Hey all! I thought I’d pop into your in-boxes today with an iPhone peek at a recent project installation — Project HGD Concord Brick House, in a charming 1920s colonial revival. This phase entailed the family/living room & entry hall & stairs.
I gave an initial peek at this project in this post about the benefit of renderings to help homeowners visualize & have confidence in a designer’s vision.
The owners wanted to create a happy, yet still serene environment for their young family to gather. They felt nervous about their ability to incorporate color, and so had tried to decorate on their own with one-off purchases in “safe neutrals.”
Unfortunately, the results of these efforts ended up feeling a little depressing to them, rather than the sweet & subtle energy they actually desired.
Logistically, these spaces presented a few functional challenges:
- No ambient lighting (ceiling or wall)
- Radiators in awkward spots
- Asymmetrical entryways vs. the opposite windows & fireplace
- No good place for the TV except over the fireplace because there are so many windows. (There are worse problems!)
I also wanted to challenge them to branch out a bit beyond neutral land!! They loved blue but said they were also open to other colors.
Plans & Renderings
A couple of fabric schemes. The first is for the hallway. That all-over vine wallpaper was an amazing steal — it was discontinued, on clearance, and there were the EXACT number of rolls we needed… AND they were all of the same dye lot.
That kind of serendipity happens so rarely, but it’s thrilling when it does!
I knew they liked blue, and I also knew they wanted to incorporate blue significantly in the kitchen across the hallway in the next phase of their home design. I tried to get them to think about a lilac monochromatic scheme for the living room… but I also had a blue scheme in my back pocket.
The homeowners were on the fence about my suggestion to create wall of built-in bookcases, which could offer symmetry & storage — covering the radiator on one side and housing AV equipment on the other, as well as adding a window bench for a cozy cuddle spot. This is where the renderings were KEY. My clients could SEE how much more balanced and useful their space would be.
The functionality that the built-in unit would add to the space justified the expense to the homeowners, because it would improve quality of life in their home.
They were also undecided whether or not to reuse their current Pottery Barn sofa and chair (you can see them in the “before pics”), but the wife craved a sofa with a chaise end to lounge on in the evenings. Floor plans & renderings showed how a sofa with a chaise end would balance the asymmetry of sofa wall vs. the fireplace wall.
Obviously, I had the room rendered in the lilac color scheme. Wanna see which one they chose?
No professional photos here — just me & the phone. We still need to install the major art in the living room. (Which came in VERY weird — I’ll show you that toward the end. Just a part of the COVID labor/supply chain/messed up orders craziness.)
The perforated base cabinet above hides the radiator.
The base cabinet on the right above hides all the AV wiring, which we snaked from over the fireplace, through the basement ceiling, and up into this cabinet.
We incorporated the wife’s treasured double Windsor rocker.
Here’s a quick video tour of the space. The TV over the fireplace is a Frame TV, and we just hadn’t uploaded the selected artwork yet.
In the entry & stairs, we replaced the old, ’90s traditional stair runner & updated the light fixture. The wallpaper, with its all-over leaf pattern, made me think of a Scandinavian take on William Morris patterns.
The homeowners love Stickley furniture, and the mirror was one of their pieces that we made sure to incorporate into the design.
The blue herringbone stair runner is SO great, and I love the way the wallpaper reads more like a texture than an in-your-face pattern.
Overall, I think we succeeded in creating a color scheme that utilizes the grays & blues the homeowners love, but with a few luminous splashes of color & pattern for optimism & happiness!
As with seemingly everything else in the world these days, labor shortages, supply chain interruptions, and materials shortages have led to led to a HUGE upheaval in the design industry.
In addition to insanely long lead times (This project was almost 11 months from start to finish — something that should have taken 4-5 months before.), there’s been a significant uptick in damaged goods and orders that are just plain WRONG.
We were supposed to install 4 custom sized watercolor reproductions by Jess Franks over the sofa.
But, instead of reducing the stock sized art proportionally to my measurements, someone just cropped them to my measurements, but VERTICALLY. Example below!
CRAZY, right? My vendor is, of course, fixing the problem. They’re still beautiful, just not what we ordered and not what will fit the space. 21.25″ x 26″ each.
I’ll be posting these to my Chairish shop some time in the near future, donating the proceeds to the local food pantry here in Concord, NH. If you’re within driving distance and can do a local pickup, you can email me if you’re interested before I post them.
For further reading:
Hope you enjoyed this little peek!
See you next time!