Sneak a Peek at the "Before" Images of the 2021 Real Simple Home—Then Meet the Design Team

This year, we're tackling a complete home renovation!

designers of the Real Simple Home
Photo: Kailey Whitman/courtesy

For this year's 2021 Real Simple Home, we're doing something a little different: we're working on a down-to-the-studs home renovation! Located in Westfield, N.J. and built in 1910, this three-story house has great bones, but with the help of the team at Gialluisi Custom Homes, we're giving it a modern update. To decorate and organize each room, we're collaborating with a team of pro interior designers and organizers who will fill the space with clever ideas you'll want to steal.

Behind the scenes, we're hard at work making over every square inch of the home, but we wanted to share with you a sneak peek at the "before" images of the house during construction, below. Then, meet the design team. Check back often and follow along on our Instagram for more updates!

The 2021 Real Simple Home "Before"

Real Simple Home 2021 in Construction Photo
Jennifer Lomeli

Located on a corner lot in a charming neighborhood, this 1910 house is finally getting a long-awaited update. As you can see, it's a work in progress, but designer Eduardo Rodriguez has lots of plans to boost this home's curb appeal and make over the porch.

Real Simple Home 2021, Kitchen Before in Construction
Jennifer Lomeli

When we said "down to the studs," we really meant it! Believe it or not, this space will soon be transformed into a contemporary kitchen designed by Delia Kenza. Can you guess where the sink will go?

Real Simple Home 2021, Living Room Before in construction
Jennifer Lomeli

Before long, this will be a cozy living room designed by Natalie Papier of Home Ec. It may be hard to see the "vision" at this stage of construction, but that bay window will flood the room with light.

Meet the Design Team:

01 of 10

Emily Henderson

Designer Emily Henderson in kitchen
Sara Tramp

Designing: Main Bedroom

Emily Henderson is an interior designer, stylist, TV host, and founder of Emily Henderson Design. Her work has been featured in InStyle, House Beautiful, Domino, and of course, Real Simple (check out her home tour here)! She is the author of Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves. She lives on the West Coast with her husband, son, and daughter.

02 of 10

Keyanna Bowen

Designer Keyanna Bowen in kitchen
Keyanna Bowen

Designing: Main Bedroom

Keyanna Bowen is a Maryland-based interiors photographer and blogger of the popular design and lifestyle blog East & Lane. As a photographer and content creator, her work has been featured in the world's leading publications. She is also the host of "Renter's Guide to DIY", a home makeover web series for Lowe's Home Improvement, and a design contributor for Emily Henderson Design. When she's not traveling for photoshoots and creative projects, you can find her enjoying the outdoors and the slow-paced lifestyle of coastal Maryland with her husband, Daniel, and fur babies.

03 of 10

Eduardo Rodriguez

Designer Eduardo Rodriguez
Eduardo Rodriguez

Designing: Porch

Eduardo Rodriguez is a multifaceted designer based in Manhattan where he founded his design studio DSGNER in 2006. As an interior designer, his objective is transforming each space into a stylish and one-of-a-kind living experience by creating a tailored and timeless design concept.
His design aesthetic is modern, somewhat minimalist but with an edge, and he's known for his unique talent of mixing styles, layering textures, and playing with color.

04 of 10

Raili Clasen

Designer Raili Clasen
Raili Clasen

Designing: Multi-Functional Basement

California-inspired designer Raili Clasen's work has been described as "great design with a wink." ​Raili's projects range from the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch, Surfline headquarters, the Loge Camp hotel, Urban Flix headquarters, and Peninsula Point Tennis Club, to her mainstay residential projects located throughout the country.

05 of 10

Natalie Papier

Designer Natalie Papier
Natalie Papier

Designing: Living Room

Home Ec. is a bold and eclectic interior design company owned and managed by Natalie Papier: artist, designer, and influencer. With a lifelong love of art and color, she has a strong belief that homes should be a reflection of the people who live in them: full of life, character, and warmth. As an artist herself, Natalie is a firm believer in supporting original art.

06 of 10

Delia Kenza

Designer Delia Kenza
Delia Kenza

Designing: Kitchen/Dining Room

Delia Kenza is a Brooklyn-based interior designer who specializes in complete renovations of urban living spaces. She officially launched her career in home design nine years ago, putting her stamp on a diverse range of projects—from her own real estate investments to renovations for clients who place unequivocal trust in her design vision for their homes. Preferring bold, clean lines, natural materials, and a neutral palette augmented by carefully chosen color accents, Delia Kenza creates custom interiors with a very modern aesthetic that incorporates subtle touches of the past.

07 of 10

Ryia Jose

Ryia Jose
Ryia Jose

Designing: Home Office/Zoom Room

Ryia Jose is a content creator in the design/DIY niche and the talent behind Kin and Kasa. She has always had an eye for design, which led her to design clothing for her online pop-up boutique in India. Her move to the U.S. three years ago saw Ryia dive into interior design as she started converting her house into her dream home, one space at a time.

08 of 10

Nikki Boyd

Organizer Nikki Boyd
Nikki Boyd

Pro organizer

Nikki Boyd is a professional organizer and home lifestyle influencer based in Charleston, S.C. She hosts a popular video series, At Home with Nikki, and is the author of Beautifully Organized.

09 of 10

Leslie Corona

Leslie Corona Headshot
Kenneth Yagual

Designing: Laundry Room

Leslie Corona is the senior home editor at Real Simple, where she writes about cleaning, decorating, and organizing. Her past work experience includes Good Housekeeping, HGTV Magazine, and Parents magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

10 of 10

Katie Holdefehr

Katie Holdefehr
Katie Holdefehr. Katie Holdefehr

Designing: Mudroom

Katie Holdefehr is a senior editor at, where she writes about everything home-related, from the best removable wallpaper to tried-and-true cleaning tips. On the weekends, you'll find her hacking IKEA furniture and painting the kitchen cabinets in her 90-year-old Brooklyn apartment.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles