On the Move

Earlier this year, my friend Denise called me with some sad news…her husband Ken was being asked to take a job in Atlanta. His company had asked him to make the move a couple of other times, but this time they could not say no. So, it was settled, they were moving to Atlanta. After a lot of tears, we began making plans for the move. I have known the Marshall family since 2003 and I have been blessed to photograph their family over the years and decorate both of the homes they lived in while in St. Louis. I was honored that Denise wanted me to go with them to Atlanta to do the same.

They took several trips to find a house and finally put a contract on this one…

house front

Denise and I took a day trip in late May when they were doing the inspections so I could see the house, take some measurements and start formulating a plan for making it their home. The first order of business was to paint the entire main and upper floors.  Jamie and I drove to Atlanta the day before they closed to be ready to get to work as soon as they took possession.  We began by lightening and brightening the dark and dated master bedroom.

master beforeMCK Designs master after

We tried several colors on the walls for the main living area of the house, but they all seemed to be too…something…dark, light, gray, tan, etc.  As I had done for them in their previous house, I mixed some custom colors that were just right. Due to the short time-frame, we hired some additional painters to paint the rest of the main floor.  While the painters did their thing, we unpacked, and unpacked and unpacked.


Once the painters were done, we placed the furniture and decorative items, and hung artwork.  Here are before and after pictures of each room.

dining beforeMCK Designs dining afterMCK Designs foyer-art

The above set of 5 canvases hung in the foyer of their St. Louis home and are pictures I took of flowers in their yard.  It was extra special to hang them in their new home.

fam before2MCK Designs family after2fam before

When I did the living room in their previous house, I asked them to take a leap and make one focal wall bright teal blue.  They ended up loving it, so we painted the same blue (Benjamin Moore Baltic Sea) on the focal wall in their new family room.

MCK Designs family after3
MCK Designs family after

The set of 5 overlapping frames shown above is also something I did for their St. Louis living room.  All pictures that are meaningful to the Marshall family, I was thrilled they could be showcased in their new family room.  I was equally happy they had a great place for the custom pallet table (pictured right above) that I built them.

kitchen before

The only change we made in the kitchen, other than paint (which made a huge difference), was to replace the light fixtures over the table.  I don’t have a before picture of the walk-in pantry… the entire thing was olive green–even the shelves.  I used my handy Wagner HVLP paint sprayer to paint all the shelves (which, though not pictured, are also on the opposite wall). With the HVLP sprayer I was able paint out all the shelves in two coats 4 hours apart each taking about 45 minutes to paint.  If painted by hand, it would have taken all day to paint and would have needed 3 coats.

MCK Designs kitchen afterThe lower level will be teenage boy hangout central.

MCK Designs lower level

I painted all the bedrooms upstairs and did special projects for Matthew (stripes) and Samuel (handpainted baseball).

MCK Designs boys

My final project was to build very simple mudroom cubbies for the boys.

MCK Designs cubbies

I hardly have words to express how amazing it was to get to create beauty in the Marshall’s new home.  Though I am sad they are no longer in St. Louis, I know we will be friends for a lifetime.  I look forward to more fun projects as I visit for years to come.  Marshall family… I am blessed to know you and honored to help make your new house, home.




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