For those who don’t know, I love Spanish architecture. I mean, I really love it! So when we received the call to interview for a Spanish Colonial new construction project, they had me at “hello.”
When we first met, the client was in the planning stages of the process. Great news to me, as it allowed the DMi team to collaborate with the architect in changing several areas of the floor plan to better accommodate the client’s wish list for the interior design.
Often times when beginning a new project, I have a clear vision of how I see the home evolving. Renderings are the best tool for communicating that vision, like the one below:
With our Autocad plans and 3D renderings in hand, we were able to share the vision of the home with the client. Thankfully, we signed on for an unforgettable two-year experience and wonderful synergy with our client.
phase 1 - Furnishing layouts
Our process always begins with furnishing layouts. This client has a large family so we knew how important it was to provide ample seating options, with a variety of 'experiences'. For example, the library is the perfect setting for quiet conversation, while the family room sectional lends to relaxed evenings with a popcorn and a great movie.
While the goal of the first floor was creating varied communal spaces, the second floor was all about private retreats. Each bedroom design included a private bathroom, and the children's wing even had its' own guest room for slumber parties. I also built in a retreat area, as a quieter, secondary lounge space for the family.
The interior design plan for the master wing had one clear goal: to create a private resort-style retreat for these home owners. Their large bedroom featured a private balcony that overlooked the entire property, as well as a cozy sitting area centered around a fireplace. Just across a private hallway was the stunning master bathroom with an adjacent walk in closet with gorgeous built in floor-to-ceiling cabinets.
From the furnishing layouts alone, myself and the team were thrilled with the direction of the design - and the client shared in that enthusiasm.
PHASE 2 - Design Development
We then proceeded with picking every construction detail - including plumbing, lighting, appliances, flooring, tile, stone and cabinet finishes. For this project, I wanted a fresher, more modern take on a traditional Spanish style, so we incorporated traditional elements in a new way.
The master bath in particular took extensive construction planning so that when it came to the interior design, we would be able to create a total spa-like experience.
One important interior design principle of mine is to always marry the style of the lighting with the style of the architecture. In this Modern Spanish home, I really wanted the lighting to incorporate traditional iron elements. Now when it comes to the sizing of the lights, I love to add something unexpected. I think it's so interesting to push the envelop on scale, so when we found these stunning oversized star pendants, we knew they were the perfect fit. It did take a little bit of convincing of the client, but now they love them.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the initial construction planning was the tile. Boy, did I have fun here! From bold kitchen tile to unique bathroom tile combinations, we knew this was a pinnacle of the interior design. As a way to unify the design throughout the property, I custom designed Spanish tiles for both interior and exterior use. I designed both the pattern and the coloring, using a more modern palette with turquoise and navy as the primary colors. We used a local tile dealer, Mission Tile West, to produce each of these beautiful tiles.
The team and I then compiled all of the construction design details into a very large notebook so the General Contractor, Stonefield Development, could begin their process of building.
Phase 3 - Fabrics & Furnishings
After we have completed construction call-outs, we move into the fabric and furnishing selections. This is where the personality comes out in every project. As we wanted to design a Modern Spanish style home, we looked for traditional Latin American shapes and motifs that we could emulate in a new way.
The geometric forms found in the Moroccan entry rug are repeated as a theme throughout the house. The oversized diamond fabric on the dining chairs made a very bold statement, but is rooted in the geometric repetition found in many traditional Spanish-style homes.
As construction proceeded we met weekly at the jobsite, working very closely with both the client and the builder to ensure that the designs were being executed as per the design plan. We quickly became a team with the same end-goal of a beautiful home firmly rooted in all our decisions. When chemistry and trust are built amongst the key people of a project, the results really show. This was one of those kind of projects!
PHASE 4 - INSTALLATION
As construction neared completion, we really started gearing up for our installation process. The installation is often the most stressful aspect of interior design. For a project of this size, it is a two-week orchestrated plan that starts with the window covering installation. We then have several days of deliveries to the jobsite and pick-ups elsewhere before we begin placement of all the furnishings.
We also purchased and placed all the accessory style items on the project, including towels, silverware, glasses, dishware and more, so that the home was move-in ready for our clients. During this timeframe, we ask that the client not visit the site so they are surprised at the unveiling of their home.
It’s during this time that our designs come to life, and after a two-year process, it is so rewarding. I really love how this project turned out, but perhaps my favorite space is the Dining Room. The intriguing graphite art by Cuban artist Jorge Lopez Pardo paired with the bold fabric and vibrant rug color make it breathtaking.
A close second is the downstairs hallway. I love transition spaces that leave an impression. Most of my work will include something special in the hallway including a gallery of art, ceiling details or repetitive lighting. The oversized star lighting in this hallway leads you along in such a pleasant way that you forget you are trying to get to another space.
One of the most fulfilling parts of our process is the reveal. It was even more exciting for this family, as they were moving right in after seeing the home for the first time in weeks. With the help of my team, we scheduled a reveal with the clients, the builder, landscape architect, and our entire team. The client was thrilled, and even arranged a fabulous fiesta-style celebration for our team, their family, friends, and new neighbors.
It was the perfect ending to an amazing project. We couldn't have been more pleased to be involved in creating this very special home.
Want to see more of the Hilltop Hacienda project? Watch our Behind the Scenes video and see the full photo gallery on our project page.
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