About mid-September, I received an email from an old school friend - asking me if I'd help her fix-up her Florida townhome. We set a time to meet at the site, and the questions rolled.... A lot of years have passed and we've both changed, so I needed to learn about her lifestyle, expectations, and design likes & dislikes now. I toured the home, took photos and measurements and referred to them often throughout the design process...





Another piece of vital information I referred to often was the budget: $3500 to furnish and decorate an open plan "L" shaped Living Room/ Sitting Room / Dining Room, plus an eat-in kitchen area and interior entrance (with not exactly Sarah's or Candice's budget - but still do-able). We discussed what would remain: light fixtures, paint and sofa. She also had a few accent tables that could be used if they worked. Everything else was needed. She's in transition in her life, so even though many pieces are in storage, she preferred not to use them.




Sourcing, researching and planning were key to the redesign of this Florida townhome space.  I did some of my research at online stores, which made it easy to communicate to the client (Vero). Knowing she didn't want clutter - she wanted pretty and clean - I suggested a hotel-look for her to come home to as a retreat. She was pleased with the concept and the design progressed on. When I had shown her some catalogs and magazines, the photo that she was most drawn to was an ad from Duralee (Fabric*Furniture*Trim). Since I was going with a clean boutique-hotel-like style, I also referred to my three Kelly Hoppen design books for inspiration and guidance.

I kept the space neutral, so as she lives in the space she could have the option to add a punch of color (like a burnt orange, leafy green or ocean blue). The original vision changed as I tried to fit all the pieces within the budget; however, the concept of the layout remained the same. The one challenge of the "L" layout was the space in front of the TV and in between the sofa. I had thought of changing the location of the sofa, but the view out the window is too beautiful (shots will be in a future post after delayed window treatments arrive).





A recent issue of Veranda (October issue) had the problem solved right on the cover. Rather than do two separate sitting spaces on the left and right wall of the TV, I started to search for four slipper chairs. They aren't cheap. I lucked out and found four in a great simple stripe pattern and scale for the unbeatable price of only $129 each. (I had been eyeing them when they were $179 - than one Sunday morning while checking them again - THEY WENT ON SALE!! woot!!)

After all the online searching for the larger 'must have' (splurge) pieces (dining chairs, slipper chairs, floor lamps, one 8x10 rug, and ottomans) I headed out thrifting for tables and case goods for storage. I felt I could easily refinish the pieces, find great lines, and find good quality within the budget. I used PLANTATION custom furniture as an inspiration for the finishes, along with keeping in mind a store she mentioned was her favorite: Bombay Company (I researched them too - but too expensive for the budget with all that was needed).  

The rug was probably the biggest splurge - but oh what a statement piece! I found it online at the last minute. I gave Home Decorators a look and came across this Martha Stewart Ogee patterned Black - Cream - Tan rug. It was PERFECT! However, it was more than the original rug I was going to go with. So I copied and pasted the description into google and found the same rug for 20% LESS AND FREE shipping from Home Depot (and it was in stock!! another woot!).

I kept in contact with Vero to let her know when items had shipped and when they were expected to arrive. Fed Ex drops off while UPS requires a signature. We had a few surprises, but everything was all pulled together in storage in her garage awaiting the (my) target date for installation.

Although the window panels and hardware are en route, I still went ahead and fulfilled the commitment. Friday and Saturday were messy painting days, but Sunday.... oh what FUN!! Before getting to the site, I stopped to pick up a few last minute items like light bulbs, extension cords, picture hooks, and of course - fresh flowers (which I REALLY lucked out and got at 3 for $10 at a nearby Winne Dixie. I say lucked out b/c I was able to get all white - and they were FRESH! and another woot!!).

In between online ordering and thrifting, I also checked out Homegoods, ZGallery and Pier One. I'd take pictures and send them to Vero to get her response, and then forge ahead with my purchases. I used some of the photos I shot or online pictures to create room boards I also sent to Vero to keep her informed of the vision and the progress. When we had our second meeting to finalize online purchases I let her know - if all items were delivered on schedule, I'd be installing by or on October 16. True to my word, I began the install on Friday, October 15.


Painted out existing mirror frame...

Gave weight to the mirror by painting the frame black.

Along with this process, I would occasionally check her status on facebook. I saw she had recently posted yet another boating picture titled "my favorite place to be", so I made sure to incorporate some ocean details - WITHOUT being too themed. She already lived with a "beach theme" in her prior house on the beach, so I kept it fresh and modern in finishes of white and silver. Silver wasn't the only metal in the space. I took a tip from the current fashion trends and mixed metals: subtle hints of gold with silver - which worked because the gold relates to the wall color and tan in the rug.

Starburst mirror

Client's FAVE mirror

Mirror at entrance niche
relates to the exterior entrance fence.

Just needs a little TLC...

Another statement piece in the space is the starburst-like mirror (from Lamps Plus) behind the reverse camel back sofa (I just may need to reposition the lights to highlight it more. Although she didn't care to replace the existing light fixtures with updated drum-shade fixtures, the clear glass cylinder lamps I found (at JCPenney) had the shape to mix in a modern touch to the space. I went with clear glass cylinders because they gave the scale needed on either side of the sofa - but they are quiet, and allow the ocean treasures to be more of the feature on the tables. The lamps paired are the same, but the tables are different. The side table styles relates to her existing Bombay pieces, while their finish in black satin is more of a modern clean look.

For wall art, I'm using some of my black and white ocean photography in 20x20 silver frames (from Ikea) in the sitting area (photos posted after window treatments up). The silver frames will keep the space from getting too heavy. The two pieces (mirror & abstract art) on the same main wall are of he same scale and hung at relatively at the same height. I kept the items on the coffee table low, to not interfere with TV view and clustered in threes. The threes relates to the three people in the home, as well as the personalized initial (Yes. Each person in this home has the same name starting with B). Since we're in Florida, I kept the fabrics light, but soft (like the knit and chenille throws).

The chenille dining chairs (from are a diamond pattern, which was a great option from a solid cream or white. The smaller scale pattern compliments the larger scale pattern of the rug. Also complimenting the space is a simple glass globe as the centerpiece, which I suggested can easily be filled with silver & gold Christmas balls for the holidays, or even simple fresh cut palms from the area. The square metal tray I found at Target, along with the rectangular silver tray & square bowl on the side table and the over sized leather tray on the bottom shelf of the coffee table. These subtle hints of silver as well as glass accents, are peppered throughout the space - much like a splash of color would be - and add sparkle and elegance to the space.

She is so happy with the space, I've begun to put together her master bedroom retreat. I already picked up black shade mercury lamps from Pier One as well as a black drum shaded crystal chandelier I found on eBay. She's thrilled and can't wait to see this space as well....

But not all thrift - just a balance of
old made new with new decorative accessories for an updated look.


I've already planned and purchased some of the bedroom makeover items. I picked up and installed the mercury glass ball lamps with black shades on her existing night stands (although I am in search of larger pair of chest of drawers). The black drum shade crystal chandelier I ordered from eBay has arrived. When the downstairs panels & hardware arrive, it wall be installed, along with bringing down the buffet for added storage in the downstairs sitting room.

Found a pair on sale at Pier One - and she loves it!

She wanted a romantic feel in the bedroom -
this beauty should do the trick
and was a treat find on eBay for only $179!

Today, I'm sanding down the buffet. Tomorrow I'll be staining at painting it (weather permitting!!) and yesterday I visited my mom for a "consultation" on her bedroom makeover as well...

Great storage piece thrifted at only $30

I've been posting some of the pics on my facebook wall. One of the feedback posts from pic posts has been from another High School friend - Adrianna Still Cruz - who commented:

"Gorgeous! Cozy yet elegant. Up to date yet not "trendy." Vero must be THRILLED!"

And my Twitter friend Stan Williams (author of The Find) tweeted: @elegantthrifter: Transform a room with a bit of thrift, a whole lot of elbow grease & a dash of brain power.Take tips from @nyclq

Some other Facebook Feedback has been:

"Very nice! Everything look so calm and relaxing."

"I give it a 10!!"

"Lynda, absolutely beautiful. I love what you did with her space."

mimic much of the color & pattern used in the space.

Eventhough she request no animal print, I did spot an animal tank-top =)


BUT - the best comment of all has been from the (VERY HAPPY) client who commented:
"I still can't get over your design... Love it!" and
" I love it soooo much... Lynda you are so talented.... "

My First Time Design (for a client) - What are your comments?

All photos, styling and design by Lynda Quintero-Davids

UPDATE:  [11.02.2010] - UpcomingThrifted Chic II Reveal coming up this week showing my refinished $30 thrifted buffet and round cooffee table along with installed window panels & hardware - previously on backorder.

Other posts about this project prior to the reveal can be seen at:

Sneak Peak & Process of a Client Project

DIY WEEKEND: Sanding Thrifted Furniture Finds

Thrifting For A Client Project and
Having Fun With A First Client!


(Not only linking to but have been FEATURED at Color Outside The Lines!!)
Thank You Artie!!! xo)

Color Outside The Lines: Vignette Friday
My Romantic Home: Show and Tell Friday
Mustard Seed Creations: Furniture Feature Friday

Posted some of these photos on's Rate My Space too.
Stop by to check them out and rate My Space! =)


  1. WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! I'm totally doing a feature on this Lynda! You're a genius! This is gorgeous!

  2. I really love it Lynda! Great job! I love, love, love the rug :)

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Great job.

  4. Bravo..or is it Brava!!!! Awesome job Lady!!!!

  5. WOW!!! Thanks Artie!! Sounds great!! And thank you also to Marilyn, Jill and Pam!! Glad ya 'love' it!! Client does too - for sure =)

    :D Lynda

  6. Lynda, I have always been a huge fan of yours and now I am just blown away by your creativity and artistry. You are an artist that brings what people imagine into their home space. Girl... you have a gift! I am so excited for you and all that lies ahead, because I see big things my friend. Big things!

  7. Long time reader, first time poster ----- keep up these nice posts!

  8. Featured this as a teaser to go to your blog today for Vignette Fridays! I hope you link up, too! :) LOVING THIS!

  9. Seriously awesome job! You're my kind of designer...finding bargains and using little tricks to make the $$s stretch! So glad I stumbled onto your blog.

  10. Thanks so much Jemsmom and Tracy!!! Welcome and thanks for finding me Shelly!! And a SPECIAL BIG THANK YOU to ARTIE of Color Outside The Lines Blog for featuring this on your blog!!! You're a sweet heart!!! xo You bet I'll be linking up to your party come Friday!!

    :D Lynda

  11. Hi Lynda...

    I'm just coming over from Artie's...I had to come by to see all the details of this fabulous space that you designed! Ohhh my IS GORGEOUS!!! It's difficult to believe that you were able to achieve this chic look on a budget of only $3500! That just tells me that you are a very gifted and talented lady! Congrats, my friend! You know, I love everything that you did but some of my favorites are that great area rug in the living area...and I love, love, LOVE how you did the sitting room area! Those chairs are fabulous! Each and every detail is simply perfect, Lynda! I'm sure that your client/friend will enjoy her home immensely!'s obvious...seeing that huge smile on her face at the "reveal"! That's so rewarding! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful home...and your design process with us! It was so interesting and such a treat!!!

    Warmest autumn wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  12. * Such a WONDERFUL TREAT to "find you" after all this time, Lynda!!! When we first "met" (over at RMS~ seems like 100 years ago doesn't it?!), I KNEW you'd be "going places" bigger n' better... and F*A*S*T! Such a delight to see my thoughts/beliefs came to fruition for you!!!

    ... All is absolutely CHARMING, as is EVERYthing you've always done!!!

    Warmest regards,
    Linda in AZ *
    AKA (at RMS): "Mom of a German Shorthair"

  13. Your client is so happy and deservedly so! You transformed a ho-hum space into a real home! Just lovely and well designed using the space so well!

  14. Girl that's flipping gorgeous and you should be proud, very proud! Great re-do!

  15. You did a fantastic job. I work with similar budgets, so I appreciate seeing what you did with yours. Do you have the items shipped directly to the client's home or to you?

  16. THANK YOU for the warm autumn wishes Chari!!!

    ONG!!! LINDA IN AZ!!!! So nice to see (read) you!!! =) Thanks for commenting and keeping in touch!

    Thank you Living at Home and Ann - YES!! She's VERY happy with her new space =)

    Kim Thanks! Yes - I shipped most online orders to her home. I loaded accessories & textiles in my car for two trips and my husband Jeff also brought a load one day with me in his truck(the thrifted furniture pieces)...

    I think I may need a truck.... lol

    :D Lynda

  17. Fabulous job, looks like a high end hotel living room.

  18. Hi, Just came accross your blog on

    You are so talented! I have a lot of admiration for designers who can make a room look luxurious on a limited budget.

    This room is the exact color scheme we have in our living room (still a work in progress) - neutrals, chocolate brown and I'm using burnt orange as the accent color. You've given me a lot of ideas. I'm especially loving the hint of glamour you've scattered accross the space.

    Hope you'll come visit my blog from time to time to see the progress of my apartment :)

  19. Hi Lynda,

    Thanks for the comment over at the Lamps Plus blog. I was planning on leaving a comment here with a link to our post, but you found us first!

    Beautiful room, and it's so great that you've shared so many pictures so we can all watch the project come together.

    Keep in touch, and keep up the good work!

  20. Thanks for visiting Everything Under My Sun and Adam!! Glad you enjoyed the post! More to come shortly...

    And Adam - THANKS AGAIN for the feature on your LAMPS PLUS blog!! I'm delighted and honored...

    :D Lynda

  21. I've been a fan since your JC Penney are amazing and this is my favorite redo so far!!! Gosh I wish you were in the OC (so. CA). Love all that you do -- you are so talented and thrifty! Thank you for sharing. I can't wait for the master retreat.

  22. I'm so happy to have discovered your blog -- this room is fantastic - and you give such good information. I am looking forward to learning much from you. I love this look - would love to translate it to my bedroom too -- and now I see you are next doing the bedroom!!! Cant wait to see it unfold -- thanks so much...

  23. I am completely bowled over.What an incredible job you did here!!I love the whole thing and the post is so informative to read.What a great rug and what a great space you made of it.



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