Waldron Designs is a baby business- we only launched in 2012! We are having a wonderful time, satisfied clients, and have seen some very succesful projects. It takes a while to get grounded as a business owner and establish best methods and approaches. I’m still working on my social media presence and blogging, tinkering constantly to get the right mix. And, as much as I can ramble aimlessly on one topic or the next, what really makes a good blog is knowing who is reading it and providing interactive, usable information. So, I want to know what you want, what you need, and how I can help you! I have grand plans for introducing more in-depth material in the blog, and cannot wait to start implementing it, but first I want to know all about you!

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The first step in every design is programming. This is the information gathering phase, and where I take the time to find out who you are, what you like, what you need, and what you desire. Seeing as I know myself and my husband pretty well, and gotta love the kids but they don’t get a design voice in our home, the programming phase for our farmhouse was a simple gathering of the information that I knew and putting it down on paper.

When I develop a design from a program, one of the things that I do is to write a list of words that I heard and understood from the homeowner.

Light. Transparency. Nature. Textural warmth.

Honesty. Comfort. Sophistication. Raw.

These are the first words in my list for the farmhouse design. Each of these came from ideals that my husband and I have portrayed to one another in the design of our home. Once I have these words and the idea of what is important to and moves the homeowner, I will put these words into a concept statement.

Guided by the combined training of husband architect and wife interior designer, the Waldron home will be designed to reflect the contrasting design styles of the couple, honing in on their shared reverence for architecture and design.

The history and integrity of the home shall be preserved and retained utilizing clean, simple design features typical of the American Farmhouse. Transparency will be utilized in the filtering of light throughout the space; the use of raw, honest materials and selections; and a reflection of the exterior environment.

The concept statement is something that stays with every selection, every line I draw in plan or elevation, and every decision made in the design process. I am really putting myself on the line here, because besides myself, my husband is my harshest critic and I am going to ask him to respond to the words selected, the concept statement, and finally the concept board right here on the blog. Note that my requests are not always responded to. My husband is my most difficult client!

The concept board is a collection of images, call it a collage of inspiration. As with my list of words and design concept, the images selected are a constant reminder throughout the project that creates cohesion in the design.

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And with that, I invite my husband to do his worst. Have at it, Sean!


Image credits: Jelly Sundae, De Zeen, Better Homes and Gardens, Agence, 
Brooke-Willis

 

I am thrilled to have finally reached a point in a project where professional photos were warranted. It is a rare thing of beauty when an interior designer is able to have professional photography done on a project because projects vary so much. A color consultation can have a huge impact that does not usually come across in photos. On the same vein, there are several times where projects carry on for months or even years as the homeowner tackles one small portion at a time (much like my own project). What this means for a business that is just over a year old is that one photo shoot is quite the accomplishment.

To celebrate, I’ve created a video to share the victorious progress of this project! Click the video to get it started:

If you enjoy the articles I post on the blog first- please feel free to comment! I want to hear from you. What do you want to hear more about? What did you like or dislike about the post? It is important to me that this is an interactive experience, not just me blabbing about things that intrigue me!

Second, I have begun writing a monthly column for the Vashon Loop! I am so excited to be a resource for my community and be a part of a local collaboration! My first column was an introduction to our little farm house as a means of introducing myself and discussing the trades involved in an interior design project. Take a peek, let me know what you think!

Maybe it’s cliche, but I can’t help it. My favorite holiday is Halloween. If I could celebrate Halloween year-round, it would be my idea of bliss. Halloween birthday parties, Halloween anniversaries, Halloween Christmas, I’ll take it. So, when my husband texted me this link, I nearly fell over backwards. Halloween interiors… All year? Okay!

Happy Halloween shopping!

 

I really, really wanted to stray from the typical orange and black for this month’s color palette. October is very special for me. My first son was born in October. My husband’s birthday is in October, and the beauty that comes with this month moves me. I will never forget holding my brand new baby in my arms and looking out at the brilliant orange trees glowing in the afternoon sunlight from the hospital window.

On top of that fantastic memory, I love Halloween. Love it. I start thinking about Halloween around August. What will I wear? What will the kids wear? Can I convince them to go for a theme? We tried so hard to get the family dressed up in Dr. Who costumes last year but our son decided that he did not want to be a Dalek and that was shot.

So, the first color that comes to me is that brilliant, sunny orange against a bright blue sky. Despite what many think, it’s usually pretty sunny into early October here! I love the ashy brown of the tree bark that is beginning to present itself as the leaves fall.

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These three colors are pretty intense, so in an interior space, I would choose one to act as my neutral (the ashy brown seems like the logical choice), then bring in some additional calming neutrals. The two vivid colors are complimentary colors on the color wheel, which means that when they are used in the same space, they will emphasize each other, creating more visual interest. I like to be playful with accents, so doing something fun like a blue ceiling and incorporating the same blues in pillows that also have the orange as a detail would be a great way to bring in these colors without drowning the space in color.

Do you see any ghosts? I'm always looking!

Do you see any ghosts? I’m always looking!

Back in March, my family picked up and moved across the water to an amazing place, Vashon Island. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I am really sitting in my little office and looking out at the water. The home we found is a perfect little gem (for us). We had been searching for a while and desired a home that needed some love. It seemed we were finding two ends of a spectrum- there were homes with sagging floors and water damage and there were homes that had been completely remodeled. When our broker, Claire Zaner (amazing, by the way) suggested that we consider Vashon Island, we knew very little about the island and had never visited. Our first trip to the island was to look at what would eventually become our new home. I hopped on the ferry with Claire and my two little boys with no idea what to expect. The town was adorable, but I was concerned that it wouldn’t have everything I need. The house was a little farther from the ferry than we hoped, considering that my husband would have to ride his bike to the dock every day as a part of his commute. We pulled up in a narrow driveway and I wasn’t entirely sure how I would get back down with no turnaround at the top.

Hello, toilet!

Hello, toilet!

The house has a small deck on the back and we entered from the back into a mudroom. A bathroom was immediately off to one side, and we later discovered that when this house was built, it did not have a bathroom but utilized an outhouse instead. That bathroom is the only bathroom in the house, and it was added on to what used to be the outside deck. The bathroom is a wonderful size, and functions for now, but has so many design flaws that it drives me completely bonkers. When we open the door the toilet is the first thing in view and the view from the toilet is the neighbor’s home. Being a mom of two little boys, I am sure you can imaging my fear of the door being flung open for one of their supposed “emergencies” right when the neighbors are enjoying the view out their kitchen window. I would like to swap the location of the toilet with the vanity. Moving the vanity also gives us room to make the vanity a double sink vanity with storage rather than the single we currently have with room only for a garbage below. My favorite thing about this area is that the exterior siding is still on the interior of the mudroom. My grand idea is that the spider basement be connected to the home with an interior stairwell where our current deck is. Right now, our laundry room is in the basement, and this would let us use that space as the mud room and convert the mudroom into a pantry. My more realistic idea is that we move the washer and dryer upstairs into the current mudroom, right under the window so that I can watch my boys play in the yard while folding laundry.

Retro 50's built-ins and carpet, carpet, carpet.

Retro 50’s built-ins and carpet, carpet, carpet.

The kitchen, dining room, mudroom, and bathroom all had a dingy stained vinyl floor and oh, the spiderwebs… this house was way overdue for a good cleaning. The 9′ ceilings and windows in every room gave the house a nice open and airy feeling. The carpet that looked like it was from the 1950’s did not. There are so many odd features in our new home. Wood paneling angles out like the fins on a classic car. I get the distinct impression that the Jetsons moved into the home in the 50’s and attempted to modernize it by forcing the then contemporary styling. The walls were a dingy yellowed color and the trim was a heavy dark brown (no, those dark brown beams are not a natural wood finish, it’s a sloppy paint job). One room has wallpaper that has been painted over, and little speckles of the design are popping through, making the walls look like they have grease spots all over. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us. Below see some additional photos of the house as it was before we moved in. I will post updates as they happen!

So, so, so much potential.

So, so, so much potential.

Ooh, peeling paint and overgrown landscape!

Ooh, peeling paint and overgrown landscape!

One of my favorite things about old houses is all the storage space and interesting nooks.

One of my favorite things about old houses is all the storage space and interesting nooks.

The two kid's rooms are near identical.

The two kid’s rooms are near identical.

A beautiful idea, and I love the old details, but it is horribly outdated, and we are currently keeping the portable dishwasher in the mudroom!

A beautiful idea, and I love the old details, but it is horribly outdated, and we are currently keeping the portable dishwasher in the mudroom!

What can I say? Lots of wood. Lots of carpet. A red leather sofa bonus.

What can I say? Lots of wood. Lots of carpet. A red leather sofa bonus.

The master bedroom will probably be our last project to tackle.

The master bedroom will probably be our last project to tackle.

This is now my office and yes, those curtains have moved.

This is now my office and yes, those curtains have moved.

Notice the odd soffit- this is not structural and holds no ductwork of any kind. Just a weird spider collecting light.

Notice the odd soffit- this is not structural and holds no ductwork of any kind. Just a weird spider collecting light.

There is the weird soffit again. That light fixture is amazing. It lowers and raises for flexible lighting needs!

There is the weird soffit again. That light fixture is amazing. It lowers and raises for flexible lighting needs!

I saw a quote last week that was along the lines of “Design is so simple that it is complicated”. We are complex creatures, and we desire escape from the complexity. Minimalism can be peaceful and restful, or it can be sterile and lacking. How do we achieve minimalism? Simply, put it all away. Open shelving is gorgeous and can be minimalist, but we need to be realistic when we go for things like this- can we limit ourselves to utilizing 3/4 of the shelves, or will we cram every square inch? If we must cram every square inch, can it be done in an orderly method with like containers lining these shelves?

 

The trick with minimalism is simply this- a place for everything and everything in its place. If you do not have a place, make one. Kids toys can be tossed in bins. Open shelves can be lined with matching containers. Books on shelves can be organized by color or stowed in drawers for a cleaner look. A place for everything and everything in its place.

 

I’m a clutter-hater. There, I said it. Nothing makes me as squeamish as an overloaded bookshelf with knick-knacks oozing out of every crevice. Why, oh why must we hoard? I also admit that I’ve been known to sell, donate, or dispose of items and regret it later. So is the life of a desperate wanna-be minimalist. Yes, I dream of minimalism, but I am realistic and know that it’s not on the plate of every occupant of my household.

Some of you, however, have the dream but not the know-how. So, let me give you the first big step. You need to be able to either 1. break sentimental attachments to objects or 2. have a great storage space! A little of both goes a long way. Now, go into each room of your home and one at a time, put every decorative item in a place where you can review them. Every.single.one. Ready? Pick five. Your five favorites… the ones that you absolutely cannot live without. Put the rest in a box, no matter how much you love them- just do it. Now, put those five items on your shelves or your table. Oh my gosh, look at you, you little minimalist! You may pull out one or two items NEXT WEEK after you’ve had some time to decide if it is 1. too sparse or 2. depressing without your favorite ceramic cat (ouch). But, really take some time before pulling those trinkets out again.

I find it is good to repeat this action every six months or so.

face frame w distress

I work with several amazing craftspeople, and Jose of Hacienda Woodworks is one of them. These gorgeous pieces are a few that he has hand crafted and are currently available for purchase. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing any of these pieces!

face frame w distress

Jose Table 2 (592x800) - Copy

Jose Table 11 (800x652)\ mahogany and wenge

mesquite wood