But a few days ago, looking through the photos Swan posted under Duck Soup, I started to feel uncomfortable. All of the photos in this group show interiors with "errors" that are easy for design professionals to pick out -- maybe errors is too strong a word; let's say missed opportunities. Most of them involve poor choices in window treatments, or poor execution of what might have worked in the hands of a professional drapery workroom and installer. Unfortunately, hiring an interior design professional is beyond the means of many people, and I think many of the photos in the Duck Soup album show interiors that homeowners decorated themselves, with little or no professional assistance, on a budget that most interior designers would consider minimal (although, to the homeowner writing the checks, it is ALWAYS a lot of money -- it's all about levels). Keeping that in mind, most of these rooms aren't that bad.
This room in particular caught my attention:
Tall ceilings, beautiful arched windows, and the arches are chopped off by squatty little striped swag valances that do nothing to enhance the proportions of the room. The busy striped fabric (polyester satin?) and all that tassel trim is at odds with the casual feel of the mismatched furnishings, distressed wood finishes, and leather chair.
Maybe this homeowner is really industrious and she sewed and installed the Roman shades and board-mounted valances herself, or perhaps she engaged a professional whose services were affordable to her. Either way, analyzing the photo, I can guess what her objectives were:
"I need something on the window to insulate the glass, because it gets so cold here in the winter, and I need privacy at night so everyone driving by can't see me eating Ben & Jerry's in front of the fireplace. I want something dressy, more dramatic than just plain blinds or boring drapery panels. I know the furniture is a bit of a mish-mosh, but I can't afford to change everything right now. My budget is limited and I really need to work with what I have. I like the arches on the windows and I don't want to cover them up -- one of my favorite things about this house is that there's so much natural light in this room, even in the winter. Can you help me?"
So I took a little break from working on other projects for real clients who have actually hired me, uploaded this photo into my Studio design software from Minutes Matter, and gave this stranger's room a virtual makeover. In the 45 minutes or so that I played around with this, I tried to better accomplish the client's objectives (the objectives I'm inferring from clues in the original photo), enhance and complement the client's existing furnishings, and -- most importantly -- I made sure that my new window treatments could realistically be obtained at about the same cost as the window treatments in the original photo.
|Alaire in Persimmon, $30.50/yd Retail|