Make Over Your Space Via Email

With the designer of their dreams living more than 1,000 miles away, these homeowners hatched a plan: Have her oversee their redo remotely! See the final results from HGTV Magazine.
By: Jancee Dunn

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Mike and Quinn Risdall

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

Photo By: Mike and Quinn Risdall

Photo By: Kim Cornelison

The Process

After following Jamie Meares' home blog (I Suwannee) for years, Quinn Risdall called Furbish Studio, Jamie's Raleigh, N.C., store, and asked the designer to decorate her Minneapolis, Minn., kitchen and family room long-distance. Quinn and her husband, Mike, both art directors, planned the redo with Jamie via email and text, sharing things ranging from "before" photos to fabric links. Jamie flew to Minneapolis just once to add finishing touches. The process worked so well that they all agreed to even more e-design.

Colorful Inspiration

Pegboard art bought at a coffee shop inspired the colors in the room. The family room's redesign started with this wingback chair.

Kitchen: Before

The original kitchen had a dingy linoleum floor and plain wood cabinets, so Quinn and Mike put in an oak floor, maple cabinets (painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore), Caesarstone countertops and a farmhouse sink.

Kitchen: After

To style the built-in shelves, Jamie had the Risdalls send photos of accessories they owned, emailed back a list of her favorites, and arranged them later in person. She also suggested stacking different-colored cookbooks and adding a vintage rug from her store. "When Jamie sent a photo of the rug, I wrote back right away, ‘Love it!'" says Quinn.

Breakfast Nook

This space started with a white Saarinen tulip table. Jamie texted Quinn a photo of flame-stitch fabric for the Lucite chairs, then emailed instructions for her upholsterer. Instead of ordering custom window coverings, they decided on affordable bamboo blinds ($50 each,

Family Room: Before

Jamie had to custom-order a sofa to fit through the Risdalls' narrow front door. Velvet fabric was the couple's first pick, but Jamie convinced them to go with easy-to-clean microsuede instead, and mailed them swatches for approval.

Family Room: After

For a burst of color, she suggested a 40-inch-square ottoman upholstered with a vintage Bolivian rug. "Covering an ottoman with a rug is a great idea," says Quinn. "You put your feet on both, so why not?" To cover this wide window, two standard 50-inch panels and 8 inches of trim were sewn together.

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