If you read my blog regularly, you know I love giving advice – especially when it comes to making your home your castle (or whatever it is you’re into). So today, I’m going to share some advice from an extremely wise client of mine: “It’s awesome to sit in your home and feel content with your surroundings. In order to make a space perfect for you, know what you like/dislike, know your budget, and don’t be afraid to seek help.”
Wow – I couldn’t agree more.
Now I’m not judging, but too many of you spend too much time dreaming about what you’d do if your place was selected for a makeover on one of the many home improvement shows you watch instead of taking the steps to make it happen.
Take my wise client, for example. She and her husband had never worked with a designer before hiring me. They chose to tackle each room of their spacious, open house on their own. If they got stuck or disagreed, they sought the opinion of friends and family.
The design issue that no one could resolve? The couple’s front room entry. It contained old furniture that overwhelmed the space and created a “first impression” vibe that didn’t fit the family’s nod to mod. As a result, they never used it except to enter and exit their home and feel badly about themselves while doing either.
My solution? Purge the old, stay simple, and make an impact. I helped the couple select a crisp, geometrically-inspired wallpaper for the west entry wall to showcase the sleek, freestanding wall cabinet they had picked out. The finishing touch? A whimsical black and white wall clock made by the male half of the duo (he also hung the cabinet). Oooh la la!
On the other side of the entry, I took full advantage of the home’s incredible windows by adding simple shades and fronting them with a pair of tufted white leather benches in an inverted L shape. A corner table displays a favorite metal sculptural piece, striped carpet tiles from FLOR laid in an irregular pattern give the room texture, and a simple wood desk and plywood dining chair tuck neatly into the space’s remaining corner – the perfect place for homework or catching up on email.
One of the other design challenges the couple (and their friends and family) never resolved was the fireplace wall in the main living room area. “It always felt off,” my client said. “We needed something to fill the space but just couldn’t wrap our heads around it.”
The issue? The fireplace was dead center along a 20-foot high white wall, and the brick – although lovely – only extended to normal mantle height.
My solution? A sleek and simple wood mantle that’s part of a larger wall grid constructed from the same wood. The grid bisects and trisects the mammoth wall and creates a series of well-defined areas for displaying 2D and 3D art.
I’ve got a few more gems to share from this job, but they’ll have to wait for another entry.
Until next time, I’ll be keeping an eye on design for you.