How did that work? What was it like? Did they do everything? Did you get to try out the furniture? Was it about comfort or just looks?
That’s what I’m asked when I say that we had interior designers come and help us put together the great room.
So let’s talk. We were at some friends’ house and I mentioned that I really liked their coffee table. They gave total credit to their interior designer and gladly passed on the company’s contact info. I liked their warm and welcoming home, and gave Hilary Young a call after I’d checked out the web site.
You may remember back in August when Hilary and one of her senior designers, Brittney, came to see our space and decided to rearrange the entry on the spot. (You can read all about it in Trapped by What You Have.)
I gave them a budget and told them we wanted to focus on the great room. That’s when they went to work putting together a floor plan. A few weeks later, I met with Brittney at Room and Board to look at furniture.
We’re not the kind of people who drop a lot of money on furniture. Let’s be honest, if we paid thousands of dollars for hand-tufted sofas we’d be sitting on the floor not snuggling on the couch. We’d be afraid to sit on anything that expensive.
So I was perfectly happy to be shopping at a national chain that offers comfortable, modern, American-made furniture. Anyways, we wandered the store checking out lots of fabulous finds. The designers had put together three different layouts. One with an angled sectional that would have cost beaucoup bucks, another with a 90-degree sectional that would have cut off a large portion of the room, and the third that featured a couch and chaise. As you may have guessed, we went with the third one.
After looking at potential pieces for our room, we wandered over to Crate & Barrel. Then it was a matter of handing over the blueprints, so Brittney could put together a more accurate floor plan and furniture arrangement. Our house is anything but a square box.
Before long, our designer sent off an email with all the chair options, all the table options, all the couch options, you get the gist. She’d included pictures and links to the web sites. That’s when me and the MR headed off to the store to see what’s what.
We have this little 10-inch height disparity–I’m the shorter one in case you’re wondering–and sometimes what’s comfortable for me is way to small for him. We were looking for comfort, durability, and things that would work for our lifestyle.
While I loved this chair, I was afraid each of those lines would be filled with dog hair driving me crazy. I don’t want to be married to a lint brush.
So we went with another version. That’s pretty much how it went the whole time. Our designer sent emails with choices, and we either decided from the email or went to the store and checked it out in person.
Somewhere in the middle of the process, she came up with this lovely floor plan.
Lovely might be a bit of an overstatement, but it was great to be able to visualize what went where and if we wanted this or that table. The labels made it easy for her to show us options for all the different places and for me to place furniture once it arrived.
One of the great things about working with designers was getting another point of view. They’re the ones who finally talked me into making the whole floor one surface rather than faux concrete and matching carpet.
The walkway that once surrounded our room is now part of the whole.
It was a headache getting to this point, but we really like how it turned out. When our area rug arrives, it’ll totally pull together the room. I’m so glad they nudged me in this direction–the MR was already sold.
Now it wasn’t all moonlight and roses. We didn’t agree on a dining table, and I wish she hadn’t shown me lovely TV consoles that would have covered up the windows. The $500 lamps were nice, but not $500 nice. We’re still waiting on a table and floor lamps.
I do appreciate all the hard work that went into our room and know that it’s better than we’d have ever come up with on our own. So snaps for Brittney for patience and vision.
Could I have just written a check and told her to go to town buying furniture? Sure. I think a good interior designer listens to you and is willing to help as much or as little as you want.
You may have noticed that I was MIA on Monday and that this post is quite tardy. Well, sometimes you just have to do your own thing.
This weekend, me and the MR flew to California to help his aunt and uncle celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary along with a good chunk of his family.
So congratulations to Carol and Fred for their long and happy life together!
I managed to get at least a few photos without our resident photo bomber. Apparently she frequents the streets of Vegas so beware.
We also celebrated the MR’s birthday, went wine tasting, cried over the Seahawk’s loss, and watched the sunrise near Ventura on our way to the airport.
Have you ever worked with an interior designer? What are your favorite sources for decorating advice?