New Front Door Makes All the Difference

Ever so slowly but surely, I will be recapping the details of the exterior improvements we have been making to our house since the end of 2017.  First up is the new front door, which made a huge difference in our home's curb appeal!

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When we first looked at this house, I knew right away that the original front door had to go.  Its dinged-up condition didn't exactly make a great first impression, and only amplified the fact that, indeed, we were buying a fixer upper.  Well, 4+ years later, we finally replaced the door!

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I tried to find a before photo of the door from the exterior view, but could not find one!  Here's an interior photo I dug up to give you an idea of what the original door looked like.

The new door made such a difference both inside and outside!  You can catch an interior glimpse of the new door here.

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Craftsman-Style Door (Andersen) / Door Handleset (Emtek) / Sconces / Welcome Mat

Replacing the old door wasn't as straightforward as simply swapping out the actual door.  We needed to expand the opening in order to accommodate the wider frame.  Hence, some real messy construction was required, which included new framing, a new support beam/header, waterproofing, insulation, and all the finish carpentry details.

We also had to demolish an interior closet by the entryway (shown above) to accommodate the new wider opening.  This meant that we also needed to weave in some missing hardwood flooring resulting from the closet demolition (luckily we had some wood leftover), as well as patch up the drywall.  It was a trickle effect when it came to construction, but I would go through the process again to obtain the end result!

Classic Updated Traditional Living Room {Before Photos & Design Plan}

One of my latest e-design projects was a fun one to design!  This client pretty much left the design direction to me, as long as it was "stylish" and on the traditional side.  She did mention that she liked the decor on the television show Suits (I've never seen the show!), so I made sure to do some online research to get a feel for the set design because the reality is I couldn't just design whatever I wanted. 😆

Here are photos of the living room:

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Before I get to the design plan, I thought that I'd mention the following: 1) Although I was given an "open" budget 😁, I provided a reasonably-budgeted plan by mixing high/mid-range products with attainable solutions; 2) The design was not dependent on major construction updates in order to allow the homeowners to readily execute the plan; 3) The client recently relocated due to a job opportunity, so helping them get settled into their new-to-them home was the priority; 4) While the bay window was begging for a built-in bench seat, the piano was relocated to that space since it was the only area where it would fit.


The main goal of the design was to highlight the space's inherent architectural features - which include the fireplace, bay window, and alcove.  I also had to come up with a storage solution for books.

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Note: As a courtesy to this client who paid for design services, product sources are not provided.

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The fireplace in the client's living room provided a natural focal point.  In its pre-existing condition, however, it didn't command much positive attention.  So, the solution was to "beef up" the area by applying moldings around the fireplace surround and/or on the entire wall.  Moldings are a great way to add character, depth, and architectural dimension without breaking the bank!

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Opposite the fireplace wall is an alcove that houses a built-in cabinet.  I wanted to embrace this feature by painting the area in a contrast color.  While the living room would be painted a shade of white, the alcove would be painted a deep shade of gray-blue.  Floating shelves plus some modern cabinet hardware would complete the nook!

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Hints of blue, a color the client is drawn to, adds depth to the otherwise neutral room color scheme.

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Interested in a customized room design?!  Feel free to e-mail me for information on design services.  Nationwide e-design service is available, as well as local full service design/decorating.