Following a new client’s unrestrained vision

There are days when it is difficult to know what to write, days where I think inspiration has left me high and dry and then I meet a muse.

I have the privilege of meeting and working with a wide variety of clients and from time to time I feel significantly challenged.

I recently completed a house for a client who both challenged and inspired me at the same time. I will call him Charles for privacy but I’m sure if he reads this he will be able to recognize his home!

This client came in wide-eyed and very excited about his project and he was completely on his own. Generally when I meet male clients they bring their mom or girlfriend or close female friend who helps guide them through the design process – this client was ready to tackle a big project using his own ideas and dreams.

He was helped along the way by his salesperson (also male) but he had a definite idea of what he wanted.

Never have I seen someone so young who was so decisive about the look and feel for his home. After listening to him for a bit, it became clear that he wanted a modern contemporary interior with no reservations. Many clients say they want contemporary styling only to back away from the hard cold lines and colours once they see what contemporary actually looks like.

So we dove in, I must admit that contemporary is not my forte but I was challenged by this client’s vision and his incredible lack of fear. Almost everything I presented to him was met with positive and enthusiastic response and we ran with a cool grey/black palette with strong striping and bold design choices, it was so fun!

There were no safe zones, no going back to neutrals just to be cautious – this home is all out contemporary with full-on hard edges.

Contemporary style in its true form is low colour contrast, black, white and grey.

Edges are hard and unforgiving and the overall look is straight and unforgiving. If you are attempting a contemporary style it needs to be all out with no compromises. Every element must run straight into the next and all shapes and colours must be in perfect sync. Flat paneling on cabinets and all wood trim will walk alongside glossy pure white quartz countertops.

The mantles on your fireplace must be straight and simple and sit on top of large format concrete tiles. Bathroom fixtures are straight and simple and there are generally no curves allowed, even the sinks should be square!

Charles and I walked through his finished home the other day and we were both thrilled with the results. His furniture choices are perfect with the home and we both realized that this house had become something special. This isn’t a project I get to work on every day and it was both challenging and extremely rewarding at the same time so thank you Charles!

I feel that when you don’t put too much stock in what other people think about your home, magical things can happen. This young man is not a designer but did not let that sway him from sharing his vision with me, I was just lucky enough to facilitate and help with the interior finishes of this home.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.