Dishing the Inside Story

Countdown: 89 days to opening night.

I am going to dish the inside story of what goes into creating a Street of Dreams home.

This past February, I was chosen by builder, Steel Creek Homes for their home at the Northwest Natural 2011 Street of Dreams. I submitted names to the builder and within a week we named our Northwest Contemporary home, Cascade Splendor. As the interior designer of the project, my job is to create a memorable, exceptional space within the walls of the home. To do this, I carefully select every hard surface, every tile, door, faucet, sofa, chair, piece of artwork, and accessory for the home. If a throw is casua lly draped over a sofa, I spend time deciding exactly how it should lay. That is the simple, short story. But I am not going to tell you the short sugar-coated story.

The truth of the show from an interior designer perspective is that I have been asked to put together an amazing home with essentially no budget. I don’t mean “no budget” as in “the sky is the limit”. I mean, furnish an award winning home for zero dollars.

We are building and furnishing a 5000 square foot home in less than six months. The challenge of building the home is doing it cost consciously, while still creating an inspiring space. Those things seldom hang out at the same parties! I find myself concerned with selecting materials and implementing ideas that will attract a home buyer, and create an award winning home. I want to create a show home that will inspire visitors. It is a hard teeter totter to balance. I don’t give up easily.

Budget aside, I have to beg, borrow and steal furnishings for the home. Okay. I have never actually stolen furnishings for the home, and I don’t think I will this year either. (Depends on how desperate I get.) Let’s just say, I am negotiating borrowing furnishings to fill over 5000 square feet of home. Once selected and recorded for insurance purposes, this will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 worth of furnishing. In lieu of money, I offer the artisans, manufacturers and trade and retail companies an opportunity to show their pieces to the public. Does this sound easy? Believe me, it is mostly not easy.

In the month of August, over 60,000 visitors will view and critique my work, open every drawer and cabinet, and run their hands over almost every vertical and horizontal surface in the home. (Hence, we have a cleaning service every day of the show.) In the hopes of making the home memorable, I consider every detail wanting to impress you – this audience. Safe interior design isn’t acceptable. This project isn’t for the faint of heart and sissies need not apply.

Be with me as I loose a key piece of furniture that sold on a showroom floor before the show starts, when a hard material arrives damaged, or when the wrong piece gets installed. I promise you will see the Street of Screams, ahem, I mean the Street of Dreams in a whole new light. Opening night is August 5th. Of course I will make it, but you might be surprised to hear what it takes to race to the finish line.

Angela Todd Designs, working in conjunction with Steel Creek Homes, is currently building and furnishing Cascade Splendor a 5000 square foot home for the NW Natural 2011 Street of Dreams. The show will be held August 6th through August 26th, 2011. Follow our progress by subscribing to our blog, following us on Facebook, and/or following us on Twitter.

Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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