17 June 2011

Many of you may not know this but I went to college to study (and got a Bachelor's degree in) Housing and Environmental Design. I worked at Ethan Allen for about a year and a half before I got pregnant with our first baby.

That to say, I love Interior Design. I studied it for years and was only able to work in the field for such a short time before I took my dream job of keeping a home and growing babies.

And while I am living my dream as Oliver and Hazel's mama, I still very much get the itch every now and again to draw up floor plans and put together design boards and make flourish-y arm gestures and say the word "pop" a lot. It's in my blood.

And yet, since I left Ethan Allen, the extent of my design work has been limited to my own home (my walls groan under the weight of the paint they carry) and the occasional "can you make my house look fabulous by waving a wand and spending nothing?" requests from friends. (Honestly, not that I've minded helping my girlfriends out. Anything to keep these design muscles from atrophying!)

So, I've been hungry for design jobs. Real ones with real live budgets and clients who have an idea of what they want but trust me completely and have no time to get too involved.

And then Ryan took on a business partner. And they (wisely) opted out of working out of one of our upstairs bedrooms (you know, because nothing says legitimate business like, "Meet me at the top of the stairs, past the laundry room and through the playroom. Watch out for the legos!").

They hunted for cool spaces and settled on a great big room in a 189-year-old historic home just off the downtown square. (Turns out the great big tree in the back yard used to be the town hanging tree. Creepy!)


And the best part? They didn't have any office furniture and they were both way too busy to think about furnishing it themselves.

Picture my hesitant grin and eager eyes as I look at Ryan, silently begging him to let me take a crack at it.

And crack it I did. I measured the heck out of it, drew up the floorplan and presented furniture layouts based on their wants and needs. (I let my Art of Homemaking girls have a go at the furniture layout on paper too, just for a fun teaching opportunity.)

Not only did I get to imagine my way through layouts and conversation areas, I got an actual grown-up budget. And I got to order furniture. And accessories. And point and smile as the furniture was moved in.

I had a few weeks to do it, but I had a deelightful time turning this big, gorgeous empty room...

...into this little piece of design heaven:


Where my guy works...


...and no doubt thinks of me every time he sits on that gorgeous, real-leather sofa or puts his feet on the cool texture of the pebble rug. (not that he's ever barefoot at work. just imagining.)


No, I did not plan for Zac to be a part of the room's decor. But there he is, working hard.


Of course there are still things here and there that need to be finished. There's another desk on the other side of the room (for a programmer) that isn't pictured and the guys are figuring out exactly what kind of artwork they want to add above the fireplace (I vote big tv so we can eat dinner downtown then come here to watch a movie!).

My design muscles would like to officially thank UD+M for the excellent and satisfying workout. They feel great.


Carrie said...

So how much if I sent you photos of out new gormet chef's kitchen that we have absolutely NO CLUE even where to start on paint/decor etc. I need major help!! Please!?

Christine said...

Ooo-la-la! You did a great job! It looks like such a cool, inviting place, especially on a hot day. (I'm hot right now. So that's all I can think about.) I bet the soft grays and whites really quiet the boys' minds. I would be very impressed if I were a first-time client.

I'm so glad you got to do this!!


Raechel said...

Carrie - I'd love to work with you! Email me details of what you have in mind and I'll give you a price quote!

Jen said...

That is just beautiful. Looks like a very calming atmosphere. I can't believe that you could find such lovely pieces. It is a wonderful God given talent. I live in a small pensioners unit in Australia. I hate the squashiness and the blue paint on every wall but cannot imagine how to make it all better. If I were younger I would tackle the painting but I am scared to begin because I am sure it will be beyond me.

Anyway, 'nuff about me back to your office creation I bet now you will want to do more although I agree that a stay at home mom making her home a sanctuary is a good thing. Now I only think you need to make those men dress up the to the standard of their office. I expected nice suited lawyers!!!!

Amy said...

Do they like it? It looks a bit girly for them. Anyhoo...you should do some "home improvement" blogs with ideas/hints/suggestions that are low budget/low cost. GReat Job Raechel on the remodeling...and I totally agree with the whole t.v. idea. :)

Sara said...

Sooo jealous that you found a use for that Ikea lamp that I'm coveting yet have no place to put.

The room looks great! It's so simple yet so sophisticated at the same time and I'm totally digging that desk that Zac is at!

Sarah-Anne said...

holy awesome job batman!! you are beyond talented, friend!! :D and, for the record, i'm with you: get a big TV for movie night!

Erin said...

wow what an amazing space you put together!!! :)

BandP said...

Raechel - I tweeted you the other day asking what the color of this paint is - I am in LOVE with the shade and wanting to use it in our formal dining room! Thanks so much!!

ps - you are one VERY talented lady!!

Raechel said...

BandP - thanks! I don't have the color name handy, but I know it's Sherwin Williams. I'll get back to you if I can find it.

Alyssa said...

Great job! Wanna come do my living room?! Loved the comment about your groaning walls! My brother teases my mom and says her walls will never fall down because there's so much paint holding them up!

Ashley said...

Gorgeous job! I LOVE it. You are amazing!

Melissa said...

I was wondering what the paint color is also - I see above that you are looking for it - if you find it I'd love to know! :) Great job - the room looks amazing!

domesticjoys said...

Any chance you want to jaunt out to SoCal and help me?? Oh, how I wish we could fly you out : ) We are getting into our new house and I STINK at design! Any cool ideas you have been collecting for playrooms that you want to share? How about the perfect color for a powder bathroom?

Uggh, I need help!

Raechel said...

Kelly - I would be there in a heartbeat if I could! Never been West before! Do you use Pinterest? That would be a perfect way to gather ideas for the playroom (seriously, there are SO many cool playroom ideas on there!) and the powder room too. If don't use it yet and need an invite let me know! :)


Andrea said...

Congratulations Raechel! God has richly blessed with you the talent of making things beautiful. :)