Tag Archives: Interior Redesign

DECORATING FOR FAMILY

Beautiful spaces are a dime a dozen.  Fill a space with the trendiest, most expensive decor you can find.  And while it’s pretty to look at, it still isn’t home.  So, what makes a house a home?  It’s family.

Creating common spaces that suit the needs of a family is probably the single most important task any decorator will tackle.  Of course, you want it to be beautiful.  But, it also has to function well for every member of the household, no matter how young or old.

Consider a home to three young adults and their parents.  The home is a hub of activity for friends and family almost every day of the week.  All are coming and going either from college or work.  Whether just for family or casual entertaining, updating and enhancing the primary living space in this home needed to fit their busy lifestyles.

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That pretty much describes this project we’ve just finished in Hoffman Estates, IL.  The project focused on restyling a large combo family & living room in this beautiful home.  While we wanted to create two distinctive spaces with their own function and personality, both needed to play together when needed as one unit.

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Working with a generous budget, we were able to replace dated and worn furniture with all new seating.  Two durably upholstered sofas provide comfortable seating or lounging in the t.v. space.  Nearby, we grouped four new leather club chairs around the fireplace as more of a conversation space.   New reclaimed wood and metal nesting tables were separated to give plenty of spots to set a drink.  New Santa Fe storage trunks double as coffee and end tables.  New lamps, artwork, accessories and area rugs complete the spaces.

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While each area serves it’s own purpose, with a few simple moves, the leather chairs can be repositioned nearer the television for movie night or game day parties.

As we suggested, the homeowners repositioned one and refinished both built-in bookcases.  Darkening the wood work and mantel with gel stain and painting the brass fireplace surround with heat resistant bronze metallic paint gave the fireplace an updated and much stronger presence in the rooms.

The end result is a space that has already wowed family and friends.  It’s sure to get thorough use in the months and years ahead.

Decorating a room for family is more than just adding trendy furniture and accessories.  It’s about creating a space that blends form with function and provides a hub for friends and family to make a home

Happy Family Decorating from Decor Designs.   815-245-2433.

 

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER

Who hasn’t changed part of their home decor only to realize redoing one thing leads to another… and another?  No matter how small the change, it usually has a domino effect.  Perhaps it starts with remodeling the master bathroom.  Beautiful new vanities, an amazing double shower and beautiful tile… all the things any spa would love to have.

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But, unfortunately, that fresh, new look stops at the bedroom door.  Looking around you realize you could probably use some new bedding.  Then, of course, the window treatments would need updating.  The seating in the room that blended well before is now a no-go.  New night stands and lamps would be nice.  Before you know it, the entire room is in play.

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We’ve been working with new clients in Crystal Lake who faced that very dilemma.  After she and her DIYer husband finished the master bath update, the decor in the adjoining master bedroom no longer flowed.

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At somewhat of a loss, she reached out for help restyling the master bedroom so everything would flow with the newly updated bath.  New hardwood floors and fresh paint became the backdrop for the new sanctuary.  Our client added new nightstands and we brought in bedding, lamps, window panels and artwork.  Along with furniture relocated from elsewhere in the home, the space now feels refreshed and inviting flowing perfectly with the renovated bath.

While we were at it, our clients asked us to redesign the living room, dining room and family room.  Reusing and repurposing a treasure trove of goodies, we maximized each room’s function and visual appeal just in time for Easter guests.  The end result in every space was a nice update without spending a ton of money or bringing in lots of new things.

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In our client’s kind words, “Decor Designs just finished an interior design of our master bedroom and a redesign of our whole house! I am speechless and thrilled with the finished project! Jeff was spot on to our decorating personality and repurposed so many things, I was amazed! He made our house feel like a home and I cannot wait to entertain! He was timely, courteous, and truly delivered a finished product that inspires me and makes me smile!”

So what if one thing leads to another?   Sometimes that’s all the motivation you need to finish something you’ve probably been putting off for a long time.

Here’s to letting one thing lead to another creating beautiful spaces in your own home!  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.

 

 

DECORATING FOR ALL AGES

Every decorating project is different.  While most spaces and their contents are similar, a client’s age and personality always make every job unique.  Most of the spaces we style are more “adult” in nature.  But, every once in a while, we get the chance to work with the youngest members of the family on their rooms.  Adding the finishing touches to a child’s bedroom makes him/her feel special and “grown up”.  For us, it’s a chance to channel our own inner child with more whimsical & playful decor.

Earlier this year, we were invited back by a family we worked with a year ago styling their main living spaces.  This time, we were being asked to work with what mom and dad had already started and put the finishing touches on the kid’s rooms.  Three children at least three years apart offered a variety of personalities and interests to bring to life.

Our youngest was the self-proclaimed royalty of the family.  Anything little princess was right up her alley.  Having outgrown her infant space, she needed a new bed frame and night stand plus most of the finishing touches.  To personalize her enchanted bedroom, we kept the light gray walls and geometric panels adding bright white and pink bedding, accessories and artwork.

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For our middle child, we were inspired by travel.  Everything trains, planes and automobiles was his thing.  Starting with dark mahogany furniture, Kermit-green walls and dark blue draperies (complete with airplane finial hardware), we added an airplane shelf, art and accessories to transform his bedroom into transportation central.

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Rounding out the trio, the oldest wanted her own sense of magic.  Too old for the full princess treatment yet not old enough for all things teen, we needed to find the perfect blend of fun and sophistication.  Inspired by her love of purple, pink and butterflies, we added a pre-lit tree, lanterns, art and accessories to give her a slightly older but whimsical finished look.

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Making the most of what mom and dad had started, we added the unique, finishing touches that really reflected each child’s personality.  The end result, three very happy kids.

Have fun channeling your own inner child as your decorate with your kids.  Need help?  We’d love to play along.  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

PERFECT PARTNERSHIP

Every now and then, a client like Stacey comes along.  Several years ago, we met when she hired us for a redesign in the family’s former home.  Since then, our professional relationship has turned into the perfect partnership on numerous decorating projects.

As the saying goes, two heads really are better than one!  That couldn’t be more true when we’ve worked with Stacey.  While most clients prefer sharing their ideas and then leaving us to bring their vision to life, Stacey enjoys being more involved in the process.  By being open to direction and willing to do some of the work, her sweat equity lets us stretch the budget even further than we might have been able to otherwise.  And when it’s all said and done, she can honestly say the beautiful results are as much her doing as our own.

These days, we’ve been working with Stacey on her family’s new home in Huntley.  Decorating room by room as budget allowed, we’ve transformed their blank, new-construction house into a beautiful home.  Most recently, after finishing the living areas, we’ve turned our attention to the family’s bedrooms, giving each its own personality and style .

SON’S BEDROOM

Over the years, we’ve fine tuned our process to perfection!  First, we meet to brainstorm ideas.  We discuss her vision, make adjustments as needed, and come up with a plan.  Next, we outline a time frame and desired budget.  Finally, we assign tasks for one another to accomplish prior to “the day” when it all comes together.  While Stacey goes shopping for the key elements we know we’ll need, we’ve moved on to our own list which usually involves finding the perfect, little details we know will bring it all together.

Not to be forgotten, her husband is always a good sport.  We know he dreads when we get together.  It usually means he has his own ‘honey-do’ list when we’re done!  Whether hanging window panels or painting walls, he always helps things along saving us time and money.

DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM

On the day of install, or what Stacey says feels like ‘Christmas Day’, she reveals what’s been accomplished and bought since our initial consult.  We, in turn, bring in all the goodies we’ve found.  Then we go to work weaving her purchases in with our own to put it all together.  You’d think it might be difficult for different people to work independently and arrive at the same goal.  But, that’s where Stacey really rocks!

Most things work perfectly and our collective efforts are usually spot on.  Anything that is duplicated, doesn’t work or isn’t needed is returned.  The final result is always a beautifully styled space that has Stacey’s personal taste and vision throughout.  Our job was simply to make sense of it all and guide everything into place so that everything works together.

MASTER BEDROOM

Decorator-client partnerships come in all forms.   Each client is unique and approaches the process differently.  Every now and again, you find that unique client who is open to the process but also capable of hands-on involvement to put his/her own spin on pulling together the perfect look!

If you like the idea of a hands-on partnership with a decorator who can work with you to create the space of your dreams, give us a call @ 815-245-2433.  Here’s to many future decorating partnerships with Decor Designs!

 

 

COUPLES DECORATING

Decorating for couples is always a complex dance of giving one what s/he wants without alienating the other.  Invariably, you often find yourself caught between two distinctly different sets of likes and wants.

As generalities go, ‘male’ energy in the home prefers function over form, neutral bests bold, and old (think broken in) wins over new.  Female energy, on the other hand, can be quite the opposite.  Form is equal to if not more important than function.  Trendy and colorful are more appealing.  New and neat wins out over worn and tired.  Again… generalities being what they are, it’s rare to find two people in any household (especially of the opposite sex) who can agree on all things decorating.

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This couldn’t have been more true of a project we just finished in Cary.  First, let me say that one couldn’t ask for better clients.  Even-tempered and polite, both were open to the process.  While the wife of this empty-nester duo was more than ready for the refresh, the husband agreed somewhat begrudgingly.  But, with a little reassurance that ‘his’ likes and wants would also be respected, he too embraced the changes.

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Once underway, we were almost given carte blanche in our choices. Furniture additions were suggested and approved of course.  But the rest was up to us to pull it all together. Working within the existing color palette of warmer tans and creams and incorporating both the older and newer furniture, our goal was simple…. update everything and tie it together!

Fortunately, with two distinct ‘styles’ in play, the primary seating areas in the home were on opposite ends of the house.  The living room was already more a statement to her likes while the family room was definitely more to his.  And while far apart in style, the separation made it easier to give both what they wanted while staying true to our goals.

In the living room, a new coffee table, window treatments, rug, lamps, artwork and accessories helped refresh and finish ‘her’ space reflecting her likes & sensibilities.

In the family room, a new leather ottoman, end tables, window treatments, rug, lamps, artwork and accessories brought ‘his’ old west inspired motif into the new millennium!

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The dining room and kitchen served as a nice bridge between the two living areas, reflecting elements from both spaces to tie it all together.

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Sharing her experience on Houzz.com, our client wrote:  “When we saw our outdated home brought to something that could be featured in a magazine, it brought tears to my eyes.   We could not be more thrilled with the outcome.”

Finding the happy medium between ‘male’ and ‘female’ is always a challenge for any decorator or designer.  In reality, as in life however, the perfect decor is a marriage of the two.

Happy His & Hers Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

 

 

 

FROM HOUSE TO HOME

Young parents have their hands full no doubt.  A toddler and three year old coupled with full time careers leaves little time for space planning and shopping for all the things that make a house a home.  We started off the New Year finishing a project started last fall for a young family in Barrington.  Giving couples more family time to do what they do best is an added bonus of our decorating projects.

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As with most projects, the family needed help making the best use of their living spaces.  But with young children, it was equally important to ensure they were as kid friendly as they were stylish.  Quite a bit of new furniture was needed to replace some older furniture that had outlived its usefulness while reusing a few pieces that still worked in our overall plan.  New kitchen and dining room tables and chairs along with new family room furniture were planned along with new counter stools in the kitchen and additional storage options for the home office.  And while we had inherited a nice color palette from the previous owners, a fresh coat of paint took care of any dings and blemishes.

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Updating the kitchen to better suit our clients more traditional taste meant replacing the more contemporary polished chrome hardware and lighting with warm bronze.

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The hardest part of any project is waiting for custom furniture to be manufactured and delivered.  So we took advantage of the time to find the perfect filler pieces including art, accessories, lighting and rugs.

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Over the course of several days, we were able to style all three floors of the home.  From a kid friendly play space and man cave in the basement to perfectly appointed bedrooms and baths, almost every part of the house came together to say “home” for this wonderful family.

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When it was all said and done, we received the following message from the owners:

Our home looks amazing and it has been the best two days in our house since we moved in! Over the past couple of days we’ve been able to look everything over and enjoy each of the spaces. Our house truly feels likes home because each space is well thought out, cozy, warm and peaceful. It feels amazing to have each room arranged, organized and beautiful. Again, we thank your for all of the time you have spent working with us and helping us along on this journey. We so appreciate you and your amazing ideas. I have literally been smiling all weekend as I walk from room to room. Your work is amazing and we appreciate your dedication to helping us.

EVER CHANGING SEASONS OF DECOR

Trends and changes in personal taste influence the way we see our homes.  Even if you love what you have, eventually, things wear out or become out-dated and need to be replaced.  So, it’s safe to say your home is constantly evolving.  We like to think it will be done at some point.  In reality however, like the seasons, our homes are always changing.

Living Room Vignette

We had the pleasure of finishing some updates for a client this week whom we’ve worked with several times over the past few years.  As they’ve lived and grown in their home, things have gradually been replaced.  After buying new occasional tables for the living room and a new dining set, this Lake in the Hills, Illinois family wanted our help putting the finishing touches on their refurnished spaces.  They wanted to make sure the new additions flow and work together with their existing decor.  They also wanted to update a few things in the kitchen and family rooms we’d redesigned a few years back.

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As I told them, while new furniture is always nice, the details are really what bring the new furnishings and spaces to life.  After discussing wants, needs and budget, we decided we’d get the biggest bang by adding new window treatments & hardware, lighting, artwork and accessories.

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Window treatments are probably the single most overlooked and under played decorative element in the homes we visit.  Replacing the previous panels with new, extra-long 108″ panels (even in neutral cream and taupe) added more height and drama to every room.

Updated wrought iron lamps in the family room were added to match the scale of the existing sofa.  We repurposed the previous living room lamps on the newly painted and updated sideboard in the dining room.

An area rug, previously purchased by our clients, gave us cues for a new and slightly updated color palette.  Pulling terra cotta red and dusty blue from the rug into the decor, we added new pillows, throws and the dining room window panels.  Existing artwork and mirrors were repositioned adding a few new pieces for a change.  New accessories and greenery also helped bring life to the spaces.

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The updated results helped make these least-used rooms feel more warm, cozy and inviting.

As you can see from the next few photos of the home’s family room, even the simplest updates can change a space and make it feel new again.  We introduced new stationary panels to soften the windows blinds.  We added new artwork over the fireplace.  A few new throw pillows were added on the sofa carrying our living & dining room colors into this space.  Finally, we reworked a few accessories.

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1st Redesign

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Instead of finished and done, your home’s decor is always changing.  Whether it’s new furniture, kitchen cabinets  or a new rug, something will prompt a change in your decor.  As it often does, one thing usually leads to another.  Before you know it, your home has evolved.  So embrace change.  Enjoy exploring the many different personalities and seasons your rooms can have.  Making a house feel like home is a labor of love that lasts a life time.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

A LABOR OF LOVE

In the United States, Labor Day and the first weekend in September marks the unofficial end of Summer.  While we’re distracted with parties, cookouts and all things outdoors this weekend, we sometimes forget that Labor Day was established to honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.

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They say if you love what you do (for work), then you’ll never work a day in your life.  Without a doubt, I’m lucky enough to say I make a living doing just that.  Like any other job, it has its share of frustrations and challenges.  But at the end of the day, not only do I get to step back and see what I have created; I get to see how it changes lives and makes my clients happy.

We just finished another project for a couple in South Elgin.  Moving into their first house together, the goal was to create a more “finished” look with the feeling of home.

As a decorator, one of the unexpected benefits of working with a young couple is they aren’t burdened by a lifetime of accumulations.  Beginning with a clean slate and building a foundation of good design sets them on the right path from the start.

Working on a budget, we started with the easiest way to get a huge bang for the buck.  A fresh coat of paint in the ever-popular grays (in this case SW Agreeable Gray and SW Mega Greige) added warmth and unified the living room with the dining room and kitchen.

With a leather sofa, matching loveseat, occasional and dining tables in place, we only needed to add secondary seating, artwork, accessories and window treatments to complete the basic layers of design.  After a few weeks of shopping and sourcing, we were ready to put it all together.

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With neutral carpet and walls, we pulled color cues from our client’s existing art medallion in the living room adding teal and chartreuse with a hint of olive green as our punch colors.

To fully furnish the long rectangular living room, we created two separate seating areas.  To the sofa and love seat, we added a contemporary wingback chair and ottoman on casters to serve as a rollaway coffee table.

By the bar, we added two club chairs in a green geometric print coupled with a round metal table for an intimate conversation area.   Adding a few more tables to complement the existing ones finished the furnishings.  Ultra-long smoke colored faux silk panels in the living room softened the blinds and added drama.

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To the dining room, we added geometric panels carrying through the teal and pattern in the living room.  A soft sisal rug anchors the room and adds texture and softness to the hardwood floors.  Large paneled artwork and a simple tabletop centerpiece with lanterns and ferns completed the space.

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A labor of love is the best way to describe what we do.  Creating a space that feels like home for a young couple and starting them off on the right foot was as rewarding as the paycheck.  So I guess it is true, when you labor at what you love, you never truly work a day in your life.

Happy Labor Day from Decor Designs, Inc.  www.decordesignsinc.com

 

 

MIDWEST MEETS COASTAL

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Foyer

Living amidst the corn and soybean fields of northwest Illinois, the closest thing we have to a beach is Lake Michigan.  And while that’s actually a close second to coastal living, nothing beats the real thing.  If you’re land-locked like we are and crave a coastal retreat, why not bring the beach to you?  Interior decorating gives you the chance to live just about anywhere you can possibly imagine, with just a few simple changes to your decor.

A few weeks ago, we finished a decorating project with a couple who had sold their home in Florida to live full time in Illinois.  While they hated giving up their southern retreat, the permanent move north made it easier to be closer to family and new grand daughter.

During our initial consultation, it was clear that while they loved their Illinois home, they wanted to create somewhat of a coastal retreat right here in the midwest.  Since coastal chic is all the rage right now, it was easy to find a few more accessories and other things we needed to complete the transformation.

But first, we had to address some furniture issues.  Our clients had ordered a reclaimed wood table from a local shop.  While it was being made, we needed to source new chairs and china cabinet to replace their loved, but outdated, set.

Dining Room Before

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Dining Room After

And as it often does, one thing leads to another.  New swivel chairs with a bold ikat fabric in the great room asked for a new sofa and coordinating chair.  We also needed a larger area rug and additional tabletop to match the scale of the space.

While the new furniture was on order, we picked a new color palette for the walls.  We settled on a combination of three different shades of warm gray (Agreeable Grey SW7029, Anew Gray SW7030 and Mega Greige SW7031) to unify the open concept space while accentuating the architecture as well.  After the painting was complete, the hardwood floors were given a fresh finish and several new lighting options were installed including a multi-pendant piece from Pottery Barn.

Great Room Before

Great Room Before

LR2 (1.5)

After several months of shopping, ordering, planning and progress, we were able to bring in all the finishing touches to style and complete the job.  New window panels and hardware helped frame and soften the edges of the existing Silhouette™ Roller Shades.  Hints of jewel tone teal, chartreuse green and persimmon added the needed punch of color to compliment the client’s swivel chairs giving us our color trio to repeat throughout.  We repurposed and restyled almost 100% of the owner’s previous artwork and accessories.  Having a talent for photography and an unbridled love of family, we had to work in lots of family and travel photos while adding new artwork making them feel purposeful, artistic and well displayed.

Great Room Before

Great Room Before

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Great Room After

The Master bedroom was added as the transformation in the other rooms made that adjoining space feel to dissimilar.  Painting the old furniture, adding new hardware and bedding and painting the walls made a big difference in the look and feel of the space.

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Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

Master Bedroom After

When all was said and done, it was clear that we’d hit the mark.  Renovations of any kind can be stressful and take longer than anyone would hope.  But in the end, restyling their beautiful, midwest home while bringing in coastal touches gave this couple a beautiful new look to enjoy for years to come.

 

MID CENTURY WOW

One of the unspoken perks of decorating for clients is the opportunity to explore a multitude of styles and inspirations.  With so many to chose from, it would obviously be an expensive proposition to do them all in your own home.  Whether our personal preference or not, it’s still fun to deliver whatever ‘look’ our clients feel best suits their family and lifestyle.  Becoming comfortable with and creating such varied spaces helps us grow as a decorators!

We’ve just finished working on a decorating project for an awesome, newly-wed couple in Crystal Lake, Illinois.   After seeing what we were able to do for them staging their previous property, they decided to continue working with us to decorate their new home.  Already familiar with their belongings, we knew which pieces needed to be repurposed and what new furniture, art and accessories we’d need to fill in the blanks.

Vignette

If I had to put a label on their particular style, I’d say retro chic with a nod to mid-century modern design.  I’ve dabbled with this style in the past and love the clean, sinuous

lines that bring back both images of a classic, simpler time while nodding to the future.  While we were repurposing a few key pieces in the home, the hunt was on for a new dining room set , family room group, bedroom night stands, light fixtures, window fashions for a couple rooms and a few key pieces of art.  After visiting the usual suspects, we ended up with a combination of items from Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, Pottery Barn, HomeGoods, Wayfair and few others to complete their new look.

It takes times to find just the right things, get them ordered and delivered and finally style the space.  With the patience of saints, these clients waited for over three months while things were ordered and delivered.  Finally the day of redesign arrived and our team of 3 descended on the home to pull everything together.

While the Before pics were snapped while the previous owner was preparing to move, the transformation is no less impressive!  Working with existing wall colors in most of the rooms but planning for an eventual update, we began the transition from warm taupes, tans and gold tones toward the more trendy warm grays.

A new table, chairs and console from Room & Board were perfect for the dining room.  A new rug from Crate & Barrel helped to perfectly blend the existing floor tile with the new gray walls.  The table and chairs are complimented by a fabulous, hand crafted Hubbardton Forge chandelier and matching wall sconces.  New cream panels from Bed, Bath & Beyond on shorty rods help soften the edges of the beautiful plantation shutters.

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The family room received a new gray track arm sofa, matching oversized chair and accent chair from Crate & Barrel.  A wonderful find…. a canary yellow leather & chrome Eames chair and ottoman from HomeGoods… added a fun punch of color to the space.  New chrome and glass coffee, end and console tables from Pottery Barn worked perfectly with that chair.  While it’s hard to see the multi-colored bands in the new Crate & Barrel rug, they coordinate with the colorful tv console we repurposed from the previous home.

Family Room

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Family Room

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Family Room

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What served as an office for the previous owner, we turned into a small living room for the piano.  Since this room will rarely be used, we simply repurposed furniture from the old home to stretch our budget farther for the new things we needed.  The chandelier was removed and used in one of the daughter’s bedroom.

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Living Room

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The previous home’s master bedroom had featured dark blue with orange accents.  By some miracle, we inherited the perfect, custom orange window panels in the new home.  What would have cost a small fortune to duplicate, we were able to reuse with the existing bed and bedding.  The old sofa from the previous home found it’s way to the tv area while new chest nightstands from Crate & Barrel are the perfect addition to the space.

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While we are still contemplating changes to the kitchen, for the time being it was enough to change out light fixtures that better suited the family.  Tech Lighting offered the perfect solutions with brush nickel pendants for the island and a coordinating dome light with orange insert for the kitchen table.

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Exploring so many decorating styles would take the average homeowner more than a lifetime.  Luckily for us, we get to fast forward through so many thanks to our clients and their wonderfully varied tastes.  If you need help figuring out your own “style” and pulling it together, let us know.  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs, Inc.  815-245-2433