Forget kids. Clients say—and request—the darndest things. Check out these, ahem, unusual requests and situations encountered by local interior designers.
“I had clients who hired me to re-design the space above their garage as a playroom with a real swing from the ceiling so their girls could swing inside all year round—with padded walls in case they bumped into them. Not only would this take up a lot of space, it would require major reinforcements and a very high ceiling. Instead, I suggested a cozy hanging acrylic bubble chair. It hangs like a swing and can sway somewhat, but it’s safer and didn’t take up nearly as much space. The girls loved it.”
Lara Michelle, Principal Designer of Lara Michelle Beautiful Interiors Inc. in Rye Brook
“I had a client ask me to mirror a shower, including the ceiling! I could not, in good conscience, do this type of installation—the mirrors would show every spot of water and be terrible for re-sale—so I came up with an alternative: large sheets of glass that have a reflective quality. The client was super-happy with the results.”
Phyllis Harbinger, Owner of Design Concepts/Interiors, LLC in Cortlandt Manor
“Once I was trapped under a ladder—sitting on the commode—in a tiny bathroom for a couple of hours. We had been hanging a window treatment in there and the door, which opened out, had to be shut so that a workman could repair an AC unit just outside it. I couldn’t get out until they finished working.”
Barbara Feinstein, Owner of B Fein Interior Design in Scarsdale
“An otherwise normal married woman asked me to design a bed with attached nightstands, each with a hidden drawer to contain a docking station for automatic weapons and ammunition. She also wanted a panic room for when she had panic attacks or felt her safety was at risk. I gave her some referrals instead, including a security company. She already had a shrink.”
Susan Anthony, Owner of Anthony & Olanow Design Group in Rye
“We had an older, prim and proper woman who wanted us to re-do her bedroom to exude sex. We added chandeliers, soft lighting, and custom bedding, and it turned out great. Another time, a married couple asked us to build a room around the husband’s two incredibly ugly Barcaloungers. It was a second marriage so I guess it was all about compromise.
Alison Friedricks, Co-Owner of Friedricks Interiors in Chappaqua
“I had a job in which a recent widow wanted her late husband’s shirts and ties made into throw pillows. My partner designed them and we named them Poppy Pillows.”
Susan Geffen, Presidents of Sandstrom-Geffen Enterprises Ltd. in Armonk
“Some landlocked non-sailors wanted a nautical ‘Rope Room,’ with coiled rope on the walls like textured wallpaper. Then there was the wine cellar/dungeon we designed to look very early Middle Ages with a fortress-like grille on the door and enormous, oversized, black iron locks and hinges. All it needed was a gnarled, deformed, hairy troll standing in front of it.”
Lyn Peterson, President and Creative Director of Motif Designs in Mount Vernon
With research by Sara Steinfeld