Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

We’re going inside this beautiful, fairly new Colonial home in the Washington D.C. area where the interiors were completely redone by Ella Scott Design. Lovers of French country decor are sure to be surprised since this Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic redesign project was all about going modern, fairly spare, and very chic.

Beautiful stone exterior on charming two-story home in Maryland. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #housedesign #houseexterior #stonehouse #colonialstyle

Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic

It certainly feels as though it has been way too long since we explored a dramatic before and after on the blog! Ever thought about why design makeover shows are so wildly popular whether the topic is home design or weight loss? Transformation stories are powerful for most of us for psychological and spiritual reasons. I personally think we are drawn to transformation stories because we are always seeking transformation, hope, and greater fulfillment within ourselves.

Wired for Transformation Stories

Humans seem wired to respond to stories of metamorphosis. They engage our conscious and subconscious shcma about butterflies, hidden potential, redemption, diamonds in the rough and overcoming obstacles or walking through fire to reach the prize. Before and afters give us permission to try on new ideas and dream of change. They motivate us, stir our imaginations, and may increase our desire and confidence to embark upon adventures or design projects of our own.

After reading the brief summary of the interior design project in the portfolio of Ella Scott Design, I was curious about how this residence appeared before the work began and checked with the designer. Bethesda, Maryland based interior designer Sandra Meyer of Ella Scott Design graciously agreed to share the images below with us since the project is a personal one–it’s her own home. The kind folks at HomeVisit agreed to share the before images of the house as it was when listed for sale.

Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic

Turns out, this was not one of those typical renovation stories where a used up fixer upper with bad, outdated interiors was begging for a makeover. This house was neither old, nor ugly. But it had a very specific, narrow, and fussy identity which might appeal to traditional or country decor fans. However, it did not reflect the modern urban chic style of its stylish new owners. (By the way, we met this owner/designer the other day in this story featuring her work and highlighting blue and white classic decor.)

Modern chic black and white kitchen with calacatta marble. Design by Ella Scott Design. COME SEE THE DRAMATIC Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #blackandwhite #modernkitchendesign #urbanchic #modernblackkitchen #sputnikchandelier

AFTER. Urban chic kitchen. Design: Ella Scott Design. Chandelier: Apparatus. Find beautiful Sputnik style chandeliers HERE. Bar Stools: Noir. FIND HERE. White paint color for walls and cabinetry: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Paint color on island and door trim: Benjamin Moore Black Panther.

Award Winning Home

This urban chic home has a showstopper of a kitchen which won a Sub Zero Wolf design award for its modern kitchen and kitchen cabinet refacing.

Inspiring quote from desinger Andree Putman. For a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond and balance one another. #inspiringquote #interiordesignquote #interiordesigner #andreeputman #designquote

Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

I will forewarn you lovers of French country, American country, and European country style right away, that it may upset you to see design details you admire get erased in this modern re-design! Especially if you’re not a fan of modern. Maybe you’ll rest easier knowing it is not an older historic home full of aged character. Rather, it is a relatively new build and had been designed with excessive mouldings, wainscot, and traditional details.

While most homeowners can fathom the idea of interior paint changes, wallpaper removal, and cosmetic updates such as light fixtures to suit their taste, Sandra Meyer’s vision for her home entailed a complete re-design. This Ella Scott Design before/after transformation is educational and rich with interior design ideas and lessons. It is also intriguing since we rarely get to see the same home take on two radically different design identities.

Barbara Barry quote. Underneath all I design lies the solid belief that beauty is a positive force. #beautyquote #barbarabarry #interiordesigner #interiordesignquote #designquote

A Bold Undertaking

Your interiors should bring you joy and be reflective of you, but getting there requires dedication and courage. This was a newer home in good structural shape with the wrong interior design for the owners. The new homeowner’s preference for cool color, simple lines, and modern sophistication meant a host of architectural and design changes for the formerly pretty-yet-fussy traditional interior design.

Entry and Staircase: Before & After

The 13 year old home previously had traditional design details such as paneling and historical colors. One even might be fooled into thinking this was a much older home!

Frenchc ountry entry with wood staircase and red wallpaper on dining room wall.

BEFORE

To give the entry a fresh, modern look the owner/designer favors, off white paint (BENJAMIN MOORE Moonlight White) covered yellow walls, crown moldings and paneling were eliminated, and black (BENJAMIN MOORE Black Panther) now plays a starring role. You cannot miss the whimsy and drama of the Cloud chandelier with its frosted glass orbs and (at least to my eye!) spirited joie de vivre.

Black and white modern entry in a designer's home. COME SEE THE DRAMATIC Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! Design by Ella Scott Design. #entry #blackandwhite #modernchic #urbanchic #modernchandelier

AFTER. Black and white modern urban chic entry and staircase. Design: Ella Scott Design. Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Door Trim: Benjamin Moore Black Panther. Chandelier: Cloud by Apparatus Studio.

Living Room: Before & After

Removing wallpaper is not for the faint of heart so my hat is off to the laborers faced with rooms like these to tackle. This European country room was maybe just right for the previous owner but not at all its new owner’s cup of tea.

French country living room with yellow floral wallpaper, red oriental rug, and French doors with transom.

BEFORE…Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

More subtraction of paneling and paper. Once again, more off white paint (Benjamin Moore Moonlight White) and dramatic Mid-century modern lighting (France & Son). It is hard to believe this is the same sitting room and that the design entailed no structural changes to walls!

Classic and modern sitting room with huge sunburst mirror and black piano. Design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #ellascottdesign #classic #chic #liingroomdecor #blackandwhite #modernchic

AFTER. Urban chic living room with piano. Design: Ella Scott Design. Ceiling Light: France & Son. Chairs: Oly Studio (find options here). Wall color: BENJAMIN MOORE Moonlight White OC-125.

Need a starburst wall mirror? Check out these HERE.

Paint Colors

Moonlight White Benjamin Moore paint color swatch. This color is part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces.#offwhitepaintcolor #bestwhitepaintcolor #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite #bestoffwhite

Off White: BENJAMIN MOORE Moonlight White OC-125. “This color is part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces.”

 Black Panther Benjamin Moore paint color swatch.This color is part of Color Preview. A collection of bold, saturated colors that brings spaces to life for those looking to illuminate their world with pure, extraordinary color. A great complement to Classic Colors, Color Preview offers a collection of 1,232 hues that excite and inspire with pure, deep, clear colors that create striking combinations. #bestblackpaint #bestblackforwalls #benjaminmooreblackpanther

Black: BENJAMIN MOORE Black Panther 2125-10. “This color is part of Color Preview. A collection of bold, saturated colors that brings spaces to life for those looking to illuminate their world with pure, extraordinary color. A great complement to Classic Colors, Color Preview offers a collection of 1,232 hues that excite and inspire with pure, deep, clear colors that create striking combinations.”

Interior designer David Collins quote. What is quality? Quality design must have...#interiordesign #interiordesigner #designquote #qualityquote #davidcollins

Unifying With Black and White

You get a dramatic sense of the “fussy factor” going on in the image below with multiple sets of stained French doors, interior transoms, and a ton of geometric busy-ness happening.

Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic. Yellow stripe wallpaper, wainscot paneling, and wood furniture in French country decorated home.

BEFORE…Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

Today the room is soothing and understated with the formerly stained doors painted white and more paring down.

Classic black and white sitting room by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #classicdecor #sittingroom #sunburst #blackandwhite

Urban chic living room with piano. Design: Ella Scott Design. Ceiling Light: France & Son. Chairs: Oly Studio (find options here). Wall color: BENJAMIN MOORE Moonlight White OC-125. Need a starburst wall mirror? Check out these HERE.

Lighting Transformations

I love the chandelier in the original design! But when the new design plan calls for urban chic…

Yellow floral wallpaper in French country living room with chandelier.

BEFORE…Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

Shazam.

Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

AFTER. Urban chic living room with piano. Design: Ella Scott Design. Ceiling Light: France & Son. Chairs: Oly Studio (find options here). Wall color: BENJAMIN MOORE Moonlight White OC-125. Need a starburst wall mirror? Check out these HERE.

Dramatic Dining Room Before & After

Prepare yourself for a huge design change in this formerly traditional dining room’s color, mood and style.

Red stripe wallpaper and decorative mouldings in French country dining room.

BEFORE

Wow! The room with its Cole & Son Nuvole Storm wallpaper looks completely different!

Modern chic dining room design by Ella Scott Design. Cole & Son formasetti mural. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #diningroom #blackandwhite #mural #modern #urbanchic

Urban chic dining room. Design: Ella Scott Design. Wallcovering: Cole & Son, Nuvole Storm. Chairs: custom; Fabric: Romo. Table: Julian Chichester (also more options HERE). Chandeliers: Arteriors (FIND HERE). Paint color for trim: Benjamin Moore, Black Panther.

Find a friendly-priced beautiful modern Sputnik chandelier if you like the style above: HERE.

Dorothy Draper quote. If it looks right, it is right. #dorothydraper #interiordesigner #designquote

Traditional to Urban Chic Kitchen Transformation

I would have LOVED to inherit this kitchen’s “before” when we bought our fixer! If this is the “before,” are we even ready for the” after!?!”

Traditional kitchen design with sage green walls, wood cabinets, hardwood floor and stainless range hood over island cooktop.

BEFORE

So chic and sleek, it hurts. I admire the way the white upper cabinets on the range wall disappear and give that wall the effect of having no uppers at all.

Luxurious black and white chic kitchen by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #modernkitchen #blackandwhite #urbanchic #blackcabinets #sputnik #calacattamarble

AFTER. Urban chic kitchen. Design: Ella Scott Design. Chandelier: Apparatus. Find beautiful Sputnik style chandeliers HERE. Bar Stools: Noir. FIND HERE. White paint color for walls and cabinetry: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Paint color on island and door trim: Benjamin Moore Black Panther.

I’m a fan of these saddle-style stools Sandra Meyer used at the island for a tone on tone effect. Just as she made those upper cabinets disappear, she performs another Houdini with the island seating for a calm, minimal, sleek look.

Saddle 26" Bar Stool

Noir Bar Stool: FIND HERE

Black and White Modern Kitchen

Warm wood in a traditional kitchen with breakfast area and breakfast bar.

BEFORE

While walls were not removed, a dramatic doorway was created, allowing in more light and creating dramatic interest. The contrast created by painting the doors black (Benjamin Moore Black Panther) is stunning. If you admire the look of black steel doors, painting the trim is a less costly alternative.

Dramatic tall black French doors in an urban chic kitchen with black and white. Design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #blackandwhite #modernkitchen #blackandwhite #urbanchic #blackcabinets #benjaminmooreblackpanther #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite

AFTER. Urban chic kitchen. Design: Ella Scott Design. Chandelier: Apparatus. Find beautiful Sputnik style chandeliers HERE. Bar Stools: Noir. FIND HERE. White paint color for walls and cabinetry: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Paint color on island and door trim: Benjamin Moore Black Panther.

What a huge change just ebonizing the floor makes!

Warm wood in a traditional kitchen with breakfast area and breakfast bar.

BEFORE

Chic black and white kitchen with modern design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #modernkitchen #blackandwhite #blackcabinets #sputnik #benjaminmooreblackpanther #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite #calacattamarble

AFTER. Urban chic kitchen. Design: Ella Scott Design. Chandelier: Apparatus. Find beautiful Sputnik style chandeliers HERE. Bar Stools: Noir. FIND HERE. White paint color for walls and cabinetry: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Paint color on island and door trim: Benjamin Moore Black Panther.

Considering a Mid-century modern ceiling light? Find beautiful options HERE.

Breakfast Room Before & After

Traditional style open floorplan with kitchen, breakfast room and family room.

BEFORE

Traditional style breakfast room with sage green walls and red accents.

Breakfast Room BEFORE

Modern chic breakfast dining area with tall black French doors. Design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #breakfastroom #kitchen #blackandwhite #modern #urbanchic #blackdoors #benjaminmooreblackpanther

AFTER: Urban chic breakfast room. Design: Ella Scott Design. Table: Julian Chichester (also more options HERE). Dining Chairs: Four Hands (Find options HERE and HERE). Black trim paint color: Benjamin Moore Black Panther. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White.

Eames quote. Details are not details; they make the product. #interiordesigner #charleseames #eamesquote #moderndesign #midcenturymodern #designquote

Family Room Before & After

Traditional decor in a family room with sage green walls and built in bookcases.

BEFORE

Gorgeous black and white family room with urban chic style by Ella Scott Design. Black painted French doors open to the outdoors. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #blackandwhite #familyroom #moderndesign #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite #whitesofa #eameschair #midcenturymodern #urbanchic

AFTER: Urban chic family room. Design: Ella Scott Design. Sofas: Mitchell Gold (Find options HERE). Cocktail Table: Bolier Domicile Cocktail Table with Marble Top. For more gorgeous examples of round cocktail tables with a marble top, SEE THESE. Mid-century Modern Lounge Chair: Find options with ottoman HERE and HERE. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White.

 I love how Ella Scott Design modernized this beautiful room and can imagine making myself at home in that comfy lounge chair (find cost friendly leather replicas with ottoman HERE and HERE).  Also, for more gorgeous examples of round cocktail tables with a marble top, SEE THESE.

Traditional style open floorplan with kitchen, breakfast room and family room.

BEFORE

Built in cabinets with bar area in a white modern family room by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #whiteshelves #modernlivingroom #urbanchic #eameschair #midcentury #interiordesigninspiration #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite

AFTER: Urban chic family room. Design: Ella Scott Design. Sofas: Mitchell Gold (Find options HERE). Cocktail Table: Bolier Domicile Cocktail Table with Marble Top. For more gorgeous examples of round cocktail tables with a marble top, SEE THESE. Mid-century Modern Lounge Chair: Find options with ottoman HERE and HERE. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White.

 For a natural area rug with border, some great possibilities exist RIGHT HERE.

To see more Mitchell Gold sofas, find lovely options HERE.

Master Bedroom Before & After

BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Chic and modern black and white bedroom design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #bedroomdesign #blackandwhite #modern #interiordesignideas #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite #sputnik

AFTER: Urban chic bedroom. Design: Ella Scott Design. Bed: Hickory Chair. Side tables: vintage. Chandelier: Arteriors – FIND HERE. More gorgeous lighting options HERE Score a similar pretty tufted ottoman HERE. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White.

Modern chic bedroom cabinet and chair vignette by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

Urban chic bedroom vignette. Design: Ella Scott Design. Cabinet: Bolier. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moolight White.

Urban Chic Media Room

Serene and chic media room with neutral and luxurious decor by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

Urban chic TV room. Design: Ella Scott Design. Stripe Chairs, Nesting tables, Ottoman: Bolier. Occasional Chair: Noir. FIND options HERE. Ceiling Light: Urban Electric. Lamp: Julian Chichester (also more options HERE). Console: Oly Studio (find options here). Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Helmut Newton: Polaroids (Taschen) – find here.

Landing

Clear acrylic ghost console table and rustic woven accent stool on a landing in a home by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic!

Urban chic landing. Design: Ella Scott Design. For a similar acrylic console table, FIND IT HERE.  Also find woven accents for texture RIGHT HERE. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White.

Lavender Teen Bedroom

Lavender curtains and accents in a beautiful teen bedroom by Ella Scott Design. Black poster bed and urban chic accents. Come see the Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #teenbedroom #lavender #posterbed #blackbed #urbanchic #moderndesign

Urban chic teen bedroom with poster, lavender, and black accents. Design: Ella Scott Design. Wall paint color: Benjamin Moore Moonlight White. Need a touch of lavender and a pillow for a teen in your life? Find it HERE.

Black and White Bathroom

Bold black and white bathroom with mirrored vanity and modern wallpaper. Design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #bathroomdesign #moderndesign #mirroredvanity #blackandwhite #modernwallpaper #boldinteriordesign

Design: Ella Scott Design. Urban chic bathroom with black and white wall covering. Find gorgeous mirrored bathroom vanities H E R E and mother of pearl mirror options RIGHT HERE.

I spy some luscious bath products on the counter that match the ones on mine! I discovered Tocca’s Cleopatra line at the Elysian Spa in Chicago. The scent is heavenly, and you may want to eat it.

Tocca Cleopatra Body Wash

Tocca Cleopatra Body Wash: FIND HERE

Serene Teen Bedroom

Dramatic yet serene teen bedroom with capiz shell chandelier. Design by Ella Scott Design. Come see the dramatic Before & After: Fussy Traditional to Urban Chic! #teenbedroom #serene #urbanchic #beachy #capiz #lightgrey #benjaminmooremoonlightwhite

Urban chic teen bedroom. Design: Ella Scott Design. I love the beachy island chic of a capiz shell chandelier…find pretty ones here. For a curvy upholstered headboard, check this out. Love tables with intricate bonelay? See this one.

Bathroom Before & Afters

 

What a cheerful place for a teen to get ready for the day!

Bold grey and lavender modern wallpaper by Romo in a bathroom by Ella Scott Design. #bathroomdesign #wallpaper #modern #lavender #grey

Urban chic bathroom. Design: Ella Scott Design. Wallpaper: Romo. For more ideas for a 2-light modern arm wall sconce, SEE THESE.

Modern and bold floral wallpaper by Romo in a bathroom for a teen designed by Ella Scott Design. #bathroomdesign #modernbathroom #wallpaper #romo #lavender #gray #urbanchic

Urban chic bathroom. Design: Ella Scott Design. Wallpaper: Romo. For more ideas for a 2-light modern arm wall sconce, SEE THESE.

Such a unique transformation with SUBTRACTION being the driving force toward modernity.

See a previous story spotlighting Ella Scott Design HERE.

And if you missed our tour of a gorgeous timeless home, see this.

Front porch of stone Colonial house with columns, wood ceiling, and beautiful stone porch floor.

See more beautiful work from Ella Scott Design on Instagram HERE.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

p.s.

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12 Comments

  1. Kristin
    July 19, 2018 / 6:46 am

    Hello,

    FYI I couldnt view any of the before photos:(

    • michele
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 8:26 am

      Boo! Thanks for the heads up. I have reloaded them in a different manner and hope you will be able to see them now! Sorry about the technical snafu! 🙂

  2. July 19, 2018 / 6:53 am

    Very nice and interesting post my friend!
    Hope you enjoy summertime! Warm regards, Greet

    • michele
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Great to hear from you, Greet and I hope your summer is going well. Can’t wait to catch up on your beautiful blog! xox

  3. Marilyn S.
    July 19, 2018 / 7:19 am

    None of the before pictures are showing -just a small little square box with a description of the before but no picture … is it just me or is any one else experiencing this? Help.

    • michele
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Thank you for alerting me! I will try re-loading them a different way – hope this works for you, friend! 🙂

  4. Marilynn
    July 19, 2018 / 8:32 am

    i preferred the before shots..except for the wallpaper and some outdated furniture pieces..urban modern is not for me..

    Marilynn

    • michele
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 11:00 am

      I’m a European country girl so my design choices would be different as well. I would probably begin by painting everything white (big surprise!). But my choices would also be guided by budget, how long I planned to stay, and what would be best for resale. Which is to say, I am not very bold at all! Thanks for reading, friend.

  5. Connie
    July 19, 2018 / 8:44 am

    It is truly amazing how a house becomes one’s special home with an overall change in design style! If I had to pick between the before or after, I’d pick the after…even though my own home tends to be more traditional. Of course both styles play very nicely in that gorgeous home.

    Sometimes I look back at the listing photos of our home before we bought it. It is such a transformation from the previous owners contemporary style to my French-inspired style…and nothing structural was changed. 😉

    Yes, seeing this ‘before and after’ transformation has made a great start to my day!

    • michele
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 10:55 am

      There are so many take aways in this before/after, and as you say, both styles work in this home but they tell very different stories. To express your unique point of view takes boldness, and this project embodies that spirit of fearlessness. I knew it would push buttons because of the radical departure from country! Thanks for adding a layer of lovely here. xox

  6. July 20, 2018 / 9:41 am

    I love these transformed rooms!!!! Black and white is hard to beat for making a home look fresh and urban chic!

    • michele
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 9:46 am

      Yes! Sandra did an amazing job, and convincingly demonstrates the power of black trim to add chic interest!

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