Before & After: A Boring Beige Condo Is Completely Unrecognizable After a Colorful Makeover
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Name: Mary Kathryn McConaghy, her roommate, Emily, and her cat, Tim
Location: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Size: 1486 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
Bold colors? Pops of wallpaper? Themed rooms? Yes, please! This past year, if Mary Kathryn wasn’t working as an event design and marketing director at Ooh! Events, you could find her getting her hands dirty renovating her new condo. Her family even drove in from out of town to help. The result is incredible; the “after” is unrecognizable from its boring and beige “before.”
Mary Kathryn lives with her cat, Tim, and her roommate Emily. Together, they’ve created a fun, vibrant home filled with art by local artists and makers. And while Mary Kathryn describes her style as “borderline maximalist,” the entire space manages to feel serene and soothing.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Colorful, bold, borderline maximalist
- Tulipina Design. Her use of color amazes me! I always try to have fresh flowers in my house… they make me happy and make the space seem more welcoming!
- The English Room
- Gray Malin I love his eye, his use of color, and the whimsy he brings to his photography and his home!
- Ashley Longshore color, humor, and beautiful paintings!
- Zio and Sons
- Jenny Keenan Design
- Wendy Morrison Design
Favorite Element: My little screened-in porch off the living room. It’s so pleasant and has lots of trees and chirping birds. My roommate and I started calling it “The Cat-io” because my cat Tim loves to spend time outside watching the squirrels and birds. She spends most of her day out there! I also love the little hammock seat and table with chairs. It’s so nice to have morning coffee outside but not getting bitten by mosquitoes.
Biggest Challenge: There’s not a ton of light that comes in to the living room. I have to just keep the curtains pulled way open and I have lots of lamps. It’s more “cozy, having a glass of wine” light than bright natural light, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Biggest Embarrassment: My boss and I custom ordered my bed through one of her vendors. I ordered a Queen sized bed, and when the bed frame arrived it was wrapped up and had a “Queen” stamp on the packaging. So my mom and I put it together, and went and bought a queen-sized “mattress in a box.” When we got home and took it out of the box and put it on my new bed frame, it was about a foot and a half too short and not wide enough. Turns out, the bed was a mislabeled king-size bed. So my mom and I had to convince my new neighbors (who I hadn’t met yet) to help take it back downstairs and outside, and we rented a Home Depot truck for an hour to return the “mattress in a box”… unboxed.
Proudest DIY: The staircase! It was so outdated with shag carpet and dark wood, and during quarantine I had finally had enough and started ripping the carpet up and painted the stairs. Thankfully, my dad drove down from Ohio to install the wire cabling and new posts to complete the staircase.
Biggest Indulgence: New appliances in the kitchen. It was expensive, but updated the room so much. Plus, I found the fridge, dishwasher, and oven in the “scratch and dent” section at Lowes at different times. They aren’t all the same brand, but they’re the same color and all match well.
Best Advice: If you find a piece that really speaks to you or just really makes you happy, get it. I had random decorations, paintings, lamps, etc. squirreled away for a year before I even bought my place. Also, don’t be afraid to be bold and go for something a little funky or different. A coat of paint can fix a lot of accidents!
Dream Sources: Wendy Morrison Design. Her rugs and overall design aesthetic are incredible and very luxe!
PAINT & COLORS
- Most of the house (family room, hallways, entry way, guest room) — Sherwin Williams Extra White in satin
- Master Bedroom — Sherwin Williams Greek Villa in satin
- Powder room with wallpaper and blue wall — Valspar Schoolboy Blue in satin
- Downstairs bedroom with green wall — HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams Chopped Cilantro in satin.
- Kitchen grey — Sherwin Williams Anew Grey in Satin
- Navy blue wall in dining room — Valspar Hampton Surf in satin
- Powder room and master bath peach vanities — Valspar Coral Peach in high gloss
- Pink Sofa — From Ooh! Events
- Feather Lamp — Nicole Miller Home, found at Marshall’s HomeGoods
- Pillows: Leopard print — Custom made.
- Yellow — Southeastern Salvage
- Bird patterned pillows — Baxter Mill Studio
- Pink Patterned Pillows on Chairs — Trina Turk (old-can’t find)
- Blanket — Coren Faux Throw Anthropologie
- Ottoman/coffee table — Today’s Home in Pittsburgh
- Swivel Chairs — Threshold by Target
- Coffee Table books — Gray Malin
- Sideboard — Antique, refinished by my dad
- Rug — from Ollie’s Bargain Outlet
- Wallpaper behind fireplace — Cheetah, Jubilee Collection by Thibaut
- Lady planter with pink pampas grass — Vessel: Amazon, pampas grass: Out of the Garden
- Small lady framed painting on mantel — Whitney Stoddard Art
- Curtains — Amazon
- “Turn Your Magic On” canvas — Homemade by me with leftover Thaibut cheetah wallpaper! On sideboard
- Cheetah Print Frame — Out of Hand
- Pink Glass Candlesticks — Target, similar here
- Square painting and small print in lucite frame — Danielle Cather-Cohen art
- Ashley Longshore book — I Do Not Cook, I Do Not Clean, I Do Not Fly Commercial
- Teil Duncan book — The Color Teil
- Minette Hand book — Present, In This Way
UNDER THE STAIRS
- Lighting fixture — Feiss Allier Pendant-found at Wheeling Discount Building Supplies
- Farm table — Antique, refinished by my mom
- Chairs — Ooh! Events
- Ginger Jars — Southeastern Salvage
- Mirror — Flea market
- Sideboard — Baker Furniture, found at Mt. Pleasant Mall
- Framed botanical prints — Amazon, frames from Michael’s
- Colorful Nude Woman Painting (seen in pic with me) — Teil Duncan
- Painted cabinets with Sherwin Williams Emerald Extra White high gloss
- Handles — Found at consignment shop
- Rug — Flea Market
- Framed art above key hook — Debbie Fornell painting of Shem Creek, where my condo is located. Closing gift given to me by my realtor, Lauren Peajeu
- Juicer — My most recent Goodwill find! $5!
- Bamboo furniture found on Facebook Marketplace!
MARY KATHRYN’S BEDROOM
- Bed — special order from Out of Hand
- Bedside Tables — Mt.Pleasant Mall
- Hanging wheat circles — Handmade by me
- Bedside lights — Creative Coop from Out of Hand
- Cowhide rug — Southeastern Salvage
- Bamboo ladder — Southeastern Salvage
- Basket Backpack on wall — Out of Hand
- Capitz shell armoire — Marshall’s HomeGoods
- Necklace holder above armoire — Trash picked crown moulding, refinished by my dad, Drew McConaghy
- Chair — Ooh! Events
- Sliding barn doors — Antique store. Barn door hardware: Amazon
- Tassel earrings hanging on painting in my closet — Hart Studio
DOWNSTAIRS POWDER ROOM
- Vintage Thibaut Wallpaper — From my parent’s attic (Can’t find it on the internet)
- Swan Faucet — Amazon
- Mirror — Custom made by my dad
- Scones — Feiss, found at Wheeling Discount Building Supplies
- Framed Woman Painting — Scorpio by Chambers Austelle
- Framed Beach Scene — Teil Duncan from her book, The Color Teil
- Hammock seat on porch —Amazon
Thanks, Mary Kathryn!