At a first client meeting, I sit with the client(s), tour their house and property, and I do a lot of listening. (I do a lot of talking too!) So much information is shared in that first meeting and I can hear what it is that they are missing from their house and how they really live and how they want their house to function and feel.
When I'm back at my office, I start sketching out big picture ideas: furniture layouts, flow, color palettes, paint ideas, fabric choices, wallpapers. I'll visit fabric, wallpaper, carpet, furniture, and even accessory vendors (usually at the D&D Building, or in the Design District in Stamford, CT), and start putting schemes together. This is generally a wildly creative, fun and exciting process for me.
On any job, I find tons of inspiration from natural beauty:
I happen to love color and so did this client. We created a master bedroom filled with a host of different, bright, dynamic colors and furniture, including a custom lavender velvet bed (Kravet), lime green, aqua, turquoise and crisp white fabrics throughout (Kravet, Manuel Canovas, Clarke and Clarke), beautiful Matouk bedding, and two spectacular Christopher Spitzmiller dark purple bedside lamps:
This next client was more comfortable with a quieter palette for her guest room (bedding through Horchow and Matouk, pillows by John Robshaw):
I love built-in anything and these clients wanted a comfortable and cozy banquette for most of their meals. Check out the before photo (just after the banquette was built and painted Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss) and the after photo with cozy cushions and pillows (Brunschwig et Fils, Lee Jofa, Kravet):
Sometimes a quiet pale beige loveseat (Mitchell Gold) is the perfect thing (with vintage lavender pillows):
This client was craving a dark, cozy tv room, so we ripped out old (1990's) oak cabinetry, green walls and green carpet, and installed charcoal gray Philip Jeffries grasscloth on the walls. We chose cozy, comfortable low-slung leather chairs (RH), a tweed sofa (custom), animal print pillows (Brunschwig et Fils), low lighting (brass floor lamps on dimmers, RH), and installed a gas fireplace for an easy-to-use and warm focal point. The roman shades are a cotton/linen weave (Colefax and Fowler) with charcoal gray tape trim (Samuel and Sons).
Every job is different and every client is different, so every outcome is different. If I press for anything, it is comfort, balance, and a sense of ease and tranquility in each room. I love everything about my work!