French Vanity

Just sharing a little makeover I recently did for one of my clients. She found this adorable desk for her daughter's room. It was in terrific shape, but was obviously yellowed and had random stains on it. The top also smelled strongly of the previous homeowner's perfume!!

I used chalk paint in a french linen color to update the piece and integrate it into the room, but I wanted to keep the pretty gold accents in the filigree, so I painted and buffed the accents to let the gold show through. A coat of wax gives the finish a little sheen and is smooth to touch.
A tri-fold mirror and cute velvet pouf make this a great little vanity for a little girl.
Tres Chic!!

Stay tuned to see the room reveal -- it's so adorable!


Kitchen Dining

I am proud to say that the majority of my clients are repeat customers. The makeover I am featuring today is the room off of this room we finished almost a year ago. My young client is still working on personalizing her new home and I helped with the eating area in the kitchen this time.

Before, it was a blank slate. My client wanted to keep the table and chairs that her parents had given her. She also wanted to keep the light fixture.

While she still hasn't come around to paint on the walls, she was very open to color and agreed to paint the chairs and legs of the table to give it a fresh update. The chair seats were also updated and additional seating was added with mismatched upholstered dining chairs. We also added a ton of color with beautiful coral linen drapes and a pretty square area rug. A buffet adds storage and grey shelving gives height and display opportunity for beautiful blue tableware.

Now the space reflects who lives there. It is vibrant and fun and ready for guests!


Clubhouse makeover -- the Bathrooms

This is the last feature of the clubhouse makeover I recently completed with Maya Wood and Company. You can find photos of the other spaces here and here.

We also made big changes to the bathrooms. Before, they were painted a deep red color with bamboo accents:
The space is almost unrecognizable with the new paint color and vanity and mirror. The light fixture is the same -- I just gave it a good cleaning, changed the bulbs to clear ones and reoriented it so the shades face downwards -- no more bug and dust catching!

The dressing areas had the same bamboo fabric. I softened the look and added a mirror.

I did the same with the men's bathroom, which was originally navy. The chairs that had been in storage in that room were replaced with folding chairs and stored in a new closet.
Much better, wouldn't you say?!!


Art Inspiration

Somehow, I neglected to take before photos of this room......or I can't find them anyway -- so organized!! Even so, I wanted to share these after photos. It's a great space for a young family.

My client sent me a link to the artwork above the fireplace when I started working on this project. The fun bold colors became my jumping off point.
I was so excited to open this beautiful rug. The colors are bright and beautiful, but the pattern is subdued and soft. Bright red storage ottomans hide toys and clutter. A gorgeous dark grey leather sofa sits opposite the new piano and grey velvet chairs flank it.
The drapes are a simple geometric pattern in a soft grey to compliment the wall color. The family just had an addition and the frame will hold a new family photo soon!

I'd love to help Embellish your home!
Ami Smith


More clubhouse changes -- the kitchen

Early last week, I posted about the clubhouse transformation I recently completed with Maya Wood and Company:
Today, I want to feature a much smaller space, one that we actually made smaller during the renovation process. While it is unusual to want a smaller kitchen, the clubhouse was more in need of storage than food prep space, so a strange wall with a former bar counter was closed off to add storage space in an adjacent room.
The back wall had an unusually deep unusable counter.
Although the space did lose square footage, using a lighter color on the walls and adding interesting details makes this new space seem bigger and is definitely more functional.
New painted cabinets, new silestone countertops and a terrific barn door to conceal storage are huge improvements to this space. Behind the door are folding chairs that are mounted to the wall, eliminating this mess in the bathroom:

Maya's team built these beautiful barnwood shelves to house the microwave, allowing full use of the countertops.

I'll post about the bathroom transformation soon.

I'm heading out to take more makeover photos this morning and am making arrangements for tear down at the Design House. There's one more week to come see the show. It makes a really nice outing -- thanks for those who have been out to see it!

Let me know if your home needs some Embellishing -- I'm always looking for more projects!


Pop of Pink

I really do get to work with some amazing people and this project is no exception.I am grateful for the opportunity to help this client realize her own personal style and to be able to help her realize her home's potential. I have learned a lot too!

This beautiful new home had great bones. My client wanted something different in this space than what she currently had in her other homes. She was drawn to sleek and modern designs and wanted to do something different than the earth tones she previously used.
We added skylights to offer more natural light in the main living area and a seating area at the fireplace. A gorgeous urchin chandelier with crystal accents and fun sconces add more needed lighting. Simple panels in linen with a soft shimmer soften the windows, but do not block the light coming in.
A large bench acts as seating for conversation in the living room or at the fireplace. While I had my reservations about recliners, these beautiful leather recliners with metal legs work perfectly in the space and are perfect for what my client wanted.

A custom cabinet built by Gerry Frank of Cville Construction houses the television and hides clutter. The back of the shelving is painted a deep grey, called Black Fox by Sherwin Williams. White and silver accessories look great against the dark background.

The pink inspiration comes from this fun David Bromstad print. I love all of the textures on the sofa here!

The pink is carried throughout the room in the beautiful cut velvet pillows on the chairs and the flowers on the mantel. It's such a great color and really catches your eye!

A cool overview from the loft above the room.

Another fun transformation!



This community clubhouse re-do was a different kind of project for me -- public spaces = lots of opinions! I am very proud of this transformation and hope that the people in the community enjoy using it.

Before -- Main Room
This building is right off of the pool and had a nautical theme.
The big entertainment unit was dated and ornate and the faux plants were just......faux.
The new color palate is calm and clean. From the walls to the new carpeting to the furniture, everything in this space has a soft grey finish. A new large chandelier is the centerpiece, drawing your eye upward.
I replaced the old entertainment cabinet with a custom credenza built by Maya Wood and Company. They did a terrific job of incorporating the ductwork from above eye level in the big unit to the bottom of the new sleeker cabinet. This cabinet will be useful for events to hold food or display items.

Here's another shot of the tired furniture and worn carpet.
And how it looks now. Beautiful barnwood doors by Maya Wood and Company flank the bathroom entry. They add so much character and dimension to the space.

A big change, don't you think? I'll post more transformations for this clubhouse soon.
Keep posted!


Patina Antiques, Etc.

The 2015 Charlottesville Design House is finished!! All work is complete and photos are being taken today.......you can come out to tour the house starting next week every day of the week but Tuesday.

I have one more contributor to highlight: Patina Antiques, Etc. When I participated in the Design House for the first time in 2011, my business was new and asking vendors to donate was a daunting task for me (Don't get me wrong, I'm still crazy awkward!!). Ellen and Maureen at Patina made me so comfortable and were so generous. The relationship built on those interactions is one of the beautiful things from this project -- I have gotten to know these people and businesses well. Since then, Patina has taken on entire rooms at the house in addition to continuing to willingly contribute to help the area designers with their visions.
So many beautiful things at this shop!!

Patina Antiques, Etc. is located at 1112 E. High Street in a charming white house close to the old Martha Jefferson Hospital building. Parking is behind the house. This place is chock full of fabulous finds, from large furniture pieces to lighting to adorable gift items. I am often visiting for their samples of Dash and Albert rugs -- one of my very favorites. They also carry Company C and Pine Cone Hill products.

Just a small sample of the fun colors and stripes offered by Dash and Albert.
The cotton rugs are both beautiful and durable.

Patina has finished a charming breakfast nook in this year's house in addition to lending items for other rooms.Once again, my space is complete with linens and accessories from the shop. They are the perfect finishing touches! Please come out and see them!!

A little peek at my space with gorgeous linens from Patina.
Don't you just love the Billy pillow from Pine Cone Hill?!

Hope to see you there!


Fifth Season

Today's post features another vendor who is supporting my space in the 2015 SHE Design House. Fifth Season, located on Preston Ave., has generously allowed me to use their plants and containers for display in the veranda. I have anything but a green thumb, but I truly enjoy the selection at this amazing resource right in the middle of town.
With several locations in NC and this one in Charlottesville, Fifth Season is a family-run business that carries hydroponic and organic gardening supplies, wine and beer making products and an interesting selection of kits and information for what they call Urban DIY -- cheese-making, vinegar-making and fermentation and the like. My daughter is mostly enamored with the fairy garden offerings.

Such an elaborate fairy condo!

Can you see the teeny tiny ducks on the pond?! The whole container is 6" tall at most!

My husband enjoys their homebrew selections. I find Fifth Season to be a great resource for indoor and outdoor plants as well as beautiful accessories and tools. And it's right down the road!

Look at all the gorgeous color!!

My space in the Design House lets the landscape add the color, but the herbs and plants from Fifth Season look great. Come out and see them May 2-17 at the SHE Design House 810 Frays Ridge Road, Earlysville.
Hope to see you there!


New Construction Bathroom

Bathrooms are really difficult to photograph! I don't think this picture does the space justice, but want to share it anyway. Here's a basement bathroom in a newly completed basement finish. It turned out pretty cool!


Maya Wood and Company

I just got a Facebook reminder that 4 years ago today, I posted about Maya Wood. Ironic that my plan for this morning was to post about him again this year! Maya Wood and Company has grown a whole bunch since the last SHE Design House and I am so grateful he was so generous with his help again this year!

Maya and his team are extremely talented in construction and renovation. Maya has a great vision and philosophy and I have had the privilege to work with them on several projects, including one where they made these awesome barnwood doors for me:
Photo  by Jen Fariello

Maya put more barnwood to good use with the custom daybed I designed and he built for the Design House. Here's a peek at my design:
He has turned this scribble into a masterpiece. You'll have to come out and see it!

I'm heading out this week to do the finishing touches -- my favorite part. The Design House opens May 2 and runs through May 17 at 810 Fray's Ridge Rd in Earlysville. Hours are daily from 10-4. They are open until 7 pm Wednesday and Thursday and are closed Tuesday. Please let me know if you're coming out -- I'd love to see you!