Thursday, September 24, 2009

This makeover, yes or no?


HERE.

67 comments:

newbeeinma said...

needs some more color or something dramatic in the room!

An Aesthete's Lament said...

The end result isn't to my taste but as the article states, the owner was thrilled with the makeover, and that's what counts.

Mrs. Limestone said...

It sounds like the designer did what the customer wanted and the owner is very happy. So from the perspective of everyone being happy, its a yes.

I know she was on a limited budget but I would have never guessed a designer had anything to do with this.

I also don't really get what that entire article was about. Sounds like more of a press release for that designer than NYT article. I would expect the NYT to choose rooms with wow for these kinds of pieces and I just don't that here. Nothing really offensive either unless you consider those drapes which look like sheets tacked up and balled into knots.

Sara@hipE said...

The finished space is OK but I wouldn't really say that $5,000 is doing it "on the cheap". And for me the space is kinda boring.

Lolo said...

Better than before, not that it was awful to start with. A bit bare still, for my liking, but it's very pretty and liveable.

The Countess of Nassau County said...

Yes.

In the before photo the bed is where the couch was, now she has a real sleeping area. HUGE improvement.

I love the use of the bookcase here as both room divider and shot of color (the books).

The palette is a tad too quiet for me but I like the overall look and restrained coziness of the space. I might have put something over the couch.

traylas said...

Definitely better- the layout alone makes much more sense. Dark area w/o windows = bedroom, light area w/ view = lr/dr. The black chairs really help that table stand out.

Oonafey said...

Meh.

Alke said...

Most definitely YES. I really love this place, and it's a major improvement over what it looked like before. I don't think it needs anything "more" at all. But then again, my style isn't really the style I usually see here on Decorno (I come here for the other posts!) so it doesn't surprise me that my YES isn't what the majority of the other commenters are saying.

Anonymous said...

I think this story shows that bringing in a design professional can get you started with a good space plan and some direction. I am sure that this apartment could have turned out "magazine wow" if the budget had been bigger, but I think it is nice to see a real beginners apartment, done on a real budget for a real person.

The Townhouselady said...

I'd rather live in the crumbling Brownstone.

C said...

Successful project = happy client.

Though the wall above the sofa is screaming for a lovely piece of art.

Anonymous said...

Ditto-meh

Love + Marriage said...

I re-did my rental house and a couple coats of paint and a nice area rug that made all the difference.
Something is missing here, nothing adds much personality to it.
It looks like a Brooklyn vacation rental.

Silvita said...

Well, is not really bad...But it needs some pictures, may be an big one over the sofa or a bigger furniture...
Anyway, something to balance the big and high windows.
It is not bad, but is a not interesting room(wich is bad...).
Try again.

ER said...

For $5000, this is a YES and a refreshing look into what you can do with a small budget and owned pieces that you don't know how to put together for a cohesive space. This seemed more of a space consulting project than a full makeover, but again, for the budget the client had, she got what she wanted. From here on out, she is free to add things to her space and feel comfortable doing so, whereas before, she felt paralyzed to spend as she was fearful to make a costly mistake. I know some may feel differently, but it's great to read a story about others who grapple with similar home decor issues: a love for design, a limited budget, existing pieces that have a lot of potential but just not sure how to put it all together. I would GLADLY spend $5k for someone to come in to help with my NY apartment!

ER

sol said...

bitch spent 1/5 of the budget in that horrible armchair. not very smart. I would have gotten you an armchair, art, and a bloody can of paint of some color to give that dull place a punch.

the quarter rat said...

I'd prefer the crumbling brownstone, too...

It's okay. The layout is better, but I would have closed off the bedroom area a bit more - maybe run another bookcase along to better define the hallway. I'm also sick and tired of white walls - unless you have some major art to display, it just looks like generic office space.

Anonymous said...

The furnishings are nice enough, but the shapes of the spaces--the shallow living area, e.g.--are kind of unfortunate. Not sure fancier decorating could compensate for or distract from those.

Rachel said...

I know about the challenges of spaceplanning in an open loft like that - so from that perspective, it is most definitely better. And I like the furniture.... it's just sort of bland. She needs some artwork or something behind the sofa. Even if they had just painted that one wall a dark gray or something for some "oomph".

The 2 things that really bother me about this space: the curtains (why are they balled up like that??) and the cord trailing on the floor behind that lamp next to the chair. I'd move the lamp someplace where the cord doesn't drag along the floor like that. Or, get some sort of cord cover so it looks neater.

jen said...

i think it's a nice starting point. the owner had a small budget to start off, but that doesn't mean that she can't add more texture and layers and art as she lives there. i think the designer did her job - helping her figure out a good space layout and giving her an idea of how to put things together.
and it's nice to see things with realistic budgets!

Ger said...

This is after the makeover? What happened to the curtains? The walls need something on them.

Jules said...

I think it looks nice, but I can't tell one thing about the person who lives here. Were it not for the article, I wouldn't even be able to determine gender.

Honestly, when I read the title of the article I thought it was going to be a piece on satellite housing for out of town executives. The space looks like a pleasant executive apartment.

But the client is thrilled, and that's all the matters.

donna said...

My first thought was: 'ho hum.'

But after revisiting, I realized that the job the designer did was brilliant. She let the client show through. I loved the designer's comments. She is right on. I wish more designers shared her philosophy.

*Light bulb moment* I am never happy trying to re-create something out of a magazine. I am most happy when I have used my own things and my own creativity to make a space I love.

Anonymous said...

My style. Put some art on the wall, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

My style. Put some art on the wall, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

Most definitely, meh.

plaisirs simples said...

i'd say.....yes. for me, i would want "more", but i can see how this is exactly what someone else wanted.

Anonymous said...

If she likes it, wonderful. It's her place, for God's sake. It reminds of pictures I clipped out of French decorating magazines back when I was very young. I think I still have them somewhere. I wouldn't want it now but that's me and I like "stuff."

pillow mint said...

I want to know where the front door is...
if it's by the window wall - good. if you have to walk through the bedroom to get to the "living room" - not good.
overall -- not too inspiring, and that's what i do to my curtains when i vacuum.

Alison said...

Yes, maybe a bit bland, but she can add art now that she's got it all situated--that takes time.

I think it was wise to spend the money on things that will last and that she can bring with her to her next place.

Holly said...

The space makes more sense, but it's flat. There's nothing quirky or interesting or colorful or different. Nothing that intrigues, invites close inspection, makes me curious. Nothing that hints at a story, cracks a joke, or brings me up short. All of this can be had on a tight budget.

Make mine "meh" too.

billyhacker said...

You DO have to brush against the bed in the entry area to get to the living room. Presumably the kitchen is over there somewhere too. That's the reason the bed was in the alcove the couch occupies.

Clearly it's a difficult space despite being enormous (for NYC) and well-lit. That said, I think the bed in the hallway strategy will not make the owner happy in the longer run. But I guess we'll never know,

Anonymous said...

I just don't see $5k here, especially if the designer didn't charge for her time. The client had already bought the rug and table and inherited the other major pieces ... new dining chairs are $98 apiece, Ikea bookcase is $200, that linen costs $12.99 a yard on 40th Street ... did Ms. Chan honestly blow $4k on some flea market lamps and a coffee table?

Also, this apartment looks to have 11-foot ceilings but only the curtains rise above the 7ft mark. Major scale mistake.

The Reluctant Houstonian said...

Considering the space and the "before" picture, I think it looks good. I like that the designer focused on comfort and lighting. The big white space over the sofa would be perfect for a large piece of artwork or beautiful mirror. Maybe Ms. Haines-Stiles will be able to afford something special to put there after all those extra hours at work.

Toby Worthington said...

It's taken me awhile to awaken from the coma that
was induced by the sheer dullness of it all....

Anonymous said...

I think if you're going that minimal, you need better furniture.

mary said...

Boring! With inherited pieces and reupholstery, where did the $5,000 go? Upholsterers must be more expensive than in CA. It needs color and especially a floor screen to shelter the bedroom area. Please, at least great art posters on the walls or something.

Minus75 said...

Looks like she found half of it sitting beside a skip. I would never guess a designer did that.

RobtW said...

I like the bookcases and the orderly look at the left margin of the room. Otherwise, it looks a bit bedsit-ish -- a more prosperous bedsit than the usual, but still.

Maybe it's the appearance that the room could be packed up and transported in about 10-minutes, tops, or maybe it's the dirty white walls and the Lint Trap Grey curtains tied in the center like some prepster's sweater.

On study, the individual pieces of furniture are not bad, it's just that overall the place is like looking through a dirty window at rain clouds.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:37 PM:

Look at "What it Cost" in the paper edition:

The decorator did charge for her time, doing fabrication and upholstery work. It was the most expensive item: $1,305

She got a total of 26 yards of fabric for $322. (Comes to $12.39/yard, not the $12.99 you cite.)

Bookcases: $280, not $200.

4 Lamps (+1 shade): $1,315.

Arne Norell chair: $1,200.

Dining chairs, drapery hardware, and hooks: $583.

Coffee table: Not part of the job (client bought herself)

TOTAL: $5,005

Quatorze said...

I think it is a success. While not my specific taste, the client got what she wanted, and it now has bones and direction. I would add a large painting or set of four paintings or prints over the sofa, and a boffo chandelier, either very 18th century as counterpoint, or sleek Art Deco. The trick is to make use of the ezpansive vertical space; she'll get there after living in it for awhile. The fabulous light (Brooklyn, since the 19th century, has been known for its painterly light) will inspire the owner to add that tweak or two.

Anonymous said...

I love it! For those of you who say it is boring, if there was something splashy in that small space, you'd probably all say it didn't fit or something. I think it looks fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I would be ashamed to say I
got thid finished look with a designers help.

Anonymous said...

Toby:

I thought you always sounded like that.

Paisley said...

I would also not want to admit a designer had to help me make my apartment look like this. But the layout is a great improvement and she can add in more color with artwork and textiles so its a start. I wouldn't say $5k is on a budget either and I would've spent my money in different areas too. Overall, not impressed.

Anonymous said...

This is what's wrong with interior decorating.

Instead of the homeowner slowly accumulating furniture and lamps and rugs she'd fallen in love with and cherished, she sent someone else out to buy it all in one short burst--bam bam bam--and so now you have this...assemblage.

Anonymous said...

I still can't believe you New Yorkers pay so much money for shitholes such as that. It's a crime. What can you really do with a boring little box like that?

reclamationdesign@yahoo.com said...

I think it's really great. So much better than before (night and day). And I think it's quite warm. Sure there is one thing here or there that is not exactly to my liking, but so what. The over-all effect is comfy and welcoming and surely she can be proud to have her boss or anyone else visit. And I'm sure if the designer had a larger budget she could use some high-end luxurious fabrics and gleaming accessories for the "Wow" everyone is looking for, but this makeover shows that you can still have tastefully designed space that makes you happy to be home without those things.

Quatorze said...

Just a response to those of you who seem appalled by the 5K price tag. Working in NYC is daunting; the cost of professionals to paint, paper, etc. is prohibitive and the hoops one must jump through just to get a simple furniture delivery authorized into your own building is a nightmare; insurance issues, combative and surly building managers and superintendants, foot-dragging union employees, time restrictions, obstreperous fellow tenants... the list is endless.

NYC is not an easy or inexpensive place to live or do business. Any designer who could manage to do what she did here, stay within the client's budget, make the client happy and remain sane, is a true professional.

Again, while this flat is not to my particular taste, I would love to see what this designer could do with a mega-budget, a sympathetic client and a townhouse which would not have the numerous restrictions of a co-op, condo or rental building and the unions that hold these places hostage.

Anonymous said...

Paint, wallpaper, furniture delivery complications, building restrictions, insurance, other tenants? None of those had any bearing on this job, the expenditures, or the choices of furniture and accessories.

Jen2 said...

layout seems better but it's rather boring. USD5000 isn't a small sum as far as I'm concerned, but it seems to have bought surprisingly little. Is this NY prices?
it's bland, I don't think enough is made of the fab windows and loft feel.
Ho hum.
I could make curtains like that for less.

Lolo said...

Shitholes? What an ignorant dumbass you are. If I were 20 something, with no kids and a decent job, I would gladly commit the crime of living in that so called boring box. Oh, the tedium of being able to walk or subway to shops, cafes, galleries and clubs that offer the horrible miseries of NYC.

You keep on believing that it's superior to live in a McMansion and drive your ass to your local generican strip mall. Better yet, keep shoveling your property taxes to support your little downtown strip of Shoppes and packaged quaintness. Fucktard.

Anonymous said...

Lolo: Two sentences would have been sufficient.

laurajane said...

To me, it looks like a broke-ass college grad's furnishings. For $5k, I could do a lot better (and I am by NO means a designer). What a snore.

Anonymous said...

Those lamp-and-end-table combos scream "yard scale."

Anonymous said...

Lolo, don't get so defensive. I just think that quality of life sucks when you have to shit and sleep and eat in the same 500 sq ft and still pay so much money. And Lolo, I know that deep down inside you understand this.
It has never seemed fair or logical to me that my most intelligent and well-educated friends who live in NYC who have worked their asses off to achieve so much professionally and financially have to settle for this. I mean, my gosh, this a home we are talking about. What is more important than that?

Quatorze said...

Anonymous: What would you suggest then? It is not as if New Yorkers CHOOSE to live in limited quarters. There is such a thing as supply and demand. We would all love 10 foot plus ceilings and extra room. The only option is to leave the city, and that is not an option, socially, culturally or professionally. All the world's great cities have the same restrictions and if we city dwellers were to spread out as suburbanites, there would not be a square inch of natural space left on the planet. Be thankful we choose city life, which is the most efficient way of life on a planet running out of resources. Your comments are naive at best, which is why you are getting such vehement feedback. You act as if we are mentally deficient for "putting up with" city restrictions and that you view will show us the correct way to live; again, naive at best.

Anonymous said...

And this country has hundreds more alternatives than the two extremes Lolo offers: "Galleries-clubs-caf├ęs" vs. "Soulless McMansions and strip malls."

Anonymous said...

I live right outside a major east-coast city. It's not really nice enough to call a "suburb." It has neither galleries 'n' culture nor McMansions and "quaint shoppes." We have strip malls, but none that attract Gaps or Cheesecake Factories or Barnes & Nobles.

In about four blocks we have: a tattoo parlor, a Jewish bookstore, a porn shop, a half-dozen Peruvian rotisserie-chicken joints, a bakery, a mysterious store that sells all things Brazilian, a Chinese restaurant authentic enough to have ducks and rabbits hanging in the window, an excellent little Italian restaurant, a tile store, four or five Asian grocery stores, a bike store, a "botanica" (where you buy candles you can use to grant wishes or put a curse on your enemies), a vacuum-cleaner repair store, a Christian religious-goods store, a great used-book store, a store with little dresses for christening little Latino children, a dance studio, a locksmith, two Vietnamese restaurants, a comic-book store...

Anonymous said...

The idea that NYC is the only place on Earth worth living is what is naive at best and uneducated and closeminded at worst. There is a whole, wonderful world out there, my friends -- places with community, commerce and culture. I know, shocking.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the culture card. I bet I see more culture during my biannual visits to NYC than most New Yorkers see in a lifetime. For real.

Penelope Bianchi said...

YIKES!!!

The curtains are the only really BAD thing! " Tricky"? If that was what they were after; the trick didn't work, in my opinion!!

Lolo said...

I'm actually not defensive. I was bitchy in response to calling it a shithole and a crime to live in such a small space. The assumption that your way of living is better. I'm sure it is, for you. That's all.

Half the fun of Decorno is the smartass but ever since I found out that I'm statistically less happy than I was 40 years ago I'm just a big old bitch.

Anonymous said...

You know what's forlorn? How the seating is arranged. It reminds me of an awkward dinner party, with not enough guests.

mari said...

It looks amazingly restful to me. I have a red couch and I plan to sell it the next time I move and go all neutrals. I'd love that apartment.

Quatorze said...

ly think a red couch would go very well in a room like this; don't sell it Mari until you're sure it won't work.. Alex Vervoordt has been know to make a feature of one juicy shot of primary color in a neutral setting.