make over my house: the details

{Editor’s Note: Welcome to installment #5 in my home design recap! I’ve teamed up with some truly amazing sponsors, including Manor Fine Wares, Rugs USA and woonwinkel home, to make this magic happen. In case you’re behind, check out the rest of the series right here.}

Friends, I’m so flattered that you all loved the house so much! I’m absolutely thrilled with how it turned out. Before we wrap up this series (or at least put it on hiatus until I get around to redoing my bedroom), I have to show off a few of my favorite details in the new room. Because truly, it’s the details that make this space what it is. I lived with the furniture for several weeks before Shannon came over with a pile of accessories to work her magic, and honestly, I didn’t fall in love with the project until that day. By the time she was done, the house felt like a home. Albeit a much fancier home than I’ve ever lived in before.

Today, I thought I’d show you a few of my favorite vignettes in the space, and give you some of Shannon’s amazing tips for styling a room: {click the arrows for more images}

I want to give a huge thanks to woonwinkel for bringing that amazing mantle clock by Dick van Hoff (really more art than anything else) into the space, as well as my yellow bowl from Pigeon Toe Ceramics. I knew I wanted a few modern touches in the space to keep it young and fresh, and I’m genuinely amazed by the impact these pieces had. Every single item in their shop is so special, and so carefully curated – it’s a breath of fresh air to walk into their store. I firmly believe every home needs a few contemporary touches to keep it looking fresh and modern, and the women at woonwinkel are savants at helping you select pieces that will blend with your existing collections without fighting for attention. I just can’t say enough good things.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share a few valuable lessons I’ve collected during this process. This was an amazing project in so many ways, but it was real. There were bumps, disagreements, delays…it’s real life, people. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Hire a designer. Truly, if you’re stumped by your space, having an expert just tell you what it needs is a godsend. I really lucked out with Manor – there were so many advantages to working with a designer affiliated with a store (including being able to try pieces out before committing to them). In the end, I don’t think I spent any more than I would have spent on my own, but I definitely spent better. Plus, having someone come over and style your house is an incomparable pleasure everyone should experience.
  2. Be patient. Real life is not HGTV. Your house won’t be done in 48 hours…and it shouldn’t. Real homes take time to evolve, and putting a deadline on the finished project means you’ll end up with pieces you don’t love, and a process you’ll like even less. Let your designer take the time she needs to find the pieces you’ll love, even if it means living without a coffee table for a month.
  3. Be flexible. Letting someone else shop for me wasn’t easy. But the results were the most impressive when I trusted Shannon’s judgment. If you really don’t like something, absolutely say so…but have faith in the designer you pick, give their ideas a chance, and trust that they’ll steer you straight.
  4. Be honest. Shannon touched on this in her Q&A, but I wanted to reiterate. If you’re a TV-watching house, admit it so that the designer can orient the furniture that way. If your husband needs a recliner, say so. It’s your space, and you’re the one living in it after the designer has moved on to other projects, so make it work for you, not some idealized version of the life you wish you lived.
  5. Be creative. For all the advice I took from Shannon, sometimes I did go out on my own (often because I’m cheap). The doggie sketches by Michele Maule were all me, and I adore them. My $39 mirror from HomeGoods worked out just fine. And easily 80% of the art, knickknacks and other touches in this room came from other rooms in my house – I gave Shannon free rein to wander the house and pilfer at will, and it saved me all kinds of money. A good designer will be honest about the pieces that you can source elsewhere to help with the budget – just be sure to keep them in the loop before you go rogue.

Finally, if you love what Manor did for me, know that they can do the same for you, on just about any budget. This holiday season, they’re launching online design services which will be reasonably-priced and accessible to everyone. And in the meantime, if you’re stumped by something, talk to them! Send them a photo of that sofa that needs new throw pillows, and let them suggest ideas. Show them your bookcase that needs styling, and they’ll give you advice. This is a local store with good, helpful people working there, and they live for this stuff!

A huge, huge, bear hug of a thank you to Manor, to Rugs USA and to woonwinkel. You made this an extraordinary process, and I couldn’t have even imagined it without each of you!

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3 comments on “make over my house: the details

  1. Pingback: phoned-in friday - shopping's my cardio

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