the home.  As you can see, there wasn’t much to the existing space, other than a rug too big for the space.

 

BEFORE

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BEFORE- the foyer

 

 AFTER

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AFTER- the foyer

The space is tiny, but you can see we added quite a bit of warmth without overcrowding the area.

We painted her existing console table because the size was good for the space.  Everything else was added.   What was once a cold, mismatched space now feels warm and pulled together.

Know what my favorite thing is in there?  The cast baby foot of one of her now teenage girls…  How sweet is that touch?!

The foyer opens up into the living room, which was a walk-through space for the family.  Imagine an 18 x 24 room of basically wasted space they never used.

Here is the BEFORE of the living room:

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BEFORE- the living room

 

AFTER

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AFTER- the living room

 

I wish I had a picture to the right of the sofa in the bay window.  Not only did we create a great place to lounge, we also included a second seating area with the sofa and two chairs.

 

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AFTER- the living room

 

The homeowners have several collections- from crosses from oncology patients, to tons of family photos, to baseballs from their favorite major league teams.  They had them spread throughout several rooms with no order to them at all.

I incorporated their momentos in a way that is cohesive and tidy.

 BEFORE

BEFORE- the study

BEFORE- the study

 

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Before- the study

AFTER

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AFTER-the study

 

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AFTER- the study

 

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AFTER- the study

 

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After- gallery of family pictures

Notice the grouping of family photos and the shadow box of the baseballs?  Now they hold special meaning and are focal points in this home.

Stay tuned for part two as I will talk about the master, family room, and kitchen.    This transformation is amazing- not only aesthetically, but how this home functions for this busy family of five.

Also, please remember to take a second and vote here for the NewTrad designer’s style you like best.    It is quick and easy,  only takes a second, and I hope you will vote for us.  Every time you cast a vote, you enter a chance to win $1,000 from Hunter Douglas.

Have a great day everyone-

Dana

 

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