Townhouse Befores and Afters

A client of mine recently downsized into a townhouse and asked me to help her pull things together.

townhouse before and afters


We worked with much of what she already had, but a few things were needed. This was her den soon after moving in:



She reused the paint colors I helped her choose in her previous house and we moved a dresser from her bedroom to balance out the space. Her sofa had a tear in the corner, so I found a beautiful throw to camouflage it.  I changed up the sofa cushions a bit to give it a fresh, new look.

kirkland mirror living room


A new pair of lamps and blue side chairs helped give us a little symmetry. I hung some of her existing art above the chairs, and then I scored this large weathered frame mirror from Kirkland’s. The blue and cream in the frame tied in perfectly with the wall and ceiling colors. I was thrilled to find such a large mirror for such a good price!

symmetrical living room design


This is a shot of the other end of the room in its “before” state.



The rug she had in the den was too small, so we turned it 90 degrees and layered a larger natural fiber rug beneath it. I’m nothing if not resourceful!

bookcases  living room


Her grown son had painted on cardboard for a high school project, and she wondered if we could frame it for a guest room. My framer is a genius – she mounted it, floating it on the mat beneath to give it dimension before framing it. It looks almost like a shallow shadowbox and turned out far better than either of us ever expected!  Now it’s a personal treasure that hangs in the den.

children's art


We needed something to hang on the wall between the kitchen and dining room, but my client wanted something neutral and preferred the idea of an architectural piece. I found a this large medallion at Kirkland’s, and my client loved it. Thankfully, it’s not as heavy as a real architectural piece would have been, so it was a breeze to hang.

carrington beige living room


This room leads through to the dining room:

dining room entry


Would you like to see this room before? Here’s the very bare “before”:



We kept it spare, as that’s what my client prefers. A beautiful new chandelier and plush rug made a big difference, as did reorienting the table. We moved the buffet/console into another room and simply hung another painted wood frame mirror from Kirkland’s. All the mirrors kick the light around and expand the space. I searched for some time to find the perfect centerpiece for the table.

dining room carrington beige


This 100-year-old dough bowl from a local antique store was exactly what we hoped to find for the table!

moss balls


We also decorated the bedrooms of the house, but the day I took these photos her boys were home from college and were still dead asleep in the beds at midday. They wouldn’t have appreciated me barging in to take photographs! But I’ve got one more room to show you – here’s the kitchen with brown cabinets before:



Painting the cabinets white brightened the kitchen that has little natural light.

painted kitchen cabinets


The blue on the ceiling is like a little bit of sky above.

blue kitchen ceiling


The puppy seems pretty relaxed and happy in his “new” kitchen. I think my client is feeling pretty good about it, too! Kirkland’s has all metal wall art 20% off right now, so check them out if you want a good deal on large wall art!

Kirkland’s partnered with me to raise brand awareness, and I received compensation for this blog post. All purchases and content are on my own accord and reflect my personal opinion and style.



  1. Jenny B.

    Kristie, you are a sofa genius! I have been amazed several times lately at how you’ve given life to an outdated sofa with just a few simple tweaks. I never would have thought to rearrange the cushions like that! The kitchen looks wonderful too, and really makes me want to try a colored ceiling somewhere in my house. I have to admit, I’m a little scared, though! 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      You are too kind, Jenny! Like I said in the article, I’m nothing if not RESOURCEFUL! The colored ceiling is not as scary as it seems – believe me, you will love it and wonder why you didn’t try it yet!

  2. Sarah

    I love before-and-afters! I especially like the way the kitchen ceiling ties in with the silver of the appliances. It just feels good and right. 🙂 Job well done!

  3. Ashley

    Beautiful as always! Love the kitchen updates, and LOVE the blue ceiling! And the dog is adorable.

  4. Patricia

    Love all of it, especially the kitchen! What color did you use for the walls?

    • Kristie Barnett

      The walls are Benjamin Moore Carrington Beige.

  5. Jean

    I have a question. I often see people painting their wood kitchen cabinets white. So, when you do that, do you also paint the inside of the cabinet? It seems to me that if I left my oak wood unpainted on the inside of the cabinet, it would be a bad thing. Also, the inside of my cabinet seems to be some kind of shiny veneer, and not wood that could be sanded and painted. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Kristie Barnett

      I have the painters paint the inside of the cabinet doors, but it isn’t necessary to paint the interior of the boxes unless you just want to. There is a great variety of re-positionable shelf liner that can brighten the interior!

  6. Jo Galbraith

    Love everything about this makeover!

  7. Lezlie

    How did you decide to hang the mirror vertically? I probably would have done that horizontally and it would not have looked as nice as what you did.

    • Kristie Barnett

      I decided to hang it vertically because we needed to fill the space as the ceilings are a bit high. I always try both ways to see what works best in each situation. 🙂

  8. kelly

    Looks great! I too am so into symmetry- always! Love the chest you brought in- looks perfect! Not sure about Kirkland’s accessories, never had much luck.

  9. Jamie

    Love the dining room chandelier! Can you tell me more about it and where it was purchased? Thank you

    • Kristie Barnett

      I’m trying to remember the maker – maybe Hudson Valley? Beautiful piece and a great price, as I recall. It comes in a smaller version, but I wanted her to go BIG. We purchased at Graham’s Lighting in Franklin, TN.

  10. Sam

    LOVE the fresh kitchen look! I would love to take the plunge and paint my cupboard doors but have heard so many horror stories of it looking worse…any tips on which is the best paint to do the job, and ways to make it look smooth and sexy?! Cheers!

  11. Joy Bradford

    Do you think that you could paint a ceiling blue if it wasn’t a tray ceiling or didn’t have crown molding? I’m wondering if it needs the white “separator” to make it work.

    • Kristie Barnett

      You can, Joy, but it doesn’t look quite as good.


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