Decorating With A Challenge

Decorating With A Challenge

Do I like a challenge with my designing or do I like it easy?  I prefer a challenge of course.  Sometimes a room doesn’t  flow with anything else in the house and sometimes there is just a dissonance within the room. The client only wants you to add a piece of furniture or window treatments.  Having to choose something for a room to create the best design to coordinate with the rooms next to it and to do as little as possible to hide the outdated and possibly “the ugly.” Sometimes the dated colors are difficult to work with unless you can change the entire room.   So let me tell you about the, “dreaded kitchen!”  Property owner decided to sell the house and wanted to do upgrades on the kitchen and master bathroom spending the least amount of money possible.  We could not paint the cabinets, change the flooring, or change the countertops in the kitchen.  The walls needed new paint, the cabinets really needed to be replaced or painted and the counter tops definitely needed a change. I could only have the kitchen painted.  I give you my assignment and set the stage for the change.  Like I said, with the least amount of money spent.  It is my job to make what has never worked, in my opinion, look better and make a buyer like the house well enough to purchase it.  Today we are so influenced by the HGTV and what they say and do that it is now the norm to spend a fortune on the house you want to sell.  At the very least, the public has been made to think this and now the realtors want you to update as much as possible.  It is true that a lot of people cannot see changing paint or knocking a wall and other changes that would make the house the one they want. But really do we need to make and pay for all the changes we think a buyer might want? Why not leave it to the new owner?  Sometime it is an easy fix and this is where a contractor or a designer could assist you when trying to purchase a house.  I am not saying the seller should not do any renovating but do not go overboard.  I digress and need to get back to the project at hand.  

The kitchen is very large and includes the breakfast room that juts out with windows on all three sides and a set of French doors.  Breakfast room over  looks the golf course and body of  water, a lovely view.  Now to make the inside a lovely view.  The walls are painted a maroon, cabinets are cream, mauve corian countertops, oven is black glass, refrigerator and dishwasher with matching cabinets fronts and black glass stove top.  All of these original when house was built around 20 years ago, needless to say outdated.  It is my job to make the kitchen and master bath look better.  I have seen this kitchen for 16 years and every time I wish I could redo it completely for so many reasons. Reason number one,  maroon and mauve not my favorite colors!  But even though I do not like all colors it should never stop my creation of a better design.  The floor tile had a natural stone look to it but absorbed the color from the wall and that gave it a fleshy tone with some gray. I think the gray leans more to being coupled with white but again I must work with what I have.  Besides the wall color and the countertops being outdated you are locked into what you can and cannot change.  I kept looking at this job as being a huge undertaking because I was not seeing this project in the right way.   I would go study the wall with my paint charts and think I had figured it out and then start all over again.  I did the same with fabrics until I thought I was going nuts.  I talked to a fellow designer and shared pictures of the kitchen.  He worked on it and then gave me his ideas but though I liked it, they were too contemporary for the client and the rest of the house.  Back to choosing the paint chips. I usually can see the new design in a very short while but again I say this room has always bothered me.  You could use the flooring in another setting and it could look beautiful.  It is the combination of all the different colors and worn out look that was not working.  My rambling is worse than listening to a long drawn out story that will never stop.  My intentions are to share how difficult it is sometimes.  Now, the challenge is somewhat greater because one is limited to what and how much we can do.  Below you will find the before and after of the master bath and kitchen.

The Master bath started out with this border and a tan color on the wall much too brown for the border.   We took the wallpaper border off and using an off white from Benjamin Moore, painted the walls.  Removed the old framed glass surrounding the shower and installed the beautiful frameless glass by Showcase Showers of Lexington, Ky.  I think you will see for yourself the improvements.  Small but big.

It was only the paint that changed in the kitchen
but it was the new fabric on the bar stools that brought
all the colors together to make them work.
At last, at last the maroon is gone!!