July 18, 2013

flash mob makeover for a friend

A few weeks ago, Kelly from View Along the Way posted about an awesome flash mob room refresh she and several friends took on for a friend of theirs. I was instantly in love with the idea, and within a day, I had a plan. :) 

My friend LaNiesha and I have been talking for months about doing a little refresh at their place but hadn't gotten around to it. Well, her birthday was coming up, and she and her husband were leaving the country for two weeks (on a mission trip to India with a group of fifty others from our church!!) ... perfect!! I got the go-ahead from her husband, Michael (on re-constructing the blinds, for example), rounded up a few co-conspirators and we were off...

As you can see from these 'befores,' they have a beautiful, well-lit space with great architectural details, in the heart of San Francisco. (Some of these are more like 'during' photos which is why you see piles as we re-arranged and planned. We also had removed a couple of pictures from the walls already.)

I went through my supply of fabric leftovers and remnants, and came up with a scheme to compliment their furniture. We knew we would work with the major pieces they already had, mostly just adding some textiles, accessories, art... and a bookcase! I was convinced from day one that a bookcase was a must -- her husband is a huge reader/studier and his collection was hidden away in a closet. I loooooove the warmth and personality that books lend to a room and was determined to add this layer of coziness to the living room!

Most of our focus was on the living room, and it spilled over a bit into a little nook in the kitchen.

TRULY, this was a group effort from start to finish, which made it so fun. This has to be the best kind of project...I loved the scheming texts as we brainstormed, planned, and encouraged one another.  One friend helped sew pillow covers. Others scoured Craigslist daily for bookcases, searched thrift stores for accessories, printed and framed family photos, re-covered chair cushions, donated frames...you get the idea!

It's amazing what a few snazzy pillows can do to really cozify a sofa!

And...the bookcase (woo hoo!!!)!  I had picked up all kinds of cute trays, bowls, vessels to add layers and prettiness to the books. And of course, the photos of their gorgeous and photogenic family don't hurt!! (Oh - and this isn't even half the books they own, so you know I'm going to suggest they get a second bookcase. ;))

You may remember a little stencil art project from this room last December. I have been wanting to break out that stencil again, and LaNiesha had said at the time that she wanted a similar piece. I was happy to oblige. :)  You can't tell here, but this is hanging above their TV.  (There are a few loose ends to tie up, and straightening the fabric in this frame is one  of them - kind of drives me crazy in this photo, but oh well...)

We spruced up the desk area a little, with a bamboo chair and some accessories. This is such a great example of the power of styling -- seriously... add a plant, some cute organizers (could be bowls, trays, cups, etc. -- my favorites come from thrift stores because they're unique pieces) and it's instantly stylish, inviting and not to mention more functional. One might even enjoy paying bills at this work station. :)

These awesome fabric paintings are from another mission trip of Michael's -- to Thailand a few years ago. (My husband and I were part of the team of eight on that trip...what an amazing experience it was!!) These two pieces were previously in larger, mismatched frames across the room from each other and I really wanted to group them for maximum impact. 

Loooooove this fabric we used to re-cover the chair cushions! Scored at a local fabric outlet. Their table and chairs were previously a little cramped in the kitchen, so we decided to pull them into this awesome bay-windowed end of the living room. (All along we would have moments where we wondered if they would be okay with all of the changes we were making, and would tell each other, Well, they can always move it back if they don't like it!)

And....the nook! (I love nooks so much that even the word makes me happy :)) 

This loveseat was previously in the living room, and was one victim of our rearranging madness. It ended up in the kitchen, where the table and chairs used to be. Happily, this corner is now one of their favorite spots! Again, the natural light that floods their place is just killer, and of course makes any seating area more irresistable if you ask me. 

I used Jenny's oldie-but-goodie trick and turned all of their mini blinds into roman shades (you can see some of them in the living room shots above). Seriously folks - if you have mini blinds, DO THIS! There is just no good reason not to, and it adds an unbelievable amount of coziness, texture and beauty for minimal cost and effort. Case in point:

And those mason jars - can you believe how cute?? Our friend Rachel built them, and I love them and can't believe how perfectly they work with the space. (If anyone's interested, she's now selling these - comment below or drop me an email and we'll get you the details! In addition to kitchens, they would be great in a bathroom, hallway...well, anywhere really! :))

So there you have it! And all in under two weeks' time. What fun, and most importantly, the whole family loves it. The best reaction was from their son Myles, while walking around and taking it all in says, "Mommy, our house is a-maaaaz-ing!"  How precious is that?!

I know this won't be my last flash mob makeover -- this needs to happen at least a couple of times a year in my life.

Interested in working together to make your home the best it can be? 
Let's talk about changes, large or small, that I may be able to help with.   
Contact me at katiegaviganinteriors@gmail.com for rates & package options.


  1. This. is. AWESOME!! You did such a great job! I shared your post with my friends who did the flash mob makeover with me, and they were so excited to see the flash mob friend-makeover idea spreading. Isn't it such a joy?! Well done! Thanks for sharing!
    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  2. Katie,
    You are an awesome friend! My sister was truly in awe when they came home. I haven't been able to see the makeover in person as of yet and have been waiting for her to send me pictures. I am do glad you posted this blog so that I could finally see the finished results. As I read your blog and looked at the photos tears of happiness, appreciation and joy started rolling out of my eyes. I am truly grateful for you and the rest of GT for being always being there for LaNiesha, Micheal and my nephews (especially since I live two bridges away). Thank you again for the makeover and for bringing continuous smiles and happiness to the Pedroza household.


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