With “Before and After” pictures, our Huff Harrington design team offers 10 tips for a quick but dramatic NYC makeover, done in just 48-hours and a pre-Christmas deadline!
One of our favorite clients, who saw the blog about our 48 hour redo in San Francisco, asked us to do the same for her – and get it done quickly, before Christmas. Because of our mutually busy schedules, we had to omit the usual site visit, so there was no chance to customize our design with fabrics and furniture from our favorite designer showrooms. Instead, we spent 48 hours on the fly, and, along with all the other happy Christmas shoppers, raided New York’s finest retail emporiums for the kinds of grab and go accessories that can help turn any design project into an instant Wow!
Using our client’s artwork as the inspiration for the redesign, we picked out some color schemes, moved some furniture, and hit the streets … and the stores … and a lot of Christmas shoppers in the process! Within 48 hours, we packed our bags and headed to the airport, a little sore and weary, but mostly buzzing from the adrenaline rush and the results: Here our some before and afters to give you the idea, followed by our top 10 design tips for an instant makeover:
Here are our top 10 tips for a quick redesign:
- Determine a color scheme. We were inspired by our client’s artwork (actually photography of gorgeous ornate gilded word and iron work) which created a warm glow that we decided to echo with hints of gold and yellow, to complement the mostly gray and white interiors.
- Play with furniture placement: We appreciated the clients’ placement of their sofa (since we knew from trying it different ways that it was the only way it would fit), but its placement created dead space that couldn’t really be part of the room. Our challenge was to find a way to use the space as a backdrop vignette for the entire room.
- Create a flow to make the space bigger. With a long narrow space, it was important to keep the eye going from one space to another. So we used the same color scheme throughout, eliminating the rug that chopped up the space and used the same gold accents to unify all the space.
- Neutralize the back drop: We talk about the visual noise that is created by too many disparate objects and colors. Here, there was a lot going on in a small space so we went with soft neutrals in every room, and then just added pops of color.
- Add a pop of color: We took our cues from our client. The gold in the living room was directly inspired by her artwork. The fuchsia in her daughter’s room played nicely with some of the livelier colors from our client’s artwork (and plus she loves pink and fuchsia, so it was a no-brainer). And in the master bedroom we removed the bright color and went for a more soothing and sophisticated look, tailored but feminine – possibly inspired by a beautiful Armani wool suite with a pink silk handkerchief.
- Have a wow factor. Once we had unified our color scheme, we needed something bold to contrast it and create an immediate wow when walking in to the room. The zebra rug (from Huff Harrington Home) did the trick.
- Soften the space: There were a lot of choppy angles in the downstairs space so we softened them by adding curtains on the important windows. Once again, the curtains buffered the visual noise and helped to unify the entire space.
- Bring in some greenery. Yes, we raided our client’s porch and brought some greenery into the living room, placing it at opposite ends to bridge the gaps and soften the edges.
- Edit the clutter: We can just hear them now: “Where did you put our stuff?” It’s true, we’re dangerous and we tend to put away clutter in any available drawer or closet. But as we told them, it’ll be like Christmas every day as they uncover hidden treasures stuffed in to unexpected places!
- Less is more! If there is one thing we like to impress upon these clients, that is it. We all have a tendency to want to use what we have (or why would we have it?). But it’s much more pleasing and impactful to edit down the “stuff” to create the “wow.”
And of course, while you’re doing it, have a blast! (We did! Can’t you see?)
The best part of course was our client’s text when she walked in the door. “We LOVE it!!”
That’s what we live for, year after year …. Happy New Year!