Interior designer helps create a personalized, stylish space

Interior designer helps create a personalized, stylish space

Phylliss Chappell had just purchased a virtually empty home and needed help. As mom to two teen girls, she made costly mistakes before with an interior designer who had a vision for a traditional home.

“The only problem was the rooms never reflected me, and I never truly felt at home,” she says.

Chappell knew when I asked her to start collecting pictures of rooms that this experience would be different. “I knew that you were interested in helping me create a home that reflected me,” she says about Moulden.

During our first meeting, I carefully listened. When she asked if I thought she should replace the pink granite fireplace surround, I suggested a more affordable solution—to paint the granite instead. She liked Sherwin Williams “Straw Doll,” No. SW 1365 as the main wall color and BEHR Paints “Amber Wave” for the dining room. At that visit, she received a detailed list of homework and a written plan with numbers from catalogs, like, for her breakfast room furniture.

We set a date for shopping. Chappell discovered an artist, Alonso Bedolla, whose paintings she loved. We commissioned a long piece to go over the dining room mantel. She fell in love with some pricey Barbara Barry “Script” dining chairs in a magazine. I assured her we could paint her existing Chippendale chairs black, and we could use contemporary leather chairs as the host and hostess chairs, plus buy a new dining table for a fraction of the cost of two designer side chairs.

In the family room, we found a buffet to use as a TV cabinet, bought artwork and a candlestick that I had made into a lamp. We ordered a sofa and chairs, buying extra chair fabric to make throw pillows for the sofa.

TIP: It is a great idea to order extra fabric from a manufacturer to visually pull fabrics around the room and tie store bought furniture together in a “custom” way.

On the floor, a contemporary rug from an online outlet unified the family room’s seating arrangement. We found a leather ottoman from Cost Plus World Market to use as a coffee table and tables from Pier 1 Imports.

“Shopping with you was great fun and saved me from getting a piece home only to find out it doesn’t work,” Chappell says.

Because Phyllis loved the acid green in the mantel’s giclee, we selected microfiber and had custom throw pillows made for the sofa and chairs.

“What I liked about working with you was being very involved in the entire process,” Chappell says. “I might have been able to create something nice looking (with my own expensive ‘mistakes’ along the way), but I know I could never have done this. Friends who have seen the house consistently comment on its beauty and often remark how much it reflects me, which is exactly what I wanted. It now feels like home.”

Angie’s List Super Service award winner Joetta Moulden is the owner of, a home makeover decorating business in Houston. Her motto is, “If it’s paid for, let’s try to make it work."

As of May 15, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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Before:  The office was dimly lit, lacked color and artwork and seemed like a depressing room. (Photo courtesy of Joetta Moulden)
Before: The office was dimly lit, lacked color and artwork and seemed like a depressing room. (Photo courtesy of Joetta Moulden)

A highly rated interior designer tells how she made a small space stylish.

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