Suzanne Harrison and her beautiful family had been living in their home for over five years and it had yet to be decorated. She, having two jobs, one as a local government official and public servant, as well as an anesthesiologist. And her husband having a demanding full time career of his own. And on top of that they had three adorable, super intelligent, crazy polite children who were super busy with lots of activities themselves. Needless to say they understandably had little time to focus on their home. Well, when she called me for a consult, I knew I had to do this project for her and her family. Everyone needs a real home; a happy place; a sanctuary. And with such crazy lives they REALLY needed it.
She had a great base, including couches and a hutch in the main living space that we worked into the design. She loved color, which got me excited! So we worked in a blue and yellow color scheme in the main living space with her neutral base that brought some great balance.
We also refinished the fireplace so that now it became more of focal point for the living space, and for the home in general. It is where your eye is drawn when you first walk in the door of their relatively open concept home. We chose a marble subway tile, and added finish carpentry detail work to the mantel and above it to make it feel more substantial and add some architectural elements.
For the dining room, entry and formal living the only items we kept from her original pieces were a buffet and dining table and chairs in the dining space and a piano in the formal living. Everything else needed to find a new home to make room for some more contemporary pieces. She wanted a more transitional feel that blended some of her traditional decorative items and furnishings with new contemporary pieces to give a more updated look. We installed all new light fixtures throughout the entire home but the chandeliers were definitely my favorite. The entry chandelier was a twelve like, massive contemporary style piece that my wonderful sidekick hubby had to rent an extra tall ladder to install. But it was well worth it. It made the entry feel more grand and really made a statement.
The kitchen and casual everyday dining area was where we saw the biggest transformation. When we started the project, they had outdated lighting, no backsplash, old cherry cabinets (in fantastic shape but color again was outdated), and a obviously very well used dining table and chairs. So, we gave her kitchen cabinets and island a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. We used a white on all the wall cabinetry upper and lowers and then did dark accent color for the kitchen island (Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze) to tie into her granite, add some contrast, and add some interest. And installed a nice white subway tile backsplash. Then, we installed all new hanging light fixtures (pendants, and chandelier), got a new all white dining set with similar detail to the island, and staged the heck out of her new beautiful space is with some floral and plant elements.
The cherry on top of the design was what we saw behind closed doors. They chose not to do too much to their children’s bedrooms. We did new bedding and table lamps for their sweet daughter, a new table lamp for their youngest boy, and some super cool wall sconces for their eldest boy (photos above – upper right photo with bunk beds). The only other rooms left on their main and upper levels were a small office they used as a music and homework room, and their master bedroom. These were also two of my favorite spaces. I just love making peoples homes feel so personal. That’s what makes a house feel like a home is the fact that it’s yours and its filled with things meaningful to you. So in the master, we used custom artwork I made special for them the included map silhouettes from the counties they each were from, where they met, and where they bought their forever home, paired with a quote: “I carry your hearth with me, I carry it in my heart” (photos above – bigger photo on left). And for the office, I wanted it to be meaningful and inspire creativity so we gathered artwork that their kids had made in their school art classes over the years and paired it with a pair of large contemporary art pieces for a fun feature wall (photos above – bottom right).
All in all it was one of my favorite projects to date. Now this wonderful family has a home to match.
Before & Afters