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tuesday tip: go out, go big THEN go home | sherman reinvented

Since I didn't have anything going on in November and December - like - oh I don't know – Thanksgiving, an 8-year-old’s birthday party, hosting company, Christmas, three new design clients and an obscenely long winter break for my four children - I brilliantly decided to take on a whole-house redesign.


Because I clearly have some serious drinking problems. But the Shermans are old friends. And I am a sucker for old friends. And the smell of fresh paint. And the fact that Sam Sherman gave me a budget, a key, free reign and access to all of the leftover Halloween candy. Sold.

The Shermans fit the quintessential picture: two working parents a rowdy pint-sized boy a darling little girl, an old dog, a great yard and a big, spacious house in the suburbs. What they were missing was an updated, functional, clutter-free space that made sense for all family members. The Shermans were like many of us still 'making do' with some pre-marriage pieces and some family heirlooms and a maroon velveteen blanket that I still can't really talk about. They were also in denial over the fact that Bridger, three years-old and the baby of the family, was no longer a baby and the crib had to go. Gulp. But they were game for change and smart enough to know that they a) couldn't tackle it alone and b) didn't want to stick around for chaos.

tacked this space like an over-caffeinated banshee for two reasons: I am according to my know-it-all doctor “over-caffeinated” and the Sherman family was going to be out of town for one whole week. There was a deadline and I love a deadline almost as much as I love a list and a coffee. Now I had everything.

I spent the weeks leading up to the Sherman reinvention shopping online and having pieces shipped directly to the location of our joint madness. The Shermans swore they would not open any packages; not that they had time. They were tasked with dumping and donating lots 'o stuff. They removed everything from the walls so the painters could come in and work their magic. The emptied guest room was used as a staging area for the project; all the decor items we were keeping along with those pieces that were being delivered were stashed there which made it easy to 'shop' when the time came.

The entire main floor was painted Mega Greige and the trim and doors were given of fresh coat of Dover White. Then each room was torn apart and built anew. The job was BIG, and the payoff was even bigger. Minutes before the Shermans arrived home I had my design assistant (Andy Blackford) vacuuming and - I think – swearing but I couldn't hear him over the sound of the Dyson. But it was all worth it because that moment you see on television shows where the homeowner walks in and says “oh my god I love it “is addictive. Like leftover Halloween candy. But way better. This project was a blast. But there are always unforeseen problems in the world of home design. Sadly, the painters ate all the Halloween candy. I believe this was not a malicious act but rather due to an enormous language barrier but I cannot be sure. Still. It was worth it in the end - even without the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

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