Spring home chores
Area designers serve up sage advice
When spring comes around, the cleaning and home repair season is in full swing. Along with spring cleaning, homeowners might also choose to do some renovations.
The key to any design project, whether indoor or outdoor, comes down to effective planning, according to Rochester-based designers. Often, homeowners might underestimate the cost of their budget, or find they don’t require the help of an interior designer.
“If you got it all figured out, you don’t need to hire interior designers to tell them you’re doing a great job,” says Jason Longo, principal designer at JDL Desgin. But this doesn’t always happen, and Longo tends to hear from people having “done their homework and they’re calling after they’ve given up.”
“I never thought it would, but the access to choice is now creating design confusion. And that design confusion creates job security,” says Longo, refering to design websites like Pinterest and Houzz providing too many creative options.
Longo also says that many homeowners seek the services of interior decorators for outdoor furnishings and styles “because people do, at least in Rochester, want to enjoy their time outdoors, albeit for twenty-five minutes a year.”
However, spring is also a good time of the year for renovating the interior of a home, according to Fran Springer.
Springer, an interior designer with more than thirty years of professional experience, finds the spring and fall seasons to be her busiest for “any type of renovation or new construction.”
Her guidelines when designing a home include the use of natural light.
“I tend to design with natural light. If there’s as much natural light as you can get in a space, I would look at the components of the project and try and figure out a creative way to allow” the addition of daylight, she says.
Another important element to consider is the use of color in a room. For Springer, choosing the right color comes down to “the eye of the beholder.”
“So there are people who just want to go white on white or cream on cream. Just to keep it light and gray. And then there are those who really, really like the dark colors.”
Springer adds that many of her clients prefer “green and blue neutrals,” which she views as refreshing, or colors of nature. These colors, she says, using the Restoration Hardware palette as an example of the types of colors her clients are interested in, demonstrate the use of relative neutrals, “because what creates the ambiance of the hue, of the color, is the neutrality.”
While Springer has found more use for neutral colors and natural light in her designs, Longo experienced more opposition to neutral color tones from several clients. This largely comes from the surrounding Rochester climate and environment, although, “we still get a fair amount of gray and grayish-beige everywhere."
However, there are homeowners who have a simple, two-word rule when it comes to redesigning the interior of their home: “no gray.”
“I do have a few clients who refuse to have that color as the primary color in their house, because they’re like, ‘look outside.’”
He also adds that he avoids having gray walls anywhere in his own home. “It’s a smorgasbord of color.”
However, Longo also makes clear that his particular color preferences are not necessarily relevant when it comes to working with a client. “My job is not to say, ‘I don’t like pink walls,’ or, ‘I don’t like purple walls.’ I can tell you why that might not work from a professional standpoint and tell you why it might not work from a design standpoint, but at the end of the day this is where you live, this is your house, and you need to make sure that you’re the driver.”
Patrick Harney is a freelance reporter who covers the economy, education and local events in the Monroe and Ontario Counties. Follow him on Twitter at: @patrickharneyw1