Residential interior design is my jam (and my bread and butter! #PunIntended) but sometimes an offbeat exterior project comes my way and it’s such a cool opportunity I’ll put aside sourcing sofas and pillows.
Since 2016 I’ve been partnering with Mission Waco, an awesome local non-profit whose mission is to, “provide Christian-based, holistic, relationship-based programs that empower the poor and marginalized, mobilize middle-class Americans to become more compassionately involved among the poor, and seek ways to overcome the systemic issues of social injustice which oppress the poor and marginalized.”
Mission Waco has been taking massive action to revitalize an economically disadvantaged area of Waco. In the past few years they’ve opened a grocery store in a food desert, given their youth center a facelift, and are now turning an abandoned storefront into a thriving retail center.
The Jubliee Food Market was an abandoned grocery store with a hint of Art Deco architecture, and it was an opportunity to stand out and be incredibly bold with color and design to get attention in the neighborhood! I loved designing with the quirky combo of peach, orange, and aqua, and this facade definitely brought life and energy to an otherwise drab building.
I’m totally loving how the mural design came together. Give me ALL THE COLORS.
The next project we tackled was re-painting the tired Youth Center building. The graphic mural is an abstract “MW” (for Mission Waco, obvs) that wraps around the side of the building, and my favorite design detail is the striped pattern in between the two columns. For just the cost of paint, this building looks so much younger and fresher.
Like seriously. Check it out before:
And now…here’s what’s in the works for 2019. These four buildings (well, technically now three buildings since the walls and roof recently collapsed!) will be remodeled and turned into the Colcord Center, a new retail space in Waco’s Sanger Heights neighborhood. While the design concept isn’t as bold or exciting for this space – we’re more limited with building materials since there’s a full renovation needed – I think the kick of deep Baylor green and natural stone with green hues will set it apart from Waco’s typical beige buildings.
I know this building needs a total overhaul, but secretly, I wish this mural were staying.
If you’re in the Waco area, you can check out all three of these buildings – Jubilee, the Mission Waco Youth Center, and the Colcord Center – at the corner of Colcord Ave and 15th St.
Also, consider getting involved and supporting Mission Waco financially. They’re doing such great work to empower the poor and marginalized in Waco, and worldwide too. (If you use Amazon Smile, you can choose Mission Waco, Mission World as the charity to support and Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the price of your purchases at no cost to you. Total win.)
I looooove me a good project reveal! This Waco family-friendly kitchen remodel was such a blast to work on, and any time a client gives the go-ahead for a bright blue island you just KNOW the end result is going to be smashing.
If you remember the “before” photos, my client was trapped in a generic wannabe-farmhouse kitchen with a faux shiplap wall. A sledgehammer took care of our little shiplap problem lickety-split, and the custom-designed massive 11′ long island became a much-deserved focal point. This sweet family has 3 kids under 3 and a large island to seat everyone comfortably was a must-have (as was a low-maintenance quartz countertop).
Mixing metals, layering textures, and playing with color and pattern was key to bring interest to this otherwise neutral space. Black hardware and fixtures are unexpected and fresh, which meant that brass and chrome accents could layer in without being too dominating. (I’m obsessed with those black hexagon drawer pulls!)
The large reclaimed barn door was already in the home, and I love it because warms up the otherwise cool palette in the kitchen. Without warm woods, a blue and white kitchen would feel pretty sterile. Brass + wood = instant warmth and contrast.
You can never go wrong with tea towels that feature animals dressed like humans, right? Even kitchens need a little quirk factor.
And just for fun, while we were busy smashing down shiplap and busting up bad tile floors we did a little makeover of the laundry room and master closet too. The ho-hum laundry room got jazzed up with graphic concrete tiles and a fresh quartz countertop, and we designed a pretty little office nook in the master closet to create a much-needed private home workspace for mama.
I bet they’re going to have a pretty epic Thanksgiving dinner in their new super family-friendly kitchen! (And I hope they invite me, too.)
Photos: Jeff Jones Photography
I’m not usually into pastels, but I’m bonkers in love with this blush and grey girls’ bedroom moodboard. (I mean, seriously, that tufted velvet sofa is amazeballs!)
This moodboard was part of a Design Kit for a fave client’s tween daughter and stepdaughter. You might have noticed on the Pinterest board below that the selections are from online retailers you’re probably already familiar with. With a DIY Design Kit we stick with retail vendors to make it easy for our clients to shop the selections on their own; and for our Design Comprehensive clients we source a lot more trade-only and custom pieces since we handle all the ordering.
I love being able to equip my cool clients with everything they need to create a kickass room – a design plan, moodboard, shopping links, floor plans, elevation drawings, and swatches. It takes the fear and guesswork out of design. You already know it’s gonna look stellar before you buy a single pillow!
I’ve been dreaming and scheming about hosting a weekly Facebook live show for a while, and now, IT. IS. HAPPENING. Let’s hang out every week on Facebook and talk about how to banish boring and create a kickass home you love.
You might have noticed this is a topic I’m
passionate about totally obsessed with. I want to answer YOUR design questions and empower you to make confident design decisions!
And then every Wednesday at lunchtime, grab a sandwich (or a beer, I don’t judge) and tune in for about 15 minutes for some kickass design conversation. After all, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a computer, asking you to love me. Bonus points if you know what movie I’m referencing there.
PS. If you missed it, you can watch the replay of Episode 1: Why “Should” Is a Four-Letter Word.
It’s a good thing I really love my home office. Because if I weren’t so crazy about it, I would totally be stealing every single design element in this warm and modern home office with dark teal walls. Yes. You heard me. DARK. TEAL. WALLS.
Ugggh. This space is going to look so good when it all comes together!
This home office design is a Design Kit
created for a cool client here in Waco. She currently works from home with beige walls, beige carpet, and a queen-size bed jammed into her modest office space. Not exactly great for space planning or productivity, right?
The first order of business
was to remove the bulky queen bed and install a space-saving wall bed instead. This way, the room can be converted into a guest space on rare occasions, but has so much more room to function primarily as an office.
To jazz up the bookshelves with a metallic pop
I selected my favorite metallic wallpaper for the back of the shelves. I love the way a fun pattern makes a basic bookshelf feel complete and well-styled with minimal effort.
It’s not shown in the moodboard above,
but we selected a lot of cool art for the space, ranging from limited-edition framed art prints to a hilarious illustration of various breeds of dogs wearing glasses. Because if you can’t make work fun, it’s going to totally suck to be in that office every day. This room doesn’t have a large footprint but does have 12′ ceilings, so creating a colorful gallery wall above the desk will create a cool focal point and also use the height of the room to our advantage.
I love seeing these DIY Design Kits come to life.
We design, our clients make the magic happen! If you’re interested in your own custom DIY Design Kit you can find out more here.
I’ve been there, guys – cubicle hell. Working in an office that was bland, uninspiring, and uncomfortable. If you’ve got the office blues, I’ve got 5 tips to totally upgrade your office today. You ready?
Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.
Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here – interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty kickass interiors with an offbeat edge.
So, ’tis the season. It’s ‘back to school’ time, it might be ‘back to work’ time, so I wanna share with you today 5 tips to totally upgrade your office.
The first thing you should upgrade in your office
is, without a doubt, your chair. It’s where your butt lands all day, every day, and if your butt’s not happy, your back’s not happy, and your legs aren’t happy, having a beautiful, comfortable office chair is absolutely the first place to start.
If you are comfortable and not aching, you’re gonna do better work and be happier in your workspace.
The second thing to upgrade in your office is your desk lamp.
In my own office, as you can see behind me, I haven’t done a “desk lamp”. I just have a beautiful table lamp that I love. It’s got a bulb that has the right brightness for me; it casts the right kind of light; and I just love it!
Your desk lamp is an awesome place where you can express some of your personality and style – and, it’s got major function. It’s a complete win-win.
The third way to upgrade your office is with accessories.
Now, your stapler, your hole punch – those are not accessories.
I’m talking a beautiful pen cup, a notebook you love, maybe a gorgeous desktop calendar. Stuff that has style and personality and beauty to it. Feel free to throw in some things that are kind of unexpected in an office. Maybe a vase or a decorative sculpture. Those things that bring beauty and meaning and value to your home can also be translated in your office!
And along those same lines, tip #4 is to introduce plants.
Whether it is a plant in a pot that you somehow nurture and keep alive in a windowless cubicle (which I could never do) or cut flowers that you change out every week, having something living and green and lush in your office is really going to help your mood and your well-being day in and day out.
And finally, the last thing to upgrade in your office is what’s on your walls.
For me, it was adding this awesome inspiration board. I love seeing my goals, my values, some color, some pattern, some texture – all those things matter to me. Don’t neglect the wall space in your office.
You’re in that chair, you’re staring at those walls day in and day out. Make them beautiful, make them functional, make them serve you, and make your office a place you actually want to be.
To have a workspace that feels good, that serves you, that works well for you –
that is amazing and it does so much for your well-being and for your productivity.
If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future video, leave it in a comment. I’m here to answer your design questions, your design dilemmas, and help you feel empowered to have a home you love.
My first apartment boasted a hand-me-down beige plaid sofa from my grandparents, a structurally unstable bed purchased from IKEA, and was shared with my suuuuper messy ex-boyfriend. As an interior designer and neat-freak, let’s just say these were not my ideal living conditions.
I never thought I’d be jealous of two boys under the age of 10, but let me tell you, their mom hired me create a Design Kit for the coolest kids playroom that puts my first apartment to shame. This spare bedroom was a majorly under-utilized space that needed to become a playroom, video game hangout, homework space, and guest room all in one.
An awesome orange sleeper sectional is the bold and badass centerpiece of the room, and it’s where the boys and their friends will get comfy to play video games (and wrestle and build forts and stuff). We swapped the totally impractical double closet doors for a pair of curtain panels mounted on a tension rod which freed up the floor space to add a hip industrial desk big enough for both kids to share. And if they can’t share, there’s a laptop table for some extra work space.
The boys are also getting a major bedroom and bathroom makeover too, in their favorite team’s colors of orange and grey. I’m not a fan of literal theme rooms (no sports logos here!) but taking inspiration from the colors and styles of a favorite sports team, book, or movie is an awesome starting point when designing a space for kids.
This Waco family-friendly kitchen remodel is in full swing – we’re about four weeks in to an eight-week renovation. I love designing projects of this scope. A full-scale renovation means there will be an UHHHMAZING reveal at the end and I can’t wait to see it all come together.
Here’s the scoop: my clients weren’t happy with the layout of their kitchen thanks to a weird floating wall and a strangely shaped island, and there was also a “f**king shiplap wall” (their words, not mine – although I find it hilarious!) that they wanted removed. The kitchen was certainly pretty, but totally average. Greige walls, white cabinets, beige granite, beige floor tiles. You know the stuff. Here are a few before photos to give you an idea of just how borrrring this kitchen was:
It’s not shown in these photos, but there was a huge amount of space between the stove and the sink (located on the island), making working in the kitchen pretty impractical. This family has three young kids and they ain’t got time for a badly designed space.
The dining area also left a little to be desired:
So what’s the design plan for this kitchen?
Spoiler alert: it involves teal, funky tile, and some badass pendant lighting.
These are two of the moodboards I presented to the clients to communicate the overall vibe and color palette of the space. The layout and some of the decorative elements have changed a bit during the design and renovation process, but I don’t want to ruin the final reveal so I’ll keep the updates a mystery.
Just know that I might be sneaking a white llama planter in there somewhere, as seen on this pinboard where I’ve gathered fixture and finish ideas for this remodel.
If you’re curious, this is how the remodel is progressing:
Buy-bye, fake shiplap. That wall is already gone entirely (replaced by a sturdy support beam hidden in the attic) and things are moving quickly on this Waco family-friendly kitchen remodel. Big reveal coming in a few months!
I’m totally breaking my own rule here by asking the question “what’s the one thing that every room needs?” because I hate those listicles that tell you you must have something! My girl Tina Fey said it best in her rad book Bossypants:
“When people say, “You really, really must” do something, it means you don’t really have to. No one ever says, “You really, really must deliver the baby during labor.” When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.”
You’re totally right, Tina. So yeah. Take this design advice with a grain of salt. Maybe every room doesn’t need this, but if your space is falling flat, this might be the missing element:
Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.
Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty fantastic interiors with an offbeat edge.
Now, I’m going to do something today that kind of goes against what I believe.
Stick with me on this one! I hate those lists you find that’s like “10 Things Every Woman Needs In Her Wardrobe” or “The One Thing You Need for XY or Z.” I think it’s dumb. I don’t think there’s one one-size-fits-all rule for how you dress or how you live or whatever.
But, there is one thing that I really do believe that every room needs.
Do you know what it is?
I think that what every room needs is something old.
Something vintage, something antique, something with character, something with a story behind it. Something that is a little imperfect, a little irregular, a little beat up, brings a little heart and soul to a space.
Why if you have a whole new room and you’re buying all new furnishings and decor should you put “something old” in there?
Well first, it brings personality.
It has a story behind it. It has something to say in the room. A fresh, clean, beautiful polished room is awesome but bringing something in that has a little bit of grit, a little bit of edge, can make the space feel less like it’s on a magazine page and more like it’s in your home with your story and your history.
Or maybe even someone else’s history if you just find a cool antique piece somewhere.
One-of-a-kind older pieces also bring a ton of personality.
They’re gonna be conversation starters. Not everyone is gonna have the same thing that you have in your living room. And that is really cool.
Introducing something old also layers in this kind of eclectic, funky vibe.
It shows that you’re confident in not just sticking with one literal design style but that you can mix and match. You can incorporate cool, unique pieces.
I love that offbeat mix. I love what that old piece brings to a space. It’s an element of contrast, it’s an attention-getter, and it’s a serious conversation starter.
I’m not going to tell you you “need” something old in a room,
buuuut it’s kind of a good idea and I think it can really elevate a great room into something amazing.
There’s nothing better than a satisfying “after” photo, and I’ve been dying to share this colorful kids craft room with you! You may remember the “before” photos from this space in Waco, Texas:
Yup. Snooooooozefest. But don’t worry – some funky wallpaper, chic furnishings, and gorgeous original art has totally transformed this space.
We kept the existing paint color – Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter – since it’s such a classic, pretty grey. And it was the perfect neutral backdrop to allow the bold color and pattern of the wallpaper, art, area rug, and accessories to be the star of the show.
The kids each have their own personalized workspace, complete with adorable desk lamps and industrial-chic bulletin boards to display homework, crafts, and artistic creations.
And lucky mama, who’s an entrepreneur and works primarily from home, gets this UHHMAZING workspace. The brass and white lacquer desk is beyond chic in person, and the original artwork by Lesley Grainger brings such a fun energy to the room and ties in the bright wallpaper and area rug.
And can we please take a moment to savor this incredible custom floral arrangement from Tenfold Floral? Adair and Aelish from Tenfold are flower-loving geniuses who used the moodboards for this project as inspiration to create this stunning centerpiece as a thank-you gift for my client.
I’m so grateful when clients let me play and push the envelope with color, pattern, and design. I think this colorful kids craft room is a smashing success. (And big thanks to my rockstar photographer Jeff Jones for translating this space into these gorgeous photos.)