IMG_1539I’ve been working with the Larimer family since early last year. Why? Because I am a great designer.

Just kidding.

It’s because the Larimers have four children too. For those of you who don’t have four children, there is a secret club that we all join when the last baby is born. If you want to be a part of it, you know what to do.

So, with four children, two dogs, and a new-to-them-but-totally-dated house, there was (and is) work to be done. We’ve tackled the dining room, living room, a fireplace, some carpet and this gorgeous study. It wasn’t so pretty when we started. Like those awkward 12 year-old girls with braces and glasses and a shockingly bad haircut that end up being swimsuit models. Like this:

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Only I didn’t end up as the swimsuit model – for reasons that shouldn’t be discussed or displayed here. Especially if you have a weak stomach. Or decent eyesight.

Same sort of goes with this study. But here we go.

Before:

I know, it's bad. Almost as bad as the 12 year-old Stephanie photo. Almost.

I know, it’s not great. Almost as bad as the 12 year-old Stephanie photo. Almost.

It’s amazing what a new floor, fresh paint, and updated accessories can do to a space. We also reimagined the layout and added lighting and new knobs to the built-ins. Take a look:

AFTER:

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Nice, right?  I dug around the Larimer’s basement and found an old photograph of Larimer Square; it’s stuck in the corner to hide a bunch of cords. (Dear Sticker and Cord Makers, I hate you so much.)

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Old time photograph of Larimer Street taken with my sad little iPhone.

I scoured Goodwill and found some books – on the cheap – that played off the fact that there are four kids in the house and that Vance is an attorney. Family photos, especially taken prior to the, um, awkward stage shown earlier in this blog, add some personality. The gin is there for a little sanity color.

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The jelly beans were a huge hit with my kids and my mother, all who were on site with me for part of the gig. It’s a family business, folks, and good labor is tough to come by.

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KAS on the job. She was paid handsomely in candy and liquor.

Then, while the Larimers were out of town, the people taking care of the family dogs left the study doors open. The glass jar is gone. The jelly beans are gone. And the carpet upstairs is gone.  You do the math.

But, in a perfect world, including something out of context is what makes a space come alive.  So add some candy. Or your child’s artwork. Or gin. Whatever.

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CC literally eating up the decor.

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A study that is pretty and smart. 

See you next time at The Neighbor’s House.