Did I tell you about the time that I decided to hire a decorator to spruce up my living room? I’d never doubted my design aesthetic, but I had lived here so long that I was bored with everything I owned and I couldn’t quite figure out how to move forward.
I made a risky decision a few years back to buy a red couch and a red chair. Red was my color of choice…but then it wasn’t anymore. I tried to find a way to make them into neutrals. I added a large piece of art, purchased some throw pillows and a pouf with blues and light greens and thought I was on to something. But I still wasn’t happy.
I started toying with the idea of hiring someone to come in and make some changes. My friend Andrea had a friend and decorator she worked with and I’d been to her website numerous times. I loved everything she did, even when it wasn’t “my style”. The rooms she put together were so finished and polished that I was really leaning toward hiring her, even though I’d never spoken to anyone else.
I sat on this idea for months.
I’d been complimented on my home numerous times (so I knew it wasn’t heinous) and the expense wouldn’t be insignificant.
What if I hired her and I hated everything?
The pros and cons were myriad.
But in the end, I decided to have her come over for a consultation. I bit the bullet and I’m so glad I did.
The first thing Shelly did was tell me my home was beautiful. (I blinked a few times and tried to decide if this was a mistake or not.)
She told me right away that she could tell the aesthetic I was going for: updated traditional with pops of glam.
I loved that she pulled that rabbit out of her hat within seconds.
She also told me that she wanted to play with my space plan immediately.
That surprised me, too.
My house is small and I didn’t think there were many options for reorganization.
She loved the cornices that my dad and I built and said that if we’d have ordered them, they would have been ultra-pricey. She also asked me if I was willing to give them up in lieu of a more updated look. I relented, knowing that I could always put them back.
And she told me my budget (a number that was hefty in my mind) was modest, but that she was happy to work within it to find things that would make me happy.
After about an hour, she went home and got to work.
Now that my living room is done, I can tell you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! Working with Shelly was a fantastic experience because she pointed me to items that I probably wouldn’t have known about or thought to use. She also make the room look BIGGER thanks to her space plan. It’s not a huge change, but it’s just what the doctor ordered.
We talked a lot about texture, shape, and pattern and why certain things were chosen over others.
She pushed me to mix metals and wood tones.
She eliminated A LOT of “stuff” and made vignette moments throughout the room. The accessories she chose were luxe and purposeful.
Moving the étagère into the corner of the room elongated the focal wall. Placing my great great grandfather’s chair there with minimal artwork and a stack of decor magazines gave it a “moment” and made it a focal point.
She also added minimal, but useful accessories to my new-er coffee table. It’s transparency adds visual space while still showing style and color.I was reluctant to move the étagère to the corner and to remove some of the tchotchkes from it that I’d collected over time. She assured me that few items would add more depth and space, so I decided to trust her and I’m so glad I did! I also LOVE the new silk draperies and the hardware from Pottery Barn. They are simple, but elegant…made of great quality.
The only thing that sucked about this process is that since I had thought long and hard about hiring Shelly, once I pulled the trigger, I wanted it done YESTERDAY. Working with someone else means agreeing to their schedule and their method of work. My expectations were flawed, therefore, but the end result was worth any bit of perceived waiting that I experienced! I’m so happy with my living room and know that the space has visually expanded.
And every day when I come home, I have that same feeling of walking into my reveal on that first night. It’s a little big bigger, a little bit better, and all mine!