The owner of this Ferndale home relocated back to where she grew up (after a lifetime away), to be closer to her children and grandkids. She moved into a newly-built over-55 community, and needed to furnish it for this next chapter in her life. The client was trying to find a new normal after a few challenging years, and she needed not just new furniture, but a way to personalize the space to help her feel rooted and good again.
The decisions made in the project were both stylish and practical; the sofa had to be cozy enough for popcorn and movies with grandkids, and the house had to be durable for living with her new rescue dog, and casual enough that you could pop in and outside without fuss or worry about the decor being too precious.
We had three key design words guiding our project: “place,” ”touchable,” and “connection.” Every design decision had to relate to these three ideas.
Creating the Wow Factor
I wanted the owner’s friends to have a great first impression, and to create an element of surprise when they arrive. So we wallpapered the entry with a gorgeous digitally printed mural that feels like our misty mountains and sea, and it added so much depth to a long, (formerly) boring space. Instant wow factor.
Details matter, and so we trimmed the living room draperies with a textured blue accent. Everywhere you look, there are details to discover and items to make you understand that this is not off-the-rack decorating.
The finish on the credenza is satiny-smooth; people don’t expect it to feel so nice, and they literally stop and run their hands over the surface when they realize it doesn’t feel cheaply made. Interior design is supposed to appeal to our touch as well as our sight, and how an object feels is just as important as making sure it looks good.
Connecting with Clients
Clients often say that I am approachable and not intimidating. I work to turn a stressful decision-making process into a pleasure. We accomplish this with a lot of listening, regular email updates throughout the life of the project, and having a clear process to navigate the project from start to finish.
When we begin working together, I am busy picking up cues about my client, and it’s my job to take all those observations and create a personalized story that reflects them, and to craft it into a story that’s better than they ever imagined. I find that clients might start to focus on specific elements, like finding the perfect sofa, whereas I communicate the big picture and bring it to life.
The best part of the project was how game the client was to transform her new house into something that feels like home– and not just in the style that she was accustomed to. She just kept saying: “Yes.” “Okay, let’s do it.” “I trust you, Robin!”
(Alright, the mural took a little more convincing, but once she saw what we accomplished in the great room, she was 100% on board.)
I have the best clients, and I love it when we take an idea and run with it. Who doesn’t love a good transformation?
Builder: Landed Gentry
Photographer: Tony Zapien
Interior Designer: Robin Daly Color & Design
112 Ohio St., Ste. 101, Bellingham, 206.794.0314, robindalycolor.com