Category Archives: Design Boards

Design Plan: Yellow and Gray

computer rendering by kporter

I recently created a DIY Design Plan for a young couple in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.  If you live in the metro area, you know that this and other areas of the city are experiencing a real estate boom.  Developers are renovating and rebuilding old row houses, and new restaurants and shops are popping up everywhere.  It’s a great time to be a resident here — and it’s very exciting when I can help my DC clients add color and personality to their new homes.



In this post, I’m featuring part of a Design Plan that I designed for my Columbia Heights clients.  Their home is a rebuilt, two-story loft style condo.  My clients wanted modern furniture, contemporary gray tones and pops of vibrant colors.  Here are a couple of the design boards that I created:

yellow and gray design board


design board2

ch floorplan

I hope to post “After” photos sometime soon!  A few notable items in this plan are:

Pocket White Extension Table from {perfect for a small space, but it extends to accomodate extra guests}

Gerber Storage Ottoman from

Clark sofa from

Carpet Tiles from

If you need design help and would like to learn more about my DIY Design Plans, email me at


Online Design: Working With Yellow Walls

yellow walls design board by kelly porter

If you’ve ever bought a new home or remodeled one, then you may have had this dilemma:

  • You have no furniture for the room, so you decide to paint first.
  • You select a great color and have the room painted.
  • You love the color, but now you’re stuck…
  • You don’t know what furniture pieces to get, and you don’t want to make a mistake.

Sound familiar?  This is exactly what happened with one of my recent clients Vendell, who lives in Detroit.  When she contacted me, she had just painted her living room/dining room with Melted Butter by Behr, a warm, welcoming and vibrant shade of yellow.  Vendell’s home is older and has tons of character, but she wanted a more contemporary look that would fit her young family.  This post features the DIY Design Plan that I created for her.

color scheme by kelly porter


Aside from glam gray, black and white, this design also introduces green, which is a color that Vendell likes when it’s paired with yellow.  The Chester Sofa is from, the Bailey Chairs are from, and the Aggie Beaded Lamps are from


Vendell also wanted ideas for accessories.  Among the ideas shown above, I suggested that she purchase dinner and salad plates from the Labyrinth dinnerware collection to hang as a group in the dining room.

living rm

{this is now a room with a plan!}

Vendell was so excited about her DIY Design Plan but she was even more relieved to finally have a starting point and strategy.  If your room needs fresh colors or a new look for the new year, email me at to find out how I can help!

Online Design: California Dreamin’

I recently finished an Online Design project for Annette, who lives in southern California.  I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to design four rooms in her home, which was a blast because Annette is definitely not afraid of color and she already had great furniture pieces.  For your inspiration, I’m sharing two of the projects in this post.

In the family room, we did a ‘Palm Springs Chic’ design with cheery yellow and gorgeous green wall colors {June Day and Picnic, both by Sherwin Williams}.  The look also included fun, retro accessories — some of them from Jonathan Adler.

For her master bedroom, Annette wanted a glam look that included turquoise with a splash of jewel tones.  The design included a turquoise ceiling {Belize by SW}, gray walls {Functional Gray by SW} and pops of red.  Below is my computer rendering of the space:

When I last heard from Annette she was in the process of painting her home, although the bedroom is already done.  She says that she and her husband are really enjoying the turquoise ceiling!  I hope to have photos to share with you soon.

Design Boards and Rendering by Kelly Porter of Porter House Designs
View more Design Boards HERE.

Drab To Fab: Multi-Purpose Makeover

Today, my third ‘House Calls’ redesign is featured in The Washington Post!

{illustration by Julius Goyanko}

This makeover was really fun, and I’ll admit, somewhat indulgent.  The idea was to show that multi-purpose rooms do not have to be so basic and utilitarian.  These spaces can be comfortable and attractive, too — which is something I learned when designing my own multi-purpose room {aka: the basement}.  Every room in your home should be a place where you want to spend time there, and any room can serve more than one purpose.

{BEFORE – photo from The Washington Post}

The homeowners have a waterfront property in Maryland.  They wanted to use this space for watching TV, sewing {a request from the Mrs.}, crafting with the grandchildren and just hanging out.

{the Design Board}

{The color palette is ‘in reverse:’  blue on the walls and green on the ceiling.}

My favorite thing:  this Thomas Paul Crab Pillow {}. Can’t have home on the water in Maryland without a Maryland Blue Crab!

eDesign: Three Colorful Stories

One thing I love about electronic design is having the ability to work with clients no matter where they live.

It’s so nice ‘meeting’ and working with people who are passionate about bringing color into their home or business, even when they live in another state or country.  I had the pleasure of creating this Design Board {above} for Libby, a fellow blogger who lives in North Carolina in the Chapel Hill area.  She authors the wonderful blog, An Eye For Detail.

Libby already had great ideas for her kitchen.  She just needed an extra set of eyes and opinions to help her pull everything together.

We had a couple of phone conversations, email exchanges, and I viewed photos and a video of her kitchen that she uploaded.  Then I crafted a Design Board that put her in the right direction.  Libby has made a couple of changes, and that’s OK.  With Design Boards, I use specific items to create a vision, but I also encourage you to inject your own ideas.  You can follow Libby’s progress on her blog.

Tale #2 is about Allyson, a busy mother of four who lives in the Columbus, Ohio area.  Allyson contacted me after discovering my blog while she was snowed-in last month.  She wanted to create a colorful dining/living space — a departure from the rest of her home, which is mostly done in neutrals.  Although she loves color, Allyson was uncertain about how to add color to her home, but she was determined to overcome her hesitations.

She tested the paint colors that I suggested {very good idea!} and even sent photos:

{In the end, Ebbtide by SW won out.  This color looks terrific with Allyson’s new hardwood flooring.}

Shortly after Allyson made the final decision, I was delighted to receive a photo of her gorgeous blue room.  From there, I was able to create a Design Board based on previous information she gave me about her style and the space itself:

Allyson wrote that the Design Board “is perfect for someone like me who loves to shop for home decor so I can pick out items and try paint swatches myself.”  I hope to have more photos to show you soon of Allyson’s transformed space.

Finally, I want to share the tale of the Silver Star Diner, which will be opening soon in Ontario, Canada.

Last summer, the owner contacted me about helping him create a dynamic color palette for his new restaurant.  The restaurant would bring high-quality ‘contemporary comfort’ food to St. Catharines, a college town on the south shore of Lake Ontario.

After he emailed a few renderings of the restaurant’s original design, I colorized the sketches with specific wall colors that echoed my color choices for the seating {not shown}.  I also selected a silvery glass, mosaic tile for the restaurant’s entry wall.

When I last communicated with the owner, he mentioned that there had been some structural changes to the original plan, but the color palette was still a go.  I can’t wait to see photos of the restaurant when it’s finished and open for business, and of course I’ll share the pictures with you.

I hope you were inspired by these eDesign Tales.  I think they are great examples of how real people in different places are moving beyond the neutral zone to create really unique, colorful spaces.  What about you?

View more of my Design Boards HERE.