I guess all interior design is for the betterment of its users or society, but this project is extra special. I have a friend, a dear friend, a lifelong friend named Jennifer. She and her husband have two birth children, 13ish and 11ish (kids grow so fast, I have kind of lost track). Nearly 5 years ago, they adopted the most precocious little girl you would ever want to meet. I can never see Caitie with out creating a memorable moment. She will either say something hysterical or incredibly imaginative or share something intelligent far beyond her years. Either way, she is a great character and a great addition to their family.
Honestly, Jennifer and her husband would be those people that should be on Extreme Home Makeover, they have dealt with pretty significant health issues (including possible brain surgery) this past year and in spite of it all, are now in the process of becoming foster parents.
At the risk of this post becoming incredibly wordy, let me tell you even more about Jennifer and her family. In order to keep her family sane, and to become eligible for the foster program, Jennifer’s basement has to be finished. While she has a dad that is pretty awesome, can basically do anything construction or mechanical that you could ever ask for, he is a purely functional kind of a guy. This is where my design services come in. He plotted out a very simple design for the basement, and at the risk of stepping on some toes, I asked if I could take a look at the plans. He had planned on one additional bedroom, lots of storage area and a large family room. I advised that they should plan on making 2 additional bedrooms, even if one isn’t optimal. When they resell their home, listing a 5 bedroom will be more appealing than 4. I also reconfigured the closet in the 13 year olds bedroom. She and I share the messiness gene, honestly it is something that I believe is inborn. As a teen, I would have given anything to have a walk-in closet to hide my mess in, so I gave her one. The other thing I planned is a closet for a second washer and dryer. Perhaps some day soon, Jennifer’s teens can do their own laundry!
They recently completed the construction phase. This weekend I will be helping them pick some paint colors and perhaps taking some during photos.
Jennifer is a fan of a bit more of a country cottage look than I am usually drawn to, but that is what being a designer is about. Like many of us, she lives in a newly built home in suburbia and is yearning for a bit more character in the house. I showed her the website The Lettered Cottage, specifically this post and she swooned, which lead to a design for her living room.
This design isn’t quite perfect at this point, just for concept. I figured I would share anyway.
I would also love to find her some reclaimed wood floors, perhaps some paint on the cabinetry in the kitchen, soft beachy colors everywhere with a bit more intensity in a few rooms (laundry room, kids rooms, etc.)
Can’t wait to show you the finished product!