HGTV lie to us? No way!

I’m certainly not anti-HGTV, but honestly, they create problems for us on a daily basis! Remodeling a home doesn’t take a week, although I wish it did. How does HGTV deceive you?? Let me count the ways.

 

1 Trends Are Your Friend

Ship lap walls and sliding barn doors are certainly fun, but do you REALLY want them in your house? Like forever? Like forever-ever?  Trends are fun and look great in print, but you might not feel the same way about a sliding barn door in 10 years. The person who buys your home (whenever that is) might not either. My suggestion is have fun with trends via inexpensive, temporary pieces like pillows or artwork. If you love the Farmhouse look that’s hot right now, maybe freshen up your home with a few farmhouse accessories. When you go to sell your house, it won’t scream 2016.

Barn doors are super cool, but will they be dated when you go to sell your house? source

Do you really need this? source

 

2 Granite Is King

People on HGTV love granite. They say it every 5 minutes. If a home on house Hunters doesn’t have granite, well it’s obviously not the choice. Granite is great, but there are so many more options! Other natural materials like marble and soapstone are AMAZING and look great in a home. Much more solid in color, they distract less than granite. Other solid surfaces like quartz (under various names) hold up well and offer a wide variety of colors that granite just can’t. Although HGTV wants to shove granite down our throats, I say resist! Look around and see what other options there are and you might be surprised.

Isn’t this marble nice? source

Soapstone looks amazing! Bonus, your neighbor doesn’t have it. source

Soapstone for the win! source

 

3 Renovations Are Quick and Easy

I can’t tell you how many times this belief causes issues. I wish remodels were like a week long, I really do! Sadly, they’re not. If you want something professionally done, not only does it take time, you might even have to wait to get on the list of projects. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth. Remodels (or any home project, really) are labor intensive and messy. They just are. My suggestion is ask for an estimated timeline from your contractor, see if it works for you and then hold them to it.

This didn’t take a week. Project by Evans Construction & Design

This didn’t either. source

More than a week, too. source

 

4 Everyone Wants An Open Floor Plan

Big, expansive areas with super large rooms that open into one another is what HGTV assumes everyone wants. It’s definitely what’s popular here, in Florida and many markets around the country. They look great and are perfect for entertaining but they have a few drawbacks to them. Not having a quiet area (besides your bedroom) to sit and read a magazine or scroll through Pinterest may come back to bite you when the volume level rises in the evening. Having your Kitchen completely open to your Family Room requires a certain level of cleanliness you may not want. Not to mention, there’s the noise from the sink or dishwasher while your watching your favorite show a few feet away. I love open floor plans and they’re certainly not going anywhere, but there are more options available. A Den/Living Room/Study with doors might be your new best friend.

This is beautiful, but you might want a little quiet time at some point. source

Look, a Kitchen with a door! Before you say no, consider the possibilities. source

 

5 $1,000 Will Prep Your Home For Resale

You can’t do much for $1,000, there, I said it. Really getting your home ready for resale, for top dollar, requires you to look at the space with a fresh eye. Pretend you don’t live there and see what needs attention. New paint throughout? Trim paint? Landscaping touchup? Actual (costly) repairs of plumbing, electrical, etc? It adds up and takes time. I know HGTV has told us otherwise, but it does.

Not a $1,000 prep for sale. source

 

6 Open Shelving In Kitchens Is Practical

Open shelving looks great, like amazing, really. Stacked up white plates and bowls on a wood beam with a beautiful backdrop really is picturesque. The bad news is that grease and dust want to join the party! No matter how clean your house is, how often you dust, cooking and living create grease and dust that has to go somewhere. Wiping down counters is easy, but pulling down a stack of bowls to individually wipe them down is time consuming. Most people end up using the same few (top) plates and bowls over and over. The ones underneath just collect. If you have your heart set on open shelving in the Kitchen, my suggestion is to keep it small and locate the area away from the cooktop.

This isn’t going to end well. source

Keeping open shelving away from the stovetop gives you a fighting chance. source

 

7 Product Placement? Where?

This one is pretty obvious, but it has to be said. That wood flooring looks great and the designer/host probably does really like it, but the company is paying big bucks to have it on the show. Same with the appliances. Same with the car parked in the driveway. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Just keep it in mind when looking for something for yourself.

I love this floor, but just know the company paid to have it here. source

Subtle! source

 

 

Well, what do you think? I’d love to hear your comment below!

 

 

It’s that time of year. Yippee. Whether you decorate your whole house or just a room, holiday decorations should be fun and no stress. If you’re stressed out, you’re doing it wrong. 😉

Follow these 3 easy steps and sit back and enjoy.

 

Pick a Theme

I love traditional Christmas plaid and tartan decorations. Think Ralph Lauren in Connecticut on Christmas morning. Having this base to refer to makes shopping easy. Do you like all white? Modern? Country? Pick a theme and go with it.

 

Vary It Slightly

Now that you have a signature look, vary it slightly from room to room. I mix different tartans and plaids in different areas. More formal rooms get silver champagne buckets holding mini trees with tartan ribbon. Kids areas get buckets holding trees, tartan blankets and shams. Keeping the same thread running throughout keeps everything working together.

 

When In Doubt, Add More!

This is not the time for subtlety. Your house is only going to be decorated for a month, max. Pull out all the stops and enjoy. It will be gone before you know it.

 

Now that we have a few guidelines, let’s see some inspiration images in my favorite look. Several are from my home. Enjoy! Sources and buying info at the bottom.

 

 

What do you think? Let us know your favorite Holiday decorating style.

We’ve made it to the big reveal of the One Room Challenge Sunroom to Greenroom. I’m so happy with how the room turned out and excited to see my clients enjoy it!

As a reminder, here is the before

 

The overall plan

 

The paint inspiration and  selection

 

And now, here’s the after!

 

 

I love how this room turned out. The green walls pop and really make the room! I purposefully kept the rest of the selections neutral and didn’t use any green in the accessories, so that there would be a nice contrast. Keeping the green on the walls only helps keep it’s impact. The comfy chaise will be the perfect reading spot and the piano has a nice home on the interior wall. We keep the flow from the rest of the house and amped up the color story in this small but open room.

So, we did it! An actual room for my little guy and teen girl to coexist in. What do you think? I would absolutely love to hear your comments!

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Chaise | Dalmatian Pillow | Stripe Pillow

End table | Lamp | Kate Spade Plate

Photo Frames | Black & White Box | Pierced Ginger Jars

Dragonfly Prints | Black Side Table | Chevron Urn

Cherry Blossom Branches | Light Fixtures

 

If you’d like to see the progression of the room, you can revisit our progress in these posts:

One Room Challenge – Week 1 – The Before

One Room Challenge – Week 2 – The Plan

One Room Challenge – Week 3 – Selecting the Perfect Paint Color

One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Selecting Furniture

One Room Challenge – Room Reveal

What do you think? Do you love it as much as I do?

It’s Week 4 of House Beautiful and Calling It Home‘s One Room Challenge and we’re talking about upholstery!

 

If you’re just joining us, let me quickly recap. I’m Lori Evans, a designer with 6 weeks to design and install a room. I’ll be documenting the whole process with you, along with 200+ designers all over the country. You can find updates every Thursday here on my blog. Thank you to House Beautiful for the sponsorship and Calling it Home for creating this amazing event.  The room we’re working on is a client’s former Sunroom. We are planning to revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the overall plan and inspiration.

 

So, back to the matter at hand. Ordering furniture, particularly upholstery, can be downright scary. It’s expensive, big and can go wrong in a heartbeat. There are just too many options, to be honest. This fabric, that fabric…this trim, that trim. Ahh! Well, I have a plan to help!

 

My rule of thumb is this: THE BIGGER THE INVESTMENT, THE MORE CLASSIC THE SELECTION. What does this mean? The more you spend on something, the more timeless it should be. You can add more interest with accessories, pillows, etc that don’t require major bucks.

For this small Sunroom, the main focus will be an oversized chaise lounge. It will serve as a place to relax, read and unwind. Sticking to my rule of thumb, it will be upholstered in a neutral fabric. We will then go back and add some interest with pillows and a throw.

 

The piece we are planning to use is the Baldwin Chaise by Ballard Design. It’s big and comfy and will work just perfectly in the room.

 

Baldwin Chaise by Ballard, starting at $1299

 

 

The question is, what fabric? Ballard has a handy dandy tool on their site that allows you to “see” the piece of furniture in each of their fabrics. Of course, it will look different in real life, but this gives you a great overall feel of the pattern and look. Let’s take a look at a few options:

Sunbrella Gray Canvas
Everyday Linen
Trilby Basketweave Gray

Of the 3 contenders, I like the last, Trilby Basketweave Gray. Here is the digital image versus an actual image of the fabric. I like them both!

Trilby Basketweave Gray (digital)
Trilby Basketweave Gray (actual)

 

On top of the chaise I plan to use a cowhide pillow in a zebra pattern. I think it will look amazing.

William Sonoma Home – $129

As a reminder, the paint color is Bunker Hill Green, inspired by these rooms.

Bunker Hill Green
Inspiration via Mary McDonald
Sneak peak of our green walls in the One Room Challenge

There will, of course, be more pieces in the room, but this is the main focus. What do you think?

Next week, we’ll focus on the remaining items and placement.

 

Are you following along with the One Room Challenge designers posting on Wednesdays? And the other 200+ designers posting in Thursdays?  Check them out, then come back here next week for another update.

You can keep up with our progress in the One Room Challenge in these posts:

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 1

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 2

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 3

 

Give your porch a Fall makeover to celebrate the season. How? It’s easy! Let’s walk through it together!

Get a Plan

Do you like the all white, monochromatic look? A more traditional Fall color scheme? Look through some images on Pinterest and see what you’re drawn to.

Assess & Buy

Do you already have a few things on hand? No reason to buy everything all new. See what you have and make yourself a quick shopping list. I personally like to overbuy and return what I don’t use. It makes life much easier.

Mix

The key to a great vignette is the mix. Don’t use too much of one thing. Mix it up! Color, texture, materials, everything.

Stagger

Keep tall things tall and short things short. Again, the mix is what you’re aiming for. See the photos below for a few examples.

Enjoy!

Here are a few of my favorite Fall porches, including my own!

 

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How exactly DO you pick the perfect paint color? Particularly when its an IMPACT color like the emerald green we plan to use in our One Room Challenge makeover? I have a plan! It’s actually the same plan I use  when selecting any “impact” wall color. I even made you a handy, dandy Pin-able chart in this post.

If you’re just joining us, let me quickly recap. I’m Lori Evans, a designer with 6 weeks to design and install a room. I’ll be documenting the whole process with you, along with 200+ designers all over the country. You can find updates every Thursday here on my blog. Thank you to House Beautiful for the sponsorship and Calling it Home for creating this amazing event.

The room we’re working on is a client’s former Sunroom. We are planning to revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the overall plan and inspiration.

 

So, as you can see, GREEN is a main design element here and we plan to paint all of the walls in it. This is what I call an “Impact Color”. In this case, you’re not looking for a whole house interior color to tie everything in. We’re looking for impact! Drama! A statement! Here’s my plan.

 

Start With SOMETHING

You need inspiration. A pillow, a plate, hell…a shoe will work. Something you love, something you see as an inspiration for the room. Some place to jump off from. This Kate Spade plate is our inspiration piece for the room. Super cute, isn’t it?

 

 

Gather and Narrow

Next, we’re heading to the paint store. This is the dangerous part! Paint stores can just suck you in with all their fancy dancy displays and trick you with their lighting. Bring your inspiration item with you and use it to pull some paint chips. Hold them together, see what “goes”. Look at the lighter areas, the darker areas, the middle, and so on. You can see this above in the top photo. Bring home ALL of your chips. Pay no attention to the cashier giving you the dirty look as you walk out with a bag full of paint chips, they’re free after all! Once you’re home, spread them all out and look at them in YOUR house with YOUR lighting. You will likely change your initial thoughts and that’s OK.  Now we NARROW! We are going to eliminate the ones that don’t work and narrow it down to 2 or 3…no more than 5. Really. Now we have a short list of 3 or so paint colors we like. Progress!

 

Research, But Not Too Much

Now, we head to the computer. Pinterest is your friend here. Search the name of the colors you’re considering and see what you think of them on a big wall. Of course, computer screens look different than real life and you have the actual color sitting in front of you on the chip. I believe it’s still helpful. Don’t go too far down this rabbit hole, but get a good overall feel of what these colors look like in a room. It’s helpful to see a color used over and over again, by many designers. It’s a little confidence booster! Many designers (like me) create handy charts of our favorite colors, so lean on our expertise. Here are my favorite tried and true greens. Pin it before you forget it!

 

 

Put Up Samples

Another field trip! Head to the paint store and buy sample quarts of the short list of colors you’re considering. Put them up on the wall, live with them and see what you think. How does it look in the morning? At night? With the adjacent room? Again, keep an open mind and see what jumps out at you. Here is my favorite Bunker Hill Green up on the wall of our One Room Challenge Sunroom.

 

Sneak peak of our green walls in the One Room Challenge

 

Marry It

Make a decision and stick with it.  You’ve done your due diligence and you should be confident in your decision. Paint the wall(s) and enjoy. It’s going to look great!

 

 

 

So, there you have it. Progress on this design challenge and my steps for selecting a paint color, all in one!

Are you following along with the One Room Challenge designers posting on Wednesdays? And the other 200+ designers posting in Thursdays?  Check them out, then come back here next week for another update.

 

You can keep up with our progress in the One Room Challenge in these posts:

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 1

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 2

 

 

Welcome to Week 2 of the One Room Challenge. We have a plan! Well, the beginning of a plan…

If you’re just joining us, let me quickly recap. I’m Lori Evans, a designer with 6 weeks to design and install a room. I’ll be documenting the whole process with you, along with 200+ designers all over the country. You can find updates every Thursday here on my blog. Thank you to House Beautiful for the sponsorship and Calling it Home for creating this amazing event.

The room we’re working on is a client’s former Sunroom that just didn’t serve them anymore. We are planning to revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the overall plan.

As with any project, I always start with a Concept Board (above) to get my thoughts together. I approach it as part inspiration + part actual pieces + part overall theme. It helps tremendously to see things together, side by side, and how they work with one another. I try to have a few inspiration pieces, like the green rooms, to play off of. I then add in a few pieces I’m thinking of, like the chaise and table here. The paint color sample (Bunker Hill Green by Benjamin Moore) helps to see how it works alongside the pieces. The artwork shown is again, to see how it all works together. I play around with it until I like the “flow”.  Once I’m happy with it, I use it as a jumping off point. If you’re interested in how the process works, I detail the entire design process here. It’s worth a read. 🙂

 

For the actual pieces in the room, here’s what I’m considering so far. See below the photo for the actual links. 🙂 It’s a small, narrow space, so there aren’t many items!

 

Chaise

Kate Spade fabric

Fun Kate Spade accessories

Bone inlay table

Dragonfly print

Zebra skin pillow

 

Next week, we’ll tackle the paint color. Based on the inspiration images (below) I think we’ll be looking at GREEN! My favorite color. 🙂

Inspiration via Mary McDonald

 

So, there you have it. Progress on this design challenge. I like the direction we’re headed.  What do you think? Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions? Please comment below! I’d love to hear them.

 

Are you following along with the 20 designers posting on Wednesdays? And the other 200+ designers posting in Thursdays? We’re number 84. I am glued each week! Check them out come back here next week for another update.

 

You can keep up with our progress in the One Room Challenge in these posts:

Sunroom to Greenroom, One Room Challenge, Week 1

Welcome to Week One of the 2017 Fall One Room Challenge™ (ORC). I have 6 weeks to design and install a room and I’ll be documenting the whole process with you, along with 200+ designers all over the country. You can find updates every Thursday here on my blog, as well as sneak peeks on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Thank you to House Beautiful for the sponsorship and Calling it Home for creating this amazing event.  This is my second One Room Challenge and I couldn’t be more excited. If you’d like to see our first entry from the previous event, you can check out the Toddler + Teen Playroom here. Still love it!

 

For those who are joining us for the first time – Hi, I’m Lori. I am the co-owner of Evans Construction & Design in Gainesville, Florida and creator of this little blog. I live, eat and breathe design and have been in the field for over 20 years. My husband and I build and renovate homes in the North Central Florida area and I also offer design services online. I have 5 kids, am from Miami and love the Florida Gators. But enough about me, let’s get to the good stuff.

 

 

THE CLIENT

My previous ORC space was actually the playroom in my personal home. This time, we’ll be working on a client’s home, which you can imagine adds to the challenge! This client is a lot of fun, loves color and isn’t afraid to use it. We’ve worked our way through her other downstairs rooms and transitioned from a floral and red color story, complete with red walls… to a green, black and white story…very Kate Spade. She loves it and so we plan to continue the style in this room for the One Room Challenge.

POWDER BATH CONCEPT IN OUR CLIENT’S EXISTING HOME – DESIGNED BY EVANS CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN

 

 

THE PROJECT: SUNROOM

For this ORC, we’ve agreed to renovate our client’s Sunroom. As you can see from the image above, my client is not afraid of color or pattern.  Me either!  This room is adjacent to their Family Room and has basically been used as a piano practice, storage, play area. The thought is to open this room up and make it almost part of the Family Room. Maybe an offshoot that allows for a reading spot, additional seating for parties and a nice transitional area between the close by Kitchen and Breakfast Nook? I like that idea.

Here’s a look at the Sunroom in its before state:

There are several challenges in this guest room. The ceiling fans, although useful, have seen better days. The french doors are beautiful, but really isolate the room, like a lot. I think traffic flow would be greatly improved without them. The windows overlook the beautiful pool and large backyard, but are interrupted with the blinds. The room is super narrow, which takes the space planning up a notch. There is also an amazing piano that needs to stay. Challenge accepted.

 

 

INSPIRATION

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NEXT WEEK

We’ll talk about overall concepts and a few actual items going into the room next week. I like to utilize my normal design process, even with this condensed time frame. Whether the project is online or in person, the process I use is explained nicely here. It helps me sort through ideas, see how things look together and make any changes before things get too costly. Oh and edit, edit, edit!

I’ve decided to call this ORC room the “Green Room”, so I think green walls might be in order!

 

Also – don’t forget to follow along with the progress of the talented ORC featured designers

Boxwood Avenue | Coco & Jack | Design Manifest | Dwell with Dignity | The House That Lars Built | Little Green Notebook

The Makerista | Making it Lovely  | Old Brand New | Old Home Love  | The Painted House | Megan Pflug Designs | Pink Pagoda

Erica Reitman | Sacramento StreetSimply Grove  | Jill Sorensen | Sugar & Cloth | Vintage Rug Shop | Waiting on Martha

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

 

You can also see the 200+ designers participating in the One Room Challenge here each week! Check them out! Great rooms with even greater ideas!

 

 

Remember when you bought your house? That DINING ROOM…it was PERFECT…you would use the heck out of that thing! Every holiday, every occasion, everything! Each and every family gathering would be right there! Well, have you ever really given it the attention it deserves? Today marks 8 weeks until this Thanksgiving (2017) and now is the time to get your ducks in a row. I’m not talking about the cute Fall decor you’ll add around the house, you have plenty of time for that. I’m talking about REALLY getting your house ready for company. Obviously, the Dining Room will be the star of the show on Turkey Day, so why not give it the attention it deserves?

 

You probably already have a table and it’s probably fine. To be honest, although it’s the largest piece in the room, it’s really the least important. Your chairs cover up the sides and your centerpiece and place settings cover up the top…not to mention the beautiful tablecloth you probably have in mind. The most important pieces are often the most overlooked.  What do your chairs look like? Could they use a reupholstering? Have they served their time and might need to be replaced? What’s on your walls? What about the windows? Is there a great centerpiece on that table? What about the light fixture?

 

My guess is a few new pieces…carefully thought out new pieces…are really all you need. A new focal point on the wall (art, a collage, a mirror), a striking centerpiece and new chairs might be just what the doctor ordered. Sound overwhelming? I can help! Online design is here to save the day. Set a budget you’re comfortable with, gather a few photos of rooms you like and upload your info. Done and done! We work back and forth for 10 days and at the end you have everything you need for your room, including a shopping list with links to new items, instructions and a floorpan. You can learn more about it here and start your project here. It’s super fun and more affordable than you probably expect.

 

To inspire you, here are a few of my favorite Dining Room photos from over the years.

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Feeling inspired? Let’s work together! Click here to get started. 🙂

Sometimes we can all use a little help, right? Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or are tackling a redo of your current, these charts will make decorating it easy-peasy. Pin them for future reference!

 

Here’s How To:

1. Mix Pillow Patterns

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2. Choose The Correct Rug

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3. Make Any Room Look Bigger

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4. Light Your Room

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5. Hang Art On Your Walls

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6. Pick The Best Paint Finish

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7. Style Your Bookshelves

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What do you think? I’d love to hear! Comment below 🙂

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