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Category Archives: Design Idea Posts
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By now my guess is you have most of your Christmas decorations unpacked and beautifully displayed around your house, but maybe this year you are still wanting to add a new look in a couple of areas and are not quite sure how to accomplish that.
I wanted to give you some ideas in this blog and make it EASY to copy! I am including links at the bottom so you can just order and create this exact look, HOWEVER Amazon changes its supply often, or you may not be able to get it by Christmas. So order for next year’s table setting OR search around and see if you can find something similar online or in stores and use these pictures as examples.
IDEA #1 KITCHEN TABLE CENTERPIECE
This whole look is from Amazon and is the perfect Christmas ensemble. I started with the tray which is a distressed mirrored glass bordered by rustic wood. Round trays look good on both round and square tables.
Then I added the pine tree in a pot. The pot was a little deep so I crumpled up some paper to lift the tree up. The deer figurine is small but beautiful, and could really go anywhere in the house, but I loved it right here.
I found this “Merry and Bright” wood sign which is small enough to perfectly fit on this tray, and then added the gold pinecone (which I love!) and tapered candle. To pull it all together I cut some branches off a pine tree in our yard and circled them around the bottom (you can use any kind of pine branches).
IDEA #2: DINING ROOM TABLE
Sometimes bringing a centerpiece together is a matter of collecting things you love. This setting has a mix of old and new, gold and candlelight, farmhouse and traditional, with a few pine needles from the backyard. And it all works!
These rope gold candlesticks bookend the decor and add a hint of traditional and formal.
And more gold pinecones..
(Note: Amazon recently changed their supply–this particular one is not available but I’ve included a link to a similar set)
I found this white deer at Lowes–they have great Christmas decorations this year!
And, from Magnolia Market…the salt and pepper shaker.
A great table runner creates the foundation for any table setting. The one if found has a warm, natural, creamy look. I love it.
One more look:
I have listed below the links to find most of these items so you can create these looks if you want. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Hello! Welcome to another kitchen makeover!
In September I completed a kitchen cabinet painting project for my next door neighbor (who is awesome!). Brooke is naturally gifted at decorating and pulling ideas together, but she invited me in on her project to paint her cabinets and to be a sounding board for her kitchen vision. Here are the befores and afters!
BROOKE’S PROJECT LIST:
Level Island to One Flat Surface
Leveling the island is a great function move. It allows flow of conversation and connection between the family room and kitchen. Lowering the bar also creates more visual space, making the rooms feel bigger and more open.
Didn’t she do a great job?! As we were discussing the design for these areas, we wanted to bring in wood tones wherever possible to warm up the “cool” grey walls and white cabinets. Brooke bought this great wood and iron shelving unit (to the left of the fireplace) which she did an amazing job decorating.
The quartzite countertops are beautiful, and the lighting she picked added warmth and a rustic touch.
I painted the cabinets my new favorite cabinet color, Banner White by SW….and, selfishly I got to spend some afternoons getting to know my neighbor better which is always the best part of my job!
Here’s one more before and after:
Have a great day and remember to take a deep breath and rest in the holiness of this season.
Oh, almost forgot–I created this new free e-book! Check it out!
When I paint kitchen cabinets I usually have HGTV playing in the background. So in light of that, I am going to start naming my projects HGTV Style. Today’s “Barn Door Kitchen Remodel” reveal is amazing.
My friends Lisa and Steve had some great ideas for what they desired in their kitchen remodel and together we transformed their traditional suburban kitchen to a custom design that serves their needs functionally and beautifully–punctuated with some incredible barn-like doors for their pantry.
Let’s go back to the beginning. This is what their kitchen looked like before we started:
The two requests Steve and Lisa had for their kitchen remodel were:
- To somehow change the layout that would allow better movement of guests between the family room, kitchen and dining room.
- Update the look.
As a pastor and wife to a thriving church, they often invited people over to gather and felt like everyone often ended up crowding in the kitchen instead of spreading out to the family room and dining room.
The peninsula was a major contributor to this issue, so the design idea I suggested was to remove the peninsula and replace it with a large island that would open up the space between the two rooms.
There was an eating area in the kitchen which would no longer exist because of the island, so in order to continue flow between all three spaces I suggested opening up the wall between the kitchen and dining room, where there would be a large farmhouse table to seat multiple guests. See the small arched opening below:
Here was the result!
~ tear down peninsula and build an island
~ carry wood floors through entire kitchen family room to connect all three spaces
~ paint cabinets white ( I used my new favorite cabinet color: Banner White by RL) and add new hardward
~ add pendant lights over the island
~ replace pantry doors with barn doors (this was Steve and Lisa’s idea–they came unstained and Steve stained them himself. The doors totally make the kitchen!)
~ new stainless appliances
~ granite countertops, stone backsplash and some beautiful barstools
Steve and Lisa have a great eye for design and did a fantastic job choosing many of these options–I just was there for moral support and confirmation on choices!
In opening up the doorway between the kitchen and dining room, Steve and Lisa lost one bank of cabinets. A small sacrifice to have access and connection to the main seating area from the kitchen.
Now these three spaces flow so nicely. Their kids eat breakfast at the island each morning and dinners some nights as the busy teens rotate through. Family and hosting guest dinners take place in their beautiful new dining room:
We also worked on the design and flow between the living room (to the left of the front door entryway) into the dining room. We pulled blue and grey through the entire area so all rooms feel fluid and cohesive.
Here’s one last before and after:
Don’t you just want to sit down for a cup of coffee and conversation?
Steve and Lisa are dear friends and we are blessed to have them in our lives. Like I have said before, one of the BEST parts of this job is getting to spend time with amazing people.
Have a blessed, restful, adventurous, productive, family-filled, football watching weekend!
POSTED IN: kitchen design, kitchen island, kitchen makeover, kitchen remodel, painted cabinets, white cabinets
POSTED IN: kitchen design, kitchen island, kitchen makeover, kitchen remodel, painted cabinets, white cabinets
A few weeks ago I finished a kitchen redesign for a good friend of mine…it was so fun and it turned out beautifully! My friend, Lori, has a great eye for design and so we put our heads together and this is what we came up with:
Here are a couple of before pictures:
The floor is partly pulled up in this picture, but this shows the original builder island. It had a high bar and was angled to close off the kitchen from the eating area. Below is the kitchen with island torn out before construction of the new one.
The cabinets were a beautiful dark wood–but they wouldn’t fit the new light, white look of the kitchen Lori wanted. Painting them was on the remodel checklist!
We hired a contractor to do the project. New floors, a couple of walls removed, the existing island demo’d and rebuilt square with the kitchen, painted cabinets, new lighting and backsplash, countertops and a stone fireplace. It is breathtaking and I give so much credit to Lori who had the vision for what she wanted her kitchen to be.
I painted the cabinets with a Benjamin Moore Advance paint called Milk Paint.
The countertops are a marble looking quartz.
Lori wanted a backsplash that was unique and so when she brought home samples from Floor and Decor (my favorite backsplash go-to warehouse) I jumped on this one. In order to tone it down a bit, Lori went with a white grout. It is definitely a statement piece!
I painted the island black…well not a true black. It’s called Black Tar by Benjamin Moore. I liked the toned down color of this black–a little bit of dark grey in it.
When the contractors framed the island it had these two levels on the side. We capped it in wide bead board and framed it out with some trim for a furniture-like look.
Lori chose pulls for her island that were different than her cabinets in order to make it look like a piece of furniture. You can see the stacked stone and wood mantle on the fireplace in the background.
One more big picture look!
Some folks have asked me to teach them how to paint their own cabinets. I am happy to explain! Below is my 6 step process. There are A LOT of tricks and details (like which brushes and rollers I use, and how to mix the paint for a perfect finish) that I have learned and would love to share but it is too much for this post. I am going to create a small mini-course on this blog with all the tips! So stay tuned for that, but here are the basics:
- Remove doors and hardware
- Sand all cabinet doors and frames (enough to take off gloss)
- Prime all doors and frames
- Caulk where needed–usually where the raised frame of the cabinet door meets the panel.
- Paint doors and frames with 3-4 coats of paint, until a the paint is even and smooth.
- Re-attach all cabinet doors and touch up any paint areas needed
I have about 3 more kitchen remodels to show you that I have completed over the last year, so keep an eye out on this blog. If you want to see all my design posts, you can enter your email below and you’ll get my Top 7 Design Tips for your house!
Have a great 4th of July celebrating our freedom!
POSTED IN: kitchen makeover, kitchen remodel, painted cabinets, white cabinets, white kitchen
POSTED IN: kitchen makeover, kitchen remodel, painted cabinets, white cabinets, white kitchen
Are you craving an updated space to work? Or to organize your mom-life? Home offices tend to be one of the last places we “design” (my own office is a testament to that) because they are often out of view so we don’t care how it looks, and it can feel overwhelming because of the organization involved.
I have worked on three offices for friends in the last few months, in fact I am finishing up this one with my friend Jamie Larson from The Snap Society today:
But the makeover I want to showcase today is my friend Kelly’s office. Kelly runs a successful online business out of her home called Directly Successful and needed a functional and inviting place to work. We went to work this fall and we are both so pleased with how it turned out.
Before I show you pictures however, I want to share with you two key areas to focus when redesigning an office space that works for you: FUNCTION and STYLE. Not only does your space need to work for you (organization, room layout, etc) but it needs to be inviting enough that you actually want to “get away” into that space to be productive.
Kelly asked for both of these concepts.
FUNCTION: Kelly films videos for her business and needed a place to sit with an interesting background that was brand consistent. She also expressed that she is someone who needs to “see” all the projects she is working on, so we needed to provide organization of her files, etc but they needed to be visible. I told Kelly that I had her back in that one–I am exactly the same.
STYLE: Kelly’s brand colors were a navy blue, gold and pink. We pulled these colors together into a stylish and inviting room that Kelly LOVES to be in now.
Here are a few Before and Afters (I love this part!)
Let me break it down a little.
- Kelly cleared out a lot of miscellaneous items–chairs, boxes on the ground, shelving that was holding books and files, and other non matching furniture items. Her dining room was a hot mess for a couple of weeks as she sorted and organized.
- We painted three walls a wonderful color called Colonial Grey. We painted the fourth wall behind the couch a deep navy called Calligraphy. This wall serves as the backdrop for Kelly’s videos and displays a eye-catching gallery picture collection.
- We purchased a couch and ottoman because Kelly prefers to work there over working from her desk (here here!)
- We made an Ikea run for storage items and a bookcase.
- After bringing in all of the design and storage elements, Kelly re-organized all of her papers and projects into the new space.
Here are pictures of the finished office:
(Above) We hung wood shelves behind her desk to display some decorative items. To the right of the shelves is a bulletin board and hanging storage for Kelly to easily access work files, etc. The framed dry erase board was something I made for Kelly using a glass poster frame and I just painted the back of the glass with a neutral color. She uses this to jot down work ideas, dates and tasks.
(Above) We purchased this couch and ottoman where Kelly spends most of her time working. I brought in a floor lamp for warmer lighting options, and created the gallery wall behind her couch with her brand colors, inspirational words and warm wood tones.
Kelly found this chair which was the perfect color and accent to the room.
Here is Kelly being all productive…
She had this great phone which we placed on the side table…I just love it.
(Above) One problem that Kelly wanted solved is that when she was filming a video or a webinar, her family would walk by or try to get her attention on the other side of the french doors. She wanted a way to have privacy while she was working and also to have a second backdrop for her videos. To solve this problem we hung curtains on the inside of the french doors…closed they offer privacy and a cute backdrop!
I brought in all sorts of storage options for her desk and she picked the ones that worked best for her.
Finally, this bookcase from Ikea has become one of my favorite office makeover additions. The wood tones warm the space and it just holds so many different items- books (of course), but files and boxes and baskets too.
I am going to be offering a “Make Over Your Office In Five Days” mini course in the near future. I will help you create a space you love in a clear step by step process! To receive information about this in the future and occasional design posts, subscribe HERE!
One more BEFORE and AFTER:
Kelly said she has been more productive in this space than ever before.
Side note, I am TERRIFIED of spiders and for some reason TWO BIG ONES appeared during this design project. There was a lot of screaming and jumping up and down. Here is fearless Kelly getting one of them:
More office makeovers to come, along with simple and inspiring design ideas for your home.
And you can follow me on instagram @amyleehayes.
I think we innately all love the peaceful feeling of a home that is tastefully decorated–just the right amount of wall hangings, little to nothing on the counters except a few decorative items, perfectly coordinated pillows set in just the right spots on the couch, and bedrooms that show no trace of actual living except a well made bed and a matching dresser.
I’ve just described every new builder model home in America.
The fact of the matter is that most homes have too many wall hangings because we just love our darn family so much we want to display as many pictures as possible, the kitchen counters have practical items like used coffee mugs from the earlier in the day that just didn’t make it to the sink along with the recipe book you will use tonight and the stack of mail that practically needed the most convenient place to be dropped. Oh and the couch pillows? Look behind the couch or on the floor–that’s where ours live 50% of the time.
That is the reality of living (well, hopefully this picture is a slight exaggeration!). So how do we make our homes feel peaceful AND practical?
Both life mess and decorating “overdoo” can cause our home to look cluttered. When we are raising a family, socks, wrappers, homework, laundry, etc. are just going to exist. But we can help reduce the overwhelm feeling by having our homes decorated with classy simplicity.
So how do you know if your home is overdecorated? Take this little quiz (Y/N):
- My home seems mis-matched. I have purchased things over the years like furniture and wall hangings that just don’t go together.
- I have a lot of furniture in most rooms. I don’t know what to get rid of.
- I have something hanging on almost every wall.
- I have several different patterns going on throughout my home.
- I don’t feel peaceful in my home. It seems like my decor is just “off.”
If you answered 3 or more “yes” then this post series is for you!
For most of us, the answer is LESS is MORE. More peace, more style, more happy. But we tend to fill our homes with too much which works against that.
People who have a knack for design are able to put a lot of things on a wall or in a room, but that is because they know how to coordinate scale, color, size and patterns very well, like this picture to the right. If you are feeling unsettled in your home, it feels a little chaotic or busy, or just “not right” it may be because those elements aren’t flowing for you. My word of advice is to pare down. Take things away, at least for now, until you start to feel calm and peaceful in your home.
This post is one of three on a series of de-cluttering your home. In this series I will share tips on how to create that peaceful, welcome feeling in your home by discussing three areas: WALLS, FURNITURE, and COLOR.
Today’s post will be all about our walls!
Re Working Our Walls
Cluttered, busy walls can easily create a feeling of chaos in a home.
I was a home stager for several years and walls tended to be one area where homeowners needed the most help. Here are 5 common mistakes with wall decorations:
2. Hanging pictures/items on too many walls:
There are only few areas in your house where you NEED to have hanging/decorative items on walls: fireplace mantles, above beds, above dressers and over couches.
All of these areas have large visual impact on the bottom half of the wall and if we leave the top half blank it just looks unfinished.
The rest of the walls–well they are negotiable.
In rooms that have 3 or 4 walls, aim to have pictures or hangings on one wall only. Yep. Now, you can have items on more than one wall, but the truth is most people are not sure how to coordinate the items, or size them correctly, so the room looks mis-matched. So, if you think you might struggle with this, just decorate ONE wall. Pick the largest one, and hang away.
3. Too many goupings of pictures throughout house: Replace small groupings of items with a large item–like a mirror, or a large framed print. One large item often feels more simple and eye pleasing.
4. Groupings with incorrect spacing: Hang pictures in a group with about 1.5 inches between the frames. One mistake people commonly make is to hang pictures in a group too far apart from each other.
5. Hang pictures or wall decor at eye level. When pictures are too high they throw off the balance of the room.
My challenge to you would be to go around your house and start taking things down off the walls or adjusting what you currently have based on those tips. Put the extra items on the floor in a back room for now. Live in your house that has less and see how you feel.
If you find yourself feeling lighter when you are in your home, maybe it’s time to give those items away or sell them. Organize photos in an album or in some frames on a table.
Here are some pictures of peaceful, calm rooms:
Just one larger picture above the bed creates a sense of calm.
No picture on dining room wall–allows focus to be on chandelier and front entry table and mirror.
Only decorative items on the counter and some empty wall space in the background.
Picture over fireplace but not on stairwell wall.
One large picture by dining room table. Two coordinating pictures/frames over couch.
No matter what your decorating style, you can always declutter, coordinate and simplify your walls.
Hopefully you are able to give some of these ideas a try! I would love to hear your comments or questions if you do!
Hello! Welcome to a Designed Home post. Have you have ever considered painting your kitchen cabinets? I painted ours a creamy white a couple of years ago and I am hooked:
Recently I was hired by a client to paint her cabinets. She wanted to brighten up her kitchen that felt a little dark.