Every home has so much potential to be beautiful! As an interior designer, it is incredibly rewarding to see the transformation that occurs during a major renovation. When walking through a home that has been lovingly cared for over the decades but has never been updated, I dream of all that can be done to bring it up-to-date so it functions perfectly for a young family. While I love designing homes from the ground up, my heart lies in a gut renovation project.

Looking back on one of my favorite projects, I remember the importance of both looking at every detail and stepping back to see the big picture throughout the entire process. The design of this home was a collaborative endeavor between me and Letecia Haywood (our principal designer), Rudy Colby Architects, Windham Builders, Tellepsen Landscaping, and the lovely homeowners. This dream team created a gem of a home!

Follow along with me as I go through the transition of this gorgeous home from start to finish.



The home has a grand and inviting entry, which we updated by squaring off the symmetrical doors to enter into the new kitchen and family room. The stair was pulled away from the wall to enhance the entry to the dining room. We refinished the existing hardwood floors to bring out the gorgeous parquet design.






The fresh walls in China White by Benjamin Moore create a beautiful contrast to the darker stain on the floors. A metal stair railing gracefully ascends to the second floor. We incorporated sconces by Circa Lighting on the first floor and repurposed a pair of Venetian sconces that the client already owned on the second level (flanking the entry to the master bedroom).


Dining Room

The dining room is a generous size and did not require any structural work.





All the mouldings throughout the home were updated by Colby Architects. The fireplace received a new marble surround and the beautiful Gracie wallpaper was not a fit for our new aesthetic, so we updated it using a gorgeous pattern from Maya Romanoff. The crystal chandelier gave way to a Venetian fixture by Donghia. The drapery is sleek and tailored in a rich textile by Allan Knight. Note how the placement of the drapery just below the moulding elongates the room, creating the effect of a taller space. See here for more tips on perfecting drapery. 

Regarding the furniture, we added some fab host chairs (Robert Allen) to the head of the table and upholstered them with Donghia fabric. The dining table was custom fitted to the room and bench-made by Century Furniture.

Living Room

This room underwent quite a drastic change. We truly transformed the space into a completely unrecognizable look – it’s hard to believe it was the same room! Check out the before and after to see what I mean.




A totally new look and function! This went from a (just a tad stuffy) formal living room to a sexy study and lounge. The graceful yet masculine chandelier (love the scale of this piece) with the sleek custom sofa and gray leather lounge chairs contrast nicely with the stately black millwork on the focal wall. Note that all the mouldings (crown and base), as well as the interior doors, are all a stately black: Inkwell by Sherwin Williams.



Last, but certainly not least, let’s take a look at the library. Right from the start, I was amazed by the architecture and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the interior design! Check out the images below to see how we transformed this into a Classically Current design.






I absolutely love how this library turned out! Letecia Haywood and I were determined to lighting up this space. We worked closely with Windham builders to perfect the finish on the paneling and collaborated with Colby Architects on the stunning marble fireplace and overmantle. Sigh.

When we wrapped up the architectural finishes and made our way to the furnishings, we first added an impressive rug with the help of our friend Angel Rios (AER Textiles) to anchor the furniture. Because of the scale of the space, we were able to create two separate but interactive seating areas: one with the fireplace as the focal and one with the television (not pictured) as a focal. These areas are joined at the center by the glorious Donghia tete-a-tete.


I am sure you can see from the before-and-after images why renovations are my favorite thing in the world! What could be more fun than seeing a home that is already fantastic be transformed into something truly extraordinary?!

Want more before-and-after insight? Just let me know! In the meantime, for more interior design inspiration, follow me on my Pinterest and Instagram.




Ohorona24.in.uamansky is a story-teller at heart. Her unique perspective and tailored design process empower her to create singular interiors for clients all over the world.

One thought on “What’s in a Renovation?

  1. Yolonda J. Washington on December 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm Reply

    I love what you guys have done here, especially the living room and library. Great job!

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