27 Mar Finding a Designer’s Purpose and Project Spotlight: Indian Walk
When working with our talented architectural photographer, Rebecca McAlpin, to photograph this renovation, something happened to me that has never happened to me during a photoshoot before. I discovered that the process of photographing wasn’t about documenting, or rather wasn’t entirely about documenting our work, but was really more about revealing the unique point of view we bring to our work.
Let me explain: When we began the photoshoot for our Mechanicsville project (click here for more the project portfolio for Indian Walk), I had 3 shots in mind for the back of the house. These shots were carefully staged and the intent was to highlight the interior design of the blue-and-white French country kitchen and dining room. These overall images show how we were able to create a wide open space for entertaining, meal prep, and cozy family breakfasts.
Our hope was that some of the special design details, like the glass and brass bar shelves, the coordinating brass foot rest at the breakfast nook, and the walnut fume hood would shine.
I had two additional shots in mind as well, this time highlighting the interior design of the fireplace room. In this family-room-type space, we eliminated a door in the front so that we could create a cozy furniture grouping where it was meant to be: in front of the awesome stone fireplace.
We also lightened the wood beams and added custom white built-ins, which are used to store firewood and board games.
We were happy with the overall room shots we were getting (it helped that this photoshoot took place right after Valentine’s day and we snagged tons of beautiful fresh flowers on the cheap). See below:
We’d been pretty efficient with our time. So Rebecca turned to me and Stephanie and asked, “Do you want to take a couple of detail shots?”
With that simple and generous suggestion, a lightbulb went on. Yes, space planning, furniture selection, and finish recommendations are things we pride ourselves on doing well. But once we started thinking about the details, especially the ones designed into the custom built-ins, I realized that these very details are one of the key ways that down2earth interior design, with the help of our favorite tradespeople, truly bring unique service to our customers. It is these custom details that make the home really “work.” Here are a few examples from this project that highlight that principle:
No mudroom? Nowhere to store boots, shoes, and jackets before heading out to the garage? How about a piece of custom casework that blends perfectly with the family room built-ins and hides those shoes and coats?
Here’s another example, this time a pet-friendly one:
Don’t know where to put your dog bowls so you don’t trip on them? So that they don’t spill? So that you can clean up easily around them? How about a food dish and a water dish built into the side of the kitchen island? The surround is made of the same quartz material as the countertop above. Now the homeowners’ two Labrador retrievers (one of whom is a notoriously sloppy drinker) have a place to dine and slurp in style.
And finally, and I really can’t take credit for this one except to say that we have exceptional taste in woodworkers, I love the way the drawers are tricked out to accommodate the cook’s every need. Here we feature a drawer that, even when closed, allows access to a roll of paper towels, and when you pull it out, you can store a few extra right behind it. Adjacent drawers accommodate knife storage and spice storage in a way where you can see exactly what you have to work with.
So thanks, Rebecca McAlpin, not only for taking these photos that showcase the beauty of this space, but more importantly, helping me see how we’ve made the space function better for the wonderful, energetic family who calls it home.