After the makeover - Winter setting
A Designer is really only as good as their clients will allow them to be. The more open and adaptable the client is the better the result. In this case I got really lucky because my client Claire Vessot - the former lead Designer for ELLE jewelry - was open to massive change and gave me carte blanche to create something that better suited her personality.
Within the first 5 min of meeting Claire you know that she is a woman with great taste and has an eye for detail. Characteristics which also make her such a good jewelry designer. When I first went to Claire's home it was filled with antiques and personal mementos and was very dark. This didn't match her at all. Claire's personal effervescence is something to behold. She is so uplifting and kind, I think she literally shines. As such I wanted her living space to reflect that.
After the makeover - right side
I decided to create a light and airy space filled with textures and lots of shiny accessories to reiterate her jewelry designs. Since Claire liked her antiques but was essentially a contemporary designer, I thought that a blend of the two styles would be perfect for her.
This is Claire's living room before
The dark leather couches were replaced with cream ones, tables were installed on both sides of the fireplace along with mirrors and table lamps. Shimmering gold curtains were added and the fireplace surround was created. The fireplace surround was the one element that Claire was unsure of but I convinced her that it would make the fireplace look less imposing and would blend better with the new decor. I'm happy to report that Claire is thrilled with the result.
I'm also a big fan of having both a winter and a summer look due to our extreme climate. So in the winter the throws are heavier and the accessories more geared towards cocooning (books, candles). But come summer time I want to take advantage of all the sunshine so I added lighter accessories and more metallics to make everything sparkle - just like Claire.
After the makeover - Summer setting
Claire's dining room was very dark and felt somewhat cramped even though it was quite a large room. There were heavy curtains on the windows, dark wood furnishings and the ceiling was painted brown. The dark brown paint underneath the chair rails also made the room feel very heavy visually.
Claire and I discussed a few different ideas on how to improve the space but in the end we both felt that the removal of the wall between the kitchen and dining room was the best option. This would enlarge the space and create a much better flow of energy as well as afford Claire a view of her backyard and the exposed brick wall in the kitchen. As you can see by the after picture, the effect was enormous. Suddenly you felt like you were in a whole different place. The ceiling was painted a light gray and we added crown mouldings. Next we painted the walls in a neutral beige with the bottom half of the chair rail in a darker gray to recall the ceiling. The heavy curtains were traded in for some lighter, shimmering gray ones and a new crystal chandelier was installed to brighten up the room and create a cozy setting at night. A floor lamp and lighter accessories were added as well as a mirror to reflect the back garden. On a whim, Claire went and changed her table to a round one and added some chairs she had in storage which became the final touch to the transformation.
After the makeover - Dining room
The last part in the transformation of Claire's home is the kitchen and is slated to be done later on this year. As Claire just recently started her own freelance company her design website is not finished. However you can reach Claire and her award winning jewelry design services at Vessot design, www.vessot.com
Claire's kitchen - a work in progress