Before and After: A Favorite Client Project

I have been feeling really fortunate this week because four former clients recently hired us again to design new projects for them. It is an amazing compliment to have a client entrust you with their home, not only once, but twice. One of these client’s homes is a favorite project that was featured in Luxe earlier this year. Upon taking on a new project with this client who we love, I reflected on the past several years that we have spent working together and thought it might be fun to show you a before and after since seeing the original version and the finished product can really showcase the transformative magic that happens during the design process. 

My client really has great taste. She and her husband custom built their home a couple of years before I was brought on to the project and she made some really great design selections on her own. When it came to furnishing the house, she got stuck on some decisions and needed someone to guide her and bring what she had envisioned to life, which is where I stepped in. In the interim, they lived with a lot of furniture from their old house, which didn’t quite work in the new space. Our relationship has always been very collaborative because she has a great eye, is willing to take risks, and really trusts me and the process. The end result is a testament to a great client/designer relationship. 

{Entry Before: My client had a great antique chest and gilt mirror, which we ended up keeping, along with the cowhide.}

{Entry After: We kept the chest and the mirror, added new lighting and a pair of antique Bergere chairs, and framed art that my client had collected over the years.}

{Dining Room Before: My client had a great foundation to work with including neutral grasscloth covered walls, a diamond sisal rug, silk taffeta curtains, and a custom dining table with metal top and Lucite base. The individual pieces were great, but she wanted to elevate the feeling in this room and the rest of the house to reflect a more tailored, slightly more glamorous and modern look.}

{Dining Room Before: This shot offers a different view of the space, including a pretty buffet and mirror.}

{Dining Room After: We transformed the space by pairing the modern, Lucite base dining table with Louis XVI-style side chairs with custom skirted host chairs with Samuel & Sons trim. Only having skirted chairs on the ends allows the cool base of the table to be seen. It was getting lost before. My client loved Kelly Wearstler’s Channels fabric, so we sought a creative way to use it, opting for custom draperies which mimic the black and white abstract painting by Karina Gentinetta.}

{Dining Room After: We brought in new lighting including a beautiful rock crystal chandelier and lamps, which transform the buffet and mirror.}

{Living Room Before: The room is rather large with tall ceilings and big, steel windows. The pieces my client had were all very nice, but the room called for larger scale items and it also presented a great opportunity for bringing in the new style she craved.}

{Living Room Before: Looking Towards the Fireplace}

{Living Room After: The living room is one of my favorite spaces in the house as it demonstrates my love of symmetry. The high-contrast palette works beautifully in the home’s open floorplan. My client’s husband was so sweet and willing to go along with all of his wife’s choices, so when he had a single request– to add a TV in the living room, we couldn’t help but comply. Thankfully, there are plenty of other beautiful things to occupy the eye in the space from the antique Octagonal mirrors found in New Orleans, to the extra-long Verellen sofas topped with Scalamandré tigre velvet pillows and Celerie Kemble for Henredon coffee table. A modern Jonathan Browning chandelier acts as the jewelry of the room. Meanwhile, custom curtains with a wide, embroidered Mary McDonald trim and custom Lucite and brass hardware frame the windows and soften the room while a custom wool rug anchors the space.}

{Kitchen Before: I couldn’t find a better picture of the photo of the kitchen from early on, but as you can see, the kitchen already looked great.}

{Kitchen After: The kitchen features a marble waterfall island and slab backsplash along with soft gray cabinetry with antique mirrored accents. We added a pair of modern AERIN pendants over the island and upholstered the barstools in white vinyl for effortless ease since the family has young children. Again, custom window treatments help to soften and frame the space.}

{Den Before: This is one of the rooms the family spends the most time in, hanging out and watching TV. When we began the project, it consisted of a large, custom sectional and needed layers.}

{Den After: We didn’t use a lot of color in this house because my client prefers a soothing, neutral environment. However, in the den, we drew inspiration from my client’s artwork to incorporate a touch of color in shades of blue and teal.}

{Den After: We had a custom Parsons waterfall console made. At six feet long, it is better suited to the space than the smaller console that was once there before and was a temporary solution. We added a touch of color through custom upholstered ottomans in Schumacher Gainsborough Velvet. We also took the painting that was originally in the dining room and moved it in here since the colors and scale worked perfectly.}

{Den After: We also added a custom sisal rug from Stark, new lamps, and an Eames Lounger and Ottoman.}

{Master Bedroom Before: The master bedroom was one of the first rooms we tackled on this project. My client hadn’t gotten around to focusing any energy on her own room up until then, so it was filled with pieces from her old house that were no longer reflective of the style she wanted.}

{Master Bedroom Before: A new media console and an area for reading were top priority items.}

{Master Bedroom After: The high-contrast, black, white, and gray color palette continues into the bedroom where I designed a streamlined, custom bed upholstered in Schumacher’s Gainsborough Velvet. The David Hicks for Stark Octagon carpet gives a nod to my client’s love of geometric patterns and plays nicely with her existing abstract art. I felt the space needed some grounding, so I mixed in a couple of more traditional pieces– a pair of neoclassical bedside chests and Juliette Table Lamps by Suzanne Kalser.}

{Master Bedroom After: Opposite the bed, we added a custom, tufted Thin Frame Arm Chair from Lawson Fenning.}

{Master Bathroom Before: As you can see, there were some lovely elements to work with in the original iteration of the master bathroom. I was tasked with creating a little drama in the space and making it feel more like the rest of the new version of the house.}

{Master Bathroom After: The master bathroom is now home to one of the big wow moments in the home– the wall tiled in hexagonal black and white marble tile. The modern feel of the tile and cabinetry come together with the lovely chandelier and antique vanity mirrors to create a glamorous space.}

{Boy’s Room Before: The little boy’s room looked like what you would expect to find in an eight year old boy’s room– minimal furniture, bunk beds, and a big wall decal of his favorite football player, J.J. Watt.}

{Boy’s Room Before: Since this bedroom is on the smaller side, one of our goals was to maximize the use of the space.}

{Boy’s Room After: The children’s rooms in this house are also fabulous. The little boy’s room is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue and features pattern on pattern by way of David Hicks La Fiorentina in brown and white. We had some custom millwork made and the bed is now flanked by shelving and built-in nightstands on either side for added storage.}

{Boy’s Room After: Details in the Desk Area}

{We thought of every detail in this home, right down to wallpapering the ceiling and adding a fun chandelier in the teenage daughter’s closet.}

If you would like help transforming your home, please contact Paloma Contreras Design for more information.

{After Photos by Max Burkhalter}

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. I enjoy seeing your projects. I admire your confidence and professionalism. Keep up the wonderful work as I know you will. It is in your heart.

  2. Paloma! This home is stunning. Great job….AND when a client gets rid of something as beautiful as those Hicks pendant lights over the kitchen island, do they sell them? I sure would love to buy them. I have loved those forever but have never been able to afford them. I figured it was at least worth an ask:) I hope that’s not annoying!

  3. Love the transformation! I also love the neoclassical chests you used for the bedside tables! Would you be willing to share the resource? Also, what kind of dresser would you mix with these to make the room skew modern if more storage was needed?

  4. Absolutely stunning work and such a great example of working with a clients beautiful pieces but freshening up the space. I see beautiful properties all day long where a editing or changing one or two things makes a huge difference. You are spot on with this one, congratulations!!

  5. It’s so challenging to analyze what’s missing from an already “ok” space, so it was really enjoyable to scroll through the before and after to see what you chose to add/replace. Nailed it! Great post,

  6. I really liked all of the different types of lamps you used in the rooms. Really liked the lamps in the “after” dining room. Thanks for the ideas.

  7. Love this! I especially love that it shows you didn’t make the client buy all completely new things but that you made most of her existing pieces work while still dressing up the space.