Where it all started

By: Chelsea

You’ve heard it before.  You’ve been a grown adult for years now, and yet your mom is still prone to throwing around phrases like, “Well, you’ll always be my baby.”  And it’s true.  You will always be her baby.  Like it. Or not. This home project is sort of like that, but in a not-so-serious, mother-to-child way.  That’s right. This project became my “baby.” I loved it and coddled it and will always look back on it with fondness:) It was, after all, my first chance to get creative in someone else’s house.  In fact, I suppose you could say this is the project that actually launched this little business.  When a friend got word that I enjoyed dabbling in the design world, she did something no one before had ever done.

 She hired me.

What!?! “You want to pay ME to design your space for you?”  

And so it began.  A months-long learn-as-you-go design experience.  And what a great one it was.  My clients were so gracious and helpful along the way.  In the end, I believe we ended up with a lovely space that fits their family well. And what’s more, this client-friend encouraged me so much along the way that Made New Design was born.  Allyn and I partnered for one project at this house (see below), decided we loved working together and thought it might be fun to try this business out as a team.  So here you go–the before and after pictures of…wait for it…my baby. 🙂

 Nothing about this house was in bad shape before. It was simply in need of some more personality.  After all, the family that lives here is anything but dull.  Rather, they possess warm and vibrant personalities.  I wanted their space to reflect that, so we opted for inviting colors that popped when paired with a warm, cozy, neutral backdrop. Our goal was to create a new, inviting space without spending an exorbitant amount of money. Mission accomplished!

First up, the entryway. I love this area primarily because of the large subway art that we hung.  My client’s husband actually created this!  This not only added a personal touch, but saved several dollars too!  And it looks great! 

Entryway Before and After:

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Since this home has an open floor plan, we wanted to be mindful of how the colors flowed from one space to the next. The entry opens right into this next area: the living room.

Living Room Before and After:

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And here’s how we improved it:

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The biggest investment in this space was a new couch/loveseat. My clients often host guests, so we wanted to make sure that the furniture and the furniture configuration was cozy for conversation. 

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A key piece in this room is the upholstered ottoman (above). Not only is it aesthetically a win, but it is ideal for a family with two small children.  No dangerous coffee table corners here!  And what a fun place to enjoy a board game together!

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We dressed up their windows with some pretty, neutral Ikat curtains. I think these are easily one of the most transformative pieces in the room. It’s amazing what a little fabric can do!  As for the chairs, my clients already owned one leather club chair, so we decided to simply purchase another in order to complete this nice sitting area. 

The fireplace mantel is dressed with temporary decor (an old window frame and pretty wreath) for now.  Plans for a new mirror are under way.  We’ll post pics on down the road when that project is complete. 

The living room opens up into a nice, spacious kitchen and eat-in area. 

Kitchen/Eat-In Before and After:

(The “befores” are less than ideal–I took them after we were mid-renovation…but you get the idea). 

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I think the kitchen/eat-in is my favorite part of this whole renovation.  One of my favorite elements of making over a space is working with what’s already there.  There’s just something about taking what’s old and worn and giving it new life.  That’s exactly what we did with my clients’ kitchen table and chairs and a hutch. The table and chairs had great bones, but a somewhat outdated golden oak stain. We simply painted the legs and chairs in white (Alabaster by Sherwin Williams) and re-stained the top in a darker finish (English Chestnut by Minwax). The outcome was great!  It now has a laid-back, modern-farmhouse feel to it and fits their new space perfectly.  The hutch before was a dark burgundy, and like the table and chairs, just needed some new life.  We once again went with Alabaster (one of my favorite “whites”), and it was once again a winner!  To add another pop of color, we simply painted the inside of the hutch a light blue (Ocean Spray by Benjamin Moore). Voila!

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There were a couple of additional DIY projects in this room: the curtain panels and the table runner. When I found the curtain material I knew right away that Allyn would be a huge help in getting them sewn.  Love that girl’s skills!  Aside from the poor photo quality, don’t they look lovely? 

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And then there’s the table runner.  I love how the chevron pattern plays with the large floral pattern in the curtains. 

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The one other space we changed in this area was the counter/peninsula area.  Previously it included two stools and three brushed nickel overhead lights:

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We replaced the stools with upholstered counter-height chairs to add comfort and color.  We replaced the brushed nickel mini-pendants with some industrial-looking oil-rubbed bronze lights (that complement the other new oil-rubbed bronze lights throughout the home).  Now it looks something like this:

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The final space I worked on for my clients was their formal dining room.  It was already a lovely space, with crisp, white wainscoting and a fun, blue (Caribbean Teal by Benjamin Moore) accent wall.  This room didn’t need much.  We simply added some curtains that had a nice Suzani pattern and a punch of color, hung some art on the walls, and replaced the overhead chandelier.  The room is particularly hard to photograph (I don’t even have a decent “before” shot) because of the large window–looks like I need to learn some Photoshop magic!  Here are a couple of “after” shots for you:

The Dining Room (After)

I was thrilled to find these curtains (Suzani by World Market).  They are high-style at a bargain price!  And they complement the rug my clients already owned so well!

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  And there you have it!  I hope you enjoy reading about this space as much as I enjoyed making it over!  

 

 

 

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