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  • Sarah Mervis

Oregon Homeowners

First time home buyers can sum up their initial year in two words: unexpected expenses.


A young couple outside of Portland, Oregon needed assistance with a furniture layout for their new house. As with most new homeowners, their budget was tight when it came to additional design projects. To help combat unexpected costs along the way, they agreed to use their existing furniture pieces and chose not to demolish the home's awkward angles. This millennial couple also decided to utilize a designer from out of state; a choice that some would consider bold, to say the least.


Choosing to hire a non-local designer can be intimidating. The concept of titles such as E-Design, Virtual Design, or Remote Design refer to industry professionals who provide consultations remotely, without ever setting foot inside your home. This may seem like a new age phenomenon, when in reality the simplicity of virtual design mostly entails snapping some photos and sending measurements to your designer! Just be sure to keep on top of your inbox, because remote consultations rely on consistent communication between designer and client. The result is a completely customized space as if the designer were physically present in your home!

These young Oregon clients took a chance on me and my out of state ideas. As their designer, I was determined to create a solution for their uniquely challenging space! Narrow rooms and an angled fireplace resulted in confusing furniture layouts, and attempting to achieve proper traffic flow was a crucial factor in overcoming the home's limitations. This is yet another example of how Interior Design proves time and time again that science is just as much a part of the art as creativity is. A common misconception with design is that function takes a backseat to aesthetics, when in reality both elements are parallel in importance.


With this Pacific Northwest design, I was able to introduce a fresh perspective to these new homeowners. Traditional thinking had my young clients assuming that the dining room should be located next to the kitchen. Compelled to challenge this traditional concept, I pushed them out of their comfort zone and created a dining room floor plan located slightly further from the kitchen to better accommodate the room's awkward angles. Naturally as with any form of change, my clients were hesitant to steer away from what tradition taught them. Putting their trust in me, they implemented my ideas and found themselves pleasantly surprised at how a fresh perspective could provide additional solutions!


These budget-friendly first time buyers have hopes for future renovations, so I took the initiative in providing them with inexpensive ideas for upcoming home improvement projects. The one having the most impact would be alternative wood flooring options that would integrate their spaces and successfully accomplish a cohesive feel. Not up for DIY? Affordable labor assistance is easily available at any home improvement store. Don't forget, when installing continuous flooring throughout a home be sure to designate each common space with an area rug to help define traffic flow patterns! Despite what society tells us, individuals with a disposable income are not the only ones who can afford great design.


Gone are the days where local designers are the only option for renovations and remodels. Consider a remote designer, and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by the solutions they provide! All while never setting foot inside your home :)