Sterling Project | Living Room

Last week, I wrapped up the final details of a client project and I'm excited to share the full before and after with you today! 

The homeowners wanted to refresh their 12 year old, ranch style home, moving away from the primitive antique look they had previously to something more classic, cozy and timeless. They were off to a great start with installing new hardwood floors and purchasing new living room furniture, but they were having a little trouble pulling it all together. They hired me to help complete the transformation, and I provided a cohesive design plan for their main living spaces, focusing on the key elevations, or "vignettes" that would become the focal points of the new design. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing the before & afters from the Sterling Project, starting today with their living room. 


As you can see, the clients were already moving in a great direction with their selection of the new oak flooring and neutral sectional. They were struggling with the finishing touches for this room, and were unsure about the pillows they had purchased with the sectional. The room had great bones, and architectural details like the marble framed fireplace but the walls felt a little bare and the styling felt a little too much like the primitive, antique look they were trying to leave behind. The clients both love the show "Fixer Upper" and wanted to bring in some of Joanna Gaines' fresh, farmhouse style but in a way that fit with the traditional, colonial details of their home. 

Below, you can view excerpts from my design presentation. These clients are skilled, do-it-yourself decorators, so instead of providing a complete design plan for each room, we focused on just 1-2 focal "vignettes" per room so that they could get the maximum impact for their design budget. My plans set the overall vision and tone for each space, and provide sources for the key elements needed to implement the makeover. 

After the final design plan was approved, I then provided my clients with a detailed Shopping List including suggested product information, pricing and links for them to purchase at their own pace. I was there to help guide them through the purchasing & ordering process, answering questions and troubleshooting any issues that arose. 

Once all of their purchased items had been delivered, I returned to their home for "Install Day"! We arranged the new furnishings, I hung artwork, styled accessories, and placed finishing touches to complete the transformation. Here's a look at what we accomplished: 

Sources: Watercolor Landscape | Vintage Books (Thrifted by Me) | Agate Bookend | Wood Candlesticks | Horse Triptych Art | Lattice Pillows | Ikat Pillows | Windowpane Plaid Pillow (No longer available) | Chenille Pillow | Fringed Throw Blanket | Round Hammered Metal Tray | Wood Bowl | Faux Succulents

More room reveals from the Sterling Project will be posted this week! Next up is the dining room. I can't wait to show you!

Living Room Inspiration | Ultra Dark Walls

Before we even closed on our home, I knew for certain what color I wanted to paint our living room.


My parents thought I was crazy, my coworkers were intrigued and luckily, Anthony was all for it! I’ve always been a fan of dark paint colors. I painted the bathroom of our last apartment a pretty navy color. For our new home, I was inspired by these photos I found on Pinterest of rooms with ultra dark walls.

Source: Thrifty Decor Chick

Dark walls feel so cozy! They immediately take a large space and make it feel more intimate. It’s commonly thought that dark colors will make space look smaller, but in my experience it has the exact opposite effect. Dark colors recede visually, so they seem further away. This makes the room look even bigger!

I knew I wanted to go further than just a charcoal. I wanted an ultra dark, off-black color. So I got samples of Sherwin Williams Black Fox (a warm black), Iron Ore (a black with blue and green undertones) and Urbanze Bronze (a warm black/brown). Once I had the samples up, it was almost immediate. Iron Ore was the winner! I loved the way the blue and green undertones tied it into the other colors in my Whole House Color Scheme. Now that the living room has been painted for a couple of months, I love it even more. In some light, Iron Ore takes on an almost navy hue. It's such a cozy, relaxing color to be surrounded by. It's the perfect color for our living room!

Have I convinced you to come to do the dark side?? If you are ready to try an ultra dark paint color in your home, here are my top recommendations: 

The best ultra dark paint colors for 2016! Rich, moody, deep, dark hues from Sherwin Williams and Farrow & Ball - Stevie Storck Design Co.

Do you have a favorite ultra dark paint color? Share it in the comments below!