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Studio Blog

November 18th

Home Remodeling Tips: Even Designers Need a Remodel

Since I often sing “You Are My Sunshine” to my girls, I added wall art similar to this one from as a personal touch for our family room.

I love helping clients design their houses but it’s also fun to bring what I’ve learned to my own home.

Nine years ago I extensively remodeled our Rancho Penasquitos tract home, all the way down to plumbing, electrical and even landscaping. Back then, my older daughter was only nine months old and we knew we would be adding to our family (our younger daughter arrived a few years later). So I installed carpet that would be gentle for crawling babies and bought inexpensive furniture that could withstand wear and tear from toddlers.

Now that my girls are older, our family can enjoy a little bit nicer décor. But now instead of babies and toddlers, we often host a houseful of elementary-age kids, playing video games and running around. So we still need durable finishes that look good but hold up to romping kids. I’m sure you can relate.

This Restoration Hardware dining table is similar to what I had custom-made for us in Mexico with a few alterations to give it more of a farmhouse feel.

Fortunately, I really enjoy distressed-look furniture because I like vintage. It also fits well into our lifestyle since it’s already “beat up.” In addition to swapping out furniture in our main living areas with the distressed pieces, I replaced all the carpet in our house – every room but the girls’ bedrooms – with white-washed walnut hardwood. It’s been such a relief to have something easier to clean with so many kids coming in and out.

In the great room I had the TV installed over the fireplace (read more about that here) as I’m doing in most of my clients’ remodels. All of the components were moved to a closet and I installed a RedEye system with a wireless remote to reduce clutter. A 4-foot-by-4-foot ottoman sits at the center of our new custom-made sectional sofa, allowing me to set a tray there with food or it can be used as a play table for the kids. New, inventive wall art with favorite photos and sayings adds a touch of whimsy to the room and really makes it a personal space for my family.

I’m using these Aidan Gray chests as dual-purpose nightstands and mini-dressers in our master bedroom.

Our family room and dining room are designed in an open concept, so I decided to go casual with our dining room and use a distressed set that has chairs on one side and a bench on the other. The bench makes it easy for kids to climb in and out. I hung two chalkboards over the bench, adding Chalkpens to go with them so no dust is created — a fun way to keep score on family game night! And not having to worry about a fancy table makes me feel good about letting the kids use the table for homework or to do crafts.

In our master bedroom, I replaced all the furniture and added wallpaper (see more about the exciting return of wallpaper here) and new bedding. Other walls in the house got a fresh coat of paint too. A few throw pillows and some new accessories here and there – and we have an (almost) new house!

Whether you’re looking to freshen up or do a complete remodel, Tracy Lynn Studio is happy to help with any of your interior design needs.