Just over a year ago now, I started work with one of my favorite clients on finishing her home. Long before I began Dutch Touch, she had absolute faith that I would indeed start my own business and she said a soon as I started, she'd hire me. And she did! And then we spent the next 12 months or so working together!
Kicking Things Off...
When I first met with my client, our only task was to add a few finishing touches into the second floor living space. As a shared home, the upper floor is dedicated space for my client and the main floor is shared living space. 'Down the road' she said, she'd like to replace the tile on the main floor and add a few finishing touches there as well but for now, our focus was to be on the second floor living quarters.
First Things First...
First order of business was the finishing touches upstairs. After taking a good look at the spaces we were considering, we came up with a plan.
The second floor living room was already in pretty great shape! My client already has fantastic taste so there wasn't any major changes that needed to be implemented. I suggested adding custom valances to give a tailored look to the windows, a little more personality onto the side table by the cozy chair and we definitely knew we needed to update the fireplace surround. Other than that, a fresh coat of paint would go a long way!
Additionally, to improve the entrance into the living space, we decided on a custom valance above the window at the top of the stairs. Here's the before:
The next stage after meeting with a client to establish the scope of a project is to pull together the elements discussed. When selecting fabrics for a client I always suggest I pull together a series of options for her/him and we make a selection from there. Otherwise, clients can quickly get overwhelmed in the too-many-choices-verse and suddenly what may take me an hour can take us a whole day. Note for yourself, if you are engaging a designer to help you with your home, this is one of the key ways that they help save you both dollars and time.
Here are a few of the selections made:
You may notice there are a few items shown that weren't discussed earlier. As I was selecting fabrics for the valances, I also pulled a few wallpaper samples together for my client, just to give her some ideas. While it took a little time for her to come around to it, ultimately she decided that she loved the idea and would trust my instinct and that we would implement the wallpaper selections as well.
When it came to selecting tile for the fireplace, and, we had decided, also for the backsplash in the kitchen, my client opted to go with me to make selections. While taking a client to the workroom to select fabric is akin to letting a child loose in a room full of puppies ("I want them all!!!"), taking clients to tile stores is actually a move I suggest. While a good designer knows what will work for your home, YOU know what your heart is drawn to and sometimes, no matter how in depth the designer goes with you when finding out what you like, that extra bit of information can't be communicated.
As such, my client and I spent a few hours on a Saturday afternoon moving through tile showrooms and at the end, had three solid options to bring back to her home.
* Often when my client shares some of her insights into hiring a designer, she shares the fact that in 2-1/2 hours, we cruised through 4 different tile showrooms and came out with 3 great options. Left to her own devices, she knew it would have taken her far longer and ultimately, she may not have come to the same conclusions. *
Having made our selections, secured estimates for the work to be done and ordered the materials, we engaged in the next step and implemented the changes we had decided on. Here are the finish images:
La Piece de Resistance!
The greatest change to the second level occurred in the principal bedroom, although we only added a few details to the space. While the room was warm and reasonably inviting previously...
...by adding a few key improvements we turned this room from "Nice" to "WOW!!!!"
Among the changes implemented was the new wallpaper, brand new table lamps and a custom designed vase by Dutch Touch Interiors. Now when she has guests over and she's showing them around her home, they walk into this room and breathlessly exclaim 'Wow!' at the sight.
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