Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Traditional In Progress Client Sneak Peek

Remember client awesome who invited my family and me to her farm and totally spoiled us? Well, we are nearing the final stages of their bedroom, and although there are some missing pieces and some styling to be done, the progress is making me so happy.

Each project stretches me a bit, and this has definitely been an awesome experience with a bit of aesthetic stretching. My immediate instinct is to go casual and relaxed and rustic, but their style is more formal. And they really like symmetry.

Also, they wanted yellow...which in my opinion is the hardest wall color to work with. I like it in lots of things, but wall color is tough for me. Finding the right shade (one that looks just as good under artificial and natural lights) is super tricky. Thankfully, we got this right on the first shot. It's Farrow and Ball's "Hay 37." It's lovely, warm, and sophisticated. The ceiling is Farrow and Ball's "House White 2012" and the Trim is Farrow and Ball's "New White 59."

Next challenge was not being able to use drapes. Drapes instantly make everything softer, warmer, more inviting. And my fail-safe is to use linen. It always adds just the right amount of casual, relaxed, and natural. But they have major allergies, so any extra fabric, especially anything that couldn't be tossed into the laundry weekly, was out of the question. So no drapes and no fabric roman shades. Bummer. Thankfully, we found some easy to clean roman woven ones that do the trick.

They liked all their existing furniture, so we kept pretty much everything, and just focused on all the fixins. Plus we added some built-ins on the wall opposite the bed.

Here was the plan I came up with (We are still waiting on some elements like the rug and side table b/w the chairs):

So here's what it looked like BEFORE:

And here's how it is IN PROGRESS:


IN PROGRESS (aside from adding the built-ins and mirrors, we haven't gotten to styling this side yet, so that'll have to be a future post). The built-ins are by Econ-ize. and they are awesome:

The intaglios above my bed are my favorite part I think. They are a DIY, and I will be back with details at some point soon.

While we are very close to the end, I joke with them that that I really don't want to finish up...I just like the excuse of hanging out with them too much :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Using fabric on the walls

Going through my photos, I realized that I never showed you one of my favorite details from an old project. As I mentioned last, the project was much more traditional than I usually do, but it was so special.

Sometimes projects are all about making something pretty, but most of the time, they're about people, and trying to figure out the best way to serve them. I may have written off that notion years ago as waayyy cheesy if I found it in some shelter magazine, but working in design now, I realize everyday how much of "the human" is involved. It would be easy to go overboard and jump to the trite conclusion that a pretty home equals a pretty life....but I won't....because it doesn't. BUT sometimes even small decorative details do bring a certain simple joy. And that's what this post is all about....

These clients are in their nineties. They moved into (an attached in-law house) in a new house with one of their children, and it was beautiful to be a part of the process of making their new home comfortable. 

First a little background since it's been a long time since I posted on it....the clients really disliked the open floorplan. They wanted a formal space, a closed off kitchen, and a separate dining space. 


So we started by closing in the kitchen,  and then closed off and winterized a section of the long screened in porch so that it could become an all weather small breakfast's the room through the blinding light on the left :)


It's a pleasant little room, and one day after we put up the relaxed roman shades, the husband just lit up!  

He asked if we could continue the pattern (Braemore's fioretto sprout) somewhere else. It was really his first and only request after months and months of working with them. I was thrilllled! It's such a pretty pattern, but what really got me was that he took some delight in it. 

We decided to use it in the adjoining pass through to the main part of the house where his son lived. At first I thought about having a decorative painter recreate the pattern on the walls, but decided to look into using the actual fabric on the walls instead since linen has such a beautiful texture. I know there are all sorts of posts throughout blogland about hanging fabric with spray starch, but this wasn't really a project worth experimenting. Plus linen isn't most cooperative fabric...So we had Custom Laminations (great company, great prices) paper back the fabric. There are a few other companies that will turn fabric into wallpaper, but CL was the only one that I found that would do strict paper backing with no vinyl finish on the front. Since we wanted to preserve the texture, this was a must.  

Thankfully the very talented, Michael DiGuiseppe (DC's besssst paperhanger and a total pleasure to work with...and he was the one who directed me to Custom Laminations in the first place--rockstar!), agreed to take on the small job....

So the room went from this....

to this.....

to this....


And then we added some roman shades to the french doors to lend a bit more privacy when needed...

It's so pretty and lends so much to the tiny vestibule, but the beautiful part was really the human aspect...During the course of this little process, the husband passed away.  As you can imagine, it was very difficult. I felt so bad that the dust wasn't even completely settled yet, and he didn't even get to enjoy the one detail that he requested! However, one day his very gracious wife commented that this small little space brought her a lot of joy. And one of the children commented how happy it had made them all to see their father get excited about that small detail. 

 And all of that made me re-appreciate how small material things do have their place. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

not your usual flowers and chocolate

These days I rarely do any sort of photography, but not too long ago I styled and photographed a few pictures for my talented friend, James, who has a wonderful company, PaperLove. He's reworking his entire concept, so these are now completely irrelevant. BUT his flowers are so pretty and the pictures I took of them brightened my day when I saw them on my desktop this morning. For me, styling/photography is the equivalent of, I don't know, anything that's refreshing and interesting both at once.  It's such a perfect break from interior design because it's pretty and creative but doesn't have to be practical. I love when I have beautiful subjects and the time to spend with them. James has tooooonnnnssss of colors and varieties but I had so much fun with just a few of them....

and while I'm sharing these, I have to share a couple more style /photograph combos from months and months ago that I did for team Fleurir. I love the concept...chocolate seals, as in, sweets and old fashioned love letters...

and on that sweet note, have a lovely day!

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