One of the first questions we ask is, "how involved would you like to be in your project?" Sometimes a direction is all that is needed to run with. Sometimes, measurements and plans are needed, then sourcing is done independently. Then, there's the "turnkey" project, meaning that we handle the design work from start to finish...
As a designer, it is in my fate to be a snob. And, I am often a snob. I am a cabinet snob. I know good cabinets and will stand for nothing less. I've seen too many particle board cabinets with shelves dangling loose and gouged beyond repair. I am a snob for quality and for the best possible services I can provide.
I'm also a realist and grew up with dreams of a "beer budget". I know that not everyone can afford the finest quality. In order to provide excellent services to those who may be on a tighter budget, I've implemented a few new services. Read on to find out more about these below!
Have you wondered why people would spend so much on designer furniture? Why not just buy retail?
<p>You should. No... I mean that. If you think that retail will serve your needs, by all means, shop retail! If you'd like design services for those retail products, I highly recommend using the in-house designers. They often offer services at no additional charge and they know their product. I can provide retail shopping suggestions, but this is not my specialty, and I think your money can be best spent elsewhere.
<p>Blown away by my response? I try to be as honest and transparent in how I work as I can be.
<p>So, now I'll tell you why you should shop "to-the-trade" merchandise....
So much has happened in the last month! So much that... well, I'm about a week behind getting this newsletter out.
I've had a deadline that I've been crunching on to get the final documents complete as the homeowner rips into the house and pulls it apart! The final presentation is today, so I'm feeling a huge weight off my shoulders, and am at the same time very excited to see this home come together. On top of that, my new space... well, it didn't work out. I discovered an open shared space is a fun idea, but not if your clients see and hear the other spaces first and these things are encroaching on your own space. So... moving right along, Waldron Designs found a space much more suiting to our needs in the Vashon Landing Building. It's a very different space, not quite the edge, but so much class, and we look forward to making our space our own:
Yesterday, I went to get a hair cut and color. I love my stylist. She is not only an amazing friend, but incredibly talented and not afraid to get really edgy with my hair (how many times have you told your stylist "edgy" and walked out looking "soccer mom"?). You know what my favorite thing about her is though? I can tell her to do what she wants to do with my hair, and I trust her. She is an artist, and allowing her the freedom to do what she knows is right for my face, my personality, and my skin tone has always given me such confidence when leaving her space. I know that she will only ever choose what is best for me and what suits my style.
Clearly, pink hair isn't for everyone, and she knows this. She also knows that this is absolutely and completely me, and I left feeling edgy and comfortable in my skin (or hair, rather).
After my hair appointment, I dashed off to get a tattoo (it was a pamper me day). I asked my tattoo artist what was the best next move in my 1/4 sleeve process and told him about the equal sign I wanted on my wrist. Now, with a tattoo... I'm not one to give complete freedom to do whatever he wants (just like you shouldn't be with your home. But, I ask him, "do you think the equal sign should be solid? What about placement? How about size?" His placement wasn't at all what I had envisioned and I was thrilled! And, just for fun... my new tats:
What is my point? Well, if you go to a designer- any type of designer and dictate every detail, sure you're getting what you want, but you aren't getting a design. You are not utilizing the designer to the best of their skillset. I am happy to serve as a "second set of eyes" or a consultant. But, to this day, I've only had a few clients truly utilize my design skills. Guess what? One of them won an award!
Moral of the story... trust me, as your designer <3
Sometimes the idea of working with an interior designer is intimidating. Those of you who read my article To-may-to, To-mah-to, may wonder how to know if the designer they are contacting is the right designer for them. The only way to truly know, is to ask! Most designers will have a network of designers and can make suggestions for someone who is more closely suited to the type of work you are looking to do if they are not the right fit.
Now, what happens? You have a designer... what next? Again, every business operates differently, but I am thrilled to share that I have recently updated my site to include a Design Process page! We develop a thorough timeline with deadlines, so you always know what to expect and when to expect it.
While many share the title, "Interior Designer", the profession varies extremely depending on who you talk to. Much like a podiatrist will help you with your feet, and an obstetrician will help you with.... not your feet, designers have many different areas of expertise. Be sure to do research and determine first, what you are looking for in a designer, then whether your local designer provides/specializes in the service you are seeking.
I took a lighting course in college and I have to be honest, I realized that I could major in lighting alone to truly understand how to design with light. Color temperature and lumens are WAY more important that wattage. All the wattage will tell you is the amount of energy that particular bulb is using. So, throw out everything you ever thought you knew about lighting, and let's grace the surface together.
So, your neighbor just got a white kitchen, and there are white kitchens on Houzz. There are white kitchens in all the magazines. Therefore, you MUST have a white kitchen, right? Wrong. Now, don't get me wrong. I love a good white kitchen and am not here to bash them. However, it honestly breaks my heart to do one after another of the same design because people see it everywhere. Why do you hire a designer? To be unique. So that you can have a one of a kind, 100% YOU space. So, throw away the magazines. Stop looking at Pinterest (oh, how I love/hate Pinterest). And start looking at yourself, your experiences, what makes you happy.
Almost anyone who has ever visited a spa does not want the feeling to end. It's a place where we leave all our to-do's, our responsibilities, and burdens behind and focus entirely on the here and now.
We feel healthy, pampered, and able to leave the world behind for a time. Isn't this how our homes should be? We should arrive home and not let work even cross our minds. We are in our safe place, our oasis. This is our haven, our place of ultimate freedom and even more than a spa- personal expression!
Let's talk about the kitchen. It’s the heart of the home and the hub for all activity. The kitchen often becomes the office, the gathering space, the organization center, the art and crafting space, a sewing center, the list goes on. What it comes down to is that this space needs to perform multiple functions.
Over time, I see kitchens grow larger and larger, and I am starting to wonder at what point will it explode and the spaces either become individualized again or the kitchen will take over the entire living area. As of late, it appears as though we're heading more toward the individualized use of space with a very strong connection to adjacent spaces.
The first step in removing chaos from the kitchen is what may feel like the endless chore of cleanliness. I find that when I feel overwhelmed, focusing on cleaning out the sink and wiping the counters alone does wonders for the room.
My husband does the grocery shopping and while he’s out, I clean out the refrigerator, and cabinets to make sure I have open space and am not desperately cramming new groceries on top of the old ones.
If you ever look at real estate listings, you may notice that the kitchens seem almost bare compared to all the gadgets we may have on our counters. Take a minute and look around the kitchen- how many items do you have on the counter that are not used every day? Why are they taking space? Some of the most obnoxious counter-eaters are the toaster and microwave. I finally parted with the toaster and use my oven broiler instead. I haven't regretted it for a moment. If it's possible to build in the microwave or store it in a pantry or cabinet, the space will feel so much more open. Try to keep it near the refrigerator though. Consider that all food that goes into the microwave will likely come from the refrigerator.
Zoning is a major part of my job, and I take this very seriously in kitchen planning. The idea is that an area is delegated for a type of activity. The categories I use for zoning are: consumables, non-consumables, preparation, cleaning, and cooking. In an ideal situation, no two zones overlap.
Each zone can be a bit confusing because it truly depends on how the occupant uses the space. For example- nonconsumablesincludes flatware, dishware, utensils, and the like. Preparation may include mixing bowls and baking utensils. Cooking will include pots, pans, and cooking utensils… so the question is- do we have three zones for utensils? And, the answer may very well be yes- but it ultimately depends on the layout of the kitchen, the size of the kitchen and the way that it is used.
Non-Consumables: Cutlery, Dishes, coffee dishes, glasses, dessert bowls, plastic containers, and less frequently used electrical appliances.
Consumables: This is where the refrigerator is and ideally the pantry is nearby… again, sometimes the home dictates a layout that simply does not comply with this ideal. Bread, beverages (coffee, tea, cocoa), cereal, canned goods, noodles, rice, packaged foods, sugar, flour, snacks.
Cleaning: This is usually centered around the sink and includes the waste storage, garbage bags, household cleaners, detergents, and shopping bags.
Preparation: Prep utensils, “gadgets”, cutting boards, mixing bowls, vinegar, oil, sauces, spices, mixing bowls, scales, mixers, storage containers, cookbooks
Cooking: Pots and pans, Cooking utensils, special oven pans, baking trays, baking tools, oven mitts, cookbooks can also go here.
It’s important to determine what activities dominate in your space and I like to create a hierarchy of these activities to ensure that those that absolutely need to work together do.
Most of the time spent in my kitchen is preparing dinner, assembling the kids’ meals for school, and cleaning. I love to bake with my kids in my spare time, but unfortunately spare time is limited. So, my hierarchy begins with cooking, preparation, and cleaning, and I ensure that everything supports these needs in my kitchen plan.
Not all of us have the luxury of planning a kitchen from scratch, or even remodeling, but that does not mean that we cannot consider the way our space was laid out and work with that layout rather than fight it.
These zones work great for basic kitchen purposes, but the real trick comes into play when secondary activities are happening in this space. Is your kitchen your office? Do the kids do homework here? Make these activities easy to do here, rather than expecting the family to drag items into the room and remove them when they’re done. Not only is it frustrating, it’s chaos!
Return to how you want to feel in your space, and consider this in the way color, décor, even scent is used. Because so many activities happen here, the kitchen should be a place of convenience. We want to be in the moment, but in this instance thinking about every task can cause a burden and overwhelm those trying to use it. This is a space that is utilitarian first- where form should follow function.
Join Me in the Fight Against Cancer
Next weekend, Team Waldron Designs and Friends will be waking in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Vashon Island. We have a small team consisting of some truly amazing people. One team member is a cancer patient, and another a cancer survivor. Show these awesome ladies your love and support by joining our team and walking with us. If you're unable to walk with us, please consider making a donation or sharing our team page on social media.
One of the most important things to me; personally, as an entrepreneur, and interior designer, is honesty and integrity. I will never say that I don't have my slip ups and imperfections. In fact, the ability to take the blame for a poor decision or slip up is an important part of these qualities.
In design, honesty and integrity may be found in materiality, acknowledgment of the original design intent, construction/the way things are built, and regionalism.
can't believe time has flown so quickly! Have four years really gone by? I suppose a good reminder is that two amazing things happened to me four years ago. My youngest son was born the same time that I launched Waldron Designs. Sure enough, it's almost time to be planning a fourth birthday party (for my son, not my business).
I want to tell you a secret. You know Pinterest, Houzz, and all those magazines we collect to get inspiration? Sure, they're great, but honestly- they're a bad starting point. The reason is because you're starting with literal THINGS, objects, and functions. Inspiration should come not in the form of things, but in feelings. Design is touchy-feely and emotional, and it should be. Honestly, it's a bit like interior psychology. We are manipulating spaces to make us feel differently.
As the weather warms, I find myself looking forward to every moment outdoors. I have always enjoyed the warmer weather. I feel energized by the sun shining on my face in the morning. I feel more freedom of movement in my loose, lightweight clothing. I step outside and feel freedom in the open, blue sky and joy in the warmth on my skin. Nature constantly inspires the most positive feelings in my life. What better way to bring positivity, motivation, and inspiration into our homes and lifestyles than to bring the outside in?
I've seen this term a lot lately, and whenever I hear the term "holistic", I think of natural medicine. But, when I really thought about the word, it truly means "whole". I like to think that I do holistic design because I consider the whole home, even when doing a color consultation for a single room. It is important to understand the home, the homeowners, their needs, and their lifestyle.
I feel strongly about constantly learning and trying new things. For the last week, I've been experimenting with online design, and attempting to make three-dimensional presentation boards. I'll be honest. Unless it's a rendering, I think the 3D boards look... a bit tacky. It's a little like vinyl that has a wood grain stamped into it. It's something desperately trying to be something else. I prefer to use photos in a collage manner.
So, I'm curious. What is your preference? Here are a few of the boards I've put together as of late:
It's the month of loooove (said in my best "hubba hubba" voice), and I'll be honest that for me, romance is outdoors in the summer with twinkle lights or candle light. Who picked February for Valentine's day?? But, romance can also mean... the bedroom. Cue Marvin Gaye...
So, for something romantic... and not outside, here's a fun board I threw together to get you in the mood. Note that all products are available to the trade, so if you see one that gets you frolicsome, go take a cold shower, then give me a call and I'll see what I can do!
The one item I did not fit in there was bedding. I'd go all white. I always dream of waking up in warm, white fluffy bedding. It seems so warm in the winter and so cool and refreshing in the summer! Something like this:
It's so fun to run a collaborative blog with several other designers, and I'm thrilled to share the latest article- take a peek to see why eight interior designers recommend that homeowners choose to work with us rather than go it on their own!
What are your thoughts? Even better, what are your hesitations to hiring a designer?
It's a new year, how about starting it off with a brand new house? What an exciting and overwhelming endeavor. An architect and/or builder should be all that is needed, right? Sometimes, yes. But, it's a great idea to think about the interior spaces from the inside out as well as looking at the structural design and spacial volumes. Many architects are very talented and will consider all these angles, while others will focus more on the "model": How does light move through the space? What are the views? Does the space incorporate beautiful interior architecture as well as the shell? Often times, the actual arrangement of furnishings in the space, ergonomics, and lifestyle are forgotten.
I don't want to say that an architect cannot design an amazing, functional, and personalized space, because everyone has different abilities and skill sets! But, sometimes it is not their interest or focus. In that instance, it is a good idea to bring in an interior designer.
We will review your floor plan
An interior designer looks at a floor plan from a different angle- we imagine it "dressed". We may make suggestions to the space plan to allow more functional living spaces. An analysis at this level before getting permits and giving the green flag on building is an essential part of home planning!
We will envision your space with finishes and fixtures
Sometimes the package deal isn't your style. And, when having a home built, why not have every last inch tailored to your style? If you don't like the tile in option A, B, or C... let's go select a D!
What does it cost?
There are many factors that come into play on a new construction project, and pricing varies depending on what needs to be done. Sometimes, a few finishes need to be substituted while other times a complete finish and fixture package, drawing set review, and complete furnishings are required. Typically the interior design fee for new construction is approximately 3-5% of the total build project, and with such a large investment, this small fee plays a major role in the completed project.
I don't make resolutions. I simply make goals whenever the idea pops into my head. However, I tend to make more goals at this time of year, because I'm starting new things. My financial records start fresh, and with a new year comes a review of old policies, introductions to new ones, and new fresh ideas on how we do things.
I haven't made a resolution to get into shape. I have made a goal to strengthen my shoulders, back, core muscles, neck, and arms. I was in an accident last winter that has me receiving regular treatments and I am watching my strength fizzle away due to my need to "take it easy". After a year of taking it easy, I realized that I'm missing crawling around on the floor with my boys, holding them up in the air, pushing them on swings, and teaching them to do a cart-wheel by example. So, I plan to take advantage of the times when I feel strong and enhance that strength.
In order to do that, I need to either 1. Join a gym or 2. give myself a space to exercise at home. I've selected the latter for now. Now, how does one create an exercise space at home? Take a look at these considerations:
1. Consider the type of activity you love to do
I love yoga, so my ideal space for exercise is soothing, but powerful. Someone who enjoys weightlifting may want their space to feel strong, motivating their choice of activity. An aerobic exerciser likely wants an energizing space. Of course, the ideal is that we combine these types of exercise for a well-balanced routine, but seeing as we're creating a home gym, let's keep things simple for now and focus on the one that really motivates us.
2. List your equipment needs
While my yoga space needs are fairly simple with a yoga mat alone, if you have equipment that requires installation, there are electrical needs to consider. Regardless of what the set up is, consider needs for sufficient space.
3. What moves you?
Your space should motivate you in every capacity. Is sports television motivation, or will it be a view of the outdoors.
4. Consider ventilation
A space that breathes with you is crucial to comfort and health. The inability to breathe comfortably in a space designed to emphasize healthy breathing... well, that's a problem. Check to see if windows are operable and if circulation of that air is attainable.
With these considerations in mind, select your space and get to work! Need a little guidance? Try a virtual consultation with Waldron Designs! Need a lot of guidance or someone to do it for you? Schedule a phone consultation now to discuss how we can get started.
Looking for a yoga instructor to come to your home gym and teach you there? Emily Herrick Yoga + Spaciousness is a dream come true!
Yes, it really is "National Popcorn Day".What better way to celebrate than to look at great home theaters? What is your home theater style?