The Design Process: French Farmhouse


CHRISTOPHER LEE FOTO

While our design process varies a bit from project to project, the steps from construction to completion remain fairly consistent. We build time into every project for changes and of course, the unexpected! New inspiration can strike at any time. Clients may see fresh possibilities for a project as portions of it begin to come together. Being flexible and nimble are hallmarks of great design. Sometimes the project itself drives the final result. In our “Design Process“ series, our hope is to show you a glimpse into what happens behind the scenes as a renovation evolves. So, follow along as we share how some of our favorite projects have unfolded and become the beautiful photos you ultimately see sprinkled across books, magazines, and Instagram!


For each project, we begin with a discovery meeting with our clients. These meetings set the tone and vision for the work to be done. We follow these conferences with a series of mood boards that reflect key design features we envision for the space, including some proposed selections. We also review architectural plans and include suggestions prior to final plan approval.


This process can take a bit more time than one might think, Although lengthy, we find this research and discovery phase to be the key to every successful project! We spend a considerable amount of time sourcing materials and discussing them with our team so that each part of the design flows seamlessly and changes are minimal.


Above, you see one version of the floor plan we proposed for our French Farmhouse project. Prior to the construction phase, we evaluate each space in terms of flow and livability and make our recommendations accordingly.


 

Our clients had an impressive collection of antiques that we incorporated into the final design when we styled the space! Note the way the new design choices allow the existing dining table to shine! Styling, really does make all the difference. Each of our projects are styled for photography purposes. This process gives our clients a truly completed look and documents the project in a beautiful way!


The large hutch on the right was moved in advance to this position prior to styling. We discussed moving it on our styling day and the sheer weight of the piece made it impossible to move! In the end, it just needed the right decorative pieces to make it fit and flow with the room.


Can you believe both of these before photos were located in the new pantry! By moving the laundry room out to the garage we were able to recapture that space and create a large, usable, pantry complete with a fridge, and microwave. The hidden door you see that gives access to the pantry allows the cabinetry to flow without a perceptible break and makes the kitchen look so much larger! Installing the hidden door was a feat unto itself. The weight of the door made traditional hinges impossible to use! Here’s where having a solid construction team truly is crucial. Our team came up with the idea to use piano hinges to hold the door in place and to make it super sturdy! Impressive — right? We love our team!


In these two island images, you will see how we re-purposed the original wood countertop. It had sentimental value for our clients. In one of our first meetings, they expressed their desire to keep it. When they first purchased the home, the owners’ sons helped to “age” the butcher block top by beating it with chains! Because the new island is larger than the previous one, we had to think of a way to make the top larger as well. Mitering a quartzite slab into it worked on so many levels. Now anything that comes out of the sink wet, rests on the beautiful quartzite and not on the wood. A win all the way around! One of the things that makes this transformation so special is the use of things our clients already had. There is history threaded throughout this redesign and it really speaks to you as you stand in the new space.


During one of the project site visits, just before the floors were supposed to be stained, Mindy walked in and was immediately in love with the look of the unstained floors. In a moment of sheer genius, she called our clients and advised them to simply seal the floors. No stain! Our clients agreed, The floors and we were left in their original state which truly allows floors the herringbone pattern to take center stage! Scenarios like this are why we consider our ability to pivot to be one of our strongest assets!


 

FROM OUR SHOP THE PROJECT SERIES