What paint and some styling can do to improve your home!

I love it when a client calls and says "we need some updating to our home and we need your help guiding us through the decision making process so we don't make mistakes"

Yes, that's me!  They hired me to assist with remodeling their home within the budget they had set aside.  I helped them prioritize what was important to do right now and what could wait.

I thought I'd show you how it all turned out. Let's start with the stairs.



To update the stairscase, on a budget, we decided to paint the spindals white and we stained the banister a rich espresso.  It transformed it instantly and made their entry so stylish and inviting.

We added a beautiful patterned carpet and that made the staircase the star of the show when you walk in the front door.

Next up is the kitchen which needed a facelift for sure.


We didn't have the budget to do the floors and we figured they can do that at a different time.


The client really wanted new countertops so that was our priority.  We selected a neutral countertop and extended the countertop on the island to give her more prepping room.

 We added a gray subway tile backsplash and removed the overhead lighting and added recessed lighting.  I just love the mercury glass pendants we chose for above the island, it coordinates beautifully with the new flush mount fixture above the sink.

We painted behind some of the open shelving and staged it with some of the items she already had.

Next was the family room.



We painted this entire room to lighten it up and added new carpet. We took down the drapes (they were too short), hung new artwork and added lamps for a touch of color. The client wanted a fresh, clean look so that's what we did for her.

The couch had too many "matchy" pillows.

Ruthie Tip: When you purchase a couch that comes with all the matching pillows, that really cheapens the look.  By taking some of the matching pillows out and adding a few throw pillows to break it up, it gives it an instant makeover and looks more collected, rather than cookie cutter matching set.

Next up was the fireplace.


This fireplace brick was really pink and wasn't modern enough for the client.  We decided to paint it a gorgeous gray to give it a makeover. It worked and turned out beautiful.


We took out the ugly fan and added a stunning chandelier that makes this fireplace come alive.  Paint covers a multitide of sins!  The mantel itself was a little small so we added corbels underneath the mantel and that made it look more to scale.

I absolutely love this kind of transformation.  The client wanted their home updated so they could enjoy it more.  It doesn't always mean you have to gut the entire place. What I love about my job is that I get to give home owners ideas that can update their homes without breaking the bank.

Of course, I have clients that want to gut the entire house and transform it all because they do have the budget to do so and that is awesome!  However, I also love to see families update their homes conservatively too.  Some people choose to do nothing because they can't afford it. Don't do nothing, any home can be turned into something wonderful with some good ideas and creativity.

I'm off to Highpoint tomorrow to be a part of the Design Bloggers Tour.  Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see behind the scenes.  So looking forward to getting to know these fabulous bloggers and seeing all the new trends in design for 2017/2018.

I'm also taking over Interior Design Society's National Instagram account on Friday while I'm at Highpoint. Follow along too for new trends and behind the scenes showroom tours.

McKinney Large Island Kitchen Makeover

I just finished up a kitchen renovation this past week.  The client wanted to enlarge their island so it was more functional for their busy family.

They wanted to keep the existing floor as well as the cabinet color.   I am alwasys happy to work around a budget because sometimes it just isn't affordable to totally gut a kitchen and start over.  I'm know as the designer that can work within the clients budget and pull it all together beautifully.




We took out the old island and had a new one made for them.  We added storage to the side of it and some great column legs. We painted the island a nice blue/green color from Sherwin Williams to  make it the center of attention.

 We chose a creamy white quartz countertop and made sure it worked with the cabinet color. We chose beautifully.

I just love the new legs!  They really add some charm to the kitchen.

We added crystal knobs to the island.  They are brushed bronze like the rest of the cabinets but the crystal makes the island unique.

We added 3 new pendant lights and painted the wall too.


They had a built in desk area that wasn't used too often, other than a dumping ground for clutter.  We turned it into a coffee/wine bar.  We added glass shelving and lighting so we could display some pretty glasses and mugs.  Painting the bottom half darker really made it stand out and gave it a sophisticated, classy look.

We changed the backsplsh in the entire kitchen.  The honeycomb marble backsplash is to die for and makes the floor we couldn't change work.  There is a touch of the floor color in the marble.

I'm always on the hunt for unique accessories.  I found the above wooden antique pastry press and it adds a touch o whimsy to this bar area.

I accessorized the kitchen for them to add some color and texture.

I love adding baskets to my decor.  They add such beautiful texture, especially up against white or cream.

I'm so in love with this Tassel  Loloi Rug that I found!  Totally makes the kitchen come alive.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.


Traditional kitchen gets a new soul

The past four our team has been working incredibly hard on a  kitchen transformation and had the photo shoot about a week ago.  I thought you might like to see the before and after transformation so here goes.....drum roll please!


This kitchen was dark and dreary before.  It had pickled wood cabinets that dated the space and made you feel like you had gone back in time.  My client really hated it and explained that it made her feel depressed.  We can't have depressing so we came up with a design for the space and immediately started the transformation.  Just removing the wallpaper made it feel like it had a facelift.


The above picture was included in an email from my client before the renovation started.  The subject line said "ugh" and that is all!

We found the below backsplash and my client decided she wanted this no  matter what!  We both fell in love with it.  It became our inspiration for the kitchen.   It had to be custom made because it was several tiles and included some marble.   There is a story there because it took weeks and weeks but I will spare you of the details.



So one of the things we did was add additional lighted cabinets above the existing ones for additional storage. This was scary for my client because they felt like it was going to make the kitchen feel smaller.  I assured them that it would not!  In fact, it makes a kitchen feel taller and gives it more grandeur, don't you think?


We took the existing vent-a-hood out and created a brand new one that is now the focal point of the kitchen. We purchased a brand new gas stovetop.  We kept the other appliances because they still worked and looked good.   I really wanted the backsplash to wrap around the ventahood because I knew it would make a nice statement.  My client trusted me on this one and we all think it turned out awesome.



The entire home was repainted, revamped  and refreshed, including adding and refinishing their hardwood floors.  Some of the rooms were carpet so we added wood and had it all stained a nice dark color.  The wood floors were all hand scraped before but my client really wanted a more clean line look, so now they are all smooth and look absolutely fabulous.


The countertops are granite and work beautifully with the backsplash.



After the kitchen is all completed and its photo shoot time, my favorite thing is to style the kitchen.  I usually add bolder items that make a statement, rather than a lot of little things.


You can see how gorgeous the backsplash is in the below picture.


Doing a renovation while you are living in the home it really not fun. My clients had all their furniture and belongings moved into a pod for several months!  These clients were troopers and lived in their master bedroom for months while their entire home was torn apart.


Thankfully it  is all over now and they are ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas in their newly updated home.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!



Transitional Navy and White Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels are always the hardest on my clients.  It totally disrupts every day life.  However, these clients were READY TO GO!

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As you can see, the homeowner  started the demo in the above picture but that is about as far as they got with this remodel.  The fun thing about this client is that I have decorated other rooms in their home so I am very familiar with their style already.  They wanted a dramatic kitchen and truly trusted me to make that happen (so honored that they trust me) I recommended that we paint the cabinets a dark navy and they were SO EXCITED and  asked me to take it from there!



As you can see, even though we painted the cabinets a dark color, it didn't make the kitchen feel dark at all.  With the bar all one level now and the light granite and stacked stone, it feels very open and light.  The adjacent eat in dining area has lots of light pouring in too so that helps.  As a decorator, I choose colors based on the space and what is going on in the room and surrounding rooms.  Color is tricky and it is very important you hire a professional to help you choose just the right color for your space.  The color that is right for this kitchen may be totally wrong for your kitchen.


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We added glass front cabinets to the top of her existing cabinets and refaced the doors to give them a more modern style.  No need for brand new cabinets if the bones are good already.  All the cabinets got pull out drawers put inside them which makes the kitchen much more functional.  We kept the existing oven, stove and the client had the vent-a-hood already that she wanted us to work around.

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The wood floors were replaced during our PHASE I last year.  The granite was leathered to take away the shine.  It really is amazing in person.


They had some cabinets that were not being used so we made them a wine cabinet to store their wine.

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New backsplash and hardware and it turned out gorgeous!  Hardware is the jewelry in the kitchen.  Don't skimp on your selections, they can make your kitchen have so much style.  They are not cheap but if you are wanting your kitchen to look classy, do it right!

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New accessories for the counter and it was a wrap.


We then tackled the kitchen eating area.  Added new drapes, new table, chairs, lighting and accessories.

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I found these fabulous blue and white drapes and got so excited.  I adored the henna like design.  However, they were too short for the space.  I purchased them, found some fabric we could add to the bottom of them to make them the right length and added some trim and lining.  They are now perfect in this room.  Added light and not too much pattern. The rustic table is imported from India and can't be damaged by the kiddos in this house!  Actually, the more you use it, the better it looks.  Family friendly = fab


Isn't the chandelier spectacular with the pendant lighting?  The chairs with the oval hole in the back makes this room feel more open and less crowded.

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Thanks to my wonderful installer Reuben who spent lots of labor on this rod that continues all the way around the window. You can see how fab the pendants are below!


Thanks for joining me on this tour.  As I was writing this post I received a text from my client saying this "OK Ruthie, you need to leave me a bunch more of your business cards!!!! I'm having a birthday party for my son and his baseball team and parents.  The mom's want your contact info.  I'm getting hand cramp from writing your number down." I always feel so blessed when I get feedback like that from my clients.

 I'm off to finish off a bathroom remodel and another kitchen.  Will post pictures soon. Hope it is a great LABOR DAY with friends and family!

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