Shelf Styling is a Process

I recently stopped over my client’s house to begin styling her shelves in her family room. I wrote about the progress of her room in this post and after this most recent visit, we both feel that the finish point is near! And that’s definitely an exciting thing to see. All of the room’s elements have been on the design board and it is now so rewarding to get to see the results in action. Shelf styling is definitely a process, though. Every designer approaches it differently, but for me, I have some tried and true methods when I work…

1. Start from scratch. The shelves should start with a clean slate, i.e. empty. My client was amazing and already spread out everything she had, so we could see what we had to work with. That’s so refreshing and helpful, so you can get right to it.

Where we started…

Today, I styled the shelves seen behind the sectional. There is my empty slate.

2. Find all of the hard cover books you can use and remove the book jackets. You will be amazed at how they all of a sudden look like bound collector’s books.

3. Before placing items on the shelves, I hung a trio of sunburst mirrors on the wall. I made sure I did that first, so I had the mirrors right where I wanted. Then, I styled around them. Hanging mirrors on the walls behind your shelves gives the furniture piece depth and interest. You could also hang small pieces of artwork or family photos.

4. Start placing the items on the shelves to see how they will work together. This can be a long process. And it may even change from today to the next styling visit. I like to take pictures and study them, to see if the shelves are how I like them. This can involve a lot of editing, but it is really worth it and the true fun part of the room!

This was how I had the shelves styled in phase one…

Like I said earlier, the three mirrors were hung first. I then started styling around them. But this first phase seemed a bit too cluttered to us. I made a few more changes…

This was how I had the shelves styled in phase two…

I removed some of the books on the top shelf, but the globe still didn’t look right in that spot and it all felt cluttered and busy.

And this was how I styled the shelves in the final phase…

5. Editing, editing and more editing! I think it is almost impossible to get it 100% right the first time. Stepping back to see the changes you have made is a great way to finalize your shelves.

Do you like the changes? I moved the globe to the top shelf, removed some of the glass bottles and added a blue and white bowl to the small stack of blue books. We are both excited about the transformation of these shelves. And we were happy to be able to use so much of what my client already had! I know adding those personal items will be meaningful to the overall design. We are now on the lookout for two more storage bins for the bottom left shelves. I won’t necessarily match them, but find coordinating bins in a similar size. We will also add another detail to the wall space next to the globe. This room has a very high angled slope to its ceiling, so we will add a wall clock to visually draw your eye up and to also help make that tall wall feel useful.

So stay tuned… we will be having much more fun in this space in the coming months! 

In Love With… Sarah Style

I have been a long time fan of the design work of Sarah Richardson. I was thrilled to be able to meet her and tour her Toronto design studio last fall. She has that perfect blend of traditional with modern, new with vintage. It is always a treat to watch her television shows and see what projects her and her team are up to next. So when Anneliese from Simon and Schuster Canada contacted me about receiving a copy of Sarah’s new book, Sarah Style, I jumped at the chance.

I have loved going through this book page by page and studying the rooms she has designed. I also really like the way this book is written… Sarah takes us through the book by room type, showing various ways to make each space in your home unique and personal to your style. I also love the tips along the way, giving us a glimpse into her thought process when she designs a room. I was even surprised to find out that some of the spaces I have long admired were her designs. She is literally a design genius! Let’s take a glimpse into the decorating goodness you will find in this book…

Amazing, right?!? And these images just scratch the surface. There is so much more in the book, including foyers, bathrooms and kid’s spaces! To order your copy, visit HERE.
Thank you so much to Anneliese and the people over at Simon and Schuster Canada for this book!

A Local Client’s Family Room {Making Great Progress}

I have been working with a local client who I am happy to also call a good friend. We have been plugging away on her family room, making it a space that has a blend of traditional with modern. She has been a joy to work with so far, because she truly gets as excited as I do about design and it feels like a girl’s day out when we meet to discuss the progress in her space. Here are some before pictures of the room to show you where we began…

Before…


We will be working with the main furniture pieces in the room, such as the Pottery Barn sectional and storage cabinet. Since we are keeping these warm furniture pieces, I immediately thought we should cool down the walls with a color that balances all of the warm elements. I chose Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore and she loved the idea. The walls in this family room are daunting… they slant up to a dramatic height and painting this room is a huge undertaking. My clients realized it needed to be done to transform the space, but I also totally understood the hesitancy of the project. Luckily, the tried and true Revere Pewter was a winner and my clients could not be happier with the result! This tall wall in the photo above needed some architectural interest to help visually bring that wall down to feel more cozy. I suggested adding board and batten to this wall (up 3/4 of the wall) and painting that a dark gray/brown shade. I selected Equestrian Gray, also by Benjamin Moore. Here is the design board I initially presented to my client…

The Design Board…


And here is the amazing progress of this room so far…

Progress…


We changed the color palette a bit for the accessory pillows, but for the most part, the rest of the plan stayed the same. We also replaced the curtain rods with brass options and purchased longer drapes, so the rods could be installed much higher than the windows. That visually brought your eye up, making the windows feel grander and in better fitting with the height of the room. Love that trick! Our plan moving forward is to replace the slipcovered chair and ottoman with a leather club chair/ottoman, place console tables behind the sectional, add ceiling beams to warm up the tall ceilings and install a fireplace/mantel where the TV is currently. We will also accessorize the walls and shelves, but the transformation is already coming along so well, that I had to share!

Thank you so much to my amazing client and friend for allowing me to share the progress here on the blog. I look forward to sharing more, as the room design unfolds! 

Before and After {#projectdelicatenursery Reveal!!}

I am so excited to share my latest client reveal! I have been working on a girl’s nursery with a wonderful local client. She lives in a gorgeous 1930’s home and the room has a lot of great potential. The space has beautiful hardwood floors, glass door knobs and loads of character. My client did a great job purchasing the area rug, dresser and crib before we met. I came in to make suggestions on wall color, accessories and the rest of the furnishings. Here is the room before we started…

Before


We immediately started talking about wall color and how we wanted to lighten it up and give the nursery a warm glow that feels cozy and inviting. She wanted the space to feel soft and delicate and a room her soon to be daughter can grow with. We met a couple of weeks later and I presented her with the design plan…

The Design Plan

{To read more about this design board, I spoke about it in a post HERE.}

We basically went ahead with every plan, but changed the art a bit along the way. Here are the after pictures…
After


My clients are so happy with the room and I am so excited they love it! There are only a few elements left to fully complete the room. We have a beautiful paper cut mobile going above the crib that has yet to arrive. My client chose the gold lotus ceiling pendant, but it is currently out of stock. In the meantime, we also love the character of the original brass fixture. That might work out after all. Also, wall ledges for book display will be mounted to the right of the glider. I will go into more detail about the space in the coming weeks. Now we anxiously await for this beautiful bundle of joy to arrive!
Thank you so much to my amazing clients for allowing me to share the nursery! 

Updates in Our Living Room … Finally!

You know what they say, better late than never! About a year ago, I purchased an upholstered chair to go in our living room. It sits in front of our secretary desk and I love the juxtaposition of the upholstered chair with the wood furniture piece. Juxtaposition, huh?!? Using big words and two blog posts in two days… somebody stop me!  :) This chair is on casters and the kids have actually loved using it to curl up and read. Before, we just used our wooden desk chair.

Before…


It wasn’t very comfortable and we rarely used the space. Fast forward to something more user friendly and it’s a new favorite spot!

After…


It lightens up the dark wood and I like that the space gets used more often. That’s what a home is all about, right?!? Pretty and functional. I found this chair (which is actually on casters!) at TJ Maxx. Maybe that’s why it’s popular with the kids. What kid doesn’t love to spin in a chair?!? I replaced the coral accessory with my little seasonal pumpkin I made last year. To see how I made that, visit HERE.

So that’s out little update (from last year!) How about you… any room changes you wish to share???
Even if it’s from last year, I won’t judge!  :)

Before and After {E Design Client Progress}

I always enjoy getting progress and after photos in my inbox! Truly makes my day. I have some updates to show you on two e-design projects that wrapped up this past year. First up, is a client who has a mid century modern, eclectic, bohemian style. She wanted that reflected in her living room, which is the space directly off of the foyer. Here is where the room started…

Before


I love the character in my client’s home. We kept the gorgeous rug, but replaced everything you see here with new pieces. We felt the furniture was a bit oversized for the space and my client wanted a more streamlined, cleaner look for the room. Here is the design board I came up with for this space…

The Design Plan


She is almost done implementing the design plan! Today, I am showing you a sneak peek of the left corner of the room, where the table and chairs are shown in the pictures.

After in Progress


I just love the way the table lamps bring that eclectic, collected style to the room. I also love the way the gourd lamp compliments the art print above the desk. The room is lighter and brighter and I can’t wait to show you more, soon!

My next e-design client was looking to completely transform her living room and foyer. We replaced almost everything in the room and the end result is pretty dramatic. Here is where the room started…

Before


And here is the design plan I came up with for the spaces…

Design Plan


Today, I am showing you a sneak peek of the fireplace wall and the nooks beside the fireplace.

After


The DIY inverted arrows print she made turned out beautiful! I love the way the mirrors add a dramatic focal point and reflect the light around the room. The biggest impact for this space is the lighter paint color on the walls. What a difference! I also think a huge impact is the newly painted fireplace mantel. Painting over the wood stained mantel instantly modernized the room and this whole wall. I promise a full reveal of this space soon!

Great job to my amazing, wonderful clients! Thank you for letting me share your beautiful spaces with my readers. If you are looking to make your home better reflect your style, contact me at simpledwellings1@gmail.com for more info.! I am currently booking for January 2015.

Check Out This Etsy Shop {A New Blog Series}

I am excited to introduce a new series to the blog… Check Out This Etsy Shop… Every week, I will highlight a favorite etsy shop of mine and I am kicking off this series with a good friend’s shop! I met Shantelle a couple of years back and she is the sweetest, most genuine person you’ll ever meet! In her shop Just Luved, Shantelle sells handmade rag quilts and other shabby sweet items. She has always loved the vintage appeal that rag quilts have and the originality that comes with a special handmade product. What I love about her shop is the ability to choose from the variety of quilts on her site or you can special order a quilt with the colors and fabric ideas for your space. It is such a meaningful and personal addition to a nursery and would also make a wonderful, thoughtful gift for a baby shower. I decided to take one of my favorite quilts from her shop and build a nursery around the color scheme. Here is the precious quilt…

And here is the nursery design I came up with…
I absolutely love the fabric patterns she chose for this quilt. The colors are so soft and serene and you can easily find coordinating pieces to work with the quilt. Shantelle loves the fabric selection process and has so much fun selecting the prints that go into each and every quilt she makes. You can tell her heart goes into the rag quilts she designs and I appreciate handmade items that are also meaningful. A win win in my book!

Check out her shop HERE to find that one of a kind gift for any nursery! Shantelle is kind enough to offer my readers a 10% discount off of any current shop listing!! The coupon is valid for existing shop items and not custom orders. The coupon code is AmberB2014 and is good until October 31st, 2014. 
Happy Shopping !!!

What Has Caught My Eye Lately…

I have always enjoyed reading through ‘blogger favorite’ posts and I wish I had the organization to do that on a weekly basis! I must say, though, there are so many great design images going around blogland lately and on pinterest, that I had to gather up my favorites for you today!

{Her art can also be purchased at Furbish, HERE}
I really love this Schumacher favorite in the ebony colorway
{At this shop, you can choose your back fabric color!}
This new to me etsy shop sells this gorgeous Robert Allen fabric as a very affordable pillow cover!
So that’s what I have spotted out and about lately! How about you… what would you add to the list???

A New Local Client – #projectdelicatenursery

I have been starting to take on more local clients and it has been fun to watch that part of my design business grow. The process, while just as amazing as e-design, is different. Presentations are in person, with a real, tangible design board! This newest project was fun and exciting, because I had the privilege of working on a girl’s nursery. I named this design #projectdelicatenursery because the colors, fabrics and textures are soft, neutral and pretty. Here are some pictures of the design board before the client presentation…

Floor Plan Options…

The presentation went very well! My client is ready to move forward with the plans and I couldn’t be more excited for her and this new adventure!

Nurseries are so fun to think about and design. There are so many directions you can take a baby’s room. What is so unique about kid’s spaces in general, is that they can become an extension of the design of the rest of your house, while also being a space you can switch gears and have fun with! Here are some of the inspiration images for our project…

Inspiration…

I am excited to continue sharing this project along the way! 
Whether you live locally or far, we can work together. I am currently offering both local and e-design packages. Please e-mail me at simpledwellings1@gmail.com to get started. I still have a few spots available for the fall!

Adding Some Color & Pattern to our Family Room

I always live by the idea that a home is never finished… I will constantly be editing, moving things around and finding that new perfect accessory for a space in my home. I have to keep making changes, because it makes home decorating fun and interesting! And it’s always cute to see my family come home and say, what is this table doing in this room now? She’s at it again!  :) Now with fall fast approaching, I thought it was time for some minor changes…

The blue chinoiserie urn was a recent antique find. I like the introduction of cobalt blue and this accessory feels collected and vintage, which adds character to the consoles. The coral x bench was a Target purchase. I also have one in our foyer and when they showed up again in Target and on clearance for only $17, I scooped one up right away. I know having two of these benches will come in handy to use as a pair or separately throughout the house. The chevron pouf was also a Target find. I had my eye on it since it came into the store for about $70. I waited and was very patient. Luckily, that paid off for me and I bought the last one for only $22!

By adding the cheerful , bright colors to the space, I smile when I walk in the room! I think these small changes are just what this room needed.

To recap, here is a picture of the space before these additions…

Before


And After


Does the start of fall motivate you to make small changes, too??