Welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings on this beautiful fall day in southeastern Washington! As I sit at my kitchen counter typing this, the slider is open with a beautiful fall breeze. A pot of chili is simmering gently on the stove and a pan of corn bread is in the oven. In other words, I am in my happy place.
Due to a greater than normal amount of travel the past couple of months, I have not been a very regular blogger. Thank you for sticking with me, for those of you who have. After flying from Montreal, Quebec yesterday and being up for almost 24 hours, I am thankfully home for a long time and am bursting with ideas to share with you as we move through the next few months together.
About three weeks ago, I decorated three new-build condos in Sandpoint Idaho. Not to over-amplify what we did, but it was the equivalent of decorating three empty homes in three days. From scratch. Three kitchens, three bathrooms, a total of 5 bedrooms, three dining rooms, three living rooms, and three outdoor patio spaces. Yikes! I think I need a nap just thinking about it again:]
Let’s flash back to last spring when the company that owns the resort community where we have a small bungalow asked me to stage a small one-bedroom unit they had for sale. I blogged about that at that time and you can see the link All the World’s a Stage… here. They seemed pretty happy with the bungalow staging, especially when the buyer wanted to buy it fully furnished, just as we had done it.
Shortly after finishing that project, they asked me if would like to decorate two loft condos they were keeping for rentals in a 16-unit building being constructed in downtown Sandpoint. Oh, boy would I!
Massive shopping ensued, and all furniture, accessories and artwork items were purchased. Because it was being decorated for the vacation rental market, all fabrics needed to be hard wearing, as well as pet and child friendly. The bed quilts needed to be sturdy enough for frequent washings, and two sets were purchased for each bed to rotate between washings. And to keep the floor space as open as possible, the dressers are all located in the closets, since guests are just there for a week or so at a time.
For this market as well, kitchen and bathroom accessories were kept to a minimum, so as to allow potential vacationers plenty of space for meal prep and their personal items. The perfect middle ground is somewhere between spartan and homey.
I had the blueprints for each unit, so it was time to go to work on furniture layout and wall art placement. For this project, I purchased a lot of canvas and framed artwork, mirrors, beautiful boat photography that my mother did, as well as some vintage photos from a local photographer.
Additionally, there were baskets, plants, trays, and plates added to the walls to bring texture and soul to each space. A few well-placed word signs here and there, as well as a large locally made wooden state of Idaho cutout, and the purchasing was done.
For me anyway, I start with a rough idea as to how many wall pieces will be required to properly fill the space. I also have a rough idea of where they will go. But the process after that gets pretty organic. In other words, there is a lot of “how does this look here?” going on:] Lucky for me, this unit was done with the help of my super talented sister Loralee, and my jack-of-all-trades husband, Jim. The three of us made quite a team as we went room by room, making these empty spaces come to life.
For this condo, I chose a palette of aqua, gray, teal and navy. The accessories had a watery, slightly nautical slant to them without being theme-like. The builder had provided a perfect neutral balance of a tan/gray wall color, vinyl plank flooring in a driftwood look, and dark off-black wood trim and cabinets. The tiles were all long living classics in a white elongated subway style, complimented by white quartz countertops.
This unit is the most beautiful of the three I ended up doing. (The story of the third surprise unit is coming soon.) It has six waterfront windows and is flooded with natural light. The layout is also lovely, with an open concept done in an L shape with the dining room off of the kitchen.
From the kitchen, you have a beautiful view of the living room, the entry, the reading nook, the dining area, as well as the marina and water. And can we just talk a minute about those dreamy navy blue bar stools? No kidding, my husband and I could live in this unit fulltime and be quite content. Just make the reading nook an office, and we would have everything we needed and more.
One of the most flattering aspects of doing this first unit was that the owner, his wife, daughter, son, realtor, office staff, furniture deliverers, the handy man, and others came in and out throughout the day, checking on the progress. They were all unbelievably complimentary. Surely, after a year, seeing this building go from blueprints, to messy construction site, to a fully furnished home was so exciting for everyone who played a part in this project.
So, this is condo #1. I will get the rest of the pictures for the other two uploaded as soon as I can. In the meantime, I need to go stir my chili and take the cornbread out of the oven. Ahh, fall, you are my favorite!