Good design has to be flexible, especially when you have NEVER seen the space! See how I created an eclectic modern studio apartment design for one of my favorite clients
Hello there! I am so happy to share with you one of my biggest designs to date. Why? Well, it was one of the most epic to pull off! I was asked by one of my favorite clients to create a young, hip welcoming studio style on a budget. Sure, I sad. Wanna know the catch? I was not able to see the space AT ALL before I needed to pull it all together. I had to pre-order EVERYTHING and have it delivered ahead of time because I would be traveling over 1,000 miles to get this room completed in about 24 hours. Did I mention how much I adore this client? So I sat down and started dreaming up this idea for my sweet daughter. Yep, this eclectic modern studio apartment design is for my graduate student girl.
Knowing my daugther’s vibrant personality and the fact that she was heading to a part of the country that gets crazy cold, I knew the design had to be full of energy and peace. Sounds like a conumdrum, right? I began dreaming up this idea without the paint options. I thought I was going to fly up and meet all these wonderful items that arrived earlier and in a few hours we would have a room fit for an aspiring lawyer.
Then, I arrived…
Saturday late afternoon, I stepped into the most wonderful 1900’s home that is begging for a bit of TLC (more on that as the year progresses!) and met the nicest residents. We were given the opportunity to peek at the room but could not begin until the current resident was fully moved out. We walked up 3 flights of stairs and slowly opened the door and found this space waiting for us.
Not a Eclectic Modern Studio…no where near!
I stood there – taking it all in along with 20 years of grime caked on walls and floor. My happy design would be singing the blues if I just threw furniture in here. I looked at my daughter and she looked at me. “We’ve gotta paint and scrub everything.”, I said. She agreed. We took a unanimous sigh and started taking notes on the space.
Beautiful original hardware and brass radiator
20 years of grime and who know what
The floors were in bad shape
Large unuseable furniture had to go
We had 24 hours total
Paint the walls
Paint the trim
Scrub the grime off with murphy’s oil soap
Try to remove the overwhelming number of paint drips on the floor – if easy removal wasn’t the answer – then floor would be painted
Add curtains to soften the light
We immediately called for Uber and headed to the Home Depot. In the car I began to put together a list of items we would need to pull off this great feat. I honestly felt like I was in a HGTV challenge show. We grabbed a cart and began going down the list of products we would need, once the supplies were safely in the cart – I went back to the hard part. Finding a color combination that would be a good fit for the room.
Usually I have a few days to mull it over. Look at pictures, test colors on photos – things I would do for a client. Things that were too much of a luxury. I took a deep breath and ran through the colors like a mad women. Pulling different hues and putting them back. Then I pulled these three colors together and felt confident that they would be a winning combination. At least that is what I told my daughter… in secret I was holding my breath a bit. If this failed I would not be able to fix it until the summer.
Eclectic Modern Studio Apartment Paint Colors
Since it was so late in the day, we decided to call it a night and be ready to begin the 24 hours transformation the following day… the only day I had because I had to fly out on Monday afternoon. Thankfully, my oldest daughter was able to snag a ticket and she arrived at midnight Sunday morning to help with this gigantic under taking.
The next morning, we were all excited about what the space could be and we started dividing the workload over breakfast. We ubered back to the house and made our way up the three flights of stairs. Opening the door, we were quickly reminded just how big this task was.
We rolled up our sleeves and began to clean.
We scrubbed the walls, the ceiling, the floors. Then I tried the solvent in hopes it would clean up some of the paint splatters on the floor. NOPE. Didn’t budge. The floors would have to be painted. We put that project on hold and focused our efforts toward the walls, ceiling and trim.
I chose to paint the walls and ceiling the same color to give a more airy feel. The trim and doors painted in the Palais white, really came to life. We all loved the blue but it was just beyond the deep clean. You know how that goes. Fresh paint was a must.
I have NEVER painted a room as fast as we painted that room and we painted – I was teaching my daugthers a valuable skill. This made my heart happy and helped fight the soreness in my tootsies and lower back. (ha!) Oh, and it was kind of a do as I say, not as I do moment. I talked about the right way to paint but took several short cuts to get the job done in our short time frame. You know me, I try to give you full disclosure.
While the walls dried, we began to assemble the furniture for the room in the hallway and I breathed a sign of relief as the color dried, it was perfect!
My daughter’s housemates were wonderful, they helped her carry up every box. Oh, did I mention that EVERYTHING had to be assembled? Including the box spring?
A few hours later, we had several items ready for the room. Walls were dry to the touch and it was time to paint the floors. We rolled on a light layer of chalkpaint. I didn’t want to completely cover the floor – just enough that it felt fresh. You know what I mean? ??? The plan is to come up next summer to sand the floors down and restain.
We divided the room in half. Allow the first half where the bed would sit to dry throughly then we brought the bed furniture in. The hallway was getting super crowded and her housemates were having to navigate like Ninja warriors to get to their own rooms. For the sake of good will, we had to clear the hall.
We wrapped up the floors and added the remaining furniture.
After taking a well deserved break – we installed the sheers and added the fun accessories.
I won’t lie- I felt like I had run a full marathon. We were all exhausted but when we looked around the room – we felt we had taken first place. The space no longer looked like a forgotten mess. It looked like the design board – a happy eclectic modern studio apartment. Perfect for a grad student!
Pretty spectacular before and after, don’t you think?
I’m super pleased with it and the furniture will carry her through for several years – past law school. This space is a true lesson in being flexible and taking the extra needed steps to pull off the desired feel. The furniture alone would have made the space bearable BUT adding the extra OOMPH made all the difference. Creating a list of the good, bad and solutions will help you tackle the monster projects.
We high-fived, patted each other on the back, hugged, teared up and parted ways. Knowing that the impossible is possible with a flexible mind set and a whole lot of sweat equity.
Till Later my friends,
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