Wednesday, February 12, 2014

While Kim Was Out

I'm excited to share a really fun project that Jessica and I recently completed for our good friend, Kim. Jessica and I are obsessed with decorating, always looking for ways to reinvent our own homes, so when Kim asked for our help to give her town home a fresh new look, we jumped at the idea!  She gave us a budget of $2,000 to decorate her entire first floor, which includes the living area, dining area, and kitchen. On the weekend of the redesign, we kicked Kim out of her house so that she would be totally surprised when she came home.

This was our first experience decorating for someone else, so it was a huge challenge to try and make sure all the design decisions reflected Kim's style.  In the end, we think it really reflects Kim's sweet, outgoing, positive personality! Here is the Before and After for the Living Room.  Pretty dramatic change, right?

Kim asked us to keep her main furniture, which was all fairly neutral, so our goal was to add a bunch of bright, more feminine colors and patterns.  The curtains and pillows alone made a HUGE change to the feeling in the room.  We purchased the navy chevron curtains from West Elm and the pillows came from Etsy, Pottery Barn, Marshall's, and Ikea.

The other major change in the Living Room is the rug and coffee table.  The brown geometric rug from Ikea really helped ground the entire area.  Then we painted Kim's coffee table in a creamy white to help brighten up the room and highlight the pretty details of the table.  For a budget-friendly way to dress up the coffee table, we painted some mason jars that Jessica had saved (jars from spaghetti sauce!), then added a little greenery from a bush right outside of Kim's house.

Finally, the art wall gave us an opportunity to bring in more color, and also to add a personal touch with an antique letter "K" and some photos from Kim's travels.  

Adding a mix of vintage items, books, and some trinkets that Kim has collected during her international travels helped add even more character to the space.  I especially love the small antique crate that we found to store and hide the remotes....

On the other side of the Living Area, we had to address the entertainment center.  Kim had a nice big flat screen TV, but we needed to solve the problem of storage and improve the style.  So we gave the "bachelor pad" TV stand the boot and replaced it with a dresser from Craig's List.  

In order to make the dresser functional as a TV stand, we took the top row of drawers out, inserted small wood planks to make shelves, and then added holes in the back for the cords.  Pretty easy actually!!

We also added a pop of color with those teal vases, a little tray to throw your keys when you walk in the door, and some black & white photos to fill out the wall above the TV.  

Ok, on to the Dining Room.  We kept this room pretty simple, making just a couple changes that made a huge impact.  The standard builders lighting was replaced with a fabulous oil-rubbed bronze chandelier that Jessica found for only $30 at a local thrift store.  It really looks like something out of Pottery Barn that would cost hundreds of dollars!

We conquered the challenge of that arched 3-inch nook by painting it with chalkboard paint.  This was a really fun and low cost way to highlight the architectural feature and make it functional.  Now Kim can put up her menu for dinner parties or use it for a game of Pictionary if she wants!!

In order to add some character to this space, we also decided to replace the simple wood side table with an old bookshelf that we found at a local antique store.  Jessica painted it with a soft blue color and we used it as a place to store wine bottles and glasses.  An old window and stool added even more character and helped fill the space out, without spending too much money.

And finally, the Kitchen!  Adding an island, new lighting, and shelving really gave this kitchen some charm and functionality.  We found the island online and the chandelier is just a smaller version of the one in the dining room.  This was another great find by Jessica at the same thrift store for only $30!

Another big change to the kitchen was the addition of the chevron curtains.  This really helped tie together the entire space and warm things up.  We also continued the chalkboard theme by painting the backsplash with chalkboard paint.  And finally, some simple de-cluttering and a few decorative touches like an antique scale helped finish off the look.

While Kim Was Out, we completely transformed her place and luckily I think she really likes it!  I will leave you with the big reveal video so you can enjoy her excitement almost as much as we did....

The End

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