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the blog

A place for inspiration and ideas

October 30, 2018 we had a meeting over the phone. It was a "brain dump" and we listed long term and short term goals. On September 10, 2022 we sat down and revisited that document for the first time since.

We realized HOW MUCH WE SPOKE INTO EXISTENCE!! It was so relevant to exactly what we're doing now, and it validated decisions we've been making. Sometimes we feel like we're doing so much, growth can be uncomfortable to navigate, then we remember that we prayed, manifested and worked to be here.

This is your and our reminder to be specific in your intentions that you set and speak because you are truly designing your future.

We we're so excited to put our skills to use and create a more intentional space for our first in-home client!

Our area of focus was not only the landing place when you enter the home, but also houses the kitchen, dining and laundry spaces. When walking in we immediately noticed a focus on plants, the need for some added warmth and the painted walls throughout the rest of the home (not shown). The pops of color visible from other rooms only made the light colored walls and neutral tile floors feel even less interesting as you entered the main living area, so we knew we needed to address these things.

The immediate thought was to paint the kitchen cabinets and bring in some area rugs. We also agreed with the home owner that textured blinds would help add warmth without the fussiness of fabric window treatments. We thought it was important to provide seating and a nice focal point since you see the area as soon as you make it up the stairs, meaning it sets the tone for everything else you'll see.

One of the design features of this home included a stairwell to the living area, so we wanted to design a bespoke piece that could add interest, texture and color as you're making your way to the living space. We opted to take a part a denim rag rug and turn it into a wall hanging, it really came out great! We're even offering a DIY class in our studio if you're interested in tackling one of these with our guidance, click here to sign up.

Making the wall hanging was the easy part, hanging it was a bit scary but we got it done and managed to laugh through our fear.

We chose very transitional pieces for the sitting area, a woven bench and chair that are comfortable yet lightweight for when she needs to move things around. We also grounded the space with a darker rug to contrast the tile floors and included a retro plant stand to get the plants off the floor and in a proper place to be apart of the decor. We love using things people already have so the lamp, shelf and some of the tabletop pieces were already in the home. Once we added a coffee table the sitting area was complete.

Next up was those cabinets we talked about painting, you can't wrong with painting kitchen cabinets when your'e trying to make an impact!

Just remember to prep by removing the knobs and the cabinet doors and taping the spots you don't want to get paint, this color is "Regatta" by Valspar and it's a semi-gloss so that spills wipe away easily.

We added a painting in the space that would traditionally house back-splash and put a couple of decorative pieces on top of the cabinets. While we have loved to fill that space with plants there wasn't time to consult about what plants would have actually worked there so we opted for just a couple plants, some dry flowers and a woven basket that ties some of our decor colors together. Then there's the runner we added which warms things up with texture and color.

In the dining area we kept it simple. A black and white rug under the table, some natural wall baskets, the woven blinds and a dark wooden mirror we're the perfect compliment to the light blue wall. Let's just pause here and talk about how important mirrors are in a space, they make them feel bigger and provide a reflection of the rest of a space, you see how the hanging can be spotted from the mirror's reflection, that's not by accident. If you don't already have enough mirrors go out and get another, we've got a couple in the studio for sale now!

Finally we invested in glass bottles and jars in the laundry area so that it feels more intentional and it's prettier than any highly branded plastic bottle that we've come to know laundry detergents for. In a perfect world we would have also done a textured wall paper on the laundry wall, but budgets be budgeting.

All together we're so happy with how the space looked in the end and even happier that our client was pleased and felt at home! We did it HGTV style so everything was done while she was away and she walked back in to find her home looking new, new.

Check out the video of the full "after" walkthrough below.

The changes that have happened since our last blog post is mind blowing. Sheca was still living in Philadelphia and Alicia was working 2 days a week at Merchant House for our residency as we sorted out what the future of Apartment 4 Lifestyle could be.

If you follow us on social media you'll know that you can still shop with us at Merchant House AND we have our own studio now!! This space has been our dream for 20 years now and we are thrilled to be so aligned with our purpose after making sacrifices and trusting ourselves.

Our studio is located at 2201 Dumaine street in New Orleans, LA and since we've opened it's been a place to foster and display our ideas about intentional styling within spaces to promote a happier lifestyle. We've hosted countless events and shared space with other artists, makers and entrepreneurs, as we help build a community whose reach will stretch far and wide before it's all said and done.

If you haven't had a chance to visit us yet, stop by for some inspiration, a place to just be, and/or to do some shopping. We just finished series of restshops to encourage some soft summer behavior and focus on wellness, we've got more of that coming! We are also excited to have a series of DIY workshops starting this month, you can click here to learn more and sign up to attend.

We could ramble and on about all the things we've done in the last 18 months but instead we'll just ask that you follow along on our journey here. We'll be blogging about running the studio,being mamas, building the brand, design projects, and DIY or things that could inspire a change in your space.

© 2023 by Apartment 4 Lifestyle

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