Tabula Rasa Design: The mind is blank but emphasizes the freedom of individuals to author their own soul…

In Home and Entertaining, Marc Gibson, Myron Griffing by Lola Magazine

On unicorn-like rare occasions, I have the enviable project where my clients have no real preconceived ideas or direction in which they want their home to go. When this happens, I am mentally (and sometimes physically) doing the “Snoopy dance!” One of our most recent clients were just such folks. 

In actuality, this puts more pressure on me as a designer. I have now the unenviable task of imagining how these relative “strangers” should live, or rather, how I imagine them to live. On top of this, I must work within fiscal parameters as determined by the dreaded b-word: Budget! In most cases, folks have a definitive amount of “moola” they want to spend, but want to “redo” large portions of their homes. This spreads the funds entirely too thin (like Socialism…ha!) and its impact is far less dramatic than if concentrated on fewer rooms. We have multiple clients with whom we work in “phases.” This allots them a financial reprieve and an opportunity to live in and enjoy the work that has been completed. Now, back to this story. 

It was a glorious spring day when I first met my latest clients. The air was crisp, mother birds were teaching their young to fly, flowers were in full bloom and I was ready to shop as if our local economy depended on it! We entered into a vast entry hall reminiscent of a New Orleans boutique hotel (I’m not kidding.) The ceilings were 22 feet tall and came to a peak and the hall was at least 35 feet from end to end, anchored by an L-shaped staircase. My mind immediately started spinning and it’s possible I missed the next 1-2 minutes of conversation. Luckily, Liz takes excellent notes so nothing of importance was missed. 

From there, we were led into the master suite, which was bland, uninspired and almost made me a smidge sad. It too had a high-pitched ceiling approximately 15 feet tall at its peak. Then, back through the cavernous entry hall where I made a faux, “hello…helloo…helllooo,” canyon-like echo call as we were shown the living and dining rooms. The kitchen was also mentioned as possible project, but that would be phase two!

I like to use as much of a client’s existing items and furnishings as possible. This not only adds to the “mix” of our looks but also gives our clients a nostalgic feeling to be around familiar items. Sadly, none of the items in the master made the cut! Akin to my MawMaw’s biscuits, this room was created from scratch as was the majority of the rest of their home.

I won’t bore you with the details of the new vibe that we created for this home but, I will say this. This lovely Long Lake home now oozes an understated sophistication which somehow looks new and old at the same time (kinda like myself)! The palette is simple, yet contrasting with soft “hand-offs” from room to room. There is an elegant interplay of colors that complement the adjacent spaces without competing against them. It is refined, yet livable and I love everything about it! Don’t take my word for it, just sit back and enjoy these gorgeous pics! Hopefully, the results will give you your own “Snoopy-dance” feeling.