Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home
Part of an interior designer’s job is to know his or her clients better than the clients know themselves. Think of it not so much as being a mind-reader as you would a mind-translator. So when clients express that they want their interior to have an “edgy lodge feel” or evoke a modern take on Old-world, the designers at Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home (LMD|PFPH) take that approximate description and help their clients define the details.
“Typically, our clients don’t see as many designs or options as we do,” explains Designer Moe Draz, who joined the firm in 2006. “We live, breathe, drink and eat design so they look to us for ideas. We may present things they haven’t seen so we work with them to ensure they are comfortable with the direction or refine the design until they are. In most cases, the client ends up coming full circle and choosing the first option we presented to them.”
Some clients prefer a collaborative approach while others give the designers carte blanche to create their dream home. In the case of an 11,000-square-foot estate home in the Hollingsworth Park at Verdae community in Greenville, S.C., Draz and founder Linda McDougald worked closely with the young professional couple who owns the home to deliver the neo-classical atmosphere they were looking for. Working with the architect and general contractor Milestone Custom Homes, Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home brought the couple’s vision to fruition through the use of clean lines, a cool color palette, and contemporary furnishings.
“Clients are beginning to embrace a very clean design without a lot of clutter and grandiose elements,” McDougald says. “People are leaning toward design they are not going to get tired of. To me, it’s more classic. The trend is to not follow any trends.”
Classic Yet Customized
Instead, homeowners are taking their own aesthetics and asking designers to filter them through a classic vision, creating a timeless product that still appeals to individual tastes. Designer Adrienne Fulmer, who has been with the firm for nine years, says that was certainly the case on the 5,100-square-foot home she completed last spring. The LEED-certified home, situated in The Cliffs at Mountain Park community located just outside of Greenville, is timeless but still conveys the edgy lodge feel the owners were looking for.
“The owners weren’t looking for a traditional lodge with antlers and animal heads but rather a home that is rooted in its mountain setting while incorporating sleek, clean lines, no clutter and more contemporary finishes like steel and bronze,” Fulmer explains. “The owner wanted a comfortable lodge feel. We tied the natural colors of the home’s surroundings into the finishes, fixtures and color palette. The clients are down-to-earth so it was also important to create a casual atmosphere in which to entertain small groups of friends every once in a while. That was important to them.”
McDougald explains that no matter the client, the goal always is to design a home interior customized to their individual tastes. The firm has clients from New York to Florida, South Carolina to California and manages all aspects of interior design and many varying styles and preferences. When it comes to new homes, that process begins by working closely with the architect to ensure the exterior and structure of the home can accommodate the owner’s vision of the interior. In existing homes, Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home has the capability to design and manage substantial renovations and remodels. In fact, the firm is working with a Tennessee-based client to rework architectural plans that McDougald says includes “different elements on the exterior of the home, changing the placement of windows and changing a good bit of the interior.”
Once the home’s design is complete, the firm walks owners through the process of filling in their blank canvas. As a full-service interior design firm, LMD|PFPH sells high-end furnishings, accessories and artwork in addition to the core interior and exterior specification work.
“The end-result of all this and what we’ve been able to achieve is that the owners are blissfully happy,” McDougald says. “The idea is to create the home they envision while at the same time giving them guidance so they will be delighted beyond measure.”