Recently I completed this interior for two newlyweds, a Doctor and a Lawyer. Janelle is just finishing her internship in medical school and next year she will be practicing medicine full time. She found my blog and hired me to help her choose colours and design her space and finish it! It's the accessories that make or break a space in addition to giving it atmosphere and that's what she was clear she couldn't do herself.
One of the best features of this townhouse was the three tall windows (below) with all the amazing green trees right outside! She needed millwork on either side of the fireplace (the photo below is the only original 'before' photo I have, I think I deleted them accidentally).
The Main wall colour is BM HC-26 Monroe Bisque (above). See how green it looks on the screen in comparison to the living room? Sometimes this colour looks really green depending on the lighting and other times it's the perfect yellow beige. Janelle said everyone wanted to know what the colour was for themselves. When you get the colours right, that's usually what people say. The adjoining Kitchen and small great room we painted BM HC-147 Woodlawn Blue, as this colour was a great way to create flow from the living room.
Janelle found a sofa in a colour at Pier 1 which was close to what I had selected and then called me to order the drapery and chairs. The drapery was also more reasonable because it was a solid fabric in 100% cotton. What makes designer fabric so expensive is that they make a much smaller amount but you get exactly the colours you need in the pattern you want (like the two chairs, above).
Then came installation day (above). The custom chairs and drapery arrived and we scheduled a shopping day. We needed coffee tables, a sofa table, area rug, a sideboard (not shown), lamps and accessories for the bookshelves and tables. We chose everything together in one day of shopping–the best way to have a designer look on a budget, you are there to say whether you like what we find and you can return the occasional accessory that doesn't end up working out.
And if we are buying an inexpensive area rug (for example) you need to understand that the 'perfect' piece in just the right colours probably cannot be purchased off-the-shelf for a greatly reduced discount, so you have to be willing to take what will work in the space (because it fits your budget).
We couldn't find toss cushions in the right colours on our shopping day so we ended up getting them custom made. Take a look at the after photo again (below) to see the difference the right toss cushions–designed for the furniture–look like. Even with the great new lighting and coffee tables, the pillows instantly give the living room a designer look. It's why I don't apologize for the cost ($800 for 6 cushions) anymore. They are like art that totally finish the room.
My sweet friend Lauren from Pure Style Home (who is now famous by the way she is in Decembers Better Homes & Gardens with her house all decorated for Christmas, better get yourself a copy) recently wrote a fabulous post on clients and budgets called: Reality Check: What does it Cost to Furnish a Room?
Janelle had some fabulous wedding photos and we created an entire wall in her great room similar to this one in the Yaletown Loft I decorated last year. I should have taken an after picture of it because the wedding party in chocolate brown and blue matched the blue on the walls perfectly!