{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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flowers 1

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

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Project Vintage Gem

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sconce 1


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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!!


Why This Works

Welcome back to another Why This Works series post! I am sorry this is a day late. I have been working on a fun local client install, that I can’t wait to share. We are almost finished with the master bedroom and I have been giving little sneak peeks at the progress on instagram {amberbdesign}. More info to come, soon! On to today’s room… this living room was found on line, at Better Homes and Gardens. It is the home of the blogger at An Urban Cottage and it has the perfect blend of modern and traditional. There are so many things that work in this room. Take a look!

why works post


What first strikes me is the warmth and charm that this space has. I love the taupes, grays, blues and greens that can be found in the room. The added texture with the natural fiber rug brings that welcoming vibe into the space. It has that traditional charm, with the plaid chair fabric and the convex mirrors, yet also brings in a modern style, with the graphic wall art, ikat pillow and streamlined sofa. The glass coffee table allows you to feel as though the room is larger and it visually does not take up any space. You can tell there are meaningful pieces added in this room, with the vase full of paint brushes,the antique fan and distressed boxes. Adding personal mementos and accessories with a story bring that warmth to a room that is so inviting. And to top it all off- my favorite way to bring a cozy atmosphere to any room… fresh flowers!! For me, this space works.

What are your thoughts?!?

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…

E – Design {The Living Room}

I recently completed a living room e-design for a family looking to bring some updates and changes to their space. Their living room is right off of the main entrance to the home, so it also does double duty as a small foyer. With the space being a bit compact, we had to get creative with space planning, the furniture size we used and accommodate functional design with their two small children. I am happy to say they are thrilled with the design plan!

The Design Plan

OB-den retreat


My client loves blue and green and adding those colors into an overall neutral scheme. Perfect, because that’s right up my alley! With their 8′ ceiling height, we wanted to replace their drab overhead light fixture with something fun. The semi flush pendant, shown on the top center of the board, will be a great replacement. The patterns and colors on the board are fresh and current, yet blend in with their traditional, rustic aesthetic, which is the combo they were hoping to achieve. I wanted to add an acrylic coffee table, to not take up too much visual space. Also, the gentle curves are functional with small kids running around. They can easily fit the gray knit pouf {right side of the board} under the table, when not in use. Luckily, we were able to fit a considerable amount of seating in this compact space. Using two upholstered navy blue ottomans {bottom left of board} in front of the fireplace, makes it easy to use as extra seating or a place to rest your feet. They are quick and easy to move around and they also do double duty as storage! Below, you will see the floor plan configuration that was selected…

The Floor Plan

floor plan


The door on the top right corner of the floor plan is their main entrance. They already had a gorgeous antique hall tree for their coats and hats. We also used some of their vintage furniture pieces to bring that charm to the space and mix well against the modern fabrics. I can’t wait to see the result!

I am currently booking more e-design projects for 2016, but spots are filling up fast. E-mail me at amberbdesign@gmail.com to get your project on the list. I look forward to working with you!

Latest E – Design Projects

Lately, I have been showing some local projects, so I thought it would be fun to switch gears today and show some of my latest e-design work. E-design is a remote way of doing design, as it’s all completed through on line correspondence and virtual design presentations. First up, is a project I completed for a couple wanting to update their living space, while also looking for some new storage. They love to travel and also like shades of blues and greens. This was also a fun project, because it is a friend of mine who lives out of town! Here is the design plan…


OB-Casual Chic LR


They enjoy the outdoors, so I thought the Schumacher Zimba pillow {shown bottom center} was a fun addition, since the modern fabric print is reminiscent of the mountains. The watercolor art print, {shown bottom left corner} will go on the mantel and has the room’s color palette, while also brings another reminder of nature.

Next up is a den for a sweet family that I have worked with, before. This space gets a lot of use from the whole family, so it had to be both functional and stylish. We kept many of the existing pieces for this room, so it was just a matter of selecting the right accessories and color palette to go with the space. They already had a color combo of corals, greens and yellows, so I came in and added some modern elements to balance with the traditional. Here is that design plan…


OB-Stylish Den


Some of these accessories may change, but the overall plan will stay the same. Changing their current yellow wall color to the light blue/gray shade {top left corner} will be a game changer in the room. I like how both of these plans seem so different, yet they carry that common thread… a blend of modern with traditional design. I tend to gravitate towards that combination and it was exciting to work on projects that bring together those styles. And both designs have the same watercolor print!

Project Vintage Gem – The Reveal Part 4

Welcome back to the final installment of Project Vintage Gem! Today, it’s all about the foyer. My client has a pretty small foyer and we wanted to make it as functional as possible. We wanted to add storage, a place to sit down and a spot for the litter box. You may be worried when you hear that a litter box is going in the main foyer, but no fear… it came out pretty cool and blends right in with the vintage/rustic charm we wanted for her home. Let’s get right to the pictures! It was a tough space to photograph, because of the lack of natural light and compact size. But yet again, Sarah Heppell worked her photography magic!

Heading to the foyer from the living room…

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For a quick before and after, here is how the space was when we began…




I actually forgot the electric box was on that wall! We strategically hung the mirror there, to cover it up!


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After photos by Sarah Heppell

A huge credit goes to my client for finding the custom litter box cover on etsy! It really works with the home’s design aesthetic. We always need functional design too, right?!? Thank you all for your encouraging and sweet feedback from this project. It was truly amazing to work on and I am so thankful to my client for allowing me to share this journey on the blog.

My Farewell Post {on this blog}

This post has been a long time coming and I am so thrilled about what’s to come! For quite some time, I have been thinking about switching my blog design and overall focus. I have used blogger for so long and it’s been great. But I am now ready for a change! Since Amber B Design is my business, I have decided to organize and stream line things a bit better. My blog page will always be called Simple Dwellings. {I have a special place in my heart for that name.} But the overall site and main page will be more Amber B Design focused. I will continue blogging as a way to showcase my work or any time I want to check in and share. But my site will be focused on my business and will be organized in a more user friendly format. I have decided to switch to word press and I’m so excited to start using the beautiful features it has to offer.

If you are starting a business or want to add a more professional look to your existing on line presence, I suggest looking for talented people that can make your work shine. For me, that was hiring a web designer and photographer. Britt Douglas is the amazingly talented web designer I chose and I am so thrilled I did. She creates amazing work and I can’t wait to show it all to you, soon! I met Britt a couple of years ago at Blog Podium. She is as sweet and down to earth as she is talented. I told her then, that I would love to have her design my new site. {See, I told you this was a long time coming. I have been thinking about this forever!}

I first found out about my photographer, Sarah Heppell, when I drove by her studio and saw her sign. I looked up her site and the rest was history. We met soon after and she came to our home and created photography magic. She is truly a talent!! Here are some more sneak peeks from the photo shoot at my home, that you will see on the new site:

All Photos by Sarah Heppell Photography

that’s me looking productive!  :)

we ended the photo session with a carrot cake celebration!

It feels bitter sweet to say good bye to this blog, where it all started in 2011. But I know I am heading in the right direction for me and my business. I am excited for what’s to come and I look forward to checking in with you all and sharing my design thoughts on the new site, very soon! I have added a new e-mail address, that will be the primary e-mail for the new site. It’s amberbdesign@gmail.com. Feel free to write me an e-mail there, as it will be the main one from now on. This blog will still be up for some time, so feel free to check back and look at any of the pages you wish! I will make sure to announce when the new site is live. EEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bathroom E-Design Reveal – Before & After!!

I am so excited to show you this before and after today! A while back, a wonderful e-design client, who I have worked with on some rooms before, contacted me about putting some love back into their downstairs half bathroom. She wanted a more serene, spa like vibe and was definitely ready for a change.


Short of changing the vanity mirror and pedestal sink, they pretty much replaced everything else! My clients couldn’t wait to take the tile off the walls and floor. They were also looking to change the wall color and bring a softer, more modern look to the space. Here is the design plan I came up with…

The Design Plan

I knew that the new lighter wall color, stenciled top walls, wainscoted lower walls and new marble flooring were going to be the game changers. Everything else was the icing on the cake. Are you ready to see the afters?!?


Can you believe it’s the same space? My clients worked extremely hard to make this bathroom reflect their style. They did the work themselves and did a phenomenal job!! The best compliment on Instagram was a reader asking if that was wallpaper. It’s a stencil and you can purchase it HERE, in small. Thank you to my clients for allowing me to share their hard work. Bravo to you both!!

My Photo Shoot Reveal!! {Sneak Peek}

I am over the moon excited with how my recent photo shoot turned out, that I had to share some sneak peeks with you! Not too long ago, I decided to make some changes with Amber B Design. This summer, I will be getting a new web site and switching to word press. {If you have any experience one way or another with using word press, I’m all ears!} So with those new changes, comes a new look. I decided to reach out to a local Central New York photographer and see if she could come over and take some head shots as well as some photos of our home. I worked with Sarah Heppell, of Sarah Heppell Photography, and I’m so glad I did! She made me feel at ease throughout the whole process. I am not one for posing for pictures, so if she could make me look unafraid, she’s a genius in my book! I will be waiting to show most of the photos for the new web site, but here are some amazing examples of her work…

All images below taken by Sarah Heppell Photography

Our Dining Room

Our Family Room

Our Living Room

Isn’t she incredibly talented?!? I love how she can capture the simplest moments and turn them into something magical. I love how the vase of flowers in the dining room is in focus, while the background fades. I also love how she photographed the dinosaur that my son painted, when he was younger. :)

And here are some head shots that might make their way onto the new site, as well as onto my other social media accounts…

When we were taking the last picture, she said she wanted to make sure she didn’t position me so that it looked like I had antlers coming out of my head. :) Right at ease! Well done, Sarah!

If you live in the CNY area and need a photographer for any reason, Sarah Heppell Photography is your girl! Visit her site HERE for more information!