Interior Design

Sleek Modern Bathroom by Susie Mae Design

When we bought our 1960s house in January of 2017, we knew we had a lot of work to do. There were a lot of things that took priority like a new roof, HVAC system, insulation, and water mitigation. Naturally we wanted to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms immediately, but that just wasn't in the cards. Now, a year and a half later, the kitchen and both bathrooms have been renovated and IT IS SO GREAT! 

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Before we started any work the to the house, this was the view in the dining room, looking at the front door and the closet that was once in the dining room. 

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Next, we painted the walls white, Sherwin Williams Alabaster to be exact. The door and windows were replaced and that closet had to go! The closet backs up to the end of the master bathroom. If you were to knock on the back wall of the closet, you'd be knocking on the end wall of the bathroom/shower. We didn't want a closet in the dining room and we really did want some room to move around in our bathroom, so we decided to close up that closet and take it for the shower. We made plans to move the plumbing down so that the shower could take over that closet space. 

Dining room, looking through the demo'd closet and into the master bathroom. You can see the master bedroom drapes just beyond the bathroom doorway. 

Dining room, looking through the demo'd closet and into the master bathroom. You can see the master bedroom drapes just beyond the bathroom doorway. 

The wall gets framed and then drywall goes up. 

The wall gets framed and then drywall goes up. 

Sanded and painted to look like a regular wall.

Sanded and painted to look like a regular wall.

Here are the BEFORE photos. The bathroom was small and cramped and had haphazard storage "solutions" that were not really working for us. The toilets in our house also had tanks about 2xs the size of the bowl. Wasting water is not something we're into, so we opted for a dual flush water saving option instead along with other more green solutions. 

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It's unclear if the bathroom had ever been updated, but from what we could tell, the only real change since the house was built was adding new layers of floral wallpaper, and then painting over that in recent years. Frankly, I'd have preferred the wallpaper to the paint job in there. Paint all over the tiles, toilet, and ceiling...what a mess. There was nothing we wanted to salvage about this bathroom, so the sledgehammer and Victor got to work smashing and trashing. I had to be at a baby shower that morning, so I got to skip some of the demo labor. But really, demo can be fun so I would have liked to help more.

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A cast iron tub doesn't move easily. The best choice is often to break it up with a sledgehammer. It's messy and LOUD work, but it's effective. 

A cast iron tub doesn't move easily. The best choice is often to break it up with a sledgehammer. It's messy and LOUD work, but it's effective. 

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As with the other bathroom in our house, there had been a slow, continuous leak for who knows how long in the pipes between the bathrooms. Some patching had been done, but nobody had actually fixed the issue in years past. We don't want to do any project half-assed so to speak, so we made sure to replace all of the pipes that needed replacing, and replaced joists and sub flooring. This was the subfloor when the tile flooring came up. Shocking that we didn't just fall through to the crawl space--it was paper thin and crumbly with some areas of no sub flooring at all. 

Now that everything is out, let's look at the design plan. 

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This was the original plan which did change a little, but it started here. We knew we wanted a wall hung vanity in a warm wood tone, a dual flush/modern toilet, round black frame mirror with black sconces, herringbone stone tiles, black ceiling, white walls, and large white body tiles on the sides of the shower, black faucet, chrome shower fixture and towel bars. 

Here's a look at how things would lay out once we took over that closet and where the different tiles and colors will go. 

The Sketup plan. 

The Sketup plan. 

The first step after demo was pocket door installation. Even after we expanded into the closet, the bathroom was still only 10ft long x 5ft wide, we needed to save as much space as we possibly could. When Victor and I are both brushing our teeth or getting ready at the sink, the door being in the way just doesn't work. So, this in-swing door gets the boot. 

We went to an outlet for building supplies in our area and found this solid wood, unfinished pretty 5-light door with ribbed glass. Most bathrooms would not benefit from a glass panel door, but this bathroom in our master bedroom, and you can't see through the ribbed glass so it's still very private for us and that extra light coming in makes the bathroom feel larger, too. 

I sanded, stained, and finished the door with Sherwin Williams English Chestnut and a clear satin varnish. It's so nice to have the extra space this door gives us! In the 1960s houses, pocket doors were everywhere. I'm not sure why they fell out of favor, but I'm a fan and love to use them in tight spaces in particular. They're a great solution for small spaces and are often a much better choice than the super popular barn door, depending on the location and architectural style.  

Next up: the plumbing gets moved. I was working in my office as the plumber was sawing into the new subfloor to relocate the shower drain and pulling the new pipes to the correct heights for the new fixtures. All of a sudden I see Weezy out of the corner of my eye. 

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I guess she thought the new subfloor smelled good so she sneaked in behind the plumber and got this disc of wood to play with. It was so cute! I let her play with it for a little bit but eventually it started to splinter so I had to take it away from her :( This is not design related, but it is incredibly cute so I figure everyone should see it. I love it when she acts like a puppy still, even in her gray-faced years. 

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New drywall and durarock went up, and then the entire shower got thoroughly waterproofed. This is an essential step! If there is a void in the grout, or a crack ever occurs, water can wreak havoc but with proper waterproofing, it wont be so tragic. 

The other side of the pocket door wall in the bedroom needed some drywall patching at the same time to make it smooth and as if the pocket door had always been there. While we had the wall opened up, Victor moved the electrical so that the TV which hangs on this wall can be plugged in without any dangling, ugly cords. He's good. 

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I wanted the tile to flow from the entry up the back wall, and then up onto the ceiling of the shower with the remaining ceiling area finished with black paint (Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, which you can see on my bedroom walls below). Ideally, we would have had no shower curb and a linear drain so I could have had this herringbone pattern on the shower floor as well, but that is $$$ soooo we selected a different shape tile in the same stone for the shower floor. 

Pattern time!

Pattern time!

Painted ceiling in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, semi-gloss finish

Painted ceiling in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, semi-gloss finish

Side walls get large format white body tiles, stack bond pattern. Stack bond is straight up and down, not in a brick pattern.

Side walls get large format white body tiles, stack bond pattern. Stack bond is straight up and down, not in a brick pattern.

The reason we had to go with a pebble style tile for the floor is because of the angle of a shower floor. A 3" x 3" tile is the largest you should go in a traditional shower pan so that the pitch to the drain can be achieved without risk of cracking tiles or sharp corners sticking up. We did use the same tiles from the herringbone pattern on the curb and rounded by sanding to keep the corners from being sharp. This is another important thing to remember in bathroom remodeling. Either use a bullnose trim tile if available, a trim like Schluter systems to cap the end of tiles with no pencil or bullnose option, or, if it is a natural stone, have it rounded by a professional tile installer. 

The sconce boxes shown here. The mirror will go centered between them. 

The sconce boxes shown here. The mirror will go centered between them. 

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I selected Pewter Gray grout so that the pattern would show up, but it would not feel too stark and high contrast. We had enough contrast with the white walls and black ceiling and floors. The same grout was used for all the of the tile. You can see in the above photo that we had 3 niches built into the end wall. I did not want shampoo bottles to show when you look into the bathroom. The showstopper tile wall would be interrupted with bottles and it just wouldn't be right. The bottom niche is perfect for leg propping and shaving. It's really great because it works just like a step without creating a break in the herringbone design.

Vanity is hung, toilet is in, almost all of the shower fixtures are in.

Vanity is hung, toilet is in, almost all of the shower fixtures are in.

Finally, we hung the mirror, lights, and the shower glass is installed. We selected just one piece of frameless glass from floor to ceiling with a comfortable 24in opening. Since we are using a rain shower head, this works really well. I wouldn't recommend this same arrangement for someone using a traditional shower head as the amount of overspray could get out of hand in that situation. 

The finished bathroom feels serene, modern, clean, and super functional. It feels so much more high end and spacious, even though we added only 24 additional inches to the length of the space. 

Someday soon I hope to have Christina Wedge photograph this space to really do it justice. I am so happy with it! We have SO MUCH more space, and the function all around is exactly what we need. It's amazing when storage and function is considered in a design, how easy it is to keep it organized and clean :)

Tell us, what's your favorite part of this renovation? What does your dream bathroom look like?

 

Marietta Traditional Project: Family Room

Starting from scratch is not alway necessary in design. In fact, sometimes the nicest results come from blending together new and old and updating the old to feel like new. That's just what we did with the Marietta Traditional Project and I love the results! 

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BEFORE

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As you can see, the room was not bad! It has good seating, solid, good quality furniture, and lots of storage. BUT, it also has dare I say too much storage and the built-ins with the large cabinetry visually overlap one another (their lines do, not physically overlapping). This space is just off of a porch so the window is shaded and there is not much natural light at all. Because of that, it feels dark and the darker colors on the furniture feel even darker than they are. 

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My client did some smart things to try to get more light in the room with lighting and a mirror to bounce light around. There are 3 points of light (table lamps, overhead, and floor lamp) but it still felt dark and the cabinet on the left feels heavy and a little oppressive for the space. 

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As you can see here, the window is a little odd. It's sort of a bay window but the wall does not follow the shape of the windows at all. The crown moulding all around makes the walls feel shorter with the vaulted ceilings being minimized by the horizontal line of the crown. 

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Yes, the cutest family ever lives here. This area is technically a part of the family room but feels almost more a part of the breakfast room. Just off the backdoor and between the family room and breakfast room, this space did not have much function. The kids have grown up a lot since this portrait, and while they're still small, they're not using a tiny table this small anymore. This space needed functionality and purpose. 

THE PLAN

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The plan started with electrical. We needed to get more light on the subject so I drew up a plan for the layout of the room and added can lights across the ceiling to distribute more even lighting. We kept the existing wiring for the ceiling fan and swapped the fan out for a really pretty light fixture. In the South, we need fans. They're not pretty but they're often very necessary. However, in this room, due to a very good HVAC system and a nice shady situation thanks to the porch, a fan was not needed so so we could ditch it in favor for something much more attractive!

You'll notice a few other pieces have changed in this floor plan, more on those later. 

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Next, we devised a plan to address those windows. This expert drawing above (ha!) shows the plan: to make the window feel like it was supposed to be that way with drapery. I determined that the layout of the space was actually the best layout to use in this case, so the sofa was to stay put. We selected this gorgeous fabric with some embroidery detail to span the space as both a valance and drapery panels on either side. Now, I know most of the time a valance is used, it's over the top of the panels and hardware but I really wanted that pretty hardware to show and to put the valance as flush against the wall as possible to minimize the look of that gap between the window and the wall. 

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My clients really like their existing rug, so we kept it and used it for the basis of the color scheme. The walls were yellow with white trim and a popcorn ceiling. To start, we selected a very soft neutral with a bit of pigment in it. It's not a great idea to paint a dark room too white--it will look sad and lonely and cold. SO we chose Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray. We used this color on nearly the entire first floor of the house to create a nice flow from room to room. The color has a little blue, a little green, and is a nice neutral backdrop that still holds its own. The painters took down the crown moulding, skimmed the ceiling, and painted the walls and ceiling Conservative Gray and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

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Like I said earlier, you don't have to start from scratch. While we were making some big changes in this space, we did not replace and of the upholstered furniture! When you buy good quality pieces, they'll be an investment up front, but you'll have some serious quality that lasts you for years and years. If your tastes change, great--just re-cover it! And that is just what we did. Using the rug as inspiration for the color scheme and our new soft neutral walls, I selected a beautiful tan and cream stripe for the wingback chairs, an animal print for the ottoman in a hardwearing stain-resistant material, and some splashed of green on the pillows. Pretty trims tie it all together for a complete look. 

The sofa is a nice leather that was still in great shape. However, the cushions had taken a bit of a beating of the years and were looking a little sad and saggy. My awesome upholsterer came to the rescue and reformed the cushions with a nice foam interior that will stand up to lots more sitting and maybe even a little jumping! After that, the sofa looked as good as new. 

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Remember the little area with the tiny table? Well, to make it functional, I suggested we create a little mudroom. As you can see in this hyper realistic drawing ;) we did just that with a piece of custom made furniture. It has hooks for coats and hats, baskets to keep shoes in, and cubbies for homework and mail so that it can be hidden away and off the kitchen countertops. For comfort when taking shoes on and off, we added a cushion on top. 

AFTER

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Now we have a smoothed ceiling, more light throughout the room, new decorative light fixture, reupholstered ottoman and wingback chairs, all new pillows, new chair in corner, basket for blankets, new side tables, drapery, media cabinet fitted to the room size in a dark finish to balance the color of the sofa, restyled bookshelves, custom artwork over the mantel, moulding and large cabinetry removed, new hardware on the doors of built-in cabinet doors, and a very functional family space. 

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Our gorgeous custom piece for keeping shoes and coats and homework serves its purpose well and keeps things tidy and functional. The cushion is upholstered in the same material as the wingback chairs across the room to create some continuity. We actually had these baskets custom made to be stained in the same finish as the wood on top of the cubbies and fit perfectly into each cubby and I love them! It's so satisfying how perfect they are. 

As you can see, it is very possible to take what you have and make it work for you. Use a little imagination, be willing to make big changes, and be honest with yourself about what is working and what is not in your home. Is it too dark, too crowded, too hot, too cold, too loud? Whatever the issues are that are bothering you, use that to begin your redecorating and then let your favorite pieces inspire your look going forward. We loved all of the furniture my client already had, it just needed a fresh look. They love their rug, so it was the inspiration for the color scheme and just like that, we were on our way to creating a beautiful and well loved space that is the heart of the home for this sweet family and you can do the same with your home. 

If you need help making the best use of what you have and you want your home to be the best it can be, contact me today to schedule your consultation!

Design, concepts, and written content by Susie Mae Design.

All completed room images by Christina Wedge Photography

Marietta Traditional Project: Piano Room

Right this minute the joists and subfloor in my guest bathroom are being cut out to be replaced. My poor house was left to rot into the ground over the years by owner after owner neglecting to take care of leaks, water mitigation, and just general upkeep. Sometimes, buying a fixer upper is a pain in the you know what. At least we have a good contractor who is doing the work for us so we don't have to go too long with our home in shambles because we just do not have the time to do the work ourselves. I'm excited to share all of that progress soon, but for now, it's just sawdust and loud banging and buzzing. You can follow along with the progress of that project and other of my home projects on my Instagram, @susiemaedesign. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Let's talk about something that doesn't involve saws, joists, OR water damage! How about a serene family space? Here's a lovely, recently completed multi-purpose family room that has come a long way at the Marietta traditional project. It started out as sort of a catch all storage space with very little light and no real purpose aside from housing old toys and a piano. This family of four needed this space to work for them as more than a storage unit. It's just off the front entrance of the home so it needed more presence for sure, so we had to make sure it said "Welcome! Our home is pretty, and cozy" and really set the tone for the rest of the house. We affectionately call this "the piano room". It's a play on a formal living room, but updated for current life.

BEFORE

BEFORE

BEFORE

BEFORE

This room spans the length of the home, from the front of the house to the back, so it's a long room and needed zones to create a cohesive space with multiple uses. It also needed to be lightened up, both in terms of paint color and actual electrical lights. We added a series of 8 can lights (4 sets of 2) down the length of the room and later on added more localized lighting once furniture went in. After that, the ceiling got a fresh coat of white paint and the walls went Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray. This gray has a good bit of blue in it so while it is a neutral it also serves as a soft wash of color. I've decided to call this type of color "bluetral". A mashup of blue and neutral because blue really does act like a neutral quite often. Like blue jeans, neutral blues go with just about everything.

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Next, we pulled together a furniture plan. To get those zones, we created a game/homework table that can double (or would it be triple?) as additional dining space for parties and larger family gatherings, as well as a sitting room centered around the piano, and storage console at the entrance to provide a natural focal point.  

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Next came selecting fabrics and finishes for each piece of furniture and for the drapery. We had custom functioning drapery made so that the family could enjoy privacy at night without the need for blinds or shades, allowing more natural light to come in during the day. This color palette is a dream! The rose tone we used on two skirted swivel chairs, stain-resistant taupe on the ottoman, a super strong Crypton on the loveseat, beautiful cream linen on the drapery with a nice tape edge trim, and pulling it all together, a watercolor inspired print for the throw pillows. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

This is one of my favorite parts of this space! This gorgeous cupboard is filled with board games, homework, and craft supplies all while looking uncluttered and refined. What a victory! Just above the cupboard is a beautiful piece of art my client found through Atlanta Artist Collective. It has the right scale, mood, and palette to complement the space without looking "matchy". In this case we selected the art towards in the end of the planning phase, but I love how it looks like we planned the room around this piece rather than the other way around. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

Since the children both play piano (and it's a pretty upright!), it was important to keep the piano a key figure in the room. The piano anchors the sitting room area and gives focus to the space. We had custom frames made to house portraits of each child and a whole family photo on this side, and landscape photos from their travels mirror this arrangement on the other side of the space above the loveseat. We kept the piano top simple, but decorative. Since it will be frequently used, overdoing it wont work. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

See the landscape photos above the loveseat? We used some repetition throughout the space to create balance and symmetry with those images, color, texture, and pattern. The rose colored chairs swivel to offer options for conversation or to enjoy a piano concert. We chose a large ottoman to offer foot propping access for everyone seated around the space as well as extra seating when larger groups gather. This rug is another favorite part for me. It's a stunning hand knotted wool rug with an antique feel. The colors are muted, yet still colorful. I adore the thin fringe on the ends as well. 

Susie Mae Design

Susie Mae Design

While the room is not particularly formal, we wanted to be sure the game/homework area felt decidedly less formal than the other side. To encourage family time and fun without feeling fussy, we selected a natural weave rug with a subtle pattern and again, gorgeous fringe detail to anchor the space and not compete with the rug on the opposite side of the room. A family style solid wood table resists scratches and dings from pencils and Monopoly pieces, and Crypton covered seats finish off the pretty ladder back chairs. 

I loved designing this space! It's family friendly, yet refined. Neutral, yet colorful.

BEFORE AND AFTER

BEFORE AND AFTER

We hope you will feel inspired to create a space for your own family that works in a variety of ways. Find a place where there is wasted space and make use of it. If lack of space is your issue, create multipurpose solutions to make your home work better for you! If you need help making the best use of what you have and you want your home to be the best it can be, contact me today to schedule your consultation!

Design, concepts, and written content by Susie Mae Design.

All completed room images by Christina Wedge Photography

Bocroom - Inspired Goods

Have you ever felt lost when trying to define your style and find a store that fits it? Do the trends of each season seem to overwhelm you and make you feel stuck? What you need is a place to shop that fits your personal style and not the trends, and a shop that can help you find those special pieces to bring it all together. You need to visit Bocroom in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Having inspired goods isn't the only thing that makes Bocroom special. Here's a little snippet of their mission: 

"Bocroom was born out of a desire to express creativity while making the world a better and more beautiful place in which to live. It has been an exploration of instinct and artistic passion combined with a singular vision to bring positivity to the planet."
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Now that's a mission we can get behind! When buying products from Bocroom, you can be sure that your purchases are artisan made and responsibly crafted. Made with environmentally friendly practices and materials, and style driven rather than trend driven, each item at Bocroom is thoughtfully sourced for a unique boutique experience. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Owner and founder of Bocroom, Brittany Crooms spent years in jewelry design and sales, so she has an eye for detail and beauty. She opened Bocroom in 2014 and has remained dedicated to the mission of bringing artfully crafted, environmentally friendly products with soul to patrons of the shop. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

So go visit Bocroom and tell them we sent you! You won't be sorry you stopped in :)

Spotlight On: Paige Minear

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

If you follow design in Atlanta at all, you've probably already heard of Paige Minear. She writes the design blog, "the pink clutch" which is a great read and you should definitely subscribe now! Paige has a style that cannot be denied in all of her work. It's colorful, vibrant, bold, and inspiring! We have the joy of taking a peek into the perfect reflection of Paige's design style--her own home! And we're bringing you with us! 

Join us as we turn the spotlight on Paige Minear! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Define your personal design style and perspective.

I am most definitely a preppy chic girl.  Most everything I am drawn to in fashion leans toward traditional with an edge.  It is the same in my style for our home. Very classic and preppy with an edge.  Lots of color with texture and pattern. 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Which of your career milestones make you most proud?

The past year has been out of control.  My brand has tripled and the opportunities that have been offered to me blow me away.  Being an invited participant in the One Room Challenge was the biggest opportunity so far and definitely the one I am most proud of. Growing my Instagram following has really been exciting.  I love my followers and their incredible support!
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

How did you become a design blogger and where did you learn your skills?

My passion and background is fashion.  For me I see our home as an outfit needing to be put together.  You start with a piece that inspires you and you grow from there.  In our dining room it was the pink walls and an antique table that my in laws received as a wedding present.  The table provided the traditional and the pink the edge and it just grew.  I don't think it is hard to transition from fashion to design, it just seemed to be an easy transition.  I have been blogging since 2007 and love the creative outlet it provides.  I get to write about all the things that inspire me. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What's your secret for running a business and maintaining your personal life?

I have learned in the last six months to pick and chose projects.  I say no a lot and I am good with that. Saying no also allows me to pick the right projects and opportunities for me.   I can't do everything and when the day is done I have to be true to me.  My family always comes first and that gives me the greatest comfort and joy. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What's your guilty pleasure?

My love language is quality time.  Any time given to me by those I love fills my soul.  All my best friends know that I love their time and of course a fabulous meal! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What's your favorite destination?

New York and Palm Beach.  I think I was meant to live in both.  I could have an apartment in the city and a home in Palm Beach.  It might be the perfect combination! 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Leave a comment below and tell us which of Paige's rooms we've featured is your favorite! Like what you see? Follow Paige Minear on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog!

We hope you enjoyed this spotlight as much as we did! 

We're In Love with Color and We Don't Care Who Knows It!

Whitewashed neutral interiors are everywhere you look on Pinterest and Instagram. They’re beautiful and calming, but what about color?! When did we forget about the beauty of a bold green wall, the elegance of a deep purple velvet sofa, or the energizing glow of a bright citrus table lamp? There’s a time and a place for a soft grey living room as well as a dining room that is covered in nearly the entire color wheel. Both are equally beautiful when they’re done well. Both are even more attainable with a knowledgeable designer to guide you through the process of using color in intentional ways to make your home look so very “you”!

I say we take a look at colorful designs and be inspired to be bold and go forth colorfully!

Let’s review what it looks like when color is done the right way. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge for Parker Kennedy Living

Photo by Christina Wedge for Parker Kennedy Living

 

This ooh la la example of color done right is by the design duo Parker Kennedy Living. The colors they use in this bedroom have matching intensity with large spans of clean, fresh white to maintain the restful feeling. By using color blocking, pattern, and matching intensity, they use color in all the right ways!

Photo by Christina Wedge for Parker Kennedy Living

Photo by Christina Wedge for Parker Kennedy Living

This sunroom by Parker Kennedy Living works because the colors are balanced by the neutral upholstery and lamp shade. Stripes and patterns repeat the nice neutral throughout the space. Notice that even the gold is repeated to balance the metallic elements. It’s energizing, but not overwhelming.

Photo by Christina Wedge for Lindsey Hene Interiors

Photo by Christina Wedge for Lindsey Hene Interiors

Why does this room by designer Lindsey Hene work? She uses color as a neutral! This gorgeous pale blue/green sets the perfect backdrop for bright pops of color that are all secondary colors (green, purple, and orange). Repeating shades of orange in small doses throughout the room creates a nice rhythm.

Photos by Christina Wedge, Stying by Susie Roupe for B Interiors

Photos by Christina Wedge, Stying by Susie Roupe for B Interiors

Photo by Christina Wedge, Stying by Susie Roupe for B Interiors 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Stying by Susie Roupe for B Interiors 

Another way to incorporate bold bright colors is to follow a style that typically uses a lot of color such as traditional Moroccan or Indian design. These spaces by designer Beth Johnson do just that. She uses pops of bright color and pattern, all paying homage to the style of India where her client’s sister lives. 

Photo by Christina Wedge for Parker Kennedy Living

Photo by Christina Wedge for Parker Kennedy Living

I have nothing but complimentary things to say about the work of Parker Kennedy. Hehe…see what I did there? The above rooms utilize complementary colors with pattern and texture and beauty for dayyyyyys! I love the energy of this space. It exemplifies how to do complementary colors in varied intensities to create a rich, curated look.

Photo by Christina Wedge for Lindsey Hene Interiors

Photo by Christina Wedge for Lindsey Hene Interiors

You just can’t go wrong with the right kind of complementary colors. In this design by Lindsey Hene, deeper blues paired with brighter oranges on a canvas of cool grey make for a calming, dynamic space.

 

We encourage you to go for some color in your home! Try a dash of color in the places where it really counts—where you want energy and vibrance and attitude!

 




Casual Elegance in Roswell, GA

Among the sea of little boutiques for furniture and home decor, a few stand well above the rest in quality, service, and taste. This week, I attended a business education class with Michele Williams of The Scarlet Thread Consulting (if you own a business, you owe it to yourself to take this class!!!). The class was held in the designer resource center at Miko + Boone Home in Roswell, GA. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Miko + Boone is a store that offers so much more! For homeowners, they have retail furnishings and full-service by-appointment interior design. For designers, they have a trade program along with an entire resource center downstairs with book after book of exquisite fabrics, rugs, wallpapers, and basically anything else designers wish they had all in one place. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

There aren't too many stores that I think "I'll have one of each, please!" upon walking in the door, but Miko + Boone Home is certainly one of them. The graceful, casual elegance that meets you at the door is the same you'll find in their friendly and knowledgeable staff. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

The space is so inviting! Come to shop the decor items and the furniture, and you'll feel right at home. Each piece is so thoughtfully selected, that every area of the store feels as if it could be a cozy room in a beautifully designed home. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

If you're looking for gifts, Miko + Boone has them! From beautiful, handcrafted cards, to place cards, to guest napkins, and more, they've got lovely pieces from local artists that are sure to please.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Speaking of local artists, Miko + Boone features artwork by local painters, including Britt Bass whose studio is two doors down. In fact, Owner and Principal Designer, Amy Ferrer just so happens to be Britt's mom! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

So, if you're looking for high quality, high style home design products, stop by and shop local with Miko + Boone! If you're a designer, talk to one the their staff about their designer resource center downstairs. I can't wait to source some of these beautiful pieces for some lucky clients!

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

A Room With A Hue

What's a parent's greatest joy? When their kids become successful and move out, of course! While being empty nesters means more space and fewer mouths to feed each day, it also means a lot of old furniture and decorations that become a time capsule of 18-year-old-kid-style. 

In the case of these clients, they wanted to update their daughter's childhood bedroom from a whimsical blue and yellow teen bedroom with a traditional style to an inviting and more modern guest room for hosting family. Mrs. Client made a few attempts at updating on her own over time by bringing in antique twin beds to make space for more guests and purchasing upholstered stools that double as luggage racks. However, she felt like it just wasn't going anywhere so she brought me in! 

Merging styles is one of my favorite things to do at Susie Mae Design. These homeowners have a traditional style but they want to take it in a more modern direction while still maintaining their personal style. Having a room redesigned doesn't have to mean buying all new everything and starting from scratch--sometimes it may, but in this case, we were able to use a lot of pieces they already owned and just give them a quick facelift.  

BEFORE

Before we got started, the room was a flat pale blue and the trim was a deep glossy cream. The beds had traditional blue and yellow quilts. The oil rubbed bronze stools at the ends of the beds disappeared on the dark stained wood of the footboards. The room was laid out in the most efficient way, but there were a few things that needed to be changed to make it feel more open. The color needed updating and the lamp in the middle of the window was blocking the light streaming in from outside. This is one of the best parts of this room--dreamy daylight! The dresser in between the windows was not necessary as this bedroom is only being used for a guest room and storage is no longer an issue. The blockiness of the dresser made the room feel too heavy. Let's get to the afters!

AFTER

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Remember our post about when white does and doesn't work in a room? This room is one of those where it works beautifully! Lots of light pours into this room all day long, making it a perfect candidate for white walls. We chose to paint the ceiling a bright, fresh, flat white and the walls and trim in egg shell Dover White by Sherwin Williams. Painting the trim and the walls the same shade gives this room an airy feel and "adults it up" a bit. Dover White has just the slightest hint of warmth in it which goes beautifully with the warm tones we chose in this room.

The first piece we chose for this room drove the color palette and was the inspiration for the look and feel of the rest. We found these soft, luxurious throws and loved the coral/poppy color. This room needed a punch of color and these throws helped us start that off in the right direction. The homeowner wanted to maintain some traditional elements and I really liked the lines of the twin beds and the benches as well, so we chose to keep those.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

However, the stools disappeared on the footboards. We painted the stools a satin off white and recovered them in a beeeeeeautiful watercolor floral fabric with touches of gold. Something that is really fun to do right now is bring in gold and brass when updating a traditional space. This home has all brass doorknobs and brass is makng a comeback in a big way, so instead of replacing those pieces, we brought in touches of the hue on our fabric, some accessories, and hardware.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

We swapped out the white faux wood blinds for bamboo shades for a more modern look and replaced the yellow and white striped valance with some custom made drapes. Custom made....for someone else! When you're on a budget, a great resource is a drapery workroom or decorator warehouse (like this one) that often has custom made high quality draperies that either didn't fit or a client was unhappy with them. Sometimes, it may be that there are only one or two panels. In this case, we found these gorgeous panels (fabric I'd already been eyeing for the space!) originally made for $525 for the custom client on sale for $75!!! My client had a gift card for the store for $50 so we scored $525 custom drapes for $25! Talk about an insane deal! We already loved the fabric and were talking of making window coverings with it so we knew it was meant to be! Picking up some extra, the handy homeowner made the box pleat valance at the dimensions I requested. Is she good, or what?!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

The window has just enough space on either side to mount the hardware for a valance and we took advantage of every inch for maximum impact.  

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

In the before, the room seemed so heavy with the weight of the wooden beds and the dresser in un-matched stains and styles. It took a little searching, but we came across this beauty at a consignment shop. I wanted something wider than the dresser that would sit either just under the window sill or flush with it. The turned legs had that traditional flair I was looking for and the open shelving meant more storage without the visual weight. I painted this a snap pea green to bring in a more playful element and to pick up on the greens in the floral fabric.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Another great resource for decorating on a budget is a hotel liquidation store. There are a few in Georgia and they're quite the treasure hunt! We found these lamps with the exact right green translucent portion for $20 each! I wouldn't recommend going there looking for something in particular, but it's worth checking out and if you see something you love, maybe store it for future use! The stock is constantly changing. For this room, the hotel function on the lamps is convenient for guests. The room feels like a boutique hotel and also a home all at once. 

Photos by Christina Wedge

Photos by Christina Wedge

Every room needs a personal touch, even the guest rooms! We chose to use a wool throw the homeowner's mother crocheted to warm up the room for chilly Christmas-time visits. It's such a beautiful touch!

Photos by Christina Wedge

Photos by Christina Wedge

Speaking of personal touches, Not only did my client sew all her own pillows using the fabrics and pillow sizes we selected, but she had a great selection of artwork in storage in the bonus room. We chose three paintings of homes, two of which were collected on a trip with her husband to Bermuda, and one brought back from a mission trip to Trinidad by the very daughter who used to sleep in this room each night. We framed them all in gold/brass frames and balanced them on the opposite wall with a large print of "The Secret Garden" which was the homeowner's favorite book as a child. The mirrors were a find my client already had as well. They had a cottagey feel with the original paint colors, so we painted them cream and added Rub 'n Buff in antique gold to the edges to tie in the touches of gold around the room. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

One of my favorite touches in a room is hardware. Why add boring knobs if you can use a beautiful textured gold knob that looks like a tiny piece of art, or a hand painted knob, or knobs like these! These little beauties jumped out at me when I was casually shopping in Anthropologie (more accurately, I was getting knots in my stomach because I wanted EVERYTHING). I just knew these were the final touch I'd been looking for. The knobs are made from new bone china and have the same watercolor look as the floral fabric we chose for the stools and throw pillows. It doesn't hurt a bit that they have a hint of gold on the edges!

Photos by Christina Wedge

Photos by Christina Wedge

A guest room isn't complete without cards to write either thank you notes or letters home to tell about your trip. It's old-fashioned, but a real card beats an e-card (unless its a dancing elf with your face on it Jib Jab style) any day of the week! Also, give guests an alarm clock so they can stay unplugged but won't miss out on any fun you have planned for them. This clock and tray for the cards had both a little black to help anchor the room and touches of the gold hues I wanted to bring in whenever I could. 

Photos by Christina Wedge

Photos by Christina Wedge

Flowers and a live plant are an essential to almost any room. They bring life and brightness just by being there! I love these tulips! They're the perfect colors for the room and really make it feel welcoming.

We hope you enjoyed this little tour of a one room makeover on a budget completed by Susie Mae Design and we hope you feel inspired to tackle some projects in your own home so you can enjoy it more than ever! 

Interested in getting started? Give me (Susie) a call! I'd love to work with you to achieve the home style you've been hoping for!

Six Interior Design Trends to Look for in 2016

If you're planning any changes to your home in the coming year, check out these trends to get inspired before you begin working. 

Photo of a version of my dream home...

Photo of a version of my dream home...

 

From state-of-the art kitchens to smart appliances, prefab modern modular homes to airstream trailers, this year’s Dwell on Design conference was not to be missed. Everything from the latest in smart home technology to the latest innovations in textile manufacturing could be found in this 650,000 square foot venue celebrating its 10th anniversary. For the rest of 2015 and beyond, here are the trends that will be driving retail globally:

Interior Design Trend No. 1: Bringing The Outdoors In

From decorating compact apartments with greenery to turning expansive backyards into glamping adventures, consumers are experimenting with how to bring nature into every aspect of their homes. HGTV’s David Bromstadexplained that this means that consumers will be buying furniture they can use indoors and outdoors. In terms of interior decor, lifestyle expert Justina Blakeney shared that wall decor, accessories and small plant life inspired items are going to be hot. Great resources include Grandin Road and Apartment 2B.

Interior Design Trend No. 2: Source Artisan Goods

From tassels and basketry to macrame and crochet, weaving is in. To embrace this trend, lifestyle expert Justina Blakeney advises consumers to be inspired by local finds. LG Studio artistic advisor Nate Berkus encourages shoppers to buy locally made and globally crafted goods. Berkus also states that consumers should not be afraid to mix vintage and artisanal items with mass produced goods. Consumers should not miss the opportunity to pair a Mongolian lambskin pouf and Moroccan rug next to a Target coffee table, for example. Great resources are for the design trade to explore include Nova FiberSource Art, YP.com, Deny Designs, and Saatchi Art.

Interior Design Trend No. 3: Minerals Are In

While polished geodes attached to lucite bases have been all the rage, minerals are going au natural now. Watch for bowls of pyrite on tables, big chunks of quartz used as display pieces and unpolished semi-precious stones turned into door pulls. Great resources include Lost & Found in Los Angeles or Casa Forte Studio.

Interior Design No. 4: Tiles Are Going Geometric

Decorative backsplashes have gone strong for a long time. Designers are expecting to see consumers gravitating towards more geometric patterns that feature fluid movement. Cement and even wood are going to play a significant role in achieving this. Whether it is a backsplash, an intricately patterned floor or a countertop, fluid geometry is coming in strong. Great resources include Astek Wallcovering by Thelma Valenzuela or a design professional from Decorist.

Interior Design Trend No 5: Mix Metallics and Metals

The 1950s and 1970s are hot trends in fashion design collections right now, and it is no different in interiors. Midcentury Mod with brass, gold and metallic finishes are popular right now. Get ready to embrace some retro bling. Great resources include Midcentury LA or Urban Colony.

Interior Design Trend No. 6:  Make it Sustainable

From the foam in our couches to the the foundations that prefab homes are laid on, Dwell president Michela Abrams noted that sustainability is at the heart of anything that is being manufactured today. Recycling, repurposing, reinventing and reusing are all things that consumers are beginning to consider when they make purchases today. Great resources include Resource FurnitureCustom Comfort Mattress and Living Homes.

 

Today's post is reblogged from Macala Wright. I added photos to illustrate, but all text (aside from captions) after the first photo come from Macala Wright's blog. Click through images for sources.

The Recipe for an Inviting Home

You know when you open the pages of a design magazine and find yourself face to face (or face to page, rather) with a home that is so thoughtfully curated and put together that you just want to walk right in? The vibe in a home like that feels collected and handed down, and yet somehow still cohesive. This is my very favorite type of design work! It's hard to achieve a look that appears like it's been 20 years in the making even if it only took a designer a matter of weeks to pull off.

This, friends, is why you hire a designer! It's easy enough to walk into a store and buy everything that goes together or that comes in a set, but to have a home that feels so inviting and warm, one that has been very thoughtfully crafted with pieces that may not even be in the same specific style but create that inviting appeal, that's something a designer can help you achieve with their expertise, time, and talents!

Today, I want us to take a tour together of a home by designer Mary Margaret Nevin of Nevin Interiors to illustrate the recipe for an inviting home.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe:

  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Cohesive Color Palette (plus pops of others!)
  • Rhythm
  • Eclectic Mix of Styles
  • Something Funky
  • Something Playful
  • Something Serious
  • Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Bl...wait a minute, wrong recipe!
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

This room has each of the ingredients needed for your recipe. The rug has a soft pattern, as do the pillows. There's a rhythm created by the warm straw tones in the side tables, rug, and upholstered pieces. Texture is found in the rug, side tables, window treatments and upholstery. The eclectic mix of furniture is the real hero in this room! Bringing in elements from different eras of design in an intentional way makes the room look like a worldly collection, lovingly gathered over the years. The design isn't obvious in its newness, but is obvious in its success.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

PATTERN! PATTERN! PATTERN!

RHYTHM! RHYTHM! RHYTHM!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Something fun and a pop of color are both represented in this painting. Artwork is a great way to bring in one or both of these ingredients AND support local artists. Original artwork cannot be beat and sets a much more personal and unique tone in a space.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Speaking of something fun, a light fixture isn't a piece that has to take itself too seriously. Lighting that is a little custom and funky gives this breakfast nook a little oomf! Who knows? Maybe oomf in a light fixture is just what we all need to wake up a little while eating breakfast.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

A well-appointed and thoughtfully put together home is possible! We suggest hiring a designer as it will save you time and money in the long run, and will leave you with a home you'll love for years and years to come!

Home Free: Episode Two Before & After

If you've been watching Home Free on Fox, then you know the gold team has been on top for two weeks in a row! We're all on that bus and heading to our third build challenge with a lot of beautiful spaces left for a deserving family behind us.

Each house that gets renovated on Home Free is totally remodeled from top to bottom, any water leaks or other big issues are repaired, and everything cosmetic you can imagine is addressed and well-dressed. 

Here are the images of the BEFORE/AFTER. The before is pretty rough, huh? This week's challenge was to convert this home from its current horrifying state to a beautiful cottage retreat. Since we were sequestered, I didn't have a camera, and therefore, only have images from FOX.com. There are many things I wish I could show you, but these will have to do for now!

House Exterior BEFORE

House Exterior BEFORE

House Exterior AFTER

House Exterior AFTER

Most of the exterior of the house, including the picket fence and walkway was the responsibility of the green team. They used reclaimed bricks on a walkway closer to the house, gravel down the middle walkway, Ricky, Heather, Ben and Kasey installed a picket fence, and Ore and Tiffany built shutters and planter boxes for the windows. 

Entry BEFORE

Entry BEFORE

Entry AFTER

Entry AFTER

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER

Kitchen AFTER

The living room and kitchen were also the duty of the green team. They chose a sort of Carolina Blue for the walls, Andi and Kate designed and installed a wallpaper based on a rubbing of a metal backsplash tile in their design kit, Ben and Kasey, built a coffee table with storage (top lifts up as pictured), Ricky and Heather installed a tile backsplash, and the whole green team furnished the space and styled it.

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom AFTER

Our team (gold team) was also tasked with designing and hanging a wallpaper for one of our spaces. Lauren and Josh did a BEAUTIFUL job! The judges said the wallpaper is too modern but I think it's just right. The metallic detail on the quilt-inspired octagonal shapes is a nod to traditional cottage, but with a more updated, urban feel. The house is somewhat near Atlanta, after all, so urban inspiration is perfect. We picked out the furniture as a team, and Victor suggested we pick a deep blue trim to match the velvet chair and bench we selected. I picked a color that I thought most closely matched the image of the chair we had and I LOVE IT! The color is a great compliment to the deeper blue hues in the room and really amps up the drama of this cool and calming cottage master bedroom. 

Lauren and Josh styled this room while I was busy downstairs styling the media room. It's a really great thing to be on a team that trusts one another. We knew that even with our team divided into three spaces during the final stages, that we would come away with designs we were extremely proud of and that we could all stand behind.

Master Bath BEFORE

Master Bath BEFORE

Master Bath AFTER

Master Bath AFTER

Just look at that wallpaper and that velvet chair! LOVE!

Unfinished Basement BEFORE

Unfinished Basement BEFORE

Unfinished Basement AFTER

Unfinished Basement AFTER

The basement of this house had so much unused space! However, it was very damp and gross. A problem with a crack in the foundation meant a pretty big undertaking for the average homeowner. Thankfully, the Home Free Team brought in the experts and after Victor and I ground down the paint off of the cinder blocks, they showed us how to apply strips of carbon fiber supports that act like steel beams. The wall was reinforced with the carbon fiber, and a weeping system was installed to prevent any future water damage. The basement is now comfortable and dry! 

After we got the big problems resolved, we got to work on creating a media room. This room was a labor of love. Victor and I painted the mural of the trees you see in the background (would love a closer picture of that!). It's multi-layered. Victor loves science and fractal patterns. I love fractal patterns as well--but really just because of aesthetics. Together, we made this mural with layers of colors from lightest/least detailed in the background (think how the mist makes the woods look lighter in the distance), mid tones and medium detail in the middle, and darkest and most detailed colors in the foreground. I am in love with this mural. It took us a long time because the entire thing was freehanded, but it was totally worth it! 

I would love to have an image of the other side of this room, but I don't have that yet. What's just to the right in this shot is a 70 inch TV! It's absolutely massive and perfect for watching a movie. We chose a nice medium blue/gray for the walls and a slightly lighter shade of blue for the ceiling. In a media room, you want the walls to not bounce off too much light so that the movie watching experience is more like a theater. We didn't want to go too dark on the walls, however, since the space has no windows and would be very dark and feel smaller with darker walls. 

To the left of this image is a set of beautiful sconces with a mirrored back that reflected Edison bulbs really nicely and added to the movie theater feeling.  We selected a comfy sectional and brought in plenty of comfy pillows in grays, blues, and golden rod yellow to add a complimenting pop of color (which is also in the mural!). 

We wanted to use reclaimed and cottage materials as often as possible in our spaces. Josh had a great idea to make a handrail out of the discarded pieces of wood siding from the outside of the house. Victor and I sanded them down to be smooth to the touch and applied plenty of coats of furniture wax to bring out all of the beautiful, natural wood tones. I love how they turned out! 

Josh and Lauren made a game table out of an electrical spool and a light fixture out of reclaimed metal tubing (I think from duct work?) and rope. They used Edison bulbs here to compliment the ones on the wall sconces, and there were touches of rope throughout the room that the light fixture picked up on as well. My only regret about this area is that there were no rugs that fit the space--I recommend that Heather and Ricky find a nice 6 foot round rug for that area! :)

Garage BEFORE (I think they meant to post a photo of the other side of the basement, but this is clearly the garage--but you get the idea. It looked bad and wet and there were lots of cinder blocks and poles and electrical wires hanging down)

Garage BEFORE (I think they meant to post a photo of the other side of the basement, but this is clearly the garage--but you get the idea. It looked bad and wet and there were lots of cinder blocks and poles and electrical wires hanging down)

Finished Basement AFTER

Finished Basement AFTER

The basement had two large areas that were not being used before, so we utilized both. We actually found a discarded toilet and sink in good condition we wanted to use to add a bathroom to the other side of the stairs, but that wasn't possible in the timeframe, unfortunately. What we were able to do was make a huge gym!

Kathy used to be a fitness instructor so this was definitely in her wheelhouse. We deferred to her on what equipment we should get, how we should lay everything out, and if we needed ceiling fans (and duh, we did!). The ceiling was tricky in this space because of codes in Georgia that require ductwork to be fully accessible from the basement. We had to change our approach and as a group, we decided on a board and batten ceiling to make it look more cottage style (as cottage as a gym can look, anyway), and cut around the duct work. Kathy and Brian did a great job and even handled the styling on their own! I came by and moved like two things around, per Kathy's request--but she didn't need me, she had already done an amazing job! 

I would love to have an image of this room from the other angle as well. As a group, we all worked on a ladder from a reclaimed pile that holds gym towels, painted the darker blue of the theater room walls, and just slightly roughed up to look a little more weather-worn. We also built a table out of kitchen cabinet doors and reclaimed wood. MJ and the design team couldn't even believe it was built with found pieces! That was truly a piece of team work--everyone touched it at one point or the other to make a great stand for storage and to hold a mini-fridge for smoothies, bottled water, and protein shakes for post-workout refreshment. 

Guest Bath BEFORE

Guest Bath BEFORE

Guest Bath AFTER

Guest Bath AFTER

The spaces not designed by the contestants were designed by the amazing design team, The Design Hunters. They also supported all of us contestants, giving us design packets with all of our furniture choices, took orders for things we needed, and shopped for all of the styling pieces after getting an idea for what we needed in our spaces. I'm in awe of their composure! They worked many, many long hours with pure grace. Truly and incredible and talented team!

Office/Guest Bedroom BEFORE

Office/Guest Bedroom BEFORE

Office/Guest Bedroom AFTER

Office/Guest Bedroom AFTER

Guest Bedroom BEFORE

Guest Bedroom BEFORE

Guest Bedroom AFTER

Guest Bedroom AFTER

Deck BEFORE

Deck BEFORE

Deck AFTER

Deck AFTER

I think this house turned out beautifully! What do you think?

Be sure to tune in to Home Free on Fox, tomorrow night at 9/8c!

Ends In Style: The Year In Review

It's been a year of blogging, and what a year it's been! I think we've done a pretty good job, especially considering that we're only one! One year olds typically can't even talk yet, right? And here we are, typing away--practically prodigies! 

As we reflect over this past year and look forward to the future; planning our next steps as a photography/styling/blogging duo, we are taking the time to go back and enjoy our favorite posts from the past year. So here they are, our top five posts from year one of Ends In Style!

1. Spotlight on Writer/Editor/Producer/Stylist: Lisa Mowry

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Lisa Mowry is what some people might call a modern times Renaissance woman, writing, editing, styling and producing features for home and lifestyle magazines.  We caught up with her to get the inside scoop on her life and career. Click here for the full article. 

2. Frugal Friday Fashion: Winter Looks

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Four fun winter outfits modeled by me and Alex, photos by Christina. I felt inspired to style the shoot with some layers, textures, and unexpected combinations from our closets and by doing a little shopping, too! Click here to read the entire article.

3. Halloween Entertaining: Not-So-Predictable Tabletop Decor

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Halloween usually conjures up images of cotton spiderwebs, orange and black decor, and anything bloody, gory, or just plain scary.  Well we don't think that your Halloween Entertaining Experience needs to be so literal this year.  Why not inject a little style into your decor? Last October, we put a different spin on Halloween entertaining and we think you'll love it! Click here to read the entire article. 

4. Comfortable, Peaceful Interiors: How to Achieve the Mood

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

These spaces by designer Jennifer Schoenberger are a wonderful example of livable, comfortable, and relaxing design. The use of patterns and colors throughout the connected spaces tie them together and make the home feel like one continuous, harmonious space but with a few distinct characteristics in each room to keep them interesting on their own as well. Click here to read the entire article. 

5. Mother's Day Soiree

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

For Mother's Day this year, we styled an intimate little backyard party with friends and parents. It was a beautiful day with beautiful company. We again used layering to create a more interesting table top with varied colors and textures and mixture of wood and metallic tones. We think you'll love the look and be inspired to try your own garden party by following our simple tips. Click here and here to read the entire article. 

 

Thank you for stopping by and for reading! We love our followers and can't wait to show you what we've got in store for the coming year. Have some ideas of topics or style challenges you'd like to see us tackle? Let us know in the comments below! We love to hear what our readers like. 


Not All Rooms Can Pull Off White

This post, "Biggest Design Mistakes: Painting a Small/Dark Room WHITE" is reblogged from Emily Henderson from her beautiful and constantly inspirational site. I came across it today as I had just sent over a design plan for a client that included white walls. YIKES! Thankfully, I'm certain white will work in this space so disaster averted. But, if you are in doubt, this article is very helpful and includes some of my favorite Benjamin Moore paints as alternatives when a room cannot go white. 

Without further ado, here's the post from Style by Emily Henderson!

 

I like a good, bright white room, sure, but it’s not for everyone. It’s like how some people can pull off really wild, crazy disheveled, sun-blown hair, and look cool while others look like they just finished the walk of shame, in 1987 – it really depends on all the other styling elements.

But there is this misconception flying out there, seemingly promoted by people exactly like me, that painting all rooms white will make them feel bigger, brighter and just generally more beautiful. For some it does, but if the room has very little natural light then it just looks DEAD. Flat. So boring. In photographs we can make any room look really bright, like the sun is just flooding them with light, (and we do) but it’s often VERY much not the case. White paint thrives in really bright rooms (like my living room and bedroom) but without that light bouncing around it, nothing happens.

Keep reading to see what neutral colors you should paint your dark rooms …It was hard to find white rooms online that weren’t clearly shot cheated to look brighter, but we found a few, relatively depressing/flat ones:

Those rooms would have looked WILDLY more alive and inviting if they were painted a medium tone – a neutral that has some pigment in it. Stick to white in rooms like these, below, that have a lot of sun light, otherwise, folk, you gotta consider a neutral color.

I’ve had to break the news to clients so many times – white is just not right for you and your room. It’s like breaking the news that the kitty they rescued from the pound belongs to another family. They show me their pin board with blown out white rooms, airy curtains flapping in the breeze, sunlight pouring in (and us California designer/bloggers are not helping the situation), with the look of eager hope on their faces. But their walls are heavy, their windows are small, and they face south … with an awning. Their room will never look like that and moreover will look just so sad if we don’t add some sort of tone to the walls to help give it some dimension, depth and texture. It’s disappointment followed by ‘so what do we do now??;

A neutral paint color is the answer.

But first, how do you know if you room has enough natural light to be painted white? Ask yourself – do you need to turn on lights during the day in that room? If so, then consider a neutral/medium toned color. I’m in my family room/kitchen right now (its 7am) and I have to turn on lights but around 10am the sun comes around and it gets bright in here and then in the afternoon its pretty bright, often where we have to close the shade. So don’t judge it by just one time of day (and obviously not at night, duh). But if your room never gets enough light to read without a lamp, then white isn’t for you or it. Move along. You’ll be happier you went with a gray or taupe or blue.

I’m not saying paint it a dark color. If it’s a smaller sized room then yes, be careful, a darker paint color will make it feel smaller (and cozier) so generally unless you want a small cozy room I’m suggesting a medium toned neutral. Not dark, just not white. If you are wondering if the rule applies to bright rooms – not being dark, it doesn’t. Bright rooms can pull off any color – light, medium or black, its dark rooms that are trickier and just can’t go WHITE.

So here are some neutral tones that I have found work really well in darker rooms – colors that have some movement in them to help move and bounce the light around  – so it actually looks like it does something.

Before you go ordering gallons of those paint colors PLEASE sample them on your wall. I’ve used November Rain now 3 times and it’s always been beautiful, but your particular room and light might pull the brown out of it whereas my old living room pulled the blue out it. At this point I’ve painted hundreds of rooms, with a 75% success rate, and i’m a designer. So please swatch them on paper or directly on the walls and yes MULTIPLE walls because light reflects color around differently on different walls. Then watch it for 24 hours to make sure that you like how it is both in the morning and in the evening.

Unless you don’t have the patience to do that, like me 1/2 the time, and you are willing to waste time/money by just going balls out and painting the room, to then be like well, whoops… that looks kinda green … 

Those neutrals above are just an off-the-top-of-my-head collection, so if you have a favorite neutral please leave in the comments so the world can be full of appropriately painted toned walls, and the myth that ‘every wall should be white’ can be finally dispelled.

White walls = good if lots of natural light and bad if not.

See design mistake #1 (the generic sofa) and #2 (the too small rug).


This article is original content from Style By Emily Henderson. It is reblogged here on Ends In Style for our readers. 

Spotlight On: Lori May

Happy Monday, everyone! Today, we're turning the spotlight on Lori May, interior designer and owner of Lori May Interiors here in Atlanta. Let's get to know her! 

Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

How did you get your start?

I have always loved making my surroundings beautiful.  Before my interior design career, I was a corporate buyer and product designer.  International travel was a huge part of my job.  I loved the travel, but once we started our family, I no longer wished to be away all those weeks each year.  I had also always wanted to have my own business.  I made the decision to leave the corporate life and start my own company.  I was able to create my own boutique design firm that married a high level of customer service with my feeling that everyone deserves a beautiful home. It has given me the best of both worlds, the ability to do what I love and the flexibility to spend more time with my family.
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

 

Was there one job or contact that set the course of your career?

My job with The Bombay Company changed my life.  I grew up in a town of 2500 people.  I had not been on a plane until I was in my 20’s.  With The Bombay Company, I traveled all over the world.  I designed my own product.  My love of interiors was expanded by the flavors and colors of all of the places I visited.  Paris, London, New York, California, Hong Kong, Beijing, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and India 
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

What is your favorite/most successful way to advertise?

We provide an incredibly high level of customer service and work hard to create long term relationships with our clients.  It is our goal to create an unparalleled experience for each client.  Because of this, our clients are our best advertisements. 
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

If there was one thing you could change about your career, what would it be?

I would have started my design firm earlier! 
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

What is your favorite stress reliever?

My favorite stress reliever is a cup of Jasmine tea on my back porch.  
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

What is your favorite destination?

It is so hard to say!  I have so many favorites.  There is a sweet cottage in the mountains that we try to get to at least once a year.  There are very few places that I find as relaxing as this place.  Simple, beautiful, serene.  We hike, we visit the small mountain towns and we just relax.  It helps that I get no cell service there at all!   I always leave incredibly invigorated and inspired.  
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

Thank you for joining us while we put the spotlight on Lori May of Lori May Interiors! If you'd like to know more about Lori, get in touch with her via her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.