As you know we just finished redesigning our living room. I worked with an interior designer to transform a room that was previously dark and outdated, into a bright, perfectly designed space. This was my first experience working with a designer, and I wanted to share the entire design process to show how it all evolved. I’m excited to share the details of this interior design plan with you!
This post is sponsored by Kathryn LeMaster Art and Design, however, all opinions are my own.
You know I like to start all my design projects with before and after shots. Here is the room with beige walls before we moved in and had anything painted, a photo of my original furniture, and a photo of the finished design!
DIY INTERIOR DESIGN PLAN PROCESS:
We started the process in August. Kathryn sent me a design questionnaire to fill out that asked questions about my favorite colors, my least favorite colors, my favorite furnishing and decor styles, my favorite stores to shop, and my budget and preferred timeline. I thought it was a great tool to start the conversation!
I met with Kathryn LeMaster in September to start planning this design. She has two main options for helping someone with designing their home. One option is a full-service design where she creates a plan, assumes the role of project manager, handles the purchasing and installation, and styles everything for the client.
She also offers a Do It Yourself (DIY) Design service which includes a site visit for measurements and photos, and design time to create a DIY design plan that will include color scheme, scaled floor plan with the new layout, finish, fixture and furnishing selections. It also includes a design board, supplemental drawings and/or renderings if needed, shopping and resource list with installation notes, plus available material samples (fabrics, paint, tile, etc.) and presentation time to review design plan with the client. The client then orders everything and can either style and install everything on their own or utilize Kathryn for this process as well.
I chose the DIY Design service because it gave me budget flexibility and a little design freedom as well. I have been obsessed with interior design since my early twenties. I have stacks and stacks of my favorite magazines, and can visual rooms I love that I saw years ago! I really loved being involved in the process and acting as the project manager, with the ability to utilize Kathryn’s knowledge and expertise to create the plan and of course when I had questions.
She came to my home for an initial meeting and we discussed my style and vision for the space. We discussed how the space is currently used, how we would entertain in the space, how our family would utilize the room in the future, etc. She then measured every detail of the room, including the trim, the walls, the hearth, windows, and the existing furniture. She also reviewed and photographed all my existing furniture in case she was able to use any of it in the plan, and she even measured my existing art.
I was so impressed with this whole process and learned a lot! I knew from the beginning that we probably wouldn’t use much unless we recovered some of the upholstered furniture or painting some of the dark wood furniture.
Kathryn suggested I create a shared Pinterest Board and search for inspiration for the room so she could get a better idea of my style from the photos that I liked. I thought this was such a clever idea because I’m on Pinterest searching for things every day! It certainly allowed for ease in sharing photos and ideas!
Following our initial meeting, Kathryn spent a few weeks completing their Design Research, where she assessed all the photos I had pinned and all the information she had collected. The next phase was the Design Development where the design really begins to take shape and they create the scaled floor plan and sources all the furnishings and decor.
From there, there was a process of Design Refinement and Finalization, where they create a finished, beautiful Design Presentation that is both printed and available digitally!! She added me to a Project Dashboard and provided a portfolio as well. I was so impressed with how detailed and professional this process was from start to finish!
INTERIOR DESIGN PLAN PRESENTATION
The design presentation includes the inspiration and concepts, a scaled floor and furniture plan, additional drawings or renderings where needed to communicate the design. It also includes a design board showing all of the selections together (paired with any existing furnishings you want to work with!), followed by a detailed shopping list with clickable links to make shopping a breeze! It also included installation notes so it’s like having them there coaching how to arrange and style things to pull it all together!
We met for the presentation where she revealed the design. I literally had tears while she took me through the slides on her laptop. The design was so perfect in every way. It was as if she was in my head and could glean everything I had hoped for, even if I couldn’t or didn’t communicate it eloquently. I think that speaks volumes about an interior designer! She definitely has a God-given talent in reading people, asking the right questions, and creatively coming up with a plan.
Her design includes furniture, measurements of each piece in the case I needed or wanted to find an alternate item. The plan included decor items, pillows, drapes, and hardware. She also recommended new lighting which completely changed the room! Take a look at a few of the presentation slides, aren’t these so cool?
Another big change she recommended was a complete overhaul of the fireplace. When I first saw her plan, I was surprised, but it was so obvious that this was what the room had always needed! She recommended replacing the existing tile with a marble tile and painting the fireplace to resemble limestone. A plaster finish was used to create a stone-like finish, and then it was painted to help age the look. The last thing she recommended was an antiqued, or silvered, mirror. I’ll be sharing a DIY tutorial in the future, but the combination of the three changes brought the fireplace to life, and it is now a stunning focal point in the room.
The plan also recommended placement for the artwork needed while also using the existing pieces. In order for my existing artwork to mesh in the new room, she recommended having the frames painted. Again, something I had never thought of, but it was very much needed! I’ll be sharing more on this process at a later date, but the frames were painted in four layers to create a beautiful gilt gold finish. Once the artwork was in place, it was so evident that this change was needed. Another very insightful and creative suggestion!
INTERIOR DESIGN PLAN STYLING DAY
Styling the living room was so fun! We assembled all furniture and had the drapes and new chandelier installed prior to styling day so everything would be ready to go. Kathryn brought in a lot of decorative items for styling, and I collected items from around my home and I had ordered and found some things locally as well.
We started with a blank canvas and styled the room from bottom to top. We placed the rug first, then moved in the large furniture items. Kathryn literally measured to ensure each item was placed correctly and evenly. We then added the accent furniture like chairs, coffee table, and the garden stools.
I love these photos showing the progression of placing the furniture and decor in the space and how it transformed over the course of a few hours:
Then each little space was styled from the coffee table, to the bookcase, to the desk, to the bar cart, to the console table. It was so fun to watch Kathryn work. She is such a creative and I love hearing her quietly humming while she was in her element.
The last big piece of the design was placing the artwork. She described just where to hang it, and the Joseph Hunter, the artist who created the gorgeous “Garden Light in Rose” painting, came and installed the artwork.
We then had a completely designed living room (check out the living room reveal!) where literally everything in the room was changed, and wow was it an unbelievable change. I walk by the room, or come down the stairs, and lose my breath! The room is so beautiful, and completely transformed, from top to bottom. I’m literally living in my dream home thanks to the talent of Kathryn LeMaster. She was such a joy to work with, and made the design process so easy and so fun for me!
Kathryn not only has a natural gift for design and the education, but she approaches her work with professionalism and grit. I also felt like we finished this process as life-long friends! It was so fun to get to tackle a project this size with a friend. I’m so thankful she shared her time with me and provided her expert guidance and talent.
Kathryn has clients both locally and internationally, the great thing about a DIY Design plan is that she can help you remotely just as she could work with me locally! I know she has traveled all over the U.S. and internationally to work with her clients. Be sure to visit her website to learn how you can work with her to transform your space, and if you haven’t already, check out the full living room reveal!