Next Wave Design Duo Toledo Geller s its Most Jaw-Dropping Room Transformations

You seriously won't believe that these are the same spaces.

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Jacob Snavely

One of the things we love most about Next Wave designers Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller—also known as Toledo Geller—is their talent for taking drab, dark rooms and turning them into colorful, drool-worthy spaces, which they document every week via #TransformationTuesday Instagram posts. We asked them to the stories behind five of their incredible makeovers, from a Jersey Shore vacation home to a former A-list actresses's New York apartment—and you won't believe they're the same spaces!

Family-Friendly Dining Room


Before

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Courtesy of Toledo Geller

When we first walked in through their front door of our clients' Tenafly, New Jersey home, we were immediately greeted by what was supposed to be their “formal” dining room, but was instead a makeshift mudroom and overflow storage area with art projects and science experiments piled high on the table.

After

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Jacob Snavely

After taking a deep dive into their family's lifestyle, we learned that they don’t really consider themselves formal people—so why have a formal dining room? We encouraged them to think about the space in a different way, and turned it into a casual room that could be used all 365 days of the year—for the kids to do their homework or for family dinners—rather than only on special occasions. We added custom built-ins to address the storage issue, and moved the mudroom overflow to the adjacent living room.

Seaside Renovation


Before

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Courtesy of Toledo Geller

We fell head over heels for this cottage on the Jersey Shore the minute that we laid our eyes on it. We knew it had the potential to be a happy, cheerful space, but the dark painted trim wasn't doing it any favors, and a traditional furniture layout just wasn't working in the long living space."

After

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Jacob Snavely

"When we're confronted with a room that's long and narrow, we like to create two (or more) different seating zones and unify them with a piece of furniture that can serve double duty, playing a part in each zone while also merging the entire layout. Usually we'll use a daybed, bench or swivel chairs; for this particular room, we designed a custom, modern-day tête-à-tête. Whoever's sitting on it can face in either direction—toward the bay window built-in seating or toward the more traditional living room set up near the TV. From what we’ve heard, the entire family fights over who gets to lounge on it!"

Bedroom Upgrade


Before

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Courtesy of Toledo Geller

"This Manhattan apartment's previous owner—a famous actress—was so desperate for additional storage that she hung ready made tab curtains on plumbing pipes, but we knew this couldn’t be As Good As It Gets (wink wink)."

After

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Jacob Snavely

"To address the new owners' storage needs, we designed custom built-in cabinetry to suit all of their needs—shoe racks, shelves for folding and rods for hanging. We also unearthed the original herringbone flooring and restored the plaster moldings, and gave the room a calming neutral palette, something that almost all of our New York clients prefer—we've realized over the years that it has to do with needing an escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City."

Artist's Retreat


Before

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Courtesy of Toledo Geller

"Our client on this project was an artist, and after seeing her work in person, we were so excited by her use of bold color (and lots of it!) that we knew her surroundings should be equally unique and dynamic. She had originally wanted to keep the library's dated, dark cherry wood cabinets, but when we proposed painting them chartreuse, she fondly remembered a cardigan in the same hue that she had as a young girl in the 1940s. We knew she was sold!"

After

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Jacob Snavely

"Blue was the common theme sprinkled throughout her artwork, so we introduced it into our scheme, pairing the chartreuse with trim painted in Benjamin Moore’s Nickel, a bold blue patterned tufted chair and the blue striped area rug in the foreground. The color combination was a big risk that we pulled off by implementing it in a sophisticated way, instead of making it too lighthearted and whimsical."

'80s Reboot

Before

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Courtesy of Toledo Geller

"Longtime clients of ours had been looking to expand their two bedroom, two bathroom apartment, so when the studio next door hit the market, they immediately pounced. When we went to see it, we realized that it hadn't been touched since the '80s—at best!"

After

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Jacob Snavely

"Since the studio would be an ancillary living space, we convinced our clients to take some risks with the design. This floral fabric drew us in with its color and movement, so we had it paper-backed to use as a wallcovering. But because we didn't want the design to feel too fussy or sweet, we added a modern track light, dark accents in gunmetal and chocolate, and kept the overall shapes relatively simple."

Southern Comfort

Before

"When we first saw this space, it literally screamed out for an update appropriate for a young family. The homeowner's dream is to spend her days sitting in a swing on the front porch with a mint julep in hand, so 'southern charm' became our inspiration."

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Courtesy of Toledo Geller

After

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Jacob Snavely

"The new space is all about cheerful florals, bright hues and the movement of the lattice wallcovering. The colors and patterns are repeated in the adjoining rooms—a technique that's fitting for a house with this type of architecture, called American Foursquare, which features large, boxy rooms with wide openings. A common color scheme means that individual pieces of furniture can be moved from room to room, which is especially helpful for a family like this one that does lots of holiday entertaining and often needs additional."

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