Hello Modern Traditional

Before I start the ‘make over’ post, I would like to say that I have loved this job from the beginning to now (it’s not over yet). The client has been a pleasure, giving me her trust to completely change everything in her house. I know that’s really hard for people to do, to let go and let someone take control of their intimate space that they call home; having said that you all should let me take control because I promise its worth it in the end. I do an amazing job and I do mean to sound conceited.

When I walked into this home, my first thought was “wow there’s so much potential.” The house has a ton of natural light, tall ceilings & it just needed a new updated look without losing its roots. And what I mean by that is I wanted the space to feel more modern without losing its tradition.

The family room; the room everyone hangs out in, where all the lounging happens, talking happens, eating happens, chewing too loudly happens (this is a very real and common problem and it needs to stop), the general space where people act like people (yuck) so this room needed to be first and foremost – comfortable and durable.

So here was my starting point for the family room;

So we’ve seen the starting point, and because I like this client, I’m not going to spend too much time on what doesn’t work and what is borderline offensive. We’re going to move along to what I needed to do to give the space some style that felt family friendly, modern and hold the test of time (that’s the scariest one for a me as a designer. I want my client to be able to live in a space I created for as long as they desire – so that would be forever).

Five Areas to Improve;

  • Replace sectional with another sectional or just another couch
  • Coffee table to anchor the room
  • New lighting new lighting new lighting, did I mention new lighting?
  • Add shades for texture- and yay it also happens to be practical
  • Area rug

OB-Family Room2

This is a mood board I created for the new direction of the family room. The base is neutral with pops of grey, wood and blue. The secret for me is to have loads of texture, I need a space to literally feel very inviting. A good space is a space people never want to leave and you achieve this by adding lots and lots of texture. I do this through the rug, throw pillows, woven/ textured blinds, wood finishes etc. I like to constantly mix different materials – and yes you can absolutely mix gold with silver.

My guy Willie transforming the walls from blah to the perfect grey with hints of purple, we all know that’s the best and most flattering gray.

My thought process behind painting the ceiling was pretty simple, I thought “that would look awesome!” Going beyond that, I did it to achieve a space that’s a little more intimate and cozy in an otherwise very light and open room. So I decided on a deeper color for the feature on the ceiling. It also plays as a good back drop for the light fixture.

The first progress snapshot is always exciting, I can breath a small sigh of relief knowing that it’s all coming together, looks good and I’m not just crazy. This was taken after the paint was done on the walls and ceiling, the couch was in and lighting installed.

At this point I make my way to West Elm because they’re my fail proof way for accessorizing any room. I cannot contain my happiness when I’m in this store, everything is sooo pretty and if I could I would buy every item for myself and proceed to mark the items up by 100%  if a client should ever need something thus guaranteeing myself all rights to everything West Elm. Even as I’m typing it, I feel like I sound reasonable.


So the blinds are in and they are perfect. They’re clean and functional for the space. The coffee table arrived and it’s beautiful- everything is finished except for this one thing>

The bookshelf, it’s still here, it hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t gotten the memo that it is very much UN welcome in this new space. I brought someone in to custom make a bookshelf and stain it the same color as the walls to lighten everything up; so my client and I were anxiously awaiting the day for it to be installed… that day finally arrived on a breezy morning here in Miami, mid February.


Do you remember this guy rocking the khaki shorts? I wanted to give him a second feature.


This is me taking pictures while they installed the shelves- which were AWESOME- what a relief. It’s never a good thing when a client trusts you to make the right decision for their home and then you don’t, so this was turning out to be a good day.


So this is it, so beautiful and perfect yet still not finished. They need to come back to install the doors at the bottom (for those of you who felt like it was a little overwhelming to have so many shelves- good eye and I hope you don’t pursue a career in design because that’s my jam and I’m terrible at sharing.) The plan from the start was to have cabinets at the bottom for games, blankets and other miscellaneous things that are not books and don’t look pretty- like most things we all have. They will be ready in about a week and I’m really excited about it because  I ordered these pulls that honestly might not make their way to the client.

I wanted to wait to post this make over until the bookshelves were completely done but it’s taking a little longer than expected and I also just really want to share it with you all. So while reading all my informative, funny content and looking at all the beautiful, well taken photos have in mind there’s still some more to come and that thought alone should lull you to sleep peacefully tonight.

A slideshow of the makeover to refresh your memory because this was a really long post;

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