Lending a hand to friend's cottage.....

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You can now find me at

Over the course of a 20+ year friendship, I've offered decorating help to my dear friend Ingrid.  We've raised our kids together, and her hubs is the CEO of the company my hubs works for.  I've known her since they lived in a wee 2 bedroom apartment (with three kids), but started lending a hand in decorating when they bought their first house, then built their 2nd house, and now built their 3rd home....I got to see all the samples of siding, roof, shutters, etc before they built.  What fun to help put it all together with them!  Isn't it gorgeous?

Each house has offered challenges opportunities for me to stretch my wings into other 'genres' of decorating.  Her style is full of wonderful warm, deep tones, Ballard Design-esque, with some Pottery Barn thrown in.  She's a pro at using what she's got, and though she won't admit it, she's really learned what she loves and does a great job incorporating it into her decor.  Here she is with her hubs....ain't she a peach?

Anyway, I come in to help pick paint colors, shop (lots of fun to spend other people's money!), sew stuff, paint stuff, arrange furniture and frou-frous, and hang stuff.  Over the course of several months, we've been tackling her 13 year old Julia's bedroom, her kitchen and great room in their new home.   Here's a tour with a few before and afters.....

 Looking in from the kitchen to the great room BEFORE:

Same view AFTER.  We decided to paint just the one fireplace wall in a deep olive.  We used the same color in her dining room (not shown), which we're still finishing up. She was getting ready for company, hense the stuff here and there.  The wall with the plates was a challenge, as she wanted the kitchen olive green, but as you can see, the wall extends up into the stairwell....so we went with a deep taupe, just a tad darker than the other great room walls, and the same color we used in the entry.  Here downstairs is all open, so the colors need to compliment each other.
Here's another view of the great room BEFORE:
AFTER painting and adding/arranging some practical, but pretty decorating items

 Here's the view into her kitchen BEFFORE:

And the (kinda blurry) AFTER with a coordinating, but even deeper olive on the walls.  They had their table refinished and purchased new upholstered chairs.  Got some iron pieces to hang in the bulkhead area, and some freaking awesome drapes for the sliding door....eventually made a 'bishop's sleeve' with them:

Moving upstairs, here's a finished view of her kids' bathroom in lovely neutrals:

Ok, and now for Julia's room!  They were inspired by a Pottery Barn picture.  Here's the BEFORE as they had begun collecting decor (they bought that desk from me):
Here's AFTER with Julia herself!
'Nother BEFORE:
And AFTER...bedding was from Target online.
Study corner BEFORE:
AFTER (those cute lanterns were from the Dollar Store and hung with fishing wire:

Some details: I reupolstered the desk chair with a matching sheet from her bedding set.  I also made the bulletin board out of an old frame and foam board covered with some batting and linen, then spray painted the frame. I gave the dresser, desk, chair and side table a fresh coat of white paint, and Julia decorated the knobs.

My favorite part, her bed wall:

I painted the the black chalkboard plaques and added ribbon, then she decorated them with colorful words...I also sprayed the 'love' letters and added ribbon, then Julia hand painted those as well:

They already had the shelves, we just took the backs off to show the green wall behind, then purchased an MDF board to fit across the top. 

The sheers and pillows were purchased, but I made the cushion for the window seat....something Julia has always wanted in her bedroom:
She added the balloon :)

So much character can be added to rooms, especially bedrooms, with simple and cheap details....like adding ribbon to pictures or spray painting frames you already have:

This chandy was given to me and was a brushed nickel...I sprayed it heirloom white, then picked up the shades at Goodwill.  I sprayed them too...they look fushia (which would also be cute), but they're actually orange.  Would love to find some orange crystals to add in the future:

Julia loves her room, and I'm tickled how it all came together.

So, Ingrid's dining room is next.  I'll be sure to take some pics of that when we finish up.  It's such a good exercise to work in other folk's homes....it makes you get out of your comfort zone, see the world thru another's eyes.  It's broadened my perspective on styles that 'speak' to others. It's also helped me articulate to others how to define their spaces, not just copy a magazine picture.  Ingrid has moved from a gold/deep red scheme to deep greens and burgundies...lots of saturated colors and classic design elements.  Formal, traditional, yet warm and welcoming. 

So, there ya go.  Up next, I'm painting my daughter's queen four poster and dresser for her cousin's new bedroom!  I'm also hacking away at my back porch in the 90+ heat.  Just have some chair covers to sew up and hang some cute stuff on the walls.  Painting the floor will need to wait until cooler temps in the fall when we're not going in and out to the pool a zillion times each day :)


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Beautiful home and all of your colors and decorating ideas look fabulous. The bedroom is so cute, bright and cheery. I know she must love it. Your cushions are lovely too. Great job. Hugs, Marty

shannon i olson said...

Great color. Lovely rooms!

Leanne said...

Beautiful choices of wall colors. I'm sure she's very happy with all the rooms. The daughters room is so cute. I love the pillows and the bed wall is so cool. Can't wait to see more rooms you've worked on. Hope you're having an amazing summer.

Kom Achterom said...

What a beautiful home!!
I love the way you do it!!
Wat a dream palice
have a verry nice and causy weekend

the cape on the corner said...

love those open bookshelves, and the board on top. really give it a built in look.

wish we could take the cheap backing off our bookshelves, but i am told it is adding to the support of it all. oh well!

Jayme Goffin, The Coop Keeper said...

And you'll be doing this for me next week?

Dawn said...

Everything looks awesome!!!

I have the same mirrors as are in the bathroom. Hobby Lobby, correct?

Cat@BudgetBlonde said...

This is awesome! I just found your blog and am a new follower!!!

Crafty Sisters said...

Great job! I am inspired by Julia's wall shelf. Very clever, that just might work in my son's room.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing what a few small changes can do for large impact in a room? You did good!!!

www.thewhitefarmhouse2.blogspot.com said...

Wow! You have been quite the busy bee! Great job though! You are right that it is always funner to spend someone else's money. I just wish that I could find someone who would let me spend their money on ME!

Knitting Storm said...

I just love the green, have been deciding what colour for my bedroom and it is definately going to be green.


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