Retro Revival Kitchen

So today I’m sharing a retro revival kitchen. I didn’t design this kitchen per-say. It was “designed” in the 50’s before I was born, but I gave my opinion on color and finish choices. The kitchen has been restored to its original glory down to the original (still working) ice-box and restored stove.

Retro Revival Kitchen

So this kitchen actually belongs to my mom. When she purchased the house, the kitchen still had the original cabinets, but the countertops were redone (badly) and it had an inexpensive range from the 90’s and same for the refrigerator. (sorry I don’t have a before image)

Retro Revival Kitchen

The original stove was too small for the space, because it was designed for a wider model. My mom found this amazing restored vintage 50’s stove and it fit perfectly. She had her heart set on the scalloped trim above to hide the small vent fan. Sure a modern replica stove would be more accurate on temperature and more efficient, but no new replica would have the charm of this stove.

Retro 50's Kitchen

Same goes for that refrigerator. Its been repainted and re-chromed, but whats more amazing is it still works. It just goes to show how well things were made back then. I will have a “shop this room” post on Wed showing off some of the modern replicas you can purchase now to get the look.

Retro 50's Kitchen

The open rounded shelves were added to the original cabinets and are reminiscent of the 50’s kitchen style. My grandpa built those additions.

Retro 50's Kitchen

The table and chairs are vintage as well.

Retro 50's Kitchen Retro 50's Kitchen

The window box was an addition and the perfect place to grow herbs. A small dishwasher was added a few years ago for modern convince. It was able to be retro fitted into the original cabinets.

Retro 50's Kitchen

This kitchen is a great example of how something that appeared dated could be restored back to its original glory without being gutted. While granite and stainless seem to be the top of most peoples list, sometimes it just refreshing to see original appliances and tile countertops and appreciate the beauty of the past.

Retro 50's Kitchen

Retro 50's Kitchen

Planes Trains and a Baby Boy | Virtual Makeover

So this week I’m going to feature a nursery from about a year ago, but it’s still one of my favorites.

Inspiration for this nursery was a vintage travel theme. Although nothing in the nursery is truly vintage, every piece gives a vintage nod. We started with a custom Virtual Room Makeover.

The room is pretty small, about 11′ x 11′ but thats still enough space to design a perfectly functioning nursery. In fact, I kind of enjoy designing smaller spaces, you just have to find smaller scale furniture. We started with the Land of Nod yellow rag rug first. I don’t believe that rug is available any longer, but I will provide a link for a similar rug when I post the “Shop this Room” post laster this week. The random stripes in the rug inspired the random stripes painted on the wall. The wall color is Grey Owl from Ben Moore. The Blue is Smokey Blue from Behr, the same blue that was used in Mom and Dads room. I’m sorry I don’t remember the yellow or black paint color in the stripe.

Mom really loved West Elm’s Patchwork Dresser and while it’s an expensive piece for a nursery, it’s not a dedicated nursery piece. We decided to use it as a changing table by placing (securely of course) a changing pad on top. It can be used as a great piece beyond the need for a changing table, which justifies the price.

I designed a virtual gallery wall with all the sizes and frames Mom and Dad needed to compete the look. Mom had a bunch of photos of all the family members that were, or are pilots. We changed all the photos to a vintage sepia look and created that darling sentimental gallery wall.  This gallery wall service will be offered on my Virtual Makeover Packages in a few days. I also have a YouTube video on How to Hang a Gallery Wall.

Virtual Gallery Wall Design

Mom also found these vintage airplane sheets from Restoration Hardware Baby. I love it when clients add their own touches to their Virtual Makeover Plan.

Mom also shot her newborn photos in the room. I hope baby enjoys his Nursery as much as I enjoyed designing it. (Newborn photos by Megan Port)

Virtual Makeover | Living and Dining

So, I feel like my featured rooms have been very kid heavy. Time for a change. Let me introduce you this living and dining virtual makeover. This was a room inspired by YoungHouseLove. The client asked for a living with a mix of pattern and color.


So before I got started the room looked like this.

before The client wasn’t super in love with her more traditional Pottery Barn sofa but I knew for budget reasons we would completely update the room and keep the sofa. The walls were also painted a light fresh grey. The client was also questioning her color choice (chosen before I was hired) but I didn’t see any problem with the color it just needed some accessories to liven up the space. So the inspiration was the YoungHouseLove photo below

younghouselove source

I came up with this plan. Keeping the original sofa we would bring in the “YoungHouseLove” feel with the art, a bright green rug, and a mixture of blue and green pillows. I would also address the clients want for pattern by doing a bold pattern on the rug and a complementary patten on the drapery.




7 The client had plans to replace the dining chairs in the future, but  I suggested a simple solution to update the current slip covers she had by just taking them to a local dry cleaners and have them hemmed. Being able to see the chairs legs made the entire dining area feel “lighter.” An affordable simple solution.

diningbefore 4   5

A very fun space to create. Stay tuned for the shopping sources later this week. Plus this was my first time traveling out of state to shoot a space. It’s very rewarding to step into a space after studying it though pictures and see what the client was able to do with my help. It’s like a reverse reveal for a designer 🙂



shop this room | playroom

Shopping Resources for the “Mountains of Fun” playroom featured on Apartment Therapy. The DIY toy shelf is a replica of the shelf in the shopping list below, and that DIY is coming next week! I used the fabric from the listed curtains to build the custom valance. Purchasing those drapery was less expensive than purchasing fabric by the yard. You can also hand them as drapery for the same look. I also have the paint treatment DIY next week as well. Happy Friday.


1. Rug | 2. Mini Library | 3. Rainbow Pillow | 4. Majestic Blue Paint | 5. Ikea Pillow | 6.Stockholm Pillow 7. Picture Ledge | 8. Yarn Bombed Antlers | 9. Storage Bins | 10. Curtains 11. Picture Frames | 12. Sheepskin | 13. Kids Table | 14. Similar Toy Shelf Option | 15. Teepee | 16. Pink Stool | 17. Blue Stool

Virtual Makeover | Playroom

A very fun playroom indeed. This was a super fun project, and it’s the first project I filmed the progress of the makeover. So coming soon will be a mini-makeover video of this space, filled with tips. And also a DIY video for those who want the challenge of building a toy shelf.


Before I got started the room looked like this:

Before Playroom

This room, like most of my makeovers, started from a Virtual Makeover design. My client requested something either beachy or woodsy inspired. I obviously went with the woodsy theme, as I have been dying to put a teepee in a space. The space is very small (maybe 10′ x 11′) So I didn’t want to put too much into the room so there would be room to play.



The client requested to have a tv and extra storage for toys. My husband and I built the shelf. It was inspired by the Oeuf Mini Library, but that shelf wasn’t in the budget. So I took on the challenge and built a replica. The upcoming DIY video will be for that toy shelf. Originally we had talked about a 33″ tv for the room but a 42″ tv showed up after the shelf was built. The original plan to mount the TV directly above the shelf was scraped because the larger tv dwarfed the shelf. Instead I offset the TV and filled the negative space with those super cute Yarn Bombed Antlers.  Problem solved. I will say, when dealing with tv’s, one must be flexible because they almost always grow in size from the original plan. But I actually think I like this setup better than the original plan anyways.


The closet went white to make it feel updated and fresh. Prior to my clients owning the home, this space was an office and that big empty hole in the custom closet built-in housed a wine refrigerator. (because one needs a large wine refrigerator in an office) Anyways, we decided to make use of the closet space to help keep the room clean and hung a piece of plywood over the opening and painted it with a magnetic primer and chalkboard paint. A much more inexpensive solution than hiring a carpenter to fabricate a custom door. My friend Lars did the amazing chalkboard art.


I chose a round table and round stools because they don’t have dangerous pointy corners. Plus adults can sit (sorta) comfortably on those stools. Little kid chairs with backs are much more of a challenge for an adult than a stool. I also included a small gallery wall to feature “kid” art.


And finally my favorite part… the teepee. I hung a few picture ledges to feature some of the little clients favorite books, and filled the teepee with a comfy sheepskin and pillows. Perfect for play or reading time.








The Infamous Accent Wall

This is a post I’ve been thinking about for a long time, wondering… do I go there? It’s something that makes my stomach churn just thinking about it, but I’m going there folks. This is a post about the infamous and some what dreaded accent wall. Was it a thing of the 90’s? Is it for people who are just too afraid of committing to a color that they only put color on one wall, or is it a panic moment created by open floor plans and not knowing where to put the color on the walls? Either way, I’ve seen my fair share of bad accent walls… and keep getting repeat requests for the “one-wall-wonder.” So I’m going to go there… the good, the bad and the ugly, of the accent wall.

Now remember these are my opinions, and my opinions alone… but I believe that accent walls evolved from people’s fear of color, and it’s honestly an inexpensive solution. In the majority of cases of the “accent wall,” it’s truly unnecessary and makes a room feel lopsided. If you take an all neutral paint color and slap a bright red on one wall, guess what… thats going to be the first thing your going to notice when you walk into the room. Not your beautiful kitchen, not your thoughtful artwork, not your expensive rug.  Nope,  you will notice… and stare…at… a… WALL. source

It’s so hard for me to find a not great example because no one wants to be the “bad” example. So I choose this photo. That orange wall is not working for me.  I’m staring right at it, and I’m not noticing the other elements in the room.   Just… that… orange… wall. Now, the reason I choose this room as an example is it was a makeover with two looks.  The orange wall was not working, and the designer knew that, sooooooo


she switched it out. This pattern is much easier on the eye and blends in better with the wall color making less of a dramatic accent. In general don’t just pick any wall and make it into an accent wall for fear of not wanting to commit to a color or wallpaper. Let’s look at more examples that work and why they work, instead on trying to find “bad” examples.


The black accent wall. This works because black is a receding color. In fact the black wall isn’t even the accent wall, it’s framing out and bringing your attention to the fireplace. It’s also disguising the TV to the right of the fireplace. It works because the wall starts and stops at an inside corner, making a perfect delineation where to start and stop the color. (if you don’t know the difference between an inside and outside color this picture illustrates the difference)


Here the accent wall is on the fireplace wall. Fireplaces in general are focal points, and highlighting the wall where the fireplace resides works. Also this fireplace juts out of the wall, lending itself to an accent. I wouldn’t have painted that entire wall blue if the fireplace was flush to the wall.


This works perfectly as an accent because it’s a little niche built into the architecture. It frames out the beds. Just like the wall that jutted out of the fireplace, a recessed niche can be a place that lends to an accent. And the accent wall is framed by inside corners. (seeing a trend yet)

So those are some good tips if you decide you have to have an accent wall and don’t know what wall to accent. If your doing a bolder color stick to the focal wall. Just be sure the accented wall starts and stops with an inside corner. (this is even more important if you accent with wallpaper as it will most likely peel if you end at an outside corner) If you want to make a non-focal wall recede and create the illusion of a larger room paint the wall black, but again be sure it’s a wall that starts and stops with an inside corner.

If you find yourself painting an accent wall for the sake of having an accent wall STOP. If your architecture doesn’t lend itself to a particular wall, and your faced with an open floor plan, bring your accent colors in though other means. You don’t have to paint a wall to bring in tons of color.


This bedroom has grey walls, doesn’t lack color and doesn’t have an accent wall. In fact, drapery are a great alternative to an accent wall or patterned wallpaper. You can bring in bold moments of color or patterns with your window treatments, and because they frame out your windows, knowing where to put them is a no brainer. (knowing how to hang them however is tricky but I promise you that post is coming)

So folks put down those paint brushes, and know that not all color has to come into a room via the “one-wall-wonder.”



Butteryfly Nursery | Shopping Resources

Alright folks, here are the resources for this nursery virtual makeover. The valance was a DIY but the fabric source is below. The dresser is vintage but paint color is listed here. The crib and bed were the clients prior to the makeover. And of course those butterflies were seasonal from West Elm, but you can find similar here and here.

Butterfly Virtual Makeover

1. Angular Sconce | 2. Pharmacy Lamp | 3. Nate Berkus Pillow | 4. Nate Berkus Pillow | 5. Gold Table | 6. Pinch Pleat Duvet | 7. Gold Pillow | 8. Eucalyptus Pillow | 9. Gold Deer | 10. Ikat Fabric | 11. Stump End Table | 12. Grey Rug | 13. Purple Bench 14. Glider

see more posts on this makeover here and here


Butterfly Nursery | Behind the Scenes

Here’s a little behind the scenes of the Butterfly Nursery I posted earlier this month.

Before | After Butterfly Nursery I really wish I had taken the before picture from the same angle. Basically the bed was on the wall where the gold antler deer head is in the after picture. The room was a guest room, and it needed to be re-designed to be a nursery while still keeping the bed for guests. Luckily the room is really large, so having it function as both a guest room and nursery wasn’t a problem at all.

West-Elm-Butterflies The inspiration came from a Christmas collection from West Elm. My client really liked the jewel toned butterflies. I was thinking we could spray a dresser emerald green, and that could function as a changing table. Then create a butterfly display overtop that would fill the entire corner of the room and reach over the crib and serve the function as a colorful mobile for baby. (now trying to describe that to my client, thats another story… luckily she’s also my friend so the words “trust me” really came into play)

LeslieInsta I shared this photo on instagram of an amazing dresser I found on craigslist (actually there was two dressers, my client is standing by the taller one but they purchased both a tall and short dresser for $150… I was so jealous) My client wasn’t really a fan of vintage furniture, but she was on board. As a designer it’s so nice to work with a client who’s willing to let you create.

beforeafterdresser So off to get sprayed. I was originally going to lacquer the dresser but sometimes lacquers are hard to get the colors right when you are choosing a custom color, so I choose a new Benjamin Moore paint called Aura in a high gloss. The color is called Emerald Isle. I hired a professional to spray the dresser.  1 2 Butterflies Next came the installation. Using tons of the West Elm butterfly ornaments and curly willow branches I purchased at a wholesale florist, (you can get these at Micheal’s or any craft or floral shop)  I just started to create the display. I wish I could give you a better description of how I did it, but I didn’t really have a plan going into it. I hung hooks on the ceiling to hang the branches from, and attached them to the wall with smaller hooks and fishing line. I also used hot glue to secure the branches to each other to get the shape I wanted. Then I just started clipping butterflies all over the branches. (the butterflies were for a Christmas tree so they had little clips on the back) I wanted it to be a large group of butterflies at the base of the branch and then the disperse out as the display extended over the crib.


wireartbeforeafter After the display was complete, I needed to think of something that would complement the display and tie it into the dresser. I had seen these wire art words and thought about doing one saying “Once upon a time,” because the room was starting to feel fairy tale like. I purchased armature wire and bent it into the words. The armature wire was an alloy so it wouldn’t solder where I had to piece it together, so I just used JB weld (which is an epoxy or “cold weld”) Then I sprayed the wire art gold to complement the hardware on the dresser. windowvalance Lastly I built and upholstered the cornice box above the window. My client already had a white blackout roman shade but the window felt a little naked. Because of the placement of the crib adding drapes wouldn’t have been functional so I just built a simple cornice box and upholstered it in a colorful ikat.

The room was a lot of fun to create, and just to put things into perspective. My client contacted me around the beginning of December to create the room, and baby arrived in the beginning of January. So the room wasn’t 100% complete before her arrival but it all came together 🙂


please check out the other posts on this room here and here