Yup... you read right! An old friend from high school (a BFF no less) asked for me to help her in her quest to turn  her previously rented-out townhouse into a new home for her and her two kids. After loosing touch for a few years, we reconnected about a year ago on facebook! We periodically posted on each others walls to keep in touch (usually she posted pics of being out on the boat) so I can't express how happy I was to see an email from her, asking if she could hire me to help her.

Bed & paint color to stay, although I'm thinking of moving the bed to the window wall (the view while in bed looks at the bathroom). I'll be working more with this space after I get the lower level set.

Paint color & sofa to stay - other pieces can go
(maybe to craigslist to add funds to the budget!)

Board on left was option 1 and then better applied to show
space flow to option 2 - board on right.

Besides seeing her in person last Thursday evening, it's been a joy sourcing the Internet and shops for finds and creating a new look for her transitional life. The funny thing is, from the magazines and catalogs I brought to share (to get a sense of her style now) she kept going back to photos I've posted of our townhome. The one she showed the most excitement over was Cash Cab. She said she really likes my style and trusts me in my selections for her... 

She really loved these mirrors. Mirrors will help reflect
light onto the spaces, as well as add a touch of glam.

Keeping this in mind, along with her response to the numerous questions I've asked her, I've organized folders of categories on my computer, as well as creating sets on Olioboard. Sending all the pics over to Oliboard is helping to conceptualize the space for her, as well as me. She wanted something clutter free, clean and comfortable as somewhat of a retreat from the day. What came to my mind is a hotel style look. I was also able to send over all the sets and she's loving all the selections so far! (woo-hoo!)

The splurge to fit into the budget is to try to fit in changing the  three lower level ceiling fixtures. Two of number 2 or 4, with i or 3 replacing the existing chandelier.

Column floor lamps can help luminate corners
or help designate spaces when used in pairs.

We both spotted lamp 1 while separately visiting Pier 1 over the weekend - so it looks like it's a must. I'm thinking of using two on a table behind sofa - which will also bring sofa away from the wall (and give some hidden storage as well.

She doesn't care for salon styled artwork, so art will be in pairs, triptychs, or quads. To help define the dining space from the living space in her open plan, I'd like to mount one over sized piece, and flank it with either two rectangular column-like floor lamps or two rectangular mirrored sconces I spotted online at ZGallerie. I've lucked out finding a round pedestal dining table at Pier 1 on clearance for only $149... and I may go for Ikea parsons chairs, but add nail head trim (unless I spot a thrift find to refinish!).

Numbers 1 and 3 may be too brown and muddy...

Clean & graphic 1 & 3. Number 2 may be too busy and too light for floor.

After sending her some selections - which she likes for the most part - I'll just need to look for a replacement for the zebra rug (she got me! that piece was more me than her). But that's ok - that's why I always have options when presenting a vision to people (did a LOT of that working at JCPenney's!!)

No on 1. Loving 2, but a bit pricey for budget.

Number three fits well within budget, mimics colors of the zebra rug, but a more clean - graphic look. To also help save some money, I'm thinking I could use one 8x10 rug in Living area, and none in the Dining or Sitting area - because the space is shaped like an "L". But I will keep an eye out for a round rug for sitting area in front of the TV.

This is going to be a fun and new adventure... It further demonstrates two things: When one door closes, another one opens and the advice from a designer friend (Judith Balis of Nest Interiors) who earlier this year said - "just throw yourself out into the universe!" I think by accepting the invitation from Granite Transformations to temporarily work down at the Design District showroom, it opened this universal door. I'd like to expand it by looking into helping people set up their holiday decorations or parties.

Mix of details: whites will pop!

Trays will help keep things organized. Glass will add shimmer.

Smoke & metal details will add elegance.

For the moment, since this is the first time I've done this (for someone other than myself, my mom, or a store), I'm working out some kinks as I go along (for example figuring how to transport larger pieces and when since I have a Jetta - the hubs has a truck). The other challenge is "getting the look for less". But that I am confident I will be able to do between online searches, coupons & discounts, and of course - SHOPPING THRIFT! Which I'm going to take a drive up to Faith Farm Thrift later today to search for some finds... Wish me luck!

Extra seating and storage...
which will also work well with her existing sofa.

Comfy arm chair with ottoman near TV. Two slipper or armless chairs for a conversation nook in sitting area - near TV area in my Option 1 of 3 plan.

Round pedestal table (1) found at Pier 1 on clearance for $149.
It can work in the dining space and work well with parsons chairs (which can easily be upgraded with a nail-head detail).

She would like help setting up the entire townhome, so phase one is getting the lower level and her master bedroom set. I've kept most of the palette neutral to be able to add a simple pop of color (like a shot of teal, turq or green). There are also a pink & blue room for the kids (who spend a lot of time at grandma's house nearby), and she does already have some items for these spaces - I'll help style & finesse. I'd like to spend a day taking photos of the kids - maybe playing on the beach or playground - to use probably in the stairway. She's not looking to do any demo or reno. She'd rather not paint anything - but I am suggesting all trim and doors get a refreshed coat of white, and I'd also like to paint one or two accent walls (the TV wall downstairs and maybe in the master bedroom). She'd rather not do any of the shopping, so I'll be sourcing, planning, shopping, setting and styling everything (woot!) There is an eat-in area in the kitchen to be set where I may use a quad of framed photos I recently shot at a market while visiting up in Georgia. There is also a beautiful bamboo & paver garden patio to set; to keep it simple, I've suggested four club chairs around a fire pit (needs to be simple because the more outside - the more needing to be brought in for a hurricane).

I'll be keeping you "posted" with the project progress...
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Sounds fantastic Lynda, I cant wait to see what you do with it. So cool that she asked you, I love when friends trust your style. And the fact that you havent seen her in awhile says alot of her opinion of your style. You go girl!

  2. Lynda, it's gonna be fabulous! Have you checked CSNlighting.com for those semi flush drum pendants? I was looking for a client's entry for something very similar and there were a few there that were VERY reasonably priced. We ended up going with an option from Lowes here: http://www.lowes.com/pd_121104-1390-G4925-PN-I_4294857054_4294937087_?productId=3221641&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_quantity_sold|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_SemiFlushmounts_4294857054_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_quantity_sold%7C1%26page%3D5

    He loved it - and with the other polished finishes in the space, it looks amazing. Plus, it added about $200 to my budget for the fabulous open air lantern we used in the dining room.

    I can't wait to see this come together!

  3. Wow, you have really created such a detailed board for her and so many options to choose from. I can't wait to see it all done. Hugs, Marty

  4. Lynda, check out designer/author Barbara Miller's "Yes! Spaces" (www.yesspaces.com) for great ideas on kids' spaces that respect the child and foster growth and development. Barbara is amazing in her ability to connect with kids (she has five!) and convey respect for their personalities through design.

  5. Fantastic! Can't wait to see the updates. Please tell me you are not going to wait for a reveal at the end!!!

  6. I'm so excited..... I'm impressed!

  7. Congrats!!! This is going to be so much fun. Cannot wait to see the choices and details.

  8. If you have a hand in it, it will be stunning!!!

  9. Thank you so much for the well wishes Jemsmom, MariS, Jill, Marty and Lucky7 Jersey girl!! Special thanks to Artie and Cathy for your valuable tips =) and especially to "BB" - thanks for stopping by and happy to read you "are impressed".

    This is such fun!
    :D Lynda



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