design for the sexes, part I

Clearing away the clutter allows you to breathe easier, Shauna added those candlesticks which serve as such a simple and elegant accessory. Painting the fireplace makes the room feel light, airy and larger. Switching out the red carpet for an off-white one also makes the room feel less heavy.

It's blurry on purpose? 
Shauna & Tom had two tables, one small side table and one coffee table that was hiding out in storage. So we changed them up. The smaller one is hiding out for now and the coffee table has made its debut!

 I really like to use what people have in their home first for a couple of reasons.

1. Well made furniture is really expensive

2. I spend my clients money like it were my own. VERY carefully. -so revamping what you have is always my first option.

They removed the table top, painted it in the same color of the accent wall.
To keep things light and airy they had a piece of plexi-glass cut to act as a shelf to hold the floor pillows --the floor pillow that act as additional seating! *note- I taught Shauna how to sew and she taught Tom.  The how to make this envelope fold pillow is in an old blog titled "pillow fight".
Here is a sneak peek at the credenza conversion. We moved the credenza to a new location, but not before adding angled legs. It is such an inexpensive improvement that achieves three functions:

1. It raises it up-(obviously), bringing it to an appropriate height for a service buffet.

2. The mid-century legs restore the credenza's design integrity. 

3. Feng Shui- believe or don't-- it's up to you, but the definitely makes cleaning easier and allows light and most importantly, Daisy to hide in one more place. It's qi. 
Shauna picked two of  the four fabric choices from the materials list panel. 

I can't believe I didn't take a photo of how to staple the upholstery. Please forgive me. 

note: How cute is Daisy? She sat inside the roll of foam. 

I will post a how-to upholster soon, but the short list of materials is:
1. Fabric
2. Batting
3. Foam Padding
4. A staple gun
5. A socket wrench
By moving the credenza to the opposite wall  and away from the window, the light that trickles in is in keeping with one of the responses to the questionnaire.  It is a misnomer that white is brighter than color;  changing up the off-white upholstery to these brightly colored patterns adds  so much more life. --you can't help but smile looking at the difference! Also, the table is now centered on the window and the light fixture above, and once the protective padding is removed, the sunlight that is going to reflect off of that clean smooth surface will beam into the room. I don't have anything against table clothes, for dining, but they do absorb the light.  Good design is truly a balancing act. When the balance is right it feels better. 
Shauna and Tom cleaned all of the furniture and hardwoods with super hot water and Simple Green and then treated the table with teak oil.  They really look like brand new. This is a little peek at the difference.
Yesterday I made a house-call to see what needed tweaking and to help configure accessories on the two new book shelves...and much to my surprise there was something waiting for me. I could not believe it.  Not only were the floating shelves hung beautifully, on it was at little bag with an envelope addressed to: "our interior designer" . Inside the little bag was a little box and inside the little box- was a beautiful silver and amethyst Pandora charm bracelet. Amethyst is my birthstone too! I was completely overwhelmed. 
I love it. love it. love it. 

We are getting so close to completion on my first totally documented interior design. In approximately six weeks I will post the total reveal! Because I am chomping at the bit to show you all what I’ve been up to, I thought I would explain the process and include a few photos of the projects we have tackled so far.

Let me first start by saying that working with this couple has been such an amazing experience. First of all they are adorable, but secondly they are kind, considerate and thoughtful, of others and toward each other. They have had to make concessions; moving the TV, keeping the speakers, but moving the speakers...again,moving the fish tank... but they have done it all together and their home reflects not only an incredible transformation, but there’s happy living there! 

 The Process: 
1.   A fairly short survey precedes all of my designs. Sometimes clients know exactly what they want, but most times it takes a little coaxing, but a after answering a few of my silly questions, I can usually come up with a design that exceeds their own expectations... and sometimes my own. 
Below is a sprinkling of answers based on this client’s design dilemmas, wishful thoughts and likes... 

“Currently the TV is hanging on the wall above the fireplace. If we could find another functional location for it, that would be great!” 

 Designing for the sexes--it’s a real thing. Compromise is also a real thing. In this case the TV stayed in it current location, but we lowered it, painted the wall behind it, painted the fireplace, mantle and “under-accessorized”... more about this below. 

 “I would like to entertain more. However, the dining room area is too cramped. I would like to have formal dinners.” 

 We got really creative on this one. One of the solutions is below, but you will have to keep yourself posted to my blog to see the second seating solution and the final reveal! Mark your calendar for 6 weeks...there are a couple of items on back order...grr. 
 I’ll always ask: If budgeting for the design was NOT a concern--what would you envision for your space? 

This really allows people to dream big, and allows me to work my thrifty magic. In the final reveal I will have the actual costs of the entire design, and I think you will be surprised at how affordable it was. I like to “go-shopping” inside the clients home, I have a different approach for long distance design, but that ‘s a blog for another day. Don’t worry I will hold your hand. 

 She answered:

 "I would like the room to feel bigger than it actually is. However, I would like it to feel cozy and relaxing. I would like the dining room to have more functional storage areas without making it feel cramped. I would also like there to be a natural flow to the room, as opposed to dodging furniture." 

 We nailed this one! Wait until you see!

 Still more questions based on likes, activities, fond memories of vacations, relatives homes and colors that dominate wardrobe:

 “...hiking through the woods... see spots of sunlight through the green trees... the babbling brook and streams... I like seeing the path stretched out in front of me... “ “...soft colors, painted to depict a calm space ...a cottage in the woods, a lighthouse near the ocean...” “blue, green, tan” “ Grandmother's. The soft lighting. It always felt cozy and warm...”

2. Drawings 
I take measurements and photos of everything before I sit down to draw. I sketch first, then us CAD, then sketch again. It's a little time consuming, but it helps to get a real feel for the space, especially if it is a long distance design.  

3. Concept Panel & Materials List
This isn't a true concept panel, but I really knew what direction to go in based on conversations with my clients and based largely in part on their answers to the survey, so I skipped on to the next step the materials list.

4.  Implementation of the Design

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