• Robin Alenda- Alma Home

Designing a feeling........


As a designer I'm always trying to capture the essence of an era or a certain feeling. Its not about the actual thing, but more about a feeling, a time, a warmth, a lifestyle. It is these intangible things that we want to buy when we decide to create our dream home.

We want that feeling. Whether it be minimalism, Scandinavian simplicity or a time when we ran out side barefoot and care free and laid down in a field of dandelions; its a feeling we want to create.

What does it feel like to live on a farm when times seemed simpler and more organic, when Mom washed her babies in the same sink she set the fresh flowers from her morning walk? It's the smell of banana muffins with a hint of bacon and warmed coffee, It's dirt from the roots of the radish in the fields and a breeze wafting in from the porch through the screen door.

For this most recently finished project in Danville, Ca it was farmhouse with simplicity that was the objective. This three bedroom, two bath house was a compartmentalized hodge-podge of rooms when I was invited to come for my first consultation. How do we achieve bright, airy and simple, how do we achieve a more simpler time of life when kids played outside?

The design process began with considering the best possible outcome and yes, that meant tearing down some walls and reconsidering the entire kitchen space. Think outside the box, I thought to myself, don't allow the current parameters of this home dictate the possibilities that exist in the unseen. Its always so hard to imagine "what it could be" when you're standing in the current home. But the possibilities are there with a little imagination and sometimes help from a designer. For this home I drew each space in a 3d rendering to convey the "dream" and the possibilities. Optimism and patience are your best friend when beginning a remodel. remain optimistic and open and your outcome will always be wonderful; yes, always. Optimism and faith in the process always result in achieving perfect design objective,

After collaborating and investigation we arrived at a layout that required two walls coming down and a support beam being placed. While this was a hefty engineering task, it was also the perfect way to achieve open and airy! Little tip- don't say "open and airy" to your contractor more than twice on a job site or he'll want to punch you in the face and renounce designers from a job site ever again. Yes, whimsy and optimism, are lovely ideas, but there is a time on every project in which practicality plays a role too. Balance between reality and the dream, are apart of every project, listening to both and accepting reality also are the best ways to get your best outcome.

With layout achieved and engineering in place are when the feeling gets to emerge and come to life. From cabinet color to backsplash tile the details are where the feeling comes to life. For this remodel Robin Alenda, owner of Alma Interior Designs ran with Farmhouse as requested by the clients. AND everyone knows classic farmhouse starts with an apron-front farm sink and barn wood floors. It just does people! Add a pig, rooster and cow and you might as well start churning butter and baking biscuits! Other elements outside of the farm sink were a soft Repose gray base cabinet, natural light teal backsplash covering walls from countertop to ceiling and adding reclaimed open shelving with spotlight sconces. One special touch was a teal painted pantry door with glass inlay and accompanying "pantry" sign and apron hook sealed the deal on Farmhouse feel.

For more photos of this project and others created by Alma Interior Designs, please visit www.almainteriordesigns,com

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