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Pent Dining Room: Three For Dinner (and two dogs…and a cat)

I love this family.

The husband and I went to rival high schools, the wife and I went to college together, and they have one of the most beautiful baby boys I have ever seen.  Seriously!

The Pent’s home is old and lovely, and the dining room especially has lots of natural light.  Because the previous owner put it through a bit of a lackluster reno, the home needed some pizzazz.  Our first challenge was marrying the styles of the couple and combining both of their visions, plus keeping in mind there is a baby in the house and two large dogs.  Oh, and a cat, you can’t forget the cat!

Besides the pretty sunshine coming through the windows, this room houses the husband’s (a talented pianist) gorgeous glossy white baby grand piano.  Here are some before pictures – the dining room is the first room you see to the right when you walk in the front door.

Looking in from the Living Room.

Pretty fireplace.

At the back of the room, there is a bit of space for a small lounging area which I think is really cozy to have in a living room.

So as you can see, with the pretty floors, natural light, fireplace, and incredible piano, all this room needed was to be revamped into something both owners would love.  When I sat down with them, it was pretty clear there was a bit of a style difference.  Asking about the husband’s style, I was told,

“Think P.Diddy.”

Still makes me laugh.  Definitely a first.  The wife loves the Domino look, and is more of an eclectic vibe.  Overall, they are both fairly modern and very fun to work with.  The plan was for all of the furniture to leave the room except the buffet and the settee (which was to be revamped after some unfortunate incidents with the cat), and the curtains are also new and pretty, so they were going to stay.  Since I was having a bit of a hard time figuring out what dining chair would work for them, their design board had a few chair options.     

Our first matter of business was wall color.  We finally arrived at a deliciously rich gray – it is a Valspar color, and I cannot think of the name of it.  If you really love it, leave a note for me in the comments section, and I will find it for you.  A major component of brightening this room was painting the trim a bright white to match the piano.  It was painted beige before, which lended a drab feel to the room.  The ceiling was painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Collingwood”.

After a few pow-wows with my clients, this is what we created.  Take a look.

The dining table is the “Emmerson Table” from West Elm, and I love it.  The wood is reclaimed, and I think it is the perfect modern farmhouse table.  It is a truly beautiful piece.  Look at that thick wood top!  The chairs are from Z-Gallerie, and they are now discontinued; however, for those of you that like to know, they are called the “Concerto Dining Chair”.  Pretty perfect with the piano, right?  The white leather will be easy to wipe clean, and the polished nickel nailheads add some sparkle.

The little settee at the back of the room was recovered in a plum Sunbrella velvet, and is now cozy and comfy.  Wood and chrome side tables (aren’t those sleek?!) are from West Elm, the ikat pillows are from Etsy, and the center lumbar pillow was custom and designed by yours truly.  White gourd lamps from H-to-the-Goods.

Love the mid century art piece featured above the sofa!  It’s a Gypsy Soul find!

I am crazy for this rug!  It is vintage, in perfect condition, super soft, and the colors are so vibrant!  It really ties the room together.

The fireplace received a fresh coat of trim paint, and we replaced the art that was there with the agave art from the kitchen.  Don’t the colors look beautiful together?

You know I love x-benches, and this vintage Milo Baughman pair was recovered in an ikat fabric (Robert Allen “Khanjali Peacock”), where they now flank the fireplace.

The buffet got some new jewelry in the form of brass ring pulls, and we added some pretty sparkly items to the top.

Although our original plan was to replace the lighting fixtures as they felt too “contractor”, we ended up painting them this amazing green, and they. look. awesome.  I have a new appreciation for them, and they add some serious punch to the room.

You will laugh when you find out what color they are – about as far from P.Diddy as you can get!  We painted them with Rustoleum’s John Deere Green!  But hey, the look terrific, and that’s what matters.

Looking at these pictures makes me happy all over again.  Doesn’t this room look incredible?  Modern, comfortable, artistic, and definitely has the wow factor.

Come back tomorrow for the Pent’s Living Room reveal!

**Heartfelt thanks to Kat Phillips, of, for the beautiful photography in this post.**

My Dining Room

I have been laughing finding photos for this post!  Ah, my dining room.  It has taken a couple of tries to get things right…One of the funny things about doing design work is that sometimes my home ends up being a bit of a lab.  Through some trial and error, I will finally end up with something I think is beautiful and suited to the space.

Join me on the journey.

This is what the dining room looked like when the previous owners lived here.  I like the space, and I like grey, but this room felt very dark and low to me.

We started pondering what we could do to brighten it up in there.  One of the problems was the amount of natural light reaching the room.  The space is long and narrow, and there was one single chandelier trying to fill the space.  Because of how our home is set up, you cannot put recessed lighting on the first floor so we had to come up with a different solution.  And then we found it – though it is no longer available at Pottery Barn, we put up the Edison Chandelier, and we love it.

Pottery Barn

The arms allow you to position it any way you like so it was simple for us to stretch it mostly the length of the table.  It gives us so much more light, and though we loved the crystal chandelier that was in there (it is original to our home), we moved it to the island in the kitchen so everyone is happy.

Now that lighting was tackled, we moved on to the aesthetics.  I love painted molding, and I would like to have them in this house somewhere – white walls, color on the molding.  I painted the molding first – Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue – but it just didn’t do it for me.   (Take note of the small buffet piece in the photo for its later transformation).

It still felt lifeless.  It just wasn’t right.  Then I got to thinking…I would love to have a beautiful wallpaper in there, something that fits the home but still has a modern flair.  But…the kids.  We have lots of kids that would be walking through and touching it and leaving their sweet little marks.  That’s when I thought of this…

Beadboard!   It was the perfect answer.  It’s durable, it’s wipeable, the creamy white would brighten the space, and it looks original to the home.  You can see we took the texture off the walls to get to the smooth plaster surface below.  Also, check out the “before” on the ‘Mad Hatter’ vintage chairs I picked up on Craigs List.  I love love love the shape of them and knew they would make terrific host/hostess chairs.

We were on our way, but I knew the wallpaper would seal the deal.  I quickly fell in love with this wallpaper.


A little more research led me to the discovery that this is a Cole & Son wallpaper called Hummingbirds, available at Anthropologie, and also at Decoraters Best.   Obviously, this is expensive wallpaper, but I didn’t need much since I had a small space to fill.  (another positive of doing the beadboard)  Once I saw the paper and pattern in person, I knew this was it.  I love the colors, and it has such a lovely almost hand-painted texture to it you can’t see in the photograph.  (it was totally worth the money!)

So without further adieu, welcome to my dining room.

We love this room.  It is light, bright, elegant, and full of character.  It’s interesting to look at.  I like to create rooms you can’t take in with one swoop of the eye.  Rooms with depth.  Something I really like about this room is all of the special touches and details that make it us.

You can see the buffet makeover below.  Didn’t it turn out beautiful?  I found this piece at a garage sale forever ago for $15.  The wood was in pretty bad shape except for the curved insets on the sides of the piece and the drawer fronts.  But I loved the shape of it and knew I cold make it into something special.  This project ended up being one of my, “woops!  I stayed up all night” projects.  I started painting it, and then it was morning.

I painted the frame in the same creamy white as the trim and beadboard in the room.  Then I painted the detail with a bronzed gold leaf paint, oiled the exposed wood, scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed the hardware, and voila, it looks like something from a high end antique store.

The collection of blue and white china has come from various sources.  The darling “let them eat cake” vase I adore was gifted to me and is from Anthropologie.  Found here.  The large bowl belonged to my husband’s great Aunt Grace.  The lucite lamps are vintage.

What doesn’t belong here?

The abstract painting was a Salvation Army find  – it is a bit unexpected, and I like that about it in regards to the room.  It was $24, and it is actually a real-deal painting!  A little research revealed it is by a mid-century artist who signed his pieces “Cien”.

On the right side of the room, you can see the etagere filled with my china collection, terrariums, and other treasures.  Found by my sweet friend and Gypsy Soul comrade, Kristen Dowd, the vintage gold leaf frame with glass shelves adds a unique element to the room.

A year or so ago, an antique china store in my city closed.  They had a huge sale, and I decided to get twelve sets of china.  They are all different, and it gives such a collected feel to the space.  So lovely to look at and study, the patterns range from the 1800’s to the 1930’s.

The gigantic light bulb is original to the house!  We found it when we moved in.

The terrariums are easy to care for (a cup or two of water every couple of weeks) and lend some softness to the overall look.  Glass containers were all purchased at Home Goods.

The crystal candy dish was our first wedding present given to us by Kent’s grandparents – it was their first wedding present!  They have been married over sixty years!  The “Dish” book (Christmas gift alert!) is a very fun read if you like looking at vintage and antique china patterns.

Love love love wallpapered doors.  We put wallpaper inside the frames on both sides.  (this door is open quite a bit)  The door stop is original to the house.  If you missed the post on how I put up my plate collection, it can be seen here.

The vintage host and hostess chairs were recovered in a wipeable diamond textured fabric for the front, and a beautiful silk on the back.  You can’t tell the  diamond fabric is vinyl until you touch it!

For curtain rods, I used my DIY Acrylic Curtain Rods, and they turned out just as lovely in my dining room as they did the living room.  Dining rooms need a little sparkle!

I don’t normally prefer plain sheer drapes, but I do like a pretty pattern on a sheer.  We didn’t need the privacy so the simple sheers work great.  The fabric is from Cutting Corners – “Newman” in Ivory.

The diamond backed chairs are vintage and another Craigslist find.  I had them lacquered and recovered in a faux ostrich.  (I love using faux ostrich in homes with kids – it always looks chic and any spills are easily conquered with a wipe!)  My husband will probably shake his head when he reads this, but I am pondering using a different color of faux ostrich.  I was trying to branch out with the pink color (it picks up on the coral-y pink hues in the wallpaper and hostess chairs), and…I don’t love it.  But it will work for now.  I recently picked up a bolt of aqua ostrich fabric on clearance and may take on the recovering project myself.  We’ll see.  Crazy about the chairs though.  (You can also see on the other side of the french doors is the playroom.)

  One last before & after.

Hope you enjoyed my dining room makeover!  Tons of work, tons of hours, but very very worth it.  This is our only eating area so it gets loads of use, and it makes me so happy to look at it.  I think it’s a great example of layering to create something comfortable, elegant, and unique.  And also a true illustration of trial and error, ha!

Many many thanks to Kat Phillips (featured in this month’s Coastal Living – woot woot!), of, for the lovely images of my dining room featured in this post.

Gebhardt Formal Living Room: Design Board to Final Reveal

Sabrina’s formal living room was a bright beautiful canvas waiting to be filled with and life and color.  If you read the post yesterday, you saw her casual living room transform, and we wanted this room to be just as special.  Pretty, pretty, pretty is what we were going for; plus comfortable, inviting, and entertaining.  Since it is the first room you see when you come into the house, we wanted it to be “WOW!” when you walked through the front door.

Here are some before pictures.

This is the wall you see when you walk in. They added the shelves on either side of the fireplace.

Looking into the formal living from the dining room.

Looking out from the fireplace into the back of the room and casual living room.

Like the casual living room, the room has tons of natural light so that was a big plus.  It also holds charming details like this Greek key detailing around the tile floor surrounding the fireplace.  (When they bought the house, they didn’t even know this was there!  After they refinished the floors, the dirt and grime was scrubbed away to reveal this lovely woodwork.)

We wanted these rooms to be friends so we carried the main accent color of navy through both rooms.  For the formal living room, I felt especially inspired by this crazy beautiful painting that belonged to Sabrina’s grandmother.

The colors are so so vivid, so I knew when I saw it, that painting needed to be a focal point in the room.

Say hello to the design board.

This room’s design board contained more “options” than the casual living room simply because I had a few visions in my head that could work.  As with any inspiration board, we changed our minds on things and tweaked things Sabrina wasn’t crazy over.  I originally thought we would paint the walls surrounding the windows at the front of the room the same navy as the gallery wall in the casual living, but we decided to keep the walls all light.  Sabrina had already purchased a white Ektorp sofa from Ikea, an 8×10 plain jute rug (I planned to layer an antique rug on top to give some interest), and an oval bamboo coffee table from Gypsy Soul.  A pair of antique French-looking armchairs needed to be upholstered, and we also were on the hunt for a chair and lamp for the corner of the room.

Because I was so crazy over the yellow blouse in the painting, I was inspired to bring that color out in some way in the room.  When I found this amazing pair of vintage petite legged stools at Scout Design Studio (thanks Tiffany and Britt!), I knew a lovely textured yellow fabric would be incredible on them.

And I found it.  At Childress Fabrics in Dallas.  A perfect-shade yellow raised velvet on a linen-y background.

The room was coming together.

And it turned out truly beautiful.  Just like we wanted.

View from the Dining Room…the curtain fabric is “Mercy” in ivory from Cutting Corners, and we edged it in two-inch navy grosgrain ribbon.  The result is light, airy, and chic with a hint of moroccan flair through the pattern.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

View from the front door.  Pretty wow, right?!

Something I love about these old homes is they have picture rails!  Hang a pretty chain from a hook that holds onto the picture rail, and voila, your art is hung.

Looking into the Casual Living Room.  Do you spy a birthday party about to happen?

All the pretty details…

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The Gypsy Soul coffee table on top of the antique persian rug is sooo lovely.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Isn’t this rattan stool too cool?  Found on CraigsList for $75!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Since there is no true entryway in the house, we created one by using a piece they already owned, plus a tray, sunburst mirror (Home Goods), and lamp (Home Goods).

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

A funny story about the sweet little vintage tole tray…I found it on Ebay and sent it to Sabrina on her shopping list.  It said it was 20×24, I think.  When it arrived, it was so tiny.  I couldn’t believe it!  It was 20 centimeters by 24 centimeters.  HA!  It worked out though, we had a bigger chest planned for this space originally, and went with the smaller one instead, so a tray that big wouldn’t have fit.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The chairs were recovered in a Greek key fabric from Premier Prints.  I had the pillows custom made with a beautiful indigo velvet frame surrounding a piece of Schumacher’s Chiang Mai fabric in the aqua colorway.  The backs of the pillows are a vivid red.  I chose the Chiang Mai because I loved how the colors mimicked the painting, and the pattern brings a modern vibe.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The layered rugs turned out so nice!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

And the stools…oh how I love those stools!  They are so elegant.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The fireplace is non-working so I originally thought we would make it architectural by stacking wood and exposing the ends, but Sabrina saw a picture on Pinterest of books stacked, and I loved the idea!  It looks charming, and she can add more over time.

Shelf styling is rather therapeutic for me.  I really enjoy it, and I rearrange my own shelves often.  For Sabrina’s home, we kept them fairly simple. We utilized many items she already owned, plus some interesting things she picked up at various antique stores around town.  Sabrina is a photographer (check out her lovely work here!), and she has started a little vintage camera collection to display.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The ikat pillows are from Home Goods, and we had some extra yellow stool fabric we made pillows from.  Do you love the monogrammed pillow as much as I do?  I had it custom made based on a monogram I love from Leontine Linens, and had it embroidered on the same indigo velvet that frames the Chiang Mai fabric on the side chair pillows.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

For the mantle, we kept it simple and sophisticated.  A few ferns mixed in with her grandmother’s crystal bottles.  She can add more over time if she wants to.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

This corner needed some oomph, and we breathed some colorful life into it!  (not to mention it is now a useable space!)  Using Chiang Mai wallpaper remnants I had from a previous project, I framed them using Ikea’s Odby frames. (a GREAT alternative if you are tired of the Ribba!)  The rattan chair and pillow seat were Gypsy Soul finds, the stunning brass floor lamp is from the Restoration Hardware outlet, and the wooden stool was Sabrina’s.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Doesn’t it look amazing?

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

View from the casual living room.  Love the french doors!  Love that painting!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

What impressed me so much about both of these rooms was how layered, and collected, and natural they looked after such a short amount of time.  (Sabrina and her family had only lived in this home for three weeks at this point!)  Both rooms turned out light, bright, happy, elegant, functional, and inviting.  They look beautiful, and they are fit for family and friends.

I asked Sabrina to write a few sentences about how she felt about the rooms, and I got this – so so sweet!

Dear Grace,

To say that we are happy with our new rooms would be a complete understatement. We are above-and-beyond thrilled with them! They are more than we could have asked for or expected and we are enjoying them so much. Our formal living room is absolutely stunning. I finally feel like I have a beautiful room that is welcoming to guests, is inspiring to be in and is a complete reflection of my taste. In our previous home, I was never proud to have guests over or to entertain but now I am and it is all thanks to you.

As for our casual living space, it is so peaceful and comforting. My husband and kids love it as much as I do. The best thing about the space is that it is beautiful and functional. My kids have places to play and store their toys. My husband has a comfortable space to watch football and I have a space to relax in. I love our gallery wall and it really does completely mask the television…even when it is on, your eye goes to the photographs and not the screen. It is amazing.

Thank you again for your hard work, vision, attention to detail and to listening to what I wanted. I could not be happier!


Thank you very much to Sabrina and her family for letting me be a part of creating their home!  Enjoy your home and the fruit of your labor, Gebhardts!  Love.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Do you need help creating a home perfectly you?  Contact me here or email me at Submissions @AStoriedStyle .com!



Gebhardt Casual Living Room: From Design Board to Transformation

Don’t you love seeing transformations?  Me too.

Sabrina contacted me about doing some design boards for her, and I knew from our first conversation, this project was going to be fun.  She had just moved into a 1920’s home, and needed two living rooms to get situated before her son’s birthday party: a casual living room and a formal living room.  The great thing about her home is its ample amount of windows/light and tons of old house character. So much potential here…

Looking from the back wall out to the formal living room

Left wall when you walk into the room

Back Wall

Right wall when you walk into the room

She wanted this room to be casual, but still pretty.  Relaxing, inviting, and FUNCTIONAL for her family.  It needed to house some toys, be conducive to play for her two little ones, and be a room you wanted to be in.  Sabrina also had another major request:  “I don’t want the television to be the first thing you notice about the room!”  Something I loved about her:  she wanted color!  Since the walls were gray, she wanted color in the fabrics and accessories, with navy being a main accent color for the room.  With all this in mind, I put together this design board.

Sabrina had already purchased a pair of fluffy comfy couches off of Craigslist for the room so that was taken care of.  She also bought the chic bamboo chest to use as a media console, and a pair of upholstered benches from Kristen and I via Gypsy Soul.  To disguise the television, I proposed to install a large panel on the long windowless wall, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy and trimmed with made-to-match custom molding.  Since windows frame every other wall of this room, I wanted the long wall to also have visual interest.  White and black frames would surround the television, drawing the eye from the big black box to the photos.  I felt the white bamboo chest would really pop against the navy, and I liked the idea of the television being off-center.  For more “teleguise” ideas, you might like this post.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know what the benches looked like before, and their transformation story.  When I created the inspiration board, I had the wrong impression about the amount of toy storage their family would need, so in the end, we went with a smaller antique chest they already had with two rattan baskets underneath.  She was not crazy about the curtain fabric on the board, so I went on the hunt and found an awesome ikat-y fabric for $3.00 A YARD at my favorite secret fabric store, Home Fabrics & Rugs.  There are not many of them, and only one in Texas (where I live), so if you don’t have one near you, I am very sorry.  It is crazy what you can find in there.  Once I found a bolt of the same fabric Pottery Barn was selling for $58 a yard for $12.99 a yard!

Without further adieu, welcome to the Gebhardt’s beautiful, comfortable, inviting, and happy casual living room.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The pillows on the sofa and loveseat are mostly from Home Goods.  White lamp from Home Goods also.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Still loving how the benches turned out!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Furniture like this is so handy when you need more seating, and it is comfy to put your feet on while watching football games.  Also, I liked that the benches didn’t take up very much floor space to allow some room for the kids to play.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

The pillows you see there in the corner (you can see the mock-up/idea on the design board also) are floor pillows for Sabrina’s two little ones, a boy and a girl.  I loved the idea of them having their own space in the room, something they could snuggle with, and lounge on.  I had the covers custom made with a zipper (yes, they are washable!), and they are stuffed with two 30×30 faux down pillows from Cutting Corners.  The covers are 52″ x 27″ for those of you who like to know details like that, or you want to replicate the idea.  Red ticking stripe fabric is called “Timeless” in crimson from Cutting Corners, and the floral fabric is called “Tanda” also found at Cutting Corners.  (We had extra floral fabric left over – it has this wonderful linen-y feel, and the colors are sooooo pretty – so we made extra pillows for the couch out of it.)

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

While we originally pondered getting the West Elm Andalusia rug, we decided to stick with what Sabrina already had, this diamond jute 8×10 rug.  I think it looks terrific in there!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Just a reminder – this fabric was THREE DOLLARS A YARD!!  I loved the watercolor-y feel to it and the varied shades of blue.

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

Can you believe how awesome this wall looks??!!  I think Sabrina and her hubby were a bit nervous about the idea at first, but they went with it, and they love how it turned out!  It makes me so happy to look at it.  It is like a storybook of their life on the wall.

P.S.  If you live in the DFW area and need a wonderful newborn/child/family photographer, check out Sabrina’s work here.  Lovely!!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

This is probably my favorite picture.  I love making my little clients happy, too!

Image by Sabrina Gebhardt

What do you think?

Come back tomorrow for the formal living room reveal!

P.S.  If you have any questions about the space I didn’t answer, feel free to ask them in the comments!  Also, if you are interested in a design board(s) and/or other interior design services or consultations, please use the contact page or email me at submissions @AStoriedStyle .com.

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