E-design | Mary & Tom + Before Pictures

I met Mary eight years ago, in my Intro Drawing course. You know, just standing around drawing the ellipses on bottles. She rode her bike to class (which I was kind of jealous of, because walking is just so hard sometimes). In she would always walk carrying a frappuccino, her big white designer purse, and her drawing pad. Our friendship was meant to be.

mary me

Do you ever meet someone at the very moment that your in dire need of a friend, but you didn’t know you were. I didn’t know I needed Mary’s friendship, until we laughed. Suddenly the world stopped spinning so fast, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t been laughing lately. Maybe that I hadn’t been happy enough lately. It took Mary coming into my life for me to feel alive again. I am really forever thankful for our friendship.

Most of our friendship has been long distance, aside for about a year when we went to college together. She moved away. It’s funny how life has all these moving parts, and is ever evolving. But at the same time has it’s constants. I used to think that the biggest life changes happened from the ages of 13-17. But now I’m not sure. Now I just think from 13-17 you go kind of crazy, like actually insane and psycho. But then, your emotions calm down, you start being nice to your parents again, and then real changes start to happen from 17-25. Like those life altering changes. Which of course happened to us, and everyone else in the world. Yet our friendship is constant. I mean yeah, I just had a baby (okay over a year ago, but still), and when Mary met me I was like never ever going to even want a serious boyfriend again. And Mary just started a brand new relationship (okay over a year ago, but still). His name is Tom. But, we can pick up the phone and be right back where we were. Like the same stuff is still funny.

meet mary and tom

Mary and Tom just moved to Peoria, Illinois, for Tom’s new engineering job. Which means new adventures, a new home, and a much needed change of design scenery. Sometimes when we keep the same decor, for years and years, we never get to move forward with our lives. It’s like were sitting in the same old place, doing the same old thing. Of course though, there’s always an exception to that, for some very special pieces in our lives, tied to the best memories. The very best.



before 3

before 2

So new, so needed. Much needed.

The living room needed to function as a..living room. No kids, no toys, just a place to watch shows, eat snacks, and have friends over. I kind of knew Mary’s style already, but it was important that she fill out my design questionnaire, because like life, styles can also change. Also, when adding a new person to the mix, both people need to have a say in the design.

Mary loves the city, traveling, photography, art, and her cat, Hank. Tom loves sailing, traveling, working on cars, his motorcycle, and Mary. I wonder if he loves Hank? The room needed to be simple, and comfortable, timeless, but with character. Mary loves the lack of color, and the presence of textures. Me too. So, blacks, whites, and grays. She’s drawn to masculine design, with hints of classic femininity.

floor plan


mary e-design


As you saw in the before pictures, the kitchen and living room are connected, with a semi open concept. There’s a window, and open door, but still a portion of the wall that disconnects the two spaces. Personally, it’s my ideal situation as a party guest. I like to hear everyone, and see everyone, but not necessarily be with everyone at all times. But anyway, I wanted to bridge the two spaces together, by adding a bar cart. It will house plants at all times, and some really cool books, but when entertaining, it can also hold food bowls, and drinks. The artwork above the bar cart is bold, and masculine, with touches of fleshy pinks.

The X-Frame sides of the bar cart, and the gold color, directly tie into the side tables. But the side tables have a west coast beachy vibe going on with the weathered wood, and exposed slats. Oh and that cool shape. Like yes. And to top it off, those chartreuse lamps. Enough said. I need those. But I can’t just go around trying to buy all these things that I plan for my clients. So I won’t.

One of my favorite parts of the design, is the minimalistic polaroid photo display. In some ways, it reminds me of something you would have in college. But, it’s actually perfect for them. With all the photos that Mary has, frames would be far too cluttered. Here, she can fit several of her travel pictures in one simple area. Also easy to change around.


* An E-Design service provides the client with accessible design advice that sets the framework for a single room, for a set fee. All work is completed via telephone and email. All that is needed from the client is a completed design questionnaire, a budget, and images and dimensions of your room. Returned to the client will be a design concept, mood board (which is what you see above), a complete shopping guide which includes non-urgent and urgent items (usually sale items or items found on ebay/craigslist),and a detailed floorplan

Click here for design service inquiries. Or email me @ DahlHouseInteriors@gmail.com, Subject Line: Design Service Inquiry

To see more of Lauren’s E-Designs, Click here. Or here, for more portfolio images.


“E-Design: Tim & Nikki” was published in the “design & decor” category of Dahl House Blog.

|B L O G | S E R V I C E S | A B O U T L A U R E N |

| P O R T F O L I O | S H O P |



2 Comments on “E-design | Mary & Tom + Before Pictures

  1. I like this a lot. Can’t wait to see after pics once it’s complete!

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