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Elizabeth’s Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

By 06/23/2013August 16th, 201839 Comments

Remember when I told you about the room I designed for Elizabeth’s 40th Birthday present from her husband? Well it’s almost done and her party was this past weekend. So I’m going to show it to you.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

This is Elizabeth and her husband Bill Jacobs. The guy who understands that a Happy Wife is a Happy Life.

My sister was totally radiant last night! I loved her new fabulous navy dress and skinny white belt.

Elizabeth's Turqouise & Red Family Room

Here she is with my sweet nephew Luukas Junttila. He was the bartender at the party.

Elizabeth's 40th Birthday Present: Before & After

There was lots of Veuve flowing, it’s Elizabeth’s favourite Champagne.

But first, here’s her family room before. I did not have a big sample of the blue we chose so I asked her to paint up two samples in lighter and darker values.

Elizabeth's 40th Birthday Present: Before & After

We had already bought the cabinet and lamp on the left when we were choosing the new family room turquoise. Elizabeth discarded the lighter one immediately, she loves blue so she choose the darker one (above) BM Passion Blue 2053-50.

Notice we held a white piece of paper behind the colour, this colour is extreme so it probably wasn’t necessary but when you hold a new colour over the old one, it’s better that you aren’t distracted by the old colour.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Here’s the before. The new upholstery from IKEA had already arrived but you can see the old and very bad sconces on the walls, the lumpy TV and cabinet as well as the old sofa that sat in here.

I had the electrician remove the random sconce on the back wall.

Elizabeth's Red & Turquoise Family Room: Before & After

Here is the new room. The cable box is in the storage room behind the TV. I randomly hung their family photos around the TV. The best thing about this makeover is that there’s still plenty of space for the kids to play and set up their train tracks.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

The owl pillows are my favourite!

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family room: Before & After


Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After




Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

 After (White faux leather ottoman from HomeSense)

Elizabeth's 40th Birthday Present: Before & After

Entry Hall, before. A dark sage green.

Elizabeth'sTurquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Here’s the new grey before I hung the mirrors in an arrangement inspired by Suzanne Kasler.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Here’s the vignette before the new carpet was installed on the stairs.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

And here’s the after.

Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

We found the grey for the entry hallway by going through all my large samples. Luckily, the tile she inherited is pretty neutral and even though it’s dated, we found a pretty grey BM OC-56 Moonshine to go with it.

By the way, if you want your colour confidence to go from 0 – 10 in 30 seconds flat, having large colour samples will do it. It’s impossible to be consistently accurate without them.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Love the new wall sconces. If you get lights with shades you get instant atmosphere when you flick the light, even if you do buy them on a budget.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Here again, I had the electrician remove the random and way-too-high sconce light on the upper right corner above the window.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Normally a wall like this in an entry wouldn’t have a window on it, but this one does and it’s the only place to have a cabinet, so up against the window wall it went.

This cabinet is great for storing all the kids shoes! I also loved the way it happened to relate to the oak staircase (below).

You can get a glimpse of the turquoise umbrella from the outdoor room I posted last week.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Here are Bill’s sisters, Pam & Paula.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After


Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

Maria & Elizabeth

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After


Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

My mom Hellen and Elizabeth

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

As a very special treat, mom made Karjalan Piirakat or rice boats as we affectionally call them, for the party. They are so time consuming to make we don’t get them often. I posted the instructions and recipe here.

Elizabeth's Turquoise & Red Family Room: Before & After

It was a wonderful party and my sister is thrilled with her new entry and family room!

Hope you had a fun summer weekend!

Related posts:

When to Choose Low over High while Decorating

Happiness is. . . a Happy Wife

My Favourite Birthday Weekend in June 2013

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk up to the front door, become a client. On-line or In-person.

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert. 

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  • Dianne Tant says:

    I love the make-over! those are my favorite colors too. I love the abstract painting. I learned from my deocorater Kristi Barnette (The Decorologist) , to also use the large paint samples…makes a big difference. you did a great job and your sister is beautiful.

  • Kathi says:

    Maria, your mom and sister are beautiful!! You and Elizabeth look like twins!!! Great job on the family room and foyer, so pretty and uncluttered!! It looked like a great party,family is everything and you must pinch yourself everyday that you moved closer to everyone and can see them all a lot more!! You are so blessed to have your mom still,I still miss my mother everyday and would give everything I own just to see her again, even for a minute! Lucky you!!

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I love the way you arranged the furniture and how the new carpet flows with the tile. Where did you hide the television components? Your sister is one lucky girl!!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Thanks Jennifer! The components are stored in the storage room behind the TV. Maria

      • Carrie says:

        I agree with the comment above – you and your sister absolutely look like you could be twins!!

        I love how clean the TV looks mounted on the wall with the cables hidden. If storing the cables in the room behind the TV wasn’t an option, I’m curious as to what you would have done with them. I like the look of TV’s mounted on the wall, just don’t like to see all of the cables coming down.

  • Betsy Gordon says:

    Wow, what a great makeover!

    I love the new paint and also less clutter in the family room. Getting rid of that bulky tv and cabinet really make things look seamless and updated.
    What a great present for you to give your sister! He’s one smart guy to know that this will make her (and him) very happy.
    Do people in California paint their handrails and posts? I think the foyer would look crisp with a coat of white paint on the handrails/posts. This might be a southern thing, I don’t know. 🙂

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes I agree that an update to the oak would be to paint it but that was not in the budget for this makeover, plus it doesn’t clash with a new hardwood floor which will come in the future. Right now she wanted carpet because the boys train tracks are BIG and would be harder to set up with an area rug sitting on hardwood.

  • Mary says:

    Hi Maria,
    Your sister is very lucky to have a husband give her a new room design as a birthday present. And also very lucky to have the world’s best designer as her sister.
    Everything looks amazing! But what’s up with the random sconces? Don’t ya wonder what was the thought process was behind those?

    • Elizabeth says:

      I don’t know, but whom ever placed them, also installed at my house. First we were thinking, “Oh, once we move in, they’ll make sense.” Then it changed to “How soon can we get rid of these?” It’s hard to find sconces which give enough light to read by… so now I’m looking for lamps.

  • JoyceB in Atlanta says:

    Happy Birthday to Elizabeth. Congratulations on another great and workable design for a young and active family. You are a ‘practical’ designer who understands that people have to live in their space and not just stand in the doorway and gaze in. I really enjoy these personal posts and look forward to seeing tidbits of your life among the other posts of color choices and decorating solutions. Keep up the good work and keep the pictures coming. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  • Kelly says:

    Looks great Maria! 🙂
    Loving that artwork. Any idea who the artist is?

  • Ginger Kay says:

    Beautiful transformation, and now I want that white leather ottoman.

  • Franki says:

    Well done!! franki

  • Mary says:

    The ottoman is so pretty and practical with kids and toys. When mine were little, we did not have a low table because of the sharp edges. This is perfect. I like the light color on a soft, cleanable surface.

  • Susan S says:

    Maria, was everyone jumping up and down when they came over for the party? I’ve a feeling that your sister floats down the stairs in the morning now with a huge smile on her face! It’s quite the transformation and all within a budget that confines the majority of us. It’s so cheerful and kid friendly and makes me happy just looking at it!

  • Rhonda says:

    I would definitely catagorize the “after” pictures as a very happy space! Very well put together!

  • Great great great after look! I did a project where there was no ‘official’ entry way. I ‘created’ one by putting a long mid-century dresser by a window and styled it with a lamp and other great accessories the client already had. It’s a great way to suggest an entryway when there isn’t one. This room has fun energy 🙂

  • Diana Deal says:

    Lovely transformation, Maria. Your sister is so lucky to have you – and you her! Where did you find the new wall sconces? I really like them!

  • Karen says:

    Maria – Thank you for sharing the party pics with us – your faithful readers and big FANS. You have a gorgeous family – I think it all comes from your beautiful mother. She must be so proud of all of you.

  • Susan says:

    Lucky sister!!!

  • Cathy Nelson says:

    the blue and red looks so cheerful. could you tell me the trim color and is this trim the same as the kitchen cabinets?

  • Agnes P. says:

    Great makeover.. blue happens to be my favorite colour as well.. and this red sofa (wow), lovely pillows make a great statement! I love all decor pieces, mirrors in the hall..
    Happy Birthday to your sister!

  • SandyCGC says:

    Maria, JoyceB is so right – you ARE a ‘practical’ designer and I think that’s one of the highest compliments one can pay you. A Maria Killam “room” looks as if someone lives there, or could live there, or would live there and would come into that room with a smile on her/his face every time. What a delightful transformation and what a lucky sister and her family.

    And, you’re so right about the sconces with shades. I inherited a sconce on the entry wall of each bedroom but ugly, old-fashioned brass things. Went to Lowe’s to get one I had liked for a while but found another one with a shade – took one of each, removed the hurricane glass cover and slipped the shade over the old fixture and voilà; as you said, “instant atmosphere” as well as purpose well served on a budget.

    Thanks for this fun post to read with my morning cup of coffee.

  • Martha says:

    Hey Maria, I am wondering what color your sisters’ cabinets are painted? We had an expensive disaster w/ our cabinets and I have been unable to find a suitable color to match our granite. It appears that we have the same granite! Thank you for sharing, Martha

  • Julie S says:

    Your sister is a beauty! I’m glad you were able to contribute so much to her special celebration. The lamps on the cabinet are my favorite thing, I think.

  • laura says:

    hey maria – love the transformation – where did you get those sconces? I think they are great!

  • A beautiful make over, for a beautiful family from a beautiful designer. Great job maria, I love it!

  • adrienne says:

    beautiful makeover Maria. I love to see color in a room. Just wondering how you deal with having lighting like the arc lamp away for the walls. How do you deal with the cords?

  • Betsy OShea says:

    Love the red sectional and the orb chandelier in the entryway. However, the arrangement of mirrors in the stairway seems off to me. I would move the two lower ones up higher and to the left of the sconce. I would also paint out the 80’s gold oak bannister. One more thing, a sleek black or red console table under the flatscreen TV would “ground” the floating TV. IMHO. Betsy OShea

  • Margaret Kernich says:

    What a truly great makeover!
    So simple and fresh….this is how you do style ‘wants’ and family ‘needs and reality’ together!
    What a lovely thing to do for your sister’s special birthday…

  • Sharon Gamblin says:

    The family room is nice but I LOVE the mirror wall!

  • Amanda says:

    Fabulous…now that’s one great Before and After! Your sister and her family must be thrilled. Great work, everyone, and Happy Birthday, Elizabeth. Oh, and I actually used my paint samples this week to pick the exact match for my exterior white trim. It took under five minutes. They just keep paying for themselves!

  • Diane G. says:

    A wonderful designer in Houston TX, always bought wood switch and outlet plates to match the color of the wall. That way, they don’t distract the eye. Way better than plastic, or G-d forbid, decorative!!

  • Beccaleena says:

    Ordinarily, I admire your style and your great sense of color; but the undertones in your sister’s family room, entry, and stairwell are all just off the mark. Perhaps she had fixed elements which were difficult to pull together, but it didn’t appear you addressed those issues. While your home is perfect right down to tiny details, it seemed you gave this project very little of your real talent and skills. In addition to poor color choices, the items you used to decorate her space were placed randomly and did not relate to anything in the room. This might be one make-over project that needs a make-over.

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