The Thing About Before & Afters

The Thing About Before & Afters

I’m featuring a lot of before and afters lately and have several more coming at you in the line up.  I just wanted to share my heart with you in between here and give you kind of the “real life” behind the scenes look at things.  Several of these are projects that I completed six months to a year ago for friends and clients that we are just now getting around to photograph for the blog.  Before and afters don’t actually happen within one week’s time frame (for me, anyway). They are very much a process.

The House of Figs
Here’s a lovely “after” picture of my kitchen I posted a few weeks ago. But maybe today we should call it a “before.”

We all know that real life doesn’t always happen in “before” and “after” and quite frankly, neither does design.  There is of course always a before, a starting point; but the after is a little different. One of my favorite blogs is called House Tweaking -her tag line is “because home doesn’t happen overnight.” Its so true, in many senses.  The “after” of a room I design is in a constant state of change.  I hope that its being used by the clients: the pillows being smushed, the books being read, the toys being played with, and the remotes getting lost in the couch cushions.  Laundry gets folded on the couch, tables are used for homework, sofa cushions get worn in, feet get propped up on that coffee table.  Life happens.

Here’s my kitchen in its current state this morning. The “after” shot, if you will.

Then also, the client, having maybe newly discovered their style, finds freedom to make some new purchases and change things around a bit. They add in a new frame here, a new pillow there, change a few things with the seasons.

Here is an "after" of my living I put on instagram a few months ago.  Today we'll call it the "before."
Here is an “after” of my living room I put on instagram a few months ago. Today we’ll call it the “before.”

And the after picture, you know, the ones I post here and on Instagram, the ones that you see in magazines, the ones that get pinned on Pinterest, well those are a different story all together.  Those pictures are highly examined and styled from every angle.  My husband is a professional videographer and photographer and it is a whole thing to get those pictures just right.  I examine every accessory and bring in some of my own as props to style the shoot. Those props don’t stay with the client after I leave- things like a few of my plants, design books, etc.  I move things around a little to get the best angle, clean things up a bit, you know, fluff the cushions and stuff like that.  And we are just amateurs at this- from what I’ve seen and read about magazine shoots it is similar but on a much larger scale.  No one has a perfect house.  It just doesn’t exist.  If it did, it would be a museum behind glass. Untouchable.

Here’s the “after” of my living room I snapped today. Can you spot my daughter behind all that laundry?

What makes a house great and inviting are the people that live there, the way the home is used, and the way it makes you feel when you’re in it. Of course a mess doesn’t create an inviting atmosphere and that’s not what I’m saying.  I do actually need to spend some time today tidying up… just a bit, haha. But being real does create that atmosphere. And would you believe I’m even inviting a friend over for lunch today and hosting a small group here tonight? In spite of the imperfections.  They know me, we share life together.  That’s what its about.  It isn’t about perfect.

So the point of the “after” picture? The magazines, the eye candy?  Its inspiration, its beauty, its food for thought. But may we never be deceived into thinking its some perfect elusive reality that we should attain.

Thanks for reading. ❤

A Beachy Glam Living Room {After}

A Beachy Glam Living Room {After}

{I’m new to the blog world and still figuring things out- I wish these pictures were bigger, but you can click on each one if you’d like to see a larger version!}The House Of Figs

On Monday I shared with you the moodboard and before pictures of this living room.  You can see that post by clicking here.  Today, as you can see, I’m sharing with you the after pictures!  I’m loving all the different textures in the shelves and with the seagrass rug.  The coffee table has the rough wood on top and the beautiful iron legs to contrast.  If you’ve been reading this blog from the start, you know I love a good contrast!

The House Of Figs

We replaced the pillows that had come with her couch with real down filled pillows.  You can get them for a great price at places like HomeGoods or TJ Maxx.  They can be refluffed a million times and even recovered when you decide you want a different look.The House Of Figs - Greene Living Room-2 Small WM

The House Of Figs - Greene Living Room-5 Small WMA little green, some crisp white, and a woven basket… three of my favorite ingredients when styling shelves and coffee tables.

The House Of Figs - Greene Living Room-7 Small WM

The House Of Figs - Greene Living Room-6 Small WM

The House Of Figs - Greene Living Room-4 Small WM

Thank you for reading! I’m so thankful to my talented husband for taking these beautiful pictures and grateful to be able to share them all with you. ❤

The Beginnings of a Beachy Glam Living Room

The Beginnings of a Beachy Glam Living Room

The House of Figs Living RoomWhen I walked into this house, I was excited.  The room had great “bones” and beautiful natural light. The family hadn’t lived here long and the room was just unfinished.  The client asked me to use the existing furniture and help her to bring it all together.  As you will see, the existing furniture is quite beautiful, so that was not a difficult task at all!



She wanted to keep the rug and of course we all want to make the most of our budget.  I felt like the rug was just a little too small for this big room though. My solution for a too small rug that you love is to layer it with a larger rug.  A seagrass or jute rug underneath is a nice way to expand the size and it brings in a little rough and earthy texture to contrast the glam look of all the nailhead trim on the furniture she had. It also kind of gives it a little beachy vibe which she was totally on board with. This family has three kids and they want their home to feel casual and inviting, so I felt like it needed a little laid back earthiness along with the glam.IMG_6096

The coffee table just wasn’t the right size or feel for the room either so we wanted to update that along with the pillows and just other accessories.


Thanks so much for reading! I’ll be back later this week with the after pictures!

The Art Nook that is No More

The Art Nook that is No More

artnookbefore This giant art nook has been the bane of my decorating existence.  I’m not a statue person.  I’m not a giant vase (rhymes with gauze) person.  I mean, I even have a big vase with branchy stuff, but it looks wimpy in this humongous “nook.” Its not even a nook, really.  Its more like a pedestal where a tall person could stand.  We joked about some kind of statue or relief coming out of the wall.  Or turning it into the time-out spot for the kids, haha!  Really, I could not come up with a solution, so I ignored it.  It has sat empty for the two and a half years we have lived here.  I felt like any amount of money I could have spent to fill it up with things I would only dislike, I could put toward paying someone to fill it in.  So that’s what I finally did. artnookprogress2 artnookprogress

Here is my kind and loving husband who would have been happy enough to leave the darn thing empty and as is, helping me to paint over the freshly textured wall.  And here it is today!  A nice, flat, non-nooked wall.


I have some ideas for this space, but here are a few inspiration pictures I’ve been looking at…



laurenliessinsp laurenliessinsp2

The two above are actually the same room, just different angles and lighting.  I love the large mattes and matching frames.






Do you have any spots like that in your home?  What would you have done? Any ideas for what I should do now?

Thanks for reading!