Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I'm so excited to announce that I'm officially BACK in business as an interior redesigner! I took eighteen months off for the birth and first year of my third child...but now I'm so happy to be back at it.

"What exactly is an interior redesigner?" (I get asked this question a lot!) A redesigner is basically someone who re-decorates your home using primarily the furniture and accessories that you already own. That’s the short answer! The longer answer is that, for me, it can encompass many things. I’m…

- An “idea person” that someone consults with when contemplating a new purchase, a new paint color, a new design direction. Sometimes you just need a second opinion from someone you trust.

- A “redesigner” who takes the room apart, then puts it back together again…the end result being that it looks totally different and (hopefully!) better, too. Never underestimate the power of a beautiful room…and a beautiful room that reflects your own personality with all your own favorite things is pure heaven! And since a picture is worth a thousand words, check out all my before-and-afters!

- A “personal shopper” that can accompany the homeowner to help pick out furniture, accessories, finishes…maybe even a new outfit? (Okay, I’m kidding about that last one. Although I do always like new outfits, too!)

I never push for expensive purchases. There are certain situations where a client is just plain ready to get new furniture, and they need an opinion on colors, styles, etc. I’m happy to oblige! I have even more clients who do not have the budget for big-ticket purchases, but could easily purchase a few throw pillows or a new lamp that could really help revitalize their space. Or perhaps they’re ready for a new look, and new paint is just the most dramatic and economical option for the change they want.

I have worked with clients with homes both big and small; clients who are clearly gifted decorators, and others who simply do their best. But mostly I work with normal, everyday people who would like a fresh perspective. On a room, certainly, but sometimes it helps give a fresh perspective on life, too. I had a client (who has since become a dear friend) who used her “new” master bedroom (after my redesign) as the “stay-cation” destination for a weekend away. I know the feeling; ever since I did a makeover on my own master bedroom, I can’t get enough of it. I take pride in the room now – I make my bed every day and put my clothes away faithfully (which I didn’t do before – as much as I hate to admit it) – and honestly, I would rather spend a weekend drinking tea, sleeping in, and reading mystery novels in my own bedroom now than in a hotel. For the first time since having children, I feel like I have my own space; one that is truly a retreat for me and a place I actually want to be. Quite a change from avoiding it like the plague (as I used to do).

So, to sum things up (as if I haven't already gone on long enough), I do what I do because it makes me happy, and makes other people happy too. And that just makes me feel like a million bucks.

P.S. Email me at courtneyg [at]  for more details or to set up an appointment. (And if you were on my newsletter list before I went on hiatus, well...that's the one thing that's not up and running yet. So announcing this on the blog is the next best way to let you know!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

friday's fabulous finds: pretty art for your wall

Happy Friday, my friends! Here's a little collection of prints and original artwork that I'm loving at the moment. I hope this puts a little "pretty" in your day!

butterfly original fabric art by ishandchi

butterfly tree original fabric artwork by ishandchi

bain print by aliette

It's hard to pick favorites, isn't it? For me, anyway. These are all lovely artists and I hope you are able to browse the rest of their shops on Etsy! Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a tale of two beds

...well, it's really just a tale of one bed that went through a little transformation and now looks like a different bed. Here was my bed before:

That's the only before shot I took, if you can believe it, because at the time this photo was taken, I wasn't planning to makeover the bed. I was just planning to paint the walls. And tidy up a bit! But then, while painting the ceiling, we sort of broke the bed and had to disassemble it anyway. That's when I decided to do this:

My hubby shot this picture of me through the front window, unbeknownst to me. Or I would have worn a fancier face mask or something. Anyway, I'm using a small circular sander to rough up the finish of the headboard.

'Ello. I'm feelin' hot.

Note: my hubby helped a HUGE amount with this process, even though when he came home from work for the weekend, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. (He just thought he'd come home to our bedroom painted a different color.) He took turns sanding the bed with me and then carried the bed up and down the stairs multiple times.

Then, the best part - which I don't have photos of! - is when he took his Saws-All and cut down the footboard for me! It had slats just like the headboard, but the footboard really divided the room and made our very small, narrow room seem even smaller. So we cut down the whole thing. I used wood putty to fill in the holes...he sanded it again...and after a coat of paint, it looked like it was supposed to be that way! Here's a closeup of what's left of the footboard:

And now the whole thing looks like this:

Notice anything missing? The bulky footboard is history. YES!

And here's a closer look at the finish on the bed. I just painted it with one coat of creamy white in a satin finish. Then, I sanded it by hand to get the exact level of distressing that I wanted. And the process was somewhat distressing, too...thought my arms would fall off. But, I got a new bed in the end...for all's well that end's well!

And while I'm at it, I'll tell you about the 30-minute dresser re-do that same weekend. Here it is before...why I didn't even bother to close the drawer, I have no idea. It just goes to show that I had gotten accustomed to a certain level of chaos in that room. Very sad.

One of the most unloved-looking dressers ever. It was missing a knob and no one even cared.

I have to give my hubby props on this one, too, because he knows me so well. I wasn't going to spend any time on this dresser at all, because I didn't feel it was very good quality and not worth the effort. He said, "You know how you are...the whole room will be white except for this dresser, and it will drive you crazy." So I determined that IF I were to do anything to it, it would be a quicky and easy job. So I only spent about a half an hour - if that - and did a dry-brush technique (where I just swiped the brush over it with not a lot of paint on the brush). It kind of a gave it a look of old wood, I think.

And then my favorite part of the dresser is the new, vintage-style glass knobs. I just ran down to Home Depot and picked up these puppies and I LOVE them.

So here it is in the room. Much better, I think!

Okay, the baby's crying so I've gotta run. Stay tuned for some redesign pics from a new client, coming soon!!

*Edited to add: This is Part 2 of two posts. Read Part 1 here!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

my {extreme} master bedroom makeover

So, the problem with posting about my master bedroom makeover is that I have to post "before" photos for you to truly appreciate the transformation. Darn those Before photos! This is the part where I wish the client had been someone besides...well, myself. Cause who wants to own up to having a bedroom that looked like this (below)?

Or this? Yes, those are flannel sheets covered with snowmen. What of it?

Before. I think someone broke in and beat my room with an ugly stick while I was sleeping.
After. Ahhh...Let's all breathe a sigh of relief, shall we?

This was the other end of the room, before. (do I have to say before? you know that, right?)
And you hear the angels singing? I sure do!

This room went from being the embarrassment...the bane of my existence...the dirty little secret that none of my guests ever got to see (even my good friends!) to FAVORITE room of the house! I keep inventing reasons to head up to my room, just to look around and soak it all in. It is truly a retreat for me now.

my former artwork now looks especially chic over my newly transformed bed. Yep, it's the same bed! But it's had a makeover of its own. I'll talk about that more in a later post.

This is the same orangey dresser as in the before pics! Also had a little makeover. In fact, anything that wasn't nailed down either got sold or had a makeover. (My husband had better watch out - he could be next.) ;-)

I guess this dresser is the same as before. Okay, ONE piece of furniture did not get a makeover. That's it.

Ikea chandelier. Ikea wardrobe. How could one store with such a little name, make such a big difference?

This whole makeover was really kind of an accident! I had planned to re-paint the walls, that's it. After SEVEN paint samples I finally came to the realization that the room was evil and could turn any color into pink. My girlfriend Christa was my painting partner, and we had almost finished painting the room a light grey, but it didn't look right either. Partly as a joke I said, "Maybe I should just paint it all white." See, I've always been drawn to white interiors in magazines and blogs, but just haven't been brave enough to try it myself. So back to Home Depot we went - they knew us well by then - and bought a gallon of white paint. My first time ever, people. And from there...well, I could write a book about the things we learned painting this room. But that is a story for another post, another time.

Next thing you know, I'm cutting, sanding, painting, and distressing my bed all up. Next was my husband's dresser. Over the following week, we bought a new mattress (that's when the angels really started singing!), assembled a new wardrobe (I owe you bigtime, Christa!), bought and installed a chandelier. Oh, and entertained our families on Easter Sunday and baked and consumed the best coconut cake ever. (But that is, again, another post for another day!)

SO I really should have entitled this post "The Accidental Makeover on a Budget". Because I just thought I was going to re-paint a few walls. I didn't realize my life would feel transformed, because now I have a beautiful space to call my own. Happy sighs.

*Edited to add: this is post 1 of 2. Read Part 2 here!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday's Fabulous Obsessions...I mean Finds

So normally for Friday's Fabulous Finds, I like to showcase five or six different Etsy shops and their products that I find to be...well...fabulous! But today, I have found a shop that is just so in their offerings that I am only focusing on that ONE shop today. Ladies and gents...may I present Etsy seller dedetsyshop .

Exhibit A: French rose pillow in cream and white linen. This actually has me drooling.

Don't want white? This one is in grey and pink linen. Oh. My. She offers LOTS of color choices for this pillow style, and would be happy to make a custom combination for you if you don't see one you like.

like this one in cream and grey...

moving on to another style, this one is the silver fuzzy dandelion pillow. I likey.

or how about this fresh green hydrangea pillow? uh-huh.

this one is a lumbar style with several smaller roses. it is so romantic without being over the top. (not that I mind occasionally being over the top!)

I'm in love with this LOVE pillow, on beige linen. You had me at "linen", but then wrote "love" on it. It doesn't get much better than that.

This is the Morning Dew Garden Roses pillow. It was recently featured in Family Circle magazine - congrats, dedeetsyshop!

And last, but not least...for the kiddos (or yourself, if you're bananas)...the Silly Monkey pillow. I dig it.

There were SO many other pillow designs I could have featured. You can tell I'm feeling a little romantic...a little shabby...and as always, a whole lotta chic. I hope this post will just whet your appetite to go check out the extensive selection online at dedeetsyshop. Tell them I sent ya! :-)

Stay tuned for the Big Reveal: Courtney's {Accidental} Bedroom Makeover...coming next week! (There are actually two of the pillows above on my wishlist for my "new" bedroom...I'll let you try and guess which ones!)