My First "For Hire" Job

 Hello everyone, 

I hope you had a great weekend and Valentine's Day.  
I am so excited about today's post!!!  Right after I found out I was pregnant, almost 2 years ago, a co-worker and friend of my husband's asked me to decorate her new house!  This was the summer before (what would be) my last year of teaching, right before I started feeling bad.  It was such a FUN summer project! She was working full time and felt very overwhelmed when trying to pick out colors, window treatments, and accessories.  So, I met with her to take some measurements, find out what she had mind, and get her vision for what she wanted her very first home to look like!  At the time, she was single, new to the area, and just built her very first home!  She was so excited to get it decorated because her parents were coming in town to see the finished product and she wanted it to be totally decorated for their stay.  That left us about a month to get everything together and installed.  She told me from the beginning that her favorite color was blue, she was not afraid of color, she liked more traditional looking furniture, and she wanted some more mercury glass pieces.  Her main focus was the living room and entryway, then we were going to move on to the kitchen once these rooms were completed.  She particularly wanted some really awesome drapes for the large windows spanning the back wall of her house.  These windows are the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and she wanted to dress them up.  The only requirements were that she wanted to work with her existing furniture; couch, end table, coffee table, kitchen table, and TV console.  Everything else was pretty much free reign.  Her couches were neutral so that was easy. Her coffee table was and still is a dark espresso color so I knew I needed to find a matching piece for the entryway, which was completely empty.   I'm going to walk you through each section of her entryway and living room but first here is a BEFORE picture of the space...
not a good picture.  taken from her cell phone right when she moved in

Now for the fun part!!! The AFTER pictures....

So, you walk in the front door and her entryway resembles a short hallway with a blank wall on either side.  On the left wall, she needed a sideboard and mirror to open up the space.  We found this dark cherry wood piece on Overstock.  It came in a million pieces and my sweet husband helped her put it together.  I love how traditional yet fresh it looks in this space.  I put a mirror leaning on top from World Market.  I chose to have it lean instead of hang on the wall to make it feel more casual against this heavy piece of dark furniture.   I anchored the mirror with these faux orchid planters on each side.  I looked and looked for a tasteful floral arrangement like these everywhere but couldn't find anything! So, I ended up making them with vases, some floral sprays, and foam boards all from Hobby Lobby.  

Here is a close up of the mirror.  I was worried at first because of the lighter finish of this mirror next to the dark cherry wood of the sideboard.  But, I love how it turned out!  I wanted to maintain the casual look of her house and this lighter faux finished mirror dresses down the very traditional look of this dark sideboard.  Also, if you look closely you can see some blue rubbed into the creases of the mirror!!!!  This faux boxwood is from Stein Mart along with the decorative silver clock in the middle.  

On the floor of the entryway, I put a bright blue and white, 5x7 rug , with a blurred chevron print.  I found this rug at Target and it really brightens up the entrance.  (sidenote-she had barely any color at all when she first moved in and all of the walls are the same beige/cream color throughout the house)  I LOVE the way the dark wood and this shade of blue look together!  


On the right side wall of the entryway, I found these matted wood frames from Target.  She picked out some of her favorite black and white family pictures and we hung them to look like a gallery wall with the intention that she could add to it over the years.  

Immediately when you get to the end of the hallway/entryway, is the LIVING ROOM...

See the windows she was talking about?  This was my favorite part of the whole project!!!  I found this fabric on sale online at Calico Corners.  I took it to a seamstress and had  5 panels with pleats in the top custom made with pockets on the back side for the drapery clips to hook into and hang from.  The seamstress did an AMAZING job and was very affordable!  

When she was finished with the drapes, she had enough fabric leftover to make one small pillow.  So, this custom pillow sits on the love seat in front of a navy lumbar pillow from Stein Mart.

Close up of the Ikat fabric drapes
Close up of the fireplace mantel.  This clock use to be on a different wall and we just moved it to the middle of the fireplace instead of purchasing something large for this space.  I found these Mercury Glass vases and floral sprays on sale at Hobby Lobby.  The silver frame, she already owned  and the blue frame I found at JC Penny.  The faux boxwood and coral "B" are from Stein Mart.  

These coral and white ottomans that you see on the edge of this picture, were originally a brown microfiber and came with the coffee table.  She had them stored underneath the coffee table and would slide them out for extra seating when necessary.  I decided to keep them out permanently for extra seating and recover them with some coral and white animal print fabric from Calico Corners.    This rug is a very close second favorite of mine after the drapes!   It's from cowhides   I chose to do a cowhide rug because the space needed a rug but I did not want to cover up her beautiful wood floors!!!!  Also, I didn't want anything that would compete against the drapes!  So, we looked at a local store that sells these rugs and they were SO expensive!  Then she found this website that sold them for almost half!  I let her pick her favorite color, but mentioned that something with an orange hue would look good because of the coral accents we were going to add in the accessories.  She did a great job selecting this one and I think it's something she will keep forever!


both of these books were purchased on Amazon 

These pillows are a combination of Stein Mart, Kohl's, TJ MAXX, and Homegoods.  

Originally I found a Chinese looking fretwork screen from Patina Interiors Consignment Store with wooden panels that we took apart and leaned up against the wall on either side of the TV console. We weren't crazy in love with these panels but knew this area needed something tall and similar.  So we kept the panels as a temporary fix but kept our eyes open for something more permanent.  Then, a few months later her boyfriend  found these amazing raw wood shutters online at Home Depot!!!!!!!!!!  They are exactly what I had in mind for this space but I cannot take credit!   She also found 2 large woven baskets, one for each side of the TV console to put in front of the leaning shutters to hold them in place and store extra pillows.   She found these herself at Homegoods!  Love how this turned out and she did not need my help! 

This beautiful bunch of lavender sits in a clear vase with this blue and white candlestick holder next to the right side of the TV on top of the TV console.  All of this is from Hobby Lobby

On the opposite side of the TV sits this great blue french birdcage with green moss balls inside, both from Hobby Lobby.  I wanted to repeat the green foliage and blue look from the entryway, in the living room.  The silver candlestick is from ???

She had one small blank wall in the back of there living room that needed something!  So, keeping in mind her love for antiques and traditntal furniture, I found this great table at Patina Interiors Consignment Store.   The lamp is from TJMAXX , the orchid is from Homegoods,  the coral candle is from Stein Mart, the blue and white jar is from Hobby Lobby, and the silver frame was hers that I pulled from another room.     

The wall above this table was blank and needed something small yet bright to open up this side of the house that doesn't have windows.  So, I decided to use this set of 4 Mercury Glass mirrors from Hobby Lobby .  I love how they reflect light from the large windows on the opposite wall.   

And that's it from my very first "for hire" job!!!!  Here's one more picture of the finished product....

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed working for and with a friend to make her first house feel more like a home!!!!  I am so thankful that she trusted me enough to give me this opportunity.  
I will never forget it!

Remember, when life hands you lemons, turn them into something lovely!

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