Sometimes you walk into a new space and it speaks to you. Perhaps it’s the sunflower bronze door knobs, well-worn and intricate, or it could be the Victorian lighting that was switched over to electric in Edison’s time; whatever it is it’s very present. Although I could never draw up any sufficient verbal descriptors that would explain that feeling in a nutshell, it leads me and my practice. I don’t believe in fighting against what a home dictates. A landscape architect friend of mine, long before working with Martha S. had told me that he was a strong believer in ‘staying true to the materials;” a chink out of limestone here, an unexpected odd vein in a custom excavated slab of marble – none of it mattered to him. I found a kindred soul at that moment in time. I think this aspect of creative intuition is the nucleus that holds my practice together. I never fear a room, much to my client’s dismay and awe, I embrace it for what it is and could be, not what I demand it to be.
Along the same lines, over a decade ago, I was gifted a design client when working for a now retired designer in Austin. I realized fairly soon after that this client was given to me as a cast off, an impossibility. This poor soul wanted to live in a French Provencal home, full of Souleiado batik a la Pierre Deux in warm, vibrant sunset colors. Unfortunately however, her husband had purchased a 1970s ranch house, sight unseen. Try as she may and continually frustrated (she had tenacity), she attempted time and again expensive remodeling choices that were, let’s face it, horribly inadequate. Essentially all of my predecessors had thrown in the towel before they began. Well, needless to say, I had a talk that equated to the square peg, round hole facsimile and they purchased a fabulous Provencal home in the same area with more stone balustrades and window shutters than she knew what to do with. I love it when clients find their bliss! So my point is this, stay true to the home and it will never steer you wrong.
That said, onto my Vermont family that is coming out of the remodeling wormhole. They are of the brave souls that stay in their home through a major remodel. True, it is summer, the kids don’t go to school and you have the flexibility of grilling and eating outdoors, but it can wear on some individuals; waking up to strangers buzzing around your home for months on end.
Here is a sneak peek at the color palette: