Category Archives: Redesign

MOTHER’S DAY 2018

Mother’s Day 2018 is less than two weeks away!  How will you show that special lady how much she means to you?  Our Quick Fix™ Redesign service is the perfect solution!!!

Give mom a gift that truly keeps giving.

For less than the cost of taking mom out for dinner, you can give her a gift she will enjoy for more than one evening.

If mom has lived with things the same way for a long time, a fresh perspective may be all she needs to give new life to her home!  Anyone can fall into a rut unable to see the hidden potential in a space.  With careful editing and using items she already owns, we will quickly fix common problem areas leaving her space professionally styled, refreshed and looking fantastic in just a few hours!

Without buying a thing, in THREE hours or less, we’ll Redesign and Restyle mom’s Family or Living Room (or her room of choice) for the incredibly low price of $195 (A 50% SAVINGS off our standard Redesign pricing.)

Give us a call at 815-245-2433 TODAY.  We will process your credit card payment over the phone.  Then, we will email your receipt along with a Quick Fix™ Redesign Gift Certificate to send in mom’s card.

Nothing could be more special than giving mom a gift she didn’t know she needed.  Let us help you make mom feel as special as she is.  Call TODAY.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM DECOR DESIGNS, INC.

 

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FRESH START DECORATING

A fresh start is exciting for any family.  But, decorating an entire home right after moving is a time consuming & expensive proposition.  Getting things right, the first time around, helps save time and money.

We recently worked with a young family as they were settling into their home in Western Springs, Illinois.  Adapting to suburban living, after a move from the Chicago Loop, the couple wanted help adding some of the finishing touches that would make their new, larger house feel more like home.

Before we met, the couple and their 15 month old daughter had taken a few months to get acquainted with their new home.  Living in the space for a while, before tackling decorating, helped the couple determine priorities.

The cottage style home, built in 1909, had been updated and renovated while maintaining it’s vintage charm.  Unlike the open concept floor plans so popular in contemporary construction, we were working with the more segregated spaces of a bygone era.

Being toddler friendly was of concern as we added many of the missing elements any new home needs including furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories.

On the first floor, off the enclosed front porch, we created a ‘formal’, but cozy & inviting living room space.  Adding a matching chair to their recently purchased Pottery Barn sofa created an intimate sitting area with plenty of play room for a toddler.  Marble-top side and sofa tables with kid-friendly, rounded edges were added along with floor length aqua-colored panels, clear glass lamps, trendy artwork, throw pillows and accessories.  The homeowner’s large, wicker storage trunk served dual purpose as coffee table and toy storage.

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

LIVING ROOM AFTER

LIVING ROOM BEFORE

LIVING ROOM AFTER

Next, we turned our attention to the second floor master bedroom.  With both parents working and raising their first child, it was important to create a restful sanctuary for those precious moments of sleep.  To complete the space, we added new nightstands, matching lamps, geometric window treatments, a large leaning floor mirror, plush rug, footed reclaimed wood storage trunk and accents.

MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE

MASTER BEDROOM AFTER

To create a more casual and family-friendly space, we turned to the finished basement.  Along with the existing sofa, coffee table and entertainment console, we added an area rug, clear glass sofa table and pendant lamp.  Floor length panels helped soften the harsh edges of the short basement windows giving the illusion of higher ceilings.  The couple’s large framed map was the perfect size to cover the unsightly utility boxes near the t.v.  An acrylic ‘ghost’ chair, always a great conversation starter, finished the sitting area.  With limited wall space on the first floor, we created a family photo gallery wall between the windows in the basement for all the pictures a family with a young child are sure to take.

BASEMENT BEFORE

BASEMENT AFTER

After finishing the job, the lady of the house said, in part, that we had “easily meshed my minimalist taste with my husband’s eye for cottage, all while remembering that we have a very curious child to decorate around.”

Starting from scratch can be a very daunting task.  With the time constraints of working and raising a child coupled with the expense of decorating an entire home, asking for help to get started on a good path helped save this family time and money.

Whether you are starting fresh or just looking for a fresh start, we’re happy to help you Make the Most of Your Good Taste™.  Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433.

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CATCH ALL TO BE ALL BASEMENT

We all have those overlooked and under appreciated spaces in our homes.  Usually, they’re the out-of-sight, out-of-mind rooms that could really use some attention but somehow stay on our to-do list for months or even years.  This week, we had fun wrapping up a redesign project that included two of these often-overlooked spaces:  a guest bedroom and finished basement.

BASEMENT BEFORE

BASEMENT BEFORE

BEDROOM BEFORE

Our clients, a busy family of five including three children, called us before the holidays to take a look at their beautiful, single-family home in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.  The first floor of the home, dating back to the late 1800s, had already been renovated including a stylish, modern kitchen, dining room and living room with stacked stone fireplace.  For this project, however, we were asked to turn our attention to the finished basement area including updating and styling a guest bedroom and bath.

Our task was fairly straightforward.  Create a multi-functional space that could serve the entire family’s needs.  From a kid-friendly space to an adult hangout to a guest bedroom & bath, the family wanted help making the most of this under-utilized space.  The homeowners, who’d already tackled a basement leak and carpet repair (see Befores) took the opportunity to purge and paint as well, leaving us a clean and decluttered canvas to work our magic.  Since furniture is the single largest expense with any update, we repurposed as much of the homeowner’s existing furniture as possible saving money for the items we had to buy or replace.

BASEMENT AFTER CLEAN UP

In the bedroom, a new upholstered headboard, off-white nightstands along with new blinds, an area rug, lamps, pillows and accessories were added creating a restful retreat for the grandparents or other overnight guests.

The adjoining guest bathroom that had already been remodeled with stunning, cobalt-blue mosaic tile gave us our accent color inspiration for the entire basement.  We added deep blue accents throughout which paired perfectly with the earthy gold on the walls creating the perfect contrast in the basement space.

As is often the case with finished basements, the lack of natural light can make them feel dreary and claustrophobic.  By using warm, rich colors paired with lighter rugs, colorful artwork and accessories in these spaces, we helped create a cozy, more inviting feel.

In the rest of the basement, we created two zones the family could adapt as needed.  We created a seating area using their existing blue micro-suede sofa.  With the sofa we added a new area rug, leather ottoman, entertainment console and accent chair.   Nearby, a repurposed dining table is perfect for games and parties.  And, a repurposed bookcase and entertainment console provided much needed storage for books, board games and all the things the family will re-accumulate over time.

BASEMENT AFTER

BASEMENT AFTER

BEDROOM AFTER

From oldest to youngest, the end result was a space that the family loved and couldn’t wait to share with friends and family.

BASEMENT AFTER

What spaces in your home are you under appreciating?  If you need help visualizing these spaces or pulling them together, call or click today!  We’d be happy to help!

www.decordesignsinc.com or 815-245-2433

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BEST OF HOUZZ 2018

We are thrilled to be honored again the year by the folks at Houzz.com with their prestigious Best of Houzz Service Award for 2018.  Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of recent client reviews.

This is our 5th consecutive year receiving this recognition for exemplary customer service.

Thanks to Houzz and to our wonderful clients for taking the time to share awesome reviews!

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A NEW BEGINNING

New Years equal new beginnings.  So, it’s no surprise to think of the end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new one as a chance to start with a clean slate.  Traditionally, we set goals and make resolutions to improve our health & relationships or go on a much needed vacation.  And sometimes, we decide to tackle those decorating projects we’ve been ignoring.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Thoughts become things!”  While true, thoughts without action rarely manifest into reality.  Thinking of and setting goals is one thing.  But, it’s important to set ones we truly believe we have the tenacity and will power to accomplish.  Otherwise, failure just becomes one more self-imposed disappointment for the year.

Let’s say you’re mulling over a new kitchen in the New Year.  Yet, you have no idea where the funds will come from to pay for it.  Maybe, you need to set a more realistic goal.  That doesn’t mean you can’t want or plan for a new kitchen.  But, perhaps this year’s goal is simply beginning with new appliances.

A common complaint we hear from clients throughout the year is not knowing where to start.  Many are so overwhelmed by the number of decisions to be made with any decorating project, they procrastinate, or worse, never start at all.

Our advice to them is similar to that of making New Year’s resolutions.  Set realistic, achievable goals for your decor rather than letting fear of the final result keep you from beginning.

As we set our own personal and business goals for 2018, we look forward to and are thankful for the opportunity to work with as many of you as possible to help you meet your own decorating & home improvement goals.

Our mission statement reads in part:   “Décor Designs, Inc. believes in helping homeowners with their decorating goals, dilemmas and the evolution of their living spaces.

If you’ve set a goal to redecorate a part or all of your home in the New Year, don’t let fear of making mistakes keep you from reaching your goal.  Another good resolution might be to ask for help!  In that case, we are standing by to guide you and help you create the beautifully redecorated space you set out to achieve.

Here’s to reaching all your goals and to a Happy & Healthy New Year from all of us at Decor Designs!

 

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FIY (FIX IT YOURSELF) DECORATING TIPS

Having visited hundreds of homes over the years, we’ve seen a lot of great ideas and even more decorating don’ts & near-misses.  So, if you think there’s just something not quite right about your own decorating, you’re definitely not alone.  As much as every home and its decor is unique in some way, the majority share common problems that we’ve helped fix.  Over time, we’ve been able to compile a list of the most common decorating problems shared by those we’ve helped.

So here’s some FREE decorating therapy on how to recognize the problems you might have in your own home and some simple suggestions for fixing them.

The ten most common decorating problems, in no particular order, we encounter are:

1-WINDOW TREATMENTS

Mini blinds and blinds in general are not window treatments!  While they offer privacy and light control, they rarely enhance your decor.  Try pairing them with floor-length fabric panels hung at least halfway between the ceiling and top of the window or higher for a more refined and decorative look.  If you only want blinds, some treatments, like Hunter Douglas’ Silhouettes™ , offer clean-lined style combining the light control and privacy of a blind with a soft sheer treatment for a more contemporary look.

2-COLOR

Changing colors in every room in your home creates sensory overload.  Try painting your open common areas with different shades of the same color to unify those areas.  In rooms closed off to the main living area by a door, you can be a little more random in color choices.  Keep in mind, however, that a good color story includes repeating colors throughout the home.  If you have a teal powder room, for example, then teal pillows on the family room sofa would be a good repetition of that color.

3-ARTWORK

Artwork doesn’t have to match the color palette in your room but should compliment the style of your decor.  Family photos are NOT artwork (see below).  And most important of all, artwork should be paired with the furniture and other items in your room rather than hanging too far above them.  Hang artwork about 6-8″ above a piece of furniture (i.e. sofa or table). And for free floating art, hang it approximately 60″ from the floor to the center of the piece.

4-LAYERING

Good design involves layering.  From floor coverings, to accessories, to window treatments and more, layering elements rather than having a series of stand-alone objects helps create a cozier, more attractive design.  Put an area rug in your room, even if it’s on top of carpet to create a ‘room within a room’.  Rugs provide added color, pattern and visual interest.  (NOTE:  Don’t float a rug in the middle of the room.  Instead, make sure it is touching/mated with the furniture in the room.)  Feel free to stack books on the coffee table topped with a vase of flowers or your favorite accessories for more height and drama.  Lamps are a great way to enhance your decor and fill in that void of “nothing”.  And it’s ok if items overlap!

5-LIGHTING

Overhead lighting isn’t the most flattering light for you or your decor.  Spread at least three lamps evenly throughout a room trying to create a triangle of lighting when possible.  This will help eliminate dark corners in the room, provide more flattering light and will add another layer (see #4) filling in the vertical void between the top of your seating furniture and the top of your window treatments or artwork.

6-CLUTTER

While layering (#4) is great.  Too much of a good thing, like too many color changes (#2) in a space, creates sensory overload.  Your eye travels the room encountering so many elements that they all blend into visual noise.  “Negative space” in design refers to the area around an object.  Without ample negative space (think nothing) between accessories, artwork and furniture, you run the risk of having a space that looks cluttered rather than designed.

7-ACCESSORIES 

While most rooms are built around the expected furniture for their use, accessories are the detail that give the room personality and life.  Finding the right balance between enough accessories and too many (See Clutter) is a problem that confounds many homeowners.  If you need help, pay attention to the accessories the next time you shop for furniture.  A well- merchandised furniture showroom will group accessories and keep them to a minimum. You should too!

8-FAMILY PHOTOS

It’s especially hard for more sentimental clients to give up the family photos they have all over their walls and tables.  Having 1-2 larger photos on tables and nightstands is fine.  For all your other framed family pics, consider creating a gallery wall mixed with 3D objects like clocks, word art etc… keep a couple of your favorite shots for side tables or night stands and restrict the rest to photo walls in hallways or similar spaces. You and your guests can enjoy the photos up close where faces are visible as opposed to viewing them from across the room.

9-MATCHY MATCHY

Image courtesy of Houzz

Nothing is more predictable than buying everything on page 23 out of your favorite home decor catalog.  We’ll just call that ‘Decorating for Dummies’ and leave it at that!  While there are obvious exceptions like matching bedroom, dining or table sets, push yourself to think outside the box and create an eclectic mix of complimentary styles and finishes.  And remember, wood tones do NOT have to match.

10-TRENDS

Image courtesy of Overstock

Trends are just that….temporary obsessions.  Whether it’s a wall color like gray, or a specific pattern like chevron, fads come and go and can quickly “date” your decor.  If you just have to have the latest and greatest in your decor, consider introducing it in small amounts and in things that are easily changed.  In other words, don’t upholster your sofa with paisley fabric.  Save that, instead, for the throw pillows you can replace when the next trend comes along.

As you can see, many of the most common decorating problems we encounter are multi-faceted.  One problem and its solution can impact other decisions you make as you take inventory of your own decor.  As you look around and reevaluate your own decorating choices and pitfalls, hopefully these tips will help you Fix It Yourself in no time.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

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GOOD DECORATING HITS THE SPOT

You pay a mortgage and taxes on every square inch of your home.  So, wouldn’t it be a good idea to try and use all of them?  Instead, so many formal living rooms in homes are, at best, the “pretty” room.  You know the one; that awkward spot in the home where the family rarely spends time.  Either it’s too far removed from the kitchen and t.v.  Or sometimes, it’s so perfectly decorated, it might as well have museum ropes to maintain perfection.  Form definitely wins over function.

Last week, we put the finishing touches on a few rooms for an Aurora, IL family.  During our consult, we were pleasantly surprised to see the owners had actually started transforming their formal living and dining spaces into a more family-friendly, useable room.  In place of expected decor, they’d built a large reclaimed wood bar.  To that were added wall mounted t.v.s and an extra long, champion shuffleboard.  For a family that loves to entertain, the repurposed space now had the look and feel of a sports bar.

Since the family’s last name begins with a V, friends had already dubbed the fun, new space the “V-spot”.   Needless to say, we were more than happy to build on that idea.

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AFTER

Luckily for our clients, a friend of the family with a good “shopping” eye was willing to help source the new furniture and other additions they needed.  After taking a few weeks to find & take delivery of the furniture and other goodies, we went back with a few additions of our own to style and bring everything together.

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AFTER

In the bar area, we had the owners replace the white wood blinds with new matchstick roller shades to better compliment the man-cave appeal.  We also asked for an area rug under the bar table.  As a focal point behind the bar, we reused the owner’s polyptych of an airplane.   We also bought lettering from the local hobby story to officially label the space as the V-spot.

Along with adding finishing touches in the bar area, we were asked to help with ideas for the family room as well including furniture, additional window treatments, art and accessories.

For the family room, the owner purchased a new sofa, love seat and t.v. console.  To those we added a repurposed leather chair from the basement and bench from the office.  We also reused their existing coffee and other accent tables.  We added sheer white panels to soften the edges of the window blinds.  And we brought in new artwork and an area rug to mix with the newly purchased accessories.

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Good decorating respects both form and function.  An unused room is sad no matter how great it looks.  Just as the busiest room in your home should be well arranged and beautiful.  Why not look for any underused spaces in your own home.  With the right combination of form and function, you too can hit the V spot.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

 

 

 

 

 

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BEAUTIFUL BEGINNINGS REDESIGN

Interior Redesign offers homeowners the opportunity for a fresh, new look in their homes using what they already own.  Surprisingly, it can usually be accomplished in a single day with amazing results.

Staircase ledge

One of my favorite parts of this job is seeing the bewildered, yet ecstatic, look on a redesign client’s face when we’re done with a job.  In every room we touch,  we manage to reveal the hidden beauty in their home.  Sometimes that means being very creative, working magic to create something out of nothing.  Sometimes, it means taking something that was already good and making it great.

Last week we helped a young couple in Naperville, IL.  They had already had a lot of help from mom and aunt styling their beautiful home.  But, they felt like it could still use a few tweaks to make it just right.  As difficult as it is to create something out of nothing, it’s actually MORE challenging to improve upon an already beautiful space.

Starting in the living room, we added a few new layers including an area rug, new floor to ceiling drapery panels, taller lamps and a larger, brighter piece of art.  We suggested adding an armchair to complete the furniture group when budget allows.

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AFTER

In the family room, we rearranged the furniture to make better use of the space while still addressing the combo tv/fireplace focal point.  Angling furniture is a great way to make a long and narrow space feel wider and more cozy.  As we re-accessorized, we eliminated several of the symmetrical elements in the space which generally feel more appropriate in a formal living area.

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We also reworked the family photo wall at the top of the stairs creating a focal point using an old window from the grandparents.  We disguised the rope we used to hang the window with a piece of metal art.  And finally, we used Velcro dots to attach the K to the glass.

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The changes, while not overly dramatic, took something that was already very nice and added the few finishing touches they wanted to make it perfect.  With the help of mom and a very few purchases, we were able to surprise the homeowners when they came home from work with a new to them look, redesigning and restyling with 90% of what they already owned and in only one day.

AFTER

If you’re interested in seeing the undiscovered potential in your own home, give us a call.  We can put a different spin on what you already have to create a fresh look that exposes your home’s hidden beauty!

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

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BEDROOM MEETS STUDIO

Progress comes in many forms, sometimes bringing us full circle back to places we’ve already been.  That can happen, for example, when your adult child needs to move back home for a while.  The challenge, of course, is creating a space that feels like part of the childhood home and yet adult and independent at the same time.  Progress here means it’s probably time to revamp a teenager’s bedroom to serve as a new, adult pied-a-terre which is exactly what we recently finished doing for a client in Deer Park, Illinois.

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Considering both mom and adult daughter’s input,  we wanted to update this large bedroom to give it the more adult feel of a studio apartment.  We also wanted to make changes which would help the space serve as a guest bedroom in the future.

We began by having the room repainted.  Straying a little from our “go-to” grays, we chose Sherwin Williams “Skyline Steel” SW 1015 as our backdrop.  It turned out to be the perfect choice.

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In true redesign fashion, we also wanted to incorporate as much of the existing furniture as possible.  Building around the existing espresso-finished modular desk, bookcase and dresser, we replaced a few key pieces and added a few new ones to freshen the look of the space.

Since the bed is obviously the focal point in any bedroom, we decided that was the best place to begin our update.  We started by adding new reclaimed wood & wrought iron nightstands which were a nice tie-in with the darker case goods.  With the matching headboard on backorder for months, we created the illusion of one with a piece of scrolled metal art in the meantime.

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We also needed more accent furniture to help fill the large 15′ x 20′ bedroom.  So, we added a beautiful tufted, gray & teal pinstripe chair to create a corner reading nook.  And we added a tufted gray ottoman at the foot of the bed for extra storage and seating.  New, bright white bedding and window panels added a layer of softness and elegance to the space.  Finally, we layered in a large area rug and some colorful pillows.  Chicago & Illinois themed art, updated string lighting and accessories helped personalize the space for the returning adult.

With plenty of privacy and most of the amenities of a studio apartment, this transformed bedroom now feels like a home within a home.  And our client’s couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

 

 

 

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VERTICAL DECORATING

For most suburbanites, we are used to living in our sprawling two-story or ranch style homes.  In the BIG city however, more people and less available space requires homes to be built up, rather than out, to maximize use of the land.  This results in what I often refer to as “vertical living” at it’s best!

EXTERIOR

Cut to a job we just finished for a young couple in Chicago.  Their industrial, loft-style home encompasses 3,000 sq. feet on FOUR floors.  Visitors enter the home from a courtyard into a first floor living space with 30 foot ceilings complete with a fireplace and coat closet.  After climbing 26 steps you arrive at the second floor living area featuring a spacious living room, dining area, galley kitchen with island and powder room.  Another 26 steps and you arrive at the third floor Master & Guest Bedrooms both with full en suite baths.  After a final 20 steps, you reach the fourth floor bonus room featuring laundry and roof top deck access.

Needless to say a home gym or even a gym membership is probably unnecessary in this living arrangement.  As my team and I can attest, a “Buns of Steel” workout dims in comparison to styling 4 floors of living space all in one day!  (One of our phones fitness trackers recorded climbing 47 flights of stairs as we completed the transformation.)

While the couple had already purchased the majority of big ticket items for their home, our job was to add a new dining table and chairs along with a few pieces of accent furniture and more finishing touches like artwork, accessories and greenery.

Likely to be an unused or under-used space on the first floor, the man of the home used the space as his virtual golfing studio.  Complete with tv monitors, putting green and cage, we decided to up the anti in this man-cave space.  To his setup, we added a beer fridge, pub table and three, gray leather bar stools to complete his man cave.

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Upstairs, in the main living, the couple already had a large charcoal gray sectional for plenty of seating, a rug and a beautiful hammered metal coffee table.  To those, we added a leather recliner, aluminum side table, a distressed console table, and stacked trunks for another side table along with lighting, greenery and accessories.  We took our inspiration from the couple’s Chicago themed artwork including a fantastic replica of the Chicago flag crafted from reclaimed wood.

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On this floor, it was also time to add a new dining table and chairs to replace the repurposed family set.  We chose the dramatic butcher block sheesham wood Edmund table from Home Depot (of all places).

DINING ROOM

We paired the table with set of six dark gray upholstered contemporary wing back chairs we found at the local HomeGoods.

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Upstairs, between the bedrooms we added a console table and created a gallery wall for family photos.

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And in the Master Bedroom, all we needed were a few more accessories, lamps, and 108″ window panels to soften the edges of the large windows.  (We hope to style the Guest Room as a nursery at a later date!)

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Upstairs, to the fourth floor laundry, we added additional storage and a folding area for clothes along with a retractable clothes line for delicates.

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On the landings between floors, we added large statement artwork to have something beautiful and inspirational to look at as you climbed or descended each set of stairs.

 

As you can see, the key word to this redesign is “upstairs”.  I am so thankful that my crew didn’t rebel when seeing how many flights of stairs were involved in restyling this city home.

While the homeowners would never make as many trips as we did loaded with tubs and furniture, they no doubt get in a good workout each day with their built-in gym.

Whether your living space is spread out in the suburbs or stacked in the city, make use of every single space.  Happy vertical Decorating from Decor Designs!  815-245-2433

 

 

 

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