We are kicking off this year’s project spotlight with one that was over a year in the making, finally debuted in the fall of 2020. Our Elm Road Project was a new construction home with the initial intention to be featured as a Designer Showhouse through Aspire Magazine. Then the house would become the new home of the young family having it built.
In this spotlight, we are focusing on some of the behind the scenes planning parts of the project that took place well before it was furnished and open the the public.
The furnishing and Showhouse is a part of the story that will come later.
A Different Approach
This project was unique in many ways, mostly because it wasn’t just a Showhouse and it wasn’t just a new construction home for a client. Typically, the approach to these two types of projects is very different.
When working with a client, designing their home, we are working directly with the end user of the project. Therefore, we focus on making decisions that will serve their needs and ideal lifestyle specifically.
Alternatively, when we participate in a Showhouse project, there are typically many different designers involved in a single homem each completing an individual space. The focus for each space is to provide inspiration and highlight their work in a unique way to be enjoyed by many people. This usually results in a wide variety of styles throughout.
We were brought into the project very early, hired by the clients to make the hard surface design and decisions for the entire home. Since the homeowners would eventually be calling this their home, it was important that the permanent materials and building elements would create a cohesive flow for the home beyond the Designer’s Showhouse debut.
The client wanted a fusion of California modern with Asian influences for their home. Our goal was to incorporate these desired styles of the client with fresh perspectives to help set the the tone for a truly special showhouse.
Starting from Scratch
With new construction projects specifically, it is our job to bring life to the flat nature of architectural plans. We add dimension to these drawings by planning the spaces as they will be used and feel when you are in them.
Set the mood
We use mood boards when designing spaces and homes to help set the overall focus for the house. This is a snapshot of one of the mood boards for this project.
Modern made to be More
Special detailing can often be lost with the abundance of clean lines and simplicity that is generally associated with modern design. We don’t think that has to the be case, we believe that modern design can be an perfect base for highlighting exceptional details. Each space we touched, including the kitchen, butler’s pantry, laundry room, walk-in pantry, 8 bathrooms, mudroom, and wet bar all have some element of uniqueness.
Thinking inside the box
A very big part of what we are known for is our cabinetry. We strive to create more functional and interesting spaces. We achieve this by pushing the limits of basic cabinet design in every project we do.
All of the cabinetry throughout the home is our custom Town & Country Bespoke Cabinetry. We took special care to be sure that every room was a modern reflection of the possibilities that can be achieved when working with quality craftsmanship and products.
Many of the cabinet door styles started as rough sketches like this from the design studio. These sketches became reality through the fine work of our cabinet makers as seen below.
Beyond the Box
In addition to the cabinetry, we were in charge of selecting and designing all of the hard surfaces for the project. This included the tile, countertops, plumbing fixtures, and bathroom accessories for this home.
Product Sponsors for the Showhouse part of the project meant that we had manufacturer restraints on the selections. Working with limited brands we were able to explore the versatility throughout the home that can be achieved when playing with finish and styles.
We wanted the individual rooms in the house to be unique, yet flow from one to the next. Our approach was to stick with a neutral color palette for all selections to create the desired continuity. Clean lines for all styling selections kept things sleek. While sourcing layers of natural and organic feeling materials offers a earthy feel throughout.
Highlights on products and fixtures will come at a later time.
When a Plan Comes Together
Although it takes time to plan and execute a project like this, it is always rewarding to look back at the process a project and how it all comes together.
We selected a few of our favorite completed spaces in the house. Below are the planning sketches and images of the final room.
We are excited to share more of the details and finished images of the house once the Aspire Showhouse Issue coming soon.
Mike Van Tassel was the photographer who took the professional images of the finishes spaces of the Showhouse.