12 June 2011

retail therapy (a before and after)

every design project is a bit different- sometimes the budget is huge, everything is custom, and the client simply nods yes or no, and signs the checks; and sometimes the project is bare bones and bare budget, involving some advice and planning, and then the client goes off on their own to finish the project- for better or for worse.   today's project falls somewhere in between that spectrum-  the client is a successful entertainment creative, who loves to relax by indulging in a bit of retail therapy in her down time (don't we all?), so after the initial strategizing (space planning and an over-all design scheme determined), the project turned into sort of a collaboration of two online shopping mavens, seeing who could find the best solution at the most realistic price, and m21's role developed into more of a shopping buddy and editor, than a design dictator.

of course, the project wasn't all fun and games-  there were parameters and constraints to work within, in this case most significantly the fact that the residence is a rental, and the client knows she won't be there for any significant length of time, as she plans on returning to the real estate market when she finds the right property.  still, she wanted to be comfortable for the time she rents, however short or long that may be, and have a home that reflects her personal style,  and hopefully acquire possessions that will smoothly transition to the next residence.  not so difficult a task, really. the real challenge was working with the existing "features" of the rental which we couldn't remove or alter in any way- like ugly beige wall to wall shag, cheap plastic wood blinds, etc... so we did what i'd advise any renter to do- worked magic with paint, knowing that we will have to repaint before she leaves; changed out the ugly contractor-grade light fixtures for much chic-er lights, carefully storing the originals for eventual replacement; and lastly, selecting apartment sized furnishings that were smaller in scale, yet with big impact- dramatic and colorful enough to draw attention *away* from the carpet/bland interior architecture we don't want you to notice. a challenge, but a fun one.

the furnishings were from every practically every online retailer and discounter you can think of (we told you, our client likes to shop- and so do we); but everything was all mixed up so it didn't look like everything was bought from one source (hate that "recreate the ballard catalog" look). we also hope the end result doesn't betray that anything was even purchased from a discounter at all! (*shudder*)  this was helped by our client's desire to mix her existing traditional with a healthy dose of modern, and to go for a feminine, yet not too girly, overall look. sources included pottery barn (curtains), wisteria (lantern), a faux zebra rug, ethan allen (settee), west elm (side table), z gallerie (accessories), ballard (dining bench and carved side tables), and even the dreaded ikea (chrome lamps), and craigslist (dining chairs);  we also used some local resources like empiric (for my fave convex mirror, used so frequently it's almost an m21 trademark) and blueprint furniture (dining area pedestals) and room service (saarinen-style marble top dining table).

so without further ado, here's the reveal of the living area:

and if that doesn't look so special to you, maybe the before picture will change your mind:
and no, the awkwardly  placed windows weren't enlarged in photoshop, or the picture stretched to make the ceilings higher- it's all curtain and paint trickery!
here's the finished dining area (already showed this one to you in its not-quite-completed form):
yes- much drama, but necessary to make the dining area of the open plan space feel special.
and again, the before picture:
what a difference removing the hideous rental track lighting fixture, made, as well as slapping some bright paint on the wall to define the shallow alcove of the dining area (the existing mirror divided the wall in two, so we moved it to hang vertically in the entry, where it echoes the front door).
hope that you enjoyed this before n' after of a m21 project, and we also hope that our "retail therapy" project will inspire other renters to upgrade their spaces.  just because one rents is no reason to cheat yourself, and not have a stylish space that feels like a permanent home.   it really is possible to create a home with a uniquely personal look by utilizing resources democratically available to everyone no matter where you are- on a realistic budget too! (even if as in this case, you have to bring in a lil help to make it happen...)

18 comments:

Raina Cox said...

So so LOVELY. Your client must be over the moon!

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Oh...I love both rooms. I love the orange and pink together especially the orange sofa. Great job!

Karena said...

Wow great job Christian I love to see before & afters!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Come and enter my amazing Giveaway from the Novica Artisans!

maison21 said...

thank you, raina, nita and karena!

Bri@Meyouandawiener said...

Oh snap every renter showed take note, that's one awesome space!

Brillante Interiors said...

Love the colors, that hot pink on the wall and the orange pattern on chairs are amazing. Stunning transformation.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Feminine without being girly describes it perfectly! Love the colors especially!

SHERRY HART said...

Just unbelievable! You really rocked it. Love everything about it.

maison21 said...

thanks, bri, albarosa and kim!

maison21 said...

thank you, sherry!

pink . gray . gold said...

love it! truly admire the bold colors + style - thanks for sharing!

My Notting Hill said...

Love it all - it is quite a transformation. The fabric on the black chairs is terrific!

Sketch42 said...

I love it! U did a great job.

tula said...

everything is so lovely with the maison magic touch!

in the night sky said...

Wow, the rooms look beautiful! Especially love the curtains in the living area.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Just catching up on reading blogs now after my trip. Wow did I miss something, this looks FANTASTIC, Christian! Was so great to meet you, btw!

Bromeliad said...

Nice work Mr. Maison.

Modern Country Lady said...

Just found you through Bri's blog ( Meyouandawiener)- what a gorgeous tranformation you did here!! What a bit of taste can achieve , eh!!It's a difference of day and night.Youi are the BOMB , hahaha!! :-))