Living Room

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

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!