Well, I can’t believe I’m writing this, but… I’M DONE! Yippy! Yes, I’m all finished my interior decorating program that has taken me three and a half years to complete (feels so crazy to think about that)! It feels like it took the longest time, but also no time at all. I officially wrote my last exam today and I couldn’t be more excited!
Enrolling myself in the program was something I did on a whim. Interior decorating has always been something I’ve been so interested in so I decided, what the heck, why not enroll myself in a college program. Little did I know that I would be spending countless weekends and evenings working away on projects and assignments both in-class and online on top of working full-time. I did not anticipate it to involve so much work and I’m truly impressed with myself that I stuck with it. I only did one class a semester and took my time working away at it – and here I am!
By no means am I an expert – I’m just a lover of all things decorating and decor! My intentions were always just to follow my interest and see what would happen – it truly was a passion project of mine to work on over the years. Now that I’m done, I’m so looking forward to continuing decorating my own home and putting into practice the things the I have learned – maybe I’ll teach you a thing or two?
Anyways, I thought I would share parts of my final project, for anyone that is interested. Maybe you are also interested in interior decorating and want to enroll in a program? Or maybe you’re just curious to see what I’ve been up to all this long? So here it is!
- You are asked to design a small home for a client of your choice who has accessibility issues of a disability that requires special consideration.
- Design the spaces to suit the client and accessible issues your client faces.
Tom and Amanda McConnell are a middle-aged couple with a 10-year old son, Jack, who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Having cerebral palsy affects Jack’s body movement and posture, so he uses a walker to get around. Accessibility in the home is extremely important to the family, as they want their home to be functional and safe for their son. The family moved into their home two years ago and have made some adjustments, however they are looking to update the rest of their home to accommodate for Jack. They want to improve their home’s space planning and design with a focus on accessibility considerations. They also want Jack’s future accessibility needs to be planned for as well, as it is anticipated that Jack’s mobility will continue to decline as he ages and may need even more accommodations in place in the future.
The family enjoys spending time together, playing board games and watching movies. Jack also likes to have friends over to play. They want the rooms in their home to be accessible for Jack so he can feel comfortable and be able to participate in whatever is happening in the home. Whether it be a games night or a sleepover with his friends, Jack’s parents want him to be able to have easy access within the home to feel fully included. It’s also important that aside from the accessibility improvements in their home, the design also fits with the homeowner’s sense of style. They want their home to look visually appealing, feel modern and fresh while also being practical and meet the accommodations requirements they are looking for. The couple likes the farmhouse style but also likes modern finishes. They would like the style of modern farmhouse to flow throughout their home. Rustic charm with modern elements is what the homeowners like in their furniture and interior décor.
Style Definition: Modern Farmhouse
A decade ago modern farmhouse style would not have meant what it means today. It would have represented an actual farmhouse, newly built. However, this look which combines a bit of country with a bit of industrial is just a few years old. The New York Timesfirst used the phrase “modern farmhouse” in an October 2016 article and Google’s tracking shows that use of the phrase “modern farmhouse” was non-existent from 2004 to 2015, with a sharp climb in 2016. A large influencing factor of the sudden growth and popularity of the modern farmhouse style is from Joanna Gaines and her show Fixer Upper. After the show debuted in 2013, people became intrigued with her style and look, which was defined by shiplap, exposed beams, antique accents, a neutral palette and handmade furniture. Social media is also to blame for the popularity by the use of Pinterest and Instagram, as many people turn to these platforms for interior decorating inspiration.
Modern farmhouse decor incorporates comfort and a relaxed style and includes modern touches, such as smooth lines, glossy accents and neutral colour schemes. Today’s modern farmhouse decorating is based in rustic country charm sprinkled with warm minimalism and industrial elements. It is less rustic and more sophisticated and focuses on more contemporary design elements, such as stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and sleek lighting. It emphasizes comfort and casual living with contemporary touches consistent of today’s times. Design characteristics include a utilitarian, natural yet refined look with country and eclectic styles.
When achieving the look of modern farmhouse, some of the main things to consider is practicality and functionality. Furnishings and accessories should be comfortable and practical. They should welcome the person into the room, and it should look like it has evolved over time.
Choosing a neutral palette will make the room appear fresh and open. Cool or warm neutrals, such as cream, beige, silver, and grey all work well and balance natural elements. Keeping patterns simple and contemporary and bringing depth to the neutral palette with a variety of textures will also help achieve this look.
Mixed and matched furniture also embodies a modern farmhouse style. Vintage furniture has authenticity and new furniture adds comfort and style. It’s all about a mix of the old and the new for a comfortable, relaxing vibe. To keep things interesting, one can add in unique finds, heirloom pieces, and decorative add-ons. The modern farmhouse style includes a mix of era’s by combining contemporary minimalism with a touch of country; and adding unique pieces that are irregular or slightly imperfect will add to the charm and personality of any room. Today’s modern farmhouse style is all about a low-key combination of stark minimalism and country chic elements. Minimalism is also important with a modern farmhouse style, as the room should feel cozy, not cluttered, so keeping accessories to a minimum is important.
It is important to stick to natural materials as much as possible, using distressed wood in architectural features and furniture, but also including natural fibers, such as cotton, sisal, rattan and wicker, and natural stone. Organic and natural materials are the foundation for modern farmhouse style. A mix of industrial metals balanced by sleek white marble countertops and a large farmhouse sink creates a sense of simple sophistication. Modern or industrial elements help make a farmhouse style current. Introducing industrial-style metal objects like modern lighting fixtures and mid-century modern-style furniture creates a sleek look and feel. Adding weathered faucets or oversized pendant lights will help to highlight the beautiful modern farmhouse design. Matte finishes and low-shine materials create a casual yet cool everyday glamour to the space. Since modern farmhouse design is focused on incorporating the outdoors inside, it is important to utilize these natural fibers and avoid anything plastic or overtly unnatural as they will add confusion to the space and will not sync with the modern farmhouse interior design.
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Floor Plan Plus Electrical Overlay
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Design Explanation – Essay
The goal of the new design of the home is to incorporate both style and functionality that takes into account accessibility for the client’s son who uses a walker. This has been achieved in the plans for these homeowners through the use of many considerations. One of the main elements all throughout the home is the consistent use of flooring. In every room, aside from the bathrooms and laundry room, there is a beautifully crafted European-made laminate flooring in the colour Truswell Hickory, that offers style, design and durability. It has added resistance against wear, scratches and stains, so it will hold up well from the use of the walker. The flooring is also slip resistant which will help with Jack’s stability and safety as he makes his way throughout the home. There are also no carpets or rugs throughout the home (aside from the parent’s bedroom) to prevent trips and fall. Another consistent element is the use of lever door handles. Although many of the doors in the home have been converted to pocket-doors, the remaining doors to each bedroom and closet have been switched to lever handles. This will allow Jack to easily open the doors with less difficulty than with regular knobs. The rest of the doors (to both bathrooms and laundry room) have been converted into pocket doors providing more accessibility and room for Jack to enter and exit with his walker. The majority of the doors are 32” wide, which meets the minimum requirement for an accessible door frame. Most of the electrical outlets have also been relocated to a slightly higher position which will allow Jack to access them easier without having to bend down.
The living room is the first room upon entering the home. The mood created in this room is warm and grounding with the neutral colours, soft textures, and sturdy furniture. This space is used the majority of the time, as the family spends a lot of time watching movies, playing games, reading, and relaxing by the fireplace. It is spacious with minimal furniture to allow for Jack to freely move around with limited obstructions. The main seating area consists of a love seat and matching chair, a circular coffee table and a floor lamp. The specific love seat and chair were picked as they have arms that are well padded and firm, making it easy for Jack to get in and out of. A circular coffee table was chosen to minimize the safety hazards of Jack bumping into a sharp corner. The paint colour chosen for the living room is Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. This colour is a popular grey paint colour that has light grey and warm undertones, creating a unifying look that is both calm and inviting. The 17” chandelier that is above the coffee table has a drum style shade in a linen material. This chandelier ties in with the modern farmhouse style, as it has simple, clean lines but also gives off a rustic, country feel. The floor lamp also incorporates the modern farmhouse style, as it has a minimalistic profile and is in a black matte finish, matching the rest of the finishes in the room. The cream coloured curtains in the living room are hung just slightly above floor length to prevent Jack from tripping over them. The fireplace features a wood beam mantel with white painted bricks.
Beyond the living room is the kitchen and dining room, which is accessed through a 4-ft opening, giving Jack plenty of room to get through with his walker. These two areas are the hub of the home as a lot of time is spent cooking and enjoying meals together. There is a sense of comfort and coziness that has been established in the kitchen and dining area. The kitchen features shaker-style cabinets that are a simplistic and modern design. The cabinets are all painted in the colour Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore which is a beautiful neutral greige tone that is graceful and elegant and pairs nicely with the wall colour, Alabaster by Benjamin Moore, which is also a soft, off-white colour. For easy access without having to reach inside the cabinet, pullout shelving and drawers have been installed, making it easier for Jack to reach items. Pull-down shelving systems are also in place in some of the upper wall cabinets which will make item retrieval easier. All of the hardware and cabinet pulls are “U” shaped in a sleek, minimal design and are in a matte black finish – they are easy to grasp and pull. The backsplash features a crisp, white subway style tile, that ties in effortless with the countertops. The countertops are made from granite in a neutral, crisp colour which features a soft white palate infused with subtle grey particles and light grey veining. The appliances (oven, range hood, fridge, and dishwasher) are all in stainless steel and the oven has been chosen purposely with knobs at the front to allow easier reach for when Jack starts to learn to how to cook. A countertop microwave was chosen, as it is easier to access, along with a pull-out shelf underneath to place hot dishes. The sink is a single-basin farmhouse apron style which adds to the rustic charm of the home. The faucet has a long lever handle which makes it easy to turn on and off. The pendant lights above the kitchen counter provide additional lighting that blends in with the modern elements of the home. These lights are encased with exposed hardware and a transparent glass shade that makes an attention-grabbing statement. There is also additional task lighting by the use of puck lights underneath the cabinets to provide additional lighting when preparing meals. The circular dining table captures a true rustic charm with its pedestal base and reclaimed pine wood. The table is a timeless, yet modern piece that offers style with functionality. The dining chairs chosen are upholstered, so they will provide extra cushion for Jack to sit on. They have solid wood legs in an antique bronze colour which matches with the rest of the space. The counter stools are a rustic farmhouse style, tying in with the rest of the kitchen. The seats swivel and have a high back so Jack sit on them both easily and safely.
To the left of the dining area is the laundry room. For a non-slip floor, a non-glossy ceramic mosaic tile has been chosen. Installing a tile that has small pieces that are embedded in a dense network of grout adds texture and more traction. The walls of the laundry room are covered in a rectangular tile that is both rustic and modern with glossy bright white and slight colour variations. The laundry room cabinets are painted in the colour Stonybrook by Benjamin Moore, which is a timeless and elegant colour, and also feature “U” shaped pulls. The washer and dryer are both front loads, making it easier for Jack to help do his laundry.
The guest bathroom is located next to the living room. A sense of elegance and sophistication has been created in this space with the use of colours, pattern, and finishes, all while being practical and accessible. The flooring is the same type of tile as in the laundry room, helping to ensure Jack’s safety when uses the bathroom. The main focus of this bathroom is the walk-in, curbless shower. It is ideal for those with limited mobility and allows for plenty of space. It has a sleek, and streamlined look, but is also very functional and practical for Jack to use, allowing him to enter in with his walker without obstructions. To help add extra security and safety, grab bars are installed near the toilet, outside of the shower and in shower. A silver polished porcelain wall tile with a beautiful marble pattern and durable finish is used floor to ceiling all throughout the bathroom. A brushed nickel hand-held shower fixture provides more flexibility and allows a person to shower while sitting; it also ties in nicely with the rest of the finishes in the room. The sink chosen for the bathroom is a wall-mounted, floating sink. It allows easier access for grooming and will allow Jack to get close enough without any barriers. The faucet for the bathroom sink has a single lever which is easier to use and is also in a brushed nickel finish, matching the rest of the hardware in the room. The toilet used in this bathroom, along with the master bathroom, features a comfort height – offering a chair-height seat that makes sitting down and standing up easier.
Mixing the old with the new was the plan for the homeowner’s master bedroom. They wanted the space to have charm and evoke a feeling of comfort upon entering the room. This was established with the rich, warm colours, textures, and patterns used throughout the room. The rug in the master bedroom adds both warmth and a bold statement with the deep blues and rich reds. It features an abstract motif that is faded, adding a rustic element to the room. The bed is constructed from solid wood with a natural wood grain colour variation. The two nightstands add a touch of modern farmhouse charm and features an iron base with a solid pine wood frame, which adds a modern spin to the piece. Placed on both nightstands are reading lamps crafted of ceramic in a bottle-shaped silhouette featuring a drum shade and an antique black finish. The walls are painted in the colour Elephant Tusk by Benjamin Moore which is an off-white colour creates a tranquil and serene environment.
The master bathroom was designed to have minimal obstructions and allow for plenty of room for Jack to use. The owners wanted the space to feel serene, peaceful, and spa-like. This was established by the crisp white colours and tones blended with the rich grey accents. The same flooring as in the guest bathroom and laundry room is also used in his room. The master bathroom vanity is AODA complaint with an opening underneath the vanity to create space for a wheelchair/walker, which will allow Jack plenty of room to use. It is a transitional design with tapered legs and offers plenty of storage. Grab bars are also used in this bathroom to prevent falls and improve accessibility for Jack. Surrounding the soaker tub is a raised tub deck which makes it easier to enter, allowing the homeowners to sit on it, swing their legs over, and lower themselves into the water. A single lever handle faucet is also used for both the tub and the bathroom sink, as they are easier to turn on and off. The wall colour in the bathroom is in the colour Rock Gray by Benjamin Moore and is a rich, deep elegant colour that matches well with the rest of the aesthetic of the room. To help tie in the rest of the style that is consistent throughout the home, a rustic chandelier with antique white wood detailing has been hung above the tub. Additional task lighting is provided above the vanity that offsets the rustic look of the chandelier with its crisp, brushed nickel finish.
At the back of the home is Jack’s bedroom, where he spends time playing with his toys and electronics along with having his friends over. He is an adventurous child who likes the outdoors, so having this incorporated in his room was important to him. To ensure his safety, Jack’s bedroom has been designed with minimal furniture to allow for optimal space. The walls are painted in the colour Pewter by Benjamin Moore which is a rich, masculine grey colour. On the wall behind the bed is a mountain mural wall art which adds a fun and playful pattern to his bedroom. Jack has a single bed, in a rich blue colour, which is centered along the middle of the wall, allowing easy access on both sides. There is also a bed rail provided to add extra stability for him to enter in and out of his bed. There is also a matching nightstand beside his bed with a table lamp to provide additional lighting. The curtains in the bedroom are hung just above the floor to prevent any tripping hazards. The light fixture, with its graphite finish and exposed bulbs, ties in with the rustic and industrial theme throughout the space.
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Modern Farmhouse Definition
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