What Can Hourly Design Do For You?

I think most people in general think it’s all or nothing with designers.  Either you hire them to work on your entire space or nothing at all!  Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.  In fact most designers provide hourly consultations and the hours can be used for whatever the client needs assistance with.  A good portion of my business is hourly consultations, especially in this economy where hiring a designer for full design is a luxury most cannot indulge in.  I have clients who have me come to their home for just a few hours, to get them moving in the right direction.  I have others who will work out their entire design themselves and then just consult with me before making final purchases in order to eliminate mistakes.  I’m their little insurance policy!  An hour or two of consultation can be a lot cheaper than having to re-do bad design choices. 

Let’s take a look at a bathroom for Meg Sexton, a client for whom hourly consultation was a great help.  She had a general idea of the look she was going for but was overwhelmed with finalizing all the details and needed a little guidance.  She had already chosen white subway tiles for the shower walls as well as the vanity.   Yet to be decided was flooring, an accent for the shower walls, faucet/lighting  fixtures and paint.  We started with the floor tile.  We found a dark brownish-taupe tile that had an almost metallic overlay on it.  The metallic is subtle but just adds a touch of polish without the floor becoming glossy.  Next, I found her a limestone mosaic that we had installed as a border in the shower.  We originally wanted something with less beige in it but I found this as a remnant and it had the right price tag attached to it.  It turns out I actually like the mix of warm and cool tones in it.  It helps tie together the mix of them going on in the rest of the bathroom.  Before we move on from the tiling, please take a look at the tile on both the floor and walls.  In the shower, it’s installed all the way up to the ceiling.  Always run your tile to the ceiling….it just looks better!   As far as the floor tile I like to use the largest tile the space will allow for.  Here is the rule, “The larger the tile, the larger it makes the area look”.  It’s an illusion for your eye.  I’ve gone head to head with clients on this one. I’m not generally a bragger but on this topic, I’ve always been right!  Plus…think less grout…less cleaning. I never use anything smaller than a 12×12 for flooring unless it’s a mosaic and if a 12×12 is chosen by a the client I advise them to use a 12×18 instead.  You’ll get the same full amounts of tiles laid side to  side as a 12×12 but a 12×18 just seems to have a more updated look to it.

    

Courtesy of Meg Sexton Photography

Courtesy of Meg Sexton Photography

Courtesy of Meg Sexton Photography

The aqua-blue paint we chose makes this bathroom feel so tranquil.

Courtesy of Meg Sexton Photography

Courtesy of Meg Sexton Photography

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your home or event,  please CONTACT US for more information.

Warming Up A Sterile Office

I have never understood why the majority of commercial offices are so dang cold.  And in cold I’m not talking about temperature I’m talking about the feel of it design wise.  One of the reasons I went into design was because I loved how the design of a room could not only impact a person visually but also mentally.  I find it even more important to have a warm and inviting office when its use is for the medical industry.  I see it time and time again.  White walls, grey commercial carpet usually with burgundy or blue office chairs.  I’ll also bet it’s adorned with some terrible photography with some sort of inspirational quote underneath it.  Oh…and don’t forget…it’s probably hung 2 feet higher on the wall than it should be! 

Many patients have enough anxiety when going to their appointments and I wish more doctors, dentists, therapists etc would understand that by creating a warmer environment for their patients that their overall experience…will make them happier!   My sister-in-law (Teri Sorkin, MFT) is a marriage and family therapist and she enlisted my help in making her office an inviting, safe place where her patients could open up to her.  She supplied the sofa and chair and I shopped for and styled the rest.  Now, a dental or doctors office most likely would not be styled to this extreme but in her industry it works.   

 

I always love infusing natural elements into designs and in this case I created a succulent wall garden to breathe some life into the space.  I found these two wrought iron votive holders for a price I couldn’t turn down, but putting candles in this office…well it just seemed silly.  I still wanted to use them though and swapping rocks and succulents in place of candles completely re-purposed them.  I know using real versus faux flowers is a big debate in the design world buy my motto is to use whatever works best in the space and the person caring for it.  As long as they look VERY realistic then I am OK using faux.  In this case, faux was necessary because succulents just wouldn’t have survived nor would Teri want to maintain them.

 

I feel that styling it is THE most important part of a design and is where the biggest mitakes are made by homeowners.  It is the jewlery for the room and without it…it is missing it’s personality!  Styling is available by the hour and can really transform a space.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your home or event,  please CONTACT US for more information.

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