Back in 2015, I was working for a Home Builder in their design center. One day I had an appointment scheduled with a new home buyer and her real estate agent, Meg. To be honest, I usually dreaded appointments where a client's agent was in tow. They were often condescending and didn't trust that I also had their client's best interest in mind. Turns out Meg was the complete opposite. She was so positive, kind, helpful, enthusiastic and just a genuinely nice person. I knew that if we ever sold our house, I would love to work with her. A year later, she helped us do just that and then recently she helped us find our current home (she is the most amazing real estate agent ever). During that time, she and her husband, Gary, bought an adorable fixer-upper bungalow in downtown Raleigh and took on the huge project of renovating and restoring it. They executed the renovation beautifully - the perfect mix of old and new - with so much original character still infused throughout the home.
When she reached out to see if I could help with interior design, I was super excited but nervous! They're so hip that it was also kind of intimidating, hah! Meg and Gary already had some amazing pieces and just wanted help on pulling it all together. For the most part, we shopped their house and pulled in furniture and accessories that they already owned.
The first room we tackled was their front room - or as I like to call it, the parlour! This room has multiple functions: a formal living/reading room, an entryway, and a guest room.
Most of the furniture and decor was already in the home. We brought in the cognac leather chair from the office and paired it with this geometric teal pillow already on hand as well. We brought in a new tray and ottoman from Target which pull double-duty as an end table and extra storage for linens when overnight guests are in town.
I think my favorite addition to the space is this amazing chandelier. The lighting it gives off is perfect and it adds so much texture and interest. Plus it tied in beautifully with this fun brass and marble table lamp that was already in the space. Since this room faces the street, you also get a peek-a-boo view of it at night which I love. If you’re considering a similar chandelier, I would highly recommend seeing if you can find one pre-assembled! I found that with many versions, you have to attach each spike individually.
This gorgeous marble & brass coffee table came from the living room (apparently it made an enticing jumping spot for a toddler!) so it was better suited for this more formal space. The bold geometric navy rug (another piece already in the space) is stunning against the century old pine floors.
I really wanted to accent the height of the room and add a splash of color on the walls. These vibrant velvet drapes (again from Target) were just the ticket. Each turquoise panel is trimmed in chartreuse tassels and they bring so much texture and drama. Another tip - install your curtain rods at the tippy-top of the ceiling (right under any crown molding) and extend the rod out at least six inches past the window casing. This will make your window seem larger!
Meg and Gary love traveling and have some of the coolest art and treasures from exotic places all around the world. I especially love this beautiful painting they purchased on their honeymoon and decided to create the room's color palette from it!
For additional art, they suggested Audubon prints and I love how they look in this space. They bring in a dash of color but definitely jive with the world-traveled vibe we have going on. Many of these prints are available for free online! We had them printed and then I installed them in sleek brass frames.
We re-arranged the built-ins to showcase their collectables and only added a handful of baskets for extra toy storage. Built-in styling can be very tricky (it took us four hours just to re-arrange things)! I’ve found the best success when I try to balance color, texture, and scale.
I think this room is a great example that you don't have to purge everything you own and buy new when you're re-doing a space. Sometimes just re-arranging the floorplan, adding a few key new pieces, and stealing items from other rooms can do the trick!
Photos by Whitney Gremaud Photography.