Behind the Scenes - Kristin's Retreat Space

Updated: Jan 14

Those of you who have followed Friar Tuck Home for a while know that I left my 10-year career in higher education to pursue my passion of interior design. While I did take classes at the local community college to lay down an educational foundation, I wanted to really sink my teeth into design and work on projects for friends and family to get real-life hands on experience before I launched my business.

I put out the call on social media and my friend, Kristin, answered! She and I go all the way back to middle school.

Kristin was looking for help with a renovated space above her detached garage. She knew she wanted the space to serve multiple functions - as a place to relax, a place to write, and as a place to workout. She had already done a good chunk of work before I arrived. She had new flooring put in, painted the walls, reframed the ceiling, and added a large area rug.

Here's the true "before" starting any of that work.

And here's where we officially started from.

Now, I was incredibly fortunate that the rest of Kristin's house gave me a glimpse into her style. In fact, Kristin has INCREDIBLE design taste! I was surprised she asked for my help!

What I love about Kristin's design style is that she's not afraid of color and loves experimenting with different patterns.

So, I had my photos and my measurements, and off I went to designing!

Now, with Kristin's space, I stuck to what I have come to do with almost all my clients to this day. I created 2 mood boards for her to pick and choose items from.

Side note - it amazes me how far I've come with creating mood boards for clients. Here's one I recently created:

Anyway, back to Kristin's space. I sent the mood boards over to her and she was so excited!

But life happened. Kristin happens to be a professor and program director at UMass Boston. She was so busy travelling to different conferences and molding the future teachers of our country to piece together her space.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Kristin was stuck at home, so she was able to slowly chip away at piecing together her space.

FINALLY I was able to see the finished result in person and take these after pictures:

So, I've got a fun fact about the orange lamp. It was a gift from Kristin's dad. It's a really special piece because Kristin got her doctoral degree from the University of Florida. The orange of the base is in honor of the school's colors and the lamp shade is a map of Gainesville! How cool is that? Great choice, Dad!

There you have it. A behind the scenes look at my friend's retreat space! It made not only my week, but my month to get to see this space and get to spend a couple of hours with my dear friend.

If you're looking to transform a space in your home into a multifunctional retreat space like Kristin's, I'd love to help. You can email me at to get started.

Until next time...

Happy Designing!

- Angela :)

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