Who doesn’t love a good before-and-after? Get ready, because all month long I’m sharing a tour of our Texas home, including the living room, master bedroom, kids bedroom, my office, my husband’s office, and the kitchen. First up: our family-friendly living room with a teal sofa.
Disclosure: Some of the products in this before-and-after were sponsored by brands I use and love for myself and for my clients, including Sherwin-Williams and Lamps Plus. Thanks for your support!
If this living room looks vaguely familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before. This is the second makeover of my Waco, Texas living room.
Here’s what the room looked like the day we moved in, way back in 2015.
So. Much. Peach. I couldn’t wait to bust this room out of boring and paint the walls one of my favorite neutrals, Sherwin-Williams Relaxed Khaki.
And after I got my designer hands on it, here’s what the space looked like for the first few years we lived in Texas. (You can see the full before-and-after here, if you’d like.)
She’s cute, right? Funky teal sofa, cute gallery wall, graphic area rug, eclectic furnishings. All is well and that’s the end of the story.
OH BUT WAIT.
After our beloved teal sofa died a slow death, it was time to replace it and give a whole new look to our living room. We did our homework and realized that re-upholstering the existing sofa in leather would be the same investment as buying a brand-new sectional, so we opted for the larger Briar sectional from Joybird to gain more seating.
And while I still have a soft spot for a good gallery wall, I was looking forward to a change and making a big-ass statement above the new sectional.
See that oversize framed photo?
No, that is not Elton John (although we’ve had quite a few people ask that!) – that is a picture of my husband Nate when he was about 5 years old. I’m obsessed with everything in this pic: the orange sunglasses, the acid-washed jeans, the stack of VHS tapes in the background, and alllll the 80s goodness. I borrowed the original 3×5 photo from my mother-in-law, scanned it, and blew it up to 60×40 inches. My favorite framer in Waco, Studio Gallery, did a killer job on this oversize brass floating frame.
Nate had no idea I was doing this, by the way. Imagine his shock when he came home to find a giant photo of himself in our living room.
With art, I always say “go big or go home”.
This is how you go big with major personality.
We replaced our cute yellow wing chairs with these beautiful custom cognac leather high-backed accent chairs from Bassett. And I scored that cute footstool on a sourcing trip to Las Vegas. The pair of coffee tables, believe it or not, are from Target! I love to mix high and low in the same room – it gives a more eclectic, collected vibe than if everything came from the same kind of store.
I didn’t get rid of the gallery wall entirely –
And every reading nook needs a great lamp. I love the cherry wood and brass surveyor-style floor lamp from Lamps Plus.
You’ve probably noticed some things have remained from before, including the wall color and the retro bar cabinet. But I’m psyched to have a new rug that’s actually big enough for the room! This pretty vintage-inspired area rug is from Loloi.
I hope you enjoyed taking a tour of my family-friendly living room with a teal sofa – like you expected anything other than teal in my house.
I’m so excited to share the big reveal of our Atlanta interior design office! Let me tell you, I looooove working in this space. It’s not a huge room, but I’ve maximized it with plenty of storage and space to spread out and work.
Here’s what the office space looked like before.
When the home was on the market and we did our first walk-through, here’s what we saw. Trust me, it took a lot of imagination to envision this as the new headquarters for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. If you’ve ever thought that “bust out of boring” was just a cute catchphrase, think again – busting out of boring is what I live for. And this room was boring, baby.
And here’s the office, after.
I’m obsessed with the dark teal ceiling – it’s Sherwin-William Cascades, if you’re curious. I love teal – obviously – but in a north-facing room with its only window obscured by our wraparound porch, my office doesn’t get a lot of natural light. I wanted the punch of dark teal, but I knew it would be too gloomy in there (and terrible for choosing colors for clients!) so instead I opted for a teal ceiling that wraps down onto the walls. The lower portion of the walls are painted in my favorite crisp white, Sherwin-Williams Extra White.
Since I work with so much color every day (think: wallpaper, fabric, tile, paint swatches…) I prefer my workspace to be mainly neutral. But – when you’ve got a fabulous vintage yellow Chinoiserie bookcase you’ve gotta find a kickass home for it. And FINALLY, I GET TO ORGANIZE MY BOOKS IN RAINBOW ORDER AGAIN! My husband’s books have moved to his new office and I get to embrace all the rainbow goodness.
This is my favorite little corner of the office where I pin up inspiring interiors, art, and notes from my 5-year-old son. I’d love to tell you that I sit here and actually use this chair, but let’s be real – it’s mostly used by my cat.
I know you’re curious…
…about what’s in those cabinets. Since this room was just a blank rectangle with no closets, I built in a ton of storage. The cabinets on the window side (pictured below) are home to fabric books and hard samples (like tile, countertops, and flooring), as well as drawing and drafting supplies.
The opposite cabinets store office supplies and files, with a lot of open space for receiving small packages and fabrics for clients. I hate clutter, and nothing bothered me more in my former office than the boxes that would occasionally pile up beside my desk on the floor.
Thanks for taking a peek at our Atlanta interior design office after the makeover! I don’t just talk about busting out of boring, I live and breathe it. If you’d like help busting out of your boring home, here’s how to get started.
While moving across the country brings plenty of logistical challenges (including moving a business, two young kids, and one brand new kitten!) it also brings A NEW ATLANTA INTERIOR DESIGN OFFICE for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. Cue alllll the angels singing.
You probably remember our office in Waco, Texas. It was a great space for me and my small team, but given that almost everything was built-in, there was nothing I could take with me to Atlanta.
I know, I know…how terrible for an interior designer to have to re-design a room! I can’t tell you how excited I was for a fresh start and a blank canvas.
My home office is just off of the main entry, with a pair of French doors dividing it from the rest of the house. I love the flexibility of working from home in a space that is connected but truly feels like a separate office space. I can shut the doors at night have clear boundaries between work and family.
Here’s the (underwhelming) space before:
Yup, a total snooze. It’s basically a rectangular box with dirty grey carpet and a boob light on the ceiling. But thankfully, those barely-visible windows are almost 7′ tall and let in so much light, and a fresh coat of paint does wonders!
There’s no closet or storage of any kind in this room, and building in storage for material samples and catalogs, office supplies, and warehousing small items for clients was essential. Here’s my plan for the office layout:
Definitely bigger than it looks in the photo, right? The plan is to create two workspaces (one for me, one for an in-person assistant); a large island with a generous work surface for spreading out samples and working on client projects; and building in wardrobes with customized storage for fabric books, tile and flooring samples, catalogs, and all the other design-related collateral that’s essential to have on-hand.
And here’s the plan for after:
Aesthetically it’s all about black and white with a dramatic dose of teal on the ceiling and part of the walls. I fell in love with the inspiration image above by Jean Stoffer Design and wanted to re-create the vibe. The walls will mainly be my favorite crisp white, Sherwin-Williams Extra White, but the ceiling and a 2′ band at the top of the walls are gonna be Cascades, the prettiest dark teal. The tall marble-top desks, modern ceiling fan, and center island are what my podcast co-host and designer bestie Kate has in her home office, and I’ve been obsessed since I first saw her space.
The after photos are coming at ‘ya soon! (You can also sneak a peek of the completed Atlanta interior design office each Monday at 9amCT on the Bust Out Of Boring live show on Facebook and Instagram.)
Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy is a devastatingly handsome rockstar academic with, like, a million books. Girl is a clever designer who creates a DIY bookshelf built-in spanning an entire 14′ wall to house her handsome hubby’s ever-growing library. Boy and girl live happily ever after with their plethora of color-coded bookshelves.
It’s like a modern fairy tale, isn’t it? I’m delighted that we got to the ‘happily ever after’ because our book situation could seriously be a thorn in the roses. But with some creativity, resourcefulness, and help from our friends at Metrie, there’s some magic happening here.
You may remember what our office looked like before:
Great blank canvas. Pretty boring. No storage.
Ahhhh. So good! And way more practical for a couple who both primarily work from home. While time consuming, it was actually pretty simple to create this built-in look. We started by piecing together the individual elements needed. The IKEA Micke desk and the three tall Billy bookshelves on the left were existing from our former home; the two tall bookshelves on the right and the half-height shelf for my printer were purchased new for this project. Also needed: a 3/8″ thick cork roll from Manton Cork for the wall behind my desk; a chic Nate Berkus fabric to cover the corkboard; and moldings from Metrie to create the built-in look. We used this 2 11/16″ crown molding for the top of the built-in, a 3 1/4″ baseboard for the bottom, and 1/2″ quarter round to finish off the inside corners of the corkboard. (We also beefed up the crown molding at the ceiling to 4 1/4″ to keep everything in proportion.)
The basics of how this faux built-in is assembled is pretty simple: arrange all the pieces, mark off where the corkboard needs to be and attach, then anchor everything to the wall and finish off with molding. The custom corkboard ended up being the hardest part! I used a heavy-duty floor grade adhesive as recommended by the cork manufacturer, but it really didn’t stick. Several nails were needed to hold the cork in place as it’s quite heavy. Covering it with a patterned fabric was not only an aesthetic choice but a practical one to hide several large nailheads underneath.
You may have noticed that the inside back panels of the bookshelves are wallpapered. It’s a delightfully eclectic mix of vintage-inspired black and white patterns, as we’ve collected the bookshelves over the years and had to mix in new patterns as we ran out of wallpaper. The two damask patterned papers aren’t still available, but the awesome Gibson Girls-inspired wallpaper is.
Can we take a moment to appreciate these sexy mitered corners on the crown and baseboard? As if my husband weren’t awesome enough, he knows his way around a miter saw. #truelove
Once the moldings were painted and installed, we patched up the nail holes and touched up the paint. The color we found was the closest match to the IKEA Billy series was Valspar Dove White, thanks to a recommendation found here (along with a more detailed DIY bookcase built-in tutorial).
Boom. There she is. Well worth the effort to transform standard bookshelves into a custom DIY bookshelf built-in for our shared office.
If you’d like to see more of my home you can check out my living room, foyer, and entire home office here.
Sometimes you’ve just gotta wait for the perfect piece to complete a space.
For my home office that I share with my PhD student husband, that piece was a mounted deer head. His name is Hector, he sits above my husband’s desk, and this room is definitely more interesting with a stoic deer face greeting me every time I turn around in my chair.
Anyway. Now that Hector has finally made his appearance (after a 22-hour car trek from Minnesota, no less!), on with the tour of my home office makeover. You may remember what the space looked like before. We transformed what was the home’s formal dining room into a dual (triple, if you count the little desk area we included for my toddler) workspace with a wall of built-in bookcases. It’s a dynamic mix of masculine and feminine, pattern and solids, neutrals and color.
It’s subtle, but the painted ceiling is one of my favorite parts of the room. With white walls and neutral curtains, we needed a little pop to keep the space from falling flat. The ceiling color is Sherwin Williams Rainwashed, a pretty blue-green with a lot of grey in it. It’s just a whisper of color, the perfect amount for a room with 8′ ceilings. If the ceilings were higher, I would’ve gone bolder and more jewel-toned – but for this space, a softer ceiling color allowed the room to stay bright and airy. The beadboard walls are painted in Sherwin Williams Downy, a creamy white that contrasts nicely with the crisp white trim and bookshelves.
The Lesley Myrick Art + Design half of the office is all about making space for creativity. The white built-ins, desk, filing cabinet, and pedestal table allows me a blank canvas for the colorful books, fabric swatches, and tear sheets that are always layered on top and within the shelves. There’s a ton of pattern making an appearance, but keeping it all in a neutral palette makes it chic, not crazy.
I designed the giant floor-to-ceiling bulletin board behind my desk to tack up swatches and inspiration for client projects. The space is always transforming depending on what I’m working on, and it’s nice to be able to clear everything off and give my senses a rest in between design sessions.
And OMG I’m totally psyched about the DIY built-ins. Gorgeous moldings from Metrie transformed stock bookshelves into something super custom. (I’ll be sharing a how-to post next week if you’re curious about how to do it.) You’ll notice my bookshelf styling is pretty relaxed – when you’re married to an academic, books come and go frequently, so it’s best not to get attached to a rigid book arrangement. Everyone’s got their own opinion about how to style shelves, but for me, it’s ALWAYS BOOKS BY COLOR.
Nate’s half of the office definitely has an industrial vibe with a masculine edge, which I dig. I love the contrast between our two halves of this shared space.
And of course, we had to make a workspace for our kiddo in the office too. He’s got his own desk, a surface for alphabet magnets, and a custom corkboard for displaying daycare arts and crafts. (How cute is that crooked little Texas flag he made? I die.)
Thanks for checking out my rad new home office. I’m grateful to create design awesomeness for my clients in here every day. If you’d like to see more of my home, check it out here.
The living room is done, the foyer is done – and in case you’re wondering, I haven’t gotten tired of those spotted walls – and it’s time to tackle the home office. I share this space with my PhD student husband Nate, so the design had to include some feminity and quirk (for me), some masculinity and a deer head (for him), and space for a lot of books. Like, a LOT of books. Those academics are not quick to let go of research material.
The previous homeowner had used this space as a family room, and it looks like it was likely originally designed to be a formal dining room. We love the white board and batten walls, massive sliding glass door that lets in the morning light, and the fact that it’s super open to our kitchen and living room. Because we wouldn’t get the use out of a formal dining room and want to keep our extra bedroom as a guest room and future baby’s room (I said FUTURE, calm down!) it made sense to convert this large and light-filled room into the space we’d be spending most of our days in.
Here’s a peek at the empty office the day we closed on the house. This is the view from our kitchen breakfast nook looking towards the patio door:
Not bad, right? White walls, nice flooring, neutral curtains. We definitely had good bones to work with. My desk and the bookshelves will be on the wall on the left; Nate’s desk and filing cabinet will be on the wall on the right.
Here’s a look from in the living room (with the formerly peach wall making an appearance at the right):
And here’s the space viewed from the patio doors, looking into the living room on the left and breakfast nook on the right:
You can see how open the office space is to both the kitchen and the living room. We explored the idea of putting doors on one or both of the openings, but it just didn’t make sense. Having these openings makes the house feel larger and more spacious, especially with all the light coming in from the glass patio doors, and it made more sense to us to be able to keep our eyes and ears on our two-year-old while we’re working. (He even has a little desk in here now too!)
I’m not going to give you the full reveal yet (because we’ve still got some work to do) but here’s a look at the progress. We bought several new white bookcases; installed a corkboard wall behind my desk; and painted the ceiling a gorgeous Sherwin Williams shade called “Rainwashed“. The entire desk and bookshelf area will have a built-in look thanks to moldings from Metrie – I’ll be sharing a DIY tutorial later on – and we’re adding new crown molding to the entire room too.
Nate’s side of the room has a more industrial feel, and I love the contrast of our two workspaces. Can’t wait to show you how it’ll all come together.
(In case you’re wondering what’s on my laptop screen, I was totally binging on episodes of Fixer Upper on Netflix while working. How did people use to keep themselves entertained while installing cork walls before Netflix?)
As a designer, owning a house is THE FUNNEST. I get to decorate my own space without fear of repercussions from a landlord! Or even worse, fear of the work required to paint everything back to beige before moving out (ugh.)
Since moving to Waco, Texas in July we’ve wrapped up the living room makeover; the office is underway, and the foyer is now complete too. Take a peek at what our entryway looked like before:
Peachy wallpaper surrounded by peach walls. The wallpaper almost wasn’t terrible and may have even been pretty cool in another color palette, but it just wasn’t working for me. And after obsessing over this foyer FOR. LIKE. EVER. I decided to go a little nuts and do a DIY dalmatian print wall treatment in my own home. I’ll share the DIY process for my dalmatian print wall in another post soon, but for now just know that it was a stop-gap solution done on the cheap that I intended to redo in a year or so, but I love it so much you’ll have to pry those walls out of my COLD DEAD HANDS.
Anyway. More shots of my eclectic foyer design!
It’s a small (but mighty) space so there aren’t a lot of sources to list, but if anything you see tickles your fancy here you go:
The next space I’m tackling in my home makeover is the office, with a blue ceiling and a wall of DIY custom-look built ins. And wallpaper featuring 1920s sketches of women’s faces. And a leopard print cowhide rug. And a deer head mounted on the wall. It’s gonna be weird and wonderful.
Drumroll please…my eclectic living room makeover is complete! Remember what this room looked like before? (Hint: PEACH.)
Yeahhhhh. We’ve come a long way, baby. I’m psyched to show you around! To kick off my new YouTube channel, here’s a little video tour of the space:
(Can’t see the embedded video? Click here.)
And some more photos, if you’d like to see. A lot of the major furniture pieces are from my California apartment, but we’ve spiced things up with some new pieces this time around since we have DOUBLE. THE. SPACE. (Central Texas for the win!) Scroll through to the end for links to sources.
Here’s where to get the goods. Current sources are linked. If I’ve missed anything that you’d like to know the source of, just ask and I’ll help you out.
Sofa: Custom “Natalie” from The Sofa Company | Sofa Pillows: Custom + Thrifted | Wing Chairs: IKEA | Pillow on Wing Chair: Lamps Plus | Sheepskin on Wing Chair: IKEA | Coffee Table: Custom | Accent Table: Lamps Plus | Yellow Floor Pouf: Target | Rug: IKEA | Teal Glass Table Lamp: Target | Teal Glass Lamp Shade: Custom | Industrial Table Lamp: Kirklands | Floor Lamp: IKEA | Paint: c/o Sherwin Williams (color is SW6149 Relaxed Khaki) | Bowl on Coffee Table: Target | Candle on Coffee Table: Target | Jacks on Coffee Table: Similar at Target | Bar: Thrifted | Mirror Above Bar: World Market | “Bar” Sign: Kohl’s | Metal Tin on Bar: World Market | Globe: Target
Now that the living room is done (hallelujah!) the next space we’re tackling is the foyer. You may have caught a little sneak peek above. I can’t wait to show you the rad DIY project that turned some pretty ugly vintage wallpaper into something awesome. There’s lots more of my home makeover to come, so if you’re not already subscribed you can do so here (and get my free e-book too).
We’re making major decorating progress on our new home, and it’s time to share my Texas living room makeover – or at least, the “before” photos.
FYI – “before” photos are totally code for “set your expectations low, people”. So yeah. Do that.
Since I haven’t shared the backstory of how we bought this home, I’ll give you the super quick version. We were pre-approved for a mortgage earlier this year, but that fell through. (Banks don’t like when you decide to be self-employed at the same time you’re applying for a mortgage.) So we decided to rent. We almost pulled the trigger on a rental, but both my husband and I got a funny feeling before we submitted the online application so we held off. We were able to work with a local Texas bank to get a mortgage in order (yay!) so Nate booked a 2-day trip to Waco to find us a house exactly 30 DAYS BEFORE WE HAD TO MOVE.
Are you following this? We had 2 days to find a house, make an offer, have that offer accepted, and have the seller agree to close in 30 days. And I wasn’t even going to get to see any of the houses in person. THE DESIGNER WASN’T EVEN GOING TO GET TO SEE THE HOUSE BEFORE WE BOUGHT IT. I was trusting Nate to make a pretty freaking big decision for us. And fast.
Let me say that God was totally on our side during this process. Because there’s no logical way that this should have worked out. I know enough people navigating the housing market and what we did is practically unheard of. Who the hell finds the perfect house in one day (it literally had everything on our “Want List” besides a fireplace), has their offer accepted after one very reasonable counter-offer and is moving in 30 days later? Thank you God. Seriously.
And obviously I have the best husband in the world, because he found a winner. It was the second house he looked at, and he knew right away that this was meant to be our home. It’s beautiful and has great bones and an awesome layout and I couldn’t be happier. I walked in for the first time on our closing day and cried. (Nicely done, Nate.)
Sidenote: Waco is INSANELY AFFORDABLE. If anyone from LA is reading, just get out now and move to Texas. I promise you’ll be happy here and you can live in a freaking palace for what you’re paying for a tiny apartment in WeHo. Or you can buy, like, five houses in Texas for what one bungalow in my Pasadena neighborhood cost. Let’s be neighbors, okay?
Alrighty, onto the good stuff. Here’s the house – specifically, the living room.
Let’s start with a terrible quality photo from the home’s Zillow listing:
OHHH MAN. The previous homeowner was a sweet Southern gentleman, but clearly his taste and mine don’t jive. That peachy terra cotta wall color isn’t my jam. But I could make sweet sweet design love to those super tall floor length windows, crown molding, and the exposed brick half-wall. (Good bones, right? I’ve trained my husband well to spot these things.)
Here’s a look at the living room on the day we moved in:
Aah. That’s already better. Move that dated furniture out of the way and you can see those good bones that I can totally work with. A new paint color is going to transform this space, and I’m psyched to be partnering with Sherwin Williams on this living room makeover. (Can you guess which of these three colors we chose? Hint: here’s one of the walls now.)
Thanks for following along with my Texas home makeover. We’re updating pretty much the whole house in the coming months, so I’ve got lots of great stuff to share with you! (Wait until you see the wallpaper in the kitchen. Egads.)