The Perry Project


While I often work with client’s who appreciate a more new-traditional look with a nod towards bohemian, it’s always exciting to do something new. This was more or less the case with the Perry Project, a styling job that we recently took on in Norfolk, Virginia. A young family of four, the Perry’s moved into their newly-built home last fall since then, adding an additional member to their family. Both husband and wife coming from metropolitan backgrounds (Chicago, Norfolk and Northern Virginia) their desired look was Urban Modern with a dash of Scandinavian and Fixer Upper. The spaciousness and contemporary finishes of their home provided us with the perfect launch pad for pulling off this look (check out “the before photos” below).

One of the questions that we always ask during our Consultations are, “what are your core family values?” It can be kind of a hard question to think of on the spot so we email it to them ahead of time along with a few other questions. It’s inquires like these that provide us with a much better understanding of our client’s - about what matters most to them, what’s working and what’s not. During our Consultation with the Perry’s they shared that their core family values are: showing glimpses of Christ in the home, family (immediate + church), reading (more and watching T.V. less), and health. Having just moved into their beautiful new house with three young children, they needed a little help pulling it together. While the bones were in place, we needed to bring in some additional furniture, storage and decor. The focus for the project was the downstairs living area: the living room, kitchen and dining room; along with the guest room/playroom; with the goal of better utilizing the space.


We were able to accomplish this, creating two different design plans for both the main living area and the guest room/playroom. In Design Plan 01 for the main living area we kept the current sofas more or less in their same place; adding in two arm chairs, a large ottoman, accent tables, and greenery. We grounded the space with a sandstone gray patterned area rug (perfect for hiding accidents and spills) and added a layer of coziness with woven pillows. Adding in natural elements (i.e. this console table behind the sofa and these fiddle leaf fig trees) helped to brighten the room, which can sometimes feel dark with it’s gray walls and rich wooden floors. With urban modern you want to incorporate grays, black, brown, and white finishes and colors mixed in with touches of wood and metalic (i.e. we did with this mirror and these accent tables). To add another layer of coziness to the space, we suggested the hanging of these curtains paired with this modern curtain rod.


In Design Plan 02, the main living area is clearly set up for conversation. As noted in their core family values, the Perry’s are all about family (immediate + church) and have people over often for fellowship, dinner and/or bible study. In this plan we wanted to make sure that there was enough seating for everyone so we removed the T.V. and put it in the guest room/playroom; then placing one of the Perry’s sofas in it’s place. We also added in pair of Mid-Century Modern leather arm chairs along with accent tables and a tufted-leather ottoman. What really makes the room pop though is the black and white striped area rug! When looking through the Perry’s inspiration images, I noted a similar rug and thought that it would be the perfect statement piece for this room. Similar to Design Plan 01, there is a mirror and sideboard near the front door, pops of greenery, and woven pillows on the sofas. While the Perry’s appreciated elements of both designs, in the end they ended up going with Design 01!


Right off the kitchen, the guestroom/playroom was a completely blank slate. Besides the queen-sized mattress and some toys scattered throughout there wasn’t much going on. Knowing that the Perry’s wanted to use this a guest room, playroom, and storage area for homeschooling, I knew that we had our were hands full! Just as with the main living area, I got to work and designed two different options for the space. Design Plan 01 for the guest room was to center the bed on the left side of the room between two windows, with a small cabinet on either side. Across from this on the right side of the room would be a row of three industrial looking bookshelves perfect for storing toys and homeschool supplies on. This design would allow ample storage for school supplies and toys, while also providing a beautiful space for guests.

In contrast to Design Plan 01, in Design Plan 02 we positioned the bed against the right side of the room with the T.V. and media cabinet on the left side. To hide a unseemly outlet that was placed in the middle of the wall, we pitched the idea of hanging a tapestry (i.e. this one, this one, or that one) over a driftwood stick, hung from the ceiling; over the bed. We eventually landed on this world map tapestry hand picked by the clients. Across from this wall would be an industrial looking bookshelf housing homeschool supplies and toys; while on another wall we would position the Perry’s deep freeze, hidden with a table cloth and accessories. Above the hidden deep freeze we wanted to do something fun and different, coming up with the idea of a huge cork board wall! On it would be graphic pieces of art (hello Urban Modern!) along with the kid’s artwork. In the end, the client’s ended up going with Design 02 for the guest room which I couldn’t be more excited about!