Looking Back at 2017

Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017
Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017
Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017
Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017
Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017
Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017
Michelle Gage // Looking Back at 2017

Happy New Year!

This year has been one wild ride, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I have learned so much in 2017, it's hard to say what lessons have been the most valuable. Professionally, I've grown leaps and bounds. I feel so blessed to have wonderful clients, who trust me to come into their lives and totally transform their homes. While there are hard days, this is truly a dream job - something I've chased after since I was seven years old. 

We have been lucky enough to travel to Paris, adopt a second pup and move into our forever home. In Paris, we shopped the flea market (!!!). Our second little nugget is just so in love with our first one; it's so heartwarming to witness. She has changed our lives for the better. In the summer, we started looking for our next fixer upper. Luckily, we found our dream home and moved in November. We'll be busy fixing it up for the next two years or so, which I plan to document here and on Instagram.

In early December, I returned back to a favorite project of mine to style and shoot the space. This client (we'll call her Lola), was amazing to work with. Lola was completely trusting of the process and wanted to see her empty shell totally transformed. Wish granted! To see more shots from Lola's space, click here.

Before + After: Feminine / Masculine Living Room

Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room

Clients ask me all the time, "What is the first piece we need to pick out?" I always tell them that any item can kickoff a room's design. If you have a great vintage rug, colors can be pulled out for wall paint. If you want to include a worn leather chair, the other upholstery items can be linen or velvet to balance the materials out. 

In this case, my client fell in love with an inspirational image I sent her. The image was of a living room featuring a blue velvet Anthropologie sofa. Once that piece was locked in, everything else fell into place. The clients wanted recliners. Yes, believe it or not, these chairs recline. They had to either be a durable linen or leather, to balance out the velvet sofa. To add in yet another material, we selected this round leather ottoman which works well for families with young, energetic kids. 

The clients had a great, soft grey rug that we wanted to use in the space. It was a few sizes too small for the room, so we layered an affordable jute option underneath. This one fit the room well and is less expensive than if we were to purchase the same grey rug in the appropriate size. 

A few more key items (side tables, shelving, etc.) helped to fill out the space. These (truly wonderful) clients had been passed down a vintage icebox, which made for the perfect home bar. The gallery wall over the sofa features prints of cities that the couple has traveled to together. Lastly, we layered in some lighting, pillows and decor - the finishing touches.

It was important to make sure the room didn't lean either too feminine or too masculine. My client, we'll call her "Annie", has 3 young boys. She wanted a living room that she could relax in, as well as one that her husband ("Jeff") and children could enjoy. She got her dreamy Anthropologie sofa. He got his recliners. With one quick push of the ottoman, the boys have enough floor space to play with their Legos. Is it possible to make everyone in the family happy? Not always, but in this case, YESSS!

Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room
Michelle Gage // Before + After: Feminine Meets Masculine Living Room