Choosing our Exterior Paint Color

Choosing paint colors can be tricky. It's one of the most frequent topics I am asked about. Choosing exterior paint colors can be even trickier as colors will often look very different on the front, back and sides of your home depending on which direction your house faces and where sun and shade are. Finding a paint color that looks good on all sides, in all lighting, during the day and at night can be overwhelming. 

My biggest advice is to test, test, test. Never go by the that little paper swatch and even if you've used the color before in a different space it doesn't mean it will work somewhere else. I always recommend painting a decent size swatch (12' x 12" at least) on all 4 walls of an interior room or on front, back and side of your exterior. 

Watch the swatches for a few days and check how the color looks at different times of day. Light makes such a difference in how paint colors appear and you want to find a color that you love during the day and at night equally. 

On to our house...

Our home was built in 1968 and is a mix of brick and wood. I know painting brick is a controversial subject, but I LOVE painted brick. Especially if your brick is like mine - a gross yellow-y brown with pink mortar. WHY WOULD ANYONE USE PINK MORTAR?! It is beyond me, but my house is proof that it happened. 


When I see this picture from the original real estate listing, I have a hard time remembering why in the world we even went to see it. It's a little bit (OK, A LOT) of an ugly duckling I know, but it seriously has some great bones. We saw so much potential and we knew we could make it amazing. So I know you might be cringing right now, but just wait till we finish this exterior makeover. 

Below are the current paint swatches we are deciding between.


1 / Custom color I mixed and used on our last home's exterior

2 / Benjamin Moore Black Iron

3 / A mix of 1 and 2

4 / A slightly darker mix of 1 and 2 

It's really hard to tell between 3 and 4 in this picture, but in person you can definitely see that 4 is darker. I really like 3 and 4 and I think one of those is our winner. I'm going to let it marinate for a few more days before I fully decide.

If you follow me on Instagram, I posted the easy process of mixing your own color to get the perfect shade in my stories. I may try to figure out how to put the stories all together in one video and post it here (we'll see....I'm not the most tech savvy).  

Which one is your favorite? 1, 2, 3 or 4? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


|Before & After| English Village Project: Round 2 - Master Bedroom


In my last post I revealed the new formal living room and sun room from my English Village project. Today, I am revealing the master bedroom! This room is HUGE! Which sounds great and it is in many ways, but it can also create some design challenges. There were so many big spaces and empty corners to fill and our goal was to fill them without making the space look cluttered and over done.

I'm really happy with how it all came together and how we balanced the layout without adding too much. It's also worth noting that even though the before and after is dramatic we really only added a few new furniture pieces. We kept the same bed and the bedside tables. The chairs in the seating area were previously downstairs in the living room so we didn't even have to buy those. We mainly relied on lots of good accessories (vintage moroccan rug, sconces, new drapes, beautiful bedding, and white oak bench) to add pattern and texture and really transform this space.   

Here we go:

Before... A little dark and heavy


After....Same bed. Same bedside tables. We lightened things up by getting rid of the heavy lamps and the large, dark recliner that was in the corner. Adding the moroccan rug really lightens up the floor and brings in a fun pattern. And obviously, beautiful bedding makes a big difference!


Sources: Leather chair: Barnaby Lane / Rug: Drift Home Collection / Lumbar Pillow: My Haven Home / Bench: Rejuvenation my clients defense her husband is the one with the clothes hoarding/piling problem :) So we stole his giant recliner and sofa so he could no longer pile. Kidding. Sort of. We actually moved that sofa down to the sunroom and it fit perfectly in front of the sunroom window. And we moved his recliner to his man cave.  


After.....As I mentioned, we brought these chairs up from the living room and I really like how they create seating without blocking the window like the sofa did previously. We replaced those very heavy iron floor lamps with a more delicate brass lamp. We kept the bamboo shades because they add great texture, but we also added a beautiful ivory linen drape to soften the room and to frame the seating area. And a little pop of indigo is always a good thing!


Sources: Drapes: Loom Decor / Pillows: My Haven Home / Side Table: Crate & Barrel 

Before....this area was begging for something. We went back and forth on whether to add shelving, a large mirror, a great piece of many options.


After......While we were sourcing chairs for the living room we came across this great woven leather chair from Barnaby and we knew it would be perfect next to that window. We added the ladder for height and visual interest. The walnut wall hooks were a last minute find from an artisan in Slovenia. I begged him to rush them to me which he very nicely did. 


Sources: Ladder: Crate & Barrel / Turkish Towel: Burkleman /  Walnut Hooks: Raw Originals 

A few more photos of the details.....


I love this linocut art. I found it on Etsy


Sources: African woven bowl: Local and Lejos 


Interior Design: ADID Studio

Photography credit: Graham Yelton


|Before & After| English Village Project: Round 2 - Living Room & Sun Room!


It's been a little while for this poor, neglected blog. I'm hoping to change that and post here more regularly - I just need about 12 more hours in the day! 

I started working on this beautiful 1920's tudor in English Village almost a year ago. We started with the kitchen and two bathrooms. And after we completed those in December,  the client asked me to continue with her formal living room, sun room & master bedroom. 

The living room & sunroom both have beautiful windows and a lot of natural light, but the dark wood floors and the overcrowding from too many pieces of furniture made it feel a little heavy and dark. Our goal was to make it feel lighter, a little more casual and a little more modern.

| Living Room Before |


| Living Room After |


And we can't forget the sunroom!

| Sunroom Before |

sunroom before1.jpg

 | Sunroom After |


Much improved, don't you think? I really love the way these spaces came together. We minimized the amount of furniture so the room could breath, and we softened the vibe by bringing in layered rugs, lots of vintage textiles, lighter wood and beautiful leather accents. 

Next up.....the master bedroom transformation!

Photos by: Graham Yelton

|Before & After| English Village Project: Kitchen

I'm sad this project is over because these clients were really fun to work with! They were laid back and easy to please and really trusted my vision for their space. This project started out as a tiny powder bath & a small kitchen facelift. It turned in to more of a major kitchen facelift and half way through, the clients decided to add in their master bath and their outdoor patio space as well. I'm so pleased with how each space turned out! I'll stick to the kitchen here and share the other spaces in a separate post. 

First.....the before:


This kitchen design was only five years old, but the clients really wanted something different. The mirrored backsplash and the stainless steel shelving and accent wall made the space feel cold. The space doesn't get much natural light so one million recessed lights had been added to offset this, but it was too many and added a harsh, unflattering light. The clients wanted to make the kitchen feel more warm and inviting and I definitely think we accomplished that!!

The afters:

IMG_9904 2.jpg

My plan for the space was to brighten it up, but also bring in warmth and depth. We removed many of the recessed lights and instead brought in pendants over the island and sconces over the sink that brought a soft, more flattering light. We added depth by painting the lower cabinets a beautiful, deep navy/charcoal color. For warmth, we selected handmade tile in a warm white in place of the mirrored backsplash and stainless steel insert above the cooktop. We repeated that same tile on the opposite wall from counter to ceiling to add visual interest. We replaced all the stainless steel shelving with floating wood shelves and we switched out the satin nickel hardware with warm brass. Leather barstools for the island and a vintage turkish runner with hints of coral and navy were the perfect accessories to finish out the space.  

There were no layout changes, major construction or demo, but the transformation is pretty dramatic!

Stay tuned for the bathrooms and outdoor spaces next!

|Before & After| My Kitchen!

I finally got the professional photos back of my house and I am so excited to share with you guys! There are a lot of pictures so I'm going to divide the spaces up into separate posts. We'll start with the kitchen. 

My husband and I knew this was our house the minute we pulled up, before we even set foot inside. We just had that feeling. When we walked in it was full of yellow walls, a mint green bathroom, a lot of wood paneling, light switch plates with brass eagles (not making that up) and an astroturf garage! But I saw the potential and I knew we could make it amazing. 

So first, the before kitchen pictures. 

wall between den and kitchen.JPG

And the after:


I'm still shocked when I look back at the before pictures. I can't believe the change!

We started by removing that paneled wall between the den and kitchen to open up the space. Taking that wall down brought in so much natural light and made both spaces feel larger. Next, we demoed everything including 6 layers of flooring in the kitchen (no lie) and all the cabinets and appliances. I'm so glad I went with my gut on the black cabinets even though almost everyone told me I was crazy. I LOVE them. And that backsplash - those 2x8 subway tiles are so good! They are still classic, but just different enough from the standard size. And having them Installed in a vertical pattern adds that modern twist that makes me so happy. I had a local company build my open shelves and I love the way they break up the dark cabinets and give me something to constantly re-arrange and style. 

You can't tell from the pictures, but the tall cabinets on the right side actually lead to a large walk in pantry. We stole some space from the garage to make that happen, which was my contractors genius idea. Even though it's hidden, its one of the best, most functional features of this kitchen and I'm so glad he thought of it. I plan to take some pictures and post about the pantry at some point. 

Check back soon for before & afters of the rest of the house!

Kitchen Sources: General Contractor: Lorino Construction, Cabinets: Brewer Cabinets, Tile: South Cypress, Open Shelving: Barnwood Customs, Hardware: Brandino Brass, Plumbing Fixtures: Fixtures & Finishes, Appliances: Kitchen Aid, Sconces: Cedar & Moss.

After Photos by Ashley Lauren Studios