As a rule, I always tell clients to expect the unexpected. Be prepared for delays, anticipate an occurrence which could either delay or set your project back and never rule out the inevitable budget increase. I know, this sounds harsh but I would much rather scare my clients at the beginning of this process than promise a seamless endeavor. What could that “unexpected” issue be – I don’t know, if I was expecting it, it wouldn’t be “unexpected”. Based on experience I like to plant the seed so my clients have something to look out for.
Which takes us to #TheBeech. Back in February of last year my clients closed on a beautiful property in the Toronto Beach neighborhood. This 3000 sq/ft home was old and outdated yet the bones were perfect for our new vision. Despite the odd layout – we’re talking a bathroom in the kitchen kind of strange and I’m not saying a two-piece wash-your-hands-and-go kind of lavatory I’m referring to the shower and all. The front door was disastrous. You could literally touch the first step of the stairs upon opening the front door, a relocation was beyond necessary.
Our plan was to blow up the entire main floor and create an open concept. The original kitchen was at the back of the house, which is pretty typical however, I saw the back as an opportunity to flood the space with an abundance of much needed light. I proposed relocating the kitchen to the middle of the main floor and opening up the back wall to a set of four floor to ceilings windows & doors. The idea was triumphant and we could continue to plan the upper levels which included adding a kid’s bathroom and closing off the master suite. Then we brought in our engineer and had him draw up with proposed plans which went off to the city, which required a bit of waiting time. We were off to a pretty good start, until the “unexpected” hit us. Turns out the house which underwent an extension about 30 years ago was built around the original brick structure, so that ten foot wall I had dreamt of bringing down was in fact a pretty important structural element of this house. The kitchen had to be flipped over and a whole new set of drawings had to be created which meant another post & beam calculation was in the works. Back to the city and back to the waiting game we went. At this point, no other work could happen on-site so the construction portion of this project went on a brief “pause” until this all got sorted out.
Beige. Truly, there is no better way to describe our #MountPleasant project’s “before” scenery. It was as beige as you can get – no colour, no life, no personality.
The irony in all that is our client’s are full of character. They’re unquestionably witty mixed with a little kooky and topped off with lots of sassy. The problem with this mix is that their home – a 1200 sq/ft luxury Toronto condo did not reflect who they were nor did it showcase their lifestyle. Needless to say, this all changed when we walked in turned their condo around (literally and figuratively).
Naturally, my first instinct is to get a sense of how the homeowners use the space and then we pull out their personal character traits in order to solidify a preliminary design plan. Understanding the way a client uses their home is equally as important as how “pretty” it all looks. Luckily – these were the parents of one of our incredible past clients and they had seen what we had created over at #King and said – THAT, we want that. And although I never re-create the same thing twice I did use King’s project as a platform and design inspiration but with a whole new colour palette. We also stepped it up a notch and sourced some incredible vintage finds…… VOILA
To see more of this space, check it out on our Pinterest page. Stayed tuned for the progress pics and how this all came to be!
Erica Gelman Design is a full service interior design + decor firm specializing in residential design in. We would love the opportunity to meet with protect clients and discuss your specific project requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Design life, meet motherhood…
I’ve had our new site up for a few months now and since launch date I’ve been planning/ scheduling/hoping to get the blog up and running yet, somehow everything else just got in the way. It could been because the site launched during one of the busiest seasons HOD has had in, well ever (not complaining, just saying) or could have been the fact that life just gets busier and busier with days turning into weeks and weeks all of a sudden turning into MONTHS. Speaking of which, about 9.5 months ago my life became a hell of a lot more rewarding & a little more challenging. March 30th 2014 my little lady-baby came into this world and graced us with her unbelievable presence – my best creation by far. Luckily she was born on a Sunday so I was still able to finish off my work week the Friday before hand – I’m half joking with that comment I did meet with clients the Friday evening before going into labour but it wasn’t planned, Sasha just knew how much I would have hatted cancelling my appointment so she thoughtfully arrived over the weekend. It was a nice 8 day “rest” and back to work I went the following Monday. YES, this is a true story no half joking there – it’s like I was one of the seven dwarfs and went hi, ho, hi, ho…..back to work I go. But you see, my “work” is just as much a part of my life as anything else that’s meaningful. And so I began my new journey of learning how to blend my new title of Mama with my existing title(s) of designer, project manager, entrepreneur, creative director…. apparently, I wear ALOT of hats. In there somewhere is also wife, mom to my furry baby, daughter & friend- I don’t think I can handle anymore.
It hasn’t been easy (thank gd for THE best support system ever) but it’s definitely been worth it. We have had some amazing projects come through our doors. I’m beyond excited to share our projects on the blog along with inspiration, concepts, progress reports… anything that’s happening at House of Design I will be sharing, I may even throw in a few mom-moments here and there- just to keep it interesting.