A Marriage of Masculine and Feminine Design

We just finished an awesome install last week. What makes the install amazing is working with fun clients during the process. I have to say that this client was one of my favorites. As a designer, when the client is joyful and excited about their reveal, that makes it so rewarding!

They totally put their trust in me during the whole process which enabled me to do my job well.


The client hired me for the remodel portion of their home and then to finish it out with accessories, rugs, lighting and draperies.


The entry had some great pieces but they just weren't making a statement. The desk in the entry was too deep for the space so we moved it to another room (see details on that in a later post).

Ruthie Tip: In small spaces, I try to use anything that gives the illusion that the space is bigger. Example in this entry would be open legs on the console, a mirror, crystal lamp, glass vase and white stools.  

We painted the clock a pretty gray, added a round rattan rug (notice the black that ties into the stair runner) and slid some fuzzy ottomans underneath the console for some fun and a casual flair.



 I incorporated some of the antiques that were spread out throughout the home because antiques mixed in with new items makes it look collected, not decorated.

We painted the stairs white and added a black runner to the center of the staircase. We also painted the staircase railing black. We had a barn door custom made especially for the music room that adjoins the entry so they can close that room off. The detailing of the barn door is fabulous and can really be seen better from the inside of the music room (this is the back of the door).


Their family room needed some lightning up, that's for sure. The Tuscan "old world" theme was everywhere.  She loves traditional and he loves a more contemporary style. I encouraged them that we could marry the two and get something that they would both like. I created a transitional look for them and they LOVED it.

 The leather sofa and 2 chairs were in decent shape so we reused them, along with the coffee table. We painted the entire downstairs walls as well as the bookshelves and mantel.


Amazing transformation, right?

TV was moved to top of the mantel. Added new lighting, a new rug, draperies, artwork, coffee table & bookshelf accessories, side tables, lamps and pillows. It made a huge impact to the feel of the room. When people say, the details don't matter, THEY DO! Just look at the details above!



I love layering the coffee table accessories. The tray can be removed easily if they want to play games, etc. I collected all of these items over the month at different places I shop and it makes for a nice mix and loads to talk about when entertaining. I found the tiny binoculars and painted them gold (they are my fav).

The rain stick from Mexico is cool too.

Loved these gold candle holders.

The rug!!!



The chairs swivel so they can easily watch TV and can pull in chairs from their dining room for extra seating when needed.

Ruthie Tip: Notice how we painted the candlesticks white with a gold leaf dusting? Reuse what you have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Notice the faux brickwork!! Remember when we use to love this?

The kitchen felt closed off from the living room, due to the funny opening on the right. We took out the sheetrock column and opened that area up. We wrapped the support beam with rustic wood all the way across and stained it to match the barn door. It now feels so much more open.


We added new lighting in the kitchen, above the island.We took cabinets to the ceiling and that made a big impact to the kitchen vibe. It is now so much more updated, and we didn't have to gut the entire thing. I love how you can see the entry in this photo too! You can see here that the desk that was in the entry, is now a place in the living room to pay bills, etc., it is also painted cream.

 The family room feels a part of the kitchen now!

The client had this camel saddle and I thought it looked perfect on this shelf, rather than on the floor. The colors I incorporated on the bookshelves brings in the colors from the fantastic painting.

A animal print throw on the ottoman pulls the room together. Small detail but you can see how it makes a statement. Another small detail is that we added hardware to the drawers and cabinets under the bookshelves. They don't match but I love that!  Leather pulls and crystal knobs!

Pillows, pillows, pillows, and they don't all have to match! Texture, texture, texture. I love to mix it up.

Fabulous, colorful artwork with gorgeous lamps on a console table that the client painted black for me with chalk paint.

Ruthie Tip: You can mix gold and silver! It makes it more interesting.  

Here is the video of the reveal as well as a walk through video of the entire finished project.

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I'm working on my next home as we speak!

Hope you mix it up this week in  your HOME!

Hope it's a great week!

Modern Blue and White Family Room

A couple weeks ago we finished up a wonderful family room for a couple that are now empty nesters!

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They wanted a bright, cheery space with a modern twist.

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The rug was my inspiration and we went from there!  One of the chairs was a chair that the client had and the other was one I purchased that we redesigned and reupholstered.  I love to repurpose furniture and this one has a swivel for easy TV watching!  My husband tells me that I have a love affair with old chairs.  I admitted that he was right!  I LOVE chairs!




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Can you believe that this was the chair BEFORE?



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Crazy transformation, right?

 Guess who got the other chair?


BEFORE                                                                                       AFTER


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The client purchased the new leather couch and we added everything else in the room.  I love the glass top coffee table and the open geometric design.  With a rug this beautiful, it is crazy to cover it up with a heavy coffee table.




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Velvet pillow that I found while in Atlanta about 5 months ago, just for this project!




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Before this chair was slipcovered it had huge rounded arms.  It was dated but still good quality .  The client loved how comfortable it was so we  totally transformed it into a modern, comfory chair.  It is so fab!   Not dated anymore!

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The client had the artwork and mantel accessories, we just moved them in from another room.  Added lamps and side tables to finish it off!

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The newly stained hardwoods look amazing too!

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Details, details!

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We added this custom artwork to the adjoining kitchen nook.  I took all the fabrics we were working with to an artist and we got creative with what I wanted this grouping to look like.  Mary Howe with Design Inspirations is so talented and these add so much color to the space and marry the two rooms.

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I'm in love with their new chandelier aren't you?

Happy weekend!  I'm ready for some down time and plan to sit by the pool a bit with the family!

Young Executives Colorful Dallas Townhome


It has been such a privilege to work with my recent client. She is young and has been extremely successful.  Recently purchased a beautiful town home and called me to help her add personality and fun to it.


She had a few accessories, a small round bistro table and a beautiful town home to work with.  The furniture that we couldn't use, she donated to charity.


(dark and drab)


Being that she is young and fun, I presented a design plan to her with color and crisp freshness. She loved it and we got started right away!  We painted all the walls a soft gray and that in itself transformed the entire room.


The beautiful watercolor that you see in the hutch below was my inspiration for the room and helped us incorporate some of the existing blue accessories she already had and loved.


I found the used china cabinet below and had it professionally repainted, bringing it up to date!  It had such great bones and I knew the curved arches would add interest instantly.


 The outside was painted a rich gray and the inside was painted a light gray to showcase all the colorful accessories I added.

My client does not like a cold modern, contemporary style.


 My goal was to make her home feel updated,  functional and comfortable but also give it a feeling of youthfulness and style.


 She wanted it to be a place that  is a casual refuge for her to come to after a long day at the office.  I placed some old leather books, along with some pottery she had and mixed in unique artwork.  I also found these antique wallpaper stamps and they make a great conversation piece placed in the cabinet.


 It now exudes a colorful, free spirit just like she has.






A wonderful tufted ottoman is a place where all feet can rest comfortably!




The existing table she had now looks to scale, especially underneath her new chandelier.


Underneath the large front window we added a new console table.


I found these two fabrics and knew combined they would be perfect for her style.  Blown glass vases inbetween the lamps are showcase pieces now with the light shining in on them and above them.  They also have a bit of sparkle so that was a fun surprise for her.




The mantel was painted black. I proposed to my client that we move the mantel up due to the wierd space between the ledge and the mantel however, due to the budget, she decided that could be done later.  We worked with what we had for the mantel and I think it turned out nice.






My client returned home after being at a meeting all day and fell into her  comfortable couch and immediately started enjoying her NEW room!  She had the wrought iron shutters already, we just rehung them somewhere else.


Team DecRenew was extremely tired after a hard day with an extremely early start; 3 truck deliveries, 2 cars full of breakables and flowers, a wonderful handyman, my assistant Lesley with her crazy good  organization skills  and "get it done" attitude, and of course Tim my drapery installer that always does his magic.  I couldn't do it without them all!


It was hard work and required a ton of planning ahead of time,  but it was all worth it.


Fun, happy, casual and inviting!


 I could live here, couldn't you?

Watch this before and after video of the space!


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DecRenew Interiors

Are you a fan of painted furniture?

Thought you might want to see this wonderful secretary transformed into a beautiful new & updated piece.  Painted  SW Rembrandt Ruby it is now a gorgeous piece that will look amazing in my clients piano room.  As you can see, it was dated and need to either be donated or renewed.  You know that if I see a good piece with great bones, I usually recommend keeping it and revamping it.  That's what we did here and it turned out beautifully.  Professionally painted inside and out! 
This china cabinet was beautiful but felt so formal and all the pieces matched in the room making it even more formal!  My client really wanted a more relaxed feeling in her dining room.  We had it custom painted in this wonderful soft gray and it transformed the piece.  The antique blue china is now showcased and it wasn't really noticed in the room before.
 I just loved her blue antique china!
This mantel looked so formal and stark. The family that lives in this house is not formal and wanted a more relaxed feel without totally redoing their mantel ($$$$)
Painting the entire mantel and the surround, including the trim, made it look more masculine and smart!  Works beautifully with the new furniture we placed in this room.
Mixing masculine and feminine pieces is one of my trademarks.
This formal dining room furniture was painted (the chairs) and moved to the formal living area.  We painted this red room and made it an office so she could meet with clients when she needed to downstairs (see after below).  Now she uses every square inch of her home.    Who uses formal living rooms anyway?
(previously the dining room - see above)  We moved the chandelier from her entry into her new office and it worked beautifully.
This is her new dining room (use to be formal living room).  We painted her chairs and mixed it up a little by adding parson chairs.  She wanted an eclectic mix which is more her style.
Ruthie Tip:  When you have picture frame molding in a room it is hard to know how to hang pictures.  My suggestion is to ignore the molding and hang large scale artwork, or in this case a mirror, and it makes it work.  Eliminate a bunch of things hanging in each section, this makes it look crowded and cluttered (see below before)  Keep it simple and tailored.
Fresh and new without having to get rid of the family table that got passed down to them.
Are you a fan of painted furniture?
I definitely am!  However, I do think that you can go overboard.   You don't want every piece in your home to be a bright bold color or all the same color.  Keep if fresh by having a few painted items and mixing them with antiques and other finishes.  This will keep it from looking too "trendy" and your home won't have to be "updated" every few years.  You don't want too much of a good thing!
My friend Christian at Noteworthy Home is doing an amazing job locally with transforming old pieces into NEW gorgeous works of art!  Check out some of their cool pieces!
My friend Jennifer in Kansas at The Magic Brush is another company that is so creative!  Her blog is filled ideas and inspiration.
Visit DecRenew Interiors to see my design portfolio.
If you haven't read Traditional Home's "Great Kitchens" Special Edition, it's really awesome.  I'm featured on page 42 Traditional Home.