In our previous “DIY: How to …” posts, we have featured different questions brought to us by our readers and clients with inspiration and tips for how to DIY  (Do It Yourself). For this particular post, we have tackled the world of black walls … how to incorporate the most edgy color into your space and do it right. The following photos are ones we have pinned as inspiration for this concept. We have paired each photo with tips to follow while incorporating black walls into your space. We have also included a few photos from a project we recently completed and are excited to share.

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Are you afraid that your room will turn out too dark? We don’t love “accent walls” when all of the walls in a room are painted. When paired with a texture on the remaining walls though, they can actually look really nice. We especially love the white brick in this photo.

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Use draperies to soften the look. Sheers or light fabrics will do this trick best.

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Paint the wall black behind an open bookcase. It will create a nice backdrop.

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You may think black paint will make a room look smaller. This photo is proof that this is not always the case. In a small bathroom, it can actually make the space feel larger.

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We actually like this accent wall a lot. The crispness of the white paint on the remaining walls makes the black stand out to its full potential.

While working on a recent Interior Design project (as seen here and here), Lauren had an idea. She happened to walk by her client’s powder bathroom and thought that although it was a very nice space, there was something that could make it even better. She told them that since they were already buying black paint for the interior of their daughter’s closet, they might as well paint this bathroom as well. Lauren felt it was just what it needed to give it a fresh, new, and a little bit edgy look.

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After this room was painted in Dunn Edwards Black Tie DE6357 (which is Lauren’s go to black paint option), the client was excited to replace a few other accessories and finish this space. We think it looks like a whole new room, and all it took was a little black paint!

Do you have one roadblock in the way to your place or event turning out fabulous? What is standing in your way? We are excited about this new feature and would love to help by providing our own design tips for these type of DIY situations. Comment below or email us at with your questions and / or pictures of your project, and we will do our best to include it in an upcoming post. What are you waiting for?!


It’s Summer and the kids are free to play! As a mom, Lauren finds that this means much more free time to fill with day trips, classes, and play dates of course. Last week, she invited over a few of Ava’s friends to play in their newly designed patio area (post to come soon) and decided to make some fun treats to share as well. What kids don’t love bananas and cookies? In her Pinterest search, Lauren found a recipe that incorporated both of these concepts and kept things healthy and light.

To make this recipe for banana bites, just follow these steps:

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1. Mix together 1 banana, 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup apple juice, 1 large egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

2. Add 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1 1/3 cup oats, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Mix well.

3. Drop by teaspoon full onto a cookie sheet. Flatten and shape with the back of a spoon.

4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

5. Display with other healthy foods that kids love like apple slices and red grapes.

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of our weekly Food Fridays post. Sharing these recipes helps us to constantly be looking for new things to make at home. Do your kiddos have a favorite snack that you like to share when their friends come over? We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below. Have a great weekend from Side by Side Design!


While working on Lily’s room (as seen on our previous post, Before and After: Vintage Inspired Teen Bedroom), there was another unfinished room in the house that needed some attention. We decided to take it on at the same time. This office was previously dedicated to Lily’s mom as a place to work and keep her craft supplies. While redesigning Lily’s bedroom, they decided to move both of their girls desks into this space to allow them a place to work in this office as well.


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Besides the function of this room changing, they were excited for a whole new look as well. We moved all of the furniture around and removed several large pieces. We really feel like it was in need of some calming down and wanted to create a serene environment that the whole family could enjoy.


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We used the existing green desk as the main focal point of the room and created a neutral backdrop for the rest of the space. This toned the room down substantially. We also removed the draperies and included simple blinds for a cleaner look.

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Industrial shelving was hung behind the desk and was styled to perfection.

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Our faux painter created this special textured finish for this wall, and it really made it interesting. We chose to hang this wire magazine rack as the only thing on this wall as to not take away from its beauty.

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Stacks of books in varying directions adds interest to the shelving, and a few frames and accessories make it personal.

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We love this adorable framed quote we found at Home Goods.

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The girls matching desks fit perfectly on this wall but were a bit of a challenge as one had a hutch and one did not. We love the end result, however, as they each have their own unique touch. One houses additional books and the other allowed for wall space to include these three horizontal bulletin boards. We gave each desk a matching industrial chair from Cost Plus World Market which we incorporated linen seat cushions on for extra comfort. Vintage inspired desk lamps and fun accessories were included as well. The finishing touch for this space is this gorgeous industrial ceiling fan. It makes a statement without taking over.

Working on this office project was such a collaborative process. Lily’s mom, Phoebe, really has a great eye for design, and it was fun getting to create alongside her. We even spent one whole day shopping and came home with a whole carload of accessories to use in this space. We were so excited that we immediately brought them upstairs and began placing them. It almost felt like a one day design project with all of us working Side by Side. We are extremely happy with how this room turned out. We feel it fits the personality of this family remarkably well and can’t wait for the next project they throw our way.




In our previous posts, Vintage Bat Mitzvah Luncheon and Vintage Raceway Bat Mitzvah Party, we introduced Lily! An awesome teenage girl (with great taste) who just celebrated a huge milestone in her life. When Lily and her parents set out to plan for her Bat Mitzvah, Lily expressed that a party was important as it would bring together all of her family and friends and allow for a fun celebration. However, it was equally important to her to have a newly remodeled, updated, and more grown up room to call her own. As we were already beginning the process of planning Lily’s Bat Mitzvah party, it was easy to transition to discussing her dream for her room as well.


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We were given free reign to replace everything in this room besides the carpet and the entry door. We selected all new furniture, paint colors, lighting, accessories, wall hangings, and even the closet doors and shutters were updated. We decided to remove the desk from this space altogether and give Lily a space to work in the dedicated office instead (post to come this Wednesday). This gave us a bit more room to work with and a little more flexibility with the layout.


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Lily’s closet was completely remodeled. The new doors give it a crisp new look, and the interior shelving gives her a place to put away each and every belonging. We love the specialty hardware they put on the doors which gives it one extra cool touch. For the paint colors, we decided to keep the room crisp and clean to allow for all of the other fun elements to really stand out. We went for a classic white wall and painted the interior of her closet black for something unexpected.

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We love that so many pieces from Lily’s Bat Mitzvah were able to be incorporated into her room. These “Lily” marquee letters made an appearance on the cake table during the luncheon and the photo booth during the evening party. They are now at home in Lily’s room and continue to make a statement. We also incorporated a glass jar on her night stand which houses all of the rocks that were signed by the guests from both parties.

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We helped Lily to select each piece of furniture to complete her room and love how eclectic it turned out.

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This feminine quilt is balanced off nicely with a little edge through the black and white striped bed skirt and a few fun pillows. The new chandelier really dresses up the space and is a great addition to this room.

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Lily had her heart set on this vintage inspired mirror, upholstered headboard, and clothing rack from the Emily and Meritt line at Pottery Barn Teen. It was the true starting point for the design and really set the tone for the overall look.

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Another piece that was reused from Lily’s Bat Mitzvah … this bulletin board no longer holds seating cards or photo booth Polaroids. It is now used for Lily to display inspiration and memories. We recovered Lily’s existing bean bag with this fun fur cover. Lily loves to use it for lounging, and it is a fun place to house more decorative pillows.

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We gave Lily a few accessories for her Bat Mitzvah that we felt would look nice in her room. We love how she has chosen to display them on her nightstand.

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This girl has an awesome eye for fashion. She loves to display fun seasonal articles of clothing on an open rack for all to see with cool accessories as well.

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We feel especially connected to this gallery wall. We had so much fun shopping with Lily and her mom, Phoebe, to select each and every frame. We love the mix of gold and black we ended up with.

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Gold prints and quotes make a statement and fill up the space nicely …

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… and the rest of the frames are filled with gorgeous photos from Lily’s Bat Mitzvah in black and white to coordinate with her new room.

This family was truly a joy to work with, and we believe they really understood us and our business model perfectly. In design there are no boundaries. A person’s character is reflected in their interior spaces and when planning an event this should capture their spirit as well. Lily is a girl who knows what she wants, but we appreciate the fact that throughout this process she was always open to new ideas we threw her way. Her Bat Mitzvah was a true statement to who she is as an individual, and her newly updated room is just an extension of that. These two things (or “Sides” as we like to call them) go hand in hand. We would love to collaborate with you in this same way. Do you have an interior that is in need of an upgrade? Do you have a space that needs “dressing” up for an event? We are your girls! Contact us at


In our last T Side / L Side post, we discussed the fact that this particular series is a great way to showcase our own personal design styles, the way we decorate for holidays, and most recently we have discovered that this relates to cooking as well. These posts help us express our individual cooking needs while staying true to the structure of our “T Side / L Side” posts we have written in the past. We have chosen one key ingredient to work with in selecting separate recipes to try out in our homes. This month’s challenge was to incorporate a condiment neither one of us uses very frequently into a main dinner dish. In accepting this challenge, we each used a bottle of BBQ sauce that we have been holding onto to create a special meal for each other and our significant others. This is also the perfect opportunity to mention that this week is a really exciting one here at Side by Side Design. Tami has joined Lauren in working for the business full time, and we couldn’t be happier! Due to this change in our daily schedule, we have been spending a lot of time together in each other’s homes, late night meetings, etc. to get the ball rolling. You can expect some new fun features and blog content, and we will be expanding the events side of our business … so more on that as well! We do, however, have to stop every once in a while to eat, so we use this as the perfect opportunity to cook each other something yummy. Here’s what we made this week.

T Side: On our way back from a recent wedding in San Diego, my boyfriend Phil and I stopped at a local BBQ spot for some delicious ribs! Phil insisted that we bring home a couple bottles of their famous sauce which was so good and had his name written all over it. This week, I convinced Phil to break open one of the BBQ sauce bottles for a good cause … dinner with my sister and my first attempt at making one of my favorites!

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Mmmm … BBQ chicken pizza! It turns out you can get all of the ingredients you need at any local Trader Joe’s. I love their pre-made wheat pizza dough! I followed the easy directions on the back of the bag (a little flour, a rolling pin) and topped it with a layer of Phil’s BBQ sauce, sprinkled mozzarella and jack cheese, red onion sliced super thin, cilantro, and pre-cooked pre-cut chicken (also a favorite at Trader Joe’s) doused in more BBQ sauce. After only 10 minutes, my pizza was baked to perfection!

L Side: Scott’s Aunt April makes the most amazing BBQ sauce! We have been holding onto a jar of it for the last couple of weeks, but this challenge was the perfect opportunity to not only break it out of the fridge but to also get the BBQ going for the first time this Summer. I decided to make classic BBQ chicken because April’s sauce is delicious on its own. It does not need a fancy recipe. I did however, try out a new side dish to go with it.

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BBQ chicken and corn salad screams Summer! Some frozen corn, grape tomatoes, avocado, and a yummy sauce made of olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, and a  little salt and pepper made for the perfect Summer side.

Everybody has a favorite BBQ sauce, whether it be store bought or homemade. Some like it extra sweet, some tangy, some a bit spicy. No matter how you like it, this is a great ingredient to have on hand. We are really happy with the way our meals turned out and excited to get the chance to try out something new. What other recipes do you love that incorporate this ingredient? Care to share? Leave us a comment below by clicking on the comment icon and feel free to include a link to your favorite recipe!