The Big D

I was commissioned to do a high end condo model that would appeal to a recently divorced man in his fifties looking to start over…we shall call him Steve.  After a divorce, a lot of men are left adrift as far as starting over.
My ultimate goal in any project is to create a relationship with my clients based on trust and to make a positive difference in how my clients live, so here is what I did for “Steve”.
I wanted the room to feel both peaceful and rugged, so I chose different shades of butterscotch for the walls and fabrics, mixed in some cobalt blue and federal red accents, and selected cabinetry in a rich, dark grayed wood. I went to Atlanta and bought this incredible deep Persian Rug that captured most of my space with drama.
 Well, with guys, it’s about earthy, primal materials. So with decorating his bachelor pad, I wanted to think about fabrics and materials that are masculine as being the cornerstone of his new abode. Think brick, stone, wood, leather, granite, cast iron and steel. These materials will be at the core of Steve’s decorating style.
Once the theme for the room was set, it was time to get busy installing the male necessities. We created a whole wall of custom-built cabinetry in which to house the stereo components and the equipment for a 60-inch television, which was hung over the fireplace…a male staple.  A leather sofa with cushy but masculine pillows for movie watching features an almost “industrial” iron and glass coffee table in front of it. The table has a huge crystal vase of red roses that never need watering and with the top being glass… No coasters needed fellas!
On the opposite wall I also installed a snack center consisting of a beverage refrigerator and built-in bar area.  We used an exotic granite top and natural grass cloth on the walls to show off those custom Gun Metal Gray cabinets featuring silver handles that look like a gentleman’s suit buttons. Snack bar when his kids come over and Scotch Bar when the guys visit.
The dining room table is reclaimed wood with over-scaled Navy chairs done in a cobalt and white linen men’s wear fabric with nail heads all over….the surprise here is that it turns into a Poker table when needed. An over-sized English Lantern hangs above the table to anchor the space. To give the bay window the illusion of size, I created long navy velvet panels with Ralph Lauren tassel trim skimming the edges.
The kitchen is amazing with a large center island for morning java and the quick bowl of cereal, but has every gourmet detail available…just to impress the occasional female guest. There are some beautiful vintage blue and white porcelain dishes sprinkled around the walls instead of your typical guy art.
I know all too well, there’s much more involved in leaving the matrimonial home than packing a suitcase and signing a lease. I enjoy giving life back to my divorced clients.
Generally speaking, men are less design-savvy than women. They may know what they like and what they don’t like, but there are two things men can’t do: They can’t pull it all together and they have no idea where to go to buy the stuff…. But on the flip side, men make up their minds quickly and projects get completed much faster. They don’t send me back looking for the perfect fabric samples five times.
I love all my clients…male or female…single or married…young and old. They keep me energized and passionate about my work and make each day start with a new story.

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