“We highly recommend Interiors by Decorating Den. We're thrilled with the results of our dream home in Grandezza. We were amazed how through just a few phone calls and emails, Judy captured a true reflection of our style. She nailed it! Furniture, lighting, windows, accessories, rugs. We wouldn't change a thing!”
Theresa and Joe R.,
clients of Judy Underwood, Florida
The Stories Behind Decorating Den Interiors Makeovers
Making a difference in the lives of our clients is what Decorating Den Interiors is all about. We have the before and after transformations to prove it, but every so often a client presents us with a sensitive situation that calls for more personal attention than normal.
RESTORING A HOMEOWNER'S LIFE
One such story revolves around a gentleman who a year after his wife suddenly passed away contacted one of our decorators. Richard explained that he was looking for a distraction from his grief, and thought taking on a few home improvement projects might provide him with what he was hoping for.
In the interview with the client the decorators learned that Richard was an excellent cook who greatly enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. Unfortunately, the outmoded busy floral wallpaper, laminate countertops, and lack of storage and counter space were stifling his culinary creativity. Also he wasn't thrilled with his existing cabinets however he was not interested in a complete kitchen renovation.
The plan the decorators presented Richard retained the existing oak cabinets, but along one wall to provide him with more storage space they installed a bank of cherry wood cabinets in a rich chocolate mocha finish. The dark stain was carried throughout the entire kitchen by trimming the old cabinets in brown and resurfacing the back of the breakfast bar with dark wood panels. Replacing the laminate with ivory, brown and gold granite and extending the counter tops pulled all of the colors of the room together and provided Richard with more working space. To improve the lighting situation they hung alabaster pendant lights above the breakfast bar, placed a new fixture over the dining table, and installed under-cabinet lights. The decorators' improvements to the look and function of the kitchen re-inspired Richard's interest in cooking which in turn helped him in recovering from his loss.
A DECORATING LOVE STORY
A gentleman called DDI and said his wife was turning forty in a month and he wanted to surprise her on her birthday by hiring an interior decorator to help transform their family room. He admitted he was terrified of window treatments but knew that his wife desired them for the large windows, and was giving in on this issue in honor of her birthday.
The thrilled wife and thoughtful husband, parents of two small girls, asked their decorator to create a rich, comfortable, kid-friendly place to watch TV together and to casually entertain friends. The room is quite large and the high ceiling made it appear downright cavernous. Extra tall windows contributed to cold feeling. In addition, the empty framed section above the fireplace seemed awkward. The couple did not want to change the green color on the walls. They also desired a distinct secondary seating area for quiet conversation. Since the wife is an accomplished artist, as is her dad, she asked the decorator to incorporate their paintings into the design.
To enhance the space above the fireplace the decorator proposed a faux finish wallcovering as a backdrop for hanging a beautiful oil painting created by the wife's father. The greens, burgundies and terra cottas in the art influenced the room's rich color palette. To break up the large rectangular floor space and give it movement she angled a large rug along the primary seating area. Dark and patterned fabrics were chosen to camouflage possible future spills by the kids. The couple can now cuddle with their children (and each other) on the curved sofa and in the comfy chair and a half to read or watch TV together. One of the wife's painting hangs above the sofa. A pair of swivel rockers creates another seating area which their daughters have adopted as "their spot."
To highlight the window transoms the decorator installed decorative faux iron inserts. She angled burnt orange drapery panels from large medallions to draw attention to the arched top of the windows. When the project was done, the husband wrote a thank you note to the decorator, "My wife and I love the way you decorated our family room, and in spite of my initial trepidation, I feel the window treatments really do 'make the room.' "
TURNING A TRAGEDY INTO POSITIVE
In a tragic accident the previous year the client had lost her home in a fire. Once she got through the initial shock, she decided to rebuild on the same site. When she began working with a contractor her first thought was to seek interior design assistance. The client was open to new ideas and told her decorator, "This time my goal is to do it right. My vision is for a soothing bedroom retreat where I can go when I am ready to relax and unwind." Beginning with a blank slate, the only real problem was addressing the under-scaled size of the windows.
The decorator determined that soft grey-green walls and balanced symmetry were the keys to creating the calm refuge her client described. First, she centered the king size bed, covered in channel quilted dusty lavender, between the windows. With a three layered treatment; boldly proportioned matching lavender drapery panels roped and tasseled to one side, room darkening shades, and Austrian style sheers, she turned the diminutive size of the windows into one of the rooms impressive features She followed through on symmetrical balance with pairs of bedside chests and lamps. The new antiqued planked wood floor and vintage white European farmhouse style furniture provides country charm with an elegant edge. The fire in the client's previous home was a blessing in disguise. Now she is happy and content that this time around her decorator was able to help her get the look and feel she always wanted.
One of the rewards of being an interior decorator is the impact we have on the quality of our client's lives. These are just three examples of the thousands of lives Decorating Den Interiors positively affects each year. Let one of DDI's interior decorators do the same for you!
This month's decorating tips brought to you by:
Carol Donayre Bugg, ASID DDCD
Vice President and Director of Design