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April 2010

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Authentic Design
[DJ Carey]

A day doesn't go by that I don't get a phone call about a "great project." Most are good, some very good and a handful are actually great. Recently I got a call about a suite of rooms designed for three sisters. It sounded interesting; I had some doubts about the execution, but I am always on the search for something different.

And was this different! You see, the designer was a young man at the ripe age of 17. I will admit that it was my curiosity that propelled me to go scout this project. I remember heading up to the space above the garage, preparing myself to be disappointed.

Well, I was eating my words the minute I stepped into the very sophisticated sitting area complete with a pink kitchenette. While the color palette was bright pink and orange, a dose of chocolate brown anchored the scheme. Toss in subtle textures and fabrics that I have seen in the most elegant "adult" rooms throughout Fairfield County.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I discovered. Sam Allen, the designer, had not only created well-designed, sophisticated rooms, but the spaces reflected the wants of teenage girls. The rooms had freshness and originality. Unlike many children's rooms, there were very few gimmicks. And all the elements a girl would want were there—from a peace sign to a Buddha statue to a pink mini-fridge to other must-haves for sleepover central. These rooms were not created to look juvenile or too mature, but just right. I was ready to move in!

A teenager himself, Sam was able to look through the eyes of the girls to really edit what would work and what wouldn't. He understood—and really listened to—the sisters. It always comes down to the designer being able to walk in their clients' shoes in order to really create a room that not only looks great but is great to live in.

This project was fantastic, for sure, but it was also authentic. But what the designer had really achieved, as the sisters might have told me, was the mastery of "keepin' it real!"

D.J. Carey
Editor in Chief

Listen to DJ on the radio!
A Fashionable Life WGCH 1490 AM