home design

Finding My Style

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Photo via digsdigs

Style, whether it is fashion or interiors, grows and changes. Sometimes it is something I’m interested in and sometimes I’ll just grab whatever is in the closet and put it on. What’s in style changes from day to day it seems! So, overall I recommend trying to get in touch with what you really like and following that style regardless of the trends.

Over the last few years I’ve been experimenting with my style. My core furniture remains the same, but I add different pillows, paint, wallpaper and art to change things up. Initially I was really drawn to the Scandinavian style of white and grey with natural wood tones to add texture and interest. Yet, on the flip side I really love dark moody interiors.

I’ve slowly been adding layers to my home. Not necessarily a ton of stuff, but putting grey sheepskin on my Bertoia chairs (which FYI you kind of need so you don’t get waffle butt!), adding a wool pillow to the couch, putting new art up on the walls as I find it and putting candlesticks on the dining room table along with a table runner.

I realized I was moving away from the bright white interiors and embracing the dark side. It takes time to figure out your style. I don’t look at any of the things I have done in my home as mistakes, but rather, as opportunities to experiment and grow. Since the big pieces have stayed the same I haven’t had a big outlay of money that I’m going to lose. Just 50 bucks for a can of paint, divided over four years of enjoyment and you see that the cost isn’t significant. Also, anything I change up, I can sell or donate.

Don’t feel like you have to be married to one particular style. I think because of the time, effort and money that I had put into my home I was supposed to just let it be, but your home is never finished. You grow and change as a person and your home can do the same.

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The unsexy part of design

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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. 

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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. 

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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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Home Decor Style-Why Hiring an Expert Pays Off

Mood Board of fabric, jewelry, dishes, and flowers

Why Should You Hire an Interior Designer?

Before I give you my top three reasons why you should hire an interior designer I'd suggest hopping over to my podcast where I am diving much deeper into this topic. Give it a listen. In the meantime here are three reasons why hiring an expert pays off. 

  1. You are stuck. We've all been there. Either you don't know where to start or you just can't quite get the room over the finish line. I'll freely admit that I've had rooms languish for years because of lack of time, resources or energy. Yet, I can tell you finishing up a room feels good. It makes your home come together. I had a client yesterday say he loves coming home. That is what I strive for. 
  2. You are in transition. You've moved into your very first apartment (yay you) and it's time to jettison your college furniture, you are moving in with someone (congrats) and you need to figure out how to get it all to work together, you are downsizing and you aren't sure how to make it all fit, or you are about to have a baby and need to rearrange somethings in your home to make space for the newest member of your family. An interior designer can help you through the decisions you have to make, on your own or with your partner. I have to admit that getting couples across the design finish line is kind of one of my specialties. Change can be good and it also can be stressful, so don't let your home stress you out. Hire someone to help. 
  3. It just isn't working. I've had some funky rooms in the apartments I've rented over the years that are either too small, too long or there just isn't a good place to put the couch because of all the windows and doorways. I've swapped rooms, moved couches around until I finally feel like the flow is right. Except, I do that after I've done a floor plan and mocked up how everything is going to look, because moving furniture isn't fun and I only want to do it once. If you aren't sure how to make a space work then bring in a professional. 

When I work with clients it is a collaborative process. I am not the type of person that comes in and tells you your furniture is all wrong and you must have this that and the other thing. This is your home, your style and most importantly your budget. If you love your sofa, then keep it, we'll make it work. If you have great-grandma's dining room table and it needs to stay in the family, then yes, keep it. I also believe that interior design should support your life and your lifestyle. A big part of my process is to see how you are living and how you want your home to support your life. Finally, I work within any budget. I offer a DIY option where I give you a floor plan and a mood board to hone in on your style and give you direction, or I can come in and do it all. I'll even hang the art. 

Another reason to hire an interior designer is we can help you avoid any costly mistakes. Laying out a floor plan and taking into account the space and needs of my client are one of the first things I do. I also save people from having to repaint rooms by getting color right the first time. So save yourself the headache and hire an interior designer. 

An Interior Designer should help you with what you need. They should work with you on your home to make it some place you love coming home to. That's my goal and if you need some design assistance please feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to help. 

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