Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Bachelorette Pad - First Phase

Those of us in the design field like to joke that "decorating is soooo glamorous!" (Meant to be read with sarcasm!) And installations are the least glamorous but most satisfying part of decorating! I spend the day at The Bachelorette Pad installing the new furnishings and moving other pieces around. Well, I didn't move the heavy stuff. The fabulous professionals at The Padded Wagon did the heavy lifting. I don't want to turn this into a commercial for them but I've used a lot of movers and they are the best for my needs. They are also handymen who will install draperies and chandeliers and even microwaves like they did today. If you ever need some professional help, they are your men.

Now, before I get some dumb comment that the place doesn't look finished, that's because it's not. We still need to install the artwork, bedroom draperies and headboard, among other things. This was just the first phase but I have to say that it really made a huge difference. The Bachelorette had a family funeral to attend today which was of course rough, so it was so nice to give her something to look forward to at the end of the day! And of course she had a good response and was kind enough to let me share it with you.

"I was so excited to get home today cause I thought you were going to do a great job. But this is truly amazing. I am so beyond thrilled you have no idea. You made me so happy. The best way I can describe is to say that it finally after five years feels like "home." But only that home belongs to a stylish friend of mine. I was having such a crappy day that I thought I needed to go for a run to feel better but now I don't want to leave. This place is so great. You should be so proud of yourself. I can't get over the bedroom. Its amazing. But I agree it needs art. Art will be like the frosting on an amazing cake! Thank you is not enough!"


I can't decide if I love the living room or bedroom best but as you can see below, the living room really did get a dramatic makeover. We had discussed buying a new larger bookcase for this wall and looked at several options but budgetary concerns took precedence. I love working with pieces that a client already owns so I thought maybe I could make it work if we moved it out of the corner (nobody puts baby in the corner...couldn't resist!) and flanked it by a pair of the amazing vintage chairs that The Bachelorette bought from Jayson while on a trip to Chicago. She actually bought a set of four and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the extra two so this seemed like just the place! I also rearranged the shelves so now all of her mementos have a special place.

Living Room - Before

As I mentioned, the artwork still needs to be installed so that is why all the walls are empty. We also had plans to buy a new side table, but the blue and white Chinoiserie garden stool from her sister works so well that we may not need one. I may upgrade the floor lamp though. I knew I wanted a lighter tray on the brown leather ottoman from George Smith so The Bachelorette painted it herself with the left over White Dove paint from Benjamin Moore. I showed her a few wall colors but in the end, we used the same color as my living room, Benjamin Moore Cedar Key. If it ain't broke...

I also move the plaid arm chair to near the window and paired it with a new reading lamp and a brown drum table that she inherited from one of her sisters. We have picked out a new fabric to have the chair reupholstered but since you know that upholstery is expensive, we're holding off on actually having the work done for a little while. While I was there, I also restyled the area under the television so that the picture frames hides the paraphernalia behind them.

I spent a lot of the day ironing linens and creating a dreamy bedroom. Anyone who wants to become an interior designer needs to realize that there is no job that is too big or too small. You will be ironing and cleaning and on your hands knees plugging things in and getting dirty. Be prepared. We still need to find lamps for the bedroom which is my weekend project but even without them, the room looks so much pulled together as you can see from the before photo below. I might also find a patterened fabric for a boudoir pillow to add a little more color to the bed.

Bedroom - Before


We already bought the draperies but I need to buy new hardware before they can be hung. I'm not going to ruin the surprise and tell you what they look like but the will pull the whole room together perfectly! Now I just have to find a chandelier!

I also had the men switch the placement of the large armoire and the dresser. It really does look much better and now the draperies will have more room to drape. The Bachelorette also had some things on the floor so I moved one of her old garden chairs into the bedroom and now she has the perfect place to sit her gym bag.

I read this quote from interior designer Veere Grenney in the November/December 2008 issue of Australian Vogue Living and it really resonated with me. "If I am doing a room for someone, I really care about them and not how it will look in a photograph. I want to make them feel safe, to make them feel important. I really want people to have a happy time when they're in that space Otherwise, what's the point?" I feel exactly the same way. Making people happy is the glamorous part even if the installations aren't!

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

The correct term for window coverings is CURTAINS.
Drapes/Draperies is very low-brow (and low-class. )

Habitually Chic said...

Anonymous - That's funny, I thought it was the other way around. But what is really low-class is leaving such a rude and ignorant message. If you don't like me or my blog, then you don't have to read it!

Renee Finberg said...

oh my....
' Low- Brow' ANONYMOUS left me a lovely comment this morning as well..... in the same refreshing tone.

H-
you are correct, it is the other way around.

back to you...i see it is all coming together.
it is looking good !

the art will make a huge difference, and the lighting of course.

i will keep checking back in to see more .

great big hug to you
and a magic crystal to ward off
' you know who' . LOL

Habitually Chic said...

Renee - What kind of person is that unhappy in their life that they have to go around leaving nasty messages on blogs. Quite pathetic.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words and crytal! I appreciate it. Now I have to go see what he/she said on your blog!

Renee Finberg said...

right, you shouldn't have any more problems.
lol xx

Haute Decor said...

Looks like you are off to a great start! Cant wait to see it progress. Just keep doing what you are doing and don't let the haters get you down.

For the record, drapery is the correct term. Next they will want you to use couch instead of sofa!!

Habitually Chic said...

Haute Decor - Thanks! I think once things reach a certain level of expensiveness they stop becoming curtains and couches and becomes sofas and draperies.

By the way, don't forget to let me know when your "draperies" have finally been installed so I can photograph your fabulous apartment!

Rhonda said...

splendid transformations!

luvmechoos said...

I agree and think you are off to a wonderful start. The bedroom looks really good. I love the blue...been toying with changing my pink room to blue. . . and those duvets are a total bitch to iron! Nice Job!

laura said...

i love seeing the projects you are working on...the bachelorette pad is off to a great start!

Amica said...

Wow, they look totally transformed-- in a great way. The living room is my favorite! Did you repaint that room, or just change the lighting? It looks so much warmer. The rearrangements look more elegant, too. I like your work.

M.Lane said...

This looks just great! You are doing a fantastic job. What a way to kick off 2009!!

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Suzy said...

It's looking great!

Decor Fellow: James Saavedra said...

Heather:

This is such a great point for discussion...my very first design gig as a total assistant to an "Old School" designer drilled in the point...never couch- always sofa. Never Curtains...blah, blah, blah and let me tell you when a client is spending a couple thou on a sofa...then it's a SOFA.

So never mind these nay sayers...I might even place a bet on who they are....but I digress. I say don't waste your precious time...way too much talent and things to accomplish in your future.

Keep on keepin' on my fellow glamourous designer :)

Gina said...

Looks fine now. But: girls never do the ironing of fine linen yourself!
Let that do professionals in the laundry. Tell them "hotel service" and you will be content with (and in) your bedroom.It costs about the price of a beer in the pub.

Please write me a comment on my blog:

http://www.ginanews05.blogspot.com/

Gina from Germany

Beautiful Living said...

It looks really refreshing! Am looking forward to seeing it all pulled together! Love the part where you go hunting for the last finishing items :)

And who cares if they're called curtains or draperies? Whatever feels right for you :)

thestamfordwife said...

What a nice update to those rooms. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I also think it's "low class" to leave rude, anonymous comments on peoples blogs. Oh brother, who are these people???

Keep up the awesome work!!

Scott Fazzini said...

I love it! Very cute! She is one lucky bachelorette!

meg said...

Loved reading this post Heather....I am considering a career in interior design and actually your descriptions of what it is really like to work in the field put me at ease! I am, like you I think, in love with all of the beautiful images that I see in blogs like yours and in the shelter magazines that still exist but as these images have inspired me they have also intimidated me in the sense of...how did it end up so perfect and could I ever create something as beautiful as that? This post helped me to see it from the clients (or do you call them customers?...maybe I should ask anonymous) point of view. It seems that you are doing more that creating a beautiful interior..you are helping create an interior that more clearly reflects the clients own visions of themselves and who they think they can be. Thanks

ps..I live in chicage so if you ever need someone to scout out something at Jason let me know!

Style Noir said...

Bedroom looks great! Kudos.

pve design said...

You are good. Do you have a crystal ball before you begin with a vision or were you born with it?

The Preppy Pauper said...

H, this is a great project, thanks for sharing it with us. It's great to see real world design where you are using you ingenuity, creativity and...elbow-grease (!) to organize and beautify a space. Design magazines specialize in photographing projects with staggering budgets, no surprise at the results there. What you do is, I believe much more challenging. Design for the new economy!

Athenaeus said...

Great after photos. It's amazing the differences furniture placement, linnens and accessories can make even when the furniture remains the same.

Habitually Chic said...

Thanks Rhonda!

Luvmechoos - Blue is a very lovely color for bedrooms and is very soothing and relaxing. I think you will enjoy it. In her defense, she did have the duvet cover and shams pressed but I ironed the sheets and shower curtain because I wanted them to look crisp.

Amica - The walls were painted in BM Cedar Key so it does look much warmer.

M. Lane - It's been a very year already!

Thanks Suzy!

Thanks James! I just can't believe what kind of person would go around writing rude comments. I can't wait to hear who you think it is. I have a guess too!

Gina - the duvet cover was done professionally and looked much better than I could have done!

Beautiful Living - she has so many wonderful family treasures that I may not even have to find much more!

The Stamford Wife - Thanks! I'm stayig positive dispite the rude comments!

Thanks Scott! She is the sweetest client and I enjoy working with her!

Meg - The biggest reason that "clients" hire a designer is that they have a vision of what they want but have no idea how to pull it all together. It's suh a nice feeling when it's done and you know they are enjoying it! I say go for it!

Thanks Style Noir!

Habitually Chic said...

PVE - I used to always mentally redecorate any room I walked into so now it's finally nice to put that to good use!

The Preppy Pauper - I was talking about that with someone yesterday. Those big unlimited budget projects are great but they might be on their last legs in this economy so it is nice to be able to show people that you don't have to spend millions to achieve a nice space.


Atheneaus - Thanks! So many people have great pieces but need someone to come in and show them what to do with them!

ArchitectDesign said...

It's coming along so well!! I knew it would, but it's always nice to see :-) She has good taste, she bought those chairs at Jayson without you? They're FAB!

Habitually Chic said...

Stefan/Architect Design - Awww! Thanks! We had discussed similar chairs and having the upholstered in a blue velvet so she had the vision. She also emailed me from the store and I checked them out on line and saw that they looked perfect but I wasn't prepared for hoe beautiful they look in person. They are so amazing! I want to take one home!

Motor City Jeanne said...

I love the bedroom...the blue is so soothing. And, I'm definitely getting Dove White when I paint the trim in my new (old) home.

Just to add another comment to the initial rude remark you receive...I was an "interior decorator" -which was a nice term for selling window treatments - in the late 70s at a major department store and we were taught that curtains had rod-pocket tops and drapes were pinch pleated. I would say "drapes" is a much more elegant description no matter what. :-) We are all (I think!) adults here and understood what you meant.

Rachael said...

I think you did an exquisite job, especially the fact that you reused almost everything she already had, as I had no clue it could look so good!

Habitually Chic said...

Motor City Jeanne - You will love White Dove. It is the perfect color for trim! And I think you hit the nail on the head about us being adults. Clearly the person who has to leave stupid comments is beyond juvenile.

Habitually Chic said...

Rachel - thanks. I can't wait until we hang her art because then it will really come together.

Habitually Chic said...

P.S. I forgot to mention that after the men laid the new bedroom area rug, which required very heavy lifting and moving, we had them take out the existing ripped living room rug and replace it with the old bedroom rug. The one we ordered for the living room was backordered so this was supposed to be a stop-gap measure but because the bedroom rug was mostly under the bed, it was in perfect condition and actually looks good now in the living room so we may just leave it and save even more money!

hmstrjam said...

amazing what you can do with what you already have!

Jill said...

You are doing a wonderful job. Quite the transformation so far...drapes sofa - curtains couch...who really cares in the whole scheme of things (although I was taught to say drapes and sofa).
Have you thought about putting a mirror over the bookcase in the living room and then hanging art on either side above the chairs? Or even some sconces above the chair to add more light? Candles maybe instead of electric for budget concerns...maybe. Stream of blathering thoughts running out of my brain...which you may ignore, of course.

Habitually Chic said...

Hmstrjam - Thanks!

Jill - the reason I waited on the art was because she has so much and some of it was in the closet that was blocked by the pieces waiting for the Salvation Army. I want to lay everything out and decide where to place everything which will could take take a whole day.

I love the mirror and sconce idea though! She had a mirror above the entry console that was too small so maybe I can move it to above the bookcase. It might be nice just to lean it and then leave one of the other art pieces leaning in front of that for the layered look. I wish we could get electrified sconces but ripping into the walls might not be a project that we want to get into so candle sconces would be perfect. It would be nice to find something vintage and gold toned. Thanks for the idea!

Renee Finberg said...

it was back on my blog today

Cathy said...

Looking good! It's amazing what a difference a new space plan and a fresh coat of paint can make using current furnishings. I'm always telling people you don't have to spend a ton of money on new stuff to have a great-looking place, just use what you have! Now, if I could only follow my own advice...

Anonymous said...

I love seeing all of these home transformations. You do such a great job and I think you should have the spaces professionally photographed for your portfolio!

I love how the new paint warms and brightens the space. I think some more lamps and some large mirrors would bring in some fantastic light.

Susan's Snippets said...

Heather - I love Jayson's here in Chicago.

You continually show how creatively talented you are. Keep up the good work and you will soon be at the top.

non-stop

p.s. - when you get all famous and everything...don't forgot your blogging buddies who have been with you from the start!

give us a bit part

:^)

Sir Fopling Flutter said...

Nice job. I particularly like how you've used the client's existing furniture and haven't pushed her to buy entirely new stuff. Can't wait to see what it looks like with pictures on the walls.

My one complaint is the obtrusively large television in the living room.

boathouse said...

Your idea to move that bookcase out of the corner was truely inspired and has completely transformed the space. This is another example of how small placement changes can make a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog (as well as decor blogs in general) and I love everything that I managed to look at!

I especially enjoyed looking at this post. It's really interesting how you made very slight transformations and already the rooms look so put together. From reading the previous bachelorette post, I thought you would end up changing the furniture a lot but everything is still so similar yet so much better! You have a great eye!

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned in my previous comment, I am new to your blog so I may have missed a post similar to what I am requesting. But I was wondering if you can make a short list of suggestions of basic ways to try sprucing up a room. I am really loving the beginning of what you are doing and it really seems like you're keeping it low budget!

Cakewalk said...

Love seeing these before and after pics! I'm about to have my place re-decorated down here in Houston and your blog is making me look forward to the process even more.

I've added you to the blogroll on our blog. Looking forward to more posts...

Anonymous said...

I think you are really good at what you do. The apartment looks fantastic.

Jennifer said...

looks great, Heather. just goes to show how far a little paint and some thoughtful furniture arranging will go -- though I'm sure you did more than that!

Anonymous said...

As a friend of the Bachelorette, I am especially excited to see how wonderful her apartment looks. Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see the end result. I bet it's even better in person.

P.S. It's the Bachelorette's birthday today, so you've given her quite the birthday gift in making her apartment so dreamy. Happy Birthday, S!

Anonymous said...

I'm really liking the blue in the bedroom, which paint color is it? :)

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