Yesterday, I was working on a master bath a layout with a new client. I was at my desk, she in her home office and we were talking back and forth on the phone. Working around some tough structural issues that affected where plumbing could be routed, we had developed an initial concept. We had really wanted to place the tub on the far left where the closet is drawn, but after a consult with the contractor our fears were confirmed, it was physically impossible. (Nothing like a great collaborative effort!)

The first iteration…

concept 1, Wilson Kelsey Design

We finally ended up here. Still a few rough edges, but with fine tuning, we’re off and running. The shower footprint needs to be sorted out and I wish I could locate the vanity directly across rom the tub, but there simply isn’t room…

concept 2; Wilson Kelsey Design

To maintain access to the window on the left, which we will be enlarging, we created two closets that face each other, with a window seat in between. (Built in or furniture TBD.) Sliding closet doors were eliminated quickly… My client was having difficulty picturing how the door by the window seat would operate. Would she have to move the seat every time she wanted access to that side of the closet? I said, “Give me ten minutes, you’ll have sketch wasting for you in your email.” I quickly drew this little perspective showing the door opening above the window seat and sent it to her. Her response was, “Perfect! Now I see now it will work!”

concept 3; Wilson Kelsey Design

The sketch isn’t perfect. It’s loose, sloppy and probably has 43 vanishing points. But is demonstrated intent in a manner that helped my client visualize the answer to a question she had. We were able to quickly move on.

My point is, my designer friends, don’t be afraid or embarrassed by your “lack”of drawing skills. You don’t have to produce the perfect rendering or drawing. All the sketch needs to do is to be able to facilitate a conversation.

Happy sketching,

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall – or is it?

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Sally’s and my presentation on “Creating French Style in your Home” on Sunday at the French Cultural Center was a HUGE success! We came away feeling there is still a place for elegant, classy and sophisticated traditional interiors in the world. During the post presentation social, while champagne and madeleines were being served by the staff from the fabulous Newbury Street French restaurant La Voile, a lady approached Sally and told her, “I’ve been waiting 20 years for someone to do a presentation like this!” Another came up to me and said, “Now I understand why and how the parts and pieces fit together!” Happy Dance!!! It made us feel like our hard work had paid off!

During the presentation, these slides in particular created quite a discussion. I was going thru my Mirrors and Mantels section of the presentation (We had 10 topics/touch points.), explaining and illustrating how and why mirrors were placed and used in 18th century French homes to reflect light and/or to visually expand a room. Using this picture I took of a room in the Musee Carnavalet, I asked whether we were seeing into another room or were we looking into a mirror?

carnavalet, photo  by John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

The answer is we are looking into a mirror. But you need to look twice to notice the picture hanging in front of the mirror. with the window and lantern appearing as they do, it is easy to think you are looking into another room with a window beyond. I asked the attendees to remember this picture.

A short time later I showed this picture of a Parisian apartment done by French designers Champeau and Wilde.

Champeau & Wilde

Then this one and posed the same question. Are we looking into a second room or are we looking at a mirror?

Champeau & Wilde

This is a tough one, no? Most thought we were looking into a mirror. But we are not. We’re looking thru a large hole in the wall between the two pair of doors into the room beyond! Fabulous! Look carefully at the crown molding. The closer room is simple with ornamentation in the corners only. The far room has brackets running the length of the molding. Look at the picture some more and you begin to pick up other details and clues. What else do you see?

Cheers and have a great week!

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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An Eclectic Apartment in Milan

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These past few years, the design term Eclectic Style has become a well worn catch all phrase describing any number of combinations of furniture, fabric and lighting, etc. in a room – most of which I struggle to understand and come to grips with. To me, an Eclectic Style project has to be as carefully and thoughtfully curated as any other style that comes to mind. I further propose selection and placement become more critical as various pieces of differing styles and periods are asked to play off each other in a room.

I’d like to share a delightful story I came across in the Jan/Feb 2105 issue of Elle Decor that meets my criteria. It is an apartment in Milan overlooking the 16th Century Chiesa di San Barnaba e Paolo. (I’d take the apartment for the view alone…)

Interior Design, J J Martin 6, Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Purchased by fashion writer JJ Martin and her husband, she recounts a delightful tale of the renovation of the apartment. But what first caught my eye were the pictures – a delightfully eclectic blend of furniture, lighting and accessories set against a background of wonderful colors and textures. Enjoy the tour.

Living Area: 1930’s chairs paired with 1970’s Massimo sofa. Original mantel and wood floor.

Interior Design, J JMartin 1; Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Dining Area: 1940’s Italian dining table, 1970’s Italian chandelier, 18th century bas relief.

Interior Design, J J Martin 1a; Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Sitting area: 19th century drawings and Maurizio Galimbreti photo above custom sofa.

Interior Design, J J Martin 2; Photographer, Kasia Gatkawska

Bedroom: Poliform bed, 1950’s bedside table and lamp and table lamp made from an 17th century candelabra.

Interior Design, J J Martin; 3 Photographer, Kasia Gatkowska

Desk: 1970’s walnut desk, 1940’s French chair, 1950’s sconce and 18th century antique mirror.

Interior Design, J J Martin 5, Photographer, Kasai Gatkowska

Have a great week!

John Kelsey, Wilson Kelsey Design

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