Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Interiors | The Inspiration Process

I wanted to talk a little about one of my favorite stages of a decorating consult, what I refer to as the ideation stage.  It is when I search for inspiration and gather tons of ideas for the space.  A bit like gathering the ingredients for a recipe. Inspiration comes from many places, typically mine starts with fabric or an image from a magazine or book.  Occasionally, I'll see a room and know right away what I would add or change, but more often it comes later, after I've had time to let lots of options dance around in my head.  My number one goal in this new decorating endeavor is to share my love and joy of creating a home with others in the hopes it inspires them to feel the same. Decorating, even when you enjoy it and are good at it, is just better when you have someone invested in the journey with you, to bounce ideas off of, or confirm your direction.  It takes a lot of second guessing out of the equation.  My hope is that NINE & SIXTEEN HOME will grow to offer more than consults, because HOME encompasses much more than decorating, but I'm still trying to sort out what that will look like.  For now it's the blog and consults! :)

One big learning for me in the last year has been how important images are when discussing ideas.  I could say floral fabric and envision a muted block print pattern, while someone else is envisioning giant cabbage roses (think Waverley patterns circa 1985). Or I could say warm neutrals meaning taupes and grays, while someone else thinks mustard yellow.   Sometimes, if I feel that I'm still trying to sort out the direction the homeowner wants to go, I start the ideation process with a couple mini inspiration boards to give options before developing the full plan and inspiration board for a room.

Here is a recent example from a local project (the home pictured at the beginning of this post).  The homeowners had done an amazing renovation and addition to an existing home.  They had worked so hard on the renovation that by the time decorating decisions came along (and a new baby, number 3) they were starting to feel tapped on creative energy.  They had started to second guess what they liked and what they were buying, even though they have great style!  They have an beautiful dining room that used to be the home's former living room.  It has a fireplace (my dream) and space for a long farmhouse table.   It is open to the family room and serves as the daily gathering spot for their family dinners.  The homeowner (and friend. ;)) sent me some inspiration images to get things started.  Here are a couple:


Her walls are already painted a soft, pretty gray but I couldn't gauge if she was really gravitating toward a cooler palette or a warmer, neutral palette. So I gave her options:

Option 1: Warm neutrals, more traditional 

Option 2: Cozy, with a cooler color palette, a little more causal than the other option

And here is how the final board came together for her room, after one round of revisions:


It ended up as a little bit of a combination of the two options.  But, in general, the focus is on warmer neutrals in the textiles and accesssories.  They will hang a pair of the oversized lanterns over the dining table (using the ones above - how gorgeous, right?!!).  And one wall will have a long, shallow built-in like in the Something's Gotta Give dining room but painted a gray similar to the one on the inspiration board and lined with ironstone plates and platters (yeah, I know, how jealous are we?!).  The fabrics are a combination of what will be on draperies, slipcovers and used in the adjoining family room on throw pillows.  I can't wait to watch it come together.  I will show updates as they come along.   There are a lot of details not shown on the board that are equally as pretty.  You'l just have to wait till I can show the real thing.  :)

As a curtesy to paying clients, I do not provide sources for items in their homes.
However, I will always happily share sources for my own home.
If you would like my help creating a beautiful home please 
contact me at: nineandsixteen@gmail.com

22 comments :

  1. I love it all. Every single bit.

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  2. Love hearing about your process and I love your designs! Can't wait to see the finished room.
    Shelley

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  3. So pretty! I love that the final product will be a combo of both options. I've been looking to do a tan and gray palette on my first floor but have been struggling with paint colors. The two above look perfect--would you mind sharing their names/brands?

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  4. I loved reading this while having my morning coffee. You have such lovely taste and amazing talent:)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your designs and your process. The room is going to be beautiful. And I can totally relate to the fatigue after a renovation. We're six years out and still finishing.

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  6. Wow it's going to be gorgeous! Can't wait to see it all come together!

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  7. Congratulations on your new business, thanks for taking us along with you. Since they didn't make it into your client's final design board, can you share where the wicker chairs in Option #2 came from?

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  9. I love your process Tessa! And I agree, it's so helpful/fun to bounce ideas off of someone else. I tend to drive myself crazy at times when making design choices and an extra pair of eyes often does wonders! Right now I'm contemplating changing out my dining room chandelier, even though I purchased it only two years ago. So, you may be hearing from me soon. :) thank you so much for sharing your work!

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  10. Lovely. Can you share the source of the pine farm table on the final design board? I would be so grateful to you if you could end my long search. Many thanks in advance.

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  11. Beautiful design board! Can't wait to see the finished product. I love the fabrics in Option 1. Would love to know sources.

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  12. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the fabrics & mixture of textures. I can't wait to see the details that you mentioned -- they always make the room.

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  13. inspiredencouraged - Check Restoration Hardware for tables very close to this.

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    1. Thanks. I went to RH yesterday. Tables are quite massive. This look is not in their present design phase. Also went to Pottery Barn. They have a very 'manufactured' looking replica. I think I am looking for either a vintage table or a craftsman made look alike. Any ideas or sources appreciated. I am new to the northern Va. area and miss all of my Long Island antique shows and stores.

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    2. cottagechicstore.com has some great furniture. Love Somerset Bay Home furniture but it is spendy. Good luck.

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  14. Tessa,
    Congrats on the new look and launching your business. Seems like a perfect time and I'm sure you will do wonderful. I love your ideas for this home. You have amazing taste. Best of luck!
    Kim

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  15. Great post! Loved reading about your process--and I agree, decorating is more enjoyable when you have kindred spirits to bounce ideas off :) The final board is beautiful!

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  18. Gorgeous! You are so talented! How do you make your design board? So
    Cool!

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