It would seem a crystal ball should be in order, if we were blessed with the gift of seeing into the future for life’s unexpected events. After all, if we could know something is about to occur, we would not be caught off guard. Life is just not always so easily predicted, nor its circumstances or situations!
Just this week, after logging onto Facebook, I unexpectedly downloaded a nasty malware that decided to take up unwelcome residence on my computer. I consider my computer a most valued “assistant”, so the thought of it sitting in the shop for several days, felt like a part of me was missing. (You know the one? I think we refer to it as our right arm.) Fortunately, I did have a back-up hard drive, a laptop and an additional computer, but there were some important bits and pieces I still had on the trusty business workhorse and I didn’t want to cross-contaminate the others. Still, I wasn’t too worried. I have a great company, Creative Computers, for whom I could rely upon to restore things back to working order and keep me moving along. That kept me from panicking or making poor decisions, which might have had a more costly impact, later on.
This little bump-in-the-road, made me think about solving problems in interiors. In fact, when I was in design school, I took a course with just that title. I really enjoyed the class as it made us combine both the logical and creative sides of interior design. It has fared me well, in many of my jobs. Even if I pre-plan, there will inevitably be something that will present an opportunity for me to rise to the occasion and to save the day – or rather – the project!
Interior Design is truly a discipline. Managing projects, clients and resources takes focus and a calm approach to each area. I’ll share with you, a few “behind-the-scenes” moments, where I had to think on my feet and “plan for the unexpected”. (To protect the privacy of clients, only some of the design issues will be shared.)
There was some question, in this client’s builder’s specs, about the library’s built-in bookcases. The client thought the builder would be providing stained, wood cabinets and she received MDF painted cabinets. Since the ceiling had cedar beams, the room was not properly connected.
Decorative painting to the rescue! The client did not want to rip out what had been placed, so we hired Whitney Preslar Bayer, my premium decorative artist, and the age-old art of faux graining transformed these from flat to fabulous! She even added knots and burl “inlay” in the recessed spaces. What once was a disappointment, is now a work of art!
In the instance of this impressive stone and brick fireplace, in a lower level entertainment room, a clock outlet had been placed for artwork to be illuminated. After considering the desire to eliminate this function, the client wanted it to “go away”.
The solution was somewhat simple, thanks to my electrician, Carlton Staples. I found the appropriate light fixture, had it placed it in an upward position, and they now have added accent lighting and an extra glow, when the fireplace is not in use.
This lovely window layout was provided for me to adorn in a showhouse I completed. (I did an entire home, at once!) So what could be the challenge? Just think of how you might add softness and a veil of privacy, while honoring the builder’s desire to allow everyone to see the lovely outdoor space, below. And . . . look at the expanded curve. This was a head scratcher!
Here was my solution – linen sheer roman shades, banded in the same silk strié as the attached valances. By treating the windows individually, I was able to maintain an airy feeling while bringing in some warmth through the texture. We used the side banding to hide the rings for raising and lowering the shades. The option would be available, to add a privacy liner, for a future homeowner.
In the same showhouse, the master bathroom had lots of beautiful features – a barrel ceiling, built-in shelves and a back wall of mosaic tile made for an architectural feast! Now, how to treat the window?
Thank goodness for wood trim! The builder still wanted an open view and I honored that while softening the edges with a sheer, metallic swagged treatment. Eventually, the windows could receive a decorative glass treatment or shaped, iron shutters with fabric placed behind them.
The moral of this story? Do everything you can to plan for the best, anticipate some challenges and don’t panic. There’s a professional who can keep the ship sailing smoothly and hold your hand if the waves get bumpy!
Cheers to you! Wanda