Before and After: Cambridge Church

Updated: Apr 16, 2018

Last week, Apartment Therapy shared the before and after of one of my favorite design projects (seen here). Since so much goes behind each design decision, I wanted to walk you through some of the steps that led us to the final design.


I shared background information of the lovely clients in the article as well:

This home was redesigned for a couple who love history, traveling and nature and were drawn to this 19th century church-turned-condos for its unique architecture and large windows that brought in an abundance of light. The living room lacked a true focal point and the existing furniture felt dark and incongruent with the client's eclectic style. Our goal was to light the home from within and focus on the tall ceilings, while bringing in textures and organic elements with meaningful accessories.


Here is the before and after...


As you can see in the above photo and photos below, we adjusted the layout a bit to better suit the space. The heavy cabinet next to the fireplace was swapped out for geometric etageres and the dining table was pulled away from the wall and replaced with a round shape for better walking flow (more photos below).



Here is a glimpse into the final design concept we selected - mixing natural elements with saturated textiles and brass accents.



A messy shot of what the table looks like after presenting the concept and finishes to the client...



The fireplace was one of my favorite changes. Here is the before and after...the soft gray herringbone tiles are a work of art. We also added a bone inlay mirror and modern brass sconces.



As every designer knows, you are only as good as your contractor! They worked tirelessly to get this just right and for the tiles to match perfectly.



The brass etageres flanking the fireplace are reserved for a curated selection of books, dotted by locally sourced vintage objects. I love that the brass reflects the light and the geometric shelves add visual interest. Various plants also help to soften the angles and draw the eye up toward the ceiling.



The mix of textiles also made the space feel warmer, which was key when having such a bright white, open space. Luxurious velvet covers the dining chairs, while an oversized rug delineates the living space. The custom roman shades also add a neutral layer of texture - my fabulous installer came out multiple times to measure and make cardboard cut outs which was necessary with the unique nature and size of the historic building.


We went a little back and forth on the rug. Which was okay because many places will let you take the rug home first to try it out in your space. The colors change dramatically depending on the lighting, time of day and angle you are looking from.

The rug below was actually the first contender...



Which we ended up switching up for this one that was a bit more formal and saturated in color...



The before of this little stairway nook emulated the rest of the space by feeling dark and heavy. The after is not only brighter (and I know much of that has to do with professional photography ;) ), but also more functional - the clients love to use this console as a mini work space, to pay bills, etc.



Finally, while the bathroom changes were solely decorative, it made a huge difference in the overall warmth and comfort of the space. Adding in natural wood tones, a vintage rug, patterned towels, woven elements and brass sconces (not pictured) really made the space feel much more welcoming and joined it with the rest of the home.



For more progress photos, check out the #GVcambridgechurch on instagram!

A big thank you to Nicole Baas Photography for these incredible "after" photos that capture the spirit of the home.

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