I like to envision the process of designing as a sifting funnel. You throw in all your thoughts and gathered possibilities into the wide end, then, with time, the heavy more substantial ideas come together narrowing into solidity, while the fluff just sifts away and falls out. This week-end the ideas for my interior design of Euchlora 2 Portsmouth have narrowed and solidified.
In case you are interested, this is how my thought process has gone so far.
- An old building circa 1814; brick, warm off-white painted wood molding, ebony brown painted medium-plank wood floors, black wrought iron details, historic district 18th century period, tidal river water, gardens.
- Euchlora; old world remedies, contemporary science, apothecary white with aluminum silver, bold color from make-up displays, Euchlora’s signature color trio of cherry red, cool toned orange and fleshy pink.
- Make-up consultation and blending counter, sitting area, desk area, shelves of skincare products.
- Facials, dressing area, consultation area, blending apothecary, working counter. I threw all that information into the funnel and this is how it is starting to solidify.
I started with color as I almost always do. I really liked the dark floors against the off white walls. While the colors are historically accurate they also lend themselves to a contemporary feel and would allow splashes of high color to mix very well. So I decided to jump off from there and like most often because I am a hands on sort of person, I looked at what I owned already. I own this little antique Mission Style desk and while its style is a later time period, the color was right and the straight lines can always read contemporary. It’s back will be facing into the room so David cut me a piece oak plywood that I have stained the same color and will then mimic the desks finish with wax and it will be recessed into the back. The back is what you will see.
Using the universal critical thinking process of starting with the big descions then ending with the details, the next thought was what to do about seating. I decided a sofa centered on the fireplace would be perfect and just like Canterbury Euchlora, I wanted a white on white look; more neutral color to juxtapose bold color against. I found this off-white sofa with ebony brown legs at Jordons with the contemporary low profile I was looking for that would keep the space light and airy. I will nix the pre-done pillows and do something of my own.
Thinking about the influence of ocean water in the area I have always envisioned a glass element in the space. I found these units at the Crate and Barrel clearance outlet store; the same square straight lines as the desk and glass shelves – score! The units are black and I could use them as such due to the touches of black wrought iron in the space but I am thinking they will look too heavy so I may use my wood graining tool to faux grain them with some brown to take the tone down a notch bringing them closer to the desk and floors. I also found this Crate and Barrel sofa table for next to nothing; it was missing the glass so I will have my glass guy cut some inserts (cheap) and then spray paint it. Thinking wrought iron black or maybe the hammered aluminum.
Today David and uncle Gene are building the remaining working units for the space; a very long make-up counter, a narrow tea counter table to tuck into the corner and my very large facial room apothecary. I thought long and hard about what the counter tops should be. Functional laminate? – too functional and a little boring and believe it or not expensive! How about Corian? – way too expensive and the places I checked had prohibitive minimums for custom cuts. My next thought was stone. I found a remnant place where I could have obtained some at a great deal but then reality dawned on me; with the table design that was necessary the weight could not be supported and in fact, make-up and powdered herbs would probably have stained it. So I am doing a decorative faux paint finish (yet to be decided – stone?) on wood counters and then sealing it with poly….these will be work horse surfaces which is what I need.
We are also creating a private dressing room out of recycled wood panel doors that match the doors in the space. We are painting them the same color as the existing wood work so everything should look ‘built in”.This is going to be a very busy next three weeks for me all the while still seeing clients but just like I wrote about several posts ago, when I am in the zone time just flies. This is all very good stuff and the creative energy is high.
Mark your calendars for the grand opening wine and tidbits soiree Friday October 12th from 4 to 7. I will also be hanging out there informally the following day, Saturday the 13th, to show off the place while Strawberry Banke is having their annual Harvest Festival. I will start taking appointments there the following week.