It’s always surprising when people balk at paint colors. It’s paint. Not a tattoo. Or a puppy. If you change your mind about paint, you repaint. If you change your mind about the tattoo or the puppy, things get dicey. And nobody likes dicey.

So when our latest client agreed to a blue ceiling, we scheduled the painter immediately before she had a chance to panic or check in with her husband because it’s the husbands that cause the most problems in the design process.

Anyway. Here’s where we started:

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Choosing Paint Is Good For The Room and Bad for The Neck

But it wasn’t just the ceiling that needed a big change; everything needed a redo. There was this great, big, light-filled room filled with tired carpet, well-loved furniture, a dated fireplace, a fake plant, a dusty exercise bike and what we believe is known as a ‘cat tower.’

So, we pulled out everything and started from scratch (wouldn’t this be the best  place for a cat tower joke?).

Eyesore From Before:

Tower O’ Cat

Nerf Guns Gone Mad

This family of five needed something – uh – way better. With three growing boys and a dog, the family room had to be about a family. It also needed to be a place to play and eat and sprawl and jump and wrestle and spill and Nerf Gun because that’s what boys do, no matter how many times you tell them to stop.

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A Room With A View (And Potential)

The off-center fireplace was an obvious focal point and in desperate need of a facelift; to save time and money we embraced the asymmetry. That’s what you call it when you don’t want to spend the cash on re-venting. You call it em-bracing. It’s a thing.

Before:

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Sad Room

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Still Sad But Hopeful Room

We bought a dead aspen tree off of Craigslist, drove it down the highway, took out a security camera at the toll booth, and kept driving to Board & Bolt’s workshop to force ask owner Drew Allman to cut all those (insert bad word) branches into 11-inch decor even though he was working on another major project. We were nice enough to give him one whole day of notice.

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Me and My Tree

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At Drew’s workshop. Notice he’s not there to help unload. Convenient.

After:

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So Pretty!

Because we were hinting at a nautical feel, we picked up hardbacks at the local Goodwill and threw out all the book covers.  We also reframed the family’s favorite boat picture.

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Still, it was Gina – the lone female in the house who manages to successfully combine an insane work schedule with the heartwarming and soul-sucking job of motherhood – who deserved at the very least a small little corner to call her own.

Before:

Gina’s Potential Hang Out and Regroup and Drink Tea Or Tea-quila Space

Gina’s Ahhh-fter Space:

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The rest of the room came together with new carpet, updated decor, additional seating, two big, cozy, indestructible Italian leather couches, beautiful photos, luxe blankets for every member of the family, and a big bowl of candy. To add color. Swear.

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dscn2304dscn2327A little thought and a lot of work equals one good-looking space. The biggest success? We did this project on a VERY tight budget and loaded the room in one VERY long day while the family was traveling.

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It was worth it. As Irving Berlin crooned, Blue skies smiling at me. Nothing but blue skies do I see. So take time to find your own blue skies – because we all deserve blue skies.

See you next time at The Neighbor’s House!