August 12, 2012:
Is simply, I redesign your house.
I should start off with, I don't arrive at your house expecting to and if you invite me for dinner expecting me to or hoping that I will, you will be entirely disappointed. After 15 years give or take, freebies aren't really my style unless I love and adore you. I also am very much aware that if I give you free advice, you will A) maybe or maybe not take it b) maybe or maybe not butcher it c) ignore it entirely. I take zero responsibility if it turns out crappy but reserve the right to take full credit if it rocks the kazbah.... and you think I'm joking. HA!
So we went to dinner at a dear friend's house this past weekend and I was immediately struck by how warm and inviting the house was in a decidedly cool and funky way - LOTS of unexpected despite it being a suburban home. I don't care how much money you spend, how many gorgeous pillows you adorn the house with, if your house doesn't ooze with your own warmth and character, it's not a successful design. I get no greater compliment than to hear other people's impression of our client's homes after we are finished with them - specifically when they say "It feels just like you...."
As designer's we are our own worst clients and often we need the trusted eye of a fellow designer or staff person to help us with our own spaces. We also tend to need a magazine shoot to finish off rooms because we are too busy doing it for everyone else. I've waxed on about that since the day this blog was born but it is worth reminding people. It's why we are SO FREAKING STRESSED out when anyone new comes to our house. I'm laughing just thinking about relatives who stopped by this morning to pick up clothes we are handing down to their little boy that Luke has outgrown - they walked into a shoe explosion, dining table piled high, camera equipment, (notice this isn't even KID RELATED YET) lego, books, computers, the Olympics blaring and Asa and I struggling to down our first coffees of the day. There are new books out on the market featuring Designers at Home in their own homes but man... I should do a REALITY version of it for a tv show or something. I mean you would be horrified on our behalf I'm certain.
I'm sure my friend was equally as nervous to have us over but at the same time I think she was glad to have someone discuss different ways to tweak what was already fantastic and on its way. She's recently decided to move her office/studio into their GIGANTIC basement which has massive ceilings and is very cool space already. So many people are choosing this as an option and it makes a lot of fiscal sense. It also allows you to justify embellishing parts of your home as a legit business expense to serve as showroom. I'm SO in favour of this and would do the same if I lived in a home that allowed me to have the space to make it happen. So how do you make it work?
The Studio space is being shared with a recreational space which includes fireplace, TV Audio equipment, sectional, exercise equipment, music equipment and a desk area for kids. Here are a few ideas I've whipped up to maximize all the positives in the space and build on what they've already got. This alone will be a fanstastic tool for A to share with her clients to show them how they can create versatile living spaces that serve different functions/family members etc.