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Diary of a Show House Designer: Proposal #1

To participate in the 35th Junior League of Boston Show House, opening this October, I had to submit up to three proposals for the rooms I wanted to design.  The more proposals I submitted, the better my chances of being selected.  I intended to submit three proposals.  But as I said in my previous post, I wasn't feeling the love for the three-season porch in spite of its architectural charms.  So that left me with two possibilities.

Before going to the designer preview, I gave a lot of thought to what type of space I wanted to design.  Something that appeals to me--as a working mother of three, avid yogi and chronic over-achiever--is the concept of a "quiet room," a restorative space in the home where one can escape from household activity and noise, free of electronics and distractions.  Wouldn't it be great to have one?  Since a show house lets me indulge my design fantasies, at the preview, I scouted out this type of space.

Above the main rooms on the first floor of the house are two floors of bedrooms with connecting hallways, alcoves and bathrooms.  Built in 1867, the house has fireplaces in all but two bedrooms.  Also, perhaps because the house had been a convent, many of the bedrooms have stand-alone sinks.  Fireplaces and sinks didn't jive with my vision of the quiet room.  Ironically, I wanted a room with as little architectural details as possible.  And I found it.

A room on the third floor, slated by the Design Committee as a studio, was perfect.  It has a bump-out from a chimney, but that creates a perfect niche for a built-in.  On the opposite wall is a niche with two windows overlooking the back lawn.  A perfect spot for a writing table.

 

To find inspiration for my color palette and materials, I went browsing at the Boston Design Center.  I knew I wanted the room to feel completely different than the home environment.  I also wanted to bring in natural elements and create a zen-like vibe.  Finding the right materials always fuels my creative juices, and I next set about tackling the furniture plan.  Although the room gave me more of a blank canvas than most other rooms in the house, it also posed some big challenges.  Critical are the room's knee walls created by the dormer windows and odd angles created by the mansard roof.  More built-ins is my solution. Here's the initial sketch I drew for the window wall pictured above:

And here are some of the materials:

               

 

                                 

What pleases me about this proposal is that the design is all about interior architecture, not decorating.  What does your "time-out" space look like?

Next up: the Go Big or Go Home room proposal.