Mock-Up to Makeover: How Four Celeb Spaces Came to Life

You know that phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Lately that feels like my motto. I’ve been jumping between work, my upcoming book, and of course my family, and it seems like none of it is getting enough attention. The good thing is, everything I’ve been doing has been heaps of fun.

This summer and early fall, my plate was stacked particularly high with makeover projects. I was able to design a great living room and office for the author and personality Katherine Schwarzenegger (yes, Arnold and Maria’s daughter), a backyard space for Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell, and a bedroom and nursery for entrepreneur and TV star Whitney Port.

One challenging aspect of these projects is working with the homeowner from a distance and not being able to see the spaces in real life before I select the products. Fortunately, technology is there to help bridge the gaps: I get measurements of the space and often create 3D rendering of the rooms using software such as RoomSketcher, which is a stripped-down version of the advanced CAD software a lot of interior designers use. We also communicate via phone and email—so, so many emails!

But the biggest aid is my beloved room mock-ups, a concept I dedicate a lot of space to in my book, Your Home, Your Style. The benefits of a digital mock-up are twofold:

1. They help me visualize how products will look together in real life and see whether the space looks balanced.

2. They let my collaborators in on the design plan so they can flag anything that doesn't work and suggest changes.

Here’s a mock-up of the backyard entertaining setup I put together last year for Julianne Hough:

Julianne_Hough_outdoor_mockup

Here it is in final photos:

Photo credit: Justin Coit for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Justin Coit for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Justin Coit for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Justin Coit for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Justin Coit for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Justin Coit for Joss & Main

Katherine_Schwarzenegger_living_room_design

And here’s the space finished:

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for Joss & Main

I worked on actress Shay Mitchell’s outdoor space with my colleague Emily Arnow for AllModern:

Shay_Mitchell_outdoor_mockup

And the pics turned out great:

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for AllModern

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for AllModern

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for AllModern

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for AllModern

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for AllModern

Photo credit: Lu Tapp for AllModern

Whitney Port’s nursery project with Joss & Main was SO MUCH FUN. We tinkered a lot and came up with this:

Whitney_Port_nursery_design

It turned out even better in real life. We added wallpaper at the last minute:

Photo credit: Nicole Gerulat for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Nicole Gerulat for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Nicole Gerulat for Joss & Main

Photo credit: Nicole Gerulat for Joss & Main

Whitney_Port_Nursery_detail

Have you ever created a mockup like this? Do you have any other favorite ways to document and organize your decorating projects?