Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Before + After: Summer Inspired

I have three rooms for today's before + after. All three were contenders in the Today Show's Make Room for Color contest, which a woman who lives in my community won! Isn't that so exciting?!

Since not everyone can win a room makeover, I thought I'd take a look at a few of the rooms and give you my ideas for low-cost, easy solutions. There are two bedrooms and a living room in the mix--all with common decorating dilemmas and all inspired by the glory of summer.

1. Sunset Room
First up is Debbie's room. She won the contest and is part of my online mom's group, although I do not know her in person. Debbie was inspired by a sunset over Lake Michigan--also one of my favorite scenes.


pillow / similar here / beach blanket / lamps

Nature provides the best color palette, and sunset colors are among my favorites. The way the color transitions from coral to purple is pretty amazing.

One Kings Lane


I love how this beach blanket picks up all my favorite shades in the sunset photo. It's also machine washable and less than $50. There are so many ways to use it in a room: you can drape it over the back of a chair or use it to cover a headboard.


One of the dilemmas in the room is that there is no apparent focal point. If you have a room like this, some cost-effective solutions are to create somewhere for your eye to go by layering pillows at the head of the bed. Kris has a great post about making the perfect bed here. The pillows could work alone or with a headboard (HGTV has a simple tutorial here). I would also recommend adding matching lamps on either side of the bed to create symmetry, or a sense of sameness. 
Target
To deal with the offset windows in the room, I'd employ a trick that I've used in the "lab" (aka my house) and hang the drapes wider than the windows by layering them with extra panels. The collection above is fun and happy. I would mix the citron and red patterns for a summery sunset feel.

2. Blue Skies
The second room is the living room of a first-time home buyer and she was inspired by blue skies and palm trees.

Art / Drapes / Rug

To ground the space I would add a rug, and I love the way this striped Dash & Albert rug evokes the feel of blue skies on a sunny day. Layered with a rug pad, it would stay in place and not feel so outdoorsy. I'd also replace the vertical blinds with proper drapes: these blue ikat panels keep it in the blue family. By using a pattern with a deeper shade it prevents the room from feeling like a nursery.
One Kings Lane

The art creates a focal point in the room other than the television and further brings home the beachy vibe. If it isn't affordable to invest in this piece, Camila has a great post about how to create a similar look using stock photography here.


To fully achieve the inspiration, the room will need some palm leaves. The green contrasts nicely with the blue. Fingers crossed Michael's gets more of these faux stems in again soon. They're huge (34.5") and it looks like Pottery Barn no longer has these in the larger size.

3. English Garden
The third room in the contest was this neutral room, hoping to be inspired by the English garden out its window.


I think this room is further proof that no matter how lovely your room is to start, there's always room for just a little something more. The homeowner here wanted more color, which would be easy to bring in with fabrics.

Robert Allen Floral / Buffalo Check / Purple Bolster

By adding drapery panels to the two windows on either side of the bed, an upholstered bench to the foot of the bed, and some throw pillows in a fabric that coordinates with the (new) drapes, you can create something more colorful and yet still serene enough for sleep. Purple isn't found in the floral, but it is part of the garden. Just like in the second room, mixing in an unexpected color makes it feel more alive.

I'd also be quite tempted to use some of the buffalo check to skirt the bottoms of the night tables--also something I've done in the "lab" of the One Room Challenge.

Pendant / Bench
The other thing this room could use is some metal. All of the furniture is made of wood, and while it works really well, introducing another element can give it just a bit more interest. A simple way to do it is by replacing the light fixture (depending on whether they would actually give up their ceiling fan) and replacing the chest at the foot of the bed with a new bench. The bench could get an upgrade with some gold leaf rub'n buff to match the pendant, and re-upholstery with the buffalo check fabric.

In conclusion, nobody asked me for these opinions but I couldn't stop myself. I love design!!

Does your house need a little refresh? Let me help! 
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Thanks so much for commenting! I love to read what you have to say. ~Carrie

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