Friday, May 22, 2015

Recent E Design Process

One of our latest projects was an "E Design" for a client who was moving out of our travel range for our full service design.  She asked for a consultation in the existing home she was moving from so we could advise her on which pieces we thought she should move to her new home.  There was very little she wanted to take to her new home, just some basics, which would help free up her budget for new purchases.  This is such an exciting time for homeowners and I love that she had us in on 'the ground floor' to develop a plan for her new house.

I went to consult with her and got a feel for how they live with their three children and three dogs; essential research for designing their new home. In addition to sendingher a questionnaire prior to my arrival, I asked her to start a Pinterest board and 'pin' things she likes.  I told her of our process and how we can create a virtual computerized room plan for each room, so she has a road map for future purchases, on her own time and budget, which was her desire, and to help avoid buying mistakes. The plan is essential to creating a well designed home.  She subscribed to six room plans and then we drove to her new home, which was the model in a beautiful rural neighborhood. 

The theme she wants is a contemporary coastal feel with aquas, beige, cream, blues and greens. All the rooms were painted to her liking and she didn't want to change the paint.

I made best use of my time and sketched the ideas as they came to me in each room, and measured her windows, etc. so I could give exact window treatment and room details as a shopping guide. She also wanted DIY suggestions.

First I created room layouts to help her in furniture placement.

Then I spent hours sourcing products online and dropping them into our design program to create completed rooms.  For the living room, I designed 2 looks; Cabana Casual (using a striped accent rug and dual facing sofas) and Sophisticated Coastal, with one sofa and 2 chairs and a more formal elegant look.

I created a detailed description of the finishes and accessories in each room and also a suggested shopping list of where to purchase the items on the plan.  Also window shade dimensions, drapery sizes and hardware choices were listed to aid her in making her own purchases.

As you can imagine you can get quite carried away with creating a fluid design throughout the home, so I added suggestions for the entry, and other rooms she did not sign on for.  Of course if this was a full service client, I would be doing the shopping and not bother her with these details, but this gal wanted to do it on her own over time. 

The boys room has a New England Patriots theme, so I gave her DIY instructions for painting the accent stripes on the walls and using a decal as a focal point.

She wanted to repurpose some nightstands and I helped her envision a 2 person study desk inside a long (unused) closet in the basement media area. 

Since she is new to the DIY scene, she wanted links and tutorials which were easy to pull from our blog and Pinterest.
This was really alot of fun and I was thrilled to mail the box of 6 plans this week, each in their own folio with
a floor plan, room designs, shopping list and detailed instructions. It arrived on her birthday!  I will follow up with a phone appointment in about a week, where we discuss each plan and make any necessary changes.  (We allow one edit with the fee.)  

[This "E Design" is actually an abbreviated version of our "Design Care Package" where we include paint, flooring and fabric swatches and greater details, including hand renderings.]

For those of you designers who may read this post, I love to share our process, since I learn so much from your great ideas shared through blogs, Instagram, High Point Market, area networking events, etc.  We all benefit!   If you are a client/homeowner hopefully this process shows how important the room design plan is as a starting point instead of trying the 'hit or miss' method of decorating.

I'm happy to answer any questions or discuss our process further, just email us at

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Happy Monday

Bake your pup some homemade dog treats from this great list this summer.
Check out this fantastic dog wash/laundry room idea:

Animals are the gift that keeps on giving, don't you agree?  Have a great week.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring at the Powell house

 Spring is such an inspiring time for us.  Our 6 acres means a ton of yard work but it's an absolute joy with the magnificent color in the yard right now.  I love to work out in the yard and it's tough to keep my mind on indoor projects at the moment!

Here is a turn around my yard today.  While some of the azaleas are waning, the rhododendron are perfect right now.

 This tree-like azalea is so gorgeous with it's orange and coral hues. I never remember the scientific names- forgive me!

I am starting to plant my pots this week, beginning with this New Guinea Impatiens.

This is one of the last pictures this spring with the pool cover on.  It comes off the 26th!

Gibbs is my unfaltering companion, going to the garden center with me and staying by my side the entire day.

 I unloaded two truck loads of mulch today.  It takes at least 7 loads to do most of our yard.  Of course, we can always use more!  

Besides a few work clients,  I have several projects started in my own home, and Bethany is working on her new place.  She has painted several rooms, scored a great Craigslist cabinet, redone her fireplace wall and has a new Stark sisal carpet on order.  With all her dreams of getting new furniture, etc., there are matters that trump her list like a new fence and getting all her utilities working properly.  The joys of home ownership!

Last weekend I had a great birthday and Mother's Day celebration with wine tours and a picnic Saturday and a cookout Sunday.  The best gift I could ever receive is when my kids are all home.

Narmada Winery in Amissville, Va was particularly special.  It was founded by an Indian couple for their retirement and they keep their yield to 5,000 cases a year, which is within the realm of a small, boutique style winery.  They serve phenomenal native Indian dishes and pair their wine accordingly.  We had a lovely lunch and loved their wine selection.

 The next winery on our stop was Pearmund Cellars, in a serene idyllic setting.  They have an brick pizza oven on site to compliment their tastings.  It is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. Dogs are welcome on a leash; I wish we had brought a few of ours.

 We finished the evening with Twilight Polo at Great Meadows, Va, a fabulous family activity, sitting ring-side with a picnic dinner, and lots of great horse and people watching!

This is really the perfect time of year in Virginia, before the stifling heat and humidity hit.
I hope you're enjoying it as well!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Client Design Plan

One of our recent return clients needs a 'refresh' of a few of her current rooms and these are the plans we proposed.  Their furniture in the family room stays, but the project involves new updated window treatments, lighting and area rug.  

I always give two design options when I design a room.  This "casual elegance" living room needs some new accent pieces and window treatments.
The look includes custom linen blend drapes with custom trim, brass elements, woven shades and some wooden case goods. The walls are currently painted BM Paper Lantern.

Option two is a version called "earthy elegance" based on a bold patterned rug, woven leather benches, and a fun rattan accent chair.

It doesn't take much to update a room if you have some neutral basics.  A patterned rug can be a great 'jumping off' point.  Remember to repeat design elements like brass and wood to draw your eye around the room.

Here is the new rug I chose for my family room that I am building my design around.

Have a great week!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring trend- yellow

At market in April we saw alot of color; pinks, blues, reds and yellows.  This artists studio by Leslie Moore Design at the Junior League of High Point Showhouse is a beautiful example of this use of yellow.

In speaking with the talented Leslie Moore, I asked about this sofa treatment and she explained it is a king size headboard attached to the wall fronted with a daybed to match! Brilliant!  The yellow grass cloth is to die for.

{Other trends to note are nailheads, tufting, gold and brass and pastel colors.}

I love creative design and repurposing the use of conventional furnishings!