From Concept to Creation: IDS Showhouse design 2020

From Concept to Creation: IDS Showhouse design 2020

Our clients and friends often ask us about the evolution of design, where we get our inspiration, and how we pull together a complete + cohesive design on budget and on time. We thought NOW might be the perfect time to answer a few of those questions since we recently developed an interior design plan (from initial concept to completion) for the Charlotte IDS Designer Showhouse. We want to share some insights into our design process for this project in hopes of giving you some ideas for your own pending home projects.

We were first brought into the design development at the stage of architectural drawings and construction. We met with a team of pros to develop a cohesive plan for our particular designer showhouse led by Kyle Ray (altogether there were three stunning showhouses in this IDS event). Our showhouse was titled “Modern Farmhouse,” which gave us an overall design direction. As a group we determined some foundational consistencies to the design flow, like a nod to black-and-white details. Isabella was assigned specific areas to design, a hallway and an outdoor porch on the balcony. We then came back to the studio and started our individual plan for those spaces.


First we brainstormed, gathering shots of inspiration and “mood” ideas. We sorted through our fabric bins and wall-covering samples and selected textiles which worked well with the theme. We pulled paint colors, light fixture ideas, art inspiration, furniture and accent pieces which communicated the look and feel we wanted to achieve. We often start our projects with tangible mood or concept boards which identify key elements, colors, textures and ideas. These boards then serve as a launching pad for product selection as we see how all the various elements work together. Here is a look behind-the-scenes at the concept boards we developed for this year’s IDS designer showhouse

For the upstairs hallway area we wanted to take our own spin on Modern Farmhouse and create a fresh moment with a mix of modern lighting, vintage rugs, boho-inspired Gigi chair, bold art by Susan Hable, and layers of colorful patterns. We chose this subtle repeat pattern black-and-white wallpaper to be a neutral backdrop to bursts of color and organic textures.

For the upper porch we wanted to create an oasis and a breath of fresh air. The signature piece and pivotal design element here is this incredible beaded chandelier. We also wanted layers of textures and wanted to tie-back to the black-and-white pattern in the hallway with this area rug. This pair of La Luna Stools add a great rustic, textural element while maintaining modern lines. Brightly patterned pillows, whimsical pom-pom wall feature and sleek rattan furnishings add nuance and character to this polished plan.

Once our concepts were defined, we had a rendering done by Jane Gianarelli which brought our initial ideas to life even further …

With a definite plan in place, we got busy ordering all the essential elements (keeping a keen eye on the bottom line). We selected the black-and-white graphic wall-covering, “Pick Up Sticks” by York to fit into the overall theme; we chose bright and fun vintage area rugs, an interesting mix of light fixtures, furnishings, accent pillows, art + other key accent pieces to pull off our fresh take on Modern Farmhouse.

The product packages began arriving at the studio and the excitement and anticipation grew. Once all items were ordered it was a matter of patiently waiting. Okay, patient, not so much. We were bursting to bring the look together and collectively oohed-and-aahhed as we inspected each piece upon arrival. Once the drywall was up, the wallpaper installed, and the killer chandelier hung, then finally came the long-awaited installation day (you know we designers live for days like these). Our team brought all the elements together and placed them according to plan. Of course there are always last minute tweaks. We added fresh plants and flowers to our scenario to add more depth and beauty. Styling the details is essential to bring a design to complete fruition.

{photography by Dustin Peck @_dpphoto_ }

We were so happy about the way the design came together and how seamlessly it fit with the cohesion of the rest of the showhouse design.

Interior design is all in the details. It’s about establishing a mood, making the plan and then working it. It’s about paying attention to flooring choices, wall treatments and furnishing selections to ensure a cohesive, complimentary creation. It’s making sure the big moments are WOW-worthy, like the statement chandelier and the eye-catching wallpaper layered with graphic art. The selection of art is vital to bring a look together and create a mood, a feel, a living experience. We LOVED the way our art selections worked together. The super modern abstract cut-paper collages by Susan Hable for Soicher Marin made a powerful entree to the hallway (See more of our art collection available for online purchase right here on our shopify.) Good interior design is also remembering the littles, like fresh plants and flowers. Special touches, small details make the design.

What is your interior design strategy? If you need just a little inspiration or full-on design assistance we are always here for you and would love to create a concept for you and bring it to reality. We love envisioning the design dream and then making it happen.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at our design planning. We’d love to invite you to the IDS virtual tour, now available for pay-per-view, of this year’s designer showhouses (since our event was cut way too short by unexpected world events). Head on over to take a look at all the amazing work of many interior designers, architects and businesses. Builders included: @augustahomes_nc, @plattnercustombuilders, and Southern Living Showcase Home 2020 by @southerncottagecorp. The proceeds from this event, sponsored by @homedesigndecor_charlotte, go to very worthy charities, including @motorracingoutreach, @hendrick_cares, @dalejrfoundation, @operationfinallyhome.

Thanks for visiting our blog and taking a trip back in time with us to our design concept phase. Let us know what your favorite part of the IDS designer showhouse is in the comments below. We look forward to staying connected with you.

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