A lot has changed in the last year. The world has been turned on end as we’ve adapted our modern way of life to the challenges of, what seems like, a medieval pandemic. Among other things, our patience has been tried as many of the things we thought we understood (and probably took for granted) have changed. Home improvements have always seemed to take twice as long and cost twice as much as we plan. But few, if any of us, have experience renovating during a pandemic.
We started this particular project last February, in downtown Chicago. Our new clients had purchased a 39th floor, 2-bedroom condo in historic Lake Point Tower. With gorgeous views and everything The Windy City has to offer at their feet, our clients planned a complete renovation of the condo during the Winter months of 2020 so they’d be ready in time to enjoy dinners out, museums, and concerts in the park by Summer. Then… along came Covid.
The ink had barely dried on our contract before lockdowns went into effect. With the uncertainty of how long the closures would last, we used the time to work remotely, deciding on every detail from flooring to cabinets, fixtures, finishes and furnishings. That way, since construction was deemed “essential”, the trades could continue working while we planned and purchased the rest.
Fast forward a couple months as things slowly reopen. Having shopped exclusively online during the lockdown, we were finally able to meet our clients again, in person, to actually see specific pieces, test their comfort, verify fabrics, colors etc… and place orders.
Dramatically increased demand coupled with raw material & supply chain issues ensued. Fortunately, our clients weren’t selling another property; so they were able to stay in that home while construction continued and we waited on new furnishings. New flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, vanities, lighting and fixtures we gradually delivered and installed. And still, we waited on our custom furniture orders.
As stores slowly reopened, we could focus on the layers needed to give the space the “personality” our clients wanted. We’d planned our “look” around a few pieces of artwork our clients already owned and wanted to repurpose. Much of what our clients wanted to incorporate had been acquired from international travels. So, our challenge was to blend a more contemporary design and furnishings with more eclectic, colorful art and accessories.
We planned for neutral, greige walls throughout to highlight the unobstructed views of the lake and city as well as to serve as our backdrop for the pops of color in both artwork and accessories. Playing off of the primary & jewel tones, especially gold, we bought accent pillows and a few other key pieces to compliment the artwork and tie the space together. For a punch of visual interest a gold-veined, prism wallpaper accent wall was installed in the dining area.
In November, after months of waiting, and with some final construction still underway, we were finally able to see our progress and how closely the newly delivered furniture matched our plan. No matter how right things look on paper, the look and feel of a space is difficult to capture in two dimensions. On site, we could see the need for a few extra pieces to fine tune and finish the spaces.
Through the holidays, we took advantage of the downtime to order the remaining pieces & wait for them to be delivered. We also made sure we picked up all the small details that make a house a home so we’d be ready when “styling day” came after the New Year.
Last week, almost exactly one year after we started, we spent a few hours working our magic to finally put the finishing touches on the renovations and decorating plans we started 12 months prior. To say our clients are relieved to have the lengthy project behind them would be an understatement. But, as they say, good things always come to those who wait. With any luck, their amazing patience and understanding while we were renovating during pandemic will be rewarded with many fun times and happy memories in their beautiful, new home away from home.
Happy Renovating from Decor Designs, 815-245-2433.