“My youngest memory of being interested in interior design was in third grade, I would skip play time and sit at my desk to draw “floor plans” of what my future room in my family’s new house would look like,” says Lisa Gilmore, principal designer at Lisa Gilmore Designs. Fast forward to staying up late in high school watching HGTV, design school and “the rest is history, I was instantly hooked.” Today she’s sharing a recently complete project in St. Petersburg for stylish attorney who was downsizing to a condo.
The process of designing for a downsize can be quite different than designing for a larger home – what were your client’s request for this space?
Layne had an amazing collection of art, antique furniture and rugs. She was eager to try new things and open to mixing modern pieces with her antiques, wallpaper, and painting her condo black. One challenge was that Layne’s collection is a variation of art deco and arts and crafts antiques, two very different styles. We got to work mixing patterns and other elements that marry the unlikely pair seamlessly.
Inspiration for this project really came from Layne’s existing pieces and her enthusiasm to make her space unique. She has an amazing Louis Icart collection, art deco lighting and figurines, then the juxtaposition of the masculine lines of arts and craft furniture. I turned to fabrics and wallpapers to get the wheels turning and started playing with all the possibilities of layering patterns and colors.
What was the biggest design risk you took that paid off?
I know in my client’s eyes the biggest risk was painting 85% of her condo black. She was very nervous at first, however, very excited at the same time. I am so happy she trusted me and didn’t let her fears around “I’ve never seen this done before” take over her decision-making. She often tells me how much she loves the black walls and is so happy with her choice to move forward on that.
How, if at all, did this project differ from your other work?
This is one of my first projects where the client had her own solid art collection, and there was no need to source artwork (which is always such a personal task!) In addition to helping Layne overcome her concerns of painting her walls black, another challenge was making sure the more modern condo didn’t feel too cold against her antiques and other artifacts.
See how Lisa balanced the masculine and feminine, the modern and the antique, and the dark and the light in the slideshow!