I have a 700-square foot downtown condo and it had a number of challenges: I love to entertain, but it's hard to do in 700 square feet. Whenever I had guests over, I noticed they all congregated in the galley kitchen instead of going to the living room area, which made it hard for me to finish cooking. I also want to have family and close friends visit, and again, having a 1-bedroom loft was a challenge. I have a growing collection of hundreds of cookbooks that were lined up against my baseboards and covering my kitchen table in stacks. I had a huge colorful painting and no clue how to decorate the rest of the room to complement it. I needed better lighting: All I had were the ceiling fan light fixtures that came with my condo, and not only were they harsh overhead lights, they didn't provide good reading light or soft light for evening parties. I wanted individual, personal, untraditional, bold, bohemian style with touches of whimsy... something I felt like many designers didn't get, and something I knew I really reflected my taste, but I didn't have the know-how to make it look collected yet cohesive.
Laurl Self got it! I love how she listened to what I wanted and got excited about it. She came over with early concepts and fabric swatches to see what I loved and what I didn't, and she really honed in on my taste. Specific solutions included switching my slick-yet-uninviting leather sofa for a soft, touchable sleeper that doesn't sprawl. I have a place for guests to sleep, and when I entertain, people go sit on the inviting sofa and play with the many touchable, colorful pillows. For seating, she took three stools I had, added a fourth, and recovered them all in fun fabrics. She replaced my coffee table with a glass-top table that's high enough for all the stools to be stored underneath. She replaced the dingy white shag carpet with easy-to-clean removable squares in a fun bohemian print. A spline bookcase accommodates much of my cookbook collection also adds some whimsy and accentuates the height of my ceilings. She found lamps that fit the decor and provide the extra light I needed. She personally painted a wall to give me color--plus, it's a chalk-wall, so I can write menus for dinner parties, or let my friends draw and entertain each other.
Laurl is completely trustworthy... She's had keys to my condo so she can get in and paint, deliver furniture, accept deliveries, and so on. Everything's always in beautiful shape when I get home.
Most of all, my space makes me happy. It's so cool to get up in the morning or come home from work and get cheer from your home. A newcomer to our city recently asked a friend of mine, "what's the best place in the city?" And he said, "my place!" He inspired me to think that each of us should feel that way about where we live. I can say that's true for me now, thanks to Laurl.