sometimes m21 just refuses to follow his own advice- if another designer with a blog asked him if they should publish pictures of a work not yet completed, maison21 would say 'no, wait until the project is completely finished and styled just the way you want it, to best showcase your work' (and he has given out that very advice, several times), but he'd also tell any budding designer to document their work in process themselves, just so they have a record of it in case the project never gets to the 100% finished ready-to-photograph stage. 'cuz that's one of the dirty little secrets of the design world- lots of projects just don't finish. no, it's not because of scandalous fights between designer and client- yes, that happens, but not nearly as often as you'd think given the rumors that swirl around our industry (hasn't happened to m21 yet, either- we'd like to think it's our charming personality and ginormous talent ;-), but it's probably just luck of the draw).
instead, it's usually very mundane reasons why a project doesn't finish: money runs out (all too common in this hideous economy); the client gets bored, and simply runs out of steam; there is a lifestyle change like moving, a marriage beginning or ending, or the sale of the home, et cetera, et cetera... then there are those projects that just turn out not worthy of photographing- and yes, sadly sometimes this happens too- no matter how talented the designer is, things can turn out badly because the designer, while hired for their talent and taste, is sometimes overruled, and things like stripper poles in the bedroom, or a baby grand surrounded by velvet ropes in the living room, end up spoiling what would have been a good thing (maison21 has worked on one or two of those- they've been positive experiences because the client gets what they want, and that makes both m21 and his clients very happy- it's their home after all- but oy vey, m21 ain't gonna include a stripper pole in his portfolio)!
then, there are the projects that turn out even better then expected, which brings us to today's post, and why m21 is ignoring his own advice to wait until his project is 100% done and is offering a sneak peek...
m21 has been working on a modest project with a very limited budget and did an installation of lighting and accessories in the residence over the weekend, and while we still need to bring in a few finishing touches (curtains aren't up, some custom brown & cream ikat pillows for the blue chairs shown are yet to be sewn, and a bit more art needs to found), but we were so in love with the photos we took to document the room in process, we are like a kid on christmas eve who just can't wait until morning to open presents, and need to share RIGHT NOW!
a little background- maison21 was brought into the project on the recommendation of a mutual friend; the client, a young screenwriter, had just undergone one of those pesky lifestyle changes and was left without a lick of furniture in the living room of his small bungalow style cottage- and not a whole lot of money to do much about it, either. he needed seating (and fast) but also wanted to upgrade his look a bit. rather then make some bad ikea purchases on his own, the client asked m21 for help, and together we devised a plan to use in-stock, quick ship items from inexpensive mass market retailers like room & board, west elm, and cb2, and layer it with lots of vintage, and one or two custom items, to keep it feeling unique and personal. m21 wanted to integrate the client's few existing pieces, like a 50's danish modern credenza with the quirky 90+ year old cottage style of the house, and the concept behind the design was sort of a vacation house visited by generations of the same family over time: gramma & grandpa used their leftovers and castoffs to initially furnish the place, and now the grandkids are bringing in some of their own hip belongings (imaginary gramma & grandpa had fabulous taste, as do imaginary grandkids, btw ;-). the result we were hoping for with this crazy theme was comfortable, modern, lived-in, and eclectic- but NOT looking store bought (though much of it was). m21 thinks he succeeded, and is kinda proud of the near-finished product- especially given the tight budget we were working with, and the sheer amount of purchases said budget needed to cover- but YOU can judge for yourself, with our sneak peek before and after photos below...
hollywood bungalow, before m21:
hollywood bungalow, after m21:
we'll post more pictures once everything is in place and discuss sources, etc., but for now, we just couldn't wait to share! hope you enjoy!