I’m super excited about the remodeling of my toilet and hallway. In the coming months I will be redecorating and remodeling my home, space by space. I’m starting with the two smallest spaces in the house; my toilet and the hallway. A lot of people choose to do everything themselves, or only outsource the tiling. However, I like to spend my time and energy on other things and therefore decided to ask a professional to help me execute my vision. In this post I will share the first 4 steps taken so far towards my dream toilet and hallway decor.
Step 1: Find an interior designer/interior architect
Finding the right interior designer/architect is your first step in the process. Luckily, due to my blog, I know tens of interior designers personally all over the world. Some of them are my friends, others are colleague bloggers I occasionally meet. However I always knew that my friend Anja Hesp from Ijzersterk Interior Design would be the right choice for me because 1. she knows my personal style and 2. because I like the versatility in her projects. I have seen multiple of her projects in the past when I photographed interior projects for Houzz.com. They were all different, personalized and therefore unique with a mix of vintage and new furniture pieces. She has an international clientele (many expats) which gives her a cosmopolitan perspective. Additionally she has the experience to deviate from the pared down Dutch style or Scandinavian dominated design culture in the Netherlands, that I can appreciate, just not for myself. (watch her short introduction video below)
In making the right choice between different professionals, you can browse their portfolios on their websites. Or you might like the signature style of a certain designer you’ve seen in magazines or on TV. Some designers/architects stick to their own style and signature while others have an array of styles and flavours in portfolio. Personally I don’t like it when one has a ‘signature’ and consistent style and use of brands.
Once you found two or three designers contact them to meet in person and see if you two are on the same page and will get along. You should feel confident that the professional and you are aligned and on the same page about your vision. Last, compare fees and budget as you would with any project.
In a future blog post I will share the benefits of contracting an interior designer/architect instead of doing it yourself. (photo below is a project by Ijzersterk Interior Design that I photographed for Houzz.com)
Step 2: Communicating your vision and style
Communicating your vision and style is the most important step when working with a professional. Try to verbalize the desired style and ambiance in a few key words. My key words were: boutique hotel experience, brass, Art Deco and Hollywood Regency – both design and art styles from the 1930s-1960s that were characterized by opulence, old Hollywood glamour.
Visualize it by finding photos in magazines, on instagram and in books. The best way is to create a moodboard on Pinterest and share it with your interior designer. On your pinterest board you can pin products you like, colours and styles. It will give the professional a good overview of your personal taste and what you have envisioned. See my pinterest board for this project below.
Step 3: Function and Design
Next, Anja came to my house to make measurements and to make an inventory about what had to be done. As a client it is important that you communicate clearly how you use the space in your daily life so that the design is not only aesthetic but also functional. For example, I talked about the limitations of day light in my home, about cleaning habits, and lack of storage space. In her design, Anja can take that into consideration and possibly make enhancements.
Step 4: The professional’s proposals…and choosing the final design
Yesterday Anja presented me with two different proposals, as shown below. She made mood boards and showed me the samples of the tiles with the wallpaper. Now it’s up to me to choose the one I like most…an almost impossible task because I like them both. So I need your help!!! Should I go for option 1 or option 2?
OPTION 1: ART DECO STYLE WITH AN ARTSY TOUCH
Proposal 1 by Anja Hesp from Ijzersterk Interior Design is an elegant and timeless design that will speak to many. In the toilet we will use the Zsa Zsa wallpaper by Divine Savages, a bold and quirky print in pink, black and white of flamboyant showgirl ostrich birds. It was inspired by the Golden years of Hollywood with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The upper portion of the wall will be wallpapered and the lower portion up to 1.20 m high will be painted or tiled black as a visual divider between the patterned floor and patterned wallpaper. This two-tone approach will also be used in the hallway minus the wallpaper. Instead it’ll be monochromatic so that the white painted upper portion will reflect incoming light and visually creates height while the black lower portion grounds the space.
In this proposal the floor of both the toilet and hallway will be spruced up with tiles from the ‘Tangle” collection of Italian brand Ornamenta. The pattern is art deco but it looks as if it is scribbled which gives it an artsy touch.
OPTION 2: ART DECO STYLE WITH PARISIAN FLAIR
For proposal 2, Anja Hesp drew inspiration from Emilie Bonaventure’s design of the Italian restaurant Epoca in Paris. (see more of Epoca here)
As with option 1, we will use the Zsa Zsa wallpaper by Divine Savages, and black tiling/paint from the floor up to 1.20 m high as a visual divider between the patterned floor and patterned wallpaper. However in this proposal Anja included a warming golden/ochre yellow hue that lures the eye up to the ceiling and creates a ‘sunnier’ feel to my otherwise sparsely day-lit home. By painting part of the wall also ochre gold it visually expands the space. In 2016 Flexa named this ochre gold hue their color of the year.
Below the ochre gold painted portion comes white paint in the hallway, and the Zsa Zsa wallpaper in the toilet. The lower portion of the walls, doors, and tiles will be painted black. The contrasting black painted portion at the bottom of the wall grounds the space and functions as a divider, while the happy ochre gold upper portion of the walls and ceiling creates an endless plane of color that makes the small spaces seem larger.
The geometric patterned tiled floor will echo the colour scheme of the walls and ceiling, unifying the space. This proposal is somewhat bolder.
Leave your choice in the comments and help me make the decision.