Designing for a designer is like massaging a masseuse. You know they are here because you can do something for them that they can’t, but at the same time you are acutely aware that they can and will have strong opinions about how you do them. Or maybe it’s all in your head. Joy is a graphic designer and blogger and she’s kinda big time. But she was intensely sweet and incredibly grateful, making the whole process so much easier. So while i thought that i would be more self-conscious, i actually wasn’t. It’s probably because i LOVED that final room and both their styles, so it made me feel confident. (You’ll see later in the season how when i don’t love a particular style, it’s harder but in some ways more interesting. But to start, if you missed this show, you can still watch the whole episode of Single Malt Nouveau: Secrets From a Stylist).
The before: Cute, but not quite there.
I thought i had Joy pegged. She’s a graphic designer, super feminine, playful and on trend. She likes things that make her happy and, well yes, joyful. Bob is harder (the men are either super hard (picky because they know what they don’t like but can’t put a finger on what they do) or easy (as long as it’s comfy and looks put together, they’re happy). Bob wanted masculine, sleek, large scale and modern. He showed me the chrome and wood chair that he loves, and i took a lot of input from that. OK, so he loves chrome…i can too when it’s right. He loves modern shapes, i can too when it’s right. But besides that, it is so hard to find furniture and accessories that get men really excited.
Sometimes this show should be layering on 4 styles, because in Joy and Bob’s case it would be more accurate. Joy is much more nuanced than just ‘Modern Artsy Nouveau’. She does love vintage inspired pieces, but that sofa was too vintage for her. In retrospect, i shoulda brought in the final look sofa for look 1. I think that would have modernized that crazy pink palace, and it would have been much more approachable. That French settee was adorable and special, for sure, but maybe for a dressing room at a vintage store or in the hallway of a Marie Antoinette style house. Not so much the living room of a modern couple. But it was fun, and sometimes showing the viewers something outlandish and then pairing it back is worth the shock on the homeowners faces.
Let’s talk favorites:
That Milo Baughman chrome rocker. It’s incredible. Generous proportions, beautiful lines and 100% comfortable. It’s an investment piece, as it was a total splurge ($500 + reupholstering = $750).
The brass mushroom lamp. I’m sure it has a more important name, but i love the simplicity and the shape. We all know i can handle a lot of gold and brass, but when it’s done in a simple shape, it looses all its gaudiness and becomes so much more refined.
The hot pink chairs from look 1: such statement pieces. So big and hot and pink. I wish i had bought, them but i only rented them. I actually think that Joy and Bob would have liked them in their final look and at times i regret not splurging on them at the last minute.
The gold 70′s chair from first look. Now this guy you could easily call ugly. i know it, and I’m OK with it. But there is also something so inviting and totally fabulous about it. It’s like a big velvet gold hug! I saw it reupholstered recently at one of my favorite stores, Empiric, in a sophisticated blue-gray linen. And while i loved it modernized, there is something about the gold velvet that gives it a sense of humor. Since Joy and Bob weren’t crazy about it, it’s now in my living room where Brian and I go back and forth over whether we love it or hate it. I love it, he hates it. It’s a lot of chair and certainly a statement piece, but every time i sit in it i get so happy.
The wallpaper. This is Joy’s line of wallpaper. We gave a roll of it away on this blog a few weeks back. It’s such a testament that splurging on all four walls is worth it. Yes it is expensive, but, man, having it everywhere actually helps the room feel calmer, better than just one accent wall. And because it’s gold and white, it actually becomes a neutral backdrop to the room, as opposed to a big colored pattern. It’s totally glamorous, but in a very modern way.
Now, Joy and Bob and I are friends. I go over to their house, and every time i open the door i get super happy. Their place is put together but not in a ‘i hired a designer’ kind of way. It just looks like them. And having Bob be happy makes this stylist super happy, and well, yes…full of Joy.