Many times I am asked how a design evolves, how did I think that everything was going to work, how do you get from start to finish? So today I thought I would share the process on one of my clients homes. How it evolved what the starting point was and how it finishes. So here is how this project has gone. I first started when the client purchased a vacation home. When I met the client there was nothing in the home except for a folding table and folding chairs. At that time we decided to start on the bedrooms, family room, and breakfast nook. The twist was that we changed the uses of two of those spaces. The family room became the dining room and the breakfast nook became a sitting area. I spent the next few hours measuring the rooms and windows, talking with the clients and their children to get to know them and theirs likes, needs and usage. From there I went back to my office to put together the design for them. Which I had two days to do since they were only in Florida for vacation. I drew scale drawings of each of the rooms, found furniture pieces that fit their style and needs, and selected fabrics for their aesthetic keeping in mind the children and hot sun in Florida. The next step was to design window treatments for the rooms using the fabrics and keeping in mind usage and furniture placement. From there all the drawings, pictures of furniture pieces and fabric samples go on display boards so that the client can get an idea how their home is going to look. The client is then presented the design plan. If there are any changes to be made, this is the time. Once the client okays the plan fabrics and furniture get ordered, painting begins and we are off and running.
Once the painting is done, the furniture and window treatments are installed.
From here the home is starting to take shape and there is a place to sleep and eat but that is far from a completed home. There are still many rooms that we have not yet addressed. The bathrooms, the kitchen, the loft, living room and study are still bare. So the next meeting with the client was to create a plan for the above mentioned rooms. This meant starting with the kitchen and bathrooms. So we went to work.
We selected a tile to highlight the clients style and create a unique back splash. This took a kitchen from simple counters and cabinets to a finished space to match the fun colorful style of the client.
On to the bathrooms – goal have a tropical feel without being the traditional Tommy Bahama and no monkeys!
Wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to completely change the look of a bathroom. This is a room where you are not going to be able to add furniture and window treatments (most of the time) so wallpaper really is a great tool.
Ok so if you are looking at the pictures and wondering what this is all going to look like you are not the only one. Over the time of designing this home many a workman looked at me like I had ten heads. To create a truly unique design it means thinking outside of the box. So as paint and wallpaper goes on the walls and tile is installed there are definitely more than a few moments that an outsider could be very perplexed and positive that is not going to come together. However, as a designer, as I see each stage completed I see where the design is going. What lamps, artwork and accessories I am going to use to finish the design. I see a vision coming together.
Where are we now? We have completed the wallpaper and tile work and it is time to move onto furnishing the empty rooms. So we move ahead with the client’s needs and style in mind. I find fabrics from JAB, and Highlands Court for draperies and furniture. I find furniture pieces from Lee, Palecek, Taylor King and Stanley. I have rugs made to go with the design. And then there is a lot of waiting. Waiting? I know you are thinking to get all of that done how do you have time to wait? But the reality is that with all the products that have to be made we have around 12 weeks of wait time. Once all of the pieces come in, it’s time to install them in the home.
Now we have places to sit and all the rooms have furniture but that still does not equal a completed design. Artwork, lamps, and accessories are needed to have a complete design. So on the next trip to Florida for the client I bring in all the artwork, lamps, and accessories and complete the home. This way the client has the ability to see the home completed and also veto anything that they feel is not them. So my job is to work with art galleries, lighting companies and retailers to find the right pieces to complete the look. Artwork and accessories make a huge difference. They may be the last step but they really are the stage the completes the design. They are the icing on the cake, or the jewelry of the room.
How different the rooms look when the finishing touches are added! All those bold colors now make sense. That vision of contemporary tropical is created. And there is not a monkey in sight!
Lots of hard work and planning along with vision and creativity go into a successful interior design. Without all of those components a design does not evolve nor is it successful.
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