A Quick Refresh

This week I was hired to do a quick refresh of the San Francisco apartment my client shared with her fiance. Both of them have demanding jobs, and they ran out of momentum after some home renovations and needed someone to come in to finish by organizing and styling their home. I love being the closer. I was really excited for this smaller project, sometimes all you really need is half a day to make a real impact! I had a beautiful canvas to start off with.  These clients had already collected some amazing artwork and accessories.  So, this project was all about targeted and strategic changes. 

So here we go, the guest room/office had an existing bookshelf which was well built and perfectly functional.  But the dark wood and solid backing felt a little too heavy against the bright yellow wall. We opted for a more airy bookshelf with clean lines that also fit better with the mid-century style in the rest of their home. 

Office Before

Ta-da! And yes, that is a rainbow of books.  Since the desktop had limited surface space, I thought using one of the shelves on the bookshelf to hold stationery, pens, and other office supplies would be a great way to keep the necessary items accessible and extend the desk without cluttering the desk itself. If this office space doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will. It's just so cheerful. 

Office After

On to the living/dining room.  They had this beautiful bookshelf filled to the brim with books.  As an English major, it was my dream come true.  It needed just a tiny bit of sprucing up.  With such a large bookshelf in the main living/dining areas, it's all about balance.  You do want to curate your bookshelf with knick-knacks and other items to break it up, but too many focal points can be difficult on the eye. 

Before Bookcase

My approach was to simplify.  I removed some of the photos and knick-knacks and tried to make it easier to visually take it all in.  Later, if a different mood hits, my client can always rotate out different photos and accessories. I also spruced things up by adding some plants at eye level to give life and greenery.  The changes are subtle but I love it because it's so easy and it feels like a breath of fresh air.  This is actually my favorite before/after, because some seemingly minor changes can add tranquility. When things are visually appealing, there's that much more incentive to keep things organized!

Bookcase After

And lastly, the gallery wall.  This couple had impeccable taste, arc lamp, Jasper couch, wood framed fireplace in San Francisco!? Yes please!  Gallery walls can be really time consuming but the visual impact is definitely worth the effort.  My clients had chosen to place the arc lamp so that the lampshade hovered halfway through the wall, which had the effect of breaking the gallery wall into two parts.  I completely get why they chose to do this-they wanted to make sure that all these great art works were visible-but this interruption detracted a bit from the cohesive feeling you'd want from a gallery wall.

Gallery Wall Before

So I decided to extend the gallery wall all the way across. Please excuse the lighting in this photo, the sun had already set by then. Do you feel that flow? I do! And applause to my clients for having a great art collection.  Even though the arc lampshade obscures a small portion of the artwork hanging behind it, you still get the visual impact from the continuous flow of the framed artwork across the wall.  Love it! 

gallery wall after.jpeg

A big thank you to these clients who not only trusted my sense of organization and style to hire me but who literally left me alone in their home for half a day with complete freedom to organize and style as I pleased!