atlanta designers

Home Free Episode 3: Before and After

As a contestant on Home Free, I was able to design some spaces I am really proud of! We have limited time, limited instruction, limited resources, and limited sleep. Add all that together, and you could get a mess, but what you get instead is a beautiful home that goes to a deserving family each week. 

We got the first hand view, and while we were not able to take our own photos (we had no cameras or phones for the entirety of filming), the Home Free team took a couple photos of our spaces. Some of the spaces I included here were not included in the "before and after" photos of the house, so I had to take screenshots of the show. I apologize for the poor quality of those photos.

Outside BEFORE

Outside BEFORE

Outside AFTER

Outside AFTER

This house was the best of the three so far. Nothing seemed to truly be in terrible condition, it just looked like someone had run out of funds and chose to abandon a project. But honestly, I think we all thought "alright! it's all in once piece!" and we really did see a lot of potential in this property. Not only is the shape of the house attractive, but this house sits on two acres of land surrounded by horse farms. If you're going to live in way outside the city, this is the place to live!

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

This space was done by the design team, The Design Hunters. They designed all of the spaces the contestants did not work on, as well as the exterior of the house on episodes when that was not included in the project list. Originally, this room had a wainscoting treatment at a different height than what we using for the dining room, and the design team worked with us, removing the wainscoting in the living room so that the two did not compete. They were great about working with us and understanding that our designs felt crucial to us!

Dining Room BEFORE

Dining Room BEFORE

Dining Room AFTER

Dining Room AFTER

Dining Room AFTER (apologies for the poor quality screenshot)

Dining Room AFTER (apologies for the poor quality screenshot)

This room turned out to be so much of what we envisioned! Victor and I had the idea to use corrugated metal to create a wainscoting treatment. We used reclaimed boards for the chair rail and cut a rebate along the length of each chair rail and baseboard so that the metal would sit down into both pieces being "sandwiched" into place. In addition to that, we used construction adhesive and pressed the pieces against the wall, paying special attention to the seams to be sure they were totally flat and would not pose any risk of cuts. I think it turned out really beautifully and looks much more upscale and smooth this way. If we had used screws to attach the metal as it is traditionally attached in more utilitarian settings, it would have ruined the smooth aesthetic, essential for keeping the balance of industrial and upscale in this dining room. 

Originally, we planned to make a built-in bench with storage for below the windows. I was going to upholster it, and Victor was going to build it. However, due to some codes, we were not able to make that happen in the amount of time we had since the two of us were busy getting the room put together and finishing the water feature, and everyone else was tied up with their projects. We could feel the pressure on week three of being one team short again!

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom AFTER (poor screenshot)

Master Bedroom AFTER (poor screenshot)

I wish we had drapes for the bay window in the master, but unfortunately, there was a curtain rod mix-up and we did not have the appropriate rod for the bay window upstairs and downstairs. So, we used it downstairs and sacrificed drapes in these windows. I really think this room turned out beautifully. It's calming, serene, and still has that industrial farmhouse edge. On TV, they never mention that when you have "wallpaper in the master" or "art installation in the master" that the team is also responsible for designing and styling the entire room as well. We did, and it was a lot of fun! I think we really came together to make this room look like a cozy master retreat. 

Also, I completely disagree with the decision on who won the art challenge in this episode. I saw both pieces up close, and heard the concept behind both, and I truly believe that Siddiq and Aidah's concept and execution was much better. They planned ahead, hung it beautifully, and it looked finished and thoughtful while still maintaining a rustic charm. 

Master Bathroom BEFORE

Master Bathroom BEFORE

Master Bathroom AFTER

Master Bathroom AFTER

Since we were in charge of the master bedroom and the bathroom was open to the bedroom, we were tasked with designing many features in there as well. This large sink was already chosen, so we selected a mirror, accessories, and the lighting and window coverings to complement the fixtures. We wanted the room to be light, bright, and sort of disappear into the background of the room. Having a master bathroom open to the rest of the room is a bit odd, so by keeping things very neutral and subdued, we made sure the bathroom was pleasant to look at, but did not draw the eye.

Guest Bedroom 1 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 1 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 1 AFTER

Guest Bedroom 1 AFTER

This bedroom completed by The Design Hunters.

Guest Bedroom 2 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 2 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 2 AFTER

Guest Bedroom 2 AFTER

Another bedroom completed by The Design Hunters.

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER

Kitchen AFTER

I love this kitchen! It's a little bit modern, a little bit farmhouse, and a little bit glamorous. This is the room we did our demo in since the dining room did not really require much demo. For some reason, the ceiling was dropped and there was a flourescent light being used there--eek! We removed the ceiling and it was lifted to create more height. That alone made the room feel much bigger. Taking the wall down and opening the kitchen up to the living room made it feel like half of the house is kitchen! It's open and lovely and much more useable now.  

Water Feature

Water Feature

Victor designed this water feature and we built it together. I struggled to get a good screenshot of it as I was playing the show sine none of the photos were included in the before and after shots, so this is the best I have so far. The foutain is made from a clawfoot tub. Victor immediately had a good idea, sketched it out, and then we found some of the main pieces in the reclaimed scrap yard! The idea was to bury about half of the tub as if it had sunk into the ground with the back feet sitting flush with the ground. An old water pump (found) sits on top of a post (also found) and slowly pours water into an old bucket which trickles down into the tub below. The powered water pump is covered with gravel which is pouring out all around the part of the tub that is buried and a hose carrying the water supply was fed up through the post behind the tub, and up into the old water pump. It worked beautifully! We use super-dangerous power tools to grind down the enamel off of the tub to reveal the iron below so that over time, it will rust a little and give the entire feature that rustic old-farmhouse look. We love it and I could not be more proud of Victor! He is an engineer but has worked tirelessly to produce works of art, something that is not in his typical zone. You could say, we are growing by leaps and bounds and while I learned new power tools I'd never used before, he was learning to make art and stretch himself in different ways. 

The barn was also beautiful. I'm proud of both teams for the work we put into this week. However, again, there were no photos of the barn in the before and after photos from FOX, so I don't have any beauties to show of the barn. If you haven't seen this episode, you should check it out for yourself! The work we all put in is intense! It's amazing what we can all accomplish when we work as a team! Watch this episode here

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!

iPhone, Samsung, & Desktop Backgrounds, Oh My!

If your phone background is not a picture of your significant other or pet, you may be interested in a little pick-me-up each time you wake up your computer or swipe your phone screen. Download our free wallpaper and backgrounds to be reminded a little each day that you are gorgeous and fabulous! Simply save an image and make it your background to update your wallpaper for free!

desktop background 1024x768

desktop background 1024x768

desktop background 1280x1024

desktop background 1280x1024

iphone wallpaper

iphone wallpaper

iPhone Wallpaper

iPhone Wallpaper

Samsung Wallpaper

Samsung Wallpaper

Samsung Wallpaper

Samsung Wallpaper

Mother's Day Soiree

With Mother's Day coming up on May 10th, it's time to celebrate the moms in our lives. Hopefully you can be home with your mom to celebrate and throw her a party like the one we had. If you can't be with her, you can party with friends who have children, too! Motherhood is a wonderful thing. I can only imagine the amount of love a mother is able to feel. My own Mama came and helped me and Christina put on this pretty little dinner party. Someday, I hope to be as loving and selfless a mama to my children as she is to me. 

We are so excited to share this party with you. It was a beautiful setting (Thanks, Susan!) with wonderful people all around and yummy food. If you're looking for tutorials, recipes, or DIY decorations for Mother's Day, we have that, too! Here is the post from last week detailing some of our projects to celebrate mothers.

If you're a mom, thank you for raising your children and loving them well! We appreciate mamas!

All photos by Christina Wedge, Styling by Susie Roupe

Shopping Local: Fab'rik

Shopping is so much fun. Buying new clothes gives me that feeling of "ahhh, my wardrobe is so cute!" But sometimes it is followed by a feeling of guilt that maybe I didn't really need that new dress after all, or maybe I should have purchased a cute new dress from a local shop instead of supporting a company that is far from Atlanta. Whatever the reason for the guilt, I think we have a solution (aside from not shopping anymore--which is kind of unthinkable sometimes). 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Supporting our local economy is something that is important to many of us, and yet, often times it can be cost prohibitive to shop at boutiques rather than the more affordable chain stores that can offer deep discounts all year long. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Thanks to Dana Spinola, founder and CEO of the boutique Fab'rik, which is a very affordable shop located right here in Atlanta, you can now get trendy clothes that wont break the bank AND you can support a local business all at once. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

The first several Fab'rik locations were here in our city before the store expanded to have many more locations over the last few years. Obviously, Dana found a model that worked for local women!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Not living right in the city? No worries! Fab'rik is expanding rapidly to cities all around Georgia and beyond. Georgia locations include: Athens, Atlantic Station, Augusta, Avalon, Buckhead, Citywalk, Dunwoody, East Cobb, Emory, The Forum, Macon, Mall of Georgia, Peachtree City, Savannah, Suwanee, Valdosta, and West Cobb. Additional stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Needless to say, this boutique is as convenient as finding a chain store but with the benefit of supporting local business.

Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

Looking for something bold and trendy but don't want to pay too much? Fab'rik is the place! They've got clothing, shoes, and accessories at very reasonable price points so you wont feel bad about trying out that look you aren't sure you can pull off (you probably can!).

Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

So, if you need an outfit for a special event or just want to try something cute and trendy but you want to save money, try out Fab'rik and shop local! No time to get out and shop? You can even shop online here. Happy shopping! We know your trip to Fab'rik will end in style :)

Comfortable, Peaceful Interiors: How to Achieve the Mood

I've told Christina this many times, but the way she captures the light in a room makes me want to nap in all of them. Perfectly lit dining room? Perfect place for a nap! However, the napability (I'm pretty sure that's a real word) of a room is not just about the capturing of soft, serene light, but is a result of the designer's careful selection of colors, textures, and patterns to weave together the perfect room. 

napability: nap-uh-bill-uh-tee - the quality of being a comfortable, beautiful, space that causes one to feel at home and at ease when in the room

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Let's take these spaces by designer Jennifer Schoenberger Christina shot earlier this year. They're just stunning. 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.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

First, let's look at the fabrics. You'll see the colors on the fabrics echoed all throughout the spaces and a variety of textures layered on top of one another all over. Layering textures creates such a rich, inviting setting. When freshening up your own place, don't be afraid to mix patterns to achieve this warm textured appearance. Here's a handy guide for pattern mixing

Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

Jennifer got these beautiful lamp bases from Scott Antique Market which I adore! I love mercury glass and Scott Antique Market. It is a wonderful place to go if you enjoy the hunt. This brings me to another design element to consider. Metallics. Every room has a little, but making a statement with a metallic goes a long way. Aren't these lamps beautiful?!

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Neutrals become more than a backdrop when they are also a bold pattern. See how beautifully one room transitions into the next above? The neutrals ground the room with pops of color moving your eyes through the space. I love an unexpected bright color splash like the painting and stool.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

This may be my favorite part of Jennifer's spaces. The light blue in the backs of the cabinets is so lovely and the touches of tomato red are so charming amidst the calm neutrals with the bold patterned wall.  

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

This stenciled wall has me considering a nap in a bathroom, too. So beautiful and serene! A bathroom is a great place to do an impactful wall that may be a bit more labor-intensive since generally you will not have super large walls to cover. 

Thanks to Jennifer Schoenberger for sharing her beautiful work with us! 

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles: Home for the Holidays

This week is the opening of the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Atlanta Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse and Marketplace.  I love this time of year, when Atlanta begins getting sprinkled with holiday cheer!  Not only is this a great opportunity to seek out inspiration for your own home for the holidays, it raises money for a good cause; benefiting the Southeastern Horticultural Society's Children's Learning Gardens and Farms.

This showhouse features many Atlanta designers including our friends Lance and David, from Parker Kennedy Living, who we have featured on Ends in Style, as well as Brian Patrick Flynn, of Fynnside Out, who we will be featuring soon.

Here's a sneak peak shot by our Christina for Parker Kennedy Living, in The Atlanta Holiday Home.

There is a Moonlight and Mistletoe Party on the evening of the 18th and the opening day of the show house is the 19th of this month.  Make sure you go check it out!