Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

It’s always exciting to illustrate how a few uncomplicated changes can transform your home. Although we’ll still add a courtyard in front, I’ve been anxious to share this Austin project with you.




Since the original pathway was a bit narrow I really wanted to open it up to allow for more walking space. We then dressed it with Silver Mist flagstone and added a decomposed granite (DG) pathway to the left. Eventually, we’ll add another DG pathway on the right leading towards a sitting area.

We added Silver Mist flagstone to the front porch as well in order to create continuity between the two spaces.


I chose plants with a lot of structure, and once established, are reasonably drought tolerant; plants like Dwarf Yaupon Holly, Nellie Stevens, Boxwood and Agave.

Testing out the artichoke plant with planter

My client’s dog and I watching the progress


Some of my favorite things to add to the exterior of a home are light fixtures, hardware and anything that will give it a bit of character. Here we added the address which will be lit at night, exterior shutters and beautiful light fixtures that will softly light the walkway to the front door.





Because I’ve been working on this project since 2010, starting with the interior, it’s going to be really hard to let this one go. It’s been so much fun working with the clients, I wouldn’t mind if the project went another 7 years!

Next time — before & after photos of a landscape project along the California Coast.


~ Shannon

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 If you didn’t read my last post, this townhouse is a project my husband and I worked on together. He purchased it and then handed over to me to renovate it. Below, are before and after photos of the bathroom.

The inspiration for the townhouse bath.


I wasn’t able to see the upstairs on our first visit, but once the townhouse was cleared out I was able to shoot these photos of the upstairs bath.




If you like before & after photos as much as I do, check out yesterday’s post for before & after photos of the living and kitchen.

Next time, I’ll be sharing before & after photos of my recent Austin exterior project.

~ Shannon

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Out of the 14 years that I’ve been renovating homes, this project could possibly have the most dramatic before and after photos. Though I do love working with my private clients, my husband and I also purchase and renovate homes together. Typically he purchases a property, and then hands it over to me to renovate. This is one of those projects.


I wasn’t sure if I should share these before pictures with you because it’s a bit of a shock. The photo above is the first glimpse my husband and I saw of the townhouse.


Once the townhouse was cleared out, the plan was to knock down most of the wall between the living and the kitchen; then, add new drywall, recessed lighting and flooring. We did discover a small half bath, to the right, after the clean out. Now it is a sweet little powder room.

Checking on the progress with my daughter, Iris.




I have an affection for rehabbing townhouses because one of the first projects I ever did was a townhouse in San Antonio. We knocked down walls removed flower wallpaper in the kitchen and raised the ceiling to really open up the space. For this townhouse, I knew with only two windows, I wanted it to feel bright & airy.






I love rehabbing houses and sometimes the uglier the better because of the challenge at the beginning and the impact at the end. Next time, more before and after photos of the rest of the townhouse.

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If you love before and after photos as much as I do, I have several projects in the pipeline that are going to have some really fun before and afters.

Below, are two projects I’m currently working on that are almost ready for their “after” shot.





This is a wonderful house in the rolling hills of Austin that has been a wonderful project to work on. Above, you can see that we painted the exterior brick and now we are pouring a new walkway and steps, as well as adding some planting beds. I also plan to add a couple other exterior touches that will really transform this exterior.




This is a townhouse in the San Fernando Valley (Southern California) that needed a complete gut.


As you can see above, we removed most of the wall on the left to open up the space between the living room and kitchen. We painted the walls one of my favorite colors from Farrow & Ball — Clunch, and now are adding a kitchen from IKEA. I’m hoping to post the before and after photos next week, and many of you will not believe the transformation.

Happy Wednesday!

~ Shannon

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I adore designing laundry rooms and it doesn’t matter the size. From small to large, it’s my favorite room to design, apart from the kitchen. Below, is my latest laundry room makeover.

the long table





For this one it really was paint that changed everything. I painted the walls and cabinets, added a new countertop and redid the flooring. However, even if your budget doesn’t allow you to change flooring or countertops you can buy a couple of gallons of paint for walls and cabinets and literally transform the look of your space.

My inspiration for this room came from the photograph below. Just love the look and feel of this room. The earthy floors, lantern-style light fixtures and cabinet paint color.


via Visual Eye Candy


I decided to use the same paint color that I used on the kitchen cabinets (Flintstone by Dunn Edwards), as well as the same Quartz countertop in order to tie it in with the rest of the home. I wanted an earthy floor and since I couldn’t use brick for this project I went with this tile instead. I chose light fixtures from The Home Depot and used antique bronze and brass accents.

the long table



All in all a fun project to see completed.

Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Shannon

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A Gallery Wall provides us with a great opportunity to showcase our personal style, as well as some of our treasured photos and artwork.



When considering a gallery wall, there are several different styles you could choose from. You could go with a random order style, as in the photo above, or you could design a more organized gallery, as in the photo below.


via Becki Owens

Another option would be to use picture rails as shown below. The benefit to this is being able to rearrange your artwork anytime you want.


Pictures by Annika von Holdt (@annikavonholdt)

 When designing a gallery wall, I tend to go with the more random style of gallery — and my approach is quite simple.

First, I have my client pull the photos and artwork that they want to use. Then I measure the space where the gallery will be displayed.

Next, I choose the color of frame that will work best with my client’s home. I then purchase different sizes of frames and always purchase extra (much easier to return the ones you don’t use then to keep running out for more).

I then use measuring tape, on the floor, to mark out the space (you could also you painter’s tape).

Next, start placing your frames. I normally go with about 5 to 6 inches of space between frames, but it really depends on the size of wall and personal preference.

After playing with the frames and finding the layout I want, I then photograph the layout (so I follow my plan), and proceed to hang one at a time, leaving the rest in their place.

For my Austin clients (below), I went with a simple black frame, but then added a couple of brass tone frames as an accent color.


Above, you can see how I use the measuring tape.


If my client doesn’t have enough artwork for all the frames, I’ll go ahead and hang the gallery and then use instructional post-it notes in the empty frames. This gives the client some direction, and allows them time to find just the right piece.


One of my favorites, from this gallery, is this bird drawing by their 5-year-old  — Love!


If you’re looking for more ideas on putting together a gallery wall, check out my Pinterest board, Gallery Walls.

Happy Monday!

~ Shannon

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Last month I shared the exterior of a project we’ve just finished here in Los Angeles. Today, it’s the before & after photos of the kitchen.






 To simplify the kitchen, I did away with the cabinet that enclosed the original fridge, as well as the bread box, which allowed for more counter space. I also removed the trim that ran along the top of the cabinets.






 I also wanted to try out a new paint color — Flintstone by Dunn Edwards, which I used on the lower cabinets. I went with a Quartz countertop and brushed nickel faucet fixture. I’m really pleased with how it all turned out.

Shop the look


1 Stool | 2 Rug | 3 Textile

Sometimes budgets allow you to gut an entire kitchen and other times you have to work with existing cabinets. If you do have to keep your cabinets, paint is your best weapon for change. Next time, some easy pointers on putting together a gallery wall.

Cheers, it’s the weekend!


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