Designing and Renovating My Home: Update

Designing and renovating a home takes patience. We haven’t even started de-constructing and I’m already talking about patience! If you’ve ever renovated (big or small) then you know exactly what I mean when I say just getting started can drive you nuts.

First, we went back and forth with the Architect on the floor plan to make the current home work better for us. During this process we were researching products, sources, styles, and interviewing builders.

We have our plans, our builder, and are now ready for permitting. But wait, the city needs a few edits on the design to meet their requirements for the plan to be permitted. So, back and forth we go.

In the meantime, I need a tent at the house as I spend much of my time their meeting trades to get quotes. I’d actually prefer a tape recorder of me explaining what we are needing so that I can stop repeating myself. It would be something like this:

Dear mister window man,

Welcome to my home. Now, if you don’t mind please press play and you’ll hear all you need to know about the out-of-square windows that need help and the type of grills I’m wanting. Thank you.

Getting several quotes is smart but also tiring when you’re doing that for many areas in need. I’ll press on!

While we play the waiting game I’m very busy deciding on the styles and fixed items for bathrooms, kitchen, and lighting. It’s important for budgeting that the big picture is clear but you also need to have an idea of the entire look and feel of the home. {Don’t pick out tile without knowing the color of your cabinets, flooring, or continuity between spaces… ya know.}

This house is loaded with fixed items that need clear thought, strong vision, and  major change!

photo (63)


photo (64)

We’ve thought a lot about how to update the entrance of the house. Raising the headers and widening room entrances will make a big impact. We have approximately 10′ ceilings on the first floor but the 8′ headers squash it. So, up and out they go. An arched doorway and added interest to entry ceiling are now in the mix of ideas. ( Special thanks to Christina Wedge for taking before pictures and having fun with me in one of them!)

 by Photographer Christina Wedge

by Photographer Christina Wedge


Next time I’ll share a bit on the floor plan. Have you renovated? What advice can you share with others?

 I’d love to help you Love the Space You’re In! See services and contact me at



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Style Refresh with West Elm

Take your space from dark and lacking personality to lively and energetic with a few style changes. Start with color changes, play with patterns, accents, textures, or update an entire style. Play with what you already have and fill in new items to enhance and update your look.

My time playing today was with West Elm and some of their items. Design boards are a great way to play with your style and visualize your space. So, style away! I used Olioboard below. You can follow my boards here.

I offer e-Design services if you’d like my help refreshing your space a little or a lot! See service details here or email me at

OB-West Elm Style


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My Home Renovation: The Exterior Entrance

Last week I shared the news about our new home and new renovation project. Not much has gone on this week. I think this part of the process will be the most frustrating for me. Waiting for builder bids, waiting for permitting, and more and more quotes. I just want to get this party started!

We are keeping very busy with the design plan, meetings, and educating ourselves on local vendors, products, and a lot of time inspiration browsing.

I’ll show you a glimpse of the exterior of the home because this is where my Architect has provided a few options and it’s now on us to decide.

Have you heard of weeping mortar? I now have. I’m definitely painting the brick after seeing what this can look like painted. Very pretty.

exterior brick


It’s important that exterior changes and/or additions look as if they have always been part of the house. We are not trying to change the style of the house.   We are creating an updated look with improved interest and visual focus. Clean and classic.

house entrance exterior

The home has a hip roof and when I look at the house I see the roof. Adding a gable, dormers, and a beautiful new entrance will make a huge difference with this house. Not exactly like this image but similar direction. I love a curved entrance but continuing it with a curved door.


As we finalize the exterior design I’ll share what we are thinking. I’m ready to demo this baby! First, an organized project to start with is a must.



A huge step forward with the final design plans and permitting should begin next! Follow the journey here too:

I’d love to help you Love the Space You’re In. See my services here.


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My Home Renovation

I’m very excited and a bit overwhelmed. After a year of living in Atlanta we finally closed on a home (excited)- and a big renovation project (excited + overwhelmed)!

This 1970′s home has original fixtures, details, and lots of ‘wow’ paper and finishes. (Taken with my Iphone)

paper 2

paper 1


This is going to be a big transformation that was very worthy of professional before pictures. The very talented and lovely Photographer  Christina Wedge  has taken before pictures that you won’t want to miss.

Home with Julie

We’re just getting started. I’ll be sharing the journey, selections, considerations, aggravations, and updates on a weekly blog post.  I’ll also share more frequently on

You’ll see more spaces each week as we begin to make decisions. Right now we are finishing the plans with the Architect and I am loving it! Home Sweet Home.

Follow My Renovation


I’d love to help you Love the Space You’re In. See my services here.


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6 Tips to Refresh a Drab Living Room

I’m delighted to have Emily from Zillow as a guest on the blog. Zillow has been my go-to site during our recent move and search for a home. If you are buying, selling, or simply want to know the market in your area then check out Zillow. See Zillow Digs for inspiration too!

Enjoy these tips by guest writer Emily Creswick:

Home styling is not typically a high priority for busy families. When schedules are packed, living in outdated or disorganized environments becomes the norm. In turn, this causes unnecessary clutter and household stress that can be avoided with a little effort toward interior design. Making small updates to high-traffic living spaces can dramatically change a home’s atmosphere and the moods of its residents.

Refreshing a drab living room creates a functional and inviting space where families and their visitors can relax and mingle. Even with limited budgets, it’s easy to make a positive impact. Check out these six tips to learn how.

1.      Define the Purpose

It’s common for a living room to become a dumping ground for kid’s belongings, gym bags, shoes and random items after the family comes home from school or work. This causes unnecessary clutter and takes up valuable living space. The first step to update an area is to define the purpose of the room and remove the items that don’t belong. When reducing the purpose from catch-all to family room, be sure to create new homes for the typical overflow items. For instance, add a table, cubbies or shoe rack to the entry hall. Once random clutter is removed it’s much easier to see the entire living space available.

2.      Aim for Open Layout

A common design mistake is to overcrowd the living room with furniture and accessories. Too many items results in clutter and confusion. To refresh, adopt the design notion of “less is more.” Assess whether furniture pieces are required or unnecessary. When it comes to accessories, keep it simple. Adding decorative mirrors and modern, oversized canvas prints on the walls are great ways to create open space while incorporating artistic decoration.

3.      Increase Storage

Storage is essential to keeping the living room tidy. Create dedicated storage spaces for items not in use, such as TV remotes, magazines and books. Lucite and acrylic trays are trendy and modern while functional as storage solutions. Include side tables with decorative coasters for safe placement of beverages when watching TV. Consider using a fashionable trunk with storage space for blankets instead of a coffee table. If the room doubles as a kid’s play area, invest in some durable and attractive baskets to store toys.

image from Zillow Digs

image from Zillow Digs

4.      Eliminate Outdated Pieces

If the living room has a lumpy couch, any faded, floral prints or sun damaged curtains, then it’s time for an update. Do-it-yourself re-upholstery projects are great for reinvigorating furniture while saving money. New curtains are a cost-effective purchase that instantly add vibrancy to a drab living room. If a larger budget allows, splurge on a comfy new couch or durable rug for the high-traffic area.

5.      Get Creative with Color

Painting a bold feature wall can be intimidating. Do some research on Zillow Digs to spark design inspiration. For a lively feel, choose a bold color. Select a muted or lighter color for a classic, softer look. Work in cushions and throws of similar hues for balance.

6.      Keep it Fresh

Rooms are more inviting when they smell fresh and clean. Adding scented candles is a great way to freshen up the room while adding style and ambiance. Another option is to use air-refreshing plugs that discreetly hide in wall outlets. For safety purposes, ensure candles and air fresheners are out of reach of little hands and pets.

A fresher and more inviting living room is only a few easy steps away. For more great style tips and solutions check out staged homes on Zillow.

zillow logo

 If you want me to help you Love the Space You’re In see my services, here. I’m finally on Instagram! Follow JulieMInteriors PLUS I have a new project in the works that you’ll want to follow!


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Outlet Browsing at Ballard Designs and Frontgate

Decorating does not have to break the bank. Taking time to hunt for what you want is always a good idea but it does take patience. Quality outlet stores are great places to navigate.

One of my favorite catalogs I’ve received over the years is Ballard Designs. Now that I’m back in Atlanta I get to visit TWO Ballard Designs stores. Yes, I am lucky! While heading to Ballard I discovered a Frontgate Outlet- and what a great surprise it was for me!

Outlet prices aren’t always what you think they should be. There are sale days that actually provide even deeper discounts so always ask the store what promotions they are running. I also like to look at the online stores before heading out so that I have an idea of what I’m searching for.

Here are some of my finds at the Ballard Designs outlet store.

379 376 375 374 371 Ballard Designs Outlet GA Ballard Designs Outlet GA


Get ready to refresh for Spring with these great items from Frontgate.


400 399 396 395 392

Getting out discovering new places is one of my favorite things to do. It’s also an important part of my business. The more I know the better I can service my clients. Happy exploring!

I’d love to help you with your home goals. See my services here. Email for questions.


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Home Improvement with Quick Results

My favorite home improvement fix this time of year is gardening and taking time to re-fresh that curb appeal or back patio. Power wash, add new mulch and plant some needed color. Try sprucing up the indoors with these go-to ideas.


  • Streamline what you have. Live with the best of what you have.

  • Declutter the décor. Empty space is good space.

  • Update your photos. Group your frames or create a wall gallery.

  • Replace your accent color. Think 3: Pillows, vase, and candles.

  • Move your furniture around. Swap places with pieces.

  • Re-style your tables, bookshelves, and vanity.

  • Fresh flowers.

  • Create a sitting/reading nook just for you.

  • …and don’t forget to make your bed every day.

Simple reminders that will help you Love the Space You’re In!


Guest Retreat


If Spring organizing, decorating, or shopping for that perfect item tops your to-do list I’d love to help you! See my services, here. Email me at E-Design services are also available.


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7 Reasons Why You Have Too Much Stuff

Do you realize that the things holding you back, crowding your space, preventing creativity, and making you feel frozen is mostly just STUFF. Why do you have 8 pairs of black pants, 15 coffee mugs, 30 plastic containers, 5 pairs of tennis shoes,… and ________ (you fill in the blank). What are you really using? What are you loving? What do you require? It’s mostly just stuff.

What is the reason why your closets are full, your cabinets are over-flowing, your decorations are dusty? Do any of these sound like you?

1. I may need it sometime.

2. It was given to me and I’d feel bad to part with it…but I don’t really use it or like it.

3. I’m going to wear it again, I hope…someday.

4. I have an emotional attachment to things.

5. My children may want it someday.

6. It was my great great great grandmas and wouldn’t that be wrong to part with it or change it?

7. It was expensive. I no longer like it or use it but good gosh it was expensive.

and more and more….

So, are you hanging onto the past, choosing to not surround yourself in your style, frozen in old and ugly, unable to make expensive mistakes, passing on guilt to those you love, or are you just full of excuses.

Does any of this fit you? I’m not only talking about the person that has an entire home full of STUFF, I’m also talking to the person that has a crowded closet, could sell their own make-up line, buys mindlessly, or has decorative crap all over the house.

What should you do? Streamline your collections, your clothes, your yoga pants, your magazines/books, your jeans, your artwork… whatever the STUFF is for you. Pick a number and stick to it. For example, if you have 15 coffee mugs then choose 6 of the best and donate the rest. Most of us do not need 10 pairs of jeans. Challenge yourself to live with less. Live with the best of what you have.


Peace and simplified spaces to all!

See my organizing and decorating services here. Love the Space You’re In.


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Organizing Your Closet

Organize your closets one at a time with a bit of motivation and inspiration from this closet round-up. Give yourself 15 minutes and see what you can accomplish. Start with your purge and donate piles and then categorize and group remaining items.  You’re now able to see what you have and what you may need to purchase for the perfect storage solution.

Share your recent closet organizing accomplishments!

OB-Closet Control

You can find many more closet solutions here.

If you need help organizing and/or decorating your home see my services here.


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Home Decorating with E-Design: Giveaway

Is decorating your home one of your goals this year? Great! I’m delighted to offer an E-Design service for one Simply Savvy blog reader. You’ll provide pictures of the space and a description of what you’re looking for and I’ll create an inspiration board to get you started. If you want to see the potential of a space than E-Design is a great service option.

Here are just some of the reasons to choose E-Design:

  • You love the idea of hiring a professional but have limited access, a limited budget, or prefer to work on your own.
  • You are feeling stuck and need a visual idea of how to address a space.
  • You need inspiration and product ideas that you can easily follow.
  • You need the support of a professional.

e-design giveaway

I offer three package options with my E-Design services plus an a-la-carte option. The winner of this giveaway will receive the PLUS: Package 2 option which provides you with an inspiration board that includes the elements needed for a cohesive decorating solution.

To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post (see link above post, under title) or on the Facebook post for this giveaway as to what nook, corner, or room you would want help with. If you know of someone that could benefit from this share the post on Facebook or Twitter with them. Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, January 17th and shared on Facebook. I will contact the winner via email or direct message.


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