Dallas, diplomas and design

It’s been a while since I published my last blog article. After promising myself that I’d write shorter more frequent posts, I can say now that I failed miserably. Life’s been a little hectic over the past few months. I finished my diploma in interior design. I got a new job working in the building products industry again. And we decided to jump in and do the kitchen / dining room renovation. Plus I started helping out friends with their interior design projects.

I started writing this post as I was sitting at the airport in balmy Dallas waiting to go home to the arctic tundra that is Minneapolis. I’d been on a work trip to visit some customers, and it had been a fantastic couple of days meeting them and visiting their projects and design centers.

I didn’t know a lot about Dallas before I visited, but what I learned is that there are some seriously luxury properties there and a vibrant interior design industry to service them. We visited a place called The Design District just outside of the downtown area, and it’s home to every conceivable boutique design firm you could imagine. From art to rugs, luxury furnishings to (of course) windows. It’s a designers dream! I wished we’d had more time to browse, definitely a place I’d like to go back to visit.

The other fantastic part of the trip was touring the luxury homes that our products go into. Some finished, some still under construction, but all fabulous. They say Texans do everything bigger and better and they’re not wrong. I can honestly say I’ve never seen homes like it, and I’ve seen some nice homes in Minnesota. These homes were around 20,000 sqft with ten foot high windows and doors and probably 20 foot ceilings. For homes this big, you need big furniture and big statement pieces of decor, otherwise things would just look lost.

The home we visited did this beautifully. It had very simple rustic decor in the correct proportions. As you walked in through the ten foot high entranceway which opened up into a grand family room with kitchen and seating area, all it really had were a few sofas and a console table with one large piece of decor on it. To the left of the seating area there was a round dining table with eight large dining chairs, more like armchairs, with one large floral arrangement in the center, again in perfect proportions.

Everything was neutral in color and natural. The floors were a dark brown wide plank wood, the walls off white, the windows black and the sofas and dining chairs were off white linen. Delicately and cleverly interspersed with green plants such as orchids and olive trees. I wished I had some photos to share, as describing it probably doesn’t do it justice. But it was simply the most amazing property I’ve seen.

As you can tell I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my new job. The side effect is that now I want to redecorate our own home! Luckily, we do have a pretty major project going on right now – the renovation of the kitchen and dining room. It’s a project that we’ve been wanting to do now since we moved in three years ago. We’ve probably been planning it for that long as well! Over the next few months I’ll be sharing our progress and some of the many decisions we’ve made along the way to create our dream kitchen.

Also inspired by the Texan masterpiece I visited, will be a redesign of our lounge and sun room. Nothing major, just a few tweaks to make it a little more ‘chic’ and a little less ‘rustic’. Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for reading.

Jo

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