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HOW TO TOUR A DECORATOR SHOWHOUSE

I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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I thought about you yesterday while standing in the Living Room of the ASA 2010 Decorators’ Show House and Gardens.  For 3 hours I answered visitor questions regarding a space designed by Stan Topol and thought about you. I gathered the postcards provided of the actual spaces in the home to share with you for this post.

When cameras are not allowed to capture what you see, how do you translate these ideas for use in your own home?  With this question in mind, I came up with a few tips to help you get the most of your visit to this show house or any show house for that matter.

1. BE COMFORTABLE
This home has three levels and sits on 4 acres of lush landscaping and beautiful gardens. It would be a shame to divide your design focus or cut your visit short because of aching feet.

2. BRING A PAD AND PENCIL
Cameras are not allowed and your memory may not be very reliable either.  Sketch rooms, furniture, window treatments, or anything else that captures your interested. This will be very helpful when recalling vital details.

3. TAKE YOUR TIME
Schedule ample time for your visit and leave whining friends/spouses/children at home.  Furthermore, this is not a rushed tour so don’t feel pressured to move through the house faster than you’d like.

4. ASK QUESTIONS
Many times designers will be in their spaces and are free to discuss their inspiration for the room and sources for their furnishings. In that short meeting you may decide to give that individual your business.

5. JOT IDEAS FOR YOUR CURRENT SPACE
Are you currently working on a kitchen design? Your kitchen may not have the same layout, but can still borrow the color palette, flooring, and lighting options.

 
6. PAY ATTENTION TO FUNCTION AND FLOW
Keep in mind the purpose of each room. If you are in a library, consider the lighting plan. Is there a combination of overhead, ambient, and task lighting? How does the designer compensate for the lack of natural light?

If you are in a living room, pay close attention to the furniture plan. How many conversation areas in the room?  How does the traffic flow in and out of the room? Observe the mix of fabrics and textures that make a room so comfortable/elegant.

7. UNDERSTAND THE COLOR STORY

Notice the flow of color throughout the house. Recognize how color effects the mood of the space. Is color used to camouflage flaws or accentual architectural details? What feelings do you experience while standing in that room? Is it one you want to recreate in your home? Write it down!

I hope these tips prove to be helpful on your next show house venture.  If you decide to visit this home, I would love to hear your thoughts.


Do you have additional tips on getting the most out of a house tour? Please let us know!

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DESIGN OBSESSED, ATLANTA GO-TO GIRL, STYLE CHAMELEON, BEACH LOVER. 

Hi, I'm Erika.
Your Design + Happy Healthy Home Advocate.

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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