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Design Design Tips

Behind The Design – Dreaming Big In San Francisco Part Two

November 4, 2017

As a designer, I get questions sent to me daily from friends, family, and complete strangers { so don’t be shy to leave a comment or two below } with quick questions on design dilemmas. It’s fun to work through them together to provide an answer as to why something does or doesn’t make sense.  With my design clients, I believe it is important to provide my them with an understanding of why specific selections are made so that they understand that there’s more to the choice than simply making their home look pretty. The more my clients understand each element, the more clarity they have when making design decisions, and the more they love their final design.

Want to see what I see? Let’s dive into a recent project where a client of mine requested that we make over her two guest rooms. Of course, I’ll share links to sources for similar items {at the bottom of this post}; but again, it’s understanding why a selection makes sense that helps you make decisions for your own home. As always, I’d love to hear from you, please leave me your questions or comments below.

A look at the “before”

View: Entering The Room – Before the makeover, the room was filled with dark wood, bold red and beige bedding, sheer black/grey curtains, and limited lighting.

View: To the Left of the Entrance – Two beautiful chairs in the room were lost before the refresh due to an oversized and overstuffed bookshelf that felt heavy for the room.

Tips on purging books: I love to get lost in books as much as the next person, but often we keep them for longer than necessary. In order to purge and keep what you love and only what you love, follow this rule: old textbooks and books that have been read and won’t be read again should be donated or gifted. If you have yet to read a book but plan to, keep it but give yourself one year to complete it – put a post-it on the inside with the date of the purge as a reminder. If you have been gifted a book and have read it, don’t feel guilty keeping it; instead, pass it along to someone who will also love it.

We lightened up the room by removing the bookshelf and the books {almost all were donated or gifted} so that the true gems are now on full display. A textured wall hanging brings height, a tactile element, and a soft element in comparison to the chairs.

I love this pillow so much, I had a hard time parting ways with it; the scale and the colors brighten up and soften the wooden chair when layered with a sheepskin.

I selected a headboard that had padded leather pillows attached to the frame — perfect for upright reading.  Textured neutral shams and a duvet cover provide the perfect base for switching out accent pillows and freshening up the room seasonally or when desired.

Across from the bed, we used what the client had on hand. A few baskets and a woven mirror bring a collected feel to the space without breaking the bank.

A black basket was another existing item from the client; we simply added additional throws and pillows for guests to grab as needed.

Since the window is closer to the wall on the left than on the right, I opted to have the floor to ceiling drapery stack on one side compared to a split. This allows for full natural light to flow into the room. A prickly pear cactus with limited prickles brings a green element to the room that is low maintenance for the client.


Rather than multiple throw pillows, a single long lumbar pillow is perfect for making the bed quickly in the morning without a lot of fuss. A simple, folded back, textured duvet cover gives it a more inviting feeling.

Floor to ceiling blackout draper iyn neutral fabric brings height to the room and allows light in when open but privacy when needed. The drapery was layered with textured roller shades. Lighting options, not just those that are electric, are key when creating a room in order to adjust lighting to the desired mood.

While these oversized beads were not picked up during the client’s travels, they’re unique and visually interesting.

Non-matching nightstands and table lamps provide a collected feel to the room. The far nightstand has a black finish, pulling from the opposite table’s’ lamp.

I love to add a candle with a scent that works for the feel of the room; no matter the scent, it instantly makes a room feel cozy.

As promised, you can shop the look of Dreaming Big in San Francisco Part Two Here:

Bed with Leather Cushions // Area Rug // Prickley Pear // Natural Basket // Black Basket {similar} // Woven Wall Hanging // Side Table // Chest Table {similar} // Chair Accent Pillow {Similar} // Lumbar Pillow // Duvet and Shams // Blanket {similar} // Hat // Custom Window Coverings // Table Lamp One // Table Lamp Two // Small Textiles //


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