Tag Archives: Interior Redesign

DECOR DESIGNS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS

In February, Decor Designs, Inc. will celebrate its 15th Anniversary!   Since 2004, we’ve been invited into hundreds of homes & lives.  We’re so very thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to help with your decorating dilemmas.  We certainly hope we’ve had as much of an impact on you as you’ve had on us.

To celebrate our 15th Birthday, we’ve planned a special Rollback Rate promotion.  New clients (no matter the service) who call and reference the special Promo Code will have their billable hours adjusted to our 2004 Service Rates for the entire month of February.

For Example: 

Consultations (currently $95/hr. with a $195 minimum) will be billed at $25/hr. during the promotional period.  Interior Redesign, Decorating & Staging rates (currently $95/hr. with a 2 hour minimum of $295) will be adjusted to $40/hr. with no minimum.  (All other rates will see similar adjustments for services provided during the month of February, 2019!)

It’s been an AMAZING 15 years!  We’ve helped create a lot of pretty in our little corner of the world.  But, there are still plenty of rooms out there desperately waiting for a fresh, beautiful new look.  Together, we can make that happen!

We are so happy to celebrate this milestone and share these sharply discounted 2004 rates as a thank you for your continued support. This is a rare opportunity to take advantage of 15 years of experience at low, low Start-Up prices.  Don’t let it pass you by!  And don’t forget to share this post with family & friends in the Chicago area.  Call 815-245-2433 TODAY to start your your decorating journey with us.

Living Room After

Additional Promotional Information:

  • Clients must reference Promo Code ROLLBACK15 when booking their initial appointment to take advantage of these Rollback Rates.
  • Rollback Rates do not apply to current contracts or previous invoices. 
  • Service dates & appointments are provided on a first-come, first-served basis during normal business hours and may be limited due to availability.
  • Rollback Rates only apply to those services provided during the month of February 2019!  Effective March 1, 2019, regular rates will apply.
  • We proudly serve (and this promotion applies only to) clients within a 25 mile radius of our Crystal Lake office.
  • A 3% fee will be added to invoices for clients paying by credit card.
  • Rates for products/ services not provided in 2004 will be adjusted to reflect the rate at the time initially offered.
  • A full list of Rollback Rates is available upon request.
  • Other restrictions and exclusions may apply. Please call 815-245-2433 for details.

 

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SMART CHOICES FROM THE START

Working with young couples as they begin their married lives together is one of the most rewarding things we do.  Not only do we have the opportunity to help them make smart choices & avoid some of the pitfalls of early homeownership.  But, by helping with the many decorating choices being made by first-time home buyers, we help save time, money and frustration.  Lending our experience to the mix, we help create the functional and beautifully decorated home of their dreams.  This past week, we added the final touches on one of these projects.

This Palatine, IL couple had recently closed on their first home together when they reached out to us in May of this year.  The ’50s ranch-style house had undergone major interior renovations prior to their purchase.  So, many of the core choices, like flooring and paint color, had already been made for us.  Along with consulting on a few additional renovations, we were asked to help the couple merge their somewhat different decorating styles and fill in the missing pieces for their new home.

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After

Before

After

Replacing a sliding door to nowhere in the Living Room was a priority for our clients.  In its place, they wanted a contemporary fireplace.  After discussing several possibilities, we settled on a white granite, stacked stone fireplace flanked by built-in storage and floating shelves.  The homeowners added two skylights in the room to help compensate for the natural light lost by closing in the slider.

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After

During our initial consultation, we helped them determine priorities, discussed styles and budget, and made a list of the purchases we needed to compliment the items we’d be reusing from their previous homes.  Then, we went to work sourcing all the new furniture along with window treatments, artwork, rugs, pillows & throws, plants, books & accessories and every other minute detail necessary to style a blank-slate like this one.

Before

After

Before

After

The homeowners wanted to focus their efforts on the main floor, keeping the large finished basement in mind for repurposing older pieces.  Our new furniture purchases included a sofa and matching chair, a pair of club chairs, round cocktail table, trunk style side tables, dining table and chairs, a rollaway kitchen island, nightstands for the Master Bedroom, and desks for the Office.  We also selected new lighting for the Dining Room and Master Suite hallway.

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After

After construction on the fireplace wall was done and all of the new furniture delivered, we arrived with our team and a moving van full of finishing touches.  Working at a feverish pace, we arranged furniture and styled the entire house in about 8 hours.

Starting a life together as a newlywed couple is full of all kinds of challenges.  Buying and decorating a new home can add even more unnecessary stress.  While it took several months to get things just right, the end result was well worth the wait.  Making smart choices already, I see many years of happiness ahead for this great couple in their beautiful new home.

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

 

 

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VERTICAL DECORATING TAKE 2

Referrals truly are the biggest compliment.  So, when our clients proudly share our decorating work with friends and neighbors and we get the opportunity to work with those folks too, it’s even more special.  Last year, we posted photos of a project in Chicago we called Vertical Decorating.  If you read that post, you’ll remember the layout of this city, loft-style home with four floors of living space separated by a boat-load of stairs.  Thanks to a kind referral from that happy family, this year we’ve had the opportunity to work with their next-door neighbors.

The layout of this home is virtually identical.  For this phase, of what promises to be an ongoing project, we were asked to focus on Redesigning the main living space on the second floor which included the Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen.  Working largely with the homeowners existing furniture, art and accessories, we were asked to create a more finished and pulled-together look in their space.  Even though the family had lived here for some time, when you’re busying working and raising small children, it’s almost impossible to find time to work on your nest.  Luckily for us, these homeowners knew exactly who to call for help.

Living Room with Colorful Rug

Living Room Before

Living Room After

While we had most of what we needed, we still needed a couple more key pieces of furniture.  We wanted a matching chair to go with their existing Room & Board sofa to complete their seating area.  And we also needed a multi-purpose hutch for the dining area to help with organization.   After those were delivered, our team converged with a car load of finishing touches including lamps, a mirror, pillows, throws, storage bins and a few judicious accessories.

Living Room Before

Living Room with bookcase

Living Room After

While our couple of hard-working professionals and their two young sons were at work and daycare, we worked our magic.  And after a full day of decorating and a workout that puts any Stairmaster™ to shame, we were able to reveal the transformation our beaming homeowner called “warm and inviting”!

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Dining table and new multi-use cabinet

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After

The Before & After photos might not appear all that different.  But, to the owners, the transformation and ‘feel’ of the space was substantial and exactly what they want.

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising for any small business.  And we are forever grateful to those who share our name and work with others.  Your referrals not only mean business.  But they offer us more opportunities to do what we love.

If you or anyone you know is looking for decorating help, we’re here to lend a hand.  And whether you’re starting from scratch or just pulling things together, we do it all.

Happy Decorating from Decor Designs.  815-245-2433

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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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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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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.

BEFORE

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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BEFORE

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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AFTER

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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AFTER

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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AFTER

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.

BEFORE

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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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AFTER

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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AFTER

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.

BEFORE

BEFORE

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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