Friday, September 10, 2010

Before & After: Part 1

I am starting out this post the very way I vowed not to…by admitting the fact that things don’t always turn out the way you plan.  As promised, I’ve got a few before and after pictures for you to check out today…unfortunately the emphasis is on a few.  I won’t bore you with the details, but the bottom line is a few hours before the house we worked on all week was finished, I had to fly out of town to be in a dear friends wedding.  I’m waiting for my brother to send me the remainder of the “after” pictures as I won’t be back in town for another week.   Perfect as he is, he’s still a 22 year old guy with priorities that are different than mine and thus the wait continues.  As I receive the pictures, I’ll pass them on to you.  Here are some to get you started- so sorry for the delay.

The Living/Dining Room


This area was one of the most poorly decorated of this or any house I’ve seen.  I don’t really know where to begin, other than to say do not, for any reason, subject your walls to anything resembling this.  The color combinations, technique, textures (paint over wallpaper…big no-no)…the whole shebang…very very bad.  

We went with a warm gray for this space to up the masculine factor of the house and filled it mostly with furniture I’d been storing from my past life living in Miami.  We were able to compliment my pieces (among them the sofa and dining room table) with some very reasonably priced accents.  Keep in mind, we were designing for four boys in their early twenties on a budget who don’t exactly have a history of keeping things in order.  That being said, the main idea for this particular project was to fill in the gaps with the best possible pieces for the least amount of money.  I think that’s a boat a lot of us find ourselves in, so while cheap certainly isn’t always our design objective, it’s definitely an avenue worth exploring.  
We found the wood and glass side tables fully assembled (as well as a few other INCREDIBLE pieces yet to be revealed) in the Clearance section of American Signature for less than $35 a piece.  Keep in mind, the Clearance section is a double edged sword.  While the discounts are substantial and the wait time to take home the item is non-existant, there’s always a reason a piece is there.  99 times out of 100 that reason is the fact that it’s damaged.  Some issues, like the microscopic scratch on one of our tables, are worth turning a blind eye to.  Others, like the amazing leather couch with a six-inch slash down the center, should be avoided.  The key to determining the difference is 1) How noticeable is the issue? And 2) Is it going to get worse?
Our rug was from HomeGoods, as was the picture hanging above the couch.  We got fantastic prices on both items- I was especially impressed with our savings on the rug…it’s really well made and barely over $100!  The deal of the century, however, was the drapes, the MOST expensive of which were $7 from Walmart.  I literally almost fell over when I saw the price.  Now don’t get me wrong….there are some spaces worth spending money on.  The drapes we picked out are amazing for $7, but they’re still chocked full of many of the design flaws you’d expect from a curtain that costs less than a pizza.  If the alternative to Walmart curtains is no curtains, then go for it!  They really warmed up the guys space and made a great difference in the room.  Just don’t be fooled into thinking the effect is comparable to a custom or semi-custom look.  
I’m really excited to tour you through the before and after shots in the rest of the house.  For questions, comments or concerns on the pictures from today, shoot me an e-mail!


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