Basement Blues

I imagine designing a space for a stylish client could go one of two ways. It's either a joy wherein ideas are welcomed, flow freely, and are implemented with speed and confidence, or, they're second-guessed and scrutinized with a constant "Why did I hire someone else to do this when I could do it better myself?" undercurrent. I got lucky because working with Bethany was completely the former. Another cool perk with these design projects is you basically get a crash course in fast friendship. You're spending a lot of time emailing back and forth, being transparent with ideas, giving and receiving feedback and developing trust. As an introvert who pretty much takes a solid year to get to know anyone this is definitely a bonus. Wait, did I just describe transactional as my preferred method of friendship?    

Let's take a look at some before photos to really get a feel for where we started.

The first order of business was painting all the remaining oak woodwork white. Bethany got that job while I learned how to build furniture. Painting trim isn't glamorous, but the result is always satisfying and so much more modern.

Then came the wallpaper. Armed with some googled instructions and a bottle of wine we got to work. I don't know if there are hard and fast rules with accent walls but typically the wall behind a sofa gets the special treatment. Well, in this case, the meticulous cutting around all of those ceiling beams was way beyond our first-time wallpaper installation skills. So we opted for the side wall you see when you first enter the room. And I love it.

I'm obsessed with that rug. It's from Ikea and super affordable. I love how bold and punchy it is, but how well it still works with all of the different patterns and colors in the room. And that hairpin legged coffee table from Tiffani, it's perfection. Also, look closely and you can see the Darth Vader pillow I made as a surprise for Allen. It's obvs very important to appease both clients and their respective design sensibilities.

Art is probably the toughest aspect of designing a space quickly. It's just really rare to find affordable, non-generic, interesting pieces that work with a room's design. I was super excited when Bethany showed me one of her photos she'd had enlarged and printed on industrial paper. She'd never framed it and wasn't even sure if she was going to use it anywhere. It was the perfect nature-influenced element to throw in the mix with all the other super saturated color and contrasting black and white. To frame it I stapled it to some 1x2s, attached some black chain, and screwed it to the wall so the print wouldn't buckle.

On the other side of the window we installed a gallery wall. I wanted the small basement window to feel like it was part of the overall presentation so we used varying prints, thrifted objects, and some DIY prowess to create a less structured and more organic grouping. We also had the pleasure of featuring our friend, and talented hand lettering artist Cheryl Dyer's commissioned work "There is no such beauty as where you belong." It's a line from The Road Home by Stephen Paulus, one of Bethany's favorite choral pieces.

And of course there's the cobalt console that I previously took two posts to write way too much about. But she is so pretty. The painted white built-in shelves got a stealthy splash of cobalt too.

Overall, I'm thrilled! And I can't wait for whatever the next project is.