No matter how large or small, a design project always begins with a vision and then several revisions. The case was no different with this small entryway project, which started with a client email and an inspiration picture.
The process of how a design project goes from the abstract to the concrete isn’t always pretty, but it’s an incredibly fun journey. This year, I promised myself that I would do a better job of documenting my design process so I am starting right here, right now with this entryway project.
I have worked with this client in the past so I am pretty familiar with her design aesthetic. She loves simplicity with moments of glam and a whole lot of brass! Although she is generally open to suggestions, she really does know exactly what she wants.
Inspiration pictures are great starting points for a design project; in fact, designers love inspiration pictures so please keep pinning away! But it is also completely normal for a designer to deviate from the inspiration pic if the actual space presents its own set of unique circumstances, and this one did.
From the inspiration picture I concluded that certain things were in order, like a mirror and seating. An entryway is a vital part of the home since it is the first area guests see when they step into your home. The entryway sets the tone – good or bad – for the rest of the home so treating it with high regard is a must. In addition, it serves a pragmatic purpose – a place to put your keys down, a perching spot to lace on shoes (especially if you abide by a no shoes rule like we do) or to give yourself a once over before running out the front door.
The Design Challenge
My client’s foyer is a healthy size, but the space we were designating for furniture was rather compact. While the inspo pic featured a full wall, the only usable wall in our space was intercepted by stairs. This created a 45 degree angle that made the idea of using a large scale mirror or a beefsteak console a total no-go. Not an ideal start, but onward we go.
The Design Plan
This is the part of design where the designer and the client do a back and forth dance involving choices. Some clients need a significant number of options (I would be that kind of client unfortunately), but this client makes decisions rather quickly (Sweet!).
A design board provides a nice jumping off point to get all of the main elements of the design approved by the client. In addition, a quick rendering of the proposed two options for the nook allows the homeowner to visualize the end result in all its glory. Since the doorway was also getting a quick face-lift, it was also included in the rendering.
I sent my client two options for the nook and she quickly decided on the second one. There were some changes in the end that didn’t compromise the design, but that were made to preserve the budget and to account for discontinued items.
The Design Solution
Capitalizing on the width, we selected a low console without a crossbar. For some reason, I had trouble finding an abundance of these types of consoles last year, but I finally did. We wanted to utilize the space below the console to accommodate two ottomans. If you notice, the inspiration pic had garden stools underneath, but the ones we went with are upholstered and have the added benefit of storage inside. This is ideal for throwing in those last minute toys or kid’s socks we notice just before we open the door for guests.
Since the console is simple, I added lots of accessories to glam up the space. An artificial orchid keeps things low maintenance, while the canisters, tray with accessories and lamp speak to my client’s love for gold. If we were using a console that was more complex, I would have definitely reigned it back in the accessories department.
Although the hexagon mirror is small, it follows the lines of the angle of the stairs and keeps things functional. The mirror was one of the design elements that changed in the end because the original choice was discontinued. I hate when that happens! But we still managed to make it work!
I initially toyed with the idea of a mini lamp (same exact lamp but just shorter), but my client went for the full size lamp and I am so glad she did. It balances the height on both sides of the console since the mirror and the lamp are relatively at the same eye level. A shorter lamp would have only served to further emphasize the obvious fact that the wall is angling down.
The doorway got a simple quatrefoil inspired rug with an artificial fiddle-leaf tree. I love real plants and flowers, but this busy family doesn’t have time to take care of them. And if my client is anything like me, she would kill the poor tree anyway. No green thumb here!
With some careful planning and simple but beautiful pieces, we made this formerly empty space inviting and welcoming for this young family. The entryway now sets the tone for this home, sending the message that this family is stylish but still very down to earth.
We are now on our way to making another space in this home beautiful – the dining room. I can’t wait to show you the before and after of that room!
Keep making your world beautiful… Until next week….