An Amazing Transformation Is Underway!

How many people move into new spaces that feature a VERY neutral decor style--like this townhouse?


beige foyer with small light fixture


The Foyer.  Check. The full window storm door is a nice touch.  The homeowner probably did that.




This ceiling is quite the non-feature with that air grate and nipple lights.  I don't quite understand the placement or materials used. 




The Stairway.  Check. At least the bannister has a nice stain color and the balusters are iron, but it kind of looks like the stairs lead to a wall.




White powder room off the foyer -  very blah. There's a window opposite the sink, so it's not a dark hole, but the pedestal sink guarantees no hidden storage for tp, tissues, soap, towels.


The whole first floor continues the VERY neutral theme.  Great bones, as we say in the trade, but needing attention to create warmth and character. 


Mr. H. bought this townhome in a wonderful location in Raleigh and called me to schedule a 2 hour design consultation.  We had a great meeting,  both shared lots of ideas and I went on my merry way.

Mr. H is a good looking guy, but this is Cary Grant.  He looks a lot like George Clooney, don't you think? How is he keeping those glasses in his mouth while he smiles?  

Mr. H is a good looking guy, but this is Cary Grant.  He looks a lot like George Clooney, don't you think? How is he keeping those glasses in his mouth while he smiles?  


And then Mr. H. started sending me pictures of his progress....


warm inviting foyer Raleigh NC


I don't get to see a lot of "After" photos from 2 hour consults, so when I saw these in my email, I was tickled pink.  And blown away.  He did the trim work himself!  I think you need to see a side-by-side comparison to fully appreciate it:


New foyer light fixture, replaced the nipple lights with LED recessed cans, painted the walls a warmer shade (Greenbrier Beige by Ben Moore), a better rug and hanging favorite artwork -- all great. But the star is the gorgeous millwork that Mr. H. created with precision, skill and care.  He cut, sanded, installed and painted the whole shebang.  It looks SO GOOD!  The man is a DIY Superstar!

original artwork by homeowner


The stairs are right at the front door, so we thought a piece of art should be hung at the landing.  Mr. H. created this piece out of scrap wood and paint that was used in the Powder Room.  We're still working on finding the right light fixture to highlight his artwork.


Speaking of the Powder Room:




Remember the before?  Here's another--it's pretty darn stark.  There I am, trying to squeeze it into a shot.

Let me show you what he did to that tiny white room:


I had a LOT of fun collaborating on this space.  Mr. H. moved to Raleigh from Arizona and wanted to bring some of that vibe to his new home.  I think we succeeded nicely.  

 Installing copper trim around the stone tile and the blue paint wrapping from the wall to ceiling added the sparkle we were looking for. The continued millwork that blends traditional and southwestern style is both masculine and polished.  And he found that copper framed mirror on his own!  In a 2 hour consultation, I don't usually find specific products.  I can, but that takes more time and comes under the heading of a "full design service."  Instead, I describe exactly what to look for so you'll know it when you see it and can scoop it up.



Seemingly small things, like building up base and crown moldings, hanging meaningful art, lighting up dark corners, putting just the right color on walls, adding mirrors, rugs and furnishings in the right places--these add personality to every room. Together, it all creates a home.  Not a catalog picture, not something just like your neighbors. Your home.   


Mr. H. is now working on the Kitchen and Great Room decor.  Between my ideas and his own, he's got enough to keep busy for months to come (I've done 2 design consultations for him-- a couple of rooms at a time).  I can't wait to see what he accomplishes next!