Interior Style

Home Makeover: Neutral Tones & Natural Elements

Hello Friends!

I am so happy to announce that on Friday I wrapped up my four room home makeover that I have hinted at and shared sneak peeks of over the last month.  Today I am sharing all the “before & after” photos, as well as few close ups of unique details we added in each room.

Before we jump into photo overload, I want to share a brief recap of where we started and what my client was looking for.  She recently moved into this home, and realized as she unpacked, that accessories and home decor to fill the space were lacking.  The home itself is rather new and had been kept in excellent condition, with warm neutral paint colors to work with.

As we laid out a design plan, our objective became less about an overall style or theme of decor, and more about adding personality to the space.  She loves nature, astronomy, and the great outdoors, all of which guided my focus in choosing pieces for her home.  I also made a point to design around a few key pieces of artwork and furniture she already owned which kept the price down.

Are you ready to see the finished product?!

Let’s start with the living room, which is the first space visible when walking in the front door.  Below is a look of the before and after side by side for a proper comparison:

LivingAreaLabelsI just love those built in shelves– reminds of the built ins often seen in older Craftsman style homes.  The room itself has a great layout and the neutral color palette is something she like about the home.

Playing into the natural elements she gravitated towards, the mantle is dressed up with a vintage window panel, a vintage survey map, and this beautiful watercolor I found from an artist on Etsy.  The map is of Colorado Springs, one of her favorite places.  When decorating a home, I feel its often the small accessories and details that really make it feel warm and personable, so the fact she has a personal connection to the decor makes it even more special.LivingMantleDetail

The birch branch LED candles are something you have seen me use in my own home.  When I showed them to my client, she loved them, so we incorporated the candles in a couple places throughout her home.  On the left I added an old book for height, and a few river stones to add dimension.LivingMantleDetail2

Let’s take a closer look at those built in book shelves!  I didn’t want to over-accessorize, or fill up her space with unnecessary clutter.  In order to add a pop to the neutral color palette of the room, I brought in gold and metallic finishes which can be seen in the metal feather and the rose gold globe.


I love incorporating live plants to any space, and these low maintenance vines fit the space perfectly.  She can keep them trimmed short, or let them grow and trail down the shelf, as this one shown below is starting to do.LivingShelfDetail2

Here is another before and after of the living room, from a different angle.  You can see in the before that there is a lot of beige and brown going on.  The couch, pillows, end table, lamp, and walls are all various shades of beige which falls flat.  Nothing really draws your eye into the space.

The addition of cream color throw pillows and a faux fur throw with a silvery gray stripe bring new life to the couch.  It is hard to see in the after picture, but I also painted the side table a light gray which accents all the beige in the room.

The open shutters give a view into the home office, which you will see more of later.  We designed the artwork and lamp layout so that it can be a focal point for the office, as well as the living room when the shutters are left open.LivingShuttersLabels

Below is a closer look at the new accessories for the couch.  When working with a neutral color palette, pattern and texture are a great way to add visual interest.  The cream-colored throw pillows have a herringbone pattern that add interest, and the faux fur throw has a shine of silvery grey that plays well with the metallic finishes in the room.LivingCouchDetail

This is a closer look at the re-finished side table.  I used two coats of Valspar Chalky Finish Spray Paint in Woolen Stocking.  I followed up the paint with Annie Sloan Clear Wax, and just a touch of distressing with Annie Sloan Dark Brown wax.

I am sure the Annie Sloan fans out there are cringing at the fact that I didn’t use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but it is so expensive I just can’t pull the trigger!  I have used the Valspar version on several projects now and it always looks amazing.  At $10 a can, it is way more budget friendly than Annie Sloan!LivingSideTableUpdate

Okay, so you got a little sneak peak of the office through the living room shutters, but now it’s time to look at the full reveal.  This is the one room we did re-paint.  It is a small space, and the sage green walls made the space feel even smaller.  The pattern and colors of the roman shade on the window worked with our updated plan, so that piece remained in the newly updated space.OfficeLabels

I have to say the office was one of my favorite rooms to complete.  I chose a pale turquoise for the walls which not only opened up the space, but also gave it such a relaxing and calm vibe.

Knowing her love of astronomy and science, I hunted down some old books within those topics to use here.  The two framed prints are the book covers from the vintage books I picked up.  Frames came from Michael’s during one of their 70% off sales, so it cost less than $8 for each piece of artwork.  OfficeDetailAfter

This view is the back wall of the office, which was previously used as storage for items yet to find a home.  Many of you saw the rock and crystal print on my Instagram, featured as a Splurge vs. Steal.  The pages came from a vintage atlas I picked up for $4.  The wood frame is made from scrap trim I found at home.

The lamp in the after photo- how beautiful is that!  She showed me the shade when we first met, and I knew it had to be incorporated somewhere.  It casts off a warm glow, and what I love the most is it can be seen from both the living room and the office.  It really fits both rooms so well.Office2Labels

Outside of painting, the biggest transformation to the office space was what I call the “command center.”  One of my client’s biggest frustrations in this space was the eyesore of cords and gadgets to run printers, wi-fi, etc.  Seriously, in this era of technology, how has someone not invented a disguise, or a more sleek looking modem?!

After much Pinterest research, I had a solution to hide the command center.  Remember those vintage science and astronomy books I picked up?  Well the insides of those books are the shorter stack to the right with a rock slice placed on top.  That stack is hiding the modem.  Those 5 vintage books to the left?  Those are the spines of books glued to a photo box which cleverly hides computer equipment, extra charging cords, anything that doesn’t have a proper storage area.

While not ideal because cords can still be seen from behind the shelf, the faux books help hide the bigger, clunkier computer equipment.  The photo in the bottom right below give a look from the top, and a better look into the storage box.  I cut holes into the back of the box so that cords can be threaded through and hidden a little better.OfficeCordsLabel

Now we are moving down the hall and into her kitchen and dining area, which is a massive space.  As you walk into the large room, there is a small nook to the right which I stressed about for days.  I had no idea what to put there.  She had this small hutch which fit the space perfectly, but all the blank space above it was so intimidating.  Not really kitchen space, not really dining– what do you even put there?!

Because there is white trim and accents throughout the home, I knew pops of white on the wall would tie in nicely.  The gold branch wall art ties in the natural elements and metallic finishes used in the living room.  The square white frame houses a small cobalt blue rock slice that matches back to her office.

I finished off the styling with a small grouping of accessories on the hutch so that both wall art and furniture work together.  If you notice, we even hid Alexa into the decor– she added just enough height to the grouping and is disguised nicely, yet still enough speaker exposed to work properly.DiningNookLabels

The other big design challenge in this open space?  A piano.  Yep, a piano situated right between kitchen and dining.  Brown piano and a big wall of beige.  Here I again brought in pops of white to brighten up the space and tie into the white accents throughout the home.  The glare in my photo makes it hard to see the art, but inside each of the 6 frames is a print of a herb, along with the herb name.  The birch candles and potted ivy anchor the corners of the decor without cluttering or over powering the space.PianoLabels

And now on to the last space- the master bedroom.  Agh, what I wouldn’t give for a bedroom this big!!  The shade of grey used on the walls here was perfect, so it stayed as is.  The furniture would also stay, but she was ready for updated bedding and some visual interest on the walls.

The painting you see in the after photo is what guided the design of this room.  She had never used it in a bedroom before, but when I saw it, I realized it matched perfectly to the color scheme I had chosen for the space.  This is where I wish I had a better camera to capture all the color!  The bedding is turquoise-sage color that matches back to the blooms on the trees in the painting.  I kept all the accessories clean and simple in shades of cream and hits of bronze and metallic brass, which also are picked up from the painting.MasterBedLabels

A tall dresser on the opposing wall is dressed up with a metallic glass bowl and faux grass in a crisp white vase.  Both of these came from Home Goods by Marshalls, which is my favorite go to for home accessories when I can’t source them from Goodwill or flea markets.  The best time to go is between seasons– I picked up several accessories on clearance in early September as the tried to make space for all the new fall decor.BedroomDresserAfter

The request here was to keep the nightstand clutter free, as she uses it often for phone charging and reading at night.  Here I tied in the metallic finishes with a small lamp from Target and a mini gold terrarium.  I played around with adding a plant into the terrarium, but in the end I like how simple and elegant the glass and metallic finishes work together.BedroomNightStandAfter

And that is it!  Whew am I tired!  This is the biggest client project I have taken on to date, and while stressful for me at times, I have to say I loved every minute of it!

As I take on more clients, and dream up more blog topics for you readers, I am starting to realize what it is that ignites my passion for interior styling.  For me it is the incredible transformations that can come from such small details and changes.  Not everyone can afford an entire remodel of their home.  Not everyone can envision updating their furniture with a coat of paint, or shopping at a flea market for their home accessories.

I love the challenge that comes from working within a tight budget, or using what resources are already on hand.  For me those challenges are what fuel my creativity and I cannot wait to take on more projects of that scale.

For now I am going to take a breather and enjoy a little bit of downtime before moving on to the next client.  I also am happy to have that downtime to get back to work on my own home, as it has taken a back seat to all the bigger projects going on in September!

I would love to hear yours thoughts on the space in the comments below!  Which room do you like the most?  Anything you would do different?


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