The Story of a Room: The Finished Room

If you are just tuning in check out the intro to this series here.

Thank you all so much for reading my series this week. I have had a great response and I feel like it’s been good for readers to know that most design stories aren’t just a before and an after. There is so much more that goes into each project. And I want to thank my amazing client for letting me share this story and her home with all of you. 
Let’s review what we started with:
And here is what we ended up with! 
At that first initial consult I think her and I were both looking for something bold and maybe more modern feeling but in the end we came up with this beautiful, breezy and easy feeling space. 
The Swivel chairs and ottoman are from Lee Industries. The rug is from West Elm
Bird figure and pinecone from Alice Lane Home Collection
Trophies and vases from Alice Lane Home Collection. Basket and Books owned by client. 
Small houses and Orbs from Alice Lane Home Collection
Pillow sewn by Plush Studio in Schumacher Bleeker. Lamp from Visual Comfort
Leather sofa is from Alice Lane Home Collection
The floral pillows are done in Schumacher Hot House in Spark
The wood side table is antique from Great Exchange in Laguna Beach. 
Matches and candle snuffer are from Alice Lane Home Collection
Coffee table bench was custom made by the client’s husband. White shams from Debbie’s Porch
The set of mirrors are from Ballard Designs, no longer available. 
One thing that we really struggled with was where to put the piano. Pianos can be tricky to decorate around. 
We tried to break up the brown by having a custom slipcover made for the bench. 
Turtle Shell from Alice Lane Home Collection
While I was helping her with her Living Room she also enlisted my help with her Foyer. 
Mirror is from Star Mill in American Fork, Utah. 
The bench was a great consignment find by my client and she painted it white. It’s an amazing piece. 
All photos by the amazing Jessica Kettle 
This will probably be one of my most memorable design experiences. It took almost a year to complete from start to finish so I felt like I evolved a lot as a designer through the process. My client was wonderful to work with and she really has great taste. I think she and I both taught each other a lot. She needed reassurance and a second opinion along the way and I needed someone to help me look outside my own “style”. I pushed her to look outside of her box and she pushed me to look outside of mine. Designers can be pushy and sometimes they need to be. But this project was about letting the client’s voice and personality come through in this space. Not mine. 
I wanted to share this experience with you on my blog so you could see how the process of a room comes together. Of course every room and every client evolve differently but this helps you see how much thought and effort goes into each room. With every project I encounter obstacles and it makes it that much more exciting to see the finished project come together. 
Just like a person, every room has a story. There is a history and an evolution to the spaces that we live. I love it when I get to be a part of that! 

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58 Responses to The Story of a Room: The Finished Room

  1. Anonymous Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Wow, this series has been wonderful. I kept checking every morning to see the next day's post. The room looks amazing! Thank you for sharing the process with us.

  2. SHERRY HART Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    It was worth the wait….a beautiful warm room. I loved watching the process…….

  3. Emily A. Clark Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    One of my favorite rooms you've done! Love it, Kirsten.

  4. Melissa Wagner Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Wow!!!! I love every single aspect! Makes me want to buy a similar rug for our living room! Great job ladies!

  5. modern jane Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Wow Kirsten! Everything is so wonderful. They must be thrilled. My favorite parts are the built-in, the bench and the round mirrors.. actually I love it all!

  6. Bernadette {Chic Spaces for Little Faces} Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    It looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this.

  7. John and Crystal Pinegar Family Friday, April 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    It looks so great! Good job.

  8. Holly Friday, April 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Wowza Kirsten! It's even more fantastic than I was prepared for – every last detail. I'm sure you'll get lots of questions (and I have a few too). At what point did you decide to do the built-ins underneath the three windows? Those I think make the space. And what is the navy fabric used on the pillows in the living room next to the Hot House pillow? She got her Hot House in a perfect dose! That piano could have looked fuddy duddy, but with the addition of the sconce and the cute slipcover it looks incredibly inviting. REally great job and thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  9. Beck Friday, April 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Oh, my gosh! I love how welcoming and comfortable, yet completely stylish, this looks! I just want to jump right in and live there! Such a great job!

  10. Simple Dwellings Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Great series! I do agree that the design work is not always cut and dry and a quick project. It can be tough to let your guard down a bit, but in the end, you both grow! I recently had a similar design experience with a client, and I'm so glad I did! I think you do learn and grow the most with those type of projects. 🙂 Have a great weekend and thanks to you stylish ladies for sharing your story!

  11. Simple Dwellings Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Oh, I meant to say that the finished product is absolutely gorgeous! The room and foyer both look stunning! great job! 🙂

  12. Shelley {Crazy Wonderful} Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Holy cow! I had to scroll up at first to make sure it was the same room – those built ins make such a difference! I'm completely smitten with this room, and loved seeing the process. Thanks for sharing it with all of us 🙂

  13. Miss Hannah B. Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I loved this series. It's always so enlightening to see how a room evolves. I love your style and this room shows it! Beautiful, just beautiful!

  14. amber wallace Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I really love the room. I love the built ins and how you fit the piano in. Great, great job. What a great series!!

  15. Tiffany Leigh {thedesignerlifestyle} Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Kirsten, the transformation is amazing. I loved seeing the progression of the room through this series. As an aspiring interior designer, it's good to see in depth more about how working with clients works. Thank you!

  16. Tawna Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    I'm so happy to have you tell the story of how it really goes sometimes, and you don't see many great ways to work pianos (especially uprights) into rooms. I know how hard that is, so while the whole room is awesome, I think it made me happiest to see a cute piano that really seems to fit! Good job :).

  17. Kara Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I love how this room turned out!

  18. kellimojo Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Kirsten, I read your blog all the time and find so much inspiration, but this series has inspired me so much that I am commenting for the first time! 🙂 My biggest learning lesson from your experience is that I don't need to go out and buy every single piece for a room and expect it to work all at once. It's about taking the time to live in the space and feel what more it needs or what needs removed and changed. The room is beautiful and I look forward to more series posts like this one! Thank you!

  19. Melanie Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Love the built in bookcases behind the chairs! What a fantastic addition. I love how pulled together yet comfortable and livable the room is. Great collaboration!

  20. Nat Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    The room looks amazing, what a transformation! I loved this series and seeing the behind the scenes of what goes into making a room a room you love.

  21. Kathryn Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Thank you for this series! As a beginning designer I get caught up on wanting to see the finished rooms right now. It's great to see the full process and know that all these amazing "after" pictures I see weren't created over a weekend.

  22. Julie (Middle Maintenance) Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    As a fledgling designer, this series was SO inspiring! Thank you! Thank you!

  23. Emily Friday, April 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    I loved seeing the entire design process. The room looks GREAT! I love how you mix patterns and textrues

  24. HB Friday, April 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Loved this series this week! The room turned out great!

  25. Kirsten Friday, April 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    What a great feature!!! I love seeing the evolution, it's do insightful. Thank you for sharing all the details!!

  26. Heart and Haven Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Oh, I absolutely LOVE this room! I love the arrangement of furniture and colors used. Unexpected and brilliant to see the bookcases installed on the back wall…love it! Such an amazing before & after, and I loved hearing the story of the progress how it got there.

    I've loved every room you've done…I somehow have to convince my hubby to let me hire you to design ours! 🙂

  27. Mandy Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    This is my favorite series you've done! I absolutely love how this room turned out, and the foyer too. This reminded me that it's okay to change your mind about a piece you've purchased for your home, and not to be afraid to speak out and get what you really want!

    M loves D

  28. Lianna Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    the sitting area and ottoman are perfect. love that green color.

  29. Ashley and James Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    I loved reading this feature all week, you should do more of them. And I love how the room turned out! It's such a beautiful space.

  30. Katie @ covestreetblog Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    It looks amazing, absolutely one of my favorite living rooms! thanks for sharing the process and reassuring us that good design doesn't happen overnight.

  31. Christina Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I love it so much! So much- The pattern mix is perfect, as your's always are. The coffee table was a perfect idea and the scale is spot on! (I'm surprised there arent any drapes, guessing that was the clinets choice. I find the hardest part of this job is when you know what the room needs v. what they know they want. In the end it always works out but I have a hard time walking away when I feel it's not "finished" in my mind.)

  32. Cathy Wall Friday, April 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    The room turned out magnificently and the lessons learned are invaluable! Congrats on a job well done and thanks for sharing.


  33. Tara {The Silver Lining} Friday, April 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Definitely one of my favorite rooms! It's so livable yet so stylish.

  34. Amy {Fresh and Fancy} Friday, April 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    I LOVE how both of these spaces turned out – so so beautiful and unique! All the colors work so well together – great job!

  35. Holly Austin Friday, April 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the finished result! Stunning! Her husband did an awesome job on the DIY coffee table – love it!

  36. Ali Friday, April 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Another great room. Nice work! I loved seeing the process. I think you should share the process more often. It's fun to see it evolve.

  37. Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door Friday, April 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    This was a really wonderful series, I learned so much! And the room turned out wonderfully!! I hope there is more of this series to come!! 🙂

  38. Sarah Friday, April 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Such a beautiful, beautiful room! As a designer too, I think it is so great that you're sharing the realities of how projects change and evolve and also gave some insight into what it's really like working with a designer – especially how long things can really take to complete! 🙂

    Wonderful job!

  39. Annie @ House on Rene Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    This turned out absolutely fabulous! I think this is one of my favorite of your designs. Everything seems so personal and just perfect. I really love the added trim and bookcase, it really finishes the room off! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

    House on Rene

  40. Megan Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    I love the breezy warmth that the room conveys. The addition of the bookcases is such a lovely detail. I think that this room is incredibly inviting. Great job! Wouldn't it be fun to be able to shop at Alice Lane liberally like that?

  41. 7 Year Wedding Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    What a great result! I love how you've been able to combine everything to have a retro, slightly earth slightly industrial feel to the room.

  42. Emily Curfew Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    the finished room is beautiful! light and bright and comfortable. And I LOVE the coffee table that was made by client's husband. Would you mind sharing how it was made?
    awesome work.

  43. Shannon Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    Wow, love it! What a transformation. And that entry is amazing too.

  44. Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    I've been thinking about this beautiful room ALL DAY! I LOVE it! This is by far my favorite design of yours! Great Job!

  45. Brooke @ Inside-Out Design Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    I just sat and read through this series and LOVED it!! It was so fun to feel like I got to "get inside your head" during the design process and see what it's really like. I love the final outcome of the room! It's neat to see how beautiful it turned out even when along the way I was thinking things like "Oh no! Don't change it- I like the first sofa so much better!" but then in the final reveal, the room looks perfect. You and your client have amazing taste; thank you for sharing this room's story in so much detail!

  46. Hyphen Interiors Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    I'm featuring this series on my blog tomorrow! Writing a summary and linking back to you. Thanks again!

  47. Cove and Grey Monday, April 23, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Love this!!! It turned out so well! Gorgeous 🙂

  48. Amber @ Granny School Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    I love the turquoise orbs and how they pick up the color in the ocean painting! Beautiful room. Inspiring 🙂

  49. sixteen fourteen Monday, April 23, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I LOVE the sofa, the rug, and the slipcovered piano bench! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  50. Anonymous Monday, April 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I loved this series! The room is just beautiful!

  51. casey at loft and cottage Monday, April 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    What a gorgeous room! And I'm loving your solution for a piano light. I never would have thought of a wall-mounted light. Will show this to a client of mine as a possibility for her piano…Thanks!

  52. david at studio tuesday Monday, April 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Very beautiful and cozy. Love the colors.

  53. Laura Lynn Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 3:16 am #


  54. Morgan Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Oh wow! The finished room is stunning, I love your styling! I loved the series, thanks for sharing your process!!

    Kirsten, where did you find that great sconce above the piano?

  55. Homestyling101 Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Thank you for sharing so candidly how much goes into the process of a room design! I have been working on a den for over a year and people certainly underestimate the job of a designer with all the HGTV shows doing it in a day! I love the outcome and am always inspired by your work!
    Joanne @ Homestyling101

  56. Erin | Holtwood Hipster Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Just wanted to drop a note to let you know how much I enjoyed seeing the entire process from start to finish. Loved the final result- love the brightness and lightness of it. Looks like a very happy place to curl up and read or listen to the piano!

  57. I'm Busy Procrastinating Monday, April 30, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    The room looks great! Glad to know it's not just us non-professionals who have to try and try to get just the right look. I love how the room looks sophisticated, yet cozy. Has a bit of a beachy vibe.

  58. Kallee Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Kirsten, I know this is an old post, but this room is gorg! Do you remember your source for the slipcovered piano bench?

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