Experiencing the power of a good makeover always blows my mind...even though I make this kind of magic happen for a living. There's something about seeing an unfinished space, creating a plan in your mind & then watching it come together--bit by bit--that will never get old for me. Never.

So I was glad when the time finally came to wave my magic wand around my home office. The truth? This space has been unpresentable for years (like, since I first moved in). I started off in the smaller of my 2 guest bedrooms then eventually migrated to the larger room. But like much of the rest of my house, it took me awhile to figure out what I really I would work in the space, what kind of storage I needed and time to sort through all of the junk that I somehow accumulated & collected over the years. Ugh.

So when I was approached earlier this year to be a spokesperson forAstrobrights'"Colorize Your Business" campaign, the timing lined up perfectly. I'd already crafted my design game plan in anticipation of my office redo and since part of my duties involved filming a few videos for Astrobrights' campaign, my newly designed office made for the perfect backdrop.

Office before
Office before

So the Befores....

It didn't look exactly like this in the beginning--this is actually an in progress shot once I started clearing everything out but as you can see, there's not much to see here. The energy radiates off of this room...and it ain't good. I actually liked the orientation of the room as I originally had it (I had 5 Ikea Vittsjo shelves behind the desk which worked really well to anchor the space) but nothing else was you can gather.

Office before-2
Office before-2
Office before 5
Office before 5
Office before-3
Office before-3

Once I started pulling up the carpet (my new white floor is actually just the original subfloor  painted white with an industrial strength Sherwin Williams paint) it started to look like something I could really work with. And this is the phase of design I love--the scary part where it gets worse before it gets better. You may even recognize the paint on the wall next to the closet door--when I participated in the 2013 Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House, I just couldn't wrap my head around what I'd planned without seeing it in person, so I tested out the design on the walls of my home office. Needless to say, after playing around with the color variation, the design made the cut. And the rest of the Afters:

Dayka Robinson Designs Home Black & White Office Makeover Vertical
Dayka Robinson Designs Home Black & White Office Makeover Vertical
Dayka Robinson Designs Home  Black & White Office Makeover horizontal black trim
Dayka Robinson Designs Home Black & White Office Makeover horizontal black trim
Dayka Robinson Designs Home Office Makeover Inspiration Board
Dayka Robinson Designs Home Office Makeover Inspiration Board
Dayka Robinson Designs Home Office Makeover Door Jamb
Dayka Robinson Designs Home Office Makeover Door Jamb

(painted the door jamb Chartreuse as well as the closets!)

The best thing about my new space? Not only does it feel like me, but I work SO much more efficiently here now that I've decluttered, reorganized and created a proper place for everything I need. It reminds me that there's not just an aesthetic value to interior design but an intrinsic one as well--and that your space is often times a reflection of your life.

I love that I'm in a place where everything on the inside is being reflected in my home--organization, expansion, renovation & completion.Just like me.


Remember allllll the way back in January when I was a Participating Designer in the 2013 Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House?

Well it's almost one year later and now that the pics were published in the December 2013 issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, I can FINALLY reveal my space to the world (minus those of you Atlanta folk who were able to make the tour)!

  As a refresher, here was my conceptual rendering for the space:

And here's what my vision looked like when it came to life:

My inspiration was simple--I knew I wanted to go with a look that would be extremely bold for the size of the space (my motto for a show house? Go BIG!) yet still feel sophisticated and modern (read: dark & moody with clean lines). Essentially, I wanted it to be me but times 1,000 (lol). With respect to my concept, the finished space hit the nail on the head with what I wanted/hoped to see and am SO happy how the space turned out. The bold color was much more chartreuse than yellow (daggone pics!), but I love the way the images capture the look and feel of the overall space.

Here's a look at the back hallway/entry to the upstairs apartment BEFORE I created my magic:

Talk about visual drama. 
It's been almost a year since the 2013 Cathedral Antiques Inspiration House debuted and as I look back, I still don't think there's too much I would do differently given the same resources (and that's saying a lot from me, someone who ALWAYS leaves a job thinking about where I can improve)--I loved this space!

If you're new to my blog, you can catch up on this series by reading the posts I wrote before, during and after my show house experience. Click here for Part I (my leap of faith and how I got started), here  for Part IIhere  for Part III, here for Part IV, and here for Part V (and my tips and tricks for those of you wanting to participate in a show house).

So now that you've seen the big reveal I have to ask...was it all you imagined??


Pictures are truly the best tools we Interior Designers have to document the power of good design! 
Take, for instance, my last bedroom project...

Before--View from doorway to new bed wall. 
My former client was becoming a "his & her" team and combining residences with her sweetie...her "new" bedroom was devoid of furniture minus a bed, tv, & tv stand. No nightstands, bedside lighting, or seating areas--lots of work to be done!

Before--View from bathroom towards old bed orientation.
You can see their concept & color palette here. And now the pretty part...the Afters...
The showpiece of this install was this custom, King-sized wingback tufted headboard that I designed for their room. 
Gorgeous, right??
"His" request was that the bed stay at (at least) its current height (32+ inches) so to compensate for the higher-than-standard measurement, I designed the headboard to stand at 87" tall with a 7" wrap-around for a cozy feel (hence the "wingback" designation). Placing the bed on the wall opposite the door allowed it to be framed by two large windows on either side of the bed and though the bed partially blocks the windows, the ample natural light that floods the room means that they don't have to worry about the room feeling like a dungeon--their light exposure is what designers dream of!
Two (bedrooms) becoming one often makes for a shortage on storage space, so a pair of dressers were sourced to increase their clothing storage. With a cherry tone finish, clean lines & modern hardware, this pair is Modern Traditional design at its finest! 
A reading nook for the free corner.
The "she" in this duo is an avid reader and wanted a cozy chair deep enough to snuggle up in and read a book. Since there weren't many ready-made options on the market to fit her specifications, I suggested the Ikea Strandmon chair which I had my upholsterer (love that guy!) reupholster in a Kravet linen. If you read my blog, you know that I LOVE finding ways to use existing furniture pieces and rework them so they meet my client's needs. It's not always cheaper than using ready-made, but if you're going to pay retail prices, I always recommend you find the piece you need (with great bones--so important!!) and make it fit for your project--this little shortcut means you can have the luxury of custom at the same price as retail! Now THAT'S what I call a deal. 
The bedding is a mix of custom (Duralee) and retail, which tends to work best when strict budgets are involved. The labor alone on a custom duvet can easily run $300+ which doesn't even include your fabric, so a good compromise is to fabricate custom bed pillows and then source a retail option for your duvet and coverlet. In this case, the duvet came from Nate Berkus' line for Target and was a perfect match for our selected palette. Since I couldn't find a vintage bench wide enough to anchor a King bed (I wish I still had this old one!), I found one we all loved on and had my trusty upholsterer reupholster the seat in the Duralee print my clients previously selected. 
The secret to great design?
Style assessment + space planning + high/low mix--it's a formula that works every time.
So now I have to ask...
What's your favorite part??


I've been playing a bit of catch-up on my favorite blogs in bloglandia and came across this makeover that Emily Henderson (one of my favorite bloggers/stylists) did for Fran, a resident of the Sunrise Senior Living  community in Washington, D.C.
Did you catch this post?? If not, check the Before & Afters--it was a can't miss! : 
Nice, light, but typical grandma-style--lots of treasured stuff & random pieces.
Incríble, right??
And a few more...
The "before" of Fran's must see the afters!
I won't spoil Emily's entire post by sharing all the pics here, but I will leave you with this pic of Fran & Emily--could she be any cuter?? 
Something about this makeover I loved. Partially the fact that Fran was the winner (she seems so spunky in her pics) but mostly that she made such bold color choices for her space and already had the most incredible MidCentury Modern furniture pieces (which Emily was able to incorporate into her redesign). 
Fran's great taste is a testament to the fact that good design NEVER goes out of style! 
If you want to read a feel-good story, read this this won't be sorry!  
See more here.


Reupholstery projects don't always have to be super complicated to be impactful--a simple redesign to upholstered seat cushions can totally update their look AND save your wallet. 
Remember these chairs I found a few weeks ago in the UMCH flea market  and snagged to use in my Room Service Atlanta boy's room?  I had my upholsterer mimic the same pattern I used on a pair of the bed pillows & the finished product makes my heart skip a beat. This is like, the easiest way to create visual interest using solid fabrics because the bold center stripe elevates the whole look. 
Oh, and remember, box cushions are your friends (box cushions= cushions with vertical panels along the sides resulting in more tailored look & comfortable seat). I know the other way is easier to fabricate, especially for a DIY-er, but box cushions have a structured finish that automatically looks more tailored. Anytime you're swapping out the seats on chairs (and it makes sense aesthetically), always splurge for box cushions. 
Trust me, you'll thank me for this piece of advice!



Every year, each Room Service Atlanta project gets bigger and better! 
There's no way I can post all of the final pics here, but here's a quick tour of the incredible work done in 2 cottages (boy's & girl's) by all of the 2013 Participating Designers to benefit the United Methodist Children's Home.
All of this work was done with the help of donations from incredibly generous vendors across the country (both retail and private donors) as well as a good deal of money personally contributed by each designer. Talk about a labor of love!
Scroll down to see all the pics:
 Danny Tovar (West Elm Atlanta's In-Home Designer!)
Jessica Ferguson/Signature Piecez (she MADE the light fixtures AND art)
Erika Ward (RSA co-founder/Erika Ward Interiors) 

Jessica Brummett Warner

Stunning, right??

 I truly consider it such a blessing to be able to provide this service for children & families in need and am SO eternally grateful for all of the designers who consistently partner with Erika & I to make this magic happen. 
Seriously, I can't say thank you enough. 


And just like that, Room Service Atlanta 2013 is done!
This is one of my favorite projects to take on each year because the work we do--  designing spaces for families & children in transition--is so incredibly rewarding. Don't get me wrong, there are still the hiccups in the plans, concerns about logistics and the ever-present budget constraints that accompany every project, but it's so much easier to put that stuff into perspective when you know that you're working for people who have often times, never had a beautifully designed room to call their own. 
This year we were back at the United Methodist Children's Home continuing our work from last Fall. With 2 cottages and over 25 designers, we had double the work but double the fun as well. The finished project is truly incredible and I'm so honored to be a co-founder of such a wonderful organization. 
So here's the skinny on my space:
I selected a room in Williams, the boy's cottage, that originally looked like this:
Blah, blah, blah.
In Williams, each young man gets a private bedroom and lounge space, and then they share a communal bathroom, kitchen and 2 den spaces. Something was calling me to do a bedroom long before this project started, so I ultimately stuck with my gut (and I'm so glad I did!).  I shared some inspiration pics a few weeks ago and knew I wanted to design something relatively masculine, so I dug into my fabric stash and came up with this palette...
I've been holding on to that plaid forever but figured this would be the perfect project to use it and make design magic. In the end, I think I was right...
In crafting my design plan, I knew I wanted to reuse whatever furniture was salvageable from the room and then fill in with other pieces where necessary. I loved the twin bed that was originally in the space but needed to do a daybed since I had so many pillow textiles, so I grabbed a head board from another unused bed and had my painter--who donated his services  for this project--spray the bed as well as the walls. My good friends at Sherwin Williams (Columbia Drive) donated the paint for my room (though Glidden graciously supplied over 85 gallons of paint for all designers in both cottages!!) and after much debate, I decided to go with a deep khaki green for the walls, an ashy olive deep green for the trim & doors, and a basic black for the bed...and I LOVE the way the paint turned out. 
I found this pair of vintage chairs in the UMCH flea market and was able to snag them for free (!!!,) so I had my upholsterer recover the box cushions to match one of the pillow designs.
It was SO hard for me to leave these behind. 
This pair of barrel back cane chairs is incredibly well-made and in perfect condition so of course I wanted them for my stash...but they ended up looking gorgeous in the room once re-done. The Pierce dresser was donated by our amazingly generous Premier sponsors at Mitchell Gold Bob Williams Atlanta (who donated over $20,000 in furniture & lighting to our project this yearand it was the perfect compliment to my other pieces of furniture which included the original nightstands that I left unfinished for a rustic look. 
The fabric for my gorgeous drapery was donated by Award Fabrics here in Atlanta (to the Trade only and SUCH a great resource!) & my drapes and bed pillows were generously fabricated for free by Sew Cozy Interiors (and when I tell you she did an incredible job, I am not pillows were actually lined which is not something I normally do, even for myself!). Underfoot Design & Flooring (my FAVORITE ATL source!) donated my 9x13 Banded Siskiyou rug and MGBW Atlanta donated the pair of red lamps & shades.
The artwork over the bed was my feeble attempt at abstract art (*covers eyes & runs away*), the mirror was brand new & has been in my stash for 8 years along with the Ikea frames and one of the Fiore pendant lights that I originally used in the show house back in January. Those basket weave stools? Mine, too (oh, but I did pay for the gold faux bois wallpaper that's in the frames!).
So now the real question is....what did I spend on this room??
And while I haven't taken a poll, I probably had the most inexpensive makeover of 
the whole group. Because my total out-of-pocket costs only came to about...

Now that's what I call deserving design, delivered. 
**A huge, HUGE thank you to my wonderful donors & sponsors....I couldn't have done it without you!!!!**
(More shots of other transformations tomorrow!!)


The chairs are done!

My client was originally leaning towards a white sofa but ended up selecting the Carrie sofa in Navy Blue. In an effort to keep the room light we went with a beautiful, kind of shimmery White Sand-ish colored linen (a lot of descriptive words there) on the front of the chairs and a smaller, woven diamond print on the back. LOVE. A little bit of fun on the back while still keepin' it prim & proper on the front. And I can't say it enough...if you have the chance to use vintage furniture in your design, USE IT. The shape on these chairs is knock-down, drag out gorgeous and they can be reupholstered again and again for years to come. I'm actually kinda jealous and not-so-secretly wish I'd kept them for myself!
Install happens tomorrow. 
Stay tuned for pics next week but in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Facebook for updates!