A Designer Day Before & After

Hello friends and happy summer! For some of us it’s the time of year for getting away with family and friends for some much needed R&R. For others it’s all about packing up and moving into a new home. That’s a dilemma I totally understand. My husband and I have moved ten times in our 18 years of marriage.

One of the challenges we faced when moving was how to incorporate our existing furnishings into our new space. Do you toss everything and start over from scratch? Do you just use what you have and “make it work”? After much trial and error, I believe you do a bit of both.

Let’s look at how we used my hard won experience to help a recent client who moved from Texas to Lafayette. Here is what the space looked like before we started.



Our clients wanted to use their space for watching TV, entertaining friends for cocktails and have an area for family game night. The existing club chairs, upholstered ottoman, and game table were pieces they wanted to keep but needed help with space planning and ideas for new pieces of furniture to help pull everything together. They also wanted to select a new paint color for the bar area.

Working together through the options we decided to move the existing club chairs and ottoman into the front family room and sourced some new furnishings. We kept the existing game table, but selected new chairs. The new sofa and coffee table created a space for TV viewing. Four new club chairs and a round wood table created the perfect space for having cocktails with friends or reading a book. We chose the warm toned “Functional Gray” by Sherwin Williams for the bar area.

After our in-home session we sent this design board.


… And here is the final result.


As you can see we were able to create 3 separate areas for entertaining while still maintaining an overall cohesive feel.

Moving into a new home can be daunting. Adding the task of creating a cohesive space can feel downright overwhelming. If you are up for the challenge, here are some tips on how to make moving-in easier.

  • Have a furniture plan before moving into the new space. Map out furniture layouts on paper and tape them to the wall of each room to help the movers (or dear hubby) place existing pieces.
  • Unpack sleeping spaces first. After a full day of moving in all you are going to want to do is crash in your nice comfy bed.
  • Next move onto unpacking your bathrooms and kitchen. Being able to take a shower and eating a home cooked meal will help you feel more human.
  • After a few days (let’s be honest … a few weeks) of settling in you can then start thinking about “decorating”. I suggest setting aside a full day of unpacking all your accessories and wall décor and laying them in one room. This will enable you to take inventory of what you have. You can then start “shopping” your items and placing them in rooms.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Use a piece that was once in the bedroom and move it to the living room. Sometimes just switching a piece of furniture or art to another room makes it feel fresh and new.
  • This is also a great time to get rid of items you feel won’t work in the new space. It’s okay to let some things go and make room for new.
  • Once you have placed everything, walk through and make notes of empty spaces that need to be filled. Measure those spaces and make notes of the colors in the room so when you are out shopping you are not just purchasing on impulse.
  • Last but not least, take time to live in your new space. Don’t feel you have to pull it together all at once. Maybe just work on your entry first (refer to my May article on Making an Entrance). Once that’s in place, move your way into the family room or dining room. Just take it one step and a time.

Still overwhelmed (or know someone who is)? Call me! I would love to help you make that new house a home. One of the design services I offer, Designer Day, is perfect for homeowners who need help with getting settled. This is the same service we used for the Lafayette client we talked about earlier in this article.

When working with our Designer Day clients we first spend a little time getting to know them. They fill out a Lifestyle Questionnaire where we learn about their likes and dislikes and how they plan to use their space(s). We then have them gather inspiration photos to get a better idea of their design aesthetic.

Next we schedule an in-home session and get to work. We spend about four hours walking through the home working through what to keep, what to get rid of and “holes” in the overall design concept.

After our in-home session, I come back to my studio and work on the design plan, furnishings budget and timeline to help the homeowner execute the design plan in a timely manner and stay on budget. We also create a visual design board with a detailed shopping list of items to purchase and where to purchase them. The client receives the complete package via email so they can execute on their own as time and budget allows.

If Designer Day sounds like something you are interested in, you can find out more information at www.amandacarolinteriors.com. Of course, we offer a turn-key design service as well.

I hope you enjoyed this fun Before & After and were able to take some ideas for your own home.


See our video on how our Designer Day service works: