O. is a busy doctor who just purchased a garden flat in Hayes Valley and asked if I could come by and take a look at his new place. He had just gotten rid of almost all his possessions, so it was truly a fresh start (all he had was an old sofa and a recliner.) At first I was wary--I didn't think I'd have enough time to do anything else--but then I came to our inital meeting with a crazy proposition: What if I just helped him shop (in person) over the course of two nonstop weekends to get his place completely furnished?
It was a deal!
I had never really done this kind of speed decorating before--there's usually so much back and forth between myself and my clients. But O. and I seemed to be on the same page, and his artist/illustrator girlfriend also helped with inspiration and direction. The last owner of his flat was a high-powered female executive who had moved to the city after a big breakup. I admired the fact that she outfitted the flat her way, but unfortunately a lot of those touches didn't suit O. (like the polished brass fixtures everywhere and the clear diamond-shaped doorknobs...)
The BEFORE pictures are her staged selling shots--definitely VERY feminine:
And here's our AFTER--definitely more masculine:
It was amazing to see how much we could accomplish in less than 24 hours total (granted, O. and his girlfriend did a lot of additional shopping on their own.) And it was interesting to see how the surrounding garden took on a whole new persona after we redecorated the inside. Before, it was a sunny backdrop for a very pretty, European-country residence. Now it feels like an airy Zen retreat around an intimate, cozy pad. (Nothing wrong with either iteration--they're just two very different homes for two very different people!)
Like another doctor I worked with, O. left feeling inspired and excited to continue working on his home on his own. Sometimes I feel like I'm here to merely start the process, and let it take you on a crazy, wonderful, exciting journey!