When Life Hands You Lemons

Life hands you lemons hero
June 14, 2020

I needed a reminder- when life hands you lemons, such as a pandemic, you might as well make them pretty. Forget the lemonade- that has too much sugar!

Living in an older home lends to its quality craftsmanship and endearing details, but there is no doubt that my stairwell was a little blah. When life slowed down and I had a Saturday at home, I spent 5 hours adding some happiness, contrast and pop to my foyer and stairwell. You know what else I did? I got the first coat done while my husband was running, because he told me to stop doing house projects. When will they ever learn?

This series of pictures show a design progression, from a blank slate, to a complete execution of a focal wall.


Painted Stairs

Stairs are usually white or black, but I decided to make them the same bright color as my front door. Your stairs can be painted an accent color that you use in your home such as your kitchen island color. I am now a believer in your stairs- they are a blank canvas begging to be noticed!

Once the backdrop was there, it needed that final layer, or as I like to say, the finishing touch. I love 3D wall decor because it brings personality in addition to a tactile element to the walls.

Picture 1  — blah, needed some love
Picture 2 — the love was added- color!
Picture 3/4 — the jewelry- copper lemons!


Why lemons?

It is what I saw after spending so much time alone, in the quiet and reflecting about the effects of COVID-19.


Why this color?

See my front door? I love connecting the exterior to the interior. I have the front door color splashing on my stairwell now, but I also have my exterior shutter color as my interior trim color. I love making connections through color!

Front door color: Sherwin Williams Citronella SW6915
Shutter/Interior trim color: Sherwin Williams Dovetail SW7018

Thank you to our metalsmith Roy at RMended Metals for helping me create these unique copper lemons to act as a constant reminder for the humbling and grateful moments we have recently experienced, like what if you can’t go to work and what if you can’t buy toilet paper?


Written by Danielle Saintard Valiente

Danielle Saintard Valiente is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and community advocate in the Cape Fear region. As owner of Port City Design Group, Danielle is living her passion by collaborating with her clients and subcontractors in order to execute one-of-a-kind, life changing designs, while making lifelong relationships. Having lived in Wilmington since 2010, Danielle plans to contribute to the area's growth and continue to make an impact through design.

About Port City Design Group

Port City Design Group is an interior design firm that creates experiences through the turnkey presentation of luxury residential and commercial interiors. PCDG brings communication and organization to the jobsite, while taking the stress off of the client, with an efficient and enjoyable process. With a facility over 4000 square feet, PCDG operates with an office and warehouse all in house, with the ability to take all projects from start to finish, with a BIG REVEAL at the end!