We’re excited. Our favorite international client, whose has had us involved in the redesign of her London townhome and her Paris apartment, is now moving to New York and has asked us to redo her apartment. We love this client! She is smart, friendly, energetic, decisive and always optimistic, and her successes in life are a direct result of her hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and contagious enthusiasm that turns every project into a success.
She read our blog about our San Francisco redo, and now she wants us to redo N.Y. in 48 hours! Oh because I forgot one small detail about our favorite international client: She’s a little impatient, and my guess is she just saw “48 hours” and decided we could have her project done by this Friday! Whoa, I think. The 48 hours happened with a few months of planning! Did I forget to mention that?
To avoid any disappointments or misinterpretations of our talents, I may have some explainin’ to do! So, for our dearly impatient favorite international client, here’s our ten step program for what it really took to redo SF in 48 Hrs.
Step 1. Neutralize
Our SF project wasn’t a huge condo, so the first step was to create a cohesive backdrop to make it feel more spacious and give it a better flow. So, before we got there, we had our client paint the living room, dining room and kitchen the same shade of grey (our favorite, Worldly Grey by Sherman Williams), and replace her rugs with two large coir natural woven 9 x 12 rugs that filled her rooms.
Getting her to paint the kitchen cabinets the same color as the walls took some convincing. So we sent her these inspirations from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and that did the trick!
Step 2. Paint the floors
When she sent us the pictures of her newly painted condo, step two was a no brainer: In a not-so-subtle blog that we wrote shortly before our visit, we strongly encouraged our client to paint the floors of her kitchen white. It worked! After initial reticence on her part, and through the power of suggestion, she agreed to paint her kitchen floors white!
Step 3: Prioritize and Eliminate
Since her goal was to for it to look empty and spacious, we urged her to get rid of as much as possible. If you don’t love it, dump it or donate it and share the love.
What did she love and what could she live without? We needed to know her favorite pieces so we could use them to anchor the design and work around it. The answer? She loved her orange couch (and her cat!), and a couple of gorgeous antiques she’d purchased or inherited over time. They were great, and we were excited to oblige.
Step 4: Add color!
When she saw the result of our neutralization, she panicked and emailed us: “But I love color!” We heard her! With the orange couch a major player, we had to neutralize the walls and flooring or there would have been too much “noise” and no focus to the rooms. We knew we just had to add one other color to the mix, for the whole place would sing. But what would it be?
Step 5: Adjust the scale
There wasn’t a lot of “wrong” to her design, since she already had some beautiful pieces. But as the furniture and stuff disappeared, we knew that the few remaining pieces had to hold their own. Her lamps tended to be small, so we ordered a few new ones from Huff Harrington Home. And we made mental plans to group her smaller pieces of art together, to create more impact and better balance.
Step 6: Update!
We knew that you can have a giant makeover just by hitting refresh on lamps and art. Even just changing the lampshade or reframing a piece of art is all it takes to update a look. We didn’t want to ship lampshades but we did take a stab at bringing some art. (It helps when you own an art gallery – or when your designer is also an artist, like Sam Jones!)
Step 7: Assess
We arrived in San Francisco and did a quick run-through of the condo to assess any last minute needs, before we started moving furniture. Then the sign went up, and we banished our poor client from the three main rooms that we were tackling. And just to make sure she didn’t cheat, Sam painstakingly mounted pieces of foam core to all of the windowed doors.
Step 8: Fill in
Then we took off for the streets of San Francisco (oohing and aahing over the magnificent architecture and gorgeous stores), and rushed around for some last minute shopping. We couldn’t resist a bargain here and there, and when we saw the sign for GoodWill, in the fancy Pacific Heights neighborhood, we couldn’t believe our good luck! Of course, that’s when we found the last of our treasures: A priceless Hermes-like 1970’s white gourd lamp. (We didn’t love the pea green shade that came with it, but a quick coat of paint took care of that problem!)
Step 9: Fluff and Finish (and one big oops!)
In a flurry of activity, we fluffed until the place looked perfect … or at least, almost. That’s when our idea of lining the kitchen window with cute little boxes of green grass blades backfired big time! (Who knew that it was catnip? Ooops, don’t tell our client but prized possession number one suffered a little self-induced digestive issues!)
Step 10: Ta da!
With minutes to spare, the dream job came together and you know the rest. What fun we had!
So you see, darling Favorite International Client, 48 hours might have been a little misleading. But give us a couple of weeks, and our 10-step program, and we’ll be there! And as always, thanks for the opportunity … we can’t wait to get started.