This mural resonated with me. It brings to mind that designing a space requires an understanding and the ability to articulate a desired environment. There is no set formula on how to achieve that desired outcome; there is only the parameters determined by the space of choice & the knowledge of how to interpret & manipulate physical elements so they as a whole are perceived in such a way that supports & satisfies the desired outcome. Whoever thought it was a good idea to paint this mural in that particular space was brilliant. It sets the tone for the whole space. It reminds us to not be so serious, to indulge fantasy & whimsy from time to time.
Three years ago June, I left my day job to pursue interior design full time. I quickly learned about E-Design and lead-generating and referral websites. I decided to set up my profile on Thumbtack. The first design project I submitted a proposal to I won. The client needed space planning & furniture, lighting & accessories selections. Over the course of the past three years the project needs have expanded into a custom fireplace design, new tile work & a full kitchen remodel. The new kitchen was a key factor in creating a more open environment that takes advantage of the large deck just out the new french doors. Naturally, we're focusing on the finishing touches for the deck which offers views of Mt. Rainier.
It was a wonderful surprise this week to find I was featured on Thumbtack. And just a few months ago I was featured on Laurel & Wolf as well! I have to admit, this is a pretty exciting start to year four.
Last month I was asked to participate in a design competition. Naturally, I was excited and I have to admit, I was a little nervous too. And then I had a million questions and the crazy ensued.
1. Design/furnish an apartment on $8500
2. Incorporate a queen sleeper sofa in the living room
3. Style should appeal to a large range of people
4. The unit must be completed in two weeks from the initial walk through
That's right. I had two weeks to pull together a design concept, acquire, furnish, hang, build, install, and accessorize. Needless to say, it's next to impossible to make this happen on such a short timeframe without some help. I was lucky to have my ever positive assistant, Keri, and dedicated boyfriend, who has years of homebuilding experience and a "make-anything-happen" mentality to power through this challenge.
I scoured my favorite local vintage and consignment stores, called upon artists and tapped into my social network for unique, personal, and creative solutions to outfit my space. Maintaining an open and flexible approach to the concept allowed the furniture and items I found to inform the design. Knowing where to go and who to contact was a time saver for sure. Working out the delivery and shipping logistics on such a short time frame was another factor that only the most organized designers can pull off. Everywhere I went folks were excited to learn about the competition and wanted to help. The end result of expertly curating all these elements is a space that welcomes you and feels like home, whether you're in for the night with your feet up or hosting a patio party.
WELCOME TO THE AVA IN BELLTOWN: THE WINNING DESIGN
INSPIRATIONS & BEHIND THE SCENES:
BEFORE & AFTERS:
Did I mention I won?! YEAH! I KNOW, WAY EXCITING! My big win was due to the many folks who are in my eyes winners too. These folks were a pleasure to work with and exude the highest level of customer service. So a HUGE thanks goes to Ryan at Homestead for the beautiful pair of vintage rattan chairs and Lisa at Dania for the sleeper sofa which has the smoothest operation and to Jesse, the store manager at Target Northgate who helped me load my car after my midnight whirlwind of a shopping spree. PLUS, a shout out to Joe at Ballard Consignment, Taylor at Stretch&Staple, Mike at District, Bionda at Camelion Design, Intrigue Coffee (for the block photo collage), Gigja Einars Photography (horse photo), Field & Compass (visitors guides to the great PNW), Hyatt Vineyards (for that beautiful bottle of Black Muscat), Morts Cabin (the kick-ass old school spring loaded pull down map), Boeing ("Higher, 100 years of Boeing"), Bell'Occhio, Pacific Galleries, and Susan Kelley for that darling little vintage red bar cart which was just so patio perfect! (Find her at Pacific Galleries, Perkins Lane#7). And lastly many thanks to Anthony Godoy from Dead Serious MM for taking amazing photos, truly capturing the soul of my design.
Whether you're looking to renovate or planning to build from the ground up these home tours are not to be missed. If you enjoy architecture, design and learning about how to do all this more sustainably then check out the Modern Home Tour, Saturday, April 30th. (Developed in association with Gray Magazine - so if you love Gray you're gonna love these homes!) And the Northwest Green Home Tour, April 30-May 1, put on by the NW EcoBuilding Guild, providing excellent examples of green build/design.
Good design lives on!