Fall Fixes – Part 1: First things first – Planning for a change

Fix - A measure to resolve or to arrange for a solution - and to make a decision.
— Oxford Dictionary

I often see a flurry of decorating activity at the beginning of fall, after the spring and summer months of diving into remodeling.  More often, our clients want their homes ready for the holiday entertaining season and are anticipating expanded indoor activities with the shorter and sometimes inclement days.  I’m such a nester and the idea of snuggle weather is very appealing to me.

A living area in a lakefront guest suite provides for all of the amenities. A luxurious, yet practical sofa, has been covered in a performance fabric velvet. Original art speaks to the location and brings the exterior view indoors. A cashmere throw is draped with an invitation for hugging the shoulders. The storage ottomans offer foot rests and trays for holding refreshments. In this cozy space, every detail has been considered.    (Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

A living area in a lakefront guest suite provides for all of the amenities. A luxurious, yet practical sofa, has been covered in a performance fabric velvet. Original art speaks to the location and brings the exterior view indoors. A cashmere throw is draped with an invitation for hugging the shoulders. The storage ottomans offer foot rests and trays for holding refreshments. In this cozy space, every detail has been considered.

(Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

Though timing is crucial for a full-room or total area redo, (allowing at least 90 to 120 days from the final design presentation/proposal to installation and styling), there are some things that can be accomplished in shorter periods to refresh your spaces.  I always share this caveat:  Seeing one or two improvements can spark the desire for even more!  We provide detailed attention, during our initial consultations, to address all scenarios.

In our series, “Fall Fixes”, you’ll receive some suggestions for making a difference in your home’s design.  I hope you’ll join us and enjoy some great take-a-way’s.  We’d love it if you’d subscribe to our newsletter as it will remind you when we update our blog.  There may even be a bonus tip or two!

Details that make the difference in a bedroom. A beautiful lamp provides lighting but also creates a sculptured effect with its woven, lattice pottery base. Fresh flowers bring life. Sleeping pillows are hidden behind the mixture of patterned shams - perfectly propped for nighttime stories or TV viewing. The upholstered headboard adds a soft backdrop.    (Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

Details that make the difference in a bedroom. A beautiful lamp provides lighting but also creates a sculptured effect with its woven, lattice pottery base. Fresh flowers bring life. Sleeping pillows are hidden behind the mixture of patterned shams - perfectly propped for nighttime stories or TV viewing. The upholstered headboard adds a soft backdrop.

(Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

First Things First:  Planning for change – How to better understand yourself and your space requirements.

Though I often speak of having a plan as the starting point, and that’s very important, creating spaces in your home comes from a deeper place.  Yes, it’s easier to point to pictures, showing preferences for color, design style, and the latest trends, but considering you’ll be living with these choices for a while, it’s crucial to understand the ‘what and why’ before making them.  We ask a few, key questions on our website’s Inquire page to begin the conversation. We delve even a bit more as you’ll read, below. It’s fun and also interesting!

What’s one of the biggest requests I have for a master bedroom or even a guest room? Clients often ask for a beautiful hotel experience. That concept can be such a broad brush for a designer to use in painting the space. Are we speaking of an older European style? A modern museum influence? It could even be a particular function built into the room, such as automation or lighting. Most often, it includes comfortable beds and layered linens.    (Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

What’s one of the biggest requests I have for a master bedroom or even a guest room? Clients often ask for a beautiful hotel experience. That concept can be such a broad brush for a designer to use in painting the space. Are we speaking of an older European style? A modern museum influence? It could even be a particular function built into the room, such as automation or lighting. Most often, it includes comfortable beds and layered linens.

(Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

We can better provide the relevant design elements by understanding what you require for your home to support you if we know it should be a space for energizing, a calming effect, welcoming others, or refreshing.

How do we understand the “you” behind your design?

Aside from a more typical discovery process - asking questions about design preferences - I sometimes ask questions that may not seem as relevant but they actually help me to get to know you and unveil your priorities.  For example, a lot of our clients tend to travel so I find it can be an easier point-of-reference for those who feel they struggle with answering in designer terms.

Rather than opening a travelogue of beautiful images, prompting you to book your tickets and take off, a wise planner may ponder:

1.       What’s the weather going to be like during ‘X’ season? Is it temperate or extreme?  What kind of weather do you more often prefer?

2.       How will you get there? Will it be a non-stop flight or are you willing to wait for layovers?  Have you allowed enough time for travel interruptions?  If you get delayed from a flight, how will you react?

3.       What’s your food preference? Do you prefer only exotic cuisine or a variety?  Do you have food allergies to consider?

4.       What about lodging? Do you want to stay in a five-star resort or boutique hotel/AirBnB?  Do you mix it up a bit to get a spa experience while getting to know the locals?

5.       How will you communicate? Do you want to take time to learn the language or do you prefer to find a translator? 

6.       What if you need medical care? Are educated doctors available or do you see see the local shaman? 

7.       Other than the images you’ve seen, what are other attractions or activities? – Do they show the best they have to offer or is this one of many beautiful venues? 

8.       And ultimately, what do you value the most and would be willing to include in your travel budget?

Believe it or not, these answers are very telling and applicable. Designing or updating a space is also like changing course from a familiar destination.  You can’t always predict the final outcome but you can establish some expectations.  My advice is to put as much consideration into your next home project as you would in planning a destination vacation.

In our clients’ guest quarters, you can see a view of the lake. What a treat for visitors to have their own, private suite. A fully-equipped kitchen, eating area and sitting room are in front of the bedroom and ensuite bath. There’s also a smart reason for including a multi-use area in their home. It provides for a future plan to bring in a caretaker, when needed. Of course, a future in-law suite or an adult family member could enjoy the benefits, too.    (Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

In our clients’ guest quarters, you can see a view of the lake. What a treat for visitors to have their own, private suite. A fully-equipped kitchen, eating area and sitting room are in front of the bedroom and ensuite bath. There’s also a smart reason for including a multi-use area in their home. It provides for a future plan to bring in a caretaker, when needed. Of course, a future in-law suite or an adult family member could enjoy the benefits, too.

(Design & Photo Copyright: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design Image: Dustin Peck Photography)

Even with my posts being about Fall Fixes, the emphasis isn’t going to be so much about them being fast. Your intention will be the key.  You’ll learn things you can accomplish, now, while considering the entire itinerary.

All my best! ~ Wanda