Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Good Mood

Some people begin to sweat, twitch and have total meltdowns when it comes to choosing a paint color, and I just don't get it.  Then again, I can't imagine operating on someone or fixing a car or teaching a room full of students, so I guess that's why I do what I do.  Today I met with a client who, like many, became so overwhelmed with the process of redoing her mudroom, she just stopped...three years ago!  Feeling defeated, she called on me to help pull her out of the design slump she'd fallen into, so I picked her up, bought her a cup of coffee and started at the beginning.  I've said this over and over, but to avoid the overwhelming sense of doom when approaching any house project, pick it apart by the tiny pieces and go from there.  I asked my client if she could spare a few hours of her day for a little field trip, so we hopped in my car and headed 50 miles south to the Garment District of New York City.  When we pulled into the parking structure on the corner of FAB and ULOUS my client began to sweat..."what on earth am I supposed to do here?" After smacking her across the face (actually, just buying her another coffee) I told her just to follow me, her design guide, and relax.  As we sipped our lattes we roamed the gritty, colorful streets of this west side jewel.  She ooed and awed over certain colors, fabrics, textiles and furniture.  Our tour took us to one of my favorite fabric stores, MOOD (if you're a fan of Project Runway, you've seen this great store many times) where three floors are filled with everything from leopard print leather to soft suede.  You can buy fabric to make a jock strap or to cover a chaise lounge (we actually ran into a woman who was buying fabric to make her boyfriend a tie for Valentines day..great idea, I thought!).  The cool thing about a store like Mood (, swatches are free!  So, we grabbed some of our favorite swatches and headed back out to, you guessed it, STARBUCKS for more coffee!  As we sipped our fourth coffees of the day, I laid out the fabrics we chose, asked what her favorites were and went from there.  She responded to the piece above, on sale in the store and online for $7/yard!!  YES, $7 A YARD!    After explaining that we could make our own cushion for an entry bench in her mudroom for far less than anywhere else, she began to see my vision clearly.  While the choices were overwhelming at first view, when we zeroed in on one of our favorite patterns, the rest took shape.  Using my Benjamin Moore paint APP on my iPhone, I scanned the fabric which popped up several color options.  Before we finished our last sip of coffee, we had the mudroom design completed!
QUICK TIP: The key in not getting overwhelmed with a house project is to break it down into the small pieces.  If you are redoing your master bedroom, for example, what is your dream piece? A new bed?  If so, start there.  Put your ideas onto a piece of paper in list form then create an idea board by cutting out things you like from magazines.  Don't just tag pages..we all know that can lead to piles and piles of magazines, which can overwhelm you. CUT THEM OUT, put them on a piece of cardboard and build your vision.  Choose a paint color.  A fabric for your chaise.  Soon you will see your ideas come to life and your vision become a reality.