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Peyton's Closet

Amazingly,  Peyton's closet is almost "done".  Even better, the process has  been pretty painless.  

The Mother-Daughter Relationship

Peyton and Sherry, many moons ago. 

For most of Peyton's adult years I have watched as she lived her life quite  independently, seeming resistant to much interaction about designing her home,  or even more adamantly, her life.  I have been proud of her strength,  worried about her challenges and heartaches, unsure of the best way to show her how precious she is to me.  Sometimes, I have watched other mothers and daughters  interact and been a little jealous of their closeness.  We  didn’t spend a lot of time doing girly things together, shopping and giggling.  Peyton isn’t much of a shopper and I’m not  much of a giggler.  So there you have it. 

But  at least in decorating, and I think on a much deeper level too, our  relationship seems more relaxed and happy than ever.  At last, she has  invited me to help her do what I seem to do best:  working with a client  to help them realize their vision…whether they know what it is or not when they  start.

Peyton and Sherry, 2006

Maybe we needed that structure to be able to get over the usual mother/daughter  push and pull.  For her, she might have  wondered whether we could work together without me overwhelming her; she also  seemed to have a significant dose of the classic client anxiety of not being  confident in their eye or how to begin.    For me, I wondered if  I could maintain the "client relationship" without lapsing into the power  mother stance that would include going over her budget by just buying it  for her, as well as thinking of her as my daughter instead of the decision  maker who is really my boss in this project.

But  even as I write that, I know it isn’t the entire truth.  My greatest hope  was that this project would be emblematic of a how great we are together, that  we can conquer goals large and small, happily and successfully.  It could  have led to tension, but it didn't!  We are still talking, and I am loving  how her closet is turning out…..a true expression of her taste, within her  budget, maybe not perfect but delightfully improved.   A great  project with a wonderful client!! 

Admiration of Daughter and Room 

I like my daughter even more now, even after many long weeks of this crazy little project transforming a cluttered space into a romantic and organized  retreat.  She has been patient and very creative.  Her boldness in  insisting on an intense wall color was the key to making the room more than a  neutral, functional space.  It added an unexpected spark and counterpointed  her major purchase… a Duchess Brisee in a grayish-greeny-blue that I liked ok… but initially feared using would result in a "down" palette and crowd  the room.  She was so enthralled with this chaise-like chair and ottoman  that my mothering instinct almost overwhelmed the decorator in me.  I couldn’t disappoint her, I couldn’t say no to such a passionately longed for  item.  Scale be damned, I thought….we'll make it work!!!

I was  shopping at ABC in New York recently, among piles of brilliantly colored  pillows and objects of every kind, and this made me realize that the finishing  touches to bring the room together will probably involve a pillow and throw on  the Duchesse, and probably a rug under it to add a little glamour and  softness. 

ABC Carpet & Home in New York City 

Other  areas in the dressing room still require attention.  The doggy bed needs to be shielded by a curtain on her dressing table (which was created by painting an old brown "wood" corner desk and adding a mirrored top.)  Peyton needs  more drawer space.  The curtains shielding her industrial clothes racks  could be a little thicker.  Her vintage  crystal chandeliers need contemporary white parchment shades (or not) and maybe  some fun and unexpected objects among the crystals.  The corner window is crying out for a casual valance of that iridescent silk that inspired the raspberry wall color.  And so it will continue.  

Now  we are definitely to the fun point… all the major decisions made and only  the tweaking to go.  

Some Key “Take-Aways”- Things  I’ve learned or been reminded of during this project 

*** Good design often  amounts to little more than editing, simplifying, and unifying. (For Peyton’s  closet we did all of those things.)

*** Imagination is much more  important than budget, although a tight wallet can extend the time and effort  required.  It simply takes longer to find  the right items at the right price.

*** A tight budget doesn’t  mean NO budget. It still takes money but most of all it takes time and effort  to significantly transform any space. 

Why I especially enjoy working on special  closets 

If it’s large enough for a comfortable chair and  dressing table, a woman’s dressing room can be her favorite room – A room where  she creates the art of her style, she can be alone without being considered  anti-social, and where she can luxuriate in a sense of having one place that is  all hers. 

 How we came up with the design 

When Peyton showed me her preferences (magazine  pictures, images from Pinterest, and some of her ideas) I quickly realized that  she is still ultra-feminine and tends toward romanticism mixed with a touch of  nostalgia.  She loved similar colors in  her bedroom even as a little girl.  My  goal was to help her create an adult space with a softened touch… a  sophisticated and slightly sexy blend of her love of rich color, flowers, and  an essential need for comfort and practicality.  

I wish we had been doing this kind of thing together for a long time and I hope  we will be doing it for years into the future.  My daughter is a great  client!

Sherry  and Peyton, Summer 2012



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