Seabrook Island getaway

I met with a very cool Atlanta couple in January that recently purchased a rental on Seabrook Island, SC.  3618 Loggerhead Ct. hadn’t been updated in over 25 years and the owners weren’t ready for a major reno just yet.  They wanted it ready for the 2016 rental season and asked me to come in and put “lipstick on the pig” as they called it.   So Scott (the most hard-working, reliable contractor I know) and I went right to work.  Here are some before and afters of the 4 bedroom 3.5 bath beach home.

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Before, the walls in the upstairs living room were a washed-out yellow with artwork randomly placed.  The rug was too small and the furniture and accessories said anything but “beach”.


After, the walls are a modern, neutral gray (Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray).  The branches above the couch are straight from the beach.  The abstract above the fireplace reminds me of an oyster shell.  Since it’s a rental, I kept the furnishings simple and forgiving.  And the beachy accents were kept to a minimum.  Scott also updated the ceiling fan here and the recessed lighting throughout the house.

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Here in the dining area, the walls were a coral/orange color.  Again, the furniture and accessories didn’t seem to flow.


The walls throughout the house were  painted with SW Mindful Gray to keep things consistant and easy to touch-up.  I switched up the old glass-top table and upholstered chairs to some that are easier to clean and maintain, galvanized metal and wood.  I kept the existing bar cart but the owner removed the shells and I painted the drawer front and updated the accents and artwork above.


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The old kitchen had a ceiling fan above the island and a pot rack hanging right in front of the oven…hmmm?  And the dated tile backsplash had a random floral motif.


Scott removed the fan and installed this more appropriate fixture (Rick’s Lighting).  He also switched up the brushed nickel hardware for oil-rubbed bronze.  The 3 woven  barstools were replaced with 4 backless stools to keep things open.  Instead of replacing the entire backsplash, the floral tiles were covered up with self-adhesive stainless tiles.   With a fresh coat of paint and by removing a few things and replacing others, this once dated kitchen is now modern.


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In this bedroom, the window treatments were too heavy, the furniture, the bedding, the lamps…well, you can see, the whole room needed some love.


I replaced all the furniture with a rustic driftwood set.  I love these lamps, they are chrome and agate.  And to contrast all this neutral, I added striped navy and white curtains for the doors.


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This bedroom was once a porch that the previous owners converted to an en suite.


I kept the bed and armoire but replaced the curtains and added a striped rug, new accent tables, lamps, and rug.  The Spoleto artwork was from another bedroom.


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This was the old kids’ room.  The paint and carpeting are the only things to remain.


I thought it made more sense to bring in two sets of bunk beds and free up some space on the floor.  I found the oars in the garage storage closet and painted them white.  And the clownfish and coral artwork is by an award-winning artist…my 9 year old daughter.


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This is the downstairs family room as it was.



We replaced all the furniture with the exception of a few pieces.  The new sleeper sectional has a fold-out full bed.  The TV is now mounted on the opposite wall instead of in the built-in.  I wanted this room to have a laid-back vibe, so I brought in a geometric rug, fun coastal colors, beachy accents and art, and striped curtains.

“After” photos are by Real Estate photographer, Phil Shepard.

Retired in STYLE!!

Joanne and Dave retired from Maryland and came to Charleston nearly two years ago.  After living in a single family home for a short while, they decided to give the condo life a go.  A year later, they knew that was the lifestyle for them and that it was time to make it their own.  That is when I came in and met this very cool, young-hearted couple.

The main living area of the condo is open to incorporate the kitchen, living, and dining areas.  They knew the style they wanted to go for but weren’t sure how to achieve the look with the open floorplan they had.




Joanne and Dave have an eclectic sense of style; a hint of traditional with a strong mid-century appeal. They call it “Jetsonian”.
We started with the wall color. We didn’t want to take away from the gorgeous view of the live oaks out back, so we went with Carolina Gull by Benjamin Moore. This deep grayish green adds some drama and complements the view. They ceiling is painted in Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams. The sofa and accent chairs are West Elm, the lighting, fan, and console table are from RICK’S Lighting, the layered areas rugs are from Rug Masters, the TV console is from Charleston Revisions, the dining table is from, the dining chairs are from Morris Sokol, and the custom barstools are from For The Home.










Fix It and Finish It

Well our FIFI episode finally aired Wednesday, Nov.4!  It was such an amazing experience and I’m excited to share it with you.  I met Teri and Kyle back in January to get an idea of their style, all the while, keeping their surprise under wraps.  They are a young coupled who recently purchased their new home and are engaged to be married.  Here are their rooms prior to the make over.


118Before, these rooms were dated, had falling down wallpaper, broken blinds, worn carpeting, outdated lighting, and mismatched furniture.

So the crew of Fix It and Finish It, myself, Scott Swiatkowski (the contractor), and Five Star Painting went in and in 12 hours completely renovated the two spaces into these:
Teri and Kyle’s new dining room is painted a warm yellow and we replaced the lighting with a modern, yet classic fixture from Rick’s Lighting, got a brand new dining set from Orvin’s Furniture. The walls are adorned with Teri’s grandmother’s own artwork and the window treatments are tablecloths from World Market.


In the living room and dining room, we replaced the carpeting with gorgeous engineered wood flooring from Lumber Liquidators in a tobacco color. The walls are painted Pewter Gray from Benjamin Moore. Orvin’s Furniture was gracious enough to give us all the furniture and the colorful rug was given to us by Rug Masters.

Teri and Kyle were so surprised at the reveal and loved everything we did for them. This was such a great experience and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Me, Teresa, Kyle

Living Room before and after!

Here is the “BEFORE” of a very nice living room of past clients/friends of mine.  They graciously asked me back to give this space a make-over all the while keeping things colorful and now…baby friendly.

So I went to work…

Here is the “AFTER”!

I started by changing the wall color.  Okay, gray is not very colorful, but I brought in something unexpected for the ceiling…a gorgeous marine blue!  And oddly, it’s not the first thing you notice when walking into the room.  Instead, the interest comes from the eclectic mix of furnishings.  I love a look that appears to be collected over time, and that’s exactly how this room comes across.  I also changed the existing hutch from a buttery yellow to a rich Sedona red.  The primary furniture and rug are new but the lighting, artwork and mirror were brought back from the previous design.  The homeowners now have a comfortable place to chill and entertain and more so, a place for their awesome little one to explore without obstacles.


Fix It And Finish It!!

COMING SOON!!!  Watch Sharon Payer Design on Fix It And Finish It here in Charleston.  The show is currently on at 9:30am on CBS.  Our episode will air Wednesday, November 4, 2015.  Visit to find out where to watch in your area!

From House to Home

This is the house of a Mt. Pleasant couple who takes pride in their home and family. With young grandkids and a rescue dog, they wanted the home to be friendly to both yet not look like everyone elses. We used nearly every existing piece of furniture with the exception of a few new pieces. We also incorporated their art and added many old family photos that were tucked away in the upstairs cubby.

Before the living room just didn’t feel “put together”. The walls were painted a buttery yellow and the chair rail was just visual clutter and unnecessary. The coffee table was too small and the rug took the room in a different direction from the couches.

After, the living room feels more open and cohesive with a little coastal flare. The chair rail was removed and we painted the walls Sherwin Williams, Colonade Gray. We also mounted and framed the TV to showcase the oversized mantel, added recessed lighting and updated the ceiling fan. The lift-style coffee table is new and more to scale with the large room. We kept the woven shades and softened up the windows by adding linen sheers. We had them lengthened and detailed with burlap trim for a custom look. Also custom are the re-covered cushions and pillows on the woven swivel chairs. The rug was replaced with a gorgeous blue wavy detailed one (Rug Masters) that served as the accent color throughout.


Before the eat-in area was a place for a kitchen table. The owner wanted more storage and a place for the grandkids to call their own.

Now there is plenty of storage with the custom benches and open shelving. The kitchen table is new and can expand to accommodate 6-7 people. The grandkids have their space also for eating and art projects. The open shelves are perfect for all of the crayons, paints and books. We brought the red, white and blue to the eat-in area as well with the fabric (Fabric Emporium and GDC) and birdcage lighting (Ricks Lighting).


Before, this kitchen needed an update. The white cabinets and pot-rack worked, but the under-scaled island, black counters, back splash and flourescent lighting needed to go.




Now this kitchen looks bright and BEAUTIFUL! We took out the overhead light and added recessed along with two glass pendants over the sink peninsula (Ricks). The old stone backsplash is gone and replaced with gorgeous blue and gray toned marble (Buchannon Brothers Tile). The small island was replaced with a custom piece (HWC Cabinetry) and painted/distressed in SW Dark Night. We choses two different counter tops, both quartz (Creative Counter Tops). On the counter surround, we used a solid light gray and for the island, a faux marble. And to ground everything, the counter and island stools along with the antique corbels were kept a natural wood color.

The owners love to have their family over for dinners and this dining room served the purpose, but never felt too inviting.

Now this dining room is warm and definitely inviting! We brought the rug in from the living room and it served as our inspiration for the wall color, Sherwin Williams Tranquil Aqua. We replaced the large buffet for a taller, slimmer piece with the same amount of storage. It’s a great accent to the darker antiques and showcases more of the old family photos. Instead of overwhelming the room with dining chairs, we choose to use a bench the owner already had.  In just about 5 months we were able to make the house feel like home and one the owners are proud of, now and for many years to come!

Sharon Payer Design is published!

Check out an article published in the newly released online magazine, Original Home. They featured a living room I did from a downtown condo.  Want to know what to do with that awkward space above your couch? This article will give you great ideas and tips!  I used 150 year old slates roof tiles layered with small prints…check it out!  Above the Couch Article


Urban Chic…before and after

Before starting any project, you need your inspiration! For this downtown condo, the owner had some photos of pieces and rooms he liked. He was leaning toward an industrial, urban style…oh how I love that! Being a new challenge, I was so excited to get started and I knew it was going to be a great time pulling it all together.  The project included the open living room and kitchen. We started with the kitchen.


kitchen before
Before, the kitchen was dark with the drop ceiling and painted cabinets. It had a pointless bulkhead, dingy tiled floors and awkward bi-fold doors next to the fridge that housed a stackable washer/dryer.


kitchen after
WHAT…is this the same kitchen! To give us more height, we removed the drop ceiling and bulkhead and added recessed lighting. The owner had his eye on zebrawood cabinetry and they served as our inspiration for the entire space. The washer/dryer was moved to another part of the condo and that allowed us room for a custom-made pantry.  I had the trim around the bar area painted the same color as the walls for a cleaner look (Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray) and added new forged iron brackets.  We choose a gorgeous horizontal tiled backsplash and covered the tile floor with engineered acacia wood in a tobacco color. We switched the glass pendants to an industrial style from Restoration Hardware. We didn’t change the footprint, counters or the appliances.

KITCHEN SINKkitchen stovehorse
LR before
The living room served multiple purposes as an office, media area and the occasional place to sleep. The owner had window treatments made and tried to spruce things up with art and accents. Not too bad for a young guy. However, it wasn’t the look he wanted.
dining area before
Again too much furniture, mismatched walls and trim and different styles didn’t make this room connect.
LR before 2
Yes, another couch.


After moving out all the unnecessary furniture, we brought in only what was needed.  This room has so much interest now because of the mix of different elements and textures:  the leather and nail-head sofa and chair, the faux snake skin coffee table, the metal-crank accent table, the shag rug, the wood writing desk and one of my favorite installations…the 150-year old slate roof tiles used above the sofa.  We included a print and an original piece for some added interest.  I also added black-out shades for those occasional naps or nights on the couch.  Oh, and every room needs a little greenery!
dining area 1 writing desk

Since the condo has bar seating, I didn’t feel the need for a dining area.  I used the owner’s entry table as a work space instead.  I ran the flooring through-out the entire condo for a cohesive feel.  The overhead lighting is from Hubbardton Forge.


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The TV wall adds more to the industrial style as well.  The shelves are home to vintage and antique accents along with the owner’s collectibles.


Although not part of the original project, we tackled the entry and hallway as well. The hallway has low ceilings and 6 doors. So instead of fighting it, we embraced it. I had the entire space including ceilings, walls, doors and trim painted a moody gray (SW Anonymous Gray). Now all of the doors don’t stand out so much. The owner had three beautiful Hubbardton Forge sconces already purchased. We bought a couple more to really set off the walls.

This project was so much fun to work on because of the obvious changes that took place.   What a transformation this downtown high rise went through!  It started back in May and took the summer to transform it from an over-sized furniture filled, yellow-walled, hodge-podge styled space to the urban chic bachelor pad it is now.

Lowcountry Simplicity

I got a call last year from a young, well-traveled couple getting ready to build on a gorgeous tidal creek lot on Johns Island.  They wanted their new home to be minimal, dog friendly and have an overall laid back feel.  They have acquired great pieces of art through their travels and from family members.  And best of all, she is not afraid to pull something from the side of the road or a trash bin and reclaim it!  So with that said, they had some great pieces that served as the inspiration for color and style.

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Walking into the home, you’re greeted by a beautiful staircase. Up the steps, we used old window frames to adorn the wall (Antiques Market). I added some copper leaf accents to add a little more interest. Below is a long console table from Nadeau with drawers great for storage. The mirror is turn-of-the-century and the oyster frame was made by the owner. The basket underneath is great for the dogs toys.


In the back of the house is the open living area. I wanted to keep the focus on the beautiful scenery outdoors, so I kept the walls very light and airy. The pops of red were inspired by the artwork, so I carried it throughout the downstairs. The couch is from Morris Sokol, woven chairs are from Pottery Barn, accent chair from Crate and Barrel and the coffee table is from Nadeau. All of the rugs are from Rug Masters.


As you can see, we left the windows untouched to maintain the view outdoors. We used indoor/outdoor rugs throughout the home as well. We brought in an industrial touch with the light fixture we found on sale at Charleston Lighting. The teak table is from Nadeau and the chairs were ordered online. The handmade stool was a “throw away” find by the homeowner and the stacked baskets are vintage.


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In the master bedroom, we used a soothing gray with a hint of blue for the walls (Sherwin Williams, silver strand). We did add blackout shades here. Everything is kept very minimal with the platform bed (Crate and Barrel), lighting and seating. I off-set the rug for some added interest.


In the guest room, we used a salvaged door as the headboard (Antiques Market).


We kept the office simple by using their own leather chair and ottoman. The floor lamp is another “find” by the owner. The desk was a silent auction win and the desk chair is vintage. The shelves are home to their collection of books, multiple diplomas and pictures and souvenirs from their travels. Oh and I love this rug!


Rooms don’t always have to be overloaded with decoration to look great, sometimes simplicity is better. Get creative with ways to use color and texture. And a cool secondhand find will ALWAYS add personality.

Master Bedroom touch-up

This is the master bedroom of past clients of mine. They love color and I love that about them. Their walls are painted with a rich, jeweled-tone green (Sherwin Williams, Basque Green #6426) and they have a rather large, king bed. Fortunately, the bed is great size for the space and sets the tone for the entire room.   They wanted to try to work with the existing pieces and color…and I was excited for the challenge!  The rug is roughly 6 x 9 and was too small to stand alone in the room and the dresser was too wide for the windows.  The lay-out worked however, we just had to switch things up a little and add some personality!



To give this gorgeous rug more impact, I layered it on a complementing carpet remnant cut to size and bound. We put up new creamy, silken curtains to lighten up the space and crown molding to balance out the large furniture. We switched out the long dresser for the matching tall chest they kept in the guest room. We added extra storage with the bedside table and TV console, both from Nadeau Furniture. The TV console is really a wine rack but it was exactly what this space needed. The client suggested we frame the TV and it turned our great.  The art installation is made up of collected mirrors, brass, art and photography by local photographers John Chilton and Joel Cardwell. We traded out the modern, orange chair for an updated wingback and added an oversized mirror for the floor.



Now this room has a timeless, rich feel to it with a few unexpected accents!