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The adventures of……Deborah and Ryan

Once upon a time there lived a busy family of four. They decided  to trade their hectic lifestyle in Manhattan for the laid back lifestyle in Dutchess County.

They visited town after town, and then, two years later they found it – The Perfect House. It was a 1850’s farmhouse Debra Front1on  20 acres. During the summer months they excitedly packed up their three bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side and moved their belongings to their country home.

 Looking over the fields of their new home, Deborah knew they had made the right choice, “We loved the idea of letting the kids run around without worrying. We had turned into the paranoid parents that micromanaged every second. We didn’t want to live our lives like that. The kids weren’t having much fun either.”

Once the glow and excitement had passed, Ryan went back to work in Manhattan while Deborah started working from home part time.

 Every day, they tried to balance their two children, BUSY work schedules, personal life and outside commitments while creating a new home.  Days started in a frenzy of activity; they left the house feeling frustrated and frazzled. “We were always late. I’m a Type A, overachiever, so being late didn’t sit well with me. It created so much stress. I wondered if we had made a huge mistake. Had we fallen in love with an idea instead of reality? A few weeks of chaos was enough for me. I suggested to Ryan that we needed help. He quickly agreed.” 

Debra 19


Deborah started looking for help. “We interviewed a number of very qualified people, Interior Designers, Architects, Home Organizers, but nothing felt right. None of them really understood what we were looking for; we didn’t know what we were looking for.”

After a few weeks of looking they contacted me. We spoke on the phone briefly, setting up an appointment for later that same week. Once I walked into the house, I knew what the problems were.

  • CHAOS had taken over their lives – so they weren’t connecting with each other

  • The house didn’t reflect their personalities – so they weren’t connected to their new home or life

  • Debra 11


    It didn’t give them a place to relax – so they weren’t connecting to themselves

 It was clear to me they needed a home that lifted them up (by reminding them of the wonderful adventures they had experienced) as well as one that restored them. None of that was in their home. It looked very pretty, but impersonal.

 We went to work immediately. I created an Idea Board that reflected who they were, where they had been and where they were going – as a family.

 Instead of creating a space that was beautiful, but impractical, we focused on what they needed first, what the FUNCTION of the space was and how THEY wanted to use it. Then we added the decorative elements that made their home theirs.

Debra 9

Attic Guestroom

I was able to help them transform their chaotic home into a finely tuned base that SUPPORTED the family and reflected who they were.

 “Before we worked with Vivian we had created a home that was very pretty, it looked like a magazine spread, but it didn’t support our lives.”

Once we had taken care of the immediate concerns, we were able to address some of the underlying issues; they very much wanted to connect their old life in Manhattan to their new life Upstate. “We never felt comfortable inviting friends and family to our new house. We had the room, but by the weekend we didn’t have the energy.”

Now, Deborah and Ryan have a home they love. By starting with their NEEDS followed closely by their STORY, we were able to create a home that they are happy to own.

This entry was published on May 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm. It’s filed under Before & After, Renovation, Residential Design and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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