Breakfast Room Makeover

A breakfast room is so much more than a place to eat breakfast.  It can be a place for homework, to play games, to have important family talks or enjoy an early morning cup of coffee.  I recently finished a new breakfast room makeover for a great client and her review on my Houzz profile said it all... Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 8.49.44 AM

My clients were "empty nesters" but having a comfortable place for the family to gather was at the top of their wish list, as well as a new wet bar and a window seat.  We took a very plain space and made it amazing!

Breakfast Room - BEFORE

Breakfast Room - BEFORE

Jennifer Taylor Design - Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design - Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design - Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design - Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design - Tallahassee, Florida

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Trusting the Process

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've been an interior designer for 21 years!  And for 16 of those years I've worked for myself and for that I am so thankful.  It's taken me about 15 years to finally put together a {process} that works for my business, my clients and me.  I've read a lot of books, attended countless seminars and have made a lot of mistakes to get to this point, but it was all part of the journey. My biggest piece of advice, when working with any interior designer, is to trust their process.  A good designer will be up front about how they work and will explain it during your initial meeting, as well as in their design agreement.  This should include how the selection process works, what to expect during presentations and how much their services will cost.  Following the process will result in exactly what you hired your designer to do - create a beautiful space that reflects you!

Good design is truly multi-faceted.  Of course there is the room design, but there's also all the behind-the-scenes work a client doesn't see.  Putting together a workable budget, placing all the orders, working with the seamstress to make sure your window treatments are the perfect size, keeping the warehouse updated on what's arriving, making sure the table that arrived broken is replaced, scheduling the painter, picking the perfect wood stain color for the sofa legs and keeping those hundreds of notes they have taken organized.  All of these "details" are an important part of the process.

My other recommendation is that you let the designer do what you paid them to do.  Trust that they understand your vision and will bring it to life.  Trust that they will only suggest good quality products that fit in your budget.  Trust they will deliver a room you will be be proud of.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, FloridaJennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

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Girl Cave

Lately, my son has been asking for a "man cave" and my answer is when you grow up and become a man, you can have one.  This all leads me to one of my recent installations.  My clients (mom and daughter) needed a new space that could function as an exercise room, guest bedroom, a place to watch television and do homework.  Tall order for a room that is only 11 x 13, but I was up for the challenge.  My first step (in almost every room I design) is a furniture plan. Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

That unusual looking device in the top corner is a treadmill and my goal was to hide it.  I found a great open shelf unit that functioned as a screen and a place for storage - which was greatly needed.  As you can see in my BEFORE photos...

BEFORE Photo - Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

One presentation, one site visit with the painter and a few emails later - this is what I installed.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

You may have noticed that we had to tweak the original furniture plan a little.  The client had a vertical filing cabinet that just had to stay, so we made a few adjustments during the installation to make it all work.  And make it work, we did!  We still have a super cute chest coming.  It will go in front of the window to hold the television.

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I love these kind of projects!  We didn't have a huge budget, but I had clients who trusted the process.  They knew I understood the needs of the space, the wishes of the client and would deliver a functional and beautiful room.  The email I got that night telling me how much they loved the "girl cave" was all I needed to hear!

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Classic Design, Distressed Vintage and Bright Color - Market Recap!

High Point always brings two things - inspiration and tired feet!  After three days, I'm happy to report that I am back to work and full of inspiration.  I not only picked up some great new vendors, but I learned a lot.  High Point is definitely the premier place to shop, but it also provides great access to educational seminars. My goal was to find a new furniture vendor who offered well-made, classic design at affordable prices.  I'm tired of crappy furniture and with furniture - you get what you pay for!  Cheap furniture isn't going to last.  It's that simple.  Cheap furniture is most likely to arrive damaged.  Cheap furniture isn't worth it.  So, I am confident I found a new vendor in Jonathan Charles and can't wait to place my first order.

Distressed vintage was still everywhere!  Painted pieces, distressed wood, rusted metals, etc.  Even though it's not my personal favorite, I'm embracing it and found some great pieces to bring back to Tallahassee.

Finally, my favorite trend at market was bright color.  Even in showrooms that were full of antique reproductions, I would find bright colors.  I'm looking forward to designing rooms that embrace this trend, including my own house.

So without further delay, here are some of my favorite finds!

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

If you want to see more, call me!  I would love to talk to you about your project.

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Guest Bath Remodel {phase one}

Thinking of remodeling your bathroom?  The first step is to put together a plan.  Not just a floor plan, but a design plan.  I encourage all of my clients to put together a complete design plan before hiring a contractor.  This includes a floor plan and all of the selections that would be included in a contractor's bid - tile, plumbing, lighting, counters and cabinets.  The reason this is so important is that it gives all the contractors a level playing field when putting together their bids.  Labor costs will vary, but the materials budgets (aka allowances) will be the same.  Oh, and always get two prices when doing any type of remodeling. Today I'm sharing a few details on a design plan I put together for a client who is now in the process of interviewing contractors and obtaining bids.  We are actually hoping to do the master bathroom as well, but here are the details on the guest bath.  As you can see from the photos, it's a pretty common layout.  Single sink vanity area with a separate tub/toilet room.  Our plan is to open it up to create one large space.  This bathroom is a true guest bathroom.  Not only is it used by overnight guests, but anyone who is visiting.  There is not a powder bath, so we really wanted to amp up the design factor in this space.

Jennifer Taylor Design - Bathroom Before

Jennifer Taylor Design - Bathroom Before

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Jennifer Taylor Design - Guest Bath Layout

The wall dividing the two areas is coming down, a new large vanity and a true walk-in shower with a single pane of glass.  Because the shower isn't used very often, we really wanted to keep it as open as possible and see all the beautiful tile we have planned.  Which is lots of marble!  French gold is the metal finish on both the plumbing and shower glass frame, but then we add a little rustic flair with the wall sconces.  I love mixing bronze and gold!

Nina Farmer Interiors

Kohler Faucet

Shades of Light

Once all the contractors submit their bids, we will make any changes we need to the selections (as we may have to bring the budget down) and then the contractor has everything they need to get going.  The only finish we will have left to finalize is the paint color!

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A Favorite Find for Your Closet

  I know most of my posts are about interiors, but I have to share with you about my most recent favorite thing.  Stitch Fix.  This is an online service where a personal stylist selects clothes (and accessories) based on your personal preferences and delivers them to your door.  I've received 4 deliveries since the beginning of the year and I love it!  Everything they send is something unique and that I would never even think to try on, much less buy.

So, here's how it works.  First step is to fill out a style profile.  They ask you tons of questions to help narrow down what would work for you.  It takes about 10 minutes.  From there, you select the date you want to receive your first shipment.  Right before your items ship, they charge you a $20 styling fee - which you get back even if you only keep one thing.  There's no cost to ship the clothes to you or return them.

I get a shipment every few months or so.  You can get them as frequently as every few weeks or every few months, it's totally up to you.  I move my dates around a lot, depending on what I have going on and how my budget it looking that month.  This shipment, I requested only tops and dresses through a personal note you send the stylist before she starts selecting your items.  I've learned to be very specific about what I need and so far, they have listened.

Jennifer Taylor Design Favorite Find - Stitch Fix

When I opened my box, I loved what I saw.  Great patterns, colors and fabrics!  Included with each shipment is a price list (very important) and a style card with a note from your stylist and suggested ways to wear your new pieces.  I rarely have the other pieces in my closet they suggest, but I'm slowly getting there.

Jennifer Taylor Design Favorite Find

As I mentioned before, this is my 4th shipment.  Only once have I ever kept everything and when I went through my current box, I thought they hit the mark again.  But once I tried everything on, I realized that a few things just weren't meant to be.  Stitch Fix gives you 5 business days to try things on and check-out.  During the check-out process they ask you lots of questions about the items you are keeping and returning.  They use this information to better help the stylist with your next fix and it takes less than 5 minutes.

Jennifer Taylor Design Favorite Find

I was really excited about the blue print wrap dress (far left), but the length just wasn't right for my height and the lining hung out about 1/2 in the front.  I'm sure if I wanted to keep it, they would have quickly given me a replacement because of that issue.  The second dress was a keeper.  I loved the trendy southwestern print and I'm a big fan of the maxi dress.  Cool and comfortable for these hot Florida days!

I'm not going to lie, when I saw the pink check blouse "tablecloth" immediately came to mind.  But, I tried it on and it looked really cute with jeans and a few other things I had.  The other two blouses were also ones I normally would never try on and I loved both of them.  I had to try them all on twice, just to be sure.  In the end, I decided only to keep the maxi dress, the pink check blouse and the floral top.  Because they give you a 25% discount if you keep everything, it wasn't cost effective just to return the dress, so I returned the black top as well.

Being 43, I've struggled with wanting to dress current, but not looking like I'm trying too hard or dressing too young.  It seems like most of our local boutiques are geared toward the younger crowd and I'm sure that has to do with having a university in town.  Stitch Fix has definitely helped me feel more confident in my fashion choices and allowed me to take some chances I normally wouldn't have.  FYI...I paid $75 for the three items I kept.  If I had kept everything and gotten the 25% discount, the maxi dress would have been free!

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Dillard {take three}

My Dillard project is really coming along.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  We installed the first phase a few weeks ago and even though I've gotten a lot done, my to-do list is continuing to grow.  My client is really happy and that is the most important thing to me. Here are just a few of the progress photos I took between unpacking boxes.  I'm bad about not wanting to post too much until it's 100% done, so I promise to share more after we come back for another round of installations in a few weeks.

Jennifer Taylor Design

 

Jennifer Taylor Design

 

Jennifer Taylor Design

 

Jennifer Taylor Design

 

Jennifer Taylor Design

 

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Balmoral {final look}

They say you should never work with family, but that is a rule I have never followed.  When my sister announced they were moving to Arkansas, the only reason I didn't kidnap her children so they would stay, was they bought a great house that needed a design makeover.  So, who else would she call, but her designer sister!?! I've done a number of posts this past year showing the progress and on my last trip I took some final photos that I want to share.  We still need some window treatments in the dining room, the master bedroom needs to be finished and we have a number of fans that need to be replaced, but you are never truly done with a wish list.  Everyone is thrilled with how it has turned out, even my 13-year-old niece (and that is saying a lot).

Since everyone loves a good before and after, I am starting with one of those.  As you can see the interiors were very traditional with lots of stained wood and heavy light fixtures.  Well, we took care of that!

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

 

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Please visit my Houzz profile to see more of this great project.  Even from over 800 miles away, I was able to create a home that truly reflects this family's style.  The best part is that we did a complete makeover using only paint, lighting and new furniture - not one wall was moved.

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Dillard {take two}

  Sorry for being MIA these past few weeks.  I have a good excuse...

Great Guana Cay Bahamas

Wes and I traveled to the Bahamas with 12 friends and family members and it was AMAZING!  Perfect weather, the kids got along (and the adults most of the time) and we made some wonderful memories.  A big shout to my cousin, Kim, who inspired me to organize this trip and all the Bahamas advice. I can't wait to see the pictures later this summer when she travels there with her family.  If you've never been to the Bahamas, I highly suggest it.  We rented a beautiful house in Great Guana Cay and even though it took some work to get there, it was worth it.

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Then, it was back to reality on Monday and I've had a busy week.  Finalizing orders, starting new projects and meeting with potential clients.  Who said summer was a time to slow down?  My biggest project going on now is {Dillard} and we are in the thick of it.  Pretty much everything has been finalized, orders have been placed and I receive daily calls from my warehouse letting me know what is arriving.  Exciting, but stressful as I make sure every detail is covered.  This is why clients hire me.  To handle all the thousands of details.

So, here is a little peak at what we are doing in the living room.  Everything is going except the sofa and the large wall cabinet.  We are buying new, upholstering existing and bringing in items from other rooms to create the most welcoming space for my clients and her friends.  I can't wait to see it all come together.

Jennifer Taylor Design - Dillard Living Room Fabrics

We're also doing a lot of painting, changing out most of the light fixtures and replacing tile around the fireplace.

Jennifer Taylor Design - Master Bedroom Light

Jennifer Taylor Design - Capital LightingFingers crossed that everything will be ready to install in August.  It would be amazing to finish off the summer with a BANG!  Oh, and Happy 4th of July as I don't think I'll be posting before next weekend.

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It Rained on My Parade

The Parade of Homes just wrapped up in Tallahassee and I wanted to share a few thoughts on what I saw out there.  After church on Sunday, Wes and I picked a handful homes to visit.  All of these homes were within a few miles of each other and they ranged in price from $580,000 to $2,500,000.  So, I had high expectations! Our first stop was at the Gold/Platinum super winner of the Parade.  It was a cute home in a gated community and the curb appeal was nice.  My favorite feature of this home was the kitchen island with the raised end with a stained wood top.  Yes, that was my favorite thing.

Tallahassee Parade of Homes

The second house we visited had my favorite feature of the whole day.  It was the drop station/locker area.  I loved the small desk space and the lighting they chose.  Very clever!  I also really liked how they treated the wood steps off the back of the house.  It looked like they did a gray stain wash and it was a perfect choice to compliment the brick.  Great job Alexander Dinkelman Builders on thinking outside of the box.

Tallahassee Parade of Homes

Tallahassee Parade of Homes

Tallahassee Parade of Homes

Then, it was all downhill from there and the last house we visited was not even finished - not a cabinet, paint color or anything to see!  I understand that the world of construction has changed and builders aren't building furnished models like they used to or taking chances on spec homes with tons of unique features, but this is the PARADE!  This is your chance to show off your BEST work to hundreds of people who live in your town.  I will admit I only visited 4 houses, but they were the highest price points of the all the homes, so I had hoped for more.

Now, to keep this post being a total downer, I thought I would share some great information I found on realtor.com about features that are disappearing from new homes.  Most I agree with, but a few are definitely taking their time leaving my neck of the woods.

  • Outdoor Kitchens and Fireplaces...creating an outdoor kitchen can be very expensive and I think the fire pit is taking the place of a fireplace.
  • Laminate Countertops...I've still specified a few of these in the last few years, but only in laundry rooms.
  • Sunrooms...this makes me happy.
  • Media Rooms...this makes me very happy.
  • 2-Story Foyer...I think these still can be done so they don't feel too overwhelming by using paneling and trim in creative ways.
  • Whirlpool Tubs in Master Baths...you would agree with this if you've ever turned on the jets in one of these after a few weeks of not using them.  My child is still traumatized from when he was 2!

And here are few features they listed that are most likely found in new homes:

  • Walk-In Closets and Laundry Rooms...duh!
  • Great Room...isn't this a family room?  How will these ever not be a required room?
  • 2-Car Garage...I would never own a home without one of these.
  • Granite Countertops...I've become a huge fan of using quartz counters in my projects, but every once in a while I find a granite I really love.

If you are thinking of building or remodeling, give me a call.  I promise to bring amazing design to your project!

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New Vendors, New Clients, Busy Summer

I love getting new vendor catalogs.  I do most of specifying online, but I really enjoy thumbing through beautiful furniture catalogs.  The feeling takes me back to design school and the excitement I had when manufacturer's would send me brochures or samples to use on projects.  I know, it's weird...but it was the little things!  Here are a few pieces I loved that were really thoughtful in their design and price. Jennifer Taylor DesignAvailable through Jennifer Taylor Design

Available through Jennifer Taylor DesignSummer officially starts in our house next week and I've got one excited 11-year-old counting down the days.  We have some great trips planned and I have to say that I'm pretty excited, too.  With that said, I'm starting to feel the pressure of work as I schedule meetings around camp schedules and vacation.  We've started the ordering process for my Dillard project and if everything goes according to plan, we should be installing at the end of July.  In addition to a huge remodeling project that started a few weeks ago, I'm meeting with a new client next week to start selecting items for the house they are building in one of my favorite neighborhoods.

I'm also putting the finishing touches on a new breakfast room presentation and wanted to share a few inspiration photos I'm using to convey my ideas.  She seems really open, so I'm hoping to to get an approval and get the install on the books before her daughter takes her table to college.

Ballard Designs

Photo Credit:  Nat Rea Photography

So, here's to summer and enjoying every second!

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What Does it Cost to Furnish a Room?

I wanted to give some straight talk today about pricing.  One of the common questions I'm asked during my consultations is how much does it REALLY cost to furnish a room?  The answer to this can best be compared to what it costs to buy a car.  Do you want a used Toyota that can reliably get you around for the next couple of years?  Or do you want a brand new Lexus with all the bells and whistles?  The costs associated with furniture mainly has to do with the quality of the piece and the old saying "you get what you pay for" totally applies to furniture. Here are some photos to represent what I'm talking about.  The first room will cost you about $3,000 and the second one would be about $15,000.

Ikea Family Room

Jennifer Taylor Design

Can you tell which one was professionally designed and which one was purchased from a big box store?  The IKEA room (top photo) is pretty and functional, but the quality of the furniture isn't the best and it's rather simple.  Not a lot of color or texture.  Ho hum to say the least! The second one features two custom sofas, a room size wool rug and details throughout.

I tell my clients that a starting point with me is around $25.00 per square foot.  This includes good quality upholstery pieces, a few designer pillows, framed prints for the wall, most of your accessories will be from Home Goods and no custom window treatments.  If you increase your budget to $45.00 per square foot then that gives you upgraded down cushions on the upholstery, unique designer accessories, a wool area rug and custom window treatments.  Then, there are those designers who suggest $100 or more per square foot.  I'm not one of those.

Honestly, most of my clients stay around $35.00 as I consider myself really good at mixing high and low items to get the perfect mix in a room.  Another thing to consider is this budget does not include interior design fees.  These are totally separate from the furnishings budget and I'll talk about those in a later post.

So, where do you start if you want to tackle a project on your own?  Spend more on pieces that will get the most use - sofas, dining tables and mattresses.  Spend the least on items that you can easily change - throw pillows and accessories.  Make a list of each item you need for the room and assign a budget to that piece, even if it's a range.  You can search online and use catalogs to help you figure this out.  Once you have a budget you are comfortable with, then commit to the project and start shopping!

If you need help with the shopping part, then call your favorite designer to help.  Most of us are really good at finding those perfect pieces.  Can you imagine leaving your house for the day and coming home to a completely decorated room?  It can happen, just like on television.

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Dillard {take one}

I'm excited to share some details about a new project I'm working on that is going to be a really nice transformation for my clients.  The house today isn't bad, but it definitely doesn't reflect my client's personality.  She's got some beautiful pieces of furniture that we are going to keep and we are adding some much needed personality (and color) to almost every room in the house!  This will happen with new furniture, window treatments, rugs and lighting. In the family room we are getting a new sectional, rug, furniture arrangement, as well as personality and color.  Here's a shot of what the family room looks like today and some selections we are considering...

Family Room Before - Jennifer Taylor Design

Family Room Options - Jennifer Taylor Design

The formal spaces (dining room and living room) are right in the middle of the house as opposed being tucked away from everything else.  Right now, there is a lot of brown and I'm going to change that with fabrics and rugs, as well as artwork and accessories.  Here's what the living room looks like today and the inspiration photo for the new look.  Again, adding some much needed color is on the top of my list.

Living Room Before - Jennifer Taylor Design

Ballard Design

Finally, we are tackling all three bedrooms.  One will be my client's office that will reflect her love for all things feminine and French, one will be a beautiful guest bedroom for visiting family and finally the master bedroom is getting a complete makeover to include a custom upholstered headboard and bedding.  Here's a little taste of what is going in each room...

Office Desk - Jennifer Taylor Design

Guest Bed Headboard - Jennifer Taylor Design

Master Bedroom Rug - Jennifer Taylor Design

This is sure to be a project for my portfolio and I can't wait to share more along the way.  My client has some great family pieces we are going to be using, including some amazing blue and white china I shared on Instagram a few weeks ago.  If you enjoy reading my blog, please join me on Instagram @jennifertaylordesign.

Jennifer Taylor Design

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Don't Be Over{dis}Stressed

Distressed furnishings are everywhere and from what I saw at the last furniture market, it's not going away any time soon.  I do understand the popularity of it, but sometimes it's used too much.  You really don't want every piece in your room to look like it's from a flea market or your grandmother's attic.  There is an art to mixing it with pieces that are more modern and even with pieces that feel formal. One example of getting the mix right is this family room I designed.  Overall, the room has a more modern feel with the rug, upholstery pieces and wall decor.  But, then I added a television cabinet that was made using old elm wood as well as this great coffee table that was the perfect mix of modern and rustic.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

These table accessories are how I mixed rustic with a more formal feel.  The tables themselves had a distressed finish, so I decided to bring in more refined accessories such the onyx base lamp and brass tray.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Here are some pieces I found online that would make a beautiful dining room.  Each piece has the perfect mix of rustic and formal.

Ballard Designs Chair

Ballard DesignsHooker Furniture

Wisteria

Shades of Light

I used some of my favorite sources to find the dining chair, dining table, cabinet, sunburst mirror and chandelier.  I really like the combination of the lacquer side chairs with the distressed gray table, as well as the gold sunburst mirror with the antique mirror chandelier.  If you need help with bringing some distressed pieces into your space, please give me a call.  I'd love to help you!

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An Easy Secretary Desk Makeover

About a month ago, I posted all the final pictures of my Miller's Bridge family room, but I saved this project detail for its own post.  At the initial design consultation, my client really hoped I could incorporate a secretary desk she had.  Not only did she like it, but it also provided a spot for her son to use the laptop computer out in the main room of the house.  Got to keep an eye on our kids! Once all the furniture was installed, we felt like it could stay in the room and not feel too crowded, but it needed a little "oomph".  My client was open to painting it, but I knew we could do something a little less permanent.  There was a great fabric we really wanted to use in the the room, but because it was a special order through a furniture company we didn't order from, it was really expensive per yard.  We loved the design and the colors, but the price was a little more than the budget allowed.

Blog Fabric

Now, this is where hiring a designer brings so much more than new furniture to a space.  I called on my friend and talented artist to help me with the transformation.  After some texts messages back and forth from the craft store and a few emails, this is what we came up with.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

The best part of this idea is that the design on a thin piece of wood that can be easily removed if needed.  I loved using all my client's treasures to really make it her own.  She was thrilled and so was I!

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Everett {final take}

This week we delivered the final piece of furniture to our Everett family room project.  It took a while for it to arrive, but it was totally worth it.  Every piece of furniture was carefully selected to create a welcoming and comfortable room for this very busy family.  When I look back on how it looked before, I am truly amazed at the transformation in not only how it looks but how much better it functions.  Nothing says "satisfied client" more than hearing they will be calling you back at the end of the year to start on the next room.  I can't wait! So, here's a little reminder of how the room looked before...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks for Reading!

Decorating a Small Space

Just because your room is small, doesn't mean it can't have style and style doesn't have to be expensive. You can add tons of personality to your small space with just a little paint, lighting and the right accessories. Don't believe the myth that a dark color makes a room feel smaller. If your room is small, it's small and a wall color isn't going to change that. And what's wrong with small? I like a room that feels cozy and welcoming. One of my favorite colors to use is called Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams. It's a beautiful gray with blue and green undertones. And its sister color, Sea Salt, is also one of those colors that you will love for years to come.

Sherwin Williams, Oyster Bay

One question I get asked a lot is about painting one wall an accent color. Honestly, I'm not a fan of this unless your room is large and the accent wall is truly highlighting something beautiful. If you love a paint color, but you aren't ready to commit to painting your entire room with it. Then, bring that color in with a rug, art or on a piece of furniture.

My biggest piece of advice, before you paint your walls, is purchase a sample container. You can either paint big squares directly on your walls or on a poster board. A color will look totally different in your room, than in the store and those 1 inch sample cards are not to be trusted!

Lighting is one my favorite parts of any project. It's truly the "jewelry" in your room and not only includes what hangs from your ceiling, but lamps as well. If you can live without a ceiling fan, a chandelier in a small bedroom adds a ton of personality and doesn't take up any floor space. You can also use wall-mounted lamps if you don't have room for night stands.

Jennifer Taylor Design; Tallahassee, Florida

When hanging lights, make sure they are hung at the correct height. The best height for a chandelier over a table is 32 to 36 inches from the bottom of your light to the top of your table. Pinterest has some great information on lighting placement.

Finally, another great way to add personality to your small space is with accessories. Invest in a few larger pieces instead of a ton of smaller things. It feels less cluttered and is less to keep clean! Accessories also look best in odd number groupings - 1, 3 or 5. Also, varying the height will give you a true designer look.

It's really easy to fall into the trap of picking up accessories at the big retailers, but finding accessories that tell a story are so much better. Like something your child made at art camp, crafts from local festivals or even something you find while on vacation. These are things that will truly bring personality into your small space.

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Chez Sois {final take}

Almost two years ago, I received this message on Houzz: "Jennifer, I found you on Houzz and like what I see in the photos of your work...I have lots of ideas (on Houzz) about what I'd like to do, but need a good designer with an up-to-date aesthetic to help me expand some ideas and refine others...and just keep me from making those costly mistakes...My style is grounded in traditional, but I've moved away from total traditional to a more European, elegant feel that says "today." I'm single now and want a totally feminine home."

Little did I know what a wonderful and collaborative project this would turn out to be.  I'm always a little nostalgic when a project comes to an end, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.  Chez Sois was a total renovation and there wasn't a surface we didn't touch.  The result was EXACTLY what my client wanted when she sent that first message to me.  Before you continue, please take a minute to read my first blog post so you can see exactly what we started with.  The transformation is beyond words...

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

Jennifer Taylor Design: Tallahassee, Florida

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