A Need For Change When “It Ain’t Even Broke” – Before And After Pictures

Before Picture: Creamy, Dreamy…Romantic

After Picture: All New Bedding And Pillows Breathe A New Personality

Sometimes we need a change in our jobs, our lives, our homes…..for no other reason than we simply need to be re-charged and re-motivated.   There are those who believe in the old adage, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, and then there are those of us, like myself, and many of my clients who would feel stifled and suffocated if we didn’t make changes here and there.  Making the slightest nuances of change in our homes can breathe fresh air into the space.  Whether it be a new piece of art, a new chair or a new floral arrangement.  My client, Pam, who I have worked with for about a dozen or so (or more) years loves to freshen up and update things a bit now and then.  We began working together on her first house when our girls were literally toddlers.   Now they are both blossoming, beautiful teenagers in highschool.  (It’s dumbfounding how fast it has flown by.)   But, she has been a steadfast and loyal client, as well as a friend, over the years and it has been so much fun working with on her two homes.  She has referred me to her in-laws (precious couple!), brother-in-law, and friends.   All much appreciated, I might add!        These “Before and After” pictures might surprise many of you, because the before pictures actually look like after pictures.   But, as I said, when you feel its time for a change, well then, it’s time for a change.  Pam decided it was out with the old and in with the new.  So she traded her dreamy, creamy palette for some rich, bold browns and blues.  Both looks are incredibly inviting and beautiful…..and while she loved her creamy, romantic bedroom for years….she simply needed a change of scenery.   Along with the new look and new breath of fresh air came an entirely new personality in the space.   Sometimes even “if it ain’t broke”, it’s okay to “fix it”.                

Before Picture: Romantic Chaise Tucked In Bay Area


After: Time For Change


Before: Rich, Creamy Fabrics Against A Soft Brown Wall


     After: Dark Fabrics Against A Light Beige Wall
        Cream Chaise "Before" Gives Way To Animal Print "After" 
Cream Chaise “Before” Gives Way to Animal Print “After”

Kaisley’s “Cottage On The Beach”

A “Cottage On The Beach” Guestroom/Granddaugher’s room


 When I randomly mentioned to my daughter that I was thinking of moving my office to my college son’s old room for more space  it never occurred to me that she would suddenly jump at the chance to move her room to my office.  She liked the way it was set apart from the other bedrooms, she said, and the way it had two little steps leading up to the door.  It’s like “a little apartment” she said.  She started getting so excited it was all she could think about.  And, being the daughter of an interior designer – the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree – she began to mentally design her “new digs”.  It all sounded good and well except for the itty bitty little fact that it meant three rooms had to be redesigned and redecorated instead of two.  And how was I supposed to go about making such a shuffle?   Where was all the furniture and “junk” supposed to go as we moved from one room to the next.  It was a daunting task to even think about….almost too daunting.   As much as I love redecorating – to clean out three rooms, three closets, move all that furniture, re-paint walls and furniture, have new drapes made – it was overwhelming.  I almost couldn’t bring myself to do it, but in the end (mostly at my daughter’s urging) I decided to go for it.  I wish I could find the pictures of her room before I changed it, but suffice it to say it had turquoise walls, one accent wall was entirely covered in fashion magazine tear sheets, and the room was filled with…well….all sorts of teenager clutter.  So the journey began….my son’s room became my office, my office became my daughter’s hip, new bedroom, and her old room became our cozy, new guest room.            


 Since my other guest room became a Tuscan space with dark colors I wanted to go a different direction altogether with this room.  Well, that and I also wanted something that could eventually double as a cozy little space for my granddaughter.   With that in mind I settled on a “Cottage On the Beach” theme.  Or better known as “Kaisley’s Cottage”. I had the color palette in my mind and once I found the bedding with the minty green I wanted it was time to paint.  I went to Sherwin Williams to get some paint samples of the different greens that I wanted to try.  Then after going through countless samples of green I realized finding the right color was useless without priming the turquoise walls first.  A step I had so hoped to avoid.  Yes, I was just being lazy and didn’t want to do it.  But, after wasting half a day sampling green paint against the turquoise walls and coming up with a murky version of every color I tried I finally gave up, broke down and primed the walls which did the trick.   I finally settled on Sherwin Williams Baize Green.  Next, I had a picture of a white, crackled driftwood chest that I really liked and decided that would look cool as an accent wall.  It was definitely a “learn as you go” experiment (I had no idea what I was doing) and when I was finished I was convinced it looked awful and needed to be re-painted in the green.  But, to my surprise, my daughter actually liked it and talked me into keeping it.  Now I’m glad I did.      

Iron Embellishment On Quilted Drapes



White Wash Crackled Driftwood Accent Wall


Yes, there are plenty of mistakes, but overall it looks pretty good.    I found the wonderful quilted bedding and pillows at Marshalls and was able to combine different prints to create a cozy look.  I bought two extra quilts and made one into a window treatment by cutting it in half and creating side hems where the cuts were,  and making a rod pocket at the top for a curtain rod.  I used the other quilt for a curtain for the closet instead of the closet doors.  I didn’t do any sewing at all for this one.  I just flipped the top over to shorten the length and create a small valance. I hung it from iron rings so it could easily slide back and forth.   At a local second-hand shop I found an old Singer sewing machine and painted it Sherwin Williams Queen Anne’s Lace White just like I did with all the furniture in the room.  (This is a way to unify mismatched pieces in a space and give them purpose instead of looking hodge-podge)  The dresser, the desk, the toy box (that’s been in both the boy’s rooms at one time and served as a home for stuffed animals for my daughter), the nightstand, the shelves, the picture frames……all white.  After looking all over creation for a rug I was shocked to find the perfect one at Big Lots for only $35.00.  I found the rocking chair at the same second-hand shop I found the Singer sewing machine and used a pillow case from Marshalls to make a slip cover for the old cushion that came with it.  I recovered the small foot stool in a pink and white toile.  I found the green shelves and “beachy” wreathes at HomeGoods.  It was a lot of work, but I’m really happy with the end result.            

Singer Sewing Machine Became A Sweet Vanity





Savvy Painted Chests

Fun and Savvy Zebra Demi Lune


Savvy Zebra Always Hip!


Have fun with your furniture!  Don’t hesitate to put fun, unique, oh so “savvy” pieces into a space to give it attitude!  Each of these chests have their own unique personalities and create a certain flare and character to the space.  Are you shopping for a fun piece for your little girl?  Looking for a unique piece of your own?  Are you a young 20-something wanting that hip, chic touch?  Maybe an older, “wiser” woman looking for a young, fun vibe?  Check out these pieces from Sterling Industries.  These fun, peppy pieces

Pink and White Stripes — How Fun For A Girly Girl

 make any space savvy and chic.  Do you have that artists flare?  Or maybe you are brave and daring enough to create this look on your own.  Take an old piece of furniture and give it new life with paint.  Be daring, creative and have fun with it!!!!  

Take A Walk On The Wildside


Polka Dots Make For A Happy Space


Sassy Stripes Say It All


The Nail Heads Create A Fun Design and Make This Piece Unique


Fun Florals in Fun Colors



Chic, Hip, Fun!


Tired of traditional upholstery?  Tired of too much decorative clutter?  Going for a more modern, clean, sleek look with rattan furniture and contemporary accessories by Palacek is a wonderful alternative to more customary furniture for your home. 
Cool Blues and Creams With Rattan….Very Chic!

Notice the clean, sleek lines;  the modern components that give each vignette interest.   Why not do the same in your home? Check out the fun colors they’ve used in their vignettes.  How fun are they?  Think outside the box…..don’t be afraid to incorporate these same colors in your own space.  Do you relax more in a cooler palette or a warmer palette? Blues, purples, terracotta’s……all great looks for a main living space.  Select the one that most fits your personality and go with it.   And don’t forget to have fun with accessories and lighting!  They are so important to a space – possessing the ability to alter the personality and character of the room.  It’s like the jewelry you add to complete that little black dress.  Is it big and chunky?  Dainty and understated?  The accessories and lighting you select will have the same impact on your home.  So be sure to keep that in mind and be very selective with each piece you incorporate into the space.  Palacek is great quality furniture and has some of the most interesting pieces I’ve seen.   I would highly recommend them to any of my clients seeking this look.  If you  are on a tight budget consider selecting a couple of quality pieces and filling in the rest of the space with less expensive pieces that afford you a similar look.   Stores like Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, and Marshalls are good places to look for fun, less expensive accessories.   Scroll down for more pictures. 

Like Fish??? How About Incorporating The Passion In A Sophisticated Way


Interesting, Unique, Fun Sitting Area


Warm Colors, Chic Atmosphere


Cool Table and Chandelier


Fun And Funky


Cool, Soothing Colors and Clean Lines Make For An Inviting Space


Cool, Clean Lines Create A Hip Inviting Space


Living Room – Before and After

Living Room Before

The Transformation
Beautiful Chair – Sad Little Sentimental Tree
Original View From Dining Room
View From Piano Room
Dining Room – Original Drapes
Piano Room W/New Drapes
Original Dining Room Furniture
Converted Dining Room To A Piano Room

This is one my all-time favorite projects.  My client, Susan, (who is wonderful to work with) inherited this home in a lovely neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas from her parents.  And while I’m sure it was quite chic in its day, like all things, there comes a time when change is due.  Susan is all about her love of horses which we incorporated into the design scheme.  We were able to use some of her parents cherished pieces – the English secretary, the marble table, the baby grand piano – and incorporate them into the new look as well.  So while she has a fresh, new space to call her own, she is able to enjoy some of the sentimental pieces once enjoyed by her mom and dad.    How’s this for a transformation! 


Refinished Old Screen To Place In Corner Of Room

Fabric Covered Night Table with Fun Accessories
Painted Closet Black – Faux Brick
Small Desk Acts As A Night Table and Vanity

I Created A Faux Fireplace With This Mantle, Candles and Grate

Iron Canopy Bed With Warm Colors, Cozy Drapes and Bedding

This is my Tuscan Guest Bedroom.  Once my oldest son’s room (who has since grown up, moved out and gotten married) I now have my first formal guest room since moving into the house.  Yes, I must admit it was very fun designing and decorating this space! With it’s textured, faux-chipped brick walls, the black and copper bedding, the faux fireplace and iron bed my guests now have a cozy space they can call their own.   It started as a serious challenge though.  I needed to find fabric to match the drapes I had already had custom-made for my son’s room when he was still here.  They were done in black and copper but had a masculine look to them.  It took some serious patience trying to find the right pieces to make the transition from 21 year old college student to cozy guest room.  I finally found my starting pieces with a collection of pillows that I purchased on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Love those 50% off sales! Beautiful, rich velvets with wonderful glittery beading.  My friend, Becky, donated the mattress and box springs from her college son’s old room.  My sister donated a floor lamp that just needed a new shade and a tassel.  I covered my late grandfather’s stool with some extra fabric for a vanity seat.  I added some gold rub to an old desk and turned it into a night table.  For the bedding I purchased two bed-in-a-bag sets, turned one with the black lining up for contrast, used the other one at the end of the bed with the face fabric showing to match the pillows that came in the same bag.  In the bag were some drapery panels (they would have been way too whimpy for the windows) that I cut and made into the canopy drapes by sewing them to some ready made copper velvet drapery panels I found.  I stumbled onto (well, actually, my friend Diane found it first)  the mantel at a showroom at the World Trade Center they were selling off the floor.  It was the perfect style, color and fit.  The iron fireplace screen was a sale purchase I got at Gardenridge.  The original color was antique gold which wouldn’t do so I sprayed it black and then dabbed on some gold metallic rub.  After much patience and effort the room finally came together.  It is now a warm, cozy, inviting space for my guests.   And, best of all it’s always clean!


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