Completed E-Design {The Basement}

It is always fun to put together a design that both myself and the home owner love. As I constructed this basement plan in particular, I kept thinking, Wow, this is so them! I hope they feel the same way. Lucky for me, they did! This past year, I have worked with my long distance clients on their family room and children’s rooms. We have now moved on to their basement, which will do triple duty: play area for the kids, extra living space and a guest room. To save space and make this usable as a guest room, we chose a modular sofa that is a sleeper/sectional. My clients also wanted to go bolder with fun accent colors and make this room their style, but a more loud, eclectic version of their style. Here is the design plan I came up with…

The Design Plan

OB-Eclectic Basement


I just cannot wait to see this plan come together! I love the color mix from the pillows, throw blankets and accessories. The art print on the top of the board brings all of these colors together. I took inspiration from this fun, eclectic living space designed by the talented sister duo, Kirsten Kelli.


color combo

Design By

What a fun jumping off point! I love that the base of this inspiration room is neutral, but the accessories are bold and don’t take themselves too seriously. It is a fresh, modern and eclectic space, which is what we were going for in the basement. To remind you of the family room design I did for my clients, I used the same fun colors that they enjoy, but in a more neutral way…

OB-den retreat

They wanted the upstairs to stay neutral and calm and take a more eclectic, bold approach in the basement. I will make sure to show any and all after pictures here! I will also reveal the kid’s room designs soon, too. Have a great day!

Completed E-Design {The Dining Room}

Today, I am excited to share a recently completed e-design project. I worked on a dining room design and my client was keeping some of the furniture and mainly needed help with the final accessories and pulling the room together. Here is the before pictures of the space…


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her space 5


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Isn’t this space absolutely stunning?!? I love all of the architectural details and molding. My client wanted to bring a more relaxed vibe into the room and make it a bit less formal. The moldings already take the room to a rather formal look, so I suggested lightening up the walls dramatically and adding some key accessories that will help make the space feel more casual and laid back, which is how the family lives in their home. My client definitely wanted to change out the chandelier to better fit their more simplistic style and I agreed. Here is the design plan I came up with…

The Design Plan

OB-Casual Dining


I am so excited that my client is thrilled with the design plan and is already in full swing with the changes. We are lightening up the walls, because although that deep navy is beautiful, it helps make the room feel formal. So we are replacing it with Horizon by Benjamin Moore, which is a very pale blue/gray. The new pendant from Rejuventation is the showstopper in the room. And the new textiles, including the four inch buffalo check fabric from Tonic Living will add a traditional, casual blend to the space. That fabric will be the new drapery panels and I can’t wait to see that transformation! We will replace the end chairs with similar options, yet with arms. I think the arm chairs will work better with the long table and overall scale of the space. Over the buffet, there will be a neutral vignette with an oversized driftwood sunburst mirror, gourd lamps and botanical prints. Here is a peek at the buffet vignette…

The Buffet Wall…

buffet wall

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I am excited to show some progress and after photos soon. And thank you all for your sweet comments about my mantel series post! It was a fun week and I was glad to be a part of it.

Project Design Now Reveal!!

The time is here… the reveal of two different spring mantels for Project Design!! You may have seen several of us bloggers hinting on social media {#ProjectDesignNow} about our spring mantels. We have styled them two ways and today is reveal day!! I want to thank Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home and Cindy of Rough Luxe Lifestyle for including me in this fabulous group!


spring mantel image


Our mantel is located in our family room and it’s always fun to make some changes and switch it up every now and then. Here is a full look at Option 1…

Spring Mantel Option 1…



mantel 2


mantel 3


SMP Living 5


SMP Living 3

All Photos above by Sarah Heppell Photography

For mantel option 1, I went with a mixture of vintage and new and meaningful pieces with modern accessories. Starting from the right side, the “B” signifies the first letter in our last name. That is placed in front of a special print from the etsy shop, Pretty Smitten. The print says Be Smitten Every Day. I love its message and that pretty rose quartz background! I like to layer and add texture on mantels, so this beaded jar adds some interesting pattern and is unique. I also like to add round shapes to a mantel, so the clock was an old Target find and does just that. The mini windsor bench holds a special place in my heart, as I found it at an antique market when Mike and I lived in Germany. I will never part with it! And good old Zeus is next to the windsor bench. My kids named him and he is a great find from Target. I often put real ferns and small plants inside, but today- it’s one of the faux succulents that Target carries. {I am seeing a pattern here, that I shop at Target often!} :)

Spring Mantel Option 2…

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For mantel option 2, I also went with a mix of vintage and new. Starting with the right side again, I included the same “B” accessory from the first mantel. That is the only thing I kept for this option. I layered it in front of a spotted print I found at Target. I was so glad I scooped that up when I did, as about a week later, it was gone! I have always loved a hint of animal print somewhere, and this reminded me of cheetah spots. I found a green glass buoy from Home Goods. I like that it reminds me of the water and spring and summer activities. The rope detail adds some texture and interest. The ’round’ element that I love to add to mantels is now seen in both the buoy and this Federal mirror, which was a Christmas gift from my mom. It is the Ken Fulk Federal mirror from Pottery Barn and I love the vintage vibe it brings to the space. Not to mention that stunning aged brass! Adding a mirror to the mantel has been fun, as it reflects our ceiling pendant. The blue and white urns were antique shop finds. I decided to put a faux palm leaf from Pottery Barn inside the smaller urn, to bring a touch of nature to the mantel. I could also switch it out for fresh flowers, if I could remember to keep fresh water inside!

So there you have it! My spring mantel styled two ways! Which option would you choose???

Here are some tips to changing up your mantel for spring, or any time of the year:

Mantel Styling Tips

Add meaningful pieces and a mix of vintage and new to bring a collected over time style to your mantel

Layer pieces in front of each other and stand back every now and then to access what you have and what you need to add

Add different shapes, such as a round mirror, clock and mix that with a square or rectangle frame

I hope this got you ready to add some spring touches to your mantel! Now it’s the fun part… let’s check out the amazing bloggers who have transformed their mantels! They are such a talented group of ladies and I have been thrilled to be a part of this with them. Show these ladies some love:

spring mantel image

E – Design {Recreating the Master Bedroom}

A while back, I created a master bedroom e-design for a client combining modern with traditional, chic with rustic and fun colors, such as lavender and emerald green. When my clients moved, they wanted to use as much of the design elements as possible for the new bedroom. We had to make a few small changes, so I thought it would be fun to compare the designs and see how items can transition from one home to the next.

The Original Design Plan

OB-Bedroom Chic


Dresser & Gallery Wall

OB-Gallery Wall Mock Up

Original Floor Plan

floor plan

Do you remember when I wrote the post on this bedroom being photographed? To refresh your memory, here it is all complete, with photos by Danielle Benham…

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All after photos by Danielle Benham

The new master bedroom has a much different layout, so we made some changes to the furniture placement. Originally, the desk was a second night stand. With the new house, there is not enough room next to the bed for this wide desk, so we included the same second night stand, which was luckily still available. The desk will fit in the space, but in a small reading nook. I think it will be really pretty, as it will face out to a wall of windows! The tall second dresser will not fit in this space, so I suggested adding it in the closet. Here is the new design:

New Design Plan

OB-Bedroom Chic

The Floor Plan

floor plan 2

Won’t that reading/desk nook be fabulous?!? There is so much natural light in this space. I can’t wait to see it all come together! We are going with the same wall color, Halo by Benjamin Moore, which she loved. We kept the bedding, but included a different pillow option, to switch things up. We had to select a new chandelier, and I love this Stiletto option from Shades of Light. The woven x benches will now go at the foot of the bed, as opposed to on either side of the dresser. All in all, we were able to work with almost everything the way it was. And that’s a refreshing thing to realize!

Make sure to come back next week for a fun blogger series I am excited to be a part of!

Why This Works & Bridge Street Segment

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a weekly series where I show a designed space and dissect the details, to explain why the designer chose what he/she chose and why it works! Today’s space is a project I designed last year for a local client. I speak about it often on this blog, because it was such a fun project to work on. This project is also near and dear because I love the true talent that shines through in Sarah Heppell’s photography skills! She truly made this space shine with these after photos. As you may already know, I named this project Vintage Gem, because of the gorgeous architecture of the apartment and the details they left in tact during the renovation of the building. Also, my client loves a mix of vintage and new, so the name was a great fit. In past blog posts, I never truly dissected the details of this space and explained why certain pieces were chosen and why. So let’s do that here, today!


Why This Works 1


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Amber B Design, Photos by Sarah Heppell

When I walked into this space for the first time, I was immediately struck with the gorgeous brick walls and stunning high ceilings. It is a compact space with a combined living and ding area, but the high ceilings and architectural details make up for that. I wanted to compliment those details and not compete, by selecting light and neutral furnishings that allowed the apartment’s details to be the main focal point. The furniture and accessories were the supporting cast. Another trick I like to use is to select a few large, oversized accessories, as opposed to several small pieces. It’s a great visual trick that allows your eye to be drawn up to appreciate the room, giving the illusion of more square footage. When I installed the large blue table lamps and floral art work on the buffet, your eye was brought up instead of down and the space appeared larger. You could admire the brick more, even though we added pieces in front of it. Also, the dramatic wall clock was added behind the sectional. Upon first glance, it’s massive size could appear too large for some. But this clock instantly pushed the walls back and made the room feel bigger. I like to tell clients that if an accessory piece appears too big, it’s probably just right. It can take time to train your eye to like larger accessories. Luckily, my client was right on board and also thought the space felt bigger. In this room, I also wanted to use a mix of different wood stains and metal finishes. Especially with this vintage style, our goal was to create a space that looked as if it had been collected over time and not to match too much. So, the light stained buffet is near the dark stained dining table. Brass candle sticks on the buffet are near a bronze side table and pewter base coffee table. My trick for mixing metals, is to stay within the same ‘shine’ family. In this room, I wouldn’t have brought in a shiny chrome. All of the metals are buffed and matte, which is why they can work together. I like to separate the mattes from the shiny. And last but not least, I like to add various textures and fabrics into a space to create a layered depth. The jute, natural fiber area rug is paired with a leather chair, linen sofa and cotton pillow covers. That will add layers and depth to a space, making it feel warm and collected.

So that’s a little sneak peek into why I chose what I did for this space! I was thrilled to be able to talk about this design today with Sistina Giordano from Bridge Street. She is always wonderful to chat with and it was a fun segment. To see the video clip, visit HERE!! Thank you so much to Sistina and the entire News Channel 9 team for having me!

{Before and After} E- Design Reveal!!

Before and afters are always so much fun to share! This particular client is near and dear, since we have worked together on most of the rooms in her home and even some spaces in her daughter’s home! She has always been one of the most supportive, sweet and gracious clients that I have had the privilege of getting to know. We worked on both her office and guest room during the same period of time and the guest room will be revealed today! We actually swapped the two rooms, as it made more sense to convert the office/hang out room to a guest room. It is in closer proximity to the shared hallway bathroom, which would be great for guests. So the before pictures will show an office, while the afters are all about the guest space! Here we go!


office 1

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The Design Plan


OB-E Design Retreat

My client wanted a serene, delicate retreat. Her daughter will use this guest space when she visits, so the pink and green color combination was right up her alley! We kept the bedding and walls neutral and added color through the art, pillows and accessories.


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I am thrilled they are so happy with the design! I love the whimsical cloud like ceiling fixture and the way the colors from the pillows work with the gorgeous art. Painting the doors a dark color makes standard doors feel more custom, which is always a fun trick. There are striped ottomans that double as storage, at the foot of the bed. That is so helpful in compact spaces. It is always fun to see an e-design project from beginning to end. Thank you so much to my client for sharing these with me!


Add Some Flowers!

Just when we thought spring weather was around the corner over here, it started snowing today! It doesn’t show any sign of letting up, so I thought it would be fun to bring spring inside. The best way I know how to do that, is with a vase of fresh flowers. Flowers instantly warm up a room, any time of year. I am always drawn to the flower section of our grocery store, because I know what an impact they make to any room in your home. When I had our home and Project Vintage Gem photographed, I added some fresh flowers to most of the spaces. Boy did that make a difference! That and the wonderful photography talents of Sarah Heppell. :) So, here’s a round up of rooms that bring that spring time vibe, even if it’s freezing cold where you are!!

Our Home

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{hydrangeas and tulips are always my go to flowers of choice!!}

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Project Vintage Gem

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Amber B Design, Photos by Sarah Heppell

So if you are in need of some spring or you just want a cheerful change, add some fresh flowers today!!


What Do You Love About Your Home?

I love that question, because it gives us the opportunity to really think about what we already LOVE about our home. So often, it’s easier to think about the to do lists and the ongoing thoughts of what we want to change, instead of realizing what we already have in front of us. My friend Lisa, from the blog Shine Your Light, asked me to participate in her weekly series called Shine Home Love. I was asked to choose a favorite spot in my home and talk about why I love it! Stop by her blog to see what room I chose and why. Here’s a hint…

I love our hand written wall with an inspirational quote for our kids…

family room

And I also love our slip covered chair from the good old college days!

slip covered chair chair

Stop by Lisa’s blog HERE to read the post!

Bonus Room E-Design Plan

I am excited to reveal the design plan today, for a client’s bonus room! You may remember this client from her first home, HERE. We worked on a few of her rooms in her first home and I even got a chance to see the real estate after photos. Now with her new home, she’s looking to make one bedroom do double duty and have it as a play room for her kids, as well as a guest room. Let’s get right to the design plan…

OB-Bonus Room Chic


I just love that this space will be colorful, neutral and have loads of texture and function. There will be spaces for toy storage, creative play, a place to display art work and even a day bed that conforms to a double bed for guests! There will be a lot packed into this space and you get to see how it’s laid out in the floor plan, below…

floor plan

Amber B Design

Do you see how the walls pop out with two windows? Those are the dormers in the space and will soon be spots for new built in seating, wall sconces and ledges for books! Eeeek I can’t wait! The room has dramatic slanted ceilings, which we will make more visually pleasing with Hygge & West’s Daydream wallpaper in Green. Ohhh so lovely!! I look forward to showing you the process along the way. Thank you to my amazing client for allowing me to show the journey! Stay tuned…

From Concept to Reality with E – Design

I am excited to share this post with you today, as it gives an inside look into the e-design experience. I have shared the projects that this client and I have worked on before, but this update is pretty special! I have been working with this sweet client on a few of her rooms and she just recently put the house on the market! She kindly shared with me, the photographer’s pictures of the home, including the rooms I designed! It was fun to see the photographer’s vision and also take a look back at where the room started, as well as the original design plan. So, here we go!

My client and I originally started working together when she asked for help with her master bedroom. Here is a before picture of the space…


bedroom pic 2


bedroom pic 1

My client loves a blend of modern with traditional and even a splash of eclectic bohemian. Here is the design plan I came up with…

The Design Plan

OB-Bedroom Chic

I also included a gallery wall mock up for the wall space around the television…

OB-Gallery Wall Mock Up

Here are the fun after photos taken by photographer Danielle Benham…

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After Photos by Danielle Benham

Isn’t that fun to see the concept all the way to completion?!? I just love it! But we’re not done yet! I also helped her with her first floor bathroom. This was an amazing transformation, with new flooring, additional molding and tiles removed from the walls. Here is where we started with the room…


bathroom 1

Almost everything was replaced in this space! Here is the design plan..

The Design Plan

OB-Chic Neutral Bathroom

And here is an after photo, taken again by Danielle Benham…

bath after 1

I am thrilled with how this room came out! There is also a new marble floor that you can’t see in this image, but what a transformation! And that is a wall stencil- not wallpaper. What a great impact for under $50! You can purchase that stencil HERE. I am so happy with how it came out and super excited to hear that her house sold very quickly! My amazing client and her husband both did a great job implementing these designs. I am currently working on her bonus room in her new home and I can’t wait to show you those plans!!

Thanks again to my client for allowing me to share these pictures and to the talented photographer, Danielle Benham, for also letting me share her talents!