If this is your first time visiting, welcome! I’m Erika Ward, owner and principal designer of Erika Ward Interiors. Our Atlanta-based firm uses our concierge-level interior design services to help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries. This is my second season participating in the One Room Challenge where we are designing our presentation room, my personal office, and the butler’s pantry. We’re excited you’ve decided to join us for the ride!
It’s finally Week 7 and we are on the home stretch! From my perspective, the theme for this season’s One Room Challenge has been PIVOT.
Performing design work in the midst of a global crisis presents many challenges. Material shortages, logistical issues, project scheduling amidst mandatory quarantine orders, and curfews have been enough to make anyone throw in the towel.
However when we put it into perspective, “Are we saving lives here?” The answer is absolutely not and we recognize that we have to extend ourselves and the people working alongside us both patience and grace.
Designing in the current times also sharpens our problem solving skills which is always a good thing. We learn how and when to make needed adjustments and know that each decision, both big and small, gets us closer to the finished line.
Here’s a few examples of how we’ve had to pivot to meet our looming deadline:
Now with more people working from home, there has been a shortage of office chairs—at least the good looking ones are gone or on back order. Imagine that! In lieu of office chairs on wheels, we’ve decided to use these dining chairs around the conference table.
Pro: I love the silhouette of the frames and think they will be an interesting departure from what you typically expect to see in a conference room.
Con: I have no idea how comfortable they are which is important during long team meetings or client presentations. If they turn out to be a bust, then we will donate them to a local charity when our desired chair is back in stock
When factories shut down for weeks, so did the production of the artwork chosen for my office.
Pro: I have a great relationships with local vendors and made an appointment to purchase a piece off the floor to replace the original artwork selection.
Con: I was unable to cancel the original order so will end up having an extra piece of art. However, I will likely place It elsewhere in the showroom.
Again the office chair dilemma surfaced in my personal office.
Pro: I opted for a slipcovered chair with on casters (wheels) to make getting in and out just as easy as using a traditional office chair.
Con: The chair does not have armrests like I had planned and the slipcover is white just like the sofa. I thought about having a custom slipcover made, but decided it was better to save that money for use in other parts of the showroom.
I thought by using stock cabinets in the butler’s pantry, it would have saved me time and money.
Pro: I can share with you and future clients the various ways you can make stock cabinets feel like custom cabinets.
Con: In reality it did not take that long to get them but definitely longer than I expected. And for another thousand dollars I could’ve paid for custom cabinetry and got EXACTLY what I wanted.
It feel a bit frivolous to complain about these things in light of what others are experiencing in the world. Yet, it is certainly relevant if you are considering taking on a design project without professional help. Now more than ever, allowing someone else to tackle this would be well worth the cost even if the only thing you save is your sanity.
I look forward to sharing the end result with you next week. Wish us luck.
If you have a moment, please pop in and cheer on my fellow designers. We could all use a few more cheerleaders to add to our pep rally. We are almost there!