Remodeling a condominium always presents challenges, but inventive and tenacious designer Patrice Flashner Fitzgerald has yet to meet a restriction she can't remedy creatively.
In a beachfront condo with low ceilings, Patrice counterbalanced the 8’-high space with gauzy floor-to-ceiling draperies and also created the illusion of space by choosing reflective finishes like glass, lacquer and semigloss ceiling paint that appear to give the room more depth. This minimally furnished sleep center requires little maintenance and offers great style, comfort and a spectacular view.
My clients were in desperate need of a style update in their master suite. They wanted a more modern, light and airy bedroom and wanted to definitely incorporate a sense of place in the design. That place would, of course, be the beach!
The biggest issue we dealt with was low ceilings. I had to figure out how to make the 8’-high ceilinged room feel roomy. I also had to figure out a lighting plan within the confines. I wanted to keep the ceiling as high as possible and still be able to use recessed fixtures.
With regards to the lighting, my G.C. and I found marine lights which enabled us to only lower the ceiling 1 ¾”. Those lights also worked perfectly with the sliding-glass doors. As for the feeling of spaciousness, the solution finally came to me one night. We would have to tear out the walk-in closet, create a uniform bank of storage and then float the couple’s bed in the room.
They are in sync. I had a modern beach vision and was totally able to execute it. What surprised me the most is the bank of closets. I knew the high-gloss doors were going to reflect the ocean and sand, but was beyond happy at how gorgeous and open they made the room look.
The most important lesson learned was to trust my design gut.
I love the natural birch wood on the inside of the closets. It’s a burst of warmth among all the slick surfaces.
Designer Tyler Karu adds vintage furnishings and a sustainable spin to the remodel of an authentic open loft in Portland, Maine.
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