Haeley Giambalvo started her blog Design Improvised, where she shares DIY projects, in 2011 after the birth of her first child. All of her projects are designed to be short, do-able crafts anyone can take on and- relevant to our interests- many of them are home décor related. She says, “I’ve been enamored with beautifully designed homes since I was a kid religiously reading all my grandma’s issues of Better Homes and Gardens! I didn’t become very good at it myself until we moved into our home in San Antonio four years ago. I had an entire home full of empty rooms with beige walls to test my design skills! It has been fun to see my design aesthetic evolve and improve over the years.” One big evolution is Haeley’s living room, which she just remodeled with help from hayneedle.com.
Haeley, what a transformation! What was your inspiration for your design?
It all started with our floors! We have these really funky stone tile floors throughout our living room and kitchen area known as “agglomerate”. Each tile contains cross-sections of different stones that reminded me a bit of geodes. The tiles were installed twenty years ago by the original owners of the house and were unlike anything I’d ever seen. I wanted to highlight their uniqueness with a design that complimented them instead of competed with them. When I found the two large-scale granite prints at Hayneedle, I knew I was on to something!
What was the space like when you started the project?
A well-loved space furnished to meet the needs of our young family. I had partnered with hayneedle.com on an initial kid-friendly design project back in 2014. At the time, my two daughters were 3 and 5. My priority was carving out a space for them to play with a kids’ table and plenty of toy storage. The main wall decor in the room featured a gallery of my daughters’ art projects. It had worked well for us for several years but I started to get the design bug and wanted to try out a new look. I felt a more grown-up vibe was in store.
You regularly craft projects for your home but the scale of designing a whole room is much larger. Where there any particular challenges?
It’s one thing to create a pretty room design on the computer and a completely different thing to replicate it in real life! After the design has been set and items ordered, I’m always keeping my fingers crossed that it will actually work out like I envisioned! Will the furniture fit properly? Will the rug pattern clash with the floor? Is the wall paint color too dark? These are the questions going through my head as I move things around here and there. But that moment when everything falls into place and just “clicks” is pure bliss!
See Haeley’s new living room in the slideshow!