Sunny with a Chance of Heartthrob? Too weird. Doppler Gangster? Hell no. Hurricane Rob? Almost. Wow, I spent entirely way too much time naming this story. Why? Both project and client remain perched atop my list of besties. When I’d gotten word that Rob Marciano was desperately seeking design, I was quick to rise to the occasion. The painfully smart weather man threw me a decorating forecast of warm, modern and outdoors-y. And he wasn’t afraid of color [SCORE!]. But budget and timeline were tight [BUZZKILL].
Before I source, I use a “reaction test” to determine what clients consider reasonably priced versus “are you f%$@*@# kidding me?!” Although Rob gave a KWID print I suggested the thumbs up, he would have punched its’ price point in the face if it had one. After fabrics came furniture. The price tag on Saarinen’s tulip table for the dining room prompted involuntary eyebrow-raising. At this point it was evident that West Elm and IKEA would soon enter the picture. We concluded with a Flynn/Marciano meet-me-halfway strategy to splurge on anything adding value to the property but pinch pennies with furniture and accessories.
Since Rob and I both work in television — a world in which 4am call times and 8pm curfews are the norm — there was a mutual understanding that disruption, if any, could be catastrophic. Contractors on ladders drilling loudly as Rob tracked weather systems for the next morning’s broadcast seemed like a natural disaster in itself. Knock knock. Who’s there? Hurricane. Hurricane who? Hurricane Ike needing Rob to come report live before, during and after landfall. Luckily, this call came hours after all design decisions had been made and contractors were booked. From a design logistics standpoint, this truly was the perfect storm.
My assistant, Aprill, and I knew Rob had a crush on orange before we even presented our design. It was an easy sell getting the okay to paint the bedroom entry wall # 127-6 from Porter Paints.
The autumnal palette, starting here in the master bedroom, carries throughout the loft. Our modern meteorologist was willing to spend more on a custom bed as long as all other elements were done at low cost. I designed the eight foot tall platform bed which was upholstered in a black-brown Naugahyde vinyl at only $22 a yard. A Thomas O’Brien coverlet from Target was a penny pinching find allowing us to splurge on David Hicks La Fiorentina fabric for pillows. Jonathan Adler Parker sconces in oil rubbed bronze were snagged online at Lamps Plus. West Elm was our source for the now discontinued bedside tables. We topped the area off with a DIY drum pendant made from a linen shade, orange and brown gimp and a simple pendant kit.
The morning news
The master bedroom’s seating alcove entices Rob to kick back with coffee and newspaper. A pair of Ullevi orange KARLSTAD swivel chairs [$399 apiece] from IKEA have a mid-century look enhanced by the same David Hicks throw pillows used on the bed. Cb2′s Smart table [$149] keeps the chess set ready for a call to action. My brilliant seamstress, Kim, worked her magic on white linen IKEA drapery panels — backing them with blackout liner, pleating them and adding a four inch border of black-brown for graphic impact.
Everything old is new again
A viewing area right outside the bedroom was created strictly with second-hand items. We found the orange 1970′s TV at a local antique store while craigslist pointed us to the chrome lamp and $25 console we had refinished in glossy white automotive paint.
Remains of the day
Rob was adamant his punching bag remain once the redesign was finished. We turned this corner from Snoresville to Tornado Alley by suspending the bag from the ceiling, hanging up a grade school topography map and bringing in a diamond tufted bench for quick workouts before bed. Do the air-bubble-induced-ripples on the upper right hand corner of the 30 year old map drive me bananas? Yes. Do I pass them off claiming they add a touch of imperfect charm to the piece? Perhaps.
Blinded by the light
Sunday brunch is a must in the dining area. Natural light comes streaming through this spot of the loft in a cinematic manner. Too bad the view looks straight out onto an eyesore of a building blocking the skyline — doh! We took focus off of the ugly by adding dark wood blinds flanked by chocolate brown IKEA panels we had lined and pleated. While the Emeco Navy chairs and George Nelson pear pendant were a splurge, the West Elm table, Crate & Barrel upholstered chairs and shaggy FLOR tiles kept us on budget.
An outdoor enthusiast at heart, Rob was keen on bringing the outdoors in. The big spender was game for a 12 foot tall wall of Norstone natural stacked stone veneer. Originally the TV was the focal point of the room. My magic masonry team installed the much needed wow factor in only two days. Neutral tones from the stone were pulled into the sofa from Room & Board. Organic textures were also brought in via the wool Memphis Steel rug from Crate & Barrel and a discontinued walnut veneer pendant from Z Gallerie.
Take away the pane
Floor to ceiling windows perfectly frame the far-from-perfect architectural abomination across the street. We gave Rob’s windows a dose of custom sheer draperies to take away the panes and the eyesore. To keep this on budget we chose $5.99 a yard acrylic sheer fabric from IKEA.
The kitchen/bar area received a breezy facelift with bronze penny rounds from Ann Sacks and oil rubbed bronze pendants from Lamps Plus. Used Emeco Navy stools were scored at a hefty discount then given a nice orange update via electrostatic refinishing.
When we arrived, the entryway was sad, messy and eternally overcast. Not anymore! First came the custom welcome bench with a place for everything and everything in its’ place. Next we brought in the blue sky with an image of Oregon’s Mount Hood [Rob's happy place]. To bring the vision to life affordably, we chose an online stock image of Mount Hood which we printed on banner vinyl. My carpenter then built an art box and adhered the image to it with vinyl adhesive.
It’s in with the old at the entrance of the guest suite. A refinished 1950′s console scored for $30 off of craigslist was brought up to date with a sprayed white finish. The vignette is a mash-up of decades with a grade school globe from the 1960′s, a brass starburst sculpture circa the late 1970′s and a turn-of-the-century hand carved teak bowl to hold keys and wallets.
Sunny with a chance of slumber
Of all spaces, the guest bedroom was the easiest on Rob’s wallet. We dressed up his old bed with pillows in a Kelly Wearstler fabric and bedding from West Elm. Rob’s existing ottoman tables were brought in bedside to hold a pair of 1960′s lamps refinished in a glossy charcoal lacquer. We topped the space off with pop art of the Oregon state bird by Avelino Pombo and a George Nelson ball pendant.