a room for family: part two

also known as the design plan.

this is my favourite part.  the designing.  the coming up with ideas.  the drawing.  the sourcing.  all of it.  every. single. moment.

this project was a lot of fun to work.  scary because it was like, for real.  but totally, completely, fun.  not only was it for people i knew, but it was also the first design that i was going to give to real people.  i've only ever created spaces in my own home or for design school assignments.  sure i've suggested paint colours to neighbours and family, but this was a full design.  this was effing exciting.  i did my first sketches the afternoon she texted me the pictures of her living room.  within about an hour i had done my first sketches, sent them to her and the rest is well ... history.

we started discussing things over text message for a few days and decided that coffee and a site visit were going to be necessary.  being in the space really changed how i thought about it.  you can only tell so much from a photograph.  we talked about what they wanted for the space, what they needed, their style, and what to do with the interesting rock wall they had going on in their room.  i took a few measurements, wrote some things down and that was that.  first client project was on it's way.

kira and dave weren't in any rush to get things started which was totally great for me.  i slowly worked on drawing the space to scale, experimented paint chips, floor plan ideas and then life took over.  funny how that happens.  any way, fast forward a year and they were ready to start talking demolition, pot lights, and coffee tables.  shit just got real.  

here's the plan i came up with.  

pillow (similar) // coffee table // rug

i also needed to find lighting for the space.  one of the requests was for a ceiling fan because the room gets so hot in the summer time.  there was also a need for more light and so three pot lights were added in above the fire place.

it only took a year of planning.  but there was now a design in place and the demolition could begin.  there were revisions and questions along the way, but for the most part kira and dave did the shopping and sourcing for some of the items.  it was a great collaborative effort.  

up next, part three: demo and progress

organized creativity

as a mom of two small creative humans, we have an endless supply of unique, sometimes holiday themed, art.  and i'm fairly certain that many of you can relate.  so. many. crafts.  and while i love that my children explore and experiment with their creative side, there are only so many pieces of art that i'm willing to have in my home at one time.  over the last two years our craft creation has doubled in production.  we only have so many walls.  i also struggle with putting their creations in the recycling bin.  i want to keep all of it.  every single santa, mitten, half coloured picture. keep it. because they won't be little like this and we won't always have an endless supply of shaving cream glue art, aka puffy paint.  the realist in me will never allow this to happen.  instead of having my home turn into the children's art museum and then force myself to recycle art i didn't want to, i came up with a solution that let's me have my cake and eat it too.

first: figure out a way to display what they've created and not have it take over our house.  while i love to display what both future artists have created i don't necessarily want it everywhere.  my solution for this was to designate two specific areas for kid art.  a wall in our family room and a photo wire in our pantry.  by only having two designated spaces for their all their masterpieces, we can rotate the gallery as new pieces arrive and recycle older pieces.  i try to de-clutter our art galleries every few weeks. up until a few days ago we were still rockin' a pretty sweet santa and a couple christmas trees.

second: i don't want to just get rid of what they created.  one day when the kids are too busy to do arts and crafts i wish for all the pieces they once made and i'll kick myself for getting rid of all of it. the struggle is real.  on the other hand, i also don't want my attic full of never ending boxes full of twenty year old art.

i recently started taking photos of each art project they've done before i put it in the recycling.  i'm in the process of using the photos to make a photo book.  i use the program in iphoto.  i like it for two reasons.  easy to use and the quality is really good.  i use it every year for our photo calendar and have a couple books.  once i get to about twenty-five pages i think i'll get it printed.  by making an art  photo book i get to keep all of the art, without actually keeping all of the art.

happy friday!

a room for family: part one

over a year and a half ago my friends, kira and dave, contacted me with some questions about renovating their family room.  one thing lead to another and before i knew it i had drawn a rough sketch and she loved it.  we got together a couple of times and discussed what her and her husband wanted for the space, colours, budget, etc.  this was such a fun project, mostly because it was my first time working and designing for someone else.  i learned so much through this process, like just because i like something doesn't mean a client will.  and always remember to check the paint can lids when dropping it off at a clients house, my winter car mats were nice covered in benjamin moore misted fern.

because this project lasted almost a year, planning, waiting, budgeting, deciding, shopping, designing,  etc, i thought i would break it into a few parts.  so for part one i though i'd share what we were working with.  their home is a bungalow and parts of it are still stuck in a 1970s/1980s renovation.  and although there are plans for a more extensive renovation of their kitchen, like blowing out a wall,  their family room was something that could be tackled and not break the bank.  it did mean hiring a contractor and electrician, but the rest could be done by kira, dave and myself.

here's a break down of the space and what they wanted for it:

- the room to have a natural/nature feeling and zero feeling of a log cabin
- functional storage
- greens and browns, no grey
- get rid of the horrible fake stone on the east wall (fireplace wall)
- add more light and a ceiling fan, gets hot in the summer because of large south facing windows
- add gas fire place, get rid of wood burning stove insert
- new furniture that is more them

not such a huge list.  the room is a good size and has an abundance of good light coming through the front south facing window.  down side was the lack of lighting when the sun goes down, in that there is none.  also, the giant "stone" wall.

have a look for yourself.

kira and dave's family room before

stay tuned for part two: the design.

happy almost middle of the week folks.