In the beginning...
There was a gal who met a gal who needed window treatments for two rooms in her Land Park home. But that's not where the story ends.
There are many different types of jobs I get called out for. Most are short, involving only one or two rooms. Some change as the jobs progress. Occasionally they turn into remodels of epic proportions. This is one such case. If you've ever wondered what a whole house remodel is really like, well, just keep reading. And don't worry! There are pictures for you to look at near the bottom of the page!
Project #1: The Family Room
I was specializing in custom window treatments when I was sent to visit a lovely brick house in the Land Park area. I took the measurements, finished the paperwork and was ready to go when we started talking. I told my client (lets' call her Mrs. W) that I was an interior designer. Well, that perked her right up. It turned out that she had wanted to get a designer out to look at her family room. Then she asked if I wouldn't mind taking a look. Naturally, I did not.
Mrs. W's family room is a fairly large space. She had started modifying the space by removing the fireplace, but wasn't sure where to go from there. She'd also installed sliding glass doors that took up nearly the entire north wall but, again, was unsure about whether the wood frames should be stained or painted. Added to this, they needed an entertainment area for the family, the walls were just bare drywall, and the floors were a worn out parquet. Those floors were a particular problem because the family owned four dogs. And, finishing everything else off, the recessed lights were crooked.
The client had several goals that needed to be met. First, Mrs. W. needed a desk. She is a school nurse and was finishing some post-graduate work at the time. Also, something needed to be done about the glare on the TV. Better lighting and fans added to the room as well. She wanted a sectional for the room so the family would have extra seating. She had a plum chenille fabric she had requested be worked into the design. It was a lovely fabric, but it is always difficult for the designer when they have to work with a specific fabric. They can often be in shades that don't work well with current styles and colors. Finally, the floor needed to be dog friendly and, of course, needed a more pulled together look.
I began by sketching the ideas for the room. It needed space design, colorization, custom cabinets, painting, lighting, furniture, drapes, and a way to emphasize the architectural interest. Because of the client's busy schedule, it took three months to make all the design decisions and then another four months before the room was completed.
I started with designing the custom cabinetry. It takes time to make, so I needed to get it done first. Next, we chose the flooring and wall colors. New fans were selected and finally the rug and furniture were chosen. That was about the time that the contractors came in.
Fortunately, there were no unexpected problems and things progressed well. After getting the cabinet designs approved, the flooring was removed and replaced with the new green slate tiles in a Versailles pattern. They emphasized the space without drawing too much attention. An electrician came out to install the fan selections as well move the recessed can lights into their proper placement. We fixed the walls by adding wood paneling and painting it a creamy white. The ceiling was painted at the same time, just before the cabinets were installed.
The custom cabinetry included a corner desk, bookcase, entertainments center and lower cabinets that we used to highlight an original oil painting. The desk was placed in the corner to maximize the space. Fully lined
drapes were placed over the sliding glass door in a complimentary pattern of cream, sliver and plum. Finally, it was time for furniture. We used the plum chenille to custom cover a sectional. Occasional chairs and tables were ordered and several chairs were recovered including a custom desk chair. An oversized ottoman with room for blankets inside was centered on a dog friendly rug, completing the design.
Mrs. W., reveling in meeting her very own fairy godmother, did what any good homeowner would when they finally met someone who could fix the problems in their home: she showed me another problem area. Then she asked me a very important question.
"What can you do with this entryway?"
And so the job continued... but you'll have to come back for the next entry to hear what happens next.
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Click here to read part 2!