At Kathy Kuo Home, not only do we curate the very best in furniture and home decor, but we’re also always at work on design projects. Taking on design projects is not an easy feat, and from tricky clients to providing the best customer service there are always challenges that we face on a day to day basis. We reached out to some of our close designer friends (whose work we love!) to hear about some of their most challenging moments. Enjoy!
source: Marie Flanigan Interiors
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“One of my most challenging projects involved the restoration of a 1920s bungalow in Houston’s Heights neighborhood. My husband and I purchased a timeworn home with loads of historic charm planning to flip it and resell. With that in mind, I focused the majority of my attention on small structural changes that would make the home’s choppy floor plan feel more open and spacious to potential buyers; little did I know how those “small structural changes” would grow.
After considering countless ideas, we determined that removing a few walls within the home simply wouldn’t cut it; we needed to, quite literally, create more space, and the only way for us to do that was to shift the entire home back by 3 feet. We worked with a contractor who lifted the home onto railroad ties and, using hydraulic jacks, slowly slid the structure into its new position, freeing up space that would allow for the construction of additional square footage. Of course, once the home’s footprint was enlarged, the existing roof was no longer suitable so our next step was to alter and raise the roof to accommodate.
These changes alone made a dramatic difference in the feeling of the home; it was already lighter, brighter, and more welcoming, and once the interior finishes were updated, what once was a tired old house was transformed into a truly exceptional home. In fact, it was so exceptional that we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave and we’re still living there to this day. I believe a home should tell a story and we love being reminded of our challenging and extraordinary journey every time we step out onto our front porch.”
-Marie Flanigan Interiors
source: Beth Webb Interiors
“The initial relationship between a designer and a client is a lot like dating and as holds true, for any good relationship, trust is incredibly important (and respect). I always say I can only be as good as a client lets me be. So that being said – when a client has faith in my abilities it really does allow me to be as good as I can be.”
-Beth Webb Interiors
source: Meredith Heron Design
“Well closing in on 20 years in this business, I have my fair share of anecdotes good and bad about crazy things that have happened to me in this business. I’ve had clients split up, I have had business partners go into a hostile takeover mid-project. I have long believed that as designers, we should be allowed to prescribe narcotics and other mood-altering medications for clients on an emergency basis during their projects. The common denominator in all of these though has been to be understanding, compassionate and the most important tool in my designer arsenal (other than a bottle of gin) is a sense of humour.
Currently I’m involved in my most empathetic endeavour (in terms of understanding my clients) I’m renovating my own house. My entire main floor was overhauled, furniture moved out into a storage pod and we continued to live upstairs but had to leave the house each day to eat elsewhere – either at our office or out and about. We’re on Day 46 and I just face-timed with a client in Rye, NY and her first comment to me was “Gosh you look great for someone mid-renovation!” So the sense of humour, GIN and lipstick (my other secret weapon) are clearing working for me.”
– Meredith Heron Design
source: Cory Connor Designs
“As a designer there can be many challenging moments – delayed shipments, backorders, number of hours in the day and other things that are just simply out of our control. As a designer, and more importantly, the mom in a super active family, I have found a way to overcome one of my biggest challenges – CLUTTER!
It’s no surprise that my “secret mudroom” has been the envy of my friends and clients since I designed it! I have created a space where everything has a place. Is it always as neat and orderly as it appears in these photos? No way! But it is out of the way and out of sight when need be.”
-Cory Connor Designs
Tell us a design challenge you’ve faced in the comment section below!