Seven weeks later and my interior design course is complete! Like all fun things, it went by too quickly and I am so sad it’s over! As I told you, over the course of the past two months, we have been working on a project to design our own one bedroom. We were given a floor plan, which we had to stick to, but could play around with the walls and design everything else ourselves. There was “no budget” so we could include anything and everything we wanted (Fireplace in the bedroom? Walk-in closet? Yes, please!). Each week everyone would show their floor plan and explain what they had worked on, then the professor and students would all critique each others work, which was very helpful. My floor plan went through SEVERAL stages (which I mistakenly didn’t document), going from two couches, a coffee table, ottoman and a chair in the living room, to two couches, two coffee tables and two chairs. I had my bedroom against one side of the room, then was asked, “Why don’t you want the bed facing the beautiful windows to take in the view?”. Well that’s a good question…all things you think would be intuitive, but weren’t. It was so interesting to see everyone’s take on the same floor plan and not one apartment was the same. In fact, they were all very different. Here are a few pictures from the process…
the original plan
beginning the final steps of my project
little did I know 8 hours later I would still be here…
While it may not look like a lot of work, I spent HOURS, looking through magazines, going through fabric swatches, picking out paint colors, and the list goes on. Designing an apartment is no small task! I can’t imagine what an entire house would entail. For my one bedroom I chose to make it a TriBeCa loft which included a large living room with a built-in bookcase wall and fireplace which was open to the kitchen. The kitchen included Viking appliances and a white carerra marble island, with white subway tile and brass fixtures. The flooring was wide board wood and the round natural wood dining table had two natural wicker chairs with fun navy and white geometric cushions and a built-in banquette in the same pattern. The bedroom had a large closet along one wall, with a built-in bookcase/shelving and corner fireplace on the other, a king bed and a door through to the vanity/laundry room and then through to the master bath. The master bath had a double sink, a marble steam shower (why not?), herringbone tile floors and the walls had white subway tile and tan-colored paint. The apartment also included a powder room for guests and a built-in desk between the kitchen and living room. My color scheme throughout the house was brass, neutrals (white and tan), navy blue and an orangey red. I incorporated fun patterns and classic neutrals to keep it interesting without being too over-the-top. Overall, it had a very beachy/boho vibe, which I love.
It was really interesting to see not only how different everyone’s floor plans were, but also how they presented their projects and designed their rooms. Each person’s apartment was almost predictable based on their personality and style, it was pretty funny to observe. The lawyer, who is a quirky-dorky-Anthropologie type, designed her apartment with just that style – it looked as if it was straight out of an Anthropologie storefront with mustard yellow, polka dots and funky light fixtures. Then, the model-esque fashion chick who has a very simple-boho-earthy style, designed her apartment with large leather sofas, massive dark wood tables, and a large picture of horses hanging as the focal point of the living room. I loved both designs even though they were extremely different from my style! It was so interesting to see everyone’s ideas and it made me realize how your personality and fashion sense is just an extension of your taste in design.
A few things I learned from this course that I think are worth sharing are:
#1: Think about practicality and the purpose of a room before designing it. Don’t put a glass ottoman in a living room as extra seating. No one is going to sit on it.
#2: Keep rooms as open and inviting as possible; don’t put up a wall for the sake of putting up a wall.
#3: Sofas/chairs and coffee tables should be 18″ apart. Just enough to sit down and reach your glass of wine.
#4: People by nature like symmetry.
#5: Color schemes are typically made up of 3 or more colors and must be repeated at least 3 times in a room/apartment.
#6: When developing your color scheme stay within the same hue or it will not work well together.
#7: Blue is a very difficult color to work with because it has so many variations and hues.
#8: Pinks are the most flattering color to have on a bathroom wall.
#9: Stay away from bright colors in the bedroom, it will not facilitate a good sleep.
#10: A door should always open to a wall.
#11: Every room should have a focal line; having pictures hung at different heights is not aesthetically pleasing, there has to be a focal line along the wall which is repeated at least twice (whether it be with lighting or pictures).
It’s fascinating to dive into the details that go into designing a space and all of the regulations behind how large a bathroom has to be, how many inches apart furniture needs to be to sit comfortably, etc. The amount of time that goes into the research on colors, furniture, fabrics and what have you, is much longer than I anticipated, but I had an absolute blast doing it! If you have any questions about your own living space, feel free to contact me! I am happy to share my tidbits of knowledge that I accumulated over the past several weeks! I may even have to sign up for another one…
Happy Thursday! This week has flown by!