Tag Archive - before and after

My Stairwell

My stairwell is another area of my home that has seen multiple transformations since we moved in two years ago.  Really, it has had a few different looks in the past year.  It’s a tricky space…it doesn’t get a lot of light, so I wanted it to be colorful, but not too bright, I like a little moodiness.  Plus I think little nooks like stairwells should be places where you experiment a little.  Small spaces give you more room to be “out there” with your creativity.  This is how I feel about powder baths also.  Do you love a wallpaper pattern, but it would look C-R-A-Z-Y in a larger room?  Put it in your powder bath.  Is there a bright color you adore, but it would be overwhelming in an entire room?  Powder bath.  I’m tellin’ ya.  You’ll be happy, the small space will be happy, win-win.

If you remember this teaser post about my stairwell, then you will remember this kind of fuzzy picture.  (Why did I not take a better one?)

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At the end of aforementioned post, I posted this picture and asked you to guess what it was.

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Well, it was a true, original Dorothy Draper chest, and yes, it was awesome, and no, it didn’t work.  It looked super weird in that space (too deep), so I sold it.

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Let me back up a smidge, and let’s talk color.  The wall was originally Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter”, and I painted it Benjamin Moore’s “Hale Navy”.

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I used a semi gloss sheen, and I wish I had gone flat for a couple of reasons.  Although I used the high gloss because I wanted it to have a sparkle effect, high gloss paint should really only be used on flat, non-textured surfaces.  My walls have a slight texture to them (ugh) so while the paint has the shiny look I wanted, I am repeatedly reminded of the texture on the wall.  A flat paint would have hidden the texture better and perhaps would have given the navy color more depth.  When you buy a nice paint like a Benjamin Moore or a Sherwin Williams, Farrow & Ball, etc., it has a lot of pigment in it,  so a flat paint really holds the color well.

Nevertheless, I liked the color overall, but the wall was lacking pizzazz.   After I sold the apothecary looking cabinet, lamp, green mirror, and Draper chest, I used the money to purchase what I really wanted.  I knew exactly what my stairwell needed for some colorful punch.

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Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon is a “new classic” print, and I am sure it will be talked about for years to come.  The dragon aspect of it has grown on me, but the colors!  The colors are just gorgeous, and I love the combination of hues with the movement of the pattern.  It really is a masterpiece in many ways.  Therefore, after framing out a symmetrical rectangle on my wall using crown molding, and smoothing out the wall using joint compound and a sander, it was ready.

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I still need to tweak some things (like the light fixture, I painted it, but it’s still not what I want – I’m thinking super awesome flush light fixture), but overall, the space is brighter and more interesting.

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The chinoiserie lamps were purchased off of Ebay, and I LOVE them!  I have never seen blanc de chine lamps (I wrote about these lamps here) like these so I snatched them up when I found them.  I think they were around $100 each, and while admittedly, that is more than I would pay normally, they are one-of-a-kind, and I will keep these lamps forever.  The wooden box is a prayer box from an old church, which I think is really sweet.  I would love to incorporate this into our family life, but one thing at a time, right?

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I put a pair of pretty design books under the old prayer box and added a vintage brass fly (its wings open!) for a quirky touch.  The white lacquer parsons console is from West Elm thought they don’t carry it anymore.  Boo.

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The basket is from Home Goods, and this is pretty much how it looks most of the time.  Full of umbrellas, rain boots, a blanket, and random toys that get thrown in there.  The vintage garden stool is awesome, though I have thrown around the idea of switching it out with something solid.

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The rug is an estate sale find, and the colors mesmerize me.  Coral, dusty blue, gold, leaf green, and gray.  Yum.

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When you are walking in from the living room where the walls are muted, it’s a nice surprise to see the pretty colors.

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Of course, it’s nice when you come in the side door, too.  (where we normally enter)

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Or when you come down the stairs.

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These photos give you a good feel of how the space looks at night.

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Although I could probably do twelve “before” pictures (ha!), I will only do two.

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And of course, the after.

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I think the game changer was the wallpaper when it came to making the space special.  I chose it because I love the story it tells, and the modern yet aged feel it brings.

See you back here tomorrow, friends!

Like me on Facebook here!

Many many thanks to the lovely Kat Phillips of TheGrayAttic.com for all of the pretty “after” images in this story.

Written by Grace

Gebhardt Guest Room/Office

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You’re in for a treat today!  Aren’t room transformations THE BEST?!!

If you have been reading the blog for awhile, you have already seen two rooms come together in the Gebhardt home – the formal living and the casual living.  Since Sabrina is a beautiful photographer, she needed an office that would be colorful and happy and inspiring.  But because this room would do double duty for guests, it needed to be accommodating and inviting, too.   Of course, I was happy to help!  (repeat clients are my biggest compliment!)

Sabrina deemed this room “her hot mess”, and it was full of hodge podge furniture and…stuff.  (after moving two years ago, I still have a space – or two – like this, sigh)

Here are some before pics.

The room could use some love, but the dog is cute, right?

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Sabrina bought the desk super cheap off of CraigsList when they got into their new-to-them 1920′s home; mainly out of desperation for a workspace amidst the chaos of moving.  We pondered getting something different but ended up with a “is that the same desk?!” transformation.

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Because this was essentially Sabrina’s space when guests were not in town, I was given permission to “girl it up” if I felt so inclined.  Carefully listening to my clients is very important to me, so I made sure I fulfilled her requirements of “pretty”, “lots of color”, and “functional”.  Of course, I needed a jumping off point, some inspiration, and I knew immediately what it was.

Designers Guild, Orangerie Rose Fabric

Designers Guild, Orangerie Rose Fabric

Ah, the ever-spectacular Designers Guild “Orangerie Rose” pattern.  I have loved this watercolor-y floral fabric for years.  It runs about $150 USD a yard so it was merely a dream.  Until…I snatched up four yards on Ebay for around $200.  I was so excited!  I saved it for just the right client, and I knew when I saw the room, and pondered Sabrina’s color story for the space, that she would love it.  Therefore, with this fabric in mind, I designed the room, and presented Sabrina with this design board.

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We started from scratch with this room except for the french provincial side tables, a brass swing arm floor lamp, a mission style bench, and an old Ethan Allen wing chair.  Sabrina did a lot of the legwork on this room herself, taking the board and running with it, but I really enjoyed working out all of the details with her and styling the room.  So without further adieu,

Welcome to the Gebhardt Guest Room/Office.

I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite viewpoints of the space.   You get a little sneak peak from the hallway, and I think one just feels drawn into the room.

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The gorgeous campaign dresser is a Scout Design Studio find, and we painted it in Rustoleum’s Safety Red, a high gloss orangey-red hue.

AStoriedStyle.comIt turned out pretty killer.  One of Sabrina’s main storage requests was somewhere to put all of her kraft paper boxes she uses for presentation of her client’s photos.  This long but narrow depth dresser fit the bill perfectly.  Brass hardware like this slays me.

AStoriedStyle.comWe styled it with books, sentimental wine corks, and some pretty water and glasses for guests to feel right at home.

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Besides the fabric, my favorite feature of the room is this interchangeable art/photography wall.  Using vintage frames Sabrina already owned, plus a few purchased from a local salvage store, we fashioned this interesting collection by nailing large metal binder clips into the center of each frame.  It will be so easy to alter the photos and artwork as desired.

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The vintage bamboo pair of chairs are one of Kristen’s Gypsy Soul Interiors finds, and we had the seats upholstered in the Orangerie fabric.  They. are. stunning.  The green and white flocked trellis pillow is from Etsy.

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Sabrina says this is her favorite photo of the space, and I love it, too.

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The vintage round ottoman was a CraigsList purchase.

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Since the bed was in front of the pretty windows, I didn’t want to cover too much sunshine.  Therefore, I searched for an iron bed until I found this one (from Pottery Barn) at an estate sale for $150.  We sprayed it in Rustoleum’s John Deere Green.  (I’m loving that little cutie’s pjs in this photo!)

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This little princess likes the bed, too.  How precious is her little dolly sleeping next to her?!

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The bench at the end of the bed looked like this before.

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Using some not-being-used-by-me-anymore World Market gray velvet curtains I had edged in white linen, we had it reupholstered and tufted.  How very Maria VonTrapp, ha!

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The beautiful Orangerie fabric was used for long pillows for the bed and a bolster for the bench.  Yellow silk fabric was used for piping.

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Are you loving the rug as much as I am?!  There is nothing like an old rug to bring a wonderful sense of age and character to a space.  Found on Ebay from this seller whom I have used many a time – I highly recommend him!  (I can hardly look at his rugs without wanting at least twelve!)

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We used one of Sabrina’s french end tables she already had on one side of the bed, and placed this grasscloth one (another Gypsy Soul Interiors find) on the other side.

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The lampshades were edged in pretty trim.

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Sabrina had previously purchased this curvy shaped Ethan Allen chair for a great price off of CraigsList, and we had it reupholstered in this crisscross gray fabric (“Hector” from Cutting Corners).  The pillow is another Etsy find.  The curtains are linen from Ikea, edged in a yellow Greek key trim.

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For printer and office supply storage, this bamboo shelving unit was purchased off of CraigsList.  I love to make useful items display nicely.

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The desk turned out so great!  We painted it in Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray reduced 50% and added the dainty brass knobs.

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The corkboard was purchased at Home Goods, and Sabrina painted the frame gold, and added the chevron fabric (Premier Prints) and red trim.

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Light, bright, and beautiful, just what Sabrina wanted!  She sent me these thoughts about her new room, and it made me so happy!

Oh Grace. I cannot even describe how perfect my office space is. It is my new favorite room in the house. And I am so glad that it is because I spend so much time in there! Even my daughter says, “Mommy, I love your new work room”.

Before we started, this space was a complete hot mess. It was the office. The guest room. The unorganized catch-all. It was ugly, stressful and the most unproductive and unwelcoming room in our home. I spend 3-5 hours a day in my office and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I wanted to love the space. I wanted guests to love the space. I wanted to get organized. I wanted to feel good about walking into the office and not an overwhelming sense of dread.

When we started the project, I told you that I wanted color and inspiration but that it also needed to have a calming effect so that our guests would feel comfortable too. I basically gave you free reign on a lot of things and your ideas blew me away again. This room is so perfectly me in every way. I love every single thing about the space. The color. The patterns. The texture. The organization. The coziness. The drama. All of it. And most of all I love that you were able to wrap it all up into one perfect space.

Again, thank you so much for your vision and patience and creating such a wonderful space for our family to enjoy.

It is truly my pleasure to create spaces that are loved and lived in.  A big thank you to Sabrina and family!!

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What is your favorite feature of this room?

If I can pull it together this weekend, I should have some of the “troubled spaces” up next week!

**many many thanks to Sabrina of Sabrina Gebhardt Photography (head over to her site and check out the GORGEOUS family and child photos on her blog) for the lovely images in this post**

Written by Grace

DIY Tutorial: Christmas Moss Letters

These moss letters have a natural feel and evoke Christmas festivity with the addition of your favorite Christmas ribbon.  Best of all, they are easy to do and not overly time consuming.

What You Need:

1.  Cardboard letters – I found mine at Joann’s, though I’m sure you can find them at your local craft store.  They come in various sizes and fonts (mine are about two fee tall).  Note:  I think if you purchased the small letters and followed this DIY, these would make darling holiday teacher gifts!  

2.  Hot glue gun

3.  A large bag of hot glue sticks – you will need them!

4.  Moss Mats – also available at your local craft store in the floral department.  (I can get two letters out of one package.)

5.  Scissors

6.  Pretty Ribbon (I chose a beautiful 5 inch wide red satin ribbon – also from Joann’s.)

Step 1: Choose your letters.

Of course, you can choose different Christmas words – Merry, Joy, Noel, Ho-Ho-Ho, etc.  You could also just do the initial of your last name, and hang it on your front door.

Step 2: Open and roll out your moss mat.

Make sure you have the moss to the floor, and the backside of the moss mat facing you.

Step 3: Trace your letter.

Using a Sharpie or other thick tip marker, trace your letter.  Note:  It doesn’t matter for all letters, but to be on the safe side, trace all of your letters backwards.

This is what it will look like after you have traced your letter.

Step 4: Cut out your letter.

Cut out your letter making sure you are cutting right at the outside edge of your line.  You want a little bit of room for seams.  Make sure you keep your scraps, you will cut them into strips and use them for the edges of your letters.

Step 5: Glue the moss to the face of the letter.

Take your hot glue gun and slowly paste the moss to your letter one section at a time.  Following the outline of your letter, apply hot glue and press to ensure adhesion.

Then you will have this!

Step 6: Cut strips to do the outside edge of the letters – you want it to be pretty from all angles!  Note: If I were giving this as a gift, I would put pretty paper on the back, too.  

Use the width of the letter as a guide to cut your strips.

Step 7: Glue the strips to the edge of your letter.

The great thing about working with moss is the seams disappear because of its texture.  It is very simple to make these letters look like a smooth sheet of moss covering them by using this tactic.

Place a generous amount of hot glue right at the edge of the seam.

Using your fingers, press the edges of both moss pieces together.

See!  No seam here!

Note:  If you have a little extra moss hanging off the back of your letter, it is easy to trim with a pair of scissors.

Step 8: Admire your pretty letter.

Repeat with remaining letters as desired, and you have a beautiful project!

As I stated before, I chose wide red satin ribbon to hang my letters.  Since only the “O” and the “E” could have ribbon looped around the top, I had to come up with other ideas for the “N” and the “L”.  For the “N”, I hot glued the ribbon to the back at a slight angle, so the ribbon would not be pulled funny when I hung it.  (i.e. don’t glue the ribbon completely vertical)

For the “L”, I simply glued a drapery weight to the bottom left corner to keep it from being tilted.  Worked like a charm!  (sorry, no picture – drapery weights are readily available at your local craft store or Walmart)

These letters are lovely inside or outside, but I placed mine on an expanse of brick wall between two windows on my front porch.  More to come on my Christmas porch decorations.  I may or may not still have pumpkins on my porch.  (wink, wink), but it’s beginning to look like Christmas around here!

What do you think?  How can you use this idea in your home?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas – sound off in the comments!

Pent Living Room: Modern Color, Modern Comfort

So happy to see everyone’s comments and emails yesterday on the Pent Dining Room.  If I haven’t responded to you yet about specific colors or fabrics, give me 24 hours, and I will get all of the information to you!

Today we are taking a look at the Pent Living Room transformation, and it is a big one!  This room originally was “The Land of the Misfit Furniture”.  The couch was broken, the chairs had been very loved on by pets, and nothing really went together.  Have you ever had a room in your home waiting to be loved on?  I know I have one  or two right now!

Aesthetics was pretty much the name of the game again here.  The wall color did not change, and though the Pents would like to change out the carpet eventually, they wanted to wait on that.  A major problem with this room was its low, dark feeling.  It is a step-down which I really like, since it gives a sense of coziness, but it felt closed in, even with the windows.  Quickly, I realized a big part of the problem was more beige molding.  Everywhere.  I knew the room would brighten dramatically with some bright white molding.

The fireplace is going to get some sort of makeover, but in the end, we tabled that project for now.  The fan was something the clients really wanted to see changed.

This bookshelf is a bit traditional for their taste, but I knew we could update it with some paint, wallpaper on the backs of the shelves, and hardware.

Ah, meet Marge.  (Something so funny and rather adorable about this couple is they name their furniture.)  Marge belonged to the wife’s grandmother – the wife wanted to keep it, the husband loathed it.  I had faith we could turn it into something awesome.

These lamps were a garage or an estate sale find, and they are humongous and awesome.  A little lacquer, and I knew they could be special!

We needed all new upholstered furniture, and the Pents like to entertain, so I knew ample seating was important.  Then of course, there was that little factor of marrying Domino and P.Diddy.

With all that in mind, I created this design board.

Of course, like every design board, we mulled over the ideas, and tweaked details.  We ended up going more bold, and I have to say, I think the Pents did an amazing job of compromising, and being brave with color and pattern; therefore, they have a pretty spectacular result.

The big reveal!

The incredible chesterfield sofa was a Scout Design Studio find (if you are in the DFW area, you should go visit this incredible store open Monday though Saturday 10-5!  Hint:  this is where our Gypsy Soul finds are!), and we recovered it in this gorgeous peacock blue Sunbrella velvet.  This fabric is cozy, rich in color, and virtually indestructible, so of course it was perfectly suited to a family with a baby and pets.  The chrome nailheads are the ideal finishing touch.  A major wow factor in the room, it is truly an amazing specimen.

The plinth-base loveseat was recovered with a charcoal grey and white Greek Key pattern found at Childress Fabrics in Dallas.  How amazing is that yellow silk pillow?  Would you believe that was what the husband wanted?!  He is high style, I tell ya!  The yellow silk was found at J&D Interior Fabrics – if you are in the DFW area, you should stop by, and ask for Patty.  She is amazing and can help you with all of your fabric needs.

You can see a little of the fan we chose in the picture below.  It is sleek and modern, and I love it!  Best of all, it is a lot of bang for your buck.  I even ordered one in white for my home – it is so hard to find a good fan!  Fan found here.

I love the little corner in the back left of the room.  The wife envisioned it as her little reading nook and enjoyed choosing the fabric for her little chair.  Isn’t their baby adorable?  Mirrored table is from Home Goods.  Driftwood lamp seen here.

 

Didn’t the built-in turn out great?  It’s amazing what paint and wallpaper can do!

The chrome tub chairs are a Gypsy Soul find, and we recovered them in this beautifully aged camel leather.   Love the fiddle leaf figs in each corner of the room, too!

My favorite part of the room, however, is this beautiful painting by my good friend and Gypsy Soul comrade, Kristen Dowd.  If you are interested in her custom artwork, you may contact her here.  Her work is stunning!

Old Marge didn’t turn out so bad either.  I. love. lacquer.  Something we discovered about Marge previously unknown is her old stereo parts work!  A fun realization!

Shiny garden stools from West Elm.

Lacquer went a long way with these lamps, too!  We have replaced the shades since these pictures were taken, but the glossy white takes these eclectic lamps to a whole new level.  Chrome and brass console from Gypsy Soul Interiors.

 

Here’s what the Pents had to say about their new rooms:

Previously our living/dining rooms felt hodge podge, unstyled, and the pets had taken over my furniture! The rooms were nice but not working well as we often enjoy entertaining and relaxing as a family. Now, we enjoy every inch of our living spaces, because they’re not only well styled but super functional without sacrificing either mate’s style. P. Diddy would be proud. Thank you, Grace!

It is such a good feeling for me to think of my clients enjoying their homes.  Using them, living in them, and loving them.  Growing their families in them.  Thank you so much to the Pents for the opportunity to be a part of that!

**Special thanks to Kat Phillips, of TheGrayAttic.com, for the lovely images in this story.**

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