The Lived-In Look is the passion project of Martina Gieske, a designer who wants her audience to know they can have a beautiful home even with a family and all the mess that comes with it. Her doors received a massive upgrade when she installed Grandeur Hardware sets from the Fifth Avenue Collection. See the full project in our latest Designer Q&A.
Please give us some more details on The Lived-In Look. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart from the rest?
I stepped into the design industry about 4 years ago. I’ve always had a passion for the work, and when we moved into our most recent home, I began to get requests from neighbors to help with decision-making and room updates. I really enjoyed it, so I decided to leave my corporate career to go all in. I realized in working with clients that they craved the expertise and confidence to design their own homes. So, I leaned into this and created a presence where I could educate others on simple ideas to create a designed look.
Did you do a remodel on your entire home? If so, were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others? Why?
We’ve been in our current home for 4 ½ years, and it’s safe to say we’re nowhere near being finished remodeling. It’s a lot to juggle work, a remodel, and family, so we’re taking our time and thoughtfully going through each space. Since moving in, I haven’t even gotten around to painting our bedroom.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project? What attracted you to Grandeur Hardware?
A fellow influencer introduced me to the brand. Still, I instantly fell in love with the traditional design of the brass Fifth Avenue knobs and plates. They’re a timeless piece and precisely what our hallway needed to balance out more modern updates.
How long did this project take to complete?
It took roughly a few weeks, as I worked on it during my free time. I updated all the trim, wall paint, and interior doors. The rest involved creating some furniture, feature walls, and styling. It turned out beautiful and budget-friendly.
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home? If so, why?
Absolutely! I’m incredibly blown away by the quality of Grandeur’s hardware. From the moment I unpackaged it, I could feel the weight and durability. My husband jokingly claimed that they were far too nice for our builder-grade doors, but this is exactly what they needed.
Did you learn any tips and tricks about door hardware that would benefit others?
Don’t be afraid to mix metals and make a statement with your door hardware. And be sure to choose a finish and knob style that works well for your lifestyle.
What is your design style, and how do you incorporate those decorating decisions within your home?
I tend to take hints and nods from various design styles, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say I lean more toward the rustic transitional side. I love incorporating natural materials and textures for a warm, lived-in feel and balancing these with more traditional, updated pieces.
Where do you find design inspiration?
I find inspiration in some of the most unexpected places. It could be a local coffee shop, a chic hotel, or even a piece from my own wardrobe. Of course, there are also wonderful design communities within Pinterest and Instagram.
When starting a project, how do you organize and plan for it?
I typically create a mood board for the space to serve as my inspiration. From there, I determine what changes are required to achieve the look I’m going for to create a project scope and budget. From there, it’s all about aligning any trade work that needs to be completed before the cosmetic design changes occur. It’s a lot of tracking, and I can not survive my projects without a spreadsheet and punch lists.
How did/do you choose a house to buy and renovate?
We had a specific neighborhood in mind for a few years, so we waited patiently to find the right home that would work for our growing family. Regarding renovations, I was looking for a home with an ideal layout, as significant structural changes can be costly. I wanted to put our own style on it.
Many people want to take on large remodeling projects. What are some recommendations for readers who wish to do an extensive remodel project?
Determine your “must haves” and be prepared to make concessions. Renovations rarely go as planned, and keeping an open mind is essential. And be patient! Try to enjoy the process and skills you’re learning along the way. You’ll appreciate the space so much more when it’s finally complete.
What are some tips for readers who wish to make a transformation in their home?
I encourage my design clients to live in the spaces before beginning large renovation projects. Understanding how you’ll use the area and what functions versus what doesn’t before making any drastic changes is essential.
What is next?
Our Kitchen renovation is in full swing! By far our largest project to date, but one that will transform the entire first floor of our home due to the open layout.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
My husband and I jokingly comment that if we ever move out of our current home, we’ll be sure to take the door hardware with us!