design style

The unsexy part of design

Bell Ave Floor Plan.jpg

I'll admit when I first thought about doing interior design I imagined fabric swatches and paint samples, hunting down treasures at antique stores and going shopping with clients. 

The reality is that you have to do the hard parts first before you can start playing with fabric samples. The rest of the design falls apart if you do not have a solid base. 

I'm working with a fabulous couple and they have done what I usually recommend-which is to live in the home for awhile so they could decide what they wanted to do. That and they've set a budget.  The home has a kitchen with a dining area and a living area in the back of the house. The front living room and dining room, would generally be more formal, but they decided they don't want a formal dining room. They have a record player and love to listen to records but beyond that they just want a space to entertain and hang out in. 

I'm a pretty intuitive and empathetic person, which I feel helps me suss out people's design styles pretty easily. I also have my clients fill out a questionnaire, share a Houzz or Pinterest board with me and I take a look at the rest of the house. 

The very first thing I do when I meet with a client is to measure their space. We do also talk about their design style, living needs and color preferences. Then I'll pull together a first draft of a mood board. Here's a sample of some of the pins I pulled. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.36.45 AM.png

Sometimes, I rely on pinterest for a little inspiration, but in this case I already knew what the style was and I needed some layout ideas. My clients definitely have a mid-century modern clean vibe with a color palette of blues and greens. Since we were nixing the dining room I needed a way to pull the two rooms together and create separate spaces without the room feeling like a bowling alley or disconnected. The core request was for a space for the record player and records, and I started pinning ideas.

The floor plan and searching for furniture sometimes happen simultaneously. In this case I mapped out a first draft of a floor plan. A general idea of where things are going to go. 

RoomSketcher 2D Floor Plan.jpg

I liked the general direction this was going but I didn't quite like how it was flowing. Plus the window behind the couch has a low ledge and the couch was blocking some of the light. 

I pivoted the couch which made a huge difference and it felt like the rooms were a little more connected. Once I get the core furniture placement down then I hone in on how I want the room to feel. I'll start to pull furniture based on their style and color and adjust the furniture layout with those measurements in mind.

While a floor plan is extremely helpful to get an idea of how the room is going to look, it's also helpful to mark out where the furniture is going to be on the floor. This room is a little tricky because the entryway is right behind the chairs, there is a hallway through to the back of the house, a staircase and a bar. When I met with the clients to present the plan, I measured out and taped off where the furniture would be. At that point I realized that while there was physically enough clearance between the chair and the entryway, it just wasn't enough. I shifted everything a little closer to the window and that opened up the space a bit. 

Next up is choosing the furniture and wallpaper. 

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The 2018 Interior Design To Do List

photo collage of framed artwork in dining room

Or, what needs to be done in my home

Last year I revealed my interior design to do list. Man, was it long! Let's see what I managed to get done.  I started this list because I kept feeling overwhelmed and scattered. I admit that once I did the brain dump it felt like I started moving forward on things.

DINING ROOM

  • Standing light for by the chair and lamp for workbench.
  • DONE! New Curtain Rods (mine actually broke)
  • DONE! I went with different curtains though. Sheer Curtains to layer under curtains (I tend to leave the curtains open and it would be nice to have some privacy)
  • DONE! Art- I moved most of the art to my office and bedroom
  • Refinish dining table- I got it on Craigslist and it just needs to be sanded down a bit and re-stained.
  • Style the workbench- It's this huge expanse of empty space. I don't want it to be cluttered, but it definitely needs some fun stuff.
  • Sell and replace dining room chairs-I have a pair of Philippe Starck La Marie chairs in Orange, but want white. I'd like to replace them with something that has a similar low profile to the Bertoia wire chairs I have. 

LIVING ROOM

    • DONE! Paint Hallway
    • softer more comfortable chairs
    • DONE! Except, now I want new curtains! New curtain rod
    • hang plants
    • change up the coffee table? (I've had the same coffee table for over ten years and I like it but it may be time for something new...maybe)

    KITCHEN

    • Clean and organize 
    • Paint it teal
    • Clean out and put more shelves in the pantry closet (I'm scared to open the door!)
    • Get a new soap dispenser
    • Style the counter tops
    • Hang film on windows (this room gets almost no light and I'd like to top part to be open, but my neighbors can see in when they walk down the back stairs)
    • Small lights for over sink
    • Rewire small lamp
       

    BATHROOM

    • Clean and declutter
    • DONE! Rug
    • Plant
    • DONE! Another piece of art
    • Added: Hang driftwood jewelry storage piece

    STUDY

    • Make a slipcover for the chaise 
    • sew pillow cover

    What's on your list? 

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