Reveal: Eclectic Equine Condo

Hello, hello! It's good to be back here with you for another eDesign reveal! If you're newer around these parts of the great World Wide Web, first off, welcome! So glad you're here! I'm Chelsea and peeled off from doing furniture refinishing about 2 years ago to focus on the design branch of StyleMutt Home. It's been a really exciting challenge to learn how to do design work, (primarily eDesign), and navigate where the specific skills can be used. Although we have been blessed with a full load of individual clients this year,  I accepted and began a freelance design job over the summer with a corporate company who is similar to Airbnb. They're purchasing condos in major cities around the US and Canada and making them available to travelers as home-away-from-home stay places. But between their purchase and that first lease, there is a lot of work to do on these condos! My job is the design, (i.e. the fun part)! The work is very fast paced and often unpredictable. I design these spaces from the comfort of my own home, never stepping foot inside the physical space.  I never know what information they'll be able to supply me with on a unit before I get started on the design. Many times they give me a floorplan with measurements and that's it. If I'm lucky I get pictures, and maybe even a video tour! Regardless of what info I'm given for a space, they require all the details that make up a complete eDesign in a day or two. It's a lot of fast research, drawing, note taking and, <gulp> math, but the exciting part is having the creative freedom to design the spaces how I wish. The company always gives me a style direction, (industrial, old world, California cool, etc), but from there I can run with it.

The space I'm sharing today is in Chicago and came with all the lovely before photos a girl could ask for. It is a 2 bedroom condo with a comfortable living space complete with a full kitchen. When I saw the before photos the space just looked tired. The blue-gray walls just made the it all look kind of 'blah'; especially the kitchen. There is absolutely nothing modern or industrial about the architecture here like in many of the other spaces I have designed for this company, so my desire was simply to freshen it up and make it cozy. In my short experience with design thus far I have learned that the most successful designs are a natural extension of the space. Since this space is already very traditional, I stuck to fairly classic pieces that read traditional with a modern twist. When I first showed Cate her remark was how very equestrian it felt with the dark moody colors, rich velvets and warm leather. So I'm calling this the Equine Condo! Lol!

Let's take a look!

LIVING ROOM

Below is a before picture of the living room paired with my design plan:

BEDROOM 1

I'm telling you, it's so hard to design rooms without the current season on your brain. I worked on this space right as the days were turning crisp and pumpkins were being displayed on doorsteps. Can you tell?! I went all out cozy. It's a rather large bedroom and I just wanted to make it feel inviting, quiet, and relaxing. It's like a big green cave and I just love it.

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BEDROOM 2

They said a bed couldn't be done. They said a dresser could never fit. Literally - I actually (accidentally) stumbled onto other designers' notes on this room. The client deeply desired this space to be a second bedroom, and with an en-suite bathroom it surely made sense.  I studied that floorplan and researched beds. I knew if the measurements were right that a full bed mattress would absolutely be doable. A bedframe, maybe not. So I found an adjustable bedframe that could be pulled inward a few inches if need be but still support the full size mattress. And with the bed nestled cozy in the corner there was more than enough space for a modest tallboy dresser with a small footprint. I'm not usually one to sit and work on puzzles, but I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out how to fit the pieces together comfortably in this room!

And how about that wallpaper?! Target has a gorgeous line of peel-and-stick that is ~$30 for 27.5 sq ft! That's a lot of impact for a tiny bit of $! I'm still fairly weary of using wallpaper, but I'm so pleased with how it turned out in this space. It's the perfect tiny room for it.

KITCHEN

I admit I wasn't thrilled with these cherry cabinets and cherry floor - it was a lot of red wood, hurt my eyes. Hah! But once again I am floored by the magic of a fresh coat of paint. My design for this space included painting the entire main living space in Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore and it absolutely wakes this space up. With all the red wood, the stools may seem an odd choice. I totally get it; why add even more red toned wood? Well, for one thing I didn't want any statements in the kitchen. I was adding a lot of contrast to the living room right next to it and wanted the kitchen to just be easy on the eyes, nothing sticking out. Secondly, although the red toned wood itself is not my favorite, keeping it all the same gives this space a slight modern feel. It's monochromatic which I love.

That's a wrap! I hope you enjoyed looking around - I sure am grateful to you for coming by!

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Dramatic Studio in the Theatre District

Hello dear friends! It's my first post since one of the dearest people to my heart passed away, my grandpa, ("Bampy"). He gave us so much to celebrate and a helluva lot to miss. It seems so fitting today to get to share a recent project I had the opportunity to do in the beautiful city of Boston, home of his Red Sox. We shared a love for New England and although I don't get to call it home anymore, the next best thing is having the chance to design beautiful homes nestled in some of Boston's most beloved neighborhoods.

Today's reveal is a studio right on the outskirts of the Theatre District. I've always wanted to design a studio - Something about the challenge of cramming your living, dining and sleep into one room just piques my interest! Hah! While this one is definitely of generous proportions, I still had a tricky time with layout. But it was an exciting challenge to take on and I'm so happy with out it turned out!

Let's take a look around:

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First, you can't beat these windows. All that natural light is making the design look goooood! I wanted to wrap the space in something dramatic so I chose a charcoal gray, (Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore), that could move well from the lighter side near the windows, to the walls furthest out.

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That Red Sox literature is for you, Bampy. :)

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Another first for me was using a canopy bed! I figured creating a cozy sleep space in a studio could be a challenge. I wanted it to feel set apart and intimate, and I'm so pleased with how this piece, (found for a great price at Wayfair), fits into the space!

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And if you're in to the behind the scenes process, here is one of the floorplans and design boards from this project! There are always edits but I try to hit the big picture concept early on so it's just tweaks from there. For this job I wasn't given pictures of the space beforehand nor measurements of the windows or between the windows, so when we saw how close together the windows actually were it made sense to rotate the living area.

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That's it - Pretty short tour when it's all one room! If you have any questions about where I found what please don't hesitate to ask in a comment below! I'll be back next week with another design reveal from the Windy City!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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eDesign: Finding the Right Fit

This post is sponsored by all of our extended family members who've asked over the last year, "So, what exactly is eDesign again?". Whether you're a curious family member or a home owner/renter who is contemplating eDesign to complete your own space, we're sharing what we hope will be some very helpful information! It's going to get a little wordy here today, so if lots of text and finer details are your jam, you're in for a treat! If not, we've sprinkled in some pretty pictures to help you get through. Like this one:

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So what exactly is eDesign?

eDesign is interior design done remotely. Rather than visiting clients' homes and doing all the work in-person, the design is put together without ever stepping through the front door. Using simple technology like FaceTime and email, clients and designers are able to work together to execute a detailed and personalized design plan for any space in the home! Clients often send measurements and photos of the space they'd like help with, and the designers are then able to create customized design ideas for the room complete with floor plans, design boards which help the client visualize the finished look, and in some cases a complete shopping list of items in the design plan that the client can purchase and put in place on their own.

Isn't eDesign more work for the client?

It is. eDesign certainly isn't for every homeowner, but if a client is willing to put a bit of their own time into transforming their home, they can easily save hundreds, (and thousands), of dollars on in-person designer fees. But there are tools that make it very easy for designers to communicate ideas and final looks, so the ultimate goal is for the client to be able to follow a clear step-by-step plan that's easy to follow and execute on their own.

Just to hold your attention:

There, are you still with us?

Now that we've explained what eDesign is, let's discuss how to go about finding the right eDesigner for you. Just because eDesign is done remotely doesn't mean it's meant to be impersonal; it's your home, after all! Since eDesign is becoming increasingly widespread there are many eDesign businesses to choose from and it can be overwhelming to know where to start! Here are some questions that can not only help you decide what you'd like to get from eDesign, but what exactly you'll get from your eDesigner!

Getting started

Understanding what you'll get from an eDesign business before you pay is crucial. Many larger eDesign companies employ somewhere between 200-500+ designers. Be clear about how you'll be matched with a designer - do they match you by style? Location? Availability? Will you have the opportunity to have a virtual consultation with your matched designer before you pay?

Understanding the fee

First of all, when deciding on your budget for your home make sure you consider the design fee. This will be what you pay the eDesigner, not what you pay for new things for your home. So if your total budget is $$$ and the design fee is $, you'll have $$ left on new purchases. Across the board, most companies charge a flat fee for a specific package, while a few charge an hourly rate. Hourly rates encourage prompt decisions and a clear vision from the client - the more back and forth there is the more the fee grows. Make sure you understand when the clock is ticking. For example, do you pay when you email them with questions and they respond to you? With flat fees make sure you understand exactly what you'll receive from each package, (if they offer multiple packages). While the least expensive package may look appealing, (some of the basic packages that we've found start at $79, $150, $299, and $725, just to give you an idea), just make sure you understand exactly what you'll get. Most of the basic packages offer only 1-2 finished looks, (so if it's not exactly what you were looking for for your home, you're stuck), with no additional tools, (no floor plan, no shopping list or guide to finding the pieces in the plan), and no further assistance. Regardless of what plan you choose, do some digging as to what exactly you'll get and have a clear idea of what you hope to receive.

Here are some questions to ask:

-How long do I have my designer? Most eDesign packages give you your designer for an allotted amount of time, (some even as short as one week - 10 days). This leaves very little room for 'life' to happen and requires your prompt attention to decisions.

-Once the final look is handed over how much room for iteration is there? Will you be cut off from getting feedback from your designer after the final look is delivered? Will there be an hourly rate for any necessary feedback?

All this numbers talk is exhausting! Let's break:

Whew! Ready to move on?

Affiliation with retailers

This is a biggie. Most larger eDesign companies profit two ways - through design fees and through collaborations with big box stores. This means that they are required to use only pieces from affiliated retailers in their designs. The final look can get very pricey and lose the personal touch you may desire for your home. So just ask them where they'll shop for you! Where will the elements of your final look be coming from? If your style is relaxed and you like unique finds, will they be able to accommodate? If your budget is $$, will they be researching the very best deals that are out there, or are they limited to specific stores? Just ask.

We are delighted to tell you that StyleMutt Home is not affiliated with any box store and that we have experience using resources that help us find character pieces for less, as well as the very best deals in your area. This allows us to deliver without limitation a personalized look unique to you, within budget. We are most passionate about helping others create the home of their dreams regardless of limitations, (budget, size, renting rules, location and the like). StyleMutt Home began eDesign as a solution to a problem - we want to help you wherever you are and feel confident that even if we can't be there in person, we can work with you to deliver a home as unique as you.

We hope this post has been helpful to you! The above images are just a few of the eDesign projects we have had the pleasure of working on and photographing and we invite you to view our eDesign page if you'd like to see more!

If you're interested in eDesign for your own home please fill out this form! You don't have to know your style to get started - sometimes figuring that out can feel overwhelming! We are pleased to offer life-like examples of various style options custom to your home and floorplan. The sample of images below are 3D renderings we have created using past clients' spaces! Sometimes it just helps to see options. We get it and we got your back!

Thank you all for stopping by!