Every project has a sweet spot, a defining moment.
Even on projects where everything is flowing seamlessly, there is still an apex. The best is when we really drill down and unveil the crux of the design dilemma and creatively–often collaboratively–solve it.
DARTMOUTH, MA –
AN ELEGANT FARMHOUSE
We have worked with many amazing clients, and this project followed suit. Our first project together was in 2015 - The Main Bedroom. Then, in 2016, we re-decorated the Dining Room and Entryway, adding board and batten details, wainscoting, new area rugs, paint, furniture and lighting. The two stand-out elements in that phase, for me, were the lantern in the Entryway and the linear chandelier in the Dining Room. Both were so key in defining the style of those two spaces.
Most recently, in 2019, we worked together again on the family's Den and Powder Room. Adding wallpaper, a custom mantel and custom vanity along with all new furniture and a custom-cut area rug, truly elevated the space. Some have seen before pictures of this space, and have wondered what was so wrong with the space that it needed intervention. It truly wasn't bad, it was in great condition, and some people may have even preferred the old look, but it just wasn't to the client's taste.
A lot of projects begin this way - motivated by simply wanting to have a space that reflects one's one taste and lifestyle.
Over the years, this family has grown into their home, and with these changes has truly made it their own. In sharing that journey with me, I have had many takeaways both professionally and even personally. During one appointment, back in 2015 on our first project, I was nearing the due date of my youngest daughter. The client / Mom of the house, gave me the name of a book and a summary of its topic - helping a baby develop healthy sleep routines (without all of the crying). I read that whole book, and my daughter and my whole family benefited so much from her advice. I - for the first time - had a child who actually slept. Together, we had created a lovely space and in the process, I learned how to help a baby sleep - that eternal mystery for so many families, including my own. How is that for a win-win?!
FAIRHAVEN, MA –
A HISTORIC HOME IN THE CENTER OF TOWN
This project was featured in the South Coast Almanac’s Home & Holiday issue of 2019. The homeowner (also repeat clients) had started to furnish their new home with the help of a retail shop’s in-store, free design services, but that process left a bit to be desired. We came in and revamped the layout of the furniture they had already purchased, and the rest was all “new”. We set out to create a space for one half of the duo who loves antiques, and the other half who didn't want anything to look too old. Adding layers, without adding too much "stuff" became the end goal. Window Treatments, custom-cut Area Rugs that appropriately fill the oddly shaped Living and Family Rooms were instrumental.
Since we began working together in 2014, I have returned to the house for several projects - once to add Seasonal Decor for the Fairhaven Historical Society's Holiday House tour in 2016, and again in 2019 to update accessories for the Fall / Winter issue of The South Coast Almanac, where this home's Living Room mantle made it onto the magazine cover.
In 2019, we also collaborated on re-decorating and re-organizing the second floor Playroom and Family Room. Truly another fantastic family to work with, I always look forward to the next phone call (or text), initiating a new project because they are always trusting and open to new ideas as is evidenced by the sophisticated, deep and moody Dining Room wallpaper, they didn't see that one coming, but were totally on board with it, and it came out amazing.
NEW BEDFORD, MA –
A DOWNTOWN CONDO
A complete transformation took this construction-grade 2-bed/2-bath condo into a luxurious retreat for a hard-working professional and her adorable bulldog (Hi Sal!). The main request – minimize the amount of white, absolutely nothing could be sterile, patina was integral and texture was tantamount. Back in an era when White Kitchens were everywhere, this felt a bit like working in a different world, and I loved every second of it.
The bathroom tile scheme is such an important and successful part of this project; however, getting it delivered is a story in an of itself. Think, narrow, cobblestone streets meet giant 18-wheeler freight truck. Despite my highlighting this very important detail to the shipping company, there I was on delivery day, parked just outside downtown next to said freight truck, loading tile into the back of my minivan at 6:00pm on a Wednesday, questioning every life decision I'd ever made. With three young children in the middle row bribed into silence with french fries, we got it done because I wasn't about to let that guy leave town with our tile!
Just a few short months after this project completed, we started a new project together - a new commercial space for this client on the first floor of the building. Somehow during that project, I was also hauling tile, but this time it was a gorgeous natural black slate and I only helped move it about 5-feet into the building. For commercial spaces, time is money for the clients - as every minute costs them in a different way than a residential project. I was happy to help, and I needed a workout anyway. Another win-win!
MATTAPOISETT, MA –
A MULTIPURPOSE DEN
As I write the copy for these project stories, I am reflecting a lot, and I feel so blessed to have had so many good people as clients. Working together since 2015, we have made changes to every single room in the house - basement rec room included. Some changes were small tweaks, and others - like this Den - were a complete overhaul. For a small, contained space – it has a lot of bells and whistles. Previously, the space was used as a large mudroom, but the family needed to get a bit more functionality out if it.
Changing the doors from solid wood to French Doors (thereby adding the glass panes) gives the room more light, makes it more inviting with an open feeling, while upholding the sound barrier needed to function well as a home office. The space has two of these doors, and they give the space much better flow with the rest of the first floor, which directly impacts the way the space is used, which directly impacts the client's lives - THAT is what Interior Design in all about. A large TV and comfortable club chairs make it a great spot for morning coffee and watching the news (if you dare), mid-day laundry folding, a chat with the family and an evening cocktail.
While the new doors might be one of my favorite changes, another positive change came in the custom-designed pull-out table. Tucked just beneath the center portion of the desktop, it can be pulled out to provide additional work space, and then stored away when more floor space and a more casual vibe is preferred. With that, we maximized the space's functionality in a stylish way.
SOUTH DARTMOUTH, MA –
AN AMPLE FAMILY ROOM
Sometimes clients buy a fantastic house, but the interiors just don’t reflect their taste, and their furniture just doesn’t quite fit right. Also with two very young children that kept these clients very busy. This multipurpose family room is quite large, with enough space for different areas. Our floor plan helped to define a separate music and play area from the more lounging, tv-watching area.
Another challenge was to tame the sometimes intense sunlight streaming in through the roof windows in the play area. At certain times of the year, the daytime sun could get too bright or too hot, so we installed custom shades that are barely visible when not in use.
Many of my previous clients will randomly text me when they come across something we may have talked about, and once in a while, I do the same! This recently happened with this project when apparently there was a certain diaper incident in the play area. The client wrote to tell me how happy they were that the rug in the play area is machine-washable (I'll spare you the graphic details). The moral of the story is, selecting family-friendly, functional design elements are always a good plan, and this was no exception.
SOUTH DARTMOUTH, MA –
A YOUNG GIRL'S BEDROOM
Brave and creative clients are very fun to work with. When this client’s daughter landed the smallest bedroom in the house, Mom wanted it to be fantastic for her. On this project, I did two things I'd never done before. First, we used a series of different soft sheer fabrics to design a custom wall hanging, and second, we used a colored fabric as the interliner on the sheer roman shades for a soft pop of color. This means the roman shades are actually three layers - a sheer fabric face, with a solid coral fabric behind that, with a white liner on the window side so the coral color doesn't show on the exterior of the house. It almost appears as the roman shades were glowing with the light of a sunset.
Also, in speaking about rugs (reference previous Project Story), a tale of survival for this rug too - yes, the rug there in the pictures - with the WHITE STRIPE! Two days after we installed it (TWO DAYS!), their puppy brought a bird in from the yard and proceeded to “play with it” right on this very rug. A Bernese Mountain Dog doesn't exactly play gently with a bird (adorable culprit pictured below). The bird didn’t make it, sadly, but the rug rinsed clean and was good as new! Proof positive again that family and pet friendly design elements make all the difference!