By Shani Silver

Published on August 10, 2016

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER

written by SHANI SILVER 
interior design by  MELISSA MCMILLAN, OWNER OF REFORM-CREATIVE 
photography by  THADDEUS ROMBAUER

Melissa McMillan approached her new home in much the same way you would approach yours: She made it her own. What makes Melissa’s changes special? She’s (literally) a pro. We love talking to designers of all backgrounds and signature styles. Melissa’s work through Reform-Creative is a mixture of architecture and design, and her favorite tasks are space planning and organization. (In other words we need to have her over for drinks, stat). When we found out Melissa made some key changes to her new space when she moved in, and that those changes were sincerely do-able, we had to pass them along–and share the photos, of course.

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
  1. PAINT: 

    I painted the walls a dark turquoise color, which really pops the traditional white trim and french door window frames. Bonus: it really transformed the stone of the fireplace from a sad yellow to a wonderful yellow!

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
  1. ELECTRICAL PANEL: 

    Anyone with a small apartment understands that the electrical panel is often not hidden away out-of-sight in a closet, and is often prominently displayed. In my case, I hung a piece of artwork over the panel in the hallway, which can easily be removed to access the breakers, as needed.

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
  1. PLANTS

    : I get great light from the back windows, and most guests assume I have a garden. In truth, I have a previously-owned print featuring vines and flowers hanging between the two windows, along with plants flanking both. It gives the impression of a backyard space.

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER

“I Focus On The Balance In A Room, Through Furniture Placement, Artwork, Even Accessories.”

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
  1. KITCHEN CABINETS

    :while I removed the existing and had new kitchen cabinets made, the same effect could be achieved by painting existing cabinets. I opted for a muted green on the lower cabinets, with medium grey above, to add depth to the space.

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
  1. ARTWORK

    : The ceiling height is just enough to allow tiered artwork. While I do have some larger pieces, there are also a few areas that allow for stacking. And a bulkhead from the building stairwell juts into the living room. I used this surface to hang a series of Fornasetti plates.

  2. KITCHEN FLOOR

    : The wood floor in the kitchen did not quite match the rest of the living room floor, so I designed a stencil pattern to hand paint myself. I chose three grey colors similar to the backsplash tile. I painted in phases, first a series of hexagons, then two layers of detailed pattern.

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER

“As A Former Sculptor, I Love The Installation Phase Of A Project.”

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Photography by THADDEUS ROMBAUER
  1. LIGHT FIXTURES

    : A more involved option which helped delineate the individual spaces within a larger room was to add lights to each. The room feels cohesive, but the light helps define the function of each.

SEE MORE FROM MELISSA AT REFORM-CREATIVE!