Simple Changes Speak Volumes

I have clients that I work with that hire me to do "walk-thru" consultations where I spend 2 hours with them and give them ideas to change up their space.  Some of those clients choose for me to take the ideas that we discussed during that consultation and finish their project.    Above is the before of a fireplace that needed a serious transformation.  The trick is that we were on a tight budget and couldn't take out the brick.  The color of the brick dominated the space and the lines in the brick made the space busy. 
We neutralized it with a textured paint in a soft grey shade.
It immediately eliminated the lines and made it simpler.  We added a new mantel and some accessories and it looks so much better and now it's too scale as well.  (the sconces on the fireplace next to the urns go in their kitchen but happen to be resting on the fireplace when the picture was taken).
Wow, this room almost gave me a heart attack when I saw it.  Yes, is a single man that lives here.  That's why he hired me, he knew it looked terrible.  He was stuck and didn't know how to start.  We did have a limited budget to work with so we had to be creative.  He really liked the brick and didn't want to get rid of that so I worked with him on this one.  The ceiling slanted down to the brick and made it such an eyesore.
I decided to pick a color for the walls that could also go on the ceiling, making the space warmer and allowing the fireplace to blend in rather than stand out.  I think it worked.   This picture isn't really good but I wanted to post it so you could see that by painting, replacing old furniture with neutral pieces and by adding a new mantel, made a HUGE change.  We purchased an armoire for his TV which we angled to make the room more functional.  The room was a walk-thru to other rooms so we had to make sure you could go through without bumping into furniture.
Notice how the walls look in this before and then below after.  The color of the walls makes the stairway woodwork more up to date.  We have to remember that we were on a budget here.  It still looks SO MUCH better than it did and the client felt like his home was now attractive and personalized for him. 
He was an avid reader and wanted his books displayed.  Of course I had to add some other accessories in with the books.  I also created height with the vase and floral pieces.
This room above is a "stage to sell" house.  When you walked into this town home, this was the first room you step into.  We had to make it look like usable space as well as warm and inviting "using what the client had."  It was a challenge but we shopped all around the house and made it work.
I'd much rather live here!  Wouldn't you?
The above home we painted, moved furniture around and added accessories (all on a budget).  Notice how just painting the fireplace surround made a DRASTIC change.  These are the kinds of things I love to be able to help client's with because it doesn't cost them a fortune. 
I'd like to sit in here and have some coffee with these client's.  They were wonderful!  Love you Barry and Roxanne.  They were the client's that I decorated for and then when it came to sell their home it sold quickly because it looked beautiful.  Notice how the crown molding stands out now because of the new paint color. Makes the house look much more expensive now that the architecture of the house is showcased.   I call this the eyebrow effect!
This bathroom needed a window treatment so we decided to do a cornice board.  We painted the room too so we would have a great backdrop.
We found a wonderful bold fabric and I designed this shape so the cornice would be more interesting.
Few changes here because of budget as well.  We painted a nice light grey for this client.  He didn't want anything too bold.  We changed out his blinds because the room felt really closed in with the wooden shades.  We removed all the "fuss" like hanging plants, etc. and put in a new "masculine" light fixture.
Don't these simple changes make a huge change?  It's better than doing nothing because it costs too much.  I challenge you to do small projects and you will reap the benefit.
We repainted these cabinets in a nice light khaki and replace all the hardware.  He couldn't replace all his appliances yet but at least his cabinets look beautiful.  We added a matching roman shade like the one in the breakfast area.
I challenge you to not get overwhelmed with the big picture.  Get started on some small things that make a BIG change.  Slowly start tackling those projects and you will feel your home come alive.
In this economy we are all watching our pennies.  We can still have beautiful homes on a budget.  If you need help coming up with a vision, call me and I can schedule a "walk-thru" consultation with you to help get you on the right track.  You won't be disappointed!