Claire, Stephen and I began working together on their Raleigh home early last summer. It has been an ongoing process that I have truly enjoyed every minute of. Claire and I have been friends for over ten years, so we get each other on personal, aesthetic, monetary and professional levels (I'm sure there are many more too). Stephen, your design aesthetic is valued as well!
Honesty is our policy, and I can not stress enough how vital that is to a fruitful interior designer-client relationship.
When working with clients, I always begin with a consultation in person or via phone to see if the vibe is right on personal and aesthetic levels. Communication is key, even though it may not always feel easy. At the end of the day, my ultimate goal is to make your space feel like home, and that isn't possible unless you, the client, vocalize what that looks and feels like.
Although I have already highlighted our work thus far (you can find it in my portfolio!), I wanted to dive into the choices that we have made so far, and why we've made them.
Looking forward to hearing your feedback and design questions!
Picture frame & crown molding
A (surprising) amount of dining space
This room was feeling much smaller than it actually is--all due to the color, window treatments and furniture/rug placement.
Below are a few of our design inspiration images. Claire and Stephen wanted a farmhouse-style table large enough to host dinners, and comfortable enough to work from home at. They also vocalized a desire for modern pieces, a pop of color, and inviting accents.
AFTER (thus far)
We found the perfect farmhouse-style table, and opted to mix and match seating. Since the dining room is right next to the front door, I wanted to amplify the flow of the space and keep this room as inviting as possible by placing a bench on the side closest to the door.
For the opposite side, we opted for two beautiful chairs by Nadeau Raleigh. Although the wood is a close match to the table and bench, they have more of a coastal, boho vibe. We are still searching for the perfect end chairs--TBD!
We wanted to make the rug the statement piece of the room, so we went with a stunning red, vintage-ish number. For the chandelier, we went with a modern, yet classic design in brass. To tie in with the modern, clean feel, we chose a glass and brass console to stand on the opposing wall.
Wall decor to be added--TBD!
Picture frame & crown molding
Two entryways (that aren't in awkward spots)
Similar to the dining room, the bones of this space were already great, but aesthetic and layout changes were in order.
Claire and Stephen wanted to keep the inviting, neutral feel continue within their living space. Natural textures and light were vital, as are seen in the below inspiration photos.
AFTER (thus far)
A coat of paint and a new layout were the greatest changes within the physical space.
We found the most gorgeous sectional from West Elm (and yes, it looks and feels JUST as amazing as RH's Cloud). Claire and Stephen went into the West Elm store to test out fabrics and see colors in person--if you are able to do that, I highly recommend it. A sofa/sectional is a large investment, but it is worth every penny given its lifespan. That being said, you should make sure that it is exactly what you want (now and in the foreseeable future).
One of the greatest dilemmas throughout the process of finding an ideal layout was the position of the couch. We went back and forth between placing the back against the wall or placing the back approximately 2 feet from the wall.
I am a huge proponent of creating spaces within a space. Since the front door opens directly into the living room, I felt it was crucial to make the living room feel like its own area and not just a walk through. Yes, you limit your space in front of the couch by doing this, but we still had more than enough area to fit a decent size coffee table and access the fireplace.
Claire and Stephen brought in the coffee table, large art piece, desk, and accent chair from their previous apartment. The coffee table works for now, but we may switch it out in time. Finding a coffee table can be a tricky part of designing a living room; if you're having trouble with this, I love this article from My Domaine on how to find the perfect coffee table for your space.
The piece of art behind the couch is ideal since it is large and colorful, but still calm in tone.
We added in the faux fig tree, as well as the floor lamp to add various points of height to the space. When decorating a space, as minimal or maximal as it may be, layering with height helps to make the space flow, and ultimately bring the eye across the room.
For the rug, we chose a neutral, textured number. I love how beachy it feels!
In general, when choosing a rug, always keep in mind that it should fall at least halfway underneath your sofa and chairs (if they are placed close to your sofa). This article from Emily Henderson is a great read if you are having trouble deciding what size rug to purchase for your living space.
I look forward to showing you those gorgeous built ins once they are decorated and styled--TBD!
Open floor plan
Fairly new cabinets, countertops, and appliances.
The main goals of this space were to create a more open feeling and increase light. See inspiration photos below.
AFTER (thus far)
The kitchen was the only room we worked on (thus far) that required construction. The main point that we worked on redesigning were the cabinets.
Since this room felt a bit dark and small, we opened it up by taking down some of the cabinets and installing floating shelves.
Floating shelves are on trend, but the main reason for installing them in this space was to break up the monotony of the cabinets and bring in light from the single window. As you can see below, they did just that!
Claire and Stephen opted to hire a contractor for this part, but there are plenty of DIY options if you feel confident with going that route.
Since the island was taken out to maximize space, we opted to create a breakfast bar in the corner (shout out to Claire's mom for this incredible idea!) which was a perfect way to make the most of what could have been a dead space.
We also changed the backsplash to a clean, minimal design.
New rug, cabinet hardware, and decor TBD!