Monday, February 18, 2019

Furniture and family history

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, soaking up all the knowledge I can from all the designers who are willing to go on air and share what they know.  I recently discovered the Business of Home podcast and listened to Bunny Williams and Nina Campbell back to back.  I loved hearing from these "grand dames" of decorating on their philosophies and how things have changed in the industry.

Two things that stuck out for me:
1) Nina Campbell talking about how, in the early years of her career, everyone had a house full of inherited furniture to work with (making buying furniture something you just didn't do)

2) Bunny Williams talking about her philosophy that you buy forever.  Her own couch is 3 decades old and has been through multiple reupholsterings.

I have to say I love how furniture floats around through my family on my mom's side.  Anytime anyone is done with anything, it gets offered up to second and third cousins.  When I bought my first apartment in Brooklyn, I raided my grandfather's basement.  My niece grew up with my childhood bedroom set.  When I recently realized I no longer had room for two tables, one my grandmothers' and one my aunt's, my aunt reclaimed them both for her own house.  There's something sort of genteel about this.

In my own house, I have pieces of my parents' bedroom set, purchased in California when I was a baby.  It traveled with them to a cul de sac in Minnesota, where it lived in their master suite.  When I was a teenager and we moved a mile away, it went into my room.  Later, I drove it out to Brooklyn, then Colorado, then back to Minnesota.  I imagine one day my girls will each take a piece--the armoire to Eleri, the headboard to Clio, or vice versa.

So I didn't really imagine I would be in the market for a bed.  Like, ever.  But mattresses, as a rule, are not items that pass through families or stick around forever, and we are overdue for a new one in our bedroom.  After many months (years? Literally years, I think) of research, we pulled the trigger on an Avocado, taking advantage of a President's day sale, and the dominoes started to fall.  The Avocado requires a platform bed, and my parents' headboard is attached to a simple metal bedframe with bedskirt, box spring, and mattress.

Naturally, I am now thinking about every bed I have ever loved or longed for, and feeling slightly excited by the prospect of change.  I often tell clients not to go crazy splurging on a bed, or certainly not a headboard, as it doesn't get a lot of wear and tear, construction wise.  I stand by this, but knowing that I do tend to buy for the long run, I want to be sure to be thoughtful.

These are some of my favorite beds of all time:



None of which will work for various reasons.  (Two are headboard only, the room is not big enough for a four poster or canopy, my husband is too tall for a footboard, ans the John Robshaw bed in the top middle--which I LOVE--is too expensive.)

These are some actual options:


The top middle is a version of my all-time favorite bed.  Bottom middle is a take on the John Robshaw bed.  The two on the right are total blank slate beds--I could layer textiles over them, change them up with bedding, etc.  Top left I know as I type this I will not do, but I do love rattan.  Bottom left is the wild card dark horse that I am sort of kind of loving!  Love the shape, the slim leg, the fabric color, and most of all, the gimp and nailhead trim.  This will go with anything forever but is more polished than the two neutral options.

One of these beds is already in my cart for a one day deal, but it is final sale.  And then there is the question of whether it works with everything else in the room, or if the dominoes would continue to fall.

What about you: does your family rotate things around?  Or are you more the start from scratch type?

Friday, December 7, 2018

Wish List 2018

Honestly, I feel a little silly doing this this year.  There's really not very much that I need or want that can be put on a list and bought.  This year I have been investing in my business and myself, so I'm sort of set (or getting there!)

But just for funsies:

For the office:
A white and gold watering can for my plant
A keurig in matte white
A set of coffee mugs (oopsies, already commissioned my friend Amy Deystone to make these for me!)
An authentic noguchi lantern model 75A for over the conference table

For the home:
Missoni stair runner!  (Finally doing this!)
Throw pillows to replace the ones my dog ate
Block printed cloth napkins (not pictured)

For me:
Pretty earrings
A nude lipstick
A pretty top (I haven't actually tried this one on, so who knows?)
Cashmere lined leather gloves, size small, preferably from TJ Maxx (great colors, way better prices)
More design books!  Always open, but this this and this are on my list right now

I should acknowledge that this list looks very similar year over year!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Before and After: City Loft in the Suburbs

I have to say, this one is VERY exciting.

These days I sneak peek so much on instagram as projects unfold, it is very rare for me to have a before and after that is a completely new, fresh, and heretofore unseen project.  But this one is.

It's also fun because 98% of my work is direct referrals, and this project wasn't.  The client interviewed me and several other designers and ultimately I won her business.

And all of that aside, I think this project is farthest from my personal aesthetic of any completed work, and yet I still really love it!

Okay, ready?

The house was built in the suburbs in the 80s, and it was all golden oak and shiny brass.  The clients had something more slick and modern in mind.  We did not change the layout at all, but we ultimately resurfaced the entire main floor.

Kitchen before:



After!





One of the greatest things about this house is its location on a golf course.  The kitchen boasted a window with a view over the sink--but it was a dated box window and really overshadowed by the soffit.  Changing it out was an add-on to the original scope, but I think it was money really well spent.

Before:

After!




In the living room, removing the country style banister and making use of the fireplace angled wall had a huge impact.

Living room before:

After!

(p.s. this was my most minimalist project ever and I had a pretty strong urge to fill it up when I styled the photo shoot!  Everything you see on a horizontal surface in the photo above is mine, except for the lamp.)

Sunroom before:


After!

Upstairs, the house is still largely living in the 80s (that is a later phase), but we spruced up the master bedroom with furniture and soft goods.

Before:

After!


The dining and living rooms are being updated currently.  All in all, a pretty big transformation already!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Before and After: Prior Lake Modern Farmhouse

It's been a while since I shared a proper before and after!  This project was completed earlier this spring but I wanted to photograph it with full greenery out the large windows.

The house is a really lovely new build in a suburb of the Twin Cities.  The builder did a nice job with what I think of as "fresh classic" materials: nothing crazy, but the selections reflect the time.  (so for example the grey-wash floors and the kitchen backsplash say 2018 but are classic enough that they won't feel dated in a decade.)

This client loves COLOR, and my job was to warm things up!

This was a spec house and the "before" photos are all from the staging--not my client's stuff.
The major impacts that we made:

- right sizing the furniture
- rugs to define separate spaces
- wallpapering the ceiling tray to further define the living room
- drapery to further define and frame the dining room
- window treatments in general!

Great room before:


Great room after:


Living before:



And after:



Living towards master suite before:



And after:


Dining before:


And after:



Kitchen before:


Kitchen after:


Master bedroom before:


Master bedroom After:


We also brought color and pattern to the laundry room:


All after photos: © Spacecrafting Photography

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hiring!


One of the challenges of small business is knowing when (and how) to grow.  I thought about what kind of help I needed for a long time before essentially getting desperate and hiring a part time assistant in January.  Guess what?  Best decision ever.

Fast forward to now, and my wonderful assistant is moving to North Carolina.  

Seeing: half time design assistant with the potential for growth to full time in the next year.

Must be a creative problem solver with a love of interior design and a willingness to do the grunt work.  (I do it too!)  Must be computer proficient with drafting skills and some image management.  If you have basic proficiency and a willingness/ability to continue to teach yourself, I'm happy to support you as you grow.

Time is split between design work and general assisting.

Design: Create drawings in drafting software (preferably sketchup), including kitchens, bathrooms, and custom work such as built-ins or custom furniture.  Basic proficiency required with the ability to learn additional skills as needed.   Source furnishings, fixtures, and materials.  Measure spaces and enter details and dimensions into floor planner.  Create design board drafts.  Create material samples (paint boards etc).  Option to move into project management.

Admin/ general assisting: Run errands.  Manage material samples.  Create presentation materials.  Assist on installs and photo shoots.  Enter items into Olioboard and Studio Designer.  Create pitches.  Manage images for website.  Assist with blogging.

Desired skills:
Proficient in Sketchup
Image Management (photo shop and illustrator)
Basic handiness
Ability to lift/haul (furniture may be moved, product will be hauled)
Willingness to learn

Also seeking: PART TIME BOOKEEPER

Currently in the process of moving over to Studio Designer, which has built in accounting software akin to quickbooks.  Experiece with Studio Designer a plus but not required.

Seeking bookkeeper to manage billing on a weekly or biweekly basis; payroll, and monthly sales tax filings.

TO APPLY: 
Email cover letter, resume, and (for designer) work sample of some kind to heather@heatherpetersondesign.com

Bonus for both positions (not required): send me an image of an interior that reflects your aesthetic and tell me why.

Positions begin as soon as October.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Before and After: Elmwood Place sunroom

I shared the living room of this home yesterday.  Get ready for the sunroom--it's actually the biggest transformation of them all!

I have to say, sharing the before doesn't feel quite fair, and I think the after stands alone.  I'm sharing both because in some ways this was a restoration project, with the intention of bringing the space back to what it might originally have been.  Somewhere along the way (before my clients bought the house), the gorgeous windows got covered with storm windows and the original tile floor was covered with carpet, so the shell itself was diminished.  It was also the hottest room in the house in summer, and the coldest in winter--it literally had newspaper for insulation.

We replaced the windows with all new custom ones, added spray foam insulation, and chose a new hand made terra cotta tile floor that nods to the original.  We added a built in banquette, a table with two leaves that extend for a big group, wallpaper on the rest of the surfaces, and even added an indoor-outdoor television and hidden speakers (not pictured though).  It's now my client's favorite room in her house (and possibly my favorite room in my portfolio!)

Before:



After!
(even more unfair that the before is winter and after is spring!)


Before:


After!



Before:

(I don't have a before shot looking in to the room, so this take a little more imagination.
The space has these beautiful doors on both sides--the one below is what the next "after" was taken through.)



After!
(here looking in from the dining room.)


You can see we also added storage under the bench and sconces on either end of the room for a nice glow.  The top of the banquette (behind the backrest) has outlets and a charging station built in.

Before:
A close up on that corner--we also added radiant heat to the floor so we could eliminate the baseboard heaters.



After!


Love this set of four vintage etchings I found at Clarabel Vintage--they were basically made for the space--really pretty on the straw colored grasscloth, which has a bit of a sheen to it.  I'm super into fringe these days and love the weird olive green tone on the brush fringe with that Schumacher print on the pillow.

One more angle:


(Okay, this is a cell phone pic --obviously--but it shows you the transformed windows):


I honestly wanted to shoot every single angle, but since the room is 100% symmetrical, it didn't make a lot of sense.

This is one of those projects that I was sad to wrap, because I came to love this whole family so much.

All of the "Afters" (save my cell phone pic) by the very talented Rob at Spacecrafting Photography. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Before and After: Elmwood Place

I finally photographed one of my favorite projects, and I'm really excited to share with you!
The client is just the loveliest family, and we have been working together now in various capacities for about 4 years.  I shared the transformation of their entry, hall, stairwell, and powder bath here.

This was one of those cases where they moved into a much larger home that needed work and started tackling the big projects.  Before I got involved, they renovated the kitchen, lower level family room, and library.  As a result of the time, energy, and money spent there, other spaces were a bit of a mishmash of pieces from their former home, hand me downs, and things picked up on the cheap.  Two of the most usable spaces in their home, the main living room and a charming sunroom, were totally under utilized.

I'll show you the living room here and the sunroom in another post!  I shared sketches for the living room a million years ago--here.

Before: Looking in to the living room from the front hall:


When we worked on the entry, we added millwork that feels original to the house, added a slate blue grasscloth, and upgraded the stair runner.  In the living room, we lightened the palette, scaled the furniture more appropriately to the room, and added polish.

After:


Before: After considering a number of possibilities, we ended up keeping the same L-shaped seating for the floor plan, but with two different couches and a pair of chairs to flank the beautiful original fireplace.


After: By using two couches instead of a sectional, we were able to push the layout back into the window niche, making the room feel bigger.  We also ended up with much more seating--now everyone in their family of six has their "place" in the room.



Before:
There was a family workstation in the front corner, but it was bulky.
We designed built ins for around that window (and to cover the radiator).


After:
The built-ins feel original to the house and provide a more streamlined office station (the drawers on the right are file drawers.)  


We lined the backs of the shelves with a paper that feels like venetian bookend paper and added antique books and lovely objects.  We also added sound throughout the main floor and used compact bookshelf speakers.  You don't always have to hide your electronic components.


Before: The long wall of the room was the only place for the TV.


After:
We hid the TV in a gorgeous armoire--a french antique from the 1800s.  The scale of the piece really balances the scale of the room and stands up to the large feature on each wall (fireplace, bookshelf, couch in large window.)


The thing I love most about this room is how many different textures we were able to incorporate for lots of interest and patina.


All above "after" photos  ©Spacecrafting 

I have to say, I LOVE having these gorgeous photos, and having another eye on my work.  I do miss having every single detail shot, like when I was shooting with my husband, but it is an excellent exercise in editing.

Stay tuned for the sunroom reveal!



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