• Abigail Shea

Catching Up

It's been a busy spring at ASI -- check out what we've been up to and what's on deck!

 

Happy summer! I hope you feel as energized and inspired by the warmer weather, longer days, and all the al fresco as I do.


There’s so much going on at ASI these days, and I thought it would be fun to catch you up on exactly what my days are looking like, where all these lovely projects are, and how I am finding my rhythm as a full-time interior designer and business owner. I think there’s a bit of a misconception about exactly what designers do, and to be honest I am still learning so much about what this job looks like and how to make this business really work, so I thought this would be a great place to share some insight into my world. Enjoy!



We’ve got seven projects going on at the moment (and I do mean we — I recently gained a lovely part-time design assistant, which has been immensely helpful.) Of these seven projects, two are whole-house gut renovations, three are major redesigns with isolated renovations, one primary suite remodel, and our littlest guy is a single full bathroom renovation. And they’re all over the place! Here’s a little more information about each project.


Rockport Mid Century — This amazing coastal mid-century property is our longest running project— we started in ~October of last year and will probably finish just before Christmas this year. This is a top-to-bottom GUT renovation. I mean, every square inch of this home is being reconsidered and remodeled. We are working in collaboration with Kevin Browne Architecture who conceptualized the new layout, made appropriate structural changes, and provided all of the architectural plans and construction drawings. As the designer, I am specifying allllll of the insides of this monster house (~4,000sf). Every plumbing and electrical fixture, all finish materials (flooring, tile, wall treatments, countertops, etc), furniture, art + accessories, and soft finishes (window treatments, rugs, pillows, etc). The first few months of the job were all about the architectural plans and new layout. Once we (again, mostly KBA) landed on a new floorplan, ASI put together a massive proposal that included 3D renderings, 2D furniture layouts, room schemes and physical samples. Since then we’ve been working on procurement (finalizing selections, ordering, tracking deliveries, etc.) for about three months. It’s a beast of a project, but I am SO excited for the outcome.





Watertown, MA Classic— Our other gut remodel is one of our newest projects. I just went down to check out the job a few weeks ago and we are still waiting on construction permits, but this one should be a good one too! The property is a beautiful 1920s home that is separated into condo units. There was some recent water damage so we'll be stripping it back to the studs and hoping to maintain (or re-add) as much character as possible. We will likely be repeating our design on all levels--so we’re essentially just designing once and ordering multiples--but a versatile, rentable, commercial property like this will be a fun new challenge. Teaser : I'm thinking about a black kitchen?



Blue Hill European Farmhouse— This project has been such a joy. The clients are redesigning their entire ~4,000sf house in stunning Blue Hill, and we are executing the redesign in phases starting in January of 2022 and hopefully ending around fall of 2023. So far we’ve selected and ordered furniture for their first floor living spaces, spec’d new flooring for the whole house, redesigned their mud room, selected and ordered lighting fixtures for the whole house, and began working on the primary bathroom design plans (to be remodeled this summer). After sprinkling in a fair amount of labor management, it's kept us busy! We’ll continue working on furniture for the rest of the house, eventually remodel two more bathrooms, and give the kitchen a bit of a facelift. The house has such amazing bones and is in desperate need of some consistency, which we are loving the opportunity to conceptualize and execute.






Bridgton Nordic Modernist— This project is a whole-house redesign that is pretty well underway. We started with conceptualization and execution of permanent changes — we selected new hardwood flooring, managed concrete floor refinishing, and selected paint colors. So far this project has required lots of project management— we had a very tight timeline to get a lot of things done, so we’ve spent most of our energy troubleshooting problems organizing trades and schedules. But recently, as our great tradespeople settled into their work, we selected all the furniture and materials/finishes for a fall renovation of a few bathrooms and a finished basement with the sexiest wet bar I’ve ever designed! ;). It has been great to get to flex my project management skills and start to see this one come together!




Portland Contemporary Victorian – This project is a redesign of the first floor of an incredible victorian home by the bay. The home is dripping with victorian charm, namely dark original millwork and ornate brass light fixtures, and the clients are hoping to keep the character but lighten the space and make it feel a little less formal + stuffy. Such a fun challenge. We are renovating a few spaces – construction will begin in September – and in the nearer future we're painting, swapping lighting, and furnishing the whole first floor. Our comprehensive proposal was just about a week ago and we are excited to be entering procurement!






Bath Bed + Bath – This project is brand spanking new, and we’re so excited to be working with this client. They are renovating a stunning 1800s home in Bath and we were brought in to advise about the primary suite. The bedroom is a blank slate – painted white wood floors, high ceilings, big windows – and we will be furnishing and lighting it. The primary bathroom needs a full gut, which will happen down the line, so we’ll be working on a design concept and product/material proposal for the clients to execute on their own. A dreamy space, dreamy house, and dreamy clients!


Portland Primary – This project is our smallest one but a big challenge. We’re renovating a full bathroom in a cool Portland house without a 90° angle in sight. The clients are giving us full creative control so we should be able to make something really cool happen, but wrapping my head around this floorplan could take a minute! Construction starts in September, which I imagine at one time did count as “a minute,” but not these days. Finalization and ordering needs to start in June, so wish us luck!



Each day as a designer and business owner looks so different -- client meetings and proposals, sourcing and selections of materials + products, troubleshooting timelines, phone calls with tradespeople, CONSTANT updating of budget documents, schedule spreadsheets, and order documents, and a lot more. Though it is a far cry from just picking pretty things for pretty rooms, I'm so grateful to be getting to do what I love so much and so excited to show you all the finished products!



Xoxo