Interior Photography

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

A Funky Kirkwood Cottage by Susie Mae Design

Hello everyone! I'm finally posting about this master suite and guest bathroom that I promised I would post about a million years ago. I'm getting preeeetty good at this protracted posting schedule :) 

Christina and I are both in the midst of renovations. Which, as you may have experienced yourself, typically uncover some fairly interesting issues. So, we've been sorting through stacks of wood, dust, cans of paint, tile samples, and plenty of stress. In times like this, it's nice to look back on finished projects that are clean and pretty and don't have stacks of junk everywhere. 

I'm very lucky for several reasons (and here are just a couple). One, because I have a job that I love and clients who are really great to work with. And two, because I get to work with Christina who so beautifully captures interiors and graciously agrees to photograph my work for our blog. 

I love the calm white bedding and cool neutral walls with the more active prints and colorful accessories. This client lives in a fun Kirkwood bungalow and is not afraid of color and pattern mixing--I love that! 

We chose to anchor the room with touches of black, including this fabulous table by Jonathan Adler. It's such a gorgeous black laquer finish and the pagoda style is classic and modern all at once. We had to wait a while on this one as it was custom ordered, and the finish and hardware we chose is no longer available. But it was worth the wait! 

Now, for my favorite part of the room. The fabrics!!!! On this king sized bed, which is a Beauty Rest Black Hybrid (plug for my hubby's company), we used 3 Euro shams in the same style as the duvet cover. In front of that, we had two custom king shams made with the most sumptuous and beautiful Laura Kirar for Highland Court embroidered material with green backing and piping. From the moment I saw this material in a presentation by the Duralee rep at Miko + Boone Home, I knew I HAD to use it! More specifically, I want a dress made with it but I figured something beautiful in my client's home was more appropriate... for now ;)

Let's not overlook the drapery material, which you will see again in the master bathroom. It's a white background with black polka dots that get thicker and thinner to create stripes. So, pattern mixing in one material? Oh yeah!

We finished the space with a simple gallery wall in soft colors. 

For the master bathroom, my client was very adventurous! I suggested we paint the walls black and she said "Sounds good!". It's a bold statement, but it works since the tile and countertops are light and reflect a lot of natural light coming in through the window. The master bath is also just off the bedroom, so it connects the two rooms with that anchor black color we used on the drapery, side table, and rug. 

My client had these gorgeous, colorful prints of birds. They were the perfect addition to the bathroom walls. Large, white mats were used with white frames to make them pop off the wall and add a little more light and bright to the bold bathroom walls.

The bathroom has plenty of good storage, but for a little extra towel storage and decorative appeal, we added a simple white cart. This could be used as a bar cart, but they don't have to be used just for bars! 

Perhaps my favorite part of the bathroom is the towel rack. Acrylic antlers! Aren't they cute? The layout of the bathroom doesn't have enough wall space just by the shower for an easily accessible towel just after a shower, so now my client has a place to keep her towel and she doesn't have to get water all over the floor. 

Ok, ok, so I may have another favorite part of this project. This wallpaper!!!! It's a block printed grasscloth in a natural tone with white zebra print. It's important to have a good wallpaper installer for grasscloth, especially the kind that needs to be trimmed first. There's something so spa like about this bathroom, and yet also funky-cool.  

Again, my client already had this artwork and it is the perfect style for the room being that it is a bathing lady.  

This was such a fun project to do! My client and I have just started two other rooms and we've begun ordering, so more from this fun house to come in a bit! 

 

 

Design by Susie Mae Design. All photos by Christina Wedge Photography. Written by Susie Prince. All photos by Christina Wedge Photography. 

Master 'Sweet'

Sometimes there are clients who are more than just clients. They become friends and people who make you smile with each Bitmoji* they send. I've been extremely lucky so far in my career. So lucky in fact, that almost all of my clients feel like this to me, though not all of them send me Bitmoji...yet... But honestly, my clients are great people who are fun to be around and generally make me love my job even more! My client, Shannon, is one of those sweet people (see why I spelled suite like that now?). 

*If you do not yet have Bitmoji, do yourself a favor and get it now. It's ridiculous and wonderful.

When we first met to discuss this project, Shannon wasn't sure what her style was or how to achieve what she wanted, but we worked together to narrow in on what she really likes. We determined a palette of wine, mint and gold. While that may not make a delicious flavor combo, it does make a very pretty color combination! Thank you, Shannon, for trusting me and for being bold with the purple! 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

To start with, we added crown moulding. The ceilings in this master are nice and high, and the crown helps to draw the eye upward. We painted all of the trim in the room a dark wine color and the walls a cool neutral hue. Before we started the project, the ceiling was a deep tan in high gloss....yikes. And the walls were a combination of blues and greens and the color differences were hard to detect because the light was only coming from a small light in a ceiling fan hung way up high. So we ditched the ceiling fan in favor of a large chandelier in gold with glass hurricanes. It casts beautiful light throughout the room and is much more interesting than the ceiling fan. The ceiling in now a fresh white and the walls are all the same color. For extra trim detail, we hung ceiling medallions painted in the same color as the trim.  

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

To repeat the geometric pattern and gold accents from the chandelier and other accessories, we chose these Nate Berkus side tables with a marble top. To my delight, the marble has a little purple in it! 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

We repurposed a few pieces Shannon already had, like this bench which we recovered in a beautiful mint and gold greek key fabric which is repeated in the giant round lumbar pillow. More geometric gold pieces and mint floral tie things together.

Shannon has a great art collection and some pieces that already had purple in them--perfect! A custom headboard in a deep purple linen with nail heads by Craftmasters Upholstery. The guys at Craftmasters lovingly named this headboard "Barney" while it was in their warehouse and they definitely thought I was crazy for designing this, but they came around once everything was in place. The name Barney has kind of stuck, especially since he has been making a bit of a comeback on the internet lately. 

I saw this rug at the Mart in January at Noa Living and it stopped me in my tracks! It's handmade with recycled silk saris. The women who make these rugs live in Africa and are paid fair wages for their time and talents. I love learning more about companies that are fair trade. It's not common, but it's good! They sort the silk and hand tie each piece! Because it's silk, the color changes depending on the side of the rug you're on--it's incredible. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

How about that window?! I love it! It's shape inspired Barney, the headboard.

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Custom drapes make such a huge difference in a space! These drapes were made by Martha & Ash, company out of South Caroline making pillows, dog beds, and mostly, drapes. Their turnaround time is insanely fast. I'm not sure how they do it, but I'm glad they do! We wanted the drapes to feel relaxed and casual. The room has gilded pieces and some "fancy pants" fabrics mixed with linen and more lived-in fabrics, so the goal with these drapes was to tie it all together in a casual, homey way. I love how the color blocking turned out! If you are interested in drapes like these, check out Martha & Ash. They have readymade and custom options as well. 

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

This dresser by Phillips Scott (my new favorite company) is so pretty! Pictures don't do it justice. It feels like butter and the drawers glide like a dream! Phillips Scott, if you need a z-list non-celeb spokeswoman, I'll take a meeting ;)

The ottoman in the reading nook is one of my favorite pieces in the room. Shannon had the oversized chair already and we didn't think it needed to be reupholstered, so to tie in the ottoman she already had, we used a tone-on-tone cheetah (I <3 animal prints) and a contrasting piping in the same material and color as the chair. I just love how it turned out! It reminds me of the ottoman/dog in Beauty and the Beast only less fringe and barking. 

Photo by Christina Wedge,&nbsp;Design by Susie Mae Design

Photo by Christina Wedge, Design by Susie Mae Design

And last but not least, I adore this floral fabric! It has little hints of gold and I absolutely love it. The gold and marble lamp for reading gives me major lamp envy! Shannon has a comfy nook with a lot of style and now she has the master suite of her dreams! I'd love to help you achieve the master suite or any other room that you desire, too! Contact me via Susie Mae Design today. And if you have a gorgeous room you want photographed, Christina Wedge is a straight up genius and also is a lot of fun!

 

Spotlight On: Studio M

We at Ends In Style love to support and highlight other creatives in the Atlanta market. We love to see other people succeed in their chosen field and to be inspired by their work. Today, we're turning the spotlight an inspiring girl power design duo, Studio M Interiors! Just try not to be inspired by their work in the photos below. Just gorgeous and vibrant! 

Let's get to know them a little better:

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

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?

Marni: The upcoming 10 year anniversary of Studio M Interiors. I saw a quote recently that said 'I once went job hunting. Hired Myself. Never looked back'. Growing my own company and making a name for it has been incredibly rewarding. We're proud of the awards we've received including several 'Before and After' Contest awards and we were excited to be nominated for an IIDA BOB award this year for our Cambria Showroom project. Also, several years ago I was recognized as one of The Atlantan's 'Women of Power and Influence.’
Jennifer: Being able to stay busy during the downturn of the economy is a ‘milestone’ that we are very proud of. We are a unique firm in that we do a combination of projects ranging from residential, multifamily, and boutique commercial which means that we are able to flex with the markets in the Southeast depending on which sector is busiest at the time. I have also participated with several charity organizations to offer my design skills and time to help others which is the biggest blessing and accomplishment I can think of.

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

How did you become a designer and where did you learn your skills?

Marni: I always knew I wanted to be a designer. When I was 10 years old I wrote a paper on what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said 'a successful residential designer in Dallas, TX.' I used to shadow an interior designer cousin of my Mom's for fun. Coincidentally, I ended up going to The University of Texas at Austin. Unlike most of my friends, I knew from day one what my major was going to be and actually stuck with it through college. Somehow I persevered trying to land my first job at a design firm during a very bad economy and the rest is history!

Jennifer: Being an interior designer is just something I innately knew I wanted to be, even as a child. My parents were often displeased at my incessant need to rearrange my room, whoops! I attended Valdosta State University to study interior design, embarking in design immediately out of school in 2010 after moving to Atlanta. I began working as a designer at a high-end home furnishings retailer until I was offered a full-time position at Studio M in 2011. So many of the skills I’ve acquired have been learned in the field while practicing. Design is ever-changing and your roles can range from pillow-fluffer to full-on counselor, so being able to think on your toes creatively is crucial.

 

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?

Marni: This is a loaded question! Seriously though, it's a constant process of trial and error. Mainly, I have to set boundaries and stick with them. I try my best to remember to make time for myself. Sometimes I go as far as blocking out an appointment with myself in order to make it happen.
Jennifer: The world of design is very tricky. It has a way of blending into your everyday life, sun up to sun down, particularly in a small business such as ours. There is always something to be done and never enough time in the day to do it all. I have tried (successfully, after much trial and error) to set a schedule each day and stick with it. Having a regimented work time schedule means nights and weekends are mine to spend on other things without feeling guilty. I do frequently attend industry events and am on the board of Design Collective Atlanta, but I always try to leave myself enough time and energy to do things that I enjoy outside of design. 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

 

What's your favorite destination?

 

Marni: I am enamored by Rome, Italy. I find it inspirational from a design standpoint and I love wandering the streets aimlessly. You never know what you are going to stumble upon.

 

Jennifer: Although my list of future places to visit is extraordinarily long, my favorite place I’ve visited thus far is LA. It has such cool blend of historical sites, outdoor landmarks, and a great food/music scene that we end up doing completely different things each time we visit. On our last trip, we stayed in a early 1900’s Bungalow right off Abbot Kinney which meant we were within walking distance to the beach, wonderful food, great art galleries, amazing coffee shops, live music bars, and the fun people-watching on Venice Boardwalk. 

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge