We went and saw the Met’s Through the Looking Glass on Monday in NYC. HOLY HELL YOU MUST GO!!!!
We were joined by the lovely and talented Laurel Bern of Laurel Bern Interiors who came into the city to hang with us. What a lovely treat that was.
We also had lunch at Bergdorfs and talk about a major treat that was!!!! It’s hard to have conversation when all you want to do is stare at all the details!!!! I hope we were good company. Hanging out in the prime centre of all things luxurious got me to thinking….
A while back now - okay like a year and a half ago - we were doing our second intensive with our biz coach and we were discussing what “Successful” looked and felt like to me. It was an intensely personal exploration and revelation from which our coach suggested to me that I consider as part of my homework, starting to work with a personal trainer. Her reasoning was pretty straightforward and resonated with me: If you are going to provide a luxury service, you have to regular indulge in luxury services. It’s all part of walking the walk and talking the talk and you can’t be authentic if in trying to get someone else to invest in quality, luxury services that you yourself spurn them.
It absolutely hit home at the time. I meant to do something about it. By August last summer, I was determined to do something about it and I started biking to and from work on a regular basis. I kept that up until the snow hit in November and I started back up again this past March.
But I didn’t do anything about the trainer.
Until about 8 weeks ago when after learning that Asa had signed up with a trainer that I could join as well and I did.
I’m not always QUICK to move on suggestions but when I do, I go all in. I know this is a design blog and now I’m talking about personal trainers and such but it really IS relevant. Here’s the bigger adjustment - I’m taking time out of my work day to go to these sessions THREE WORK DAYS A WEEK. People, THIS IS HUGE. If you know me, you know I’m a complete workaholic. I hate taking time off. I do not look forward to vacations and spend much of my vacation time pining about getting back to the office to work. It’s who I am. I get upset when I see those ridiculous posts about the Sickness of BUSY because I ENJOY being busy. Like I LOVE it. Seeing people in NYC last week, a common comment was “You look SUPER busy…” and my retort/thought almost always was, “I could be busier!!!” But here we go, I’m making a MAJOR life change for me and I am enjoying it. The best part of my sessions with Robin, my trainer (who by the way specializes in Speshal Snowflakes like me with my RA issues) is that I don’t have to think. For an hour three times a week, I literally do as I am told and while I may swear like a truck driver, make guttural noises and wish I were anywhere else, I’m loving it. Sure, I can barely hold my arms up and type this post and getting in and out of bed can be a bit of a challenge after certain AB torture techniques have been imposed but it feels great and I feel like I am making one heck of an investment in myself and consequently my business.
Well that is when I don’t have the overwhelming urge to take a nap where I sit/stand/lie down. Thank goodness for muscle memory. Apparently I have it in freakish supply.
So while I am busy building my physical strength, I am finding that my creative strength is also growing. Here’s a lil taste of things we’ve been working on of late.
I’m going to edit that photo and blow it up… it’s just SO BEAUTIFUL and luxurious.We
We were in NYC for ICFF and the faucets… god how I love bath fixtures.
We also managed to head out to our #Rye #MtHolly project. The master bathroom is coming along fast and furiously!!!!! SO NICE!
In the living room, we loved how the trim/mantle contrasted with the walls up until the client went and had Super White Quartzite installed on the surround which ended up being way more grey than we’d anticipated. Now we just pivoted and said the stone will stay but that means the trim colour needs to change.
Here’s a sample of super white. The white on the left is the wall colour. The two colours on the right are my options for the trim….
Here’s the greyer option with the proposed fabric for either chairs or sofa. Not sure which but I’m obsessed with it.
We flew back on Tuesday. Wednesday was a bit of a blur and Thursday started off with checking in at our #YorkMills project. THESE are the foyer/powder room floors. I mean AMAZING right???? We’ll be installing the end of June it looks like. We’re installing #MadisonDecoration’s living room FRIDAY which depending on when you read this is either TOMORROW OR TODAY! (if you read this after Friday - holy Slackers) ZOMG!!!
I can’t keep the days straight, barely know my own name but man I’m a happy camper!!!!!
I have many colour palettes that speak to me. When I see them grouped together albeit in threads or in poms for rugs I get a little excited. I get so inspired when I see my favourite colours all grouped together. INFINITE POSSIBILITY.
Saw this picture on Zak&Fox’s instagram feed and I had to have it in my own photo arsenal. I practically licked my iPhone screen. Seriously. Other people freak out over chocolate and ice cream. THIS IS MY DRUG OF CHOICE!
DeGournay came and gave us a stunning show. I love the watery tones of this silk. It’s the Kelly Wearstler custom paper that she used in Bergdorf’s restaurant. I’m headed there on Monday!!! Be sure to follow along on instagram as I am unleashed on NYC.
We sent this to our clients in Puerto Rico. I think this paper could be a MAJOR statement in our foyer. MAJAH BABY!
Opening Photo: Paul Edmondson
I’m between appointments on a crazy day but I am reflecting on what makes or breaks projects and it really comes down to one thing… okay I’m overstating it but it’s this: If you hire a designer, you have to trust said designer, their vision, their specifications and selections. That’s why you hired them. They have the ability to see what you cannot and they have the experience and where with all (is that one word or a series… not sure!) to know how to make it come together. Of course, this is not always the case with NEW designers or relatively inexperienced ones and you will get a break financially if you choose to work with a newbie - because they are learning on the job. Even then, you will have to trust their vision and resist the urge to micromanage. If you can’t relax and go with this, then hire someone with more experience - but keep in mind, you’ll pay more for said experience but you will get the peace of mind or at least you SHOULD. Nothing kills a project faster than second guessing the person you hired to make it all happen.
We often hit a snag when clients want to sit in each piece of furniture we are specifying for their home. Here’s the issue: Are you wanting to trust only what stores have determined will be their floor models for your home? Stores want to SELL furniture and do so in large volumes. This means, they need to stick to what the masses want. Do you want what the masses want? If so, why hire a designer? Wouldn’t you be better off going into a store, picking from their floor models and having it arrive at your home? If you have to see, feel and touch it - you will have a vastly limited selection. What happens if the perfect piece was just sold moments before you arrived and left?? Are you then doomed to what other purchasers felt were inferior selections and therefore didn’t purchase? It really baffles me why people hire a designer and then feel the need to have intimate knowledge of each and every piece being put forth - especially when said designer has spent the time, effort and money to go and test out all of the pieces in person that they are specifying.
I just returned from High Point NC and easily sat on hundreds of pieces of furniture each and every day testing them out. If I feel they are comfortable for ME, they made it on to a list. If they were a bit too big for me and more suitable to someone who is taller, they made it on to another list. After sitting in 300 different pieces, you quickly learn that the differences between upholstered pieces aren’t as vast and different as one would expect or think.
The biggest validation I’ve had on this in some time came today. Our oldest client was in discussing a new house we are designing for them in Naples. We have worked on ten different projects for them and we’ve tried it where they sourced items or went out and bought items on their own without me or only with some direction from me - please note this didn’t usually turn out as I had envisioned and they were routinely disappointed with the way everything came together or felt it was somehow lacking the pizzazz of our other projects. We then moved on to letting me have more control over the look and feel and to their most recent project, I had almost complete control. Our client said today that she’s just inclined to give us carte blanche as she knows that we will exceed expectations.
That’s the goal. That’s what all design professionals want. We may talk about working with the client but really that’s just to inform us on the direction and functionality we need to work within but our eventual goal is working on projects where the keys to the house are given to us and we eventually give them back all done, signed, sealed and delivered. This is the promised land.
This kitchen by Susan Ferrier is my inspiration for the palette and look and feel for the new house in #Naples. I want to inject aspects of the clients’ travels to South Africa and India which we have done so in their city house in #Unionville.
We LOVE this kitchen by Andrew Brown. It’s absolutely our jumping off point for the kitchen design. I don’t think the client loves the Jean de Merry chandeliers in the first picture but I would give my left arm to use those fixtures in THIS kitchen.
We are looking into using porcelain floors that look like wood. We love the idea of using them in a chevron or herringbone pattern too. It’s more costly but OH so impressive.
I need Klismos chairs in the house somewhere. This one from Robsjohn Gibbings is so beautiful.
The layout on the main floor doesn’t really allow for a separate dining room so we’re thinking of going with a custom dining banquette like this one also from Susan Ferrier. We need a table that has a pedestal base but opens up into an oblong table. I’ve got plans!!! Did I mention that the living room is two story?
Opening Artwork: Samantha French
A busy week ahead and I’m busy pondering which direction our #CarringtonPlace is going to head in. Coastal is definitely going to be a factor but how we are going to get there is up for grabs. Are we headed in a more Rosemary Beach direction or are we going to be more sophisticated and have a touch of the Upper East Side? We have a meeting on Monday with the clients to see what feels more right to them - I know they like a mix of styles… sooooo
Here are some of the images I’m going to be sharing with them to get a sense of what speaks to them.
This staircase is spare yet elegant. Do we want to be spare or do we want to add moulding and trim or maybe a hand-painted wallpaper in a grisaille?
Design: Gail Plechaty
If we go spare do we opt to make a statement with art?
Maybe we do something VERY unexpected and opt for limed wood panelling?
Design: Beth Webb
I love panelling with grasscloth in between. It’s sophisticated but in a more casual way non?
Design: Suzanne Kasler
I love this bedroom. It’s not very coastal but I love the elements of it. The colour and fabric choices can easily make it feel more coastal. What I love about this is that we don’t have tall ceilings in this house but I love how the big bold art over the bed creates the illusion of taller ceilings… hmmmm so many ideas I am brimming with!!!
Design: Brian J. McCarthy
Opening Art: Lola Donoghue