Yesterday I wrapped up a consulting job in Alameda with a client who has a classic Craftsman style home. When I got her initial email, I was thrilled to be invited over to see the house. It is always so fascinating to see what people do with older houses - whether they totally renovate and modernize, or keep thing very true to the original style. This house had a modern kitchen, but for the most part, much of the interior (built-ins, moldings) were intact.
The client approached me with the goal of freshening up two main public rooms, the Living Room and the Den. She had some existing furniture that had been through several moves, as well as some "finds" from Craig's List, including a pair of black Barcelona Chairs. She asked me first, "What could be done to make these rooms more inviting?" After that she added, "I'm really cheap, by the way." Ha! I love a good challenge. So I said no problem, I would be limiting my research to items that were very, VERY reasonably priced. Online, we go!
My first thought: You need Rugs!
Rugs are instrumental in bringing a room together. Start with that, and you can build a whole room around them. Decorators say this kind of thing all the time; I didn't make it up. Rugs can be wildly expensive, but you can also find them for super cheap if you do your research. After shopping different sources online (major retailers, Ebay, Craig's List, and consignment stores), I found a cotton dhurrie from World Market for like zero dollars. Well, more like $199. for a 6'x6'. I knew we could build a scheme around it with the black Barcelona Chairs and some additional, more colorful accessories. I pinned it on her board, and low and behold, with a Sale and a loyalty coupon from the store, she scored it for less than half price! Talk about a good deal.
With the rug purchased, I selected items for the Den that I thought would be on budget and easy to purchase. The Living Room came together in much the same way. Colorful, Chic and Cheap!
You can see the different options I researched for this project by going to my Pinterest page and clicking on Encinal|Den and Encinal|Living Room. I truly enjoyed the challenge of "working cheap" but finding stylish home furnishings for this client.
Contact me if you need some fresh ideas for your house!
All the cool people I know started blogging about a decade ago, so I'm a bit behind on the whole concept.
But now that I have my new gig here as a designer-for-hire, hopefully I can share some fun tidbits with everyone about the world of interior design. Some say that interior design must be so Fabulous! Like with a capital "F". Sure, it can be that, sometimes. Other times, you just want the sofa to fit through the door. Over the last dozen years I have seen so many amazing homes, and it always astounds me how much work really goes into creating these environments. Emails, phonecalls, paperwork, budgets, contracts, lead times, discontinued items, etc. So glamorous! Not!
With this blog I hope to share some things I've learned over the years, for example:
- the best vendors in the Bay Area
- where to spend, where to skimp
- how to work with subcontractors
- common mistakes to avoid
- how to avoid trends but stay cool and timeless
- where to find unique items locally
Join me, as we explore the crazy world of interiors!