Sorry for the silence the last two weeks. It has been a glorious whirlwind of design craziness and travel which I am loving to the fullest. Last week, The Partner and I braved the cold and visited my family in Ohio and Michigan. We were greeted by arctic blasts our first day but otherwise, our West Coast genes quickly found their footing and we survived thanks to multiple layers and a Ford Focus that channeled the fires of hell in its heater (that sucker cranked out some BTUs).
However, the other reason I have been MIA has been that I have been working with a fantastic couple in San Francisco putting together their first condo. I have been extremely lucky in that I was given a blank slate and told “do your thing”. Honestly, how many designers are blessed this early in their career to be given a blank slate, fantastic clients and a nice budget to carry out their vision. The only caveat to the whole design is that everything that I bring in must be able to stand up to two adorable but rather opinionated cats. The “Furballs” as I have come to name them, love all things with texture which means that things I would love to see incorporated into the design like slubby linen, chunky weaves, dark velvets and the like are all out. Instead, I have searched fabric vendors who specialize in commercial and hotel projects, furniture that on legs and has minimal fabric skirting and wall treatments that can withstand the occasional paw swipe.
We started with the bedroom design and I came up with four designs that depending on which direction they chose would dictate the path we took for the rest of the house. I find that when dealing with a whole house project, starting with one specified room that you can show the client in completion helps them envision the rest of the house – start small and work big essentially.
Aside from the Furballs, the other factor dictating the design was this…..
The view from their condo is fantastic. Every window has views of downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and the Bay. It is gorgeous so I wanted to be sure I created a design that could stand up to such natural beauty. With that said, I took my inspiration from the client’s existing furniture pieces. I sorta lied when I said I was working with a blank slate – my clients have a great cowhide chair which they wanted to work into the bedroom design. In addition to using the chair as inspiration, I drew upon the couples backgrounds (one works for the airlines and his partner recently moved from Washington, D.C.) The final designs drew heavily upon African and Asian influences to create a master bedroom that was global, masculine and most importantly….cat-friendly :)
Out of the above four designs, two quickly became front-runners with the clients. It was only after I showed them how the design would translate to the rest of the condo that they were able to make a final decision.
So tell me, which design do you think the client chose? If you were the client, which one would you have chosen? Okay, I am off to talk to look at couches and talk about lighting with the electrician.
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