Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Paris Retreat in Vancouver

I recently completed a redecoration of a condo in Kitsilano.

The ocean view suite is in a thirty-seven year old building...not a huge space, and a typical layout. I really wanted to focus on the view and lifestyle of the owner. She had previously viewed her suite as a hotel room/office as she spent most of her time travelling for business and had homes in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She is now retiring and was asking herself where she wanted to spend her time.

She happened to walk in to my shop after a three month absence to Vancouver and tells us she fell in love with the look and feel of our space. Within the week I was repainting all of her furniture to help transform her 'hotel' looking space into a soft, inviting oasis. 

One whole wall of the suite was completely mirrored. I suggested we remove it and happily she agreed to that. I wanted to incorporate as much as I could of her existing interior, which is one of the things I specialize in when decorating. I love to coax an existing look into a light and airy retreat with echoes of a Parisian or French Country home, or a romantic all white interior, or a Belgian inspired mix of greys and creams and antiques mixed with ultra modern.

I realized that my diminutive client would appreciate understated elegance more than anything else but she had a need of more storage for her collection of binders and office materials. I painted all of her oversize dark wood pieces to help them 'disappear' into the room a bit as they really chopped up the room as they were. 

You can especially see how that helped in the bedroom as she had a big nine drawer dresser with mirror, an armoire, 2 large bedside tables and a desk in thaty one room. You wouldn't have thought it was a lot by the time we were done...

I showed my client two looks for her room, to show her how easy it is to have a fresh new look when you tire of the old one by decorating this way...

She chose the floral canvas room to start and plans to switch over to the other look in the dark days of  autumn and winter. The green and blue look was inspired by two framed photos she already had, so by painting her furniture and adding luxurious (and washable!) Brunelli bedding in cream we created a fresh palette for the colours to pop.

She got to keep her lovely settee and Queen Anne chair, and her glass topped marble table. I added the antique refurbished toile covered chairs and a sideboard and mirror to the formerly all-mirrored wall. I used her silver collection for display and added a few floral and decorative elements to complete the Parisian feel...a glass cloche, a weathered birdcage, an elegant chandelier and lovely tapestry cushions made in France. I think the end result reflects my client perfectly...elegant, classic and unpretentious, with a nod to Europe. She showed me her collection of watercolours done by a friend throughout his travels of France many decades ago. They were utterly charming. He drove her around in his little convertible along steep curvy roads to take in breathtaking views of countryside and sea, and it seemed appropriate to incorporate that good memory into her home.

My favourite thing in this suite is something I cannot take credit for...she already had these heavy louvered shutters that swing French is that? It gave the room a certain charm and it all worked together beautifully.

The best part of this project? My client tells me she has had her home redecorated three times in the past, and this was the first time she not only liked it...she loves it! Since the project ended she has decided to make this home her permanent home, where she will spend most of her time. She has fallen in love with a space that she formerly thought of as her office. Now she wants to throw open her shutters and drink in the view she previously had not time to admire in her fast-paced and hard working life, and enjoy her space that perfectly reflects her. 

Unfortunately I recently lost my cell phone that had all of the 'Before' pictures of the suite and I had not yet uploaded them to my laptop, would have loved to show you those.

She was also amazed at the price...I did not ask her to rid her home of everything and start anew, painting ALL of her furniture cost her about as much as replacing just ONE of the pieces she owned. A few additions and Voile! A new home...

I love helping clients re-invent their spaces. Please come in for a complimentary consultation on how you can have the space you dream about! My first love is vintage and light Gustavian and Belgian colours, but my visions are not limited by them...rather they are inspired by you and how you live your life!