Thursday, October 29, 2009

great big job (tale #1)

Here is the first update on the “great big job, great client” (see blog from October 8th)…

rouge went to visit the building site over the weekend and is excited to report that the land has been cleared and the foundation has been poured! It’s a wonderful piece of land that still has lots of trees surrounding what will be the new house. Feels like being in the woods – very calm and quiet (if you ignore the blasting music from the workmen next door!)

Breathe deep….ahhhhhhh. I love the smell of the trees.

And check out the lake view. Not too bad, huh?

rouge also took the opportunity to nose around the model home in the neighbourhood that just happened to be having an open house. I’m not going to give you too many details, for fear of calling a specific designer/stager to the mat. And, I have no idea who that might be. But, I’ve just got to say that I was less than impressed.

The model home is quite nice from the outside, but the inside was very disappointing. It felt like all the $$ went into the structure, and that they had to cheap-out on the inside because of it. It wasn’t staged...just an empty new house. And sometimes that’s ok.

The problems were many -- the layout of the home was strange and choppy, so the main living space felt much smaller than it is, and the fixtures and finishes were nothing to get excited about.

In fact, there were some really strange choices. Didn’t seem to be that much thought put into it. The color selections were also questionable. (this is me, trying to be nice)

Overall, it left me feeling that it was not worth the asking price because the perceived value was just not there. Not even close. Certainly no warm and fuzzy there for me.

It’s too bad, really. A little bit of thought in advance when choosing the best selections from the available options could have made a huge difference. But, it did reinforce for me how different and frankly, how much better our client’s house is going to look.

Maybe we could make a pitch to make the home we're working on the new “model” home when it’s done! Not to get ahead of ourselves or anything...

Stay tuned for more tales!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Low coffee tables spotted!

rouge spotted these on a recent shopping excursion and we needed to share! Here are two really interesting low coffee tables…I love the lacquer finish and the chrome legs. It gives them a modern and sophisticated feel.

Stylish and contemporary, these two low lovelies are very European. They are also very fun – doesn’t the two tiered black coffee table look like the perfect dance floor?? Now, I’m not advocating dancing on your coffee table or anything like that …but that could happen once in a while…after some wine…?!?

Anyway…back to my sophisticated train of thought…both of these would make a nice addition to any modern design. A perfect place to set down a drink, hold your current magazine, display your fresh flowers or favorite accessory.

And, they are reasonably priced, too.

Just remember to think about the scale and how they may or may not work with your other furniture. (This white couch and chair set are the perfect match in terms of scale)

Think coffee table. Think low.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

random thoughts

Greetings, just a little rouge readers!

Here are a few random thoughts from this week...

computers...rouge is having a big computer problem this week. Hence the delayed posting. Argh! It's one of those things you never think much about, until of course it's not there. Our new, pretty, computer appears to have died a very premature death. Taking with it our client photos and other juicy tidbits from the last two months. Word to the wise -- get an external hard drive, people!'s the new linoleum. Now, before you shudder and stop reading, it's not your grandma's flooring (although I liked that stuff!). It's made from 100% natural ingredients. I'm not kidding, it really is. Linseed oil, cork, limestone, tree rosin and natural ingredients. It comes in planks and tiles. It comes in 24 interesting and fun colors. It clicks together, so it's easy to install and fits nice and tight. For those of you in the Halifax area, check out the display at Floors Plus in Bayer's Lake. I think I'm going to put it in the mudroom/ laundry room when I renovate next year.

contest...while rouge did not win the Style at Home contest (see previous blog), thanks to everyone who checked out the contest entry and voted. Much appreciated!! rouge did win a $50 gift card to Home Depot, though, so who could complain about that??

update...I dropped in on my "livin' the dream" clients (see previous blog) over the Thanksgiving long weekend to check out the new paint job and to see how a few of the other recommendations from rouge were working out. The new colors are beautiful -- Benjamin Moore's "Weimeraner" with a feature wall of "Bonaparte" turned out great. Nice and warm and inviting, but also modern and hip. I'd show you a photo or two, but...see random thought #1.

That's it for us this week...see you again next week!

xx rouge.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

great big job, great client

rouge is working on a great big, new job with a great client!

We’re helping a client who is in the process of building a new house built. It’s going up fast and it’s a turn-key, large home on a beautiful lot. This means that the home is built in a very streamlined manner. The builder and their suppliers are like a well-oiled machine. There are many “standard” features and sometimes there is a limited selection of choices on certain things. But, there are many, many decisions to make and lots of deadlines to juggle.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Just because it’s a “turn-key” home built by the builder who is building all of the homes in that area, doesn’t mean it can’t be unique and interesting. rouge’s client is indeed an individual with very clear and specific tastes. It’s important for him to carefully consider all the options available now, so he ends up with a wonderful home that reflects his lifestyle, his tastes and his style – not the builder’s tastes.

rouge was hired to help with this big challenge. Where to choose from the packaged options and where to splurge? When choosing from the packaged options, how to make the best choice that will fit with the overall design of the house we’re trying to achieve? When splurging, what are the requirments that effect the build?What and where is the best use of what’s available? Can we use some of the kitchen cabinet allowance to make a really cool vanity for one of the bathrooms? Where do we incur extra costs to include some strategically placed directional pot lights to highlight the incredible artwork that will be in the home?

And on and on it goes...

From flooring to fixtures to lighting to choosing wall colors…it’s all got to be done at the same time. Which is right now. And it’s all got to be done in an efficient manner so that when the builder gets rolling, everyone is on the EXACT same page. Did I mention that’s for the foyer, kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry room, mud room, hallway, three bedrooms and three bathrooms?

Imagine the work site when the contractor, drywaller, electrician, plumber, etc, etc, etc, get their direction. And we’ve asked for small, but important changes in a lot of areas that they are not familiar with because “it’s not the way it’s usually done”. It might be messy.

It’s October and the lot hasn’t been cleared yet. Move in date is at the end of January. Enough said??

It’s definitely going to be wonderful when all is done, though.

Having a good relationship with a client is incredibly important -- especially on a job like this. It’s critical to be able to listen, to clearly communicate with each other, to carefully consider all options, but be decisive on the overall design direction, and to understand each other so you can take a team approach to making the ultimate vision a reality. It’s the only way to be productive on a great, big job like this one.

And you never know, rouge just might be having a whole lot of fun doing it!

Stay tuned for more tales (and pictures) to come…

Thursday, October 1, 2009

airing my dirty laundry

{Note: The submission period for the Makeover Contest 2009 is over, and they’ve received hundreds of entries… Now it’s up to you to decide who is in most desperate need of a makeover (pick rouge!) & who will come away with the $2000 gift card from Home Depot. You could win a prize just for voting…voting closes on October 8.

For a bit of fun, check out rouge’s very own entry as copied here…and vote by following the link below!}

I have a confession. I run a side business in staging & design….and this is my laundry room. It’s my dirty little secret.

People actually pay me to make sure their house is shown in the best possible light. They pay me to refresh & redesign their living spaces. They pay me to evaluate and organize.

This is the part of my house that is hidden when guests visit. The outside door won’t open without a two-handed pull with all my might. It doesn’t close without a solid hip and shoulder check. The plywood on the floor is covering part of the ugly linoleum – and the hole where my foot went through it.

You see, it’s rotting from the bottom up. And it’s possibly the worst use of space I’ve seen. It’s cluttered and disorganized. It’s painted in a lovely shade of burn-your-eyes-yellow. Notice the duck tape and Styrofoam patch? You can feel a stiff breeze on a windy day.

You know what they say…”the cobbler’s children have no shoes”.

Please help me break free from the shame.

Vote now --