The office. Don’t fear monochromatic palettes. “Going gray from floor to ceiling creates a calming backdrop that allows this entire space to breathe, and I love how it highlights the newly paneled walls,” says Flanigan of a room that benefited from subduing the previously stark color contrast between the ceiling and walls. These spectacular makeover images are from
and why not start the new year with a small renovation of your own? Getting rid of old magazines is mine, making space for other items, cleaning out tupperware draw, not thrilling but necessary, maybe paint a wall? AD magazine,
Over the years Houston-based designer Marie Flanigan has helped countless clients transform their spaces. In the process she’s learned which sentiments to embrace and which to avoid. The design pitfall she sees most often? “Tunnel vision. Many people become consumed with the transformation of one space and forget to take a step back to determine how well it fits within the rest of the home,” she says. These before-and-after projects are testament to the transformational power Flanigan espouses. Here, nine mistakes to avoid when undertaking a renovation in your own home.
Don’t neglect your millwork. It’s easy to avoid falling into the trap of predictable, dull cabinets, as Flanigan proved in this transformation of a Houston kitchen. “Instead of playing it safe with a white or gray finish, we decided to have the counters and backsplash tell the neutral story while the cabinets had some fun,” she says of reworking cabinets that were original to the house. Another great tip? Avoid construction and material costs by keeping the body of your cabinets and replacing only the doors.
The bathroom Don’t get too ambitious. “Paint played a huge role in transforming this space from bland and beige to bright and brilliant,” says Flanigan of a Houston master bath that was inconsistent with her client’s style. To update the room without taking on the cost of new plumbing, Flanigan opted for grand cosmetic statements, such as paneled walls and white and gray tiles. “Nothing makes an impact quite like natural stone.”
Don’t forget to look up. To boost the drama in a previously dull and dark room, Flanigan painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Witching Hour and carried the color over the first tier of the ceiling. “Ceiling trays can create a choppy line of sight, but they’re difficult and costly to remove,” Flanigan says. “We got creative and allowed the paint to continue traveling up versus stopping short at the first step to create the illusion of added height.” Plantation shutters were removed to allow for more natural light.
The kitchen nook.
Don’t keep too much stuff. A breakfast nook in a Bellaire, Texas, home felt dark and cluttered, with cookware taking up precious counter space. Flanigan transformed the space by installing floor-to-ceiling steel windows as well as a wall of shelves and additional cabinets for hidden storage. Polished nickel hardware modernizes the room.
A lounge Don’t be afraid of color. A blank canvas doesn’t have to be intimidating, even when giving an old space a new function (as was the case with this first-floor master bedroom turned entertaining lounge). Since the word “party” was at the heart of this transformation, Flanigan pulled in opulent jewel tones and rich textures. “Play with color through a fresh coat of paint or a lively new wall covering—it’s a quick and easy way to refresh any space, and you can change it as often as you like,” she says.
Don’t narrow your focus too much. While most concentrate on big-impact rooms like kitchens and living rooms, Flanigan believes it’s crucial to “give transition spaces the same attention you would a destination room because they set the tone for all surrounding areas.” To achieve an inviting, bright mood, don’t underestimate the impact of a well-placed mirror in a hallway, entryway, or mud room.
A multi-purpose room.
Don’t get stuck in the dark. “Before the remodel, this space was so dark that no one ever wanted to spend time there,” says Flanigan. “We turned to a layered lighting plan that would enhance the feel and functionality of the room.” In addition to the new chandelier and wall sconces, the designer added built-in cabinets, shelving, and a reading nook to create a tranquil room for the client’s children to complete homework in.
Seems like I often post decor posts on a Friday, probably as I envision the weekend at home and feel like getting creative.
I hope this was an inspiration,