Before & After: Oakdale Modern


Who doesn’t love a makeover? I was brought on last year to help some friends transform their newly purchased home into something that felt more like them. A house with great bones is such a joy – and these were all relatively easy changes that we made to transform this house into something more clean and distinct.


The kitchen was just fine on its own with a few little tweaks. We left the cabinet colors alone, but painted the island and installed a butcherblock countertop. The weird barstool situation on the end had to go (WHYYYYYY) and the pendants also had to go bye-bye.  The backsplash didn’t provide much contrast between the countertops, gray cabinets, etc., so we had that removed too.

The dining room was pretty blah and underwhelming. The client loves to have big dinner parties with lots of family and friends, so I wanted to maximize the drama in this room. And it definitely needed a statement-making light fixture.

Weird built-ins and a ginormous TV over the mantel both went away, and we did a more sleek treatment over the fireplace.


With a few easy tweaks — paint, primarily — we were able to brighten and freshen this otherwise one-dimensional gray house into something layered and personal for this family. With a major green thumb, it seemed only natural to interject the client’s favorite color throughout the house.


We mix-and-matched accessories from Target, West Elm, etc. to balance out all the custom upholstery and keep it budget-friendly. My best tip for clients when it comes to figuring out where to spend their money is to put it towards the items you need to work the hardest for you. Got a bunch of dogs/kids/wine-loving friends? Invest in performance fabrics for your upholstery. 

Frequently vintage rugs like the red one in the living room can be in unconventional sizes so I like to layer them over larger natural fiber rugs. The biggest mistake I frequently see in homes is postage-stamp-sized rugs for enormous rugs. Maximize your space and get a rug to fit the room.

Remember that funky built-in cabinet there? We had the top removed and black grasscloth installed in its place. The TV is going to be mounted there in that niche.

But the kitchen makeover might be my most favorite part. We did the most beautiful handpainted tile from Mercury Mosaics in a herringbone pattern and WOW – what a difference! By taking the tile all the way around the archway above the sink, it made it into more of an architectural feature, not to mention that it is a total showstopper statement.

All in all, a totally successful makeover for the most wonderful family.

with love,

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