Category Archives: Decor Designs, Inc.


When you start a decorating business, you’re ready to change the world!  You’ve taken the classes, studied the trends and mastered the skills.  And you can’t wait to go forth and help people transform their homes.  Your business cards are printed & your website is fabulous.  So, you put yourself out there and wait.  But, why isn’t the phone ringing off the hook?  Don’t people know you can help with all their decorating dilemmas?

Of course, it takes time to build any successful business.  Eventually, the jobs start coming in, mostly from friends and family.  But, as word gets out, people start to take you seriously and things pick up steam.  Referrals become your best source of new business.  And, over time, you gain experience working with all different types of clients, in many different styles of homes and with a wide range of budgets.  But still, those out-of-the-blue customers are elusive no matter how good you are or how much you spend on advertising.

At some point, it finally dawns on you!  It never crossed your mind that, no matter how genuinely interested you are in helping them, people might be afraid to let you into their homes.  It finally makes sense when a good friend says she’s never inviting you over because she doesn’t want to be embarrassed if you don’t like her decorating choices!  What the what???

The things we fear don’t always make sense.  And you can be sure it doesn’t make sense to most decorating professionals.  Their lives, livelihoods and passion are creating beautiful homes for others to enjoy.

Over the years, we’ve learned there are many different reasons why folks fear working with a decorator.  Here are the Top 12 most common excuses we’ve found:

  • Too Expensive/ Only for “rich” people

The common misconception that working with an interior designer or decorator is exclusively for the “rich” & “famous” is pure poppycock!  Every home, no matter how grand, is worthy of being as beautiful as it can be, no matter the size or decorating budget.

  • My ‘stuff’ isn’t good enough

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  The vast majority of homes are filled with things, old & new, which have been accumulated over time.  Some might be hand-me-downs and others have sentimental value.  The entire collection is a visual representation of you.  And while some might be tired and worn, that doesn’t mean they can’t still work in a newly-designed space.

  • Fear of being judged, mocked or made to feel “less-than”

If you are brave enough to meet with a designer/decorator and they make you feel “less than” then kick their snooty butt to the curb.  While it’s natural to feel like you’re being judged when you open yourself and your home to professional critique, a good decorator should be your ally and not your enemy.

  • Fear of change

No matter how adventurous, it’s human nature to fear change.  We are, after all, creatures of habit.  We become comfortable in our surroundings, no matter how dated.  So our default is “it’s good enough” rather than risking change which may or may not be a good thing.

  • Fear of being taken advantage of or losing control

We’ve all been screwed over by a contractor, repairman or other service provider at some point.  It’s easy to be jaded and skeptical.  As with all relationships, communication is key.  A good decorator will listen to you and really hear your wants/needs.  Then he or she will help guide you through all the choices that fit your style and budget.  Of course, communication is a two-way street.  You need to open your mind as well so you can benefit from the experience and vision of your designer.  If you’re hiring a professional just to “agree” with you, then you’re really just wasting your money.

  • Too fancy

Any good decorator knows it’s not really what you spend but how you use it that makes the difference in a space.  Even if you have a limited budget, the talented and trained eye of a decorating professional can help you see the hidden potential in the “stuff” you already own.  A designer-look should still be functional and livable no matter the cost.


  • Too overwhelming

As with fear of change, the idea of tackling a major decorating project can be overwhelming.  If you’re redoing an entire room or multiple rooms, it’s easier to work with a decorator who helps you prioritize and tackle one thing at time rather than being overwhelmed and never starting at all.

  • Finished design won’t be livable

Who hasn’t looked at the beautifully finished rooms in magazines and thought, “Who lives like that?”  We all have!  While magazine-worthy rooms are certainly inspiring, they don’t always look livable.  Good design is finding balance between form and function and a talented decorator will do both.  How you use a space should be one of the first discussions you have with your designer.

  • My ‘other-half’ and I can’t agree

Similar to helping you with self-worth, your decorator isn’t in the marriage-counseling business.  However, good ones are adept at negotiations and compromise.  Whether it’s figuring the budget or picking a style or making the space livable, every member of the household should feel heard and a part of the process.  A neutral third party (in this case your designer) can help make that happen.

  • Decorators are “weird” & “pushy”

Newsflash… All creative types are “weird” and that’s what makes them invaluable!  If everyone saw the things exactly the same way, the world would be stale & boring.  As for “pushy”, a good designer should push you.  But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t listen as well.  If you could do what a designer does, you’d have already done it.  Again… communication is key.  Opinions are just opinions.  That doesn’t mean you need to settle for black ceilings or feathered walls if that’s not your cup of tea.

  • I don’t deserve it

While a decorator isn’t a responsible for your feelings of self-worth, there is a lot of psychology in good design.  Working with a professional actually shows just how well you know yourself and your personal strengths.  Asking for professional help is never a sign of weakness.

  • Decorator won’t waste their time on my little project

Home renovation TV shows are fun to watch.  And the perfectly styled and photographed rooms in magazines are awe inspiring.  But they can leave you with the impression that interior decorators only work on major projects.  The truth is, decorators also like small jobs.  Helping clients work on one room at a time isn’t only easier on you and your budget, it’s easier on the design professional.


After years of helping create beautiful spaces in their homes, designers learn how to help first-time clients work through these fears.  Of course, they can only do that if given the opportunity.  So, if you’ve always wanted a designer look but have used one or more of these twelve excuses to talk yourself out of asking for help, think again.  You do deserve it!  Your stuff is good enough!  You can have a “fancy” and livable space!  And you might actually save money in the process.

Happy Fear-Free Decorating from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433

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Growing up, you can hardly wait to be an adult.  After all, no one tells grown-ups what to do or how to do it, right?  Of course, once you get there, the reality is “adulting” isn’t everything you dreamed it would be.  And you realize, there are still plenty of people telling you what to do!  But, sometimes being told what to do, even as an adult, is a good thing.  Take decorating for grown-ups, for example.


We’ve been working with a younger couple who recently purchased a beautiful, new-construction home in the far-north Chicago, Sauganash neighborhood.  Essentially starting from scratch, these young professionals had moved from their downtown apartment into a much larger home to raise their growing family.  Decorating an entire 3,500 sq. ft., 3 bedroom-2.5 bath house while caring for twin, two-year-olds and a newborn and working full time would be enough to overwhelm anyone.  So, we were asked to come to the rescue and “tell them what to do” in order to create a home that was warm, inviting and, of course, family-friendly.


Fortunately, with new construction, we didn’t need to waste a lot of time fixing other people’s problems.  However, we did want to upgrade a few of the “builder-quality” choices.  Over the course of numerous consultations and a joint shopping excursion, we selected new lighting, bathroom hardware & mirrors and enough furniture to finish filling every room in the home.  After that, we took over the rest sourcing every single detail down to the coasters for the family room table.

As with so many projects, after months of planning ordering and waiting, we were finally ready to put it all together.  Over the course of several days, our team gradually did what we do.  We tweaked the placement of furniture that had been delivered, installed soft window treatments where needed, hung artwork, added lighting, placed rugs and accessorized every room.

















Obviously starting with very little, the Before & After transformations are nothing short of spectacular!  And, with most of the items delivered and work finished just before Christmas, our clients were able to show off & share their beautifully-decorated home for the first time with family and friends.

Working with this family, we helped expedite the decorating process and create spaces which might have taken months or years for them to complete on their own.  The end result is a home no longer needing attention.  Instead, our parents have more time to spend with their own kids who are ‘growing up’ very quickly too.

Of course, adulting certainly has its benefits.  And while you’re old enough to make your own decisions; in our crazy, busy lives, sometimes it’s just nice to have someone make them for you. So, if you’re a grown-up who might like being “told what to do” (in a good way) with your own home decor, give us a call.  You’ll be glad you did!

Happy Grown-Up Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.

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I don’t know about you; it’s only January and I’m already done with the depressing Winter weather here in the Midwest.  As anyone who lives this far north knows, this time of year is particularly challenging.  It seems our brief glimpses of sunshine are all too fleeting and the fluctuating temperatures have everyone sick or sickly.

On top of  the usual colds & flu, depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are as bad this time of year as the weather.  You know what I mean.  The holidays are over.  The glitzy, glittery decorations are all down and packed away.  Instead of “Ho-Ho-Ho”, we’re back to “Ho-Ho-Hum”!

According to the Mayo Clinic, a key contributor to seasonal depression and SAD is living too far from the Equator (either north or south).  Folks who live in these locations endure decreased sunlight and shorter days especially during Winter months.  (No leap of logic there!)  So, la-de-da; let’s all move to Key West and watch our troubles vanish!  If only it were that simple, right?

Also, according to Mayo, the signs and symptoms of SAD can include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty

So, other than moving toward the Equator, what is a person to do?  All joking aside, there are several therapies and clinical fixes for helping cope with depression.  Checking with a trained medical professional is crucial if you suffer from severe depression of any sort.

But there are some home remedies for those with mild cases of SAD.  From light therapy to aromatherapy, regular exercise, limited alcohol consumption and proper eating, all can help with mild cases of SAD and seasonal depression during these  gloomy winter months.

Perhaps a little unconventional but equally as effective in my book is re-decorating!  What better time of year to focus on all things indoors than Winter?  Yeah, you’ve take down your holiday decor and your house looks like a tired, old doily.  So, what better time to avoid the dreary weather and make some changes in your home to help fight off the winter-time blues?

I don’t know why people wait til Spring for “spring-cleaning”.  The last place I wanna be when the weather breaks is inside, cleaning.  I’d rather use snow days to purge and clean so I’m ready to enjoy warmth and sunshine when they finally return.   While they can be a pain in the butt; cleaning, purging and organizing are very therapeutic.  A neat, clean home is a beautiful home.  So even if you can’t afford to buy new things while you’re paying off those Christmas bills, you can “redecorate” with nothing more than a DEEP clean.  You’ll be amazed how good it makes you feel.

After you have everything clean and neat, why not change a few things?  Simply rearranging your furniture, art and accessories can give new life to your old stuff and give you a new-to-you look for the Winter.  Stores rearrange their same, old merchandise displays all the time.  Why?  Well, they want to showcase different products .  But they also want to create excitement  and make you think their offerings are always new and changing, even when they aren’t!  You can do the same thing in your house.  Why do you think your house looks so beautiful during the holidays?  Duh!  You have shiny new things to look at.

Finally, if your budget allows, go for a deeper refresh.  Maybe paint a room or two, buy a new area rug for your family room, replace some of your tired & dated window treatments, throw in some new pillows or change your art work using bright pops of color where you can.  Any or all of these things give you “something new to look at” and help release “happy” hormones in your body.  And who couldn’t use some of those, especially this time of year?

So maybe, rather than popping another pill or spending hours on a therapist couch, try redecorating.   It’ll give you something to do to keep your mind off your winter woes.  And the end result is something you can enjoy well into Spring and beyond.

Here’s to happier living and decorating from your friends at Decor Designs!  815-245-2433

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Having the opportunity to work with clients over a period of years gives a sense of continuity to what we do.  No only do we get to see how lives and homes evolve over time.  But we also get to know the family better.  That helps us fine tune a look that is even more reflective of who they are and what is important to them.

We had that opportunity last Fall when a family we’d helped with a redesign 6 years ago told us they were moving to a new, larger property.  Since we’d done such a great job helping them create a fresh new, look in their previous home, they knew we’d be able to help them settle in and make their new house feel like home as quickly as possible.  Our goal was to repurpose as much as we could from their previous home.  Then, we’d blend in the new things we needed to tie it all together.

Move-ins offer a unique opportunity to help clients see their “old” decor in a fresh, new way.  Obviously, some things from the previous home will work and some things won’t.  But, by using cherished furniture, art and accessories, a new house can feel like home much more quickly than starting from scratch.

We knew this larger house would need more to furnish and fill.  So, the buyers negotiated to purchase some of the like-new, custom furniture that was already in the home from the previous owner.  That saved a ton of money over buying new.  And it expedited the entire process since we didn’t have to wait for custom orders to be delivered.



We met with out clients a few times to come up with a game plan and shopping list.  A few of the rooms needed to be repainted.  So we selected colors more to the new family’s taste.  We also needed some new area rugs, a few new pieces of artwork, window treatments, throw pillows and accessories to make everything flow.  And while we were shopping, the new owners worked feverishly to get unpacked and settled so that we had everything unboxed and ready to place on the day of styling.



DECORATING TIP:  No matter how well you’ve planned, it’s important to take time and live in your new home for a period of weeks or even months.  Learning how you and your family live in and use the spaces will help make better decorating choices when the time comes.

Anyway, after a few more weeks, our team arrived on site to fine tune furniture placement and finally layer in all the family’s cherished artwork and accessories which always help a house feel more like home.



Even though it was a new house for the family, once we were done, it felt familiar.  Repurposing, and restyling with many of their things, helped their new space feel like they’d lived there for years.

If you’re moving and starting fresh, that’s great.  But, by using cherished furniture, art and accessories, a new house can feel like home much more quickly than starting from scratch.



Happy Fresh Start Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433





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Another long day of decking the halls, this time for our favorite holiday clients in Lake Barrington.  This was our fifth year in a row helping bring holiday cheer to this home.  And while everything was familiar, it felt brand new since we were decorating around everyday decor we helped update earlier in the year.  With a different backdrop, the same holiday decor from previous years somehow felt fresh and new.

Our focus for change in holiday decor this year was the new ‘family’ tree in the renovated basement.  Building on the whimsical style and cranberry reds & bright chartreuse greens from previous years, we added new polka dot ribbon and ornaments to the miscellaneous collected ornaments. (TIP- Since collected ornaments are all over the board in style and color, filling in with solid ornaments complimenting your theme helps unify the tree and still showcase your treasured family ornaments!)  Topping it all off, we capped the tree with a pair of new glittery elves boots.  How Fun!

With our last holiday home behind us for the Season, there might be hope for finally washing off all the glitter til next November.  Well, one can hope anyway!


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“Home” and “family”, the two words are almost synonymous.  Our homes are our sanctuary in a crazy, hectic world.  And they provide the anchor that keeps our family group from drifting too far apart.  So it should go without say your family and its members are a key component to successful decorating.

Sometimes folks have a grand vision of their perfectly appointed and decorated home.  But, practically speaking, family needs and lifestyle throw a wrench into achieving that vision.  We always try to encourage our clients to decorate for “the way they live” rather than “the way they wished they lived”.  That’s not to say you can’t have a beautifully styled home.  But, failing to consider the way you use a room is the first mistake most DIY decorators make when styling a space.

This week, we helped a couple with two young girls put a few more finishing touches on their beautiful home in Roselle.  For this phase, we wanted to complete the main Living Room area, create a play space of the girls and brighten up the dark Master Bedroom.

In their long, rectangular Living Room, our goal was to create a kid-friendly, but adult space for tv and entertaining.  We also wanted to create a separate play area for the two, young girls which could be tidied easily while keeping them under watchful eye.

Living Room Before

We began by replacing the fabric sectional with a leather sofa and love seat.  Sectionals are very unforgiving and offer limited possibilities when playing with furniture placement.  And while some wouldn’t consider leather to be kid-friend, it is strong and durable.  It’s definitely easier to wipe clean and almost never looks dirty.  To the new seating, we added new, walnut-colored end tables.  The homeowners used chalk paint to give their entertainment console a fresh, new look and helped us avoid too many mismatched woods in the space.  Finally, we layered in a new area rug, blue upholstered storage ottoman, off-white/blue floral window panels, large, colorful artwork, a pair of table lamps, greenery and accessories.

Living Room After

With kids come toys, lots of toys!  So we looked for every opportunity for places to tuck them away when not in use.  The storage ottoman in the “adult” area was a good start.  To it, we added complimentary storage cabinets flanking the play area.  Cube baskets inside are perfect for dolls & smaller toys.  We also slightly angled the furniture to create a nook behind the sofa for larger pieces.  Finally, we dropped in decorative boxes by the door to quickly catch smaller items.

Kid’s play area

Playing off other colors in the home, we blended teal from the adjoining Family Room and dark blue from the Master Bedroom as part of our color story.  Luckily the girly-pink in the play area and the deep rich blues we used in the Living Room play perfectly together.  So we were able to unite the two spaces using accents of both.

Master Bedroom Before

In the Master Bedroom, our goal was simply to lighten and brighten.  While darker walls are restful in bedrooms, it’s important to balance them with lighter bedding especially if your bedroom furniture is also dark.  Rather than replacing the bedding, we simply introduced a pair of white pillows and a white bed throw.  We also angled a new, fluffy white area rug under the bed.  We finished by replacing the dark, blue window panels with lighter ones with accents of blue embroidery.

Master Bedroom After

Home is definitely synonymous with family.  Decorating for the way a family lives and functions is more important than having everything be pretty but not practical.  Helping this family find a happy balance between the two is why we love doing what we do.

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


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Parenting… I’m guessing there’s probably nothing more satisfying or fulfilling.  Then again, there’s probably nothing quite so stressful or frustrating.  Every parent wants to create a safe and supportive environment for their children.  But, that often means sacrificing as an adult, especially with home decor.

Whether it’s child-proofed corners, washable rugs, non-breakable accessories or toys galore, most parents simply give up on having anything too “designer”.  At least they give up until the kids are teenagers or out of the house completely!  Having strictly adult spaces with kids is a challenge for any family.  So, it’s always fun for us when we have the opportunity to help clients create spaces that allow for adult activities while leaving others that are more family-oriented and kid-friendly.

We’ve recently been working with clients in McHenry, IL who wanted to create an adult space in their ground floor bonus room.  With a young son, the couple’s entire three-story town home was very kid-centric to say the least.  They envisioned at least one area in the home where they could de-stress, relax and just be without having to child-proof or sacrifice on any of the creature comforts adults enjoy.


Their vision for the space was a media room for relaxing, taking a nap, reading a book or watching tv & movies.  With a monster 86″ flat-screen tv and killer sound system, this space would be an adult retreat from the organized chaos of family life upstairs.

Wanting several grown up elements, they asked that we incorporate a coffee/wine bar theme in the space.  Since they’d already purchased a new ultra-deep sofa, entertainment center & bookcase, we were asked to simply pull their vision together by bringing in everything else from window coverings to artwork, lighting to accessories.

After several weeks of space planning and shopping for the details, we returned to give the room the adult theme the owners so desperately wanted and deserved.


First, we replaced the white, wood blinds with new bamboo roman shades for warmth and privacy.  Then, we added a reclaimed-wood & metal console table to serve as both wine & coffee bar. (espresso machine on order)  To it, we added wine stem storage with wine racks on the floor underneath.  Three gray, leather storage cubes were added.  They can serve as extra seating, tables and storage for unused pillows and throws.  A black, wire mesh chair in the corner offers additional seating.  A new c-table provides a place for a cup of coffee or glass of wine while snuggling on the extra-deep sofa.



Without a ceiling fixture, we needed to create a lighting triangle to take care of any dark corners in the room.  So, we added a beautiful floor lamp from Crate & Barrel by the sofa.  Then we placed a pewter teardrop lamp from World Market on the floor by the tv.  Finally, a glass bottle accent lamp from HomeGoods found its spot on the bookcase.

An avid audiophile, the husband wanted acoustic panels in the room to help with sound.  By some miracle, he’d already found some.  Covered with burlap, coffee bean bags, they fit perfectly into our design.  So we used 6 of them above the sofa doubling as artwork.  We added a framed burlap bulletin and chalk board to cover the unsightly electrical panel.  And we added a family photo wall and other metal bowl art from World Market to balance the space.





Every little detail from coffee cups and spoons to serving trays and flavored syrups were added. And lastly, we poured coffee beans into the vintage sugar molds on the window sill.  Good design touches as many of the senses as possible.  So we made sure the wonderful aroma of the coffee beans filled the air as well as any neighborhood coffee house.

The end result is a room that allows for plenty of “adulting”.  Whether it’s for a cup of coffee with the morning news, a game of chess or a great movie, this space went from a sad, underutilized storage area to a media room any adult would enjoy.

The moral of this story is this.  Finding the right combination of kid-friendly spaces, family spaces and adult spaces makes any home feel more balanced.  It offers adults the opportunity to be adults in their own home while still having spaces for kids to be kids.  When everyone’s needs are met, family happiness ensues!

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

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It’s rare to find anyone who is excited about moving.  Oh yea!  They might love the idea of a new place.  But, the nuts and bolts of actually moving kind of stink.   And it’s even harder to find someone who is willing to spend some money in order to make improvements to their home just so someone else can benefit.  But, taking the time to put it all into perspective and realizing that staging is a key component of any successful real estate transaction will reap many benefits in the end.

We’ve been working with a wonderful couple in Barrington who are doing just that.  They are in the process of purging and readying their large 5 bedroom home for sale.  In order to get ready, however, they’ve had to spend a great deal of time sifting through and discarding unwanted items.  In addition, they’ve spent a fair amount of money updating certain areas of the home.  They’ve also been busy fixing issues that will need to be fixed prior to any home inspection.

We came into the process when the frustrated and overwhelmed owner called asking for help with her living room.  She just couldn’t seem to see it any other way and knew it wasn’t right.  After our initial consultation, however, she decided she wanted to do more than just improve the living room.  So, together, we made a list of recommendations for the entire home.  And then the homeowners decided which to-dos they wanted to tackle and which they’d leave.

Lucky for us, not only were they willing to do 99.5% of the recommendations.  But, they were also willing to invest the money they needed to fix key areas like:  replacing dated light fixtures, updating bath vanities and plumbing, changing hardware, painting, and replacing carpet & flooring in other key areas.

Spending money on a home you plan to sell never makes anyone happy.  A better way to think of it is INVESTING in one of the largest financial transactions of your life.  Without investing some time and resources, a home (no matter how perfect and comfortable for you), will never make the BEST first impression when it hits the market.  And in today’s age of instant public opinion, you never get a second change to make a good, first one.

While we touched every room in the home in some way, shape or form, the change in the following rooms was the most notable.  In some rooms, we spent larger amounts of money to neutralize, de-personalize and update.  In others, a little paint and rearranging were all that was needed.

Family Room Before

Family Room Before

Sitting Room Before

Sitting Room After

Office Before

Office After

Finished Basement Before

Finished Basement After

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After

Powder Room 1 Before

Powder Room 1 After

Powder Room 2 Before

Powder Room 2 After

Staging is the best way to make an impression on internet shoppers and entice them to see your property in person.  Fortunately for us, our clients didn’t need to be convinced of its importance.  Unlike some, they were smart enough to take our advice and run with it.  The transformation in several of their spaces is nothing short of amazing.  And several times throughout the process we heard, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”  The good news is they get to live in and enjoy the changes until it does sell!

Of course, everyone’s circumstances are different.  Sometimes you simply can’t afford to spend any money getting your house ready to sell.  But, then again, sometimes you simply can’t afford not to.  While your normal knee-jerk reaction might be to sell “as is”, don’t underestimate the power of staging.  In most scenarios, you’ll save money with a faster sale.  And you’ll make more money from higher offers.

Happy Staging from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433





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Interior decorating is an evolution. Your decor generally evolves along a path that parallels your personal journey. As your income level, lifestyle & interests change over time, so does your decor. With that in mind, all you can do is style your home in a way that reflects the most authentic version of your ‘best self’ at the time.

Disagree? Drag out some old photos of yourself. Were you rocking it with bell bottoms in the late 60s & 70s? Or how about those Farrah Fawcett “wings” or a mullet in the 80s? I’m betting you’re like, “What the hell was I thinking?” But, it happens. At some point, even design professionals look back at photos of their work from years past and ask, “What was I thinking?” Don’t beat yourself up; it’s natural. Trends change, times change & tastes change. And thank goodness they do. Remember olive green appliances?

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with a client who we helped with some redecorating about five years ago. Even in that short amount of time, she has experienced some milestones in life. On top of that, trends and her own taste have changed.

We’ve helped see this client through several different versions of her ‘best self’. Her two-story townhome with volumn ceilings and arched windows has been a perfect backdrop for our stylings. As the story goes, our client decided to buy a new sofa for her living room. And the rest is history. Before we knew it, we had a touched almost every part of the living spaces in her riverfront home.

2014 Living Room Before
2014 Dining Room Before
2014 Basement Before
2014 Sitting Area Before

In 2014, we helped her finishing moving into her new space. After some painting, we reused and repurposed much of her previous furniture and added some finishing touches building off the dark woods and leather. Jewel tone teal accents punched up the tone-on-tone neutrals. We also styled the basement at the time leaving most of the details for a later date.

2014 Living Room After
Living Room 2014 After
Basement 2014 After

In with 2019! Inspired by the current version of her ‘best self’ and a trend toward lighter & brighter, she asked for help making the changes needed to blend her new pieces and bring her inspiration to life.

In the Living Room, we replaced teal and black accents with cream and blush. We added a new tufted gray leather ottoman from Penny Mustard. Matching tiered side tables from Wayfair replaced the oversized side table. Clear glass lamps, a fiddle leaf fig tree, new cream window panels, bright capiz shell artwork and brighter accessories complete the look.

2019 Living Room After

In the Dining Room, we kept the table but replaced the heavy wooden chairs. We repeated the tufted texture from the Living Room ottoman by ordering custom upholstered parsons chairs from Steinhafels. A new cabinet in warm white from Ballard Design serves as a bar cabinet. Our client painted the pub table (introduced in 2014) with off-white chalk paint to match the new cabinet. Three industrial swivel stools from Ballard replace the dark wood sway back bar stools.

2019 Living Room After
2019 Dining Room After

In the basement, we repurposed some of the elements we replaced upstairs. A new reclaimed wood & metal entertainment center from Steinhafels provided a dramatic focal point for the repurposed sectional. We grouped four leather swivel chairs from Pottery Barn near the wet bar area for group conversation. The pub table and chairs offer a great space for drinks or gaming. New custom blinds, drink tables from Crate & Barrel and artwork and accessories complete the warm and inviting space.

2019 Basement After
2019 Basement After
2019 Basement After
2019 Sitting Area After

In the end, by replacing a few key elements and restyling with complimentary artwork and accessories, we were able to give entirely new personality to the spaces. Light and bright suits our client for the next chapter in her life. And we were thrilled to help her pull it all together.

Tastes and trends are always changing. Why not celebrate the current version of your best self? Happy Decorating from Decor Designs. 815-245-2433

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We’ve all heard the analogy; life is like a book. From chapter to chapter, our life stories are written one page at a time. One of our recent projects involved helping a super sweet lady & mom who was flipping the page and starting a new chapter in her life. We joined her story as she was moving from a traditional, four-bedroom English Tudor that had been home for many years into a newly renovated and much more sleek & modern, two-bedroom condo.

Of course, we love helping our clients reuse and repurpose as many cherished things as possible. But, as you can imagine, there are only so many ways to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary styles. In this new chapter for our client, we simply needed to create an updated look that complimented her current personal style as well as her newly renovated space. While it’s sometimes sad to say goodbye to things you’ve enjoyed for years, she was ready to embrace a fresh, modern look in her new home.


Inheriting cool gray walls, white and gray cabinetry and reclaimed wood-look flooring throughout after the remodel by the previous owner, our goal was to “warm up” the space and make it feel more inviting and less sterile.


With the exception of a bakers rack and a few occasional tables from the previous home, we were starting from scratch with all new furniture. Our homeowner had already purchased a beautiful new dining table and chairs as well as a new master bedroom set she loved. To those, we added a new sofa & love seat, multiple accent chairs, office desk & chair, counter stools, guest bedroom headboard and nightstands, console tables and more.


While we were able to repurpose a few sentimental art pieces and accessories, we needed much more to complete the large, open-concept space. Floating wall shelves from Ballard Designs were added by the fireplace for additional display space, area and throw rugs were added to soften the tiled floors. New, colorful artwork and accessories were added to help bring the sterile gray to life.


Adding punches of color always gives dimension to monochromatic spaces. One element our client was very specific about was adding a blue accent cabinet in her dining area for storage. It took some doing. But, we were able to find the perfect piece. With that strong color statement in place, we only needed a couple more. Since warm gold plays nicely with blue and gray, we added hints here and there. And for contrast, we decided to add blush pink accents in the master bedroom and bath to round out our color palette.


In the hallway, just off the Master Bedroom, we used a combination of box & mirrored frames to create a gallery wall for our homeowner’s many family photos. As we often share with clients, no one loves your family more than you. So rather than turning your main living areas into a 3D photo album, why not showcase your favorite family photos in a slightly less conspicuous space where you can still enjoy them all the time?


Our homeowner had originally planned to style the guest bedroom with an old set of furniture from Pier 1. With everything else shiny and new, it made this set feel tired and left over. So we simply swapped it out with an upholstered headboard, two new night stands and bedding. Now the room feels current, fresh and inviting to anyone who might stay over.


New chapters in life, especially as we age, can be both exciting and frightening. But, since change is truly the only constant in life, changing your surroundings sometimes means changing your decor as well. The end result is a beautifully-styled, new space that reflects our client’s current interests and lifestyle while incorporating a few nods to her life and history as well.

If you’re turning a page in your own life and need a little help seeing things from a different perspective, give us a call. We’re happy to help. Happy Decorating from Decor Designs. 815-245-2433.

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