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Should the ceiling go or stay?
judet6
February 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi designers,
I was just told by a designer that if I don't plaster over my dining room ceiling to flat, she would not work with me in that room. I was planning to get rid of stenciling, paint the room
gray with a white crown molding like the rest of the first floor as well as a new chandelier, but that remark just stopped me dead in my tracks, is that a normal edict for a designer to give or did I once again fall into the land of psycho decorators?
This is getting darned discouraging! How much does it cost to have a ceiling replastered? We don't even USE this room that much, this seems a bit unreasonable to me. Your thoughts?
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
If you like it than tell the decorator to hit the road. With an attitude like that from the start I can't imagine it will get better. I don't care for the ceiling but I would never say that to a client.
8 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:24AM
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
When I said that "I wouldn't say that to a client" I meant that I wouldn't have been that rude. I would have voiced my opinion on the ceiling. I really do not care for it at all. It is your home though and if you like it a good designer will help make it work. It really isn't too expensive to redo it if that's what you would want.
3 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:28AM
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PRO
Case Remodeling
Part of being a good designer involves listening to your clients and sometimes that means disagreeing. While the ceiling may not work with her vision, an ultimatum is rude and unacceptable. It's her job to work within the existing structure and to tailor her professional services to a reasonable scope of work for your expectations and budget.
5 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:30AM
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PRO
Dwellings LLC
The simple changes you are planning will improve the look of the room ten fold . It sounds like the "designer" may have changed their mind about working on the project, for any number of reasons, and was looking for a way out. Thank them for their services and find someone else.
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:33AM
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PRO
ASVInteriors
Hmm. It is fair that if a designer feels that they cannot work with a design that they don't feel happy about, they are not going to give it their best. In that respect, this designer is being brutally honest with you about her feelings on the matter - and doing the honorable thing
However, having said that - you are the client. If she won't work with you on this and you definitely want to do it, then I am sure someone else will step up to the plate

Interestingly enough plasterwork in relief is coming back into fashion and you may be ahead of a curve that many decorators are just coming out of...
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 7:34AM
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judet6
Thanks, II, wish you were not in the Midwest! Granted, the ceiling
is unique for a Cape, it is in a room that we rarely use and frankly, there are so many things that really NEED to be done that
are $$, hardwood floors, redoing
the stairway, a new fireplace surround that frankly, replastering
the ceiling just did not occur to me! I was just amazed at her tone
and her ultimatum! I am ready to
give up the whole project for a while at this point, way too stressful dealing with these prima
donnas!
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:34AM
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PRO
Davis Design Group
There are so many wonderful designers that are not like that, I am confident you will find the right one and have an excellent relationship that lasts for years. Go to Houzz "find local pros" and you will see many to choose from in your area. Good luck!
3 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:40AM
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PRO
JWinteriors
i have to say, it is way too busy. A skim coat of topping compound will fill the voids to smooth it out. Sand it down and prime/paint and you are good to go. When you prime, take it down over the stencil. Now your walls are ready for paint. I would add a dazzling new light fixture and crown molding to give the room class. The room will need a focal point such as a buffet with art/mirror over it to backstage the dining room table. Take window treatments up to the ceiling or crown for added drama. Do you need an area rug under the table for color. If you crown out the room, would you like to add color to the ceiling to draw your eye up. Keep accessories to a minimum for an uncluttered look. Have fun!
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 7:42AM
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judet6
I just found it odd. I'm ready to just abandon the whole project.
You guys have been so helpful. I
had very low confidence in my
decorating skills, now I have less
in my ability to find a decorator!
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 7:42AM
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judet6
I have a painting for the back walk
of the Public Gardens in Boston
and yes, I am going to get a new area rug as I am reupholstering
the dining room chairs. The set was my parents, very well made
and Baker Furniture, just needs
some reinforcements and gluing
on some of the chairs. I did find
this designer on houzz btw!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:48AM
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judet6
JW, this whole torturous adventure in decorating has been
MANY things, but NEVER fun!
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 7:50AM
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PRO
INTERIORS BY G
In my opinion, the ceiling should be redone. It's a very strong feature that is over powering your dinning room. If you are on a tight budget for this room, I would recommend scaling down on other items and make the ceiling priority # 1. These are the little "updates" will add value / marketability to your home when you go to sell later on.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 7:51AM
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judet6
Ok, G, I get that it needs to go. We are redoing the first floor
for us, resale is not a consideration!
3 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:56AM
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kimdee24
As a designer (graphic design, but same principles apply) -- I have found in my career that sometimes, you just don't get to do things exactly the way you want to. Sometimes -- you have to bite your tongue -- or in this case the ceiling -- and do your best to make what you've got to work with -- work.

This is the challenge of design, whether it be rooms or advertising. That designer is out of line.

If you can't afford to redo the ceiling, dump this designer and find one who is up to the challenge of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, so to speak. That is the kind of creativity you want to be working with anyhow.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 7:57AM
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PRO
Apartment 46 for the Home
I read what the other designers are saying and I agree. Of course, I didn't hear the comment in context but if whatever was said left you feeling uncomfortable, that's awful. There are always times when financial priorities, personal opinions and other factors don't line up exactly with a client and there is never a reason to make someone feel badly. I have a client who "hates" central ceiling fixtures. Like she wants zero in her house. We are trying to find a compromise. I would never say, "Unless you put in an overhead light I quit!" That's crazy. I am rarely hired because someone is going to give me free-reign and I think the other designers would agree. We aren't going to live in the home, you are. You need to feel safe, comfortable, happy and supported. Kdeley said it best, you CAN work with someone who will make it fantastic working with what you've got. You can reach out to any number of us via email and I'm positive we could all offer to work with you online via photos to help. It's harder, less ideal, but it can be done from wherever you are. I'm so glad you feel supported by the design community here because frankly, that's our job!
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 8:05AM
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judet6
K, the affordability isn't really the issue, I had asked her for some more referral names since after more than a week went by, I had
not heard from the designer with
her letter of agreement and only
had one letter of reference. So, she is already unhappy with me.
for asking for more referrals and inquiring about the letter of intent after more than a week had passed. Think I will hire an organizer as we really need that
and take a breather on the whole
decorating project. I am a professional and expect professional business behavior from people. Is that too much
to ask?
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 8:10AM
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Lizabeth
I am guessing there is a little more to the story than you might be revealing. Sounds like there isn't much compatability between the two of you.
Just FYI most of the designers I know do not want to be called "Decorators". Since you are a professional you may start with figuring out it you want to hire a Decorator or a Designer as these are two similar but different professions.

Good luck and do get referrals before you begin working with someone.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 9:10AM
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collettec
Actually I really like your ceiling! It's different and not boring and someone obviously put some effort into it to do something interesting. It's a fun pattern, maybe you could do something fun with it. Perhaps some possible examples of directions for the room with this ceiling (although not necessarily with this art specifically - they just reference the ceiling visually) - one quite modern and one a classic: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Birth-of-a-Galaxy-Posters_i2370045_.htm http://www.art.com/products/p1542629765-sa-i2784742/vincent-van-gogh-starry-night-c-1889.htm?sorig=cat&sorigid=0&dimvals=0&ui=56f2662b4188425a93c97f620b9a8dbd&searchstring=starry+starry+night&ssk=starry+starry+night&sby=all
As for finding a designer, think you should first determine what you definitely want and want to keep - and that would make it easier. However, it is a designer's job to make suggestions and that too you have to expect. It appears you have a lot of things you want already decided - perhaps it's a matter of flexibility in finding someone who can work with what you've decided are your must haves and determining what it is you would like some help with.
3 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Jayme H.
Go with your instincts and work with someone who you feel comfortable with.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 11:45AM
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
Hi judet6 -- I'm sorry that you were given such an ultimatum, hope in retrospect it's for the best. It's a little difficult to see from the photos, but I think it's interesting. I might frame out the design with a large circular molding and smooth the outer field if possible, but as is, I think I'd let the texture be the star in a nearly monochromatic blend of whites and light greiges, adding a sparkly chandelier and decorative molding to embrace the wedding cake effect of your ceiling. In fact, I think I might hang sepia enlargements of family wedding photos as your artwork. Mom and Dad front and center perhaps; especially since the table was theirs?
6 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 11:59AM
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PRO
Kelli Kaufer Designs
She is not worthy - very unprofessional. I would never, every say anything like that to a client. What makes interior design unique and interesting are the different tastes and styles of each individual client. A true designer can work with what your needs are and should never, ever make demands like she did. It should be discussed on how we can make it work or why it would not work in the overall plan. Dump her and ask around for referrals from friends and family! If you are in twin cities area, give me a call - I received the Houzz 2012 award from my clients reviews! Good luck!
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 12:03PM
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judet6
God, I wishI lived in the Twin Cities, as the decorators/designers/whatever in the Greater Boston area seem to have quite the attitude. Lizabeth, if you behave in an unprofessional manner,I will not treat you like a professional, whatever you may call yourself. I went to college and grad school, in my profession, when I tell someone I will do something for them, it gets done that day and if not, I let them know why I can't and when they can plan on receiving it. Any way I can find out who won the 2012 Houzz award in Boston, I'm pretty sure who did NOT!
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 1:56PM
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judet6
Sorry, that was a little snarky, just been a really bad day!
I definitely will think about replastering, always kind of thought it made the room interesting. I had one person( not a decorator) look up at it and say "I would never expect a ceiling like that in a house like this". NO, that was NOT a compliment! So, apparently, I am out of the loop! Should the ceiling in the dr match the living room and other rooms of the house?
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:06PM
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DIAspoton
i skipped after the 1st few answers so i guess i'm in the minority here.

i LIKEyour ceiling. it's fun and unusual.

keep it unless you absolutely cannot live with it.

as for the designer, gone, done,histoire'. working with a designer should be fun, exhilarating. not intimidating and deflating.

yes to new paint and a fabulous chandelier. trust your gut instincts and please don't let anyone doubt yourself. so if you like the ceiling :

KEEP the ceiling.
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:19PM
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underedenx
TAKE A GOOD LOOK PEOPLE!!
the world fastest dying art form is on this ceiling!!
i think you would be crazy to plaster over it... KEEP IT!!!
5 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:06PM
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tallgrassdesign
Fire the decorator. If it's not a safety issue, I wouldn't put up with anyone giving me ultimatums like that. I had a carpenter lie to my face about door measurements recently, and I politely showed him the door.

Do you like the ceiling? I think it's lovely and certainly a craft that is not found in today's construction. Don't let one diva decorator scare you into re-plastering if it's not what you really want.

I'm not sure what look you are going for, but any statement chandelier would be stunning in this room, whether it be traditional or contemporary. Good luck!
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:19PM
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PRO
Terri Symington, ASID
Without seeing the rest of the house and knowing what your design style and intentions are... I would not comment as to whether it should stay or not.

But you and your designer are obviously not on the same page. I tell potential clients when I first talk to them that the interview process is for both of us to determine whether or not we can work together. There are a lot of designers that would love to work with you. And sometimes... some of the best designs are achieved because a challenge was presented and required very creative thinking to make it work.

good luck...
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:23PM
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judet6
Yeah,there is actually an area that could stand some replastering, as at one point, there was supposed to be a closet or something and it never came to pass. I would not mind cleaning that up but truly, the dining room is meant to be more formal than the living room, I am planning on more formal window treatments and a chandelier with shades on it. We rarely use this room,so to spend $$ on replastering a ceiling just is not a priority to me!
2 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:24PM
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
...chandelier with shades...
What colors are in your Boston Garden artwork?
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 3:46PM
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judet6
Lots, blues,all different shades, with a brightish gold frame. All it needs is a glass over it.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:54PM
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
Very Back Bay:
4 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:14PM
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judet6
Traditional Chandeliers design by Other Metro Lighting Fixtures Lamps Plus

this is what I was thinking about
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:18PM
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judet6
I cannot get the word press to work! [houzz=
]
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:24PM
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judet6
ok, there it is!
The idea anyway, warm golds and warm shades
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:26PM
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
Another visual for you:
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:29PM
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DIAspoton
now that olson chandelier looks dated to me. a crystal or crystal and brass/gold would be my choice.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:30PM
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judet6
I LOATHE crystal chandeliers, too fussy and VIctorian. I like my present Willamsburg, but ready for a change
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:39PM
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tea77
The changes you had in mind will update the room, and the ceiling treatment does not need to change. Unless, after you make all the other changes, you really really can't stand the ceiling. Your choice, not the designers.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 4:43PM
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judianna20
judet6, holy smokes, you are having so much trouble finding a designer to work with you. A week or two ago, I recommended someone West of Boston, in your locale. Have you spoken with her? It is difficult to find someone to work With you and still FOR you. It seems you are not happy with the way things are now in your home, but you still have your own opinions. Keep searching for that special designer. I know it has been a long road for you, but there will be someone.

Have you signed a contract with anyone? This will cement the deal and give both you and the designer an understanding. A good designer in the Boston area should run around $125,00 + an hour.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Sami Morris
Frankly....I love the ceiling. Drop the stenciling which clashes with the ceiling. Play that ceiling up girl!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 5:05PM
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judet6
Actually, no Judy as I thought the ultimatum queen was gonna be it. $125 might go in Boston or one of the wealthier suburbs,but haven't had anyone quote that high in Metro west. Her name was Barbara Larson, right? Right now,I am pretty down on designers. I need a little space right now. I also need some organizing done, so am going to concentrate on that and get back into decorating in a while.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 5:15PM
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PRO
CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
I dislike the ceiling. It looks dated. Ceilings -esp low ones which I can tell this is, are not a focal point-hopefully not. Your furnishings, casegoods, window treatments, lighting, etc are.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 5:15PM
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judet6
Sami, I totally intend to, going to be a bluish gray, which will go throughout most of the first floor, which is two rooms.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 5:17PM
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judet6
minus the kitchen, which is not being done
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 5:17PM
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calikym
My new designer is blunt and to the point... He has a strong opinion about certain design issues, and when he does, I take his opinionated advice. I would never do something he told me NOT to do, but I won't necessarily do exactly what he wants. It's a dialogue. But when he puts his foot down, I really believe him. Soooo....while I understand your frustration, if you like his/her designs, I would probably hang in there. It really depends on how much you trust the advice.
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 5:20PM
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cyn222
Tell the Diva he/she is fired! Designers are suppose to be talented enough to work around anything!
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Stacy Lane
Wow, interesting conversation!! My thoughts are that your designer did not want to put her "stamp" on something where there was an element that might be attributed to her work, which she clearly finds abhorrent. Like, if she couldn't add a photo to her portfolio, then forget it. Good riddance.

And because you're not confident in your decorating capabilities, I'm sure you felt like she was bullying you. I butt heads with designers and contractors all the time... it's your money and vision, in the end.

All that aside, besides the medallion effect of the plaster, that swooped whatever-it-is effect looks very dated... along the lines of a popcorn ceiling. It reminds me of rainbows. With all the other things you have in mind, it is a very traditional room and that center plaster will help play up and into the look you are going for, but the rest of it... maybe just get a handyman or painting company, when the time comes, to see how much it would be to smooth the rest of the ceiling out. Love the Candace Olsen fixture! Take a deep breath... it's going to look beautiful, when you're ready to tackle it!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 5:54PM
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judet6
Giving an ultimatum to someone whom you haven't even CONTRACTED with shows brass cujones and a certain level of arrogance. I have never dealt with a contractor who treated me that badly. This is my first foray into interior decoration/design. So far, I am appalled at the treatment I have received and all before I have even signed a contract. I can't imagine what horrors I would have experienced once we had a contractual relationship
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:10PM
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parsleycarrots
Wow, that ceiling is cool! I can't imagine the work that went into creating such an intricate pattern. If it were mine, I'd keep it, weather it "fits" the rest of the house or not. It's just too unique of a feature to lose. Why can't a modest Cape have a totally unexpected detail? Isn't that why we decorate anyhow--to escape the cookie cutter of what's '"expected"?
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 6:34PM
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judianna20
YES, BARBARA LARSON. She is lovely and very experienced. Give her a call and just chat with her and see how you two get on. She has done some wonderful work for my friends in your area. I guarantee Barb will work with you, not against you.
0 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 2:01PM
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