where the week went ::


It’s Friday already, and it’s been a quiet week on the blog … but certainly not in the nicole odette designs studio!  Here’s a little recap of the week!  More custom pillows for another fabulous client …



The fabrics may look familiar, but the design of this family rec room is completely different!  We have a bit more work to do then I’ll have photos to share!

This basement bar refresh was completed!  Here’s the bar “before” {disclaimer … my client had a temporary “room mate” at the time and is in no way responsible for the choice of basement bar accessories!!!}.


And “after” … both after beautiful glass and deco tiles were installed, and after the room mate!


Design boards for the home office of a wonderful new client … one with a “glam flair” and another “color option”, because a girl has to have choices, right?

office design board1

office design board2

And a day of shopping with a dear client and friend to finish her living room!







So that was my week!  Dear friends and blog readers, what did you do this week to add to the “design” in your corner of the world???


it’s everywhere you look … inspiration, that is ::


That’s when it all came together!  When I saw the photo in the August issue of Architectural Digest that I shared yesterday, I knew how to make the master bedroom in our home all that I wanted it to be!  And here’s why …. before beginning any design project, not only is it vital to assess the features of the room that need to be used in the design, great pieces that are available to add to the design, and any eyesores that must be dealt with, but it’s also important to determine how the space is used by the people who live there.  That takes me back to the master bedroom of our home.  My husband and I both love to read and often have stacks of books in our room {living in a small farm house doesn’t give us much convenient storage space, so the books have no where else to go}.  But stumbling over a pile of books on a cold hardwood floor isn’t the way I like to wake up on a cold January morning!  The solution ….


Yes … it’s the gorgeous shelving from the Architectural Digest magazine!  I have a “problem wall” in our master bedroom and this is just the fix!  Not only does this wall have two doors leading to different parts of the house, but it is also home to the thermostat – though I’d love to cover that with a piece of art, it just isn’t feasible.  So close your eyes and imagine {oh, maybe leaving your eyes open would be helpful for reading the rest of this post!} … a shelving piece similar to this on the wall between two of the original paneled doors that I showed you yesterday – that way all of the books would have a proper home.  I think it would be fun to line the backs of some of the openings with a patterned fabric or paper to add extra interest!  Place a smallish accent table in front {a place for a cup of hot tea or coffee is a must!}, a modern-styled lamp, layered rugs or perhaps a hide or cozy sheepskin, a comfortable chair with modern lines {I’ve convinced myself that the new-ish paisley chair has to go}, and ottoman for the perfect, out-of-the-way reading nook!  Still can’t envision what I have in mind?  Although these photos aren’t of bedrooms, there are aspects of each that show just the feel I want for this space.


{source:  Toronto Interior Design Group via Decorpad}

I adore the gorgeous wood floor with the natural hide and the neutral {though not boring} tones of this living room!  The table even reminds me of one I have in mind for my master bedroom reading nook.


{West Elm Branch Side Table}

Or another all time favorite side table ….



{West Elm Martini Side Table}

And for the modern-lined chair in this space, my first stop will be Niche in the Old Market.  This is an absolute “must go” for anyone looking for unique furnishings and accessories with a modern flair {though not overly modern, for you who are intimidated by that word}.  Although some pieces are shown on their site, it doesn’t represent even a little bit of all you’ll find at Niche!

Something similar to the shape of this chair may be just what I have in mind, and I’m such a sucker for nail head trim!


{source:  Urrutia Design via Decorpad}

I love the layered rug look … especially when a natural woven rug is paired with a hide, like in this photo!


{source:  Tamara Mack Design via Decorpad}

And I love the metal art over the fireplace in this photo …. because that’s another area that will need a lot of attention!


 {source:  Toronto Interior Design Group via Decorpad}

It reminds me so much of this art that I’ve been eyeing for months … of course, it’s at Niche!


So friends, tell me, do you like the design path that I’ve begun to journey down so far?  What ideas do you have to turn the master bedroom I shared with you yesterday into a completely transformed room in our little “farm home”?

first up … the master bedroom ::

It happened on the treadmill.  For months I’ve been looking for just the right inspiration photo for the redesign of our master bedroom … Decorpad, Houzz, Pinterest … I’ve searched them all but nothing really stood out.  That is, until last night.  Maybe it was the increased oxygen that was streaming to my brain {gosh, I need to work out more often!}, but more than likely it was the issue of Architectural Digest that I was reading while at the gym.  I flipped the page and there it was …


{Architectural Digest, August 2012}

But how does this photo give inspiration for a master bedroom?  Let me back up a bit … in fact, let’s start at the beginning.  This friends, is the beginning … the family room of the farm house we bought 8 years ago.



And here’s where it gets “real” … I think that often times, people think because a person works in the interior design field or has an obsession with home decor {not that I know anyone who fits that description}, their homes are pristine, stylish, and worthy of a magazine spread!  But reality is that after a long day, my home design projects are often last on the list.  The intent to make every room in my home worthy of my friends’ and clients’ kudos does not often match the time that’s available to accomplish such results … until this year.

After years of trying to make the farm house work, we decided to convert the family room into our master bedroom {don’t worry, we converted the dining room into the living room, but that’s a post for another redesign project}.  Here’s where we are today …



Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, at the time we considered this our “temporary” home and used things that we had from our previous home to make this house “good enough” – the maltese comforter that I bought for $30 from a co-worker close to 15 years ago {though I must admit, I still really like it}, the clock that we bought for the dining room wall of an earlier home nearly 12 years ago, the large brown floral accent pillows that came with my sofa but don’t at all blend with the feel of my living room, the other accent pillows that I picked up at a local discount store to match the brown floral ones that I wasn’t crazy about in the first place, the paisley chair that I thought I liked a few years ago {my personal style used to be more traditional, but I’ve been tending more and more modern over the past several years}, and yes, that is a t.v. tray – an addition to our room last week when I was searching for a quiet place to read.

Once we pulled up the original carpet that was in place when we purchased the farm house, we were thrilled to find well worn heart pine floors and had them refinished {not the color I would have picked, but the refinisher seemed to think that decision was in his court – I had so many other things on my plate with trying to remodel the house so it was livable, that I suppose he was right}.


And you can’t beat these original solid panel doors and hardware that are original to the home, as well as a brick-faced fireplace that even after the addition of a custom mantle {a Christmas gift from my dad a few years ago} desperately needs a new look …




So that’s the room as it sits today.  Before starting any design project, it’s best to assess what you have to work with.  What’s great about the room and what stays {the hardwood floors, the brick fireplace, the Ethan Allen bedroom furniture that I swore to my husband 11-ish years ago that I’d keep forever, the bay window, the size of the room} and the not so good things about the room {oh, I didn’t show you those …. the make-shift closet that my hubby built because we didn’t have a place to store clothes, the catch-all corner that tends to collect overflow items from other rooms in the house, the shade that covers the door from our bedroom to my design studio – all of the windows in this room had the same cellular shades when we moved in, but fortunately  they’ve died one by one} … you get the idea.  So the redesign of our master bedroom has begun, and I’m so thankful for all of your input and encouragement!  The next step is to determine a design path for the space, and that brings us back to the AD inspiration photo at the beginning of this post.  But you’ll have to check back tomorrow to see how that plays a part in this room’s redesign!

my newest client ::

“I can do anything for two years.”  I uttered those words to my husband eight years ago this month when we talked about moving to the one bathroom, two bedroom, almost-100 year old farm house where we currently live.  It’s not that I dislike farm houses, I actually find them quite charming.  When we ran across this property for sale, we could see past the overgrown trees desperately in need of a trim, the chain link fence that encompassed the perimeter of the home with the “Beware of Dog” sign secured to its gate, and even the owl that hung from one of the termite infested barns {upon a closer glance we later found the owl to be plastic, and learned that hanging an owl was a common practice of “country folk” to deter mice …. I’m not convinced that it worked!}.  Our friend / realtor who let us in the front door {early on a Saturday morning, in her sweats, no make-up, and with coffee in hand} said, “Nicole, I’m even too much of a princess to live in this place!”.  The walls were covered in rose floral print paper, and royal blue shag carpet led to the upstairs, which boasted a kelly green carpet in one of the bedrooms ….. and kelly green sponge painting!  {I’ll be sure to post “before” photos another time – they were taken in the days before digital.}  Luckily, both my husband and I are trained to look past what exists in a house and visualize what it could be.

Here’s the irony of the story.  My husband is a custom home builder {owner of L & L Custom Builders, Inc.}, and although he builds beautiful, wonderful quality homes for younger families, he is well known in our area for building amazing, high-end dream homes.  A stained glass, backlit dining room ceiling; copper lined portico over a driveway; indoor, hardwood-floored sports court adjoining a gorgeous new home; a backlit onyx panel above a modern fireplace … he’s incorporated them all in his custom homes.

Willett 10{home by L & L Custom Builders, Inc.}

SONY DSC{home by L & L Custom Builders, Inc.}

So we had a plan … purchase the property, live in the existing home, and build our new home there in two years.  Sounds good, right?  Oh, but we were young and naive!  One thing that was a must is that the house needed to be remodeled to the extent that it was livable for a few years.  The process began …. new flooring, new cabinetry {the old cabinets literally crumbled as my husband took them out the door}, new carpet, but all with the mindset that it was temporary.  We didn’t invest in what we really wanted in our home because we knew {or thought} that it would only be used for a few years.  So rather than the cabinetry that I had my eye on, I found some that “would do” in the section of our cabinet store that housed cabinetry that had a little defect or damage …. ours just happened to have been misordered for a new construction job in a nearby city, and there were enough “mistakes” to outfit our whole kitchen.

But during all of our mini-remodeling projects, we learned more about the home and discovered its charming character!  We learned stories of how a tree fell through the kitchen ceiling of the home during a massive snowstorm the year we were married, we met an 80+ year old man who stopped by the summer before last when we were in the garden and shared that he was born in the kitchen and lived in the home as a child, and a few years back I invited the previous owner and many of her friends over for Christmas Tea and sat back to listen as they recalled so many memories they had of the “farm”.

So that brings me to today … and the title of this post, “my newest client”.  After 8 years of “temporary” living, I’ve decided to embrace my cozy farm house and go through it room by room to help it fulfill its intended potential.  Yes, it’s small and you have to close the dishwasher in order to walk through the door that leads to the bathroom {a new addition when we moved in – I asked the prior owner how washed all of the dishes in the 30+ years she lived there.  With a smile, she replied “I had two children”}.  No, it doesn’t have great closet space {this was a luxury in the early 1900’s when the home was built}, but it is so full of history and stories.  So my newest client has a special request … create a stylish, yet comfortable space in which family and friends can create special memories to last their lifetimes.  Easy, right?

I would love to have you join me on this little journey, and hear your opinions as I undertake this task.  I promise to post more photos through the process {I need to get all of my old photos of our early days in the farm house scanned in so they are more computer-friendly}, and will give tips and techniques for recreating your space!  So enjoy as I begin one of my biggest projects …. making a farm house a farm home!

a fresh beginning ::


Happy 2013 to all of you!  After taking most of December off from blogging to focus on interior design clients and making Christmas a special time for my own family, I’m so excited to say that the blog is back!  I’m always so inspired by a fresh start, a clean slate, and a new year is the best beginning I can think of!  But before moving on, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at several favorite studio and interior design projects from 2012 ….

so many custom accent pillows from the studio ….










design boards & floor plans for my client projects ….

inspiration board1



master bdrm inspiration board-blog

inspiration board office

holding __ master bedroom opt1


room refreshes & remodels in my clients’ homes ….






and so many more one-of-a-kind projects ….





I have so many surprises in store for nicole odette designs and my blog in 2013 and can’t wait to share them with you!  In the past, I’ve tried to give inspiration from my own design and studio projects, but to be honest, that turned out to be exhausting and left little time for my own home improvement projects!  This year I have a new approach in mind.  Not only will I share with you the projects I’m working on for my own design clients, but will also give you a tour of my own home {bit by bit}!  Even after living in this home for nearly 8 years, it’s still not the way I want it to be, so this blog will also document the journey that I’m taking to create the home I dream of for my family and myself.  I welcome you to be a part of the nicole odette designs blog this year, and hope that it will inspire you to create a beautiful living space in your corner of the world!