Sign up below to receive your FREE, 16 page "JEALOUSY JOURNAL"--my revolutionary, step-by-step method of getting what I really want. LET ME HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE.


Here’s a few pics from last week’s Family Room install. 
I worked with this young family to design their 3 main living spaces (Family, Office, Dining Room) and devised a great high/low mix that doesn’t skimp on style! We started with my favorite designer selections–fabrics–and because I knew the homeowners loved color (take a look at the original paint colors below), I presented several fabric schemes with pops of color and a neutral background to allow for easy color changes in the future. Though it was a pricy pick, once they saw Martin Lawrence Bullard’s Adras Ikat in Caravan paired with a green & white Cabana Stripe linen (Kravet), Celerie Kemble’s Betwixt in Spark and Windsor Smith’s Riad in Indigo, they were hooked! To stay within their modest budget and still meet their need for spacious seating, I used my favorite Ikea sofa (Karlstad) as a U-shaped sectional with the upgraded Isunda slipcover. I can’t say enough about this sectional! If you’re in need of spacious seating and a $3500 sofa/sectional is out of the question, don’t sleep on this one…I promise. It’s a modern take on a classic Tuxedo sofa , wears very well (I know ’cause I have one in my office) and is super sturdy (with a 10 warranty on defects in materials/workmanship). And for further proof, my clients love it and so do their parents (speaking from experience, parents can be hard to please). 
The remaining furniture pieces are a mix of vintage, second-hand, new & repurposed. I used my favorite neva-fail Ikea Ritva drapery hung as close to the ceiling as possible to highlight the height of their Family Room. Want to know another secret trick? That super large shaggy area rug is actually two rugs combined to make one and is a 1/3 of the cost of a 11×8 rug off the shelf. Great trick for an accessory that can easily eat up a huge chunk of your budget.
And now for the Befores:

Tips & Takeaways:
1. Explore mass retail options for sofas if you’re on a tight budget. Places like Ikea & World Market have great sofas at prices you can’t beat anywhere…but you also need to be realistic about what that will get you. Don’t expect a $600 sofa to last 10 years–you can consider yourself lucky if it does. If you want heirloom quality furniture (pieces you can pass down or continually recover–think Lee Industries, MGBW, Century, Henredon), be prepared to pay $$. That being said, don’t turn your nose up at Ikea! All of their furniture is not poorly made and/or cheap(I hate to hear clients say that), you just have to know the right pieces to get! 
2. Splurge wisely. Almost every budget can afford a splurge, so give some thought to where/how you want to spend your design dollars. On the spectrum of expenses, custom pillows are a great way to add personality & a one-of-a-kind look without breaking the bank. Paint treatments (color coordinated ceilings, wall stencils a la KFD Designs ) and wallpaper, even if it’s only 1 wall, can add a lot of bang for your buck as well. If you’re in the market for new flooring, definitely make that your splurge  and hire a designer to consult you through the process to help you make the best selection for your lifestyle and aesthetic desires. Flooring mishaps can be a costly mistake that you’ll have to live with for years (again, I know from experience!).
3. Shop your home. Always, always, always. No matter what your budget, always shop your home first to determine the things you want/should/need to keep and if you’re working with a designer, let them take a look as well. What’s trash to you can easily be treasure to them! Unless your stuff is just really, really ugly (hey, it happens!) there’s always something that can be repurposed from your current look. 
4. Ikea drapery is your friend. If fully custom drapery panels aren’t an option, run (don’t walk) to your nearest Ikea and buy a pair of the Ritva, Aina or Merete drapery (or curtains in layman’s terms). Sometimes simple can be best, and when the non-grommeted drapes are simply hung on curtain rings with drapery pins, you’d be surprised at how tailored they can look. 
5. Hire a designer. Seriously. There are many different ways to work with an Interior  Designer these days (paint consultations, hourly shopping, full service) and even if you can only afford E-Design, there’s nothing like having a well-thoughtout plan to achieve the look of your dreams. While you might spend a little more to hire a designer, their expertise can keep you from wasting your money on unsightly furniture, awkward floorplans, tile mishaps, lighting failures & paint/flooring mistakes.
Class dismissed.
Any questions??


  1. Tiffany
    October 8, 2012 at 8:59 am (6 years ago)

    Feeling that sofa, the upgrade on the fabric, well worth the coins. Good Job.

  2. charmaine
    October 8, 2012 at 9:06 am (6 years ago)

    Great tips, Dayka! Love everything! And great call on the 2 shag rugs, you probably can’t see the seams!

  3. Dayka
    October 8, 2012 at 9:21 am (6 years ago)

    Thanks, Tiffany! @Charmaine: you can’t once it’s put together correctly, that’s why I love it so much! i even have one (in brown) in my own living room.

  4. Tiffini
    October 8, 2012 at 10:42 am (6 years ago)

    Wow! I mean of course I know you are talented but that before and after looks like a entirely different home [I’m sure that is the point] Great job I love everything about the look. So did they pull up the carpet in their home and put down hardwood floors?

  5. La Monica
    October 8, 2012 at 10:45 am (6 years ago)

    I think this is my fave DRD to date! This is great for a family with young kids who needs functionality but doesn’t want to scrimp on style. And best of all, it looks cozy! Oh, and I love that dresser!!

  6. ElleX
    October 8, 2012 at 11:40 am (6 years ago)

    Lovely room! You do amazing design work!

  7. StaceSenior
    October 8, 2012 at 11:56 am (6 years ago)

    So beautiful! I love the black and white photos. What size are those pictures/frames?

  8. HevelHouse
    October 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh my goodness!!! What a transformation! I love your tips too. When I get settled in my new place in Chattanooga, i’m going to be calling you for some consulting work. Love it!!

  9. Amanda
    October 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm (6 years ago)

    Wow girl!! It’s awesome! You hit.this one out of the park and on a budget to boot! Those pillows totally made the space!

  10. Rae
    October 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Yea Dayka!!! Beautiful room and great tips, especially about IKEA! 😉

  11. Mr. Goodwill Hunting
    October 9, 2012 at 9:29 am (6 years ago)


    My friend is a designer and her name is Dayka Robinson

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

    October 9, 2012 at 9:59 am (6 years ago)

    That room is damn good!!! I love how you mixed the pillows but of course kept almost everything else neutral! Boom!

  13. Kenya@Greenhouse
    October 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm (6 years ago)

    So awesome, Dayka!!! Great job!!! 🙂

  14. LiveLaughDecorate
    October 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm (6 years ago)

    Class dismissed! You are too funny. But yes, quite a fine lesson in design my friend. Can’t beat Ikea chairs/curtains when on a tight budget and those custom pillows, vintage pieces and family photos turned this into a great blend of hi-low with amazing personal touches. Really, really fab job.

  15. kcinteriors
    October 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm (6 years ago)

    I love this!! It’s all so fresh and inviting. The pillows are gorgeous!!

  16. kcinteriors
    October 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm (6 years ago)

    I love this!! It’s all so fresh and inviting. The pillows are gorgeous!!

  17. Tiffany Larkin
    October 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm (6 years ago)

    Loving the pillows!!! Everything looks great.

  18. stevie lynn
    July 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm (6 years ago)

    so, i know im a little late to this party, but i just have to ask.

    what did you do with the tv components? i have a tricky situation with having my tv hung over the fireplace, and no place to put the tivo! you might have a more creative solution than me?

  19. Dayka
    July 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi Stevie-

    If you look closely you’ll see the components on the left side of the bookcase. I had my carpenter add a HDMI outlet and electrical outlet behind the bookshelf so the cable box and gaming system could connect there without a ton of wires running out of the tv. The outlets behind the wall and behind the bookcase are connected so that everything has a seamless look. The wires you may notice in the pic are actually for the lamp that was connected behind the bookshelf.
    Worked out perfectly!

  20. Shatoria
    October 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm (5 years ago)

    I am new to your blog, but I just wanted to say that this room looks amazing!!! I absolutely love your style. I so wish you lived closer to Arkansas so that you could design my home. I have no clue where to begin.

  21. Sonamora
    May 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm (5 years ago)

    hey I love the work you’ve done with this family room. I live some place where there is no Ikea store and given you have worked with Ikea drapery, am wondering if you could tell me what the colour difference is with the Ritva VS Aina WHITE curtains? a bit of a stab in the dark but thought I’d ask. Many thanks! Annie

  22. mandie
    June 7, 2015 at 12:34 am (4 years ago)

    I know this is three years late, but what paint color did you use?

    • DaykaRobinson
      June 7, 2015 at 8:02 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Mandie-

      If I’m not mistaken, I used Agreeable Grey by Sherwin Williams!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *