Love Your Laundry Room

Sort. Wash. Dry. Fold. Repeat.

Unless you have a live-in laundress or use a laundromat on the daily, you probably spend a good amount of time in your laundry room. Some of us are blessed to have an entire room to use to complete this task, while others of us may be relegated to a closet-sized space. Your laundry may be never-ending, but the place where you perform this chore (no matter what the size of the space) should bring you function, style, and maybe even (dare I say it) JOY!

Here are a few tips for making your laundry room a hip place to be in your house:

  1. Paint the walls a gorgeous color. You can even create a feature wall by using tile or wallpaper.
  2. Give your cabinets an upgrade. Choose a coordinating paint color for your cabinets that will look amazing with your new wall color….and don’t forget to add new hardware.
  3. No cabinets, but you have those wire shelves?? Replace those wire racks with gorgeous floating wood shelves. Add pretty baskets to store all of your laundry supplies.
  4. Replace those old counter tops with something unique like cement counters or even butcher block. Don’t forget to upgrade your sink if you have one.
  5. Add art! My favorite thing to add to the laundry room is a gorgeous acrylic calendar on which everyone in the family can write down their activities… or for smaller spaces, I like to pop in a pretty fabric bulletin board where you can pin family photos, quotes, etc. that make you smile while you are searching for that lost sock!

Here’s a great example of a laundry room renovation I had the pleasure of working on this month. We took the basic builder grade cabinets and had them painted black. We kept the original hardware, but added a new stainless steel sink with swan neck faucet. We also upgraded the flooring from tile squares to pretty tile rectangles with very small light gray grout lines. Finally….and my favorite part…we replaced the Formica counter top with a custom wood butcher block (and we sealed it a zillion times)! We are also having the wire racks removed from above the washer and dryer and installing custom floating salvaged wood shelving AND we are having a built-in constructed for shoe storage…but more on that later.

So how does your laundry area compare? Need some help figuring out where to begin your own upgrades? Let Melissa K. Wright Design help. Give me a call at 615.785.2528 and before you know it, you will have a laundry room to LOVE!

 

 

 

The Power of Wallpaper!

It’s still trending, people…and I could not be happier! I adore wallpaper and I don’t care who knows! It is the perfect way to layer in a little of your personality into a space. It can add texture, movement, and a ton of interest. And the BEST part? It’s so easy to do.

If you wallpapered in the 80’s or 90’s, you will be happy to know that many wall coverings come pre-pasted now. All you have to do is activate it with some water, book it, and let the glue activate…then you are ready to roll (no pun intended)!

To remove it??? Spritz it with water and gently peel it off.

Are you a commitment phobe? Then try a removable kind. They sell these at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, etc. BUT beware if you have an orange peel texture on your walls. This specific kind of removable wallpaper will have a hard time adhering to the wall and your hard work will be for naught. (A quick fix if you are in love with your removable wallpaper print, run to Sherwin Williams and get some wallpaper glue…it will be strong enough to hold up this type of paper and you can also remove it with water later when you are ready).

Here are a few photos of a wallpaper project I finished for a beloved client last week in Lutz, Florida. We made her dream formal dining room come true with this gorgeous print from Graham and Brown. We wanted to do a modern take on art-deco and I do believe we nailed it!

So what are you waiting for??? Give wallpaper a try. It looks best when used as an accent wall or in those nice niches contractors put in the walls. Do you need help selecting your wall covering…and maybe a coordinating paint color? Be sure and give me a call. I would love to help!

Wishing you all the very best,

Melissa

Melissa K. Wright Design,LLC

615.785.2528

 

My Thanksgiving Dining Area Refresh!

 

What is it about the upcoming holidays that makes me want to jazz up my dining area? Is it because we linger a little longer around the table with our loved ones during the shorter days? Maybe it is knowing that I will soon have family and friends joining us to eat, drink, and be thankful and merry. Whatever the reason, I have put together a full-proof way to give my eat-in nook a little Thanksgiving love! Feel free to borrow any and all of these ideas to spruce up your own home!

Thanksgiving Refresh: Take One…Change out the lighting!

If you follow me at all, you know I believe lighting makes or breaks a room. It is literally the quickest change for maximum impact you can make in decorating. Right now I have a glass school house pendant hanging over my pub height espresso finished table with countertop height stools. It’s a bit dark in the kitchen nook, so to shed some light in this area (pun intended) I am purchasing this gorgeous wood bead chandelier to give the entire space some southern charm!

Thanksgiving Refresh: Take Two… Add a different host and hostess chair to anchor the table!

Nothing will make your husband feel more like a king of his castle then by adding this very fun change to your dining chair situation. It’s as easy as removing your current end chairs and popping in either a different color or style of chair to instantly update your table. Right now, all of my dining table chairs are espresso wood countertop height chairs with backs. I am grabbing these two gorgeous pieces to glam up our eat-in nook AND the cream color will lighten up the space! (Plus the distressed lighter wood will look great with the lighter wood pieces in my entry way… our home is open concept, so it is fun mixing pieces to create separate looks in this huge room).

Thanksgiving Refresh: Take Three… Swap out dark lamps on the buffet for lighter ones!

The buffet behind our dining room table is a gorgeous piece my husband brought to our marriage. It is old-school Tommy Bahama in a wood a little bit lighter than espresso. I currently have a gorgeous gilded mirror hanging above it and have anchored each end of this piece with two retro metal palm tree lamps. The wall behind this furniture is a light cocoa, so we have a LOT of dark on dark. I definitely want to continue my mission of bringing light to this area and cream lamps will definitely do the trick!

Thanksgiving Refresh: Take Four… Add some fun Thanksgiving-style dinnerware and Voilà… You are FINISHED!

I could write a book on all the fun ways to set your holiday dinner table, but I will be super brief today. My favorite way to entertain a large crowd is by having a table top they won’t forget. Start white dinner plates and then pop in some fun Thanksgiving-themed salad plates on top.  The week before Turkey day, grab the kids and hunt fresh pinecones to display on a copper platter in the center of your table and then pop in some tea light candles in various places on the tray. Then leave room for  all the food and fixings… be sure to serve them in beautiful dishes. Gold silverware is a must and don’t forget the good drinking glasses…a mix of your best champagne flutes, highballs, and water goblets will look beautiful twinkling in all that candlelight.

 

 

From my house to yours…. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Melissa

Melissa K. Wright Design

 

 

How to Give Your Front Porch a Savannah, GA Makeover in Only FIVE Steps!

I am literally fresh off of a trip visiting Savannah, Georgia, with my husband and some very precious friends, and my mind is in complete design overload! The gorgeous architecture,  fabulous gas lanterns, luscious green-spaced squares, and delicious food and spirits have inspired me to no end! I took it upon myself to immediately  come right to my desk and begin a front porch design plan for anyone who has ever crushed on this beautiful city… and the best part? You can complete the look in five easy steps!

With a few unique touches, you can bring a little bit of this historical southern town to your very own home. Take a look at the plan and whether you decide to use all five parts or even just one, you will always have a little bit of Savannah at your front door to welcome guests!

Step One…Haint Blue Front Porch Ceiling Paint. 

Legend has it that evil spirits dare not travel over water, so this blue color has said to ward off any unwanted guests. Other folks tell me this hue is really amazing at keeping dirt-dobbers away. Whatever you choose to believe, nothing says THE SOUTH like a haint blue front porch ceiling. Try Sherwin Williams Top Sail.

 

Step Two: Add a Gorgeous Gas Lantern as Your Porch Light.

Who wouldn’t want to be greeted by the warm glorious glow of a gas lantern? This truly signifies a Savannah home! You will need a natural gas line to make this beauty a reality, but I promise it will be worth every dime. This swoon-worthy piece can be found at the Home Depot for a little over $500. It is the Grand Isle Gas Lantern in Washed Pewter.

Step Three: You Must Add Greenery. 

A fabulous black cast iron urn flanking each side of the front door with a trio of high-medium-low plants spilling over the sides is a glamorous touch to any home, but a must-have in Savannah! If your porch is too small for two urns, then try one. Or you can even do black window boxes from Wayfair. Try the Mayne Inc. Fairfield Self-Watering Window Box for around $79.00. If urns or window boxes are not your thing, then at least add some large hanging ferns to give your front porch the greenery it so desperately deserves. (The featured photo is the Grecian Urn from Ballard Design. It retails for $179.00).

 

Step Four: Hang a Front Porch Swinging Daybed.

Savannah porches are a great place for lazy Sundays. What better way to relax than by reading a book and sipping your favorite cocktail while lying on a swinging daybed? Think of your grandmother’s porch swing, but much swankier. Fill it with lots of colorful outdoor pillows and even add a throw in the fall and you have instantly made yourself a year-round outdoor living space. This piece can be found at ThePorchSwingCompany.Com and retails for $1,380.00.

 

Step Five: Finish Off Your Porch with a Private Seating Area.

If one end of your porch is for the daybed, then the other end can be for a causal seating area. It’s easy to complete with these beautiful Luciana Crown Chairs in black from GrandinRoad. You can score these for $179.00. Pop a pretty striped outdoor area rug underneath and then add a pop of color to each chair by selecting pretty coral and white printed outdoor pillows. Both of which can be found at Waylair.com. (Fan Habit Nantucket Black and White Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug $47.89 AND Hockley Outdoor Boudoir Pillows $32.99)

I love hearing from you, so if you decide to do some Savannah upgrading to your front porch, be sure to send me pictures! And if you ever need help designing your space, be sure and reach out to Melissa K. Wright Design! Be sure and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Happy Decorating,

Melissa

The Details on this GORGEOUS Dining Room!

I have been blessed with the perfect clients. They are sweet, funny, and have allowed me to help them select almost every stitch of décor and furniture for their amazing new home. We started with a meeting back in February of this year and I was totally excited to find out that the house was literally just concrete and studs.

I won’t lie and say I wasn’t overwhelmed at the thought of making BIG design decisions for this 22 room spectacular. But I was reminded by a dear friend of an old adage that always rings true…. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That saying has helped keep me focused as we made each design choice, from each light fixture to each piece of furniture. It has been my total pleasure to see this house become a home.

So I decided I should blog about each room and share with you the details. Even though we still have tons of projects left, I wanted to begin with the dining room. It all started with a gorgeous farmhouse table. My clients are Scott and Jennifer. His taste leans toward modern and hers is very Joanna, so it was my job to help them see how we could combine the two and find industrial elements to help create a one-of-a- kind look.  I created a design board for the formal dining room and the first thing we decided was the gorgeous Pengrove Dining Table from Wayfair was a must. From there, cream tufted Pompon side chairs for the guests, and the same chair for the host and hostess, but in grey, were purchased. Finally, we all agreed the Weston 6 light chandelier would do the trick for overhead lighting and voilà, the bones of the dining room were complete!  That was the easy part.

Deciding on a sideboard and wall sconces to flank each side of an arched piece of glass that looks into the wine cellar… that took a  bit more time. Scott and Jen found a gorgeous piece in Savannah that would serve as the sideboard and it just so happened to have round gold handles. I instantly fell in love and new we needed some dark paint for the arched niches on either side of the piece and add gold wall sconces. And that’s just what we did! (The paint color for the niches is Storm Cloud by Sherwin Williams and the Mid-Century Retro Wall Sconces can be found at Shades of Light).  Jen found a fabulous gold mirror we had originally decided for the guest bath, but it ended up looking amazing when paired with the sconces and sideboard, so up it went.

Décor for the table and sideboard was easy – I wanted to keep a modern feel, so three gold trays host sets of three metallic candle holders that trail down the center of the table. The décor is low enough to not need to be removed during dinner parties and we can have the candle holders refilled with soy based candles from 7th Apothecary in Tampa each season. For the side board, I popped in a blue bowl with a gold base and Scott added a collection of beloved wine corks. To the right of that, a modern gold decorative sits a top a leather bound wine journal for commenting on those great bottles this couple will surely enjoy with family and friends.

I cannot tell you how much I adore this space, but knowing the fun memories that will be created here just makes my heart happy!

 

 

My Take on the Future of Interior Design

HGTV. Magnolia. Southern Living. This Old House. Coastal Living. In Style. Instagram. Pinterest. This is my current situation. All of these magazines are neatly stacked on my bed side table, along with my iPhone for nightly check-ins on social media. I, like you, am inundated with all the visual interior design eye-candy my brain can handle. Home Design is having a continued moment and inspiration is EVERYWHERE thanks to social media, DIY television, and online vendors like Wayfair, Joss & Main, and Houzz. How will our insta-gratification, Amazon Prime two- day delivery, DIY, high-tech world change the future of design? Here is what I think….

 

From Omniscient Lead Designer to Collaborator –

Interior Designers are no longer the ONLY source to consider when home owners start thinking about changing paint colors, selecting new furniture, or knocking out that wall that closes the kitchen off from the living room. Gone are the days of a client having “no clue” about what they want in terms of style or a change. I definitely credit our social media frenzied world… AND it is not a bad thing. Back in the day, interior designers would meet with a client, ask a few questions, measure spaces, make all of the choices and purchases, do the installation, and send a bill. Today’s consumer is a lot savvier. A LOT.

Now a home owner can scroll through their feed, get inspired, research, pin, and watch DIY videos on practically any design topic thanks to Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and YouTube. So where does that leave interior designers and home stylists? That’s easy! In my opinion, our job has always been to inspire others using our own creativity. It is our job to help our clients find the style that tells THEIR story. We help them figure out what looks they adore so they can love where they live. And we do this through collaboration.

 

How it Works – 

I still meet with clients in person (unless they are out of state and we FaceTime). I still ask a zillion questions. I still measure spaces. I still create concept boards, BUT I present them using platforms where my client can comment and pin his or her own ideas after seeing mine. I am the spring board. I help pull it all together. I answer questions about furniture placement and contrasting colors and what décor will compliment a space. I still go shopping, but now I ask my client to come along. I am still there on installation day, but as a collaborator with lots of experience. I don’t pull the trigger on purchases, my clients do. My job is to help clients find their own personal style and layer in trends they like, knowing they can easily be replaced later. It is total team work. I form an alliance with my clients and it works like magic.

Embracing the Future –

Collaborator. Design Advice Giver. The Woman with an Eye. The Problem Solver. Partner. Therapist. Inspiration Creator. Cheerleader. Budget Keeper.   I can confidently say these are my titles. I love the thought of marrying the ideas of consumer and stylist to produce beautiful spaces everyone can enjoy. This is what makes me happy.  This is the future of interior design.

Please note: This blog post is part of a blogger competition organized by CG Trader. To learn more, click here:

https://www.cgtrader.com/blogging-contest

Creating a Farmhouse Powder Room for $155

It has been a super busy summer at Melissa K. Wright Design and I have to tell you, Joanna Gaines has made my job fairly straight forward lately. Unless you have been under a rock for the last few years, you probably know Joanna and Chip from their famous Fixer-Upper franchise. I also have to tell you that I have been fighting the farmhouse trend HARD. Not because I don’t think it looks great or feels homey, I just feel like it is a tad overdone. AND if you have read any of my other blogs, you know I really try to stretch my clients to embrace their own individual style with the mindset that we will layer in trends (and delete them when they have worn out their welcome).

Despite my wariness for Farmhouse, it truly is what most of my clients have been asking for this year. So without further ado, here is my cheat sheet for creating the perfect farmhouse inspired powder room for under $155.00! This design is particularly for those guest powder rooms under a staircase or tucked away past your entrance hall. Think small space, pedestal sink, builder-grade mirror and lighting.

Step one – Make the wall with pedestal sink, mirror, and lighting your statement wall by painting it Sherwin Williams Sea Salt SW 6204. You will only need a quart which is not very expensive, BUT if you want a cheaper grade of paint, take this sample to Home Depot and you can grab a quart for about $10-$15.

Step two – Replace the builder grade lighting you currently have with Design House 519892 Galvanized Kimball Reversible 1 Light sconce. It comes with an Edison light bulb and you can get this beauty for $27.41 at Builder.com.

Step three – Take down the builder grade mirror and replace it with this white weathered round one. CTW Dutch Round Wall Mirror 400046 from National Furniture Supply. It retails for $72.20. At 22 inches in diameter, it is perfect for a small powder room.

 

 

Step four – Hang this super cute Wash sign on any empty wall. This one is only $25 from Etsy’s Milk and Cream Signs.

Step five – Add this green vintage style soap pump from Pier 1 to the sink vanity. It retails for $13.60.

Step six: Add this Black Villa Stripe Towel from Cost Plus World Market for $3.99. I love the fringe detailing on the bottom and you can just hang it over the sink or pop it on your hand towel rack if you have one.

As I always say, “It’s all in the details!”  You certainly don’t have to break the bank to create an entire new look for any space in your home, and at this price, you can certainly delete this look when it has passed it’s prime!

Happy Decorating and if you use any of these ideas, please send me some photos and I will post them on my Instagram page!

And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/melisssasw/farmhouse-powder-room-for-155/

The perfect recipe for styling your home.

What does an onion, a piece of plywood, and the movie The Family Stone have in common? LAYERS! I know that is a super weird intro to a blog about home design, but let me explain.

I have written before that I truly have an eye for detail. So much so that it can literally drive me insane. However, when I get lost in a good movie (or even a commercial, for that matter) my eye goes to the silent actors in the room… the furniture, the art on the walls, even the floors and lighting. To me, they all take part in telling the story. For instance, in The Family Stone, you have this coming together of a family at the holidays. They all meet up at their childhood home, but now they are adults. The home reflects the layers of their life – from the family photos on the wall, to the trophies on the bookcase, all the way to the almost untouched childhood bedrooms of the character’s youth. You can see how they adored wallpaper at one time (and what do you know, it has come back around again)! The six-inch wide wooden floor planks are worn by years of coming and going by family and friends in the entrance hall, and all of the cooking and meal sharing in the kitchen can be seen by the marks on the farmhouse table. Every inch of the home tells the story of this family’s life. The home is a beautiful character that never utters a word, but the audience can feel its presence. How powerful is that? This is what I aspire to achieve not only in my own home, but also with my clients and their homes.

So what is the recipe for having a perfectly styled home? Thankfully the answer is there is no one set way to do this. My stock advice will always be: Let your home tell your story. Carefully select things you absolutely love and bring you joy. Layer away! Different textiles and metals can be mixed. Mid-century modern furniture will look fresh when mingled in with some rustic pieces. The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to have a beautiful designer home. All it takes is a little time to move things around and experiment. The old dresser your great-aunt gave you can look brand new and modern if you paint it or apply some wall paper to the front facings. Changing out a light fixture can literally shed new light and style in any room. PAINT is your friend and can be the quick update you always wanted. Experiment. Layer. Love where you live. These are the words to live by. Aspire to make your home a beautiful character.

Great advice: Take your sweet time when styling your house!

Want some great home styling advice? Here’s a total jewel: SLOW DOWN. This advice applies to most things in life. We live in such a fast paced, “I WANT IT YESTERDAY” world that when it comes to building a new house, renovating an existing home, or just decorating your space, you may rush through because that is how you are conditioned. However, my advice is SLOW DOWN. Take a breath. Today’s trends may not be what you love in two years and wouldn’t you hate it if you spent a ton of money on that shiplap wall only to detest it a little bit down the road? (P.S. I am not against shiplap, and if it’s your thing, by all means – pull the trigger). But my advice today is enjoy the ride of home designing and home styling. Go to your local flea markets or shop locally and find that special something that speaks to you. Read blogs, chat with different designers, peruse Pinterest and really hone in on what makes you happy. But don’t rush it.

I have been in more houses than I care to count that physically look like someone watched HGTV at different periods in their life and added a bit of this and a bit of that – to the point that the house looks disorganized and chunky. Don’t make the same costly mistake. Really think about how any design work or new styling will work from an aesthetic standpoint to a functional one too. You don’t have to style your new home in a day. You know what they say about Rome. Take your time. Finish one project at a time and for heaven’s sake, if you need a sounding board or someone to create idea boards for you, reach out to me and let’s set up a time to chat!

Let your home tell your story.

I am a self-proclaimed lover of all things design. My eyes literally seek out the art in everyday living! If you think about it, art is EVERYWHERE… from the way you stack your books on your nightstand, to the way the light dances off of your glass of wine. You can find joy in aesthetics, and your home should not only be aesthetically pleasing, it should also tell your story.

What I mean by that is, you should fill your home with items that you LOVE… that tell a story. That tell YOUR story. They should reflect the colors that are soothing to you, or the décor that reminds you of that amazing vacation you took with your family, or remind you of the town you grew up in, or give a nod to the town you live in now. Or better yet, a blending of all of those things! All too many times my clients think of their homes as… dare I write it… THEMED. “I want a beach look,” or “I LOVE Joanna Gaines! Please let’s do shabby chic + Farmhouse.”

Luckily I believe there is no right or wrong way to style your home as long as YOU love it, BUT… and this is a BIG BUT, I prefer a mixed eclectic home that screams REAL PEOPLE LIVE HERE! I prefer a home that lets everyone know these items were carefully selected to make us (and you) feel comfortable and remind us to live in the present, appreciate our surroundings, and never take anything for granted. I prefer a place that sends the message: This house is our home.

You can have your farmhouse look and all the grey paint with white shiplap you can find, but a real home is one where you can mix trends with those family heirlooms, and even add a few modern pieces to achieve your own individual look.

Need help getting your home to tell your story? I know a girl who can help.