Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Home, New Challenges

Don't you just love a new home? I can spend an entire day touring one new house after the next; oohing and ahhing over all of the modern amenities. There's just something about a never-used home that grabs hold of a buyer in a way that no other property can.

Finding the right home can be a lot like finding a mate. When things are brand new, they are attractive for sure; but are they right for you? Before you sign on the dotted line, you'd better ask yourself if your furnishings will fit the size and style of the new home. If not, are you prepared to purchase new things? If you cannot answer yes to those questions, then you should probably keep looking.

Last week I had the opportunity to work with a client who just purchased a brand new home. It's gorgeous and I love it, but from a design standpoint -- the great room is a major challenge. I probably run into this same room design at least once a month, either on the staging side or the design side of my business. It never gets easier, no matter how many times I see it. This layout is tough.

For my client, decorating the long, narrow room chock-full of angled walls, oddly placed columns, and a giant breakfast bar, was overwhelming. Fortunately she recognized that she did not already have the right furnishings on hand, so she set aside a budget to make the challenging great room as spectacular as the rest of her new home.

Take a look at where we started . . .

As you can see, the room is long and narrow. That issue is compounded by a breakfast bar, a large angled fireplace, and an oddly placed column -- all of which protrude into the room's usable space.

The first step to getting this room in order was to understand the owner's personal style. We talked about what looks and colors she preferred, her family's lifestyle, and how the room would be used. From those discussions, we determined her style to be transitional and that the color palette should be comprised of soft neutrals and blues, with accents of yellow & gold. She said that her family planned to put the TV in the space above the fireplace, so we would not have to accomodate extra cabinetry or case goods.

The next step was to measure. Measure. Measure. Measure. It's super important; especially when trying to fill a narrow room with lots of seating. Good measuring can also keep you from mistakes like buying a sectional sofa that is way too big for your room. Best of all, you can transfer those measurements to a virtual design program to generate an ideal layout for your room.

When we had our style, color palette, and layout determined, it was time to shop. We focused on classic style, clean lines, neutral colors, and simple patterns for our foundation pieces (sofas, chairs, and rug). Foundation pieces are NOT where you should get trendy. Keep foundations simple and neutral. We settled on a pair of small, three-cushion sofas in a light fabric. Then the rug incorporated the blue palette in a simple, muted pattern.

Then the accessories were added. Working largest to smallest, we found an amazing coffee table and comfortable chair with matching ottoman (which is on order). Then we added side tables, great lamps, pillows, table accessories, and large art. It came together very nicely and the client LOVED it.

We're still waiting on the plantation shutters to be installed and the ottoman to arrive, but you can get a feel for how the room was completely transformed with some basic furniture pieces and great accessories. Take a look . . .

So if you find yourself lusting after a new home, be sure it's the right fit for your furniture and lifestyle. If not, make sure your budget can afford the items needed to make it a home you can love. Otherwise, you could end up with a case of buyer's remorse.