Something new, maybe

I think I may have mentioned my friend Rich before, a designer here locally for Nell Hills. It's wonderful to have a buddy that's as much of a geek for art and furnishings as I am, and we can talk about fabrics and paint colors for hours. (One of these days I hope to devote a photo-laden post to his art collection, which is full of wonderful things)

While the retailing juggernaut that is Nell Hills is probably best known for reasonably priced accessories and the cult-like devotion of women of a certain age and station, complete design services are available for both residential and commercial clients. It's endlessly interesting to me to see the work Rich does for the store, and I really enjoy hearing the stories and seeing the choices he makes with his clients.

He called me one evening a few weeks ago to tell me about a project he's working on now. A big home out at Lakewood, and a client with strong sense of style and an unapologetic love of French interiors. Scalamandre wallpaper in the dining room. A powder room tented in blue and white toile. 30 year-old Fortuny drapery in the breakfast room (that will look as fresh as ever after the valance is gone and the tops of panels are reworked).

I thought he was just catching me up on what he was doing when he said "So she's got this bookcase. It's solid, and it has good lines, but the wood isn't so great. She'd like to use it, so I suggested a painted finish. You can expect a call when she gets back in town in about a week."

I respect Rich's work a great deal, so it's especially flattering that he thinks enough of mine to recommend me to a client. What's more, the piece would be used in the room he's currently working on for her, so I'll get to see what he does with it.

I met with her Sunday morning to look at it. Two bays over four paneled doors below. Carving at the top arch of each bay, and crown above that. Nice lines and a nice scale, but she's right that the wood isn't great.

Rich suggested a french gray that leans toward green, which should be stunning against the raspberry grasscloth they've ordered. Rather than just take photos of past pieces, I painted a small, heavily carved, wooden picture frame in a highly aged gray finish for her to look at. And she liked it.

So, I emailed her my quote today and suggested she talk to Rich to be sure it's what they want. If it is, I'll start my first commissioned work next month!


Raina said...

Oh, what fabulous news! Congrats on what may be your new career.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Congratulations! Do let him know the store looks great.

hello gorgeous said...

That sounds beautiful!

Now, please see what you can do to get your friend to take photos of the place for your blog! Tell him I love Nell Hill's even though I've never been there but own one of the books.