HGTV's Design Star Team Creates a Shabby Chic Suite with Help From Sara Evans

The designers' challenge is to transform two undecorated suites in the Gaylord Opryland Resort with help from country superstar Sara Evans, who favors a romantic, easy, light-filled and eclectic aesthetic.
vt305-suite1-living-room

vt305-suite1-living-room

In this hotel suite makeover, the team selects a pale wall color with a green tone to easily brighten and soften the room. The cozy and comfortable seating area conveys a casually feminine tone to convey the "shabby chic" style.

In this hotel suite makeover, the team selects a pale wall color with a green tone to easily brighten and soften the room. The cozy and comfortable seating area conveys a casually feminine tone to convey the "shabby chic" style.

By: Vern Yip

Set Your Foundation

The trio starts off with major foundation pieces, such as the pair of cream-colored slip-covered sofas that anchor the middle of the room. The cozy and comfortable central seating area, where folks can stretch out amongst over-stuffed floral pillows, conveys a casually feminine tone. The team also wisely selects a pale wall color with a green tone to easily brighten and soften the room. I'm not a fan of placing seating in a way that necessitates turning your head to watch the television, which is the case with the seating area, but this point is minor when viewed in the context of the overall transformation.

Minimize Contrast

vt305-suite1-bedroom

vt305-suite1-bedroom

The ingenious creation of large-scale headboards from old, painted doors nicely anchors the wall and gives the space architectural detail and visual impact.

The ingenious creation of large-scale headboards from old, painted doors nicely anchors the wall and gives the space architectural detail and visual impact.

This bedroom has its share of hits and misses as well. The ingenious creation of large-scale headboards from old, painted doors nicely anchors the wall and gives the space architectural detail and visual impact. Painted wood furniture is a real hallmark of shabby-chic style and the blue wooden dresser inserted between the two nightstands furthers the eclectic flavor, while adding a very feminine and playful touch. In the creation of a bedroom of this style, it is always important to keep the tone cozy, light-filled and easy, whereas high contrast and deep colors create tension and dynamic energy.

Add the Finishing Touches

vt305-suite1-bar

vt305-suite1-bar

Bar stools at the built-in bar energize this area.

Bar stools at the built-in bar energize this area.

A disparate collection of seating options at the eating table, including plenty of upholstery, conjures up visuals of wonderfully long and lazy meals. This team finishes off this space nicely with an eclectic collection of accessories, including a candelabra dripping with crystals and a basket filled with carefully selected snacks that Sara Evans would enjoy were she staying here.

Create a Feminine Style

vt305-suite2-living-room-bar

vt305-suite2-living-room-bar

The clean and simple white drapery and eclectic nature of the furnishings fits well with the shabby-chic style.

The clean and simple white drapery and eclectic nature of the furnishings fits well with the shabby-chic style.

There are some very clever design elements happening in the living room and bedroom designed by Matt, Jennifer and Stephanie, and much of their effort here nicely reflects the shabby-chic style Sara loves. There are many successful elements in the living room, including the pale green paint color, which immediately lightens and softens the space.

Use Light and Airy Elements

vt305-suite2-living-room

vt305-suite2-living-room

The overall look of the space is supposed to convey light, femininity and airiness, and this sofa is the complete antithesis.

The overall look of the space is supposed to convey light, femininity and airiness, and this sofa is the complete antithesis.

The living room begins to fall apart, however, in the insertion of dark and visually weighty furniture such as the masculine, dark brown leather sofa. This team has taken so much time and effort to convert their bar from dark brown wood to white-washed in appearance, and purposefully selected light-colored or painted wooden furniture pieces to feminize their room that it seems odd to then revert by deliberately inserting dark, masculine pieces. Additionally, incomplete space planning has led to large visual swaths of the room appearing empty with only carpet to fill the void.

Be Eclectic

vt305-suite2-bedroom

vt305-suite2-bedroom

Showcasing a subtle but eclectic mix of furnishings, this room looks inviting, cozy and naturally eclectic.

Showcasing a subtle but eclectic mix of furnishings, this room looks inviting, cozy and naturally eclectic.

The bedroom offers up plump bedding, low-contrast wall colors and some very nice architectural detailing that forms a visual anchor for the beds. Floral curtains and slightly mismatched bedding ensembles lend an authentic feel. The final missing element, however, comes with the lack of special touches that would give visitors a better glimpse of who Sara Evans is. Highlighting her framed record, adding her favorite snacks, inserting some of her favorite books and explaining how these choices reflect her taste in some kind of permanently incorporated way would have all been smart additions to give guests the true "Sara Evans experience."

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