A Designer's Touch

Hi There . . .

I woke up early today, do that a lot on Saturdays.  It's quite, no distractions and my favorite time to work on new projects.  The weekdays are just too busy with orchestrating, meetings, calls and installs.  I couldn't wait to get back into it after I took a month of July off.  Took a vacation and prepped for installs in August all while renovating my own house.   It was great to find some time to work on a new project.  

So I have a new client, Lindsay Curby.  She's a clothing designer - love that !  She came to me recently wanting help with her new home.  Young family, new build.  Wanted help giving it a little style, and a little more pulled together.  She was off to a great start having made a trip to Crate and Barrel.  The big pieces were purchased - Two sofa's, coffee table, kitchen table, chairs, but there we were.  

I have always thought that accessorizing can be the hardest part for those who don't do it every day. She did purchase a rug or two and some curtains, but with most "stock" pieces like that from the chain stores, they never quite fit just right and more importantly can feel pretty average.  You don't want your home to look like a furniture showroom or see the exact same look at your neighbor's house . . now do you ! 

So I took her pieces, created design boards plugging them in and then started building around that.

The biggest request was to finish the Family Room and Kitchen Breakfast Area to start.

I immediately took out the "off the rack" curtains - which were too short anyway and a solid color.  With all the big ticket pieces purchased,  a great way to give a room some style is adding custom curtains, they are totally worth it.   Think about it... they are at eye level and make a big impact.  All the pieces she purchased - two grey sofas, neutral coffee table, kitchen table and chairs and white arch lamp were great as far as basic solid colors, my plan is to address what's around it to style it up.

Meet the wow factor.  This fabric is quite reasonable.  I added new curtains panels in the main living room as well as the kitchen to bring those two rooms together as one large room, keeping it from feeling as two separate space.

The very next thing I did was replaced her newly purchased rug (hold on.. I am using it upstairs) for a much larger 12 x 12 rug.  Her choice was good, the size was not.. too small and looked like a postage stamp under the coffee table.  Custom rugs don't have to cost a fortune.  Find a great carpet and have it cut and bound . .  this color and pattern will hide a multitude of things, tough and cleans well.  I pulled the grey from the curtains and wall color.  Very similar in color to the sofas, because I want the pop to be the curtains and art.

Then simply adding new pillows on the sofa and a few accessories and voila.  The overhead fixture in the room as also a little off - too small.  My suggestion - move to the foyer where there are two "builder" lights that are the greatest, purchase a second one and there you go, recycled.  

The kitchen area is part of this room and Lindsay did great with the table and chairs.  We need to replace the pendant bar lights, over table light and not so great bar stools.

I immediately added another pair of curtains in there for some color and continuity to the other room.  Replacing the bar stools with these chrome ones.  When her daughter gets older Lindsay can feel comfortable she won't fall backwards off a stool.

Being that I am renovating and I have stored all my favorite (and good) pieces to offer up to potential clients and a huge price break, I added in this beaded chandelier which was in my dining room.  It's perfect I think over her kitchen table.  Definitely not builder spec !!!!

Dropping in three new pendant lights, I feel this touch of green would be fab.  I also want to move all her pretty black and white family photos to another wall and replace with a larger piece of art on this wall.   A flat weave rug is great for under a kitchen table.  Easy to clean (you can sweep it), you can flip it over if it really gets bad and its not expensive so you can get a big one !

Now . . not in our first Phase, but to come at some point I am sure - a "kid corner" in this great room.  Currently filled with toys, I would suggest a tall storage piece on the side wall with doors.  This piece first of all adds height to the room and balances the arc lamp but mainly, stores all those toys !  It's a beautiful piece and unique.  Mixed with the Crate and Barrel choices it adds a little uniqueness. With her existing small white kid's table, I added a grouping on that back wall of her family photos, new art piece and fun white antler.  Underneath it all the same flat weave in a smaller size.  In this case doing the same rug will again make it feel like one big room.  I also noticed two yellow chairs in her space.  I think flanking the fireplace is a good idea for now, eventually we could center this black cabinet on the bigger wall and flank those chairs there and shift the art.

An there you have it, Crate and Barrel with a designer touch and the beginning of a plan for Lindsay.  While working on this I also thought a bit ahead and just how it will all work when we move to Phase 2 and 3.

Her Dining Room is great . . . grey walls with touches of yellow.  Would add curtains at some point.  The foyer needs a little wow - maybe this white graphic grass cloth.  I also pulled the yellow grass cloth for the powder room as an option.  Putting all these design boards together, I am hoping to give her a visual of how it can all look and when she's ready we can keep going.

I think we are off to a good start !