Thank you for your kind messages, I’m feeling better today and as promised I have a dramatic before / after story to show you. Pictures of this cute cottage makeover have been in my tear-up files since 2008 and they still look fantastic! Plus, there’s great design wisdom in how a tiny, drab home became an unforgettable gem!

My favorite thing about makeovers is that they can contain clever ideas we can all use. Good design is often smart design and every inch of this home was intelligently planned as to maximize it’s potential without actually extending its square-footage. The exterior alone is unrecognizable, while the interiors were reshaped with minimal architectural tweaks to fit two bedrooms, two baths, a laundry room and an open bar kitchen. For all this, credit goes to designer John Bjornen.


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I know I mentioned this last week but I am over the moon with the February issue of House Beautiful. It is filled with gorgeous projects from cover to cover and although I already wrote about one of their stories here (Nina Farmer’s Boston home makeover), I can’t help sharing yet another one. It is a 1900s Atlanta cottage with plenty of charm and an old world feel. Those of you who share my love of old houses will really like this one!



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Let me start by first saying this, the February issue of House Beautiful is incredible! Cover to cover, with each image and story told, House Beautiful has delivered a truly gorgeous, insightful material. So if you haven’t gotten yours in the mail, please go out there and buy a copy asap. This is one issue you’ll want to hold on to. It’s that good! The magazine’s February theme is Before & Afters (and during) – which by themselves are some of the most gratifying design stories we could ask for. It might just inspire your next home makeover!


Starting with the cover, a mid-reno shot of Eddie Ross’ dining room (yes, you read that right! A mid-reno shot can be cover-worthy!) The former executive editor of Better Homes & Gardens and author of Modern Mix shares a stunning image of his dining room at Edgewood Hall, the historic home in Wayne, Pennsylvania he’s renovating with his partner Jaithan. Can’t wait to see it all finished! Following up – everything you need to know when considering a bathroom overhaul, and of course several before and after projects: Amanda Lindroth, Shon Parker and Nina Farmer are just a few of my favorite designers in this month’s issue.

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I haven’t met anyone who didn’t enjoy a good before and after design story. In this case, a great one! Have you? Designer Madeleine Stuart and her husband, writer Steve Oney, purchased a historic Santa Barbara bungalow and fixed it up into a totally dreamy  retreat. Wanna see? 🙂

The Spanish style home came with plenty of charm and great bones, which helped of course, but the dark interiors needed fresh coats of paint and new fittings. And nothing like white walls to capture all that beautiful Santa Barbara light.


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‘Tis the season of before & afters here on the blog and I have just the right project to show you. You know how I’ve been into the refined rustic, country chic look lately and Country Living Magazine is quickly becoming a favorite! I find all kinds of gems and great inspiration ¨hidden¨ in older editions.

This next home was on the cover of the February 2007 issue and it’s a double treat to write about. First because I love historical renovations, and people who respect the time and space of their home; second because before & afters deliver the instant gratification we all crave when we read about interior design. A restoration project can take months, even years to complete yet we get to see it as a presto-change-o. With before & after pictures, we see a designer’s vision come to life with a most dramatic effect. Who needs to know about the nightmare home remodeling can be?


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