Before and After: A Gut Renovated House Has a Cute “Candy Room”

Before and After: A Gut Renovated House Has a Cute “Candy Room”

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Home Type
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Emily and Kevin
Location: Reston, Virginia
Size: 2,800 square feet
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, owned

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This was the fifth house we put an offer on and we went into it thinking, “What’s the worst thing that can happen? We actually get the house?” Then we got it. We liked the lot, the yard, and… that’s about it. But we knew we wanted a house that we could gut and renovate, so this definitely fit the bill. We had just bought, renovated, and sold a condo (that was featured on Apartment Therapy in 2014), so we were ready for a bigger project.

Most of our inspiration came from Instagram (duh) or traveling and seeing how commercial places (restaurants, stores) designed their spaces. We were able to do a lot of what we loved in this house (the entry tile, shiplap, railings, black windows and doors, concrete floors, gold kitchen finishes), but still have a couple things we want to do. We tore out the ceilings in hope of making them vaulted with exposed wood beams but quickly realized that wasn’t structurally possible. Other than that, most of what we came up with, we were able to do.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We never know how to describe it. It’s a mix of mid-century modern industrial farmhouse chic.

Inspiration: We randomly get inspiration from everywhere. When we’re traveling or out eating somewhere, or if we see something cool we want to try to recreate, we take a picture and then do our best to copy it.

Favorite Element: Kevin’s favorite element is the office because it was the only room he was allowed to hang whatever he wanted on the walls. Emily’s favorite room is the candy room because it’s fun and whimsical and colorful, whereas everything else in the house is neutral.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to make the house feel open because the original floor plan was modular. We kept things white and light and took down as many walls as possible.

Proudest DIY: The faux brick wall behind the TV. We used brick veneer from Home Depot—it wasn’t that hard since we weren’t going around any corners; it was just messy and time consuming. Or the painting in the basement. It took Kevin a year to start it but then only a day to finish it. So, to finally have something on the wall down there was exciting. We had a plain green ill-fitting canvas hung on the wall for a year (Kevin got as far as painting it green then it remained an unfinished project until we finally replaced it). Ultimately, the green canvas didn’t fit the space so it’s now in our garage—still green, still unfinished.

Biggest Indulgence: Replacing all the windows with black windows.

Best Advice: Know when to spend money on the real thing and when to get a really good knockoff.


Behr Decorator White — Entire house

Tile — Cement Tile Company
Schoolhouse Pendant Light — Rejuvenation
Shiplap — Home Depot
Light Fixture over the Staircase — West Elm

Leather Couches — West Elm
Rug — Anthropologie
Marble Coffee Table — West Elm
TV Console — IKEA
Candle Holders on Console — World Market
Lamps — HomeGoods
Bar Shelves — Houzz
Black Swivel Chairs — West Elm
Gold Square Table — Target
Curtains — IKEA
Curtain Rods — DIY (materials from Home Depot)
Paintings — DIY (Kevin painted based on Robert Longo’s “Men in the City” series)

Table — West Elm
Leather Chairs — Lucketts vintage find
Metal Chairs — Restoration Hardware
Cowhide Rug — Gilt
Antler Chandeliers — CB2
Gold Globes on table — Z Gallerie
Table Runner — Z Gallerie
Sconce Lights over windows — Houzz

Cabinets — Kraftmaid
Faucet — Kingston Brass
Appliances — KitchenAid
Perimeter Countertops — Carrera Marble
Island Countertop Material — Dekton
Pendant Lights (over sink) — Rejuvenation

Wallpaper — Ellie Cashman
Bed — IKEA
Side Tables — Houzz
Rug — West Elm
Fur X Benches — DIY, refinished Target benches

Dalmatian spot Wallpaper — Etsy
Rug — Houzz
Lamps — HomeGoods
Side Tables — DIY refinished IKEA “Rast” side tables
Bed — Scan
Light Fixture — CB2
Bedding — Target
Neon Sign — Amazon

Bed, Side Table, Dresser — Vintage mid-century pieces
Rug — Wayfair
Lamp — Target
Gold Chair — DIY refinished from ReStore
Pillows — C Wonder
Bedding — HomeGoods
Gold Boxes on Wall — CB2

Couch — CB2
Rug — Wayfair
Blue Velvet Chairs — Overstock
Coffee Table and Wood Side Table — World Market
Black Chair — IKEA
Throw Pillows — Target
Planters — At Home
Deer Heads — At Home
White Frames — IKEA
White Fur Rug — Gifted from New Mexico
Wood/White Dresser — DIY from Salvation Army
Painting — DIY by Kevin (his version of Retna art)

Desk — West Elm
Ghost Chair — Amazon
Rug — Overstock
Black Leather Furniture — Lucketts vintage find
Light Fixtures — DIY, spray painted from IKEA

Mini Fridge — Home Depot
Bench — DIY
Bench Cushions — Ballard Designs
Table — CB2
Chairs — Amazon
Palm Leaf Wallpaper — Etsy
Sconces —
Striped Floor — DIY, done with vinyl flooring from Home Depot
“YUM” Sign — Target
Mirrored Shelf — West Elm

Wood Walls — DIY with laminate flooring from Home Depot
Shoe Shelf — IKEA
Black Mirrors — IKEA
Sconces — Home Depot (outdoor lights)
Mat Flooring — Amazon

Thanks, Emily and Kevin!

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