Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living

Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living.
Welcome to our blog "Coastal Creations & Design." We hope that you'll visit us often and read about our favorite coastal destinations, beach-inspired products, inviting seaside spaces, original artists works and people living the coastal lifestyle.

Monday, June 27, 2016

How Would You Remodel Your Living Room? Selecting the Right Interior Designer to Create Your Dream Space

I was recently introduced to Laurel & Wolf, a professional online interior design business that offers interior design services entirely online and challenged to consider writing a blog titled "How Would You Remodel Your Living Room?" So I thought to myself, well, that's an interesting idea and decided to take on the request.

As the co-owner with my wife Alison of Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Art Gallery, we are accustomed to working directly with customers & interior designers who are in the process of decorating their coastal/ beach home, and supplying them with the appropriate marine art, nautical furniture, furnishings lamps & lighting, and decorative accessories suitable for a well designed nautical interior and exterior too! We are one of a handful of dealers that are exposed to truly exceptional authentic maritime items- the nautical world is our oyster!

Another motivator for this blog is to correct the fable believed by our customers that our personal home must be like visiting a museum. Far from the truth. Though we do own some fine examples of nautical rarities, our home is pretty much designed for everyday comfortable living as well as for casual entertaining with family and friends. The bulk of our nautical treasures are available to you at our store.

Our brownstone home located in
historic Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia.

We live in a brownstone townhouse built in 1916 and located in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia, one of America's earliest and most historic seaports, a fitting place for us to live and run our nautical antiques, marine art and furnishings business. The parlor (living room) is not large but does features a beautiful bowed front window, old pine floors, a canted fireplace and wide doorways with raised paneled pocket doors that open to both the front foyer and stairs and the formal dining room. The room also features 10 foot high ceilings with decorative running vine crown moldings and an original plaster center medallion that surrounds the crystal chandelier. Since the question at hand is how would you remodel your living room, I'll leave it at that.

I visited Laurel & Wolf's website and perused through their site. Their online service allows you an opportunity to design your space from the comfort of your home, your office, or even on-the-go using your internet-accessible device! Pretty neat concept. So, I started by reviewing their  design questionnaire and following their advise  to give them a sense of your desires for designing your dream space. One challenge that most of us have is the ability to relate our desires to a designer for them to work with to create that perfect space for you. Part of the questionnaire asks for you to provide images of the type of things that you like. My experience has found that to be the biggest challenge. Most people have a better sense of what they do not like more than what they do, so I always recommend to a customer to visit such sites as as Pinterest and use their search engine to assist you in finding visual ideas to help you develop you perfect space. Here's the link to my boards on Pinterest This scrapbook of ideas will give your designer pictures of the right parts and pieces to work into your design for an environment that will be what you are seeking. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Linda Merrill of Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings, Boston Mass.

I then visited their directory of  interior designers and searched through the numerous pages of designers with examples of their work. With a fairly clear picture of what I would want as a living room, I visited the numerous designers pages and reviewed examples of their finished work and found a designer that design style really sums up my taste and would love to have design a living space for our abode. Linda Merrill, owner and principal designer of Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings located in Boston, Massachusetts was my pick.

Living room designed by Linda Merrill. Love the balance of fine
maritime art and furnishings together with a pleasing fabrics and color palette.
Well that made total sense since the largest number of Skipjack's customers are from coastal Massachusetts, so I guess my tastes tend to fall along the traditional seafarers homes of the 19th century, the days of tall ships and whaling. Linda's design work blended the wonderful period items that I love to live with together with a liveable space with traditional upholstered (comfortable) seating furniture and an eye-pleasing color palette that brought it all together.

Linda uses the right mix of old and new creating an
interesting and comfortable living space.

Linda would be my choice, but I could quickly conclude that all of the designers on this site had so much to offer and it would be pretty easy for anyone to find one that fits their budget and taste. The rest is up to you, so design away!

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