From the category archives:

Floor Plans

I recently was interviewed for the September 16th issue of Rochester Business Journal via a phone call with Debbie Walzer, a freelance writer.  As always, when I can preach about the value of good design to a sympathetic ear I am at no loss for words.  I didn’t have a clue what the article was going to focus on, but as long it was about design then I was happy.

“Interior design projects without guidance pose risks” Working with no plan can mean losing sight of the big picture, designers say….and so the article began.  Particularly fascinating to me is that three interior designers (one of them me) were interviewed independently and we shared very similar experiences.  Heather DeMoras’ solution for clients without a plan is straightforward: “Work with a professional to create a long-term plan, which can be executed over time and in the end, a well-conceived plan will save you money.”  Jason Longo’s advice: “Invest in a good interior designer and the expertise will help you understand the value of this profession.”

In my personal experience, the most successful results are achieved when the client hires interior design services in the beginning of a project.  In the case of a new build, this can sometimes mean joining the design team when the preliminary architectural drawings are done.  Unfortunately, too many people resist hiring a designer until they have already made many costly mistakes.  There is always something I can do to remedy the problem but usually the room will never achieve its full potential that would have been achievable if the project got off to the right start.

The following drawings are examples of how I begin designing a room.  First I begin with the floor plan and furniture arrangements.  You will see the shape of the new built-in cabinetry in this family room.  The fireplace is the only thing that exists in the current space.  Since the room is quite large, the furniture arrangement is created to achieve a conversational grouping and yet the primary seating faces the TV or the fireplace.  To add additional character to the room and create a cozy intimate feeling in a space of this size, I decided to show my clients how the room would look if we continued the woodwork all around the room.  They loved the idea and after finessing the designs, a local woodworker was hired to build the custom cherry cabinetry and frame and panel walls.  With all this beautiful cherry in the room, we were struggling to find the right size end tables in the right style, so I designed a pair of tables that my woodworker will create as well.  You might be thinking that custom furniture would be extremely expensive, but his price was competitive with similar tables that we saw in stores, plus my clients think “it’s really cool” to know the person who made their furniture.

Family Room Floor Plan

Design for Built-in Cabinetry

Design for Cherry End Tables

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Design Phase: Before and After

~ Chapter One: In the Beginning ~

Once upon a time there was a very nice couple who lived peacefully in a beautiful house set into a lovely landscaped yard in Rochester’s prized East Ave historic district.  They loved to cook and entertain their friends but unfortunately the existing kitchen was not up to pare.  Alas, one fine day they summoned up the courage to redesign their kitchen…..and their lives were changed forever!  I will share with you this epic story.

See the finished kitchen in the Photo Gallery at www.robinmuto.com

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Black and White

May 16, 2007

This Art Deco bath is straightforward in its approach By Christina Trauthwein So often, people are attracted to older homes. The charm, the craftsmanship, the nostalgia for times gone by. But many times, homeowners settle into these gems, these beautiful, rare finds, and in an effort to modernize and update, lose the character of the […]

Read the full article →