04 October 2009

sneekedy peekedy (before & after of an in-process m21 project)

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!

12 comments:

Suzy said...

It's looking great Christian - can't wait to see the rest of the photos!

mary said...

Christian, it is amazing. Even the color change from stark white to ivory (?) makes a huge difference. The mix of the deep aqua and chocolate---the rug and the books and especially the round mirror. The touches of color in the books...it sings.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Looks fantastic so far, Christian!
Yay for round mirrors and zigzag rugs!... just those two things made a world of difference. Love the floor lamp and the bookshelf styling and everything else too. Can't wait to see more!

Tisha said...

cheers to you maison 21! it looks fabulous! you did an amazing job, and thank you for the sneakedy peekedy.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome! The room looks great. As a designer, I completely understand what it takes to make something so lovely with a super tight budget. As always, I love your candor.
Sonya

Habitually Chic said...

It looks great! And I thank you for explaining to readers why we somtimes can't post photos of every job!

David said...

Nicely done Sir, I look forward to seeing more.

maison21 said...

suzy- thank you! i will hopefully have new curtains/pillows in place soon to take some more pics- i just *can't* until the curtains that are there right now are taken down- they just ain't right. the art might not happen on schedule, so we'll just bring some of our own over for the photos!

mary- thank you so much! the paint changed color just because of the different time of day photographed- the client, in the interest of time/money, choose not to repaint. i was scared the chocolate/aqua would seem a bit tired as it's been so overused the past few years, but working with the existing wall color limited my options- so i'm glad you like it!

tracy- thank you! the very first thing i suggested was the round mirror- in a sense, it all flowed off that one piece...

tisha- no, *THANK YOU*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sonya- glad you appreciate the candor- i think our profession is too often wrapped in mystery, so i believe in telling it like it is. i think many designers *like* perpetuating the mystique for fear if people see behind the curtain, they will think they can do it themselves, no professional help needed.

i take the opposite approach- if the homeowner thinks they can do it all by themselves, i say go for it! and i also challenge them to achieve the results i can given the same room and same budget- they can make it nice sure, but it takes talent and experience to make it truly special...

thank you, heather- always appreciate a compliment from a peer! and yes, people outside our profession have no idea what happens on projects that never see the light of day, so as i said, i like to tell it like it is...

maison21 said...

thank you, david- just read your blogger profile- glad to meet a fellow mayo hater! it is evil. ;-)

Sharon said...

That mirror is just what that wall needed. Lovely. Will be checking back for more.

katiedid said...

Fantabulous!I love that rug...west elm is it? You are so good with the accessories too!

honey living said...

i absolutely adore your inspiration here - the idea of a multigenerational family adding to a place over time - what a fantastic approach to the look you wanted...do you always have concepts like that? love it!