A Stylish Lash Studio

Recently a client came to me with a request, design a space for a custom eyelash business with equal parts style (for the waiting room) and function (where she applies the individual lashes).  She wanted a feminine feel without overly feminine colors, so I layered neutral tones and textures with metallic elements like the soft, silvery feature wall, the golden end table, and the starburst mirrors.


When I started the room was bare with a single harsh fluorescent light blinking dimly above the dark floor.


Working with an unfinished space like this one, and a client like Melissa, is a decorator’s dream.  She gave me the freedom to choose nearly every aspect of the design, aside from the wide plank dark floors she’d already selected which beautifully anchor the space.


 The design took approximately one month to complete and in the coming weeks I plan to share how each piece was selected within the confines of time, space and budget.  Until then, thank you for sticking with me while I’ve been on hiatus!


Walk-in Closet+Imagination=Bedroom?

So I never thought my master bedroom would be the size of a closet…or an actual closet for that matter.  But now it is both.  Here is how I took a walk-in closet in our studio apartment and made it into our master bedroom.

First, I tried to envision the space as more than a closet (and had my husband take down the clothing rod).

Next I took some of my favorite pieces and used them to fill the white space.  The rustic ladder for example.  I wasn’t sure why I was bringing it to San Francisco when it was collecting dust in my garage in Florida, but it turned out to be a great way to punch up a white wall and add some soft candlelight.

Then I filled an empty corner with a beat up old table, one of my favorite flea market finds.  I added an antique styled fan on the corner table which drowns out the city noise at night.  Even though it’s an awkward angle, this photo gives a bit of perspective on how everything comes together in the space.

I added my beloved horse painting above the bed, a pair of white drapes that were once the shower curtains in my master bath, and a floor lamp beside the bed, perfect for reading at night.

Because of the angle of the door to the ‘closet’, it’s hard to capture the warmth of the space.  It’s definitely cozy, but I think I’ve slept better here over the last few nights than I have in months!

An Easy Front Door Fix

This was my old front door (on Valentine’s Day of course!)

I never really liked the stained glass look because it’s a little too intricate for me.  I knew I would eventually change it, but it wasn’t high on my priority list…until the day the mail man came by last week.

Our normally sweet tempered dog, Nora, has never been a fan of a strange man walking on our porch and dropping letters through the mail slot

And after almost a year of barking her brains out at the poor guy, she’d finally had enough and charged head first into the glass

Luckily she didn’t make it all the way through the door, and both the dog and the mailman survived unscathed. 

We had the front door rebuilt with a couple of basic wood panels from Home Depot

We added a couple of coats of red paint, and now thanks to Nora, we have a new door way ahead of schedule.

Even thought it’s a tad darker than I’d envisioned, I really like the way it pops against the white and grey.  And don’t worry, I only allow the dogs to roam in the front yard in the morning, long before the mail man comes a knocking!


A House in Kansas

I’m on the road in Kansas, visiting my lifelong best friend, so what better way to combine work and relaxing than writing about her recently renovated home?  Tara and her husband purchased their home in October of last year and renovated it in the months that followed.

Before the house was a drab yellow and outdated maroon…

But with a fresh coat of white paint and contrasting black accents, their house is a gorgeous addition to a street lined with lovely homes.  Her husband even replanted the existing shrubs giving maximum impact on a minimum budget.

The interior needed even more work than the exterior.  The kitchen was in dire need of some TLC and a better floor plan…

So they removed a wall and opened up the kitchen to the dining and sitting area, installed new cabinets and countertops, bought new appliances, and installed plenty of new lighting.  Now they have a kitchen fitting for the period of the home, but with modern conveniences and features, perfect for a growing family!

Plus a wine bar that’s ideal for the parents of that growing family!  Don’t you love the stainless steel backsplash?

The living room is warm and inviting

And a quintessential little girls room in a pale shade of pink!

The bed belonged to my best friend growing up – I remember sleeping in it myself!

Wish you the best in your beautiful new home Greg and Tara!

A Chair to Remember

Before                                                                After


Here’s how I did it.

I started with a chair I found a few years ago for $40.00, but couldn’t find a place for it in my home.

First I painted it with a base coat of white paint to soften the existing black.

I wasn’t too worried about the fabric getting damaged because I knew I would recover it.

The next step was to remove the chair seat and back.

With a Phillips screwdriver, I removed each of the four screws.

And voila, the seat was off!  My husband helped remove the back of the chair because it required a little more muscle, but it only took a couple of minutes.

I had some extra burlap fabric lying around, which was only a couple of dollars a yard.  You could literally use any fabric to give the chair whatever feel would work best in your home.

Next I cut the fabric and laid the seat on top of it so I could wrap it in the burlap.

This staple gun we picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents was the best 50 cents I’ve ever spent!  I used it to secure the fabric to the bottom of the seat.

Next I painted the chair with a second coat of paint.  For this coat I used a paint by Behr called Wild Honey.  Then I took some fine grit sandpaper and sanded down the edges of each leg.

I continued sanding down the rest of the chair for a distressed, lived in look.

Finally I reattached the chair seat and back, and now I have a lovely new chair!  The whole project took less than two hours.  I love my new chair and I love it even more knowing I refinished it myself.  I’ve never done a project like this one before, but it was so easy I will definitely do it again!

A Kitchen Makeover on a $1,000 Budget

Can it be done?  According to This Old House, it can.

Check out the kitchen before.

Pretty gnarly, huh?  So what was their plan?

1-Repaint the existing cabinets and add fabric panels to the lower cabinets

2-Paint the countertops (yes, it can be done!)

3-Scrape up layers of vinyl flooring to reveal the hardwoods below

4-Add a new faucet and cabinet hardware

5-Bring in a freestanding butcher block island

Here’s the result:

If it was up to me, I would have removed the scalloped detailing above the windows for a more refined look, and I would not have put contact paper behind the open upper cabinets because if you look closely, the pattern is almost floral which only works if you’re over the age of 80.

Instead I would have painted the background of the upper cabinets so the look could be easily changed down the line.  I would have added a rug to anchor the new island in the kitchen, and I would have swapped out the outdated ceiling fan, but other than that, for $935 the kitchen was transformed.

If you’re trying to sell your home or just brighten up an outdated space, it can be done on almost any budget!

A Simple Update

One of the simplest and least expensive ways to update a piece of furniture is with new hardware.  For example with this dressing table I found for $200.

It was already cleaned up and painted this lovely shade of light cream when I bought it, but the drawer pulls just weren’t doing it for me…

…so with a quick trip to Home Depot and eight bucks I was able to find these decorative pulls that fit the style of the piece.

I removed all the old hardware with a nail file while chatting on the phone (who says you need a screwdriver?) and added the new ones.

Even though it was a simple fix that took less than five minutes, it made the piece feel more expensive and refined.

If you have a few extra minutes and a few extra bucks lying around, you could easily update a nightstand or a dresser!

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