Design To Go: San Francisco Family Retreat

My dear friends Ross and Abby have been persuading and sweet-talking me for design help since literally the evening I first met them 7 years ago. The only problem was that they didn’t really have a space they planned on staying in longer than a year, nor did they have the dough to treat themselves to anything they couldn’t toss after a year. So, when they finally were ready for some real design help, I jumped at the opportunity to swank out their pad. Meet Ross & Abby ross-and-abby and their sweet girl, Ella (aka, Ella Bella) ross-abby-ella

The Challenge

Ross & Abby rent in uber-expensive San Francisco- cha-ching $$$$ – which meant they had little to spend on anything else in the house. The house is a 3-bedroom single family home with a garage and patio, which is perfect for entertaining, and for their 18 month old, Ella. But, it’s still a rental (read no permanent architectural changes, no dramatic paint jobs, no expensive furniture commitments that they feel compelled to have to make work at their next abode). While the home has been updated, it’s pretty blah and the light wood floors were killing their design mojo.

The Solution

In desperation to make their home beautiful, sophisticated, and entertaining worthy, Ross & Abby called me in for help. Because of their budget (or lack thereof) and because of the distance (me in LA, them in SF), we opted for an e-design strategy. Hence, Design To Go!  They provided me pics of the space as well as basic dimensions that I requested, and I assembled a sweet little plan for the makeover of their living and dining rooms. Here’s what went down…

The Existing Space

What we started with…

Entry emily-lamarque-entry-exisiting Living Room emily-lamarque-fireplace-existing emily-lamarque-living-existing Dining Roomemily-lamarque-living-dining emily-lamarque-dining-existing And their two existing pieces of furniture emily-lamarque-exisiting-couch emily-lamarque-exisiting-mirror

Ross & Abby’s Inspiration Pics

In a nutshell, they wanted a space that was child-friendly yet had sophistication and elegance. They both appreciate modern interiors, but they were also looking for a few transitional elements throughout. They are drawn to blues, grays, silver, gold, metallics, whites, and luxurious spaces. living-concept1 living-concept5 living-concept4 living-concept3 living-concept2 The Furniture Plan

We drew up their existing space and formulated a furniture plan. C:UsersEmily LaMarqueDesktopEmily LaMarque Design StudioELD The Color Palette

This was really important because it needed to tie in the existing finishes and the light wood floors with the style of furnishings that Ross & Abby wanted in their space.


The Concept Board – Living Room

Working around their desired colored palette, I assembled style boards showcasing different pieces and options to give them the luxe space they were seeking. emily-lamarque-design-studio-living-concept The Concept Board – Dining Room emily-lamarque-design-studio-dining-concept One quick side-note: I am obsessed with this ming-style dining table. It was a vintage find on One Kings Lane and it was a steal. Not only is it a creamy white high gloss finish, but it seats 6 and extends to seat even more! It is high-style gorge in all its glory. Ross & Abby, this table is coming back to me when you guys are done with it! OKL_dining tablevmf_vendor_OEU_2182172_1394735983359_752209 vmf_vendor_OEU_2182172_1394735919333_344065 The Installation Process

This was a pretty funny process. We had a lot to text and laugh about while Ross and Abby were receiving and installing all of their pieces. Ross got out his stud finder and learned how to swag a chandelier. Yes Ross, this mirror is WAY to big for the entry niche… ross-mirror-entry Ella awaits deliveries and inspects the packages… emily-lamarque-ella emily-lamarque-ella-inspecting And Abby got her Martha on and painted this niche by the fireplace in Kendall Charcoal from Benjamin Moore. A super versatile charcoal gray that is always a go-to for me. emily-lamarque-painting-niche Aside from a few items arriving broken or damaged, the installation went pretty smoothly. And I received fabulous texts and photos of the whole process, which I of course loved! Here’s a sneak peek of the finished product. I am intentionally leaving these pics a little small so that the space looks that much more stunning when I reveal the final photos (stay tuned!!)… emily-lamarque-livingemily-lamarque-living1 emily-lamarque-living2emily-lamarque-dining I can honestly say, the BEST part of this whole process was receiving this amazing review from Abby & Ross…

“At 33 and 35, my husband and I just moved in to our first “adult” home in the heart of San Francisco. (Read: first time NOT in a 1000 sq foot apartment in San Fran).  We both knew how incongruous it would be to move our college/newlywed/survived-a-baby furniture into our new “adult” surroundings.  Only problem was that hubby and I are totally design challenged! In all honesty, we are those people who bought every piece of merchandise from an entire nursery store display area for our daughter’s room; that is how we did our baby nursery! CALL IN EMILY LAMARQUE!!!! Working with Emily LaMarque on an e-design was almost too easy.  We emailed her a sketch of the entryway/living room/dining room area with all measured dimensions, some photos taken on my iphone, and a budget.  Then we chatted a bit about what we liked/didn’t like/etc.  In no time, Emily came back to us with a HUGE email including links for all the furniture (even some choices for a low cost option vs. a higher cost item!) and a picture board.  Hubby and I were in love with 99% of what we were presented.  How often does that happen with a designer??? Emily worked with us to order all of the pieces (some I was able to order myself online and others required a designer’s account). Emily came in only a tad above our budget, but that was expected, right?!?! (Especially if you know my husband and how low of a budget he tried to keep!) In the end we finished our living room and dining room areas in about 6 weeks; which I know is unusually quick- even for e-design services! There were a couple small hiccups in dealing with an online retailer however what I couldn’t accomplish as a mere customer, Emily gladly and quickly resolved for me in her professional capacity. The smile my hubby gets on his face when we have friends over and the inevitable “wow your place is amazing” comment is said, is worth every penny of our adult home makeover! Hubby and I couldn’t be happier with Emily’s work; next year we will definitely have her back to makeover the upstairs!”

I know it sounds overly dramatic, but seriously, working with people and changing how they feel in their homes literally changes lives and I can’t get over that! It’s truly wonderful and addicting! I think Abby and Ross think so too because next up we remade their powder room from a sad little cave into a happy, fabulous little place! Stay tuned for more dish on all…