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“Now I just love it!” describes a client’s reaction to the dramatic transformation of a small office into an inspirational retreat and healing space. This was objective for Zander’s Interiors’ first of many projects with one of our clients whose initial sentiment about her space was not very optimistic. “I thought I was doomed – I hated my office and couldn’t visualize it being any different… it was too small and everything was pushed up against the wall.” Senior designer Michelle Hackworthy set about helping her client reinvent her space to be “fresh and feminine…with pretty things,” including key pieces from the client’s artwork collection. The result is a design deeply attuned to the client while being both beautiful and functional.
Michelle developed four to five options for a scenario that would realize the client’s aspirations for her space. As their work progressed, the only element that remained unchanged was the overhead fixture. The total re-design is anchored by an elegant writing desk that floats in the space; replacing a roll-top desk and giving immediate relief to the wall space. Also developed for the space were highly functional ‘cubbies;’ a creative storage solution that delighted the client. A traditional office chair was substituted with something softer, as the client didn’t want a ‘typical’ office look. In addition, Michelle used layers of color to create a fresh and airy look in order to create a departure from the rich burgundy and fall tones featured in other parts of the house. Defining the space as unique and separate helped everyone identify the office as the client’s private retreat.
To enhance the feel of rest and relaxation, a generously proportioned matelasse chair in creamy tones overlooks the client’s award-winning back yard. “I want to spend all of my time there,” observes the client. The luxury of an ottoman featuring the same creamy tones was the biggest surprise for the client. “I couldn’t believe that could fit in the space. Michelle knows how to choose the right dimensions for the room,” she says while appreciating the value of her expertise. “I won’t waste money buying the wrong thing.”
In retrospect, the client is amused that she considered some of her selections for the office “edgy” at the time. Most notable, the client challenged herself embrace pattern and color with her window treatments in her office space. “Michelle helped me break out of my typical mold…it was a huge thing for me to do that!” For the client, having thoroughly enjoyed the results of taking a few personal risks built a trust and partnership with Michelle to re-design more spaces in the client’s home.
For their next collaboration Michelle and her client tackled the master bedroom in much the same manner as the office. The objective was to incorporate existing wood case pieces while generating more light and color throughout the space. The first decision was to replace the current wood sleigh bed with a new upholstered bed with a more subtle profile. Laughs the client, “It’s the first time we ever had a queen size bed! It made a big difference.”
To bring balance to the space, Michelle and her client incorporated “strong male input,” as described the client. They looked to create a space that was whimsical “but not too frilly,” demonstrated by selection of a colorful yet sophisticated dot embroidery pattern on window treatments that was repeated on pillow shams. The coverlet cover selected for the bed features a pattern that is colorful and bold, yet softened by the look of being painted on the fabric. More balance was achieved in the master by finding a twin for an existing nightstand and placing atop both of them matching ceramic lamps in a light tone.
The light colored bench found in the master is just one example of Michelle’s ability to find the ideal combination of both form and function for her clients. “I love it, I can even lay on it,” remarks the client. Michelle recommended the piece in order to navigate the presence of a large radiator in the same location. It succeeded on several fronts by also giving the room a cleaner look; thus transforming a former “dead space” into an ideal place for repose.
The inspiration provided by this gorgeous new master bedroom has set Michelle and her client on the path toward renovating the master bath. The next big reveal promises an opportunity to daydream about your next project, so stay tuned…