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Heather Scott Home & Design is an award-winning interior design firm and sophisticated boutique based in Austin, TX and Scottsdale, AZ. Our blog shares the tasteful home accessories, furnishings and gifts that you can find in our retail boutique. We also feature our design projects, industry trends and expert tips that hope to inspire homeowners to create the stylish & chic home of their dreams.

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Before & After: Transforming A Space Through Accessories
May 15, 2015 in Before & After | no comments

posted by Charissa Pontaratik

Last Thursday, Emily, Sarah, Nikki and I drove to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to do three ‘model apartment’ installs in one day!  We manage quite a few “Multi-Family” commercial projects and they are vastly different from residential projects.  No one ever uses the furniture and the design elements are often focused on using color and accessories to make the apartments memorable.

Today I wanted to share the project in Flower Mound (a suburb of Dallas) which had a major transformation, even though we kept most of the existing furniture pieces.

The property manager’s biggest request was to brighten and modernize the space, but with the budget given we had to rely on dramatic accessories to finish the job.

Family Room Before:

Glancing into the family room, there were a couple of things that are aesthetically off-balance. The console table along the wall was too short under the artwork.  The area rug was also too small, and the upholstery was dated.

model living room before

The fireplace area was in pretty good shape (and fit the theme of the location), but the picture over the fireplace was hung too low.  The management wanted to keep the décor that gave a nod to the ‘western’ element of the property, so we used this artwork piece as our ‘design inspiration’.

model living room mantle before

Our project design goals were:

1. Brighten the space

2. Re-purpose and re-arrange existing furniture

3. Tell a color story

4. “Style Like a Pro”

Family Room After:

We took the color scheme from the Don Quixote print and added a punch of orange-red to brighten up the apartment.  We moved the side chair from a bedroom (where it was a touch too big for the space) and used it here.  The console became an end table and we reoriented the furniture to a more welcoming placement and opened up access to the patio.

model apartment living room after

living room after, side view

model apartment living room mantle after

When it comes to apartment projects, pops of color are necessary. The bright colors and dramatic contrasts through accessories make the most impact in small spaces.

How were the design goals addressed in this room?

1. Light and airy pieces like the white, slipcovered sofa and white cotton drapery panels were selected. The jute rug adds texture and brings all the pieces together.

2. Moved the wooden armchair from the master bedroom, and adjusted the coffee table and console accordingly.

3. Inspiration came from the artwork hung above the fireplace mantle. A color scheme was developed which would transition the space from rustic to “Modern Country.”

4. Accessories. Accessories. Accessories.

Other rooms:

Dining Room Before:


Dining Room After:

It was a lot of fun to accessorize the dining space. Previously it was lacking color, so we had a clean slate to incorporate the new color elements.  The staff requested keeping the iron rooster statue as a conversational piece.   It was placed it on the console to add height.

dining room after

The white plate settings brightened the existing dining table, as did the white drapery panels. The mirrored trays help reflect more light into the room, and is a quick way to make a room appear bigger than it is.

We rearranged the dining table to fit the space better, and re-hung only one of the existing art pieces, since two made the console seem too short.

Finally, the bright, orange-red napkins added a pop of color the space was in need of.

dining table accessories


Master Bedroom Before:


Master Bedroom After:

With a slim budget, we allocated funds for new bedding, artwork, table lamps, and accents. Take note of the dramatic transformation just by updating the accessories. It really is the little things.

master model bedroom after

Transforming a space on a tight budget can be tough, but it is also rewarding when complete. Start by making a list of design goals for your space. Figure out which pieces can be re-purposed in a new light, or re-arranged for functionality. Then tell your very own color story, incorporating colors in new ways. Lastly, don’t forget to set aside budget for the color and accessory items to truly make an impact.