Four years ago, with two young children and the excitement of starting anew, Kelly Adkins and her husband, Brandon, purchased their first home together. For almost a year, the couple attempted to decorate the new space themselves in their spare time.

Kelly is a pathologist and Brandon runs his own real estate group. Add to that two preschool aged children, and the Adkins’ soon found they had very little “spare time” to designate to decorating their home.

Adkins Family

Kelly and Brandon Adkins with their children Benjamin, Samuel and William. This home design project helped the family juggle the demand for their family’s growing spatial needs. 

“My husband and I have similar taste, but we just didn’t understand how to make it all work,” said Kelly. “We knew we needed someone to help us pull it all together.”

After visiting friends whose home had been designed by interior designer Lori May and loving what they saw, the Adkins’ hired Lori to decorate their family room and create a “craft room.”

Located just off the Marietta square, Lori May Interiors is a full-service interior design firm specializing in “blending classic elements with modern elegance.” Lori met the Adkins to get a feel for their design taste, and toured the rooms to understand how the space needed to function for the family.

“Making rooms look good is easy; making rooms functional is where the challenge comes in,” said Lori. “The Adkins had two young boys at the time, with one on the way. I knew I needed to make both rooms kid-friendly, but in a way that could serve individual needs and grow with the family.”

The Adkins’ chose to decorate their family room first as it is the most often used space in their home. Prior to beginning the projects, Lori and her team delivered a presentation, including a detailed budget, to Kelly and Brandon.

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“Working with Lori May made the process so much easier,” said Kelly. “Although she met us briefly, she really understood the style we wanted and we stuck with almost all of her suggestions.”

Keeping only the Agreeable Gray paint color by Sherwin Williams; the rug purchased from Pottery Barn; and a wall collage of family pictures, the Adkins’ collaborated with Lori to begin construction of the new look.

The Adkins and Lori worked with Justin Henry from Paragon Construction to create a completely new mantle and built-ins for the room. Recessed lighting was replaced with stylish sconces and the ceiling fan was traded for a more formal chandelier. Sofas and chairs were added for maximum seating and covered with soft “performance fabrics” making them stain resistant and easier to clean.

What’s their favorite part of the room? The painting they had commissioned to hang over the new mantle.

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“The colors of the landscape pull the room together; it’s relaxing and sets the tone for how we want guests to feel in this space,” said Kelly.

The craft room was previously used for storage and offered a clean slate compared to the family room. Crafting is Kelly’s hobby, and she wanted a space she could share with the children while working on projects.

“We wanted to create a room that would work for the family from now until their kids are grown,” said Lori.

Since crafting involves a surplus of supplies, storage was cleverly fashioned to organize machines, ribbons, paper, scissors and tape. Built-ins were constructed, and a bench under the window serves as both seating and storage with drawers that pull out.

One of the most creative aspects of the room is the table on wheels. It can be pushed against the wall for maximum space, or pulled out to fit the entire family.

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“Just off the kitchen, this is the perfect space for me to quickly wrap gifts or for my kids to do homework in the future,” said Kelly.

Decorating both rooms took a little over six months, but Kelly said, “It’s been three years and we still love everything. We will certainly do this again for other rooms.”

Photography by Christina Wedge

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