May 23, 2011

quick fix: local great room

i was contacted a few weeks ago by jennifer, a young mom who lives pretty close to me.
she is on a tight budget, but wanted to to make some changes to her entry, 
family room and breakfast room. 
we emailed about the possibility of doing each room as an e-design
project, but the total design fee was going to blow her budget. instead, we decided on a home visit
in which we could walk through and discuss each room and talk about options. i took a few minutes
before our meeting to pull together some options that i thought might work for what she was wanting, 
and we met for just over an hour and a half at her home. we walked though each room, and as we talked,
i jotted down notes, wrote down websites that i thought would be helpful, made a few quick sketches, and showed her the page of ideas that i brought with me.
well, i was thrilled when jennifer  contacted me again and showed me her progress. she was able to find
some amazing treasures at ross and tj maxx, and got busy making pillows from the
 fabrics that we discussed.

and  "almost" after:
what a difference some panels, some simple rearranging and the addition of a few new items makes!
 to keep her cost down, she sewed all the pillows herself.
 jennifer saw an idea in the ballard designs catalog where old books were bundled with twin. she 
went to a thrift store, bought some books, took the covers off and tied them with twine. she got a similar
look for a fraction of the cost!

we talked about rearranging some of the items on her armoire to add some additional height,
and bringing some items out of storage that had some sentimental value. 

 eventually, the panels will be stenciled, and a  new rug and ottomans will be added to the family room.

 they foyer got a nice facelift as well. jennifer's  husband was never fond of this area, and was not
a fan of the vintage bench, but now she says that he loves the new look. 
by the way, she found the mirror and the metallic garden bench at ross!
she still plans on painting the bench a soft teal color and adding pictures to the empty frames...
 the tape is where the top of the new wainscoting will be. since this picture was taken,
a new light fixture has been installed:

it was great to see all the progress that was made, but best of all, i have a new friend!

interested in making a few quick changes around your house, but need to stick to a very limited
design budget? for local clients, i can do exactly what i did for the above client...and for those of you not in the salt lake city area, i can help you via a phone consultation. 
email me at for rates and more information.


  1. Everything looks wonderful. You gave her some great ideas and she definitely made them happen. Looks fabulous. Hugs, Marty

  2. thank marty! jen was a real go getter and took every piece of advice and every sketch and really brought it to life!

  3. Thanks Autumn! It has been so fun. It was worth every penny. I will send more pictures soon. You are amazing to work with and I would recommend anyone who is thinking about working with you to do it!!!

  4. aww stop! you are making me blush!
    you are the one that took the bull by the horns and did all the running around and really changed the room. you just needed a little direction!

  5. The curtains, such a simple addition, but they make such a different in the family least to me.

  6. Makes me wish I lived closer! LOL

  7. It looks great! Can you tell me where the light fixture was purchased? Great job!

  8. What a fabulous job the two of you did. I am still mulling over your proposal....thank you for the time you took to write it up. Once construction was done I took a break. A few bargain rugs at Potter Barn Outlet have my creative juices flowing again!

  9. Aw don't paint that gorgeous bench - the timber adds the perfect amount of warmth to all those cool colours!

    I love everything else though, some great ideas and it's looking beautiful! Wish I could sew cushions that well...

  10. I love the way the drapes soften and frame with windows. Nice work.

  11. Sometimes you don't need a major overhaul to see a wonderful change, looks great! Love the lantern. Janell

  12. It looks really good. I love the way you decorated the top of the hutch... I saved the picture to use as inspiration for my own hutch! Keep up the good work!

  13. Looks great, I especially love the entry area. She did a really nice job on the pillows too.