Fifty Shades Of Beige. Living Room & Dining Room Make Over.

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

When you walk into your home does it feel like your family?


Are you craving color and personality but don't know where to start?


The latter was true for my client in Kirkwood, MO. She reached out to me one holiday because she knew her home of 4 years had great bones but no personality to speak of. She was stuck. Several texts back and forth and a hot mid-west summer in front of us WE WENT FOR IT!


after photography credit @jliautaudphoto

Before: Great Bones But No Personality



Before: Literally All Different Shades Of Brown/Yellow

She knew she wanted color, texture, and to tell her family's story. It was a great honor to be asked to create a space that both honored their past as well as celebrated their family.



Having grown up with Vanessa I was very excited to bring their family histories into our design. Their needs were simple: create a space that speaks to who they are as a family, create visual warmth, and to help them be more organized. So we set out to do both. I ask all of my clients to start off creating a Pinterest board.


Our Inspiration. We Kept This Front Of Mind During Design & Shopping


This allows us to pinpoint a style and direction that is specific to them. Together we created an overall plan. We chose colors that coordinated and told the story we were after. The mindful placement of these colors encouraged the eye to move around the living room and into the dining room. We went with a transitional style that worked beautifully into their interior.


I asked my client to bring all the items she had in storage out into the "light" so we could review what she already owned. Because here's the thing, I can shop all day long and pick out amazing things that I love, but what we really want is a space that speaks to the home owners. We all have family pieces that may or may not be on display currently. These are the things that when surrounded by them give us pause to remember the family members that came before.


Bring All The Accessories You Already Own Out Of Storage For Review

These amazing dishes are Vanessa's grandmother's china. They have the coolest bamboo design on them. They were the catalyst for our Floridian design slant. Vanessa's family is from Florida so we wanted to bring that idea into the fold. Sherwin Williams Undercool was the perfect contrast to the bamboo dishes.



After: St. Lucia Is Where Vanessa and Dan Were Married

This beautiful piece of art was an existing piece she found in the basement. The couple was married in St. Lucia. I love it next to her grandmother's china.



After: Family Heirloom Turn Feature Wall

A dear friend of mine, at AA Importing recommended this beautiful table and chairs that were the PERFECT LOOK for our mid-west meets Floridian beach vibe. Thank you Rich!


Okay let's talk lighting. Here is the before fixture. There is nothing WRONG with it but it did not lend it's self to the look we were going for. We sold it on a facebook swap site and never looked back.

Check out the semi-flush mount in the living room. Again the existing light was beige and it did not allow any contrast to the walls. We chose a clean white linen drum shade with gold accents.



Before: Old Light Fixture


The new pendant light I found at IKEA. It is the IKEA Knixhult pendant light for 39.00! It was difficult for my client to visualize until we got it into the space. We LOVE the way to turned out!





Sherwin Williams Organic Green SW 6732 Book Shelf In Living Room

VANESSA AND DAN WERE AMAZING TO WORK WITH! Once we decided on a color she went to work painting and finishing anything I threw at her. And Dan was open to it and he kinda got into it! Their young boys were very helpful in picking out colors and assembling furniture, I love that they were excited about their "new home".

The book shelf in the living room is the second thing you look at after the mantle. It was important that we made these shelves pop! Vanessa painted the back of these shelves Sherwin Williams Organic Green. The ceramic elephants I remember from Vanessa's childhood home.

Sadly, her mother is no longer with us but these were her elephants and I can't look at them without thinking of her. They have beautiful colors on them. The light blue was our inspiration for the dining room Sherwin Williams TopSail SW 6217. I'm positive she was looking over us as we worked away!

Vanessa and I found these beautiful curtains that spoke to the blues in the dining room which is directly opposite the bank of windows.

Mindful Placement Of Green In Contrast To The Cooling Effect Of Blue

The Lamps you will notice at the edge of the before photo. You don't always need to buy new. When you get all your accessories out and look at their shapes in a new way it is easier to see the potential in older items. We spray painted the existing lamps Spring Green by Rust-Oleum. We taped off the tops and gave them a couple coats. They worked perfectly with the built in book shelf.



Before: The Mantle Was The Catch-All

Before the mantle was a catch all for mail and all things work/school. We all know that this stuff is going to come in the the home at furious speeds especially during the school year. This clutter needs a home. It is important to make a "landing" place for these things that are out of sight but easily accessible so that we can weed through it.

So as we were looking through our inspiration boards we kept seeing live-edge tables. I suggested that a little nature inside the living room would be a cool feature. Vanessa told me that SHE HAD THE COFFEE TABLE that we were looking at on Pinterest! So I demanded to see it. She explained to me that her grandfather had hand-made a table from a Divi Divi or Watapana tree from where her family once lived in Aruba! WHAT THE WHAT?!

A few weeks later with several handsome and strong men we headed to her mother-in-law's basement.

It was cooler than I thought! I was amazed. It was the perfect piece to tie in the family history, a major natural element specifically from Aurba, and they OWNED it already! These trees ONLY SURVIVE LIVE IN AURBA! This table is a truly unique heirloom! Thanks to the guys, we had it in it's new home quickly, where it is the center piece of the living room.



This little corner of the world is one of my favorites. I found these amazing monstera leaf prints on the Society 6 web site. The prints by Scandi Home brought in a light, bright green imagery that floods the room with life! We fell in LOVE with them. We had them framed with a few other little pieces and made a super cozy corner.


after photography credit @jliautaudphoto




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