My Home Office Featured in Better Homes and Gardens

Hey look, that's me! I'm sitting at that very desk in one of my favorite rooms, as I write this.
The nice people at Better Homes and Gardens magazine featured my home office in their January issue. The story was included in "most" subscribers magazines. Sometimes magazines do regional stories and mine was one of them. But not to worry, I'm sharing it here.

A few gallons of paint totally transformed this room from a dark paneled sad office to light and bright and fresh. The walls are painted with Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl and the cabinets are Benjamin Moore's Snowfall White (one of my favorite whites for cabinets and built-ins). If you're living with a dark paneled room that you hate grab some primer and a paint brush and go! Trust me, you won't regret it. 

If you'd like to read more about this office makeover, click here. Like most creatives, I love change and this room is all mine and I love working and playing here. This fun post might inspire you to have a little fun in your own home. We need more of that I do believe. 

To see more of our home in Better Homes and Gardens, click here.

Many thanks and much love to my friend Janna Lufkin who produced and styled these features along with photographer Brian McWeeney and his wife Carolyn. 

Multi-Purpose Room Before & After

I just finished a really fun room redesign for a family that wanted to transform a former "formal" living room into a casual multi-purpose room the entire family could enjoy.

If you live in the suburbs in a house of a certain age, you're probably familiar with the two rooms in the front of the house which are intended to be formal living and dining rooms. I don't know many "formal" people in the suburbs so these rooms often become catch-alls for mismatched furniture and office equipment or, go unused.  That's valuable space that can be put to much better use.  Here's how it looked before and how we made some simple changes for my client:

J wanted a fresh look without clutter or too much stuff.  The contractor and I got to work on a design for a wall of built-ins to house a new flat screen tv, lots of storage, shelves and a small computer desk. The walls were painted Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore and the french doors were painted black which suits J's New Orleans heritage perfectly.

Let's go in and take a look around...

Our goal was to keep this room fresh, casual and comfortable. We pretty much started from scratch and worked on this room over the past year as the budget allowed. J was willing to invest in a few important pieces and details, and we also shopped at West Elm, Pottery Barn, Target and HomeGoods.  J is mom to teen boys, who bring even more boys home to hang out in this room. Our first order of business was to find some comfortable recliners that fit into the "fresh" category. We found this pair locally and upgraded the fabric. 

The existing love seat was in great shape and the perfect size so it was updated with new fabric.

The wire basket was a find from HomeGoods and was formerly a laundry basket with a cotton liner which we removed. It helps corral the pillows and throws. 

The coffee table is from West Elm and the pretty metallic bowl from Target/Threshold.

Wouldn't it be great if we could *blink* and instantly have a new room. The truth is, renovations and sourcing takes time and lots of patience, even in a small room. J doesn't really like shopping so we did a lot of sourcing online which worked out great. When we did shop together we had a great time and it was painless (for me anyway) because she has a very clear idea of what she likes.  She has been a dream to work with and we're all very happy with how the room turned out.  All done!

Game Room Before & After

While the boys are away at summer camp this week I thought it would be a good time to show you their upstairs game room.

We absolutely love having an upstairs game room for the boys and believe me, it gets a lot of use. If they're not in the pool or playing outside, this is where you'll find them along with a few of their buddies. This is where we watch movies as a family, practice music, read and play XBox. And every Friday night that coffee table is covered with Chinese food. 

The walls went from tan to Sherwin Williams Repose Gray (7015). The furniture is from Ikea. I'm a fan of their stylish pieces AND it's easy on the budget. My boys aren't too hard on furniture so while I know their things aren't heirlooms, everything I've bought from Ikea has always held up great for us and I never hesitate to recommend them to clients on a budget.

You might be wondering why we left the carpet. We had a very short turnaround to move in this house and there just wasn't time to have it replaced. It's very good quality carpet, it's just an unfortunate shade of blue. For now, we're living with it and embracing the retro vibe :)   The fun stripe rug was a bargain from HomeGoods.

Our previous home had built in bookcases in the game room and we were missing the storage. For this room, we purchased four Billy bookcases in black/brown with height extension shelves added on the top to make them taller and floated the Ektorp loveseat with chaise in front (Svenby gray slipcover). Clip on lights ($9.99 each) add great atmosphere in the evening.

Opposite the bookcase wall is the television on a smaller wall. We decided to put the big flat screen upstairs because we didn't want a huge television in our living room and I didn't want to have to decorate around it. They are just so big!!!! Even with the monster tv upstairs I was wishing it would disappear a little. Chalkboard paint on the wall behind it did the trick!

The rhino is fromWest Elm. I picked up the smaller mounts on sale from Hobby Lobby's safari section and and spray painted them with glossy white paint to match the rhino. 

The room is filled with all the things that my boys love. There are even a few small storage pieces from their nursery that have been able to move up with them and now hold big boy things. The union jack banner is from Holly Mathis Interiors (thanks friend!). It's really long and brings a fun graphic into the room.

I love the atmosphere in this room. With the gray walls and slipcover along with the black furniture, it's darker than the rest of the house. Perfect for a lounge/media/game room and perfect for my guys.