Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Little Design Work

I don't generally do design work, per se, but I have found myself doing it every now and then, for friends and family. It's something I obviously enjoy, so it's fun to help people out with it sometimes. 

My mom and I have been slowly making over her house. I think her and my stepfather have been there for 7 years or so? Maybe longer. Anyway, we have been redesigning the house from a very traditional look, to a little more casual/simple/beachy/Ballard designs vibe. We started out with her bedroom a few years ago, then we did the kitchen last year, and are working on the living/dining spaces now. 

Here's the kitchen refresh:


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(the tile had already been replaced here. Before this, it was boring builder beige tile:))


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(you can kind of get a feel for the more traditional/formal look she had going in the dining room, through the door in the kitchen in this photo)

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And actually, these photos are old. We have since replaced the kitchen stools, accessorized the kitchen counters, and she has a cute farmhouse table with upholstered chairs. It turned out great! So now, we're moving onto the living room.

Her whole living area (Actually, the whole house) was painted that butter yellow that builders in the early 2000's used (just like our condo!). It worked for her for a while, but she was ready for a change. I tried to get her to do an off white in her space, but she wanted to stick with gray (see? I guess I've been on the off white kick...). We actually sampled lots of grays before picking one. We kept finding that all the grays looked blue when we did samples on the wall. 

so, here's the before photo of the living room:
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to be fair, she was just starting to experiment with moving the furniture around, so it's not always like this. You can see the butter yellow walls, and her old heavy leather furniture. I had always suggested having built in cabinets made around the fireplace. She found some huge bookcases at the Ballard outlet, and I told her to measure out how large they were (to make sure they were substantial), and maybe they could work instead of built in's. So, she was obedient and did what I said:


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nice and big! I gave her the go ahead to get the bookshelves. She bought them, brought them home and had them painted the same color as the kitchen cabinets (a soft white). She also had the fire place painted white. 

Then it was time to pick the gray for the walls. 

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see how all the samples looked blue? This always happens on yellow walls and it frustrates my clients to no end. It's a great idea to find a small spot in the room where you can single out the paint color against your trim and really have no other part of the wall in your view, so you get a true idea of what the color looks like. Mom found a spot on a column in her dining room that was perfect for this. We chose a browner gray (no cool blue in it) that was perfect. I can't remember the name of it, but I know she'll see this and leave it in the comments section!! 

It turned out great:

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She also had dark hardwoods put in throughout the house, to replace the blonde ones/carpet that the builders had put in. That made a HUGE difference, too.

so here is where we are right now. She bought a new sofa from Pottery Barn, and two side chairs from Lazyboy (I think it's Lazyboy!). She also got an attractive leather recliner for my stepdad, from Lazyboy. 

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She found the rug at Ballard as well. I had picked out a different one from there for her, but she loved this one, so I told her to go for it. It looks good with the other design elements, and I like that it still reads as neutral.

I picked out the fabric for those chairs and I love them! So cute. What a statement, too, because this is your view when you walk into the house. 

We still have to get a coffee table, probably some little x-benches for in front of the fireplace, maybe a new end table(?), and accessoriiiiiize. 

I think the coffee table will be round, to mix up some shapes. I want to get some brass in here, too. We'll see if I can convince mom.

She did this little entry way table area all by herself and its cute!

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I love the mirror. I think her Lazyboy design consultant found it for her.

I can't wait to buy accessories for the bookshelves. Mom did a good job of styling them, though, until  then! 

Fun stuff. 

Another friend recently moved in down the street, and I went over the day to hang stuff on her walls for her. 

We started out with the kids' bedroom. This gallery wall is a great idea for a kids room, since they bring home so much art. It's colorful and takes up a lot of space, on these huge walls in this old house. 
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They are buying a cute modern dresser from IKEA that will go below the blue square tape and replace those two dressers. The tape off spot is where a big mirror will go. I tried to sort of hang the artwork/photos in an oval-y shape, to give it some sort of sense of shape. 

I'll be sure and update when she gets the dresser and mirror. 

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For now, I'll leave you with her entry way, which she did on her own and it's so cute.

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turquoise and red - can't go wrong.


  1. Fabulous transformations. I love everything.

  2. Wow, your Moms place is looking good! It all looks good. Alison

  3. Living room color is Benjamin Moore smoke embers 1466:)

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