If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you will know that I am a proponent of phasing a project when the budget won't meet the needs & the wants. I am working toward taking on only whole house projects - so fewer projects but bigger projects but until that happens I am happy to work on a variety of projects varying in size and scale. Now what does that look like exactly? Let's get on the same page. My dream project is without budget, and involves me doing all of the interior design and the interior decorating down to the drawer liners in the linen closet and the dishes in the cupboards. A full house project will not have a client living in it until I'm ready to hand over the keys. This is the ideal dream project that I am working diligently on making a reality as I said, however in the interim a typical 'whole house' project looks slightly different.
Our #Brooklin project began almost two years ago. A new build in a subdivision outside of Toronto, the clients hadn't really bought much in the way of new furniture since university and after having two gorgeous boys who were in school full time, it seemed like the right time to do it up. The "Honey Do" list for this designer was rather large especially given the budget. We had a good budget to work with but when you paired it with the scope, it was immediately decided that phasing would have to happen. Now, we may have gone a bit over in the first phase budget wise but we got a lot of bang for our buck and we laid the groundwork for the overall look and feel of the entire house. Every room with the exception of the Mud Room was touched during Phase One which was really great. No one room however, was finished. We made sure that lighting, paint, wallpaper and furniture were done right away. The basement was finished - which was a "Honey Must Do," so the kids had a dust-free play space. We had some great pieces to work with that needing new upholstery or a paint job so that was a huge budget saver. We decided to just paint the kids' rooms and give them new lights but pushed drapery to phase two. Art work did not make it into Phase One. After living in the house for a year, we re-evaluated our goals based on how they were living in the home after our initial foray.
In Phase Two we needed some Media Storage, I insisted on art work in key areas, we had to revamp barstools - existing ones after our attempt at custom ones caused me to slip like Rob Ford on a weekend or week night for that matter. That's a blog for another day. We also wanted to add the drapery to the boys' rooms and finish off the mudroom with custom millwork so that the space was functional and looked good to boot. We also went to town and accessorized a few areas that needed some love and changed all the hardware in the kitchen to something decidedly snazzier.
Phase Two was about refining our efforts from Phase One and we're already talking about Phase Three. Having clients who are upfront about budget requirements empowers their designer to act on their behalf and achieve the best results even if it takes time to evolve. Being able to step back and evaluate the choices you made and then improve upon them never hurts. This includes putting a certain sectional that no one really likes up for sale and replacing it with the sexiest of chinoiserie adorned sofas and a pair of equally as delicious chairs to really add that je ne sais quoi to the Great Room. I mean it was a Great Room to start with but now..... Whoooooaaaaa NELLY.....