Monday, October 5, 2015

I did it YOUR way

I've heard  it said several times before when new clients are inquiring about hiring me for a remodeling project or new construction that they ask, "I just want to be sure that your style matches my style". 

While I understand the overall goal and the underlying concern, I often think the question they mean to ask is, "I just want to make sure that your personality compliments mine", which to me, is the most important thing when working on a long term project with somebody new. 

To be honest with you, early on in my decorating career (going on 15 years ago already)! I used to be concerned about my style complimenting someone else's style in regards to offering home improvement advice and selections-(could I think outside the box if I didn't have an appreciation for their taste and preferences?), but having been at this for a while now, I realize how my credibility and my design awareness has evolved and matured. 
In other words, 15 years ago, I may or may not have freaked out if you didn't hire me to transform your home to 'my style'-the Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic look-which was my original 'claim to fame' in starting Room For Change. 

Now, however while I do still have an appreciation of the casual, cottage look that Rachel inspired in so many of us, I can honestly say that the older I get, the more I am drawn to a cleaner, fresher aesthetic. 
I find myself getting excited when a client wants to push the envelope when it comes to contemprorary design or even mid-century modern elements in a room. I'm loving the mix of the rustic-urban look and have completed several houses with that vibe throughout. (Think Chip and Joanna Gaines-from HGTV).

Certainly my goal has never been to motivate someone to replace their style with mine and that is even truer today with the projects I find myself working on-
This one below, I've blogged in snippets before. I have been working with Tom and Tracy for the last couple of years on updating their beautiful executive style story and a half.  They are a great example of a couple who has not only has forward thinking instincts and killer online research skills, but they dared to choose boldly when updating their 1990's oak filled interior. 
This one was outside of my comfort zone. I can even be so bold to say that it wasn't 'my style'. 
and that in some small way, I helped them to get there. 
So, you see, it's really not at all about MY style. 
It's about yours. 
And me helping you find yours, shop for yours, and achieve yours throughout YOUR home. 
It's your home, not mine after all. 
If you need help figuring out your style, I don't care if you jack mine, just know that when you hire me, the goal is to identify, define and design YOURS.
Let me know if you need help with that. 

Here, I placed the "AFTER" pic on top, with the only "BEFORE" pic I took below. (Sorry about the not-quite-the-same angle). The window in top pic would be to the left of TV.


 Here's almost the same can see the wall of windows. We minimized the oak in this room by eliminating the oak entertainment center, painting the oak bookshelves that hug the stairwell, and replaced the oak accent tables with dark greyish/espresso pieces. 
 Every wall was lightened up with "Edgecomb Grey" paint and the carpet was replaced with an oatmeal colored high end berber. We reconfigured the furniture layout in the room and ordered new comfortable and contemporary pieces. 
The lime green accents in the room were a risk for me, but I am so glad that they felt comfortable enough for me to feel comfortable enough for them to do it. 
I told them if I lost sleep over it even one night, they would have to rethink that color on the chair and ottoman....but I slept like a baby we ordered! :)
UBU in Grandville was their go-to place to shop and Woodways Cabinetry became our new best friends in designing and building many custom pieces throughout the living room and master bedroom and bath. (ie: the long dresser below, which houses mechanicals for a remote control flat screen tv!!

 New paint colors in this room, nightstands, lamps, headboard and bedding. It's a nice soft retreat now and I even talked Tom into painting the oak in here, to compliment the fresher creamy white trim in the master bath.

Stay tuned for some more posted projects that cover a wide range of design influences.


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