Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Cross Designer Showcase House

This weekend I had the opportunity to view our local showcase house. Showcase houses are so much fun. Of course it is a wonderful way to see what other designers are doing as well as get ideas that I can apply to projects or for others can use in their own homes. This house was inspiring. Though there were some rooms that did not quite measure up for one reason or another, for the most part I really loved it. I think because the rooms that were incredible were really incredible.
My favorite was the living room. This was a 2 story room which in itself is a challenge. The pictures I took do not do it justice. The fireplace wall was hung with round antique mirrors from
Africa surrounded by tin ceiling tiles all antiqued to blend with the aged mirrors. The curved shutters that flanked the entrance to the room were so amazing. I have never seen them before. This room was not large but the designer used dark colors on the walls but a brilliant citron fabric on the sofa. Even with the lofty ceiling the room felt intimate. The pattern play on the drapery, pillows and floor lamps is just wonderful.
Tall antique painted wood doors and carvings hung over the sofa add to the drama of the ceiling height. Antique accents give character and personalize a space. They lend a "acquired" feeling to an otherwise brand new room.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So, your husband wants you to become a decorator!

Yesterday I saw a segment on a morning show about turning a hobby into a business. One woman said she enjoyed helping her friends decorate their homes and also loved decorating her own home. Her husband said, "You are so good at decorating, why don't you start a business?" I must say that is frequently how some women embark on their decorating career.

Whether you are a man or woman this is a business that springs from a passion. But I had to laugh. After being in the profession for over 30 years it is not a simple matter to just become a decorator.....for profit. It is in deed a business and it comes with it's share of stress as well as joy. Oh sure there are days of hanging out in beautiful showrooms, wrapping ourselves is luxurious fabrics, running our hands over incredible furniture, and digging around in antique shops. We sketch and visualize and root out the best resources to help make our ideas come to life. But there is also alot of lifting, lugging, climbing, and moving. There are days I feel like a "bag lady", toting bags of fabrics and samples to and fro. I honestly do not know how my dear shoulders can bear up. There are tedious scheduling, coordinating duties, supervising and micro-managing. And let's not forget the nailbiting and indigestion, and my personal favorite...bookkeeping. Sometimes I can be found cleaning, vacuuming, ironing and polishing so that everything looks perfect when my client arrives for the big reveal.

The reward, however, is totally worth it. We decorators can literally make dreams come true. We get to create a home that a real live person or family will enjoy coming home to for years to come. If we design a commercial space it may have a profound effect on large numbers of people too. One of my favorite experiences is returning to the home of a client years after the project is completed and seeing how wonderful everything looks. The memory of all the time and energy team, my client and myself and partners spent to achieve our goal comes flooding back. How many designers spend as much or more time in their clients home than their own? How many hours do we spend with our clients and their families? We become friends. It is quite an incredible business. So to anyone looking to turn their passion for design into a business, welcome to our crazy-amazing world.

Ralph Lauren Powder Room

What are these baskets doing in a blog about a powder room? They are our inspiration. Or rather they express the feeling that we want to have in our new project.

Yes, it's another bathroom project. This time it is a powder room and it is the 4th bathroom we are doing for our client. This is another collaboration with Ellie from Caimano Interiors. Our client has given us some great ideas about what she likes, including Ralph Lauren. What is not to like about Ralph Lauren? But we need to create a feeling that has a bit of a Florida touch.....or as we say not too northern. So far we have a color scheme and an inspiration. I will keep you the job progresses.

We are just at the very beginning. Our next step is to decide if we want wallpaper or a faux finish. Faux finishing allows us to get the exact color we want and the exact look we are going for but we will explore both options.
But who knows where we will end up. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow and see where we end up. Stay tuned!