Client Kelly Nast shares stories of her experiences while working on projects with interior designer Marianne Buckman:
Very Big Basement
While exploring CocoBello Boutique in Hudson one day, Kelly Nast noticed that the store also provided interior design services. She had planned to build out her 2500 square-foot basement, but her challenge was settling on a design that appealed to both her and her husband.
Classic Design that Doesn’t Fade with Fads
“Marianne was great at getting a feel for us and providing us with options. In fact, right now we are figuring out what we want to do with flooring. She does a great job at helping us decide,” Kelly said. “Among the reasons why I have come to appreciate Marianne over the years is that I trust her advice. At first, I may think that I will like something a certain way, then she shows me another option and I think, ‘My God, this is great!’ She’s the expert; she knows what goes together. I feel comfortable knowing that I won’t have to change it out in a year or two,” she added.
Compatibility is Key
Personality is an important consideration when choosing a designer. “When you work together on a house, you have to click with that person,” explained Kelly. “Marianne is prompt and professional. She has her plans and options together. She anticipates any questions I might have,” she said. “It’s the little things she does: the perfect picture on the wall, the personal touch and the level of service she provides. I’ve become used to it!”
Easy on Time and Budget
When it comes to working with Marianne, no project is too big or small. “It’s not about doing a house all in one shot,” said Kelly. “No matter what the size, Marianne gives it the same care,” she added. “I like to refer her to other people I know. I have a lot of friends who are busy at work. They want their house to look nice, but they don’t have much time. I open the conversation by suggesting that they ‘just meet her. The last referral I made was to a woman who said “I don’t have any time, but I’m sick of my white walls.” “You’ve got to meet Marianne!” I told her.
Longtime client, Maureen Chapin, describes her experience with CocoBello Design:
My first project with Marianne was over six years ago. Having admired the window treatments, I stopped in CocoBello boutique one day. I was looking for some unique designer pieces for my home—candles, pictures. That was the first time I learned that CocoBello offered design services. I approached Marianne about my kitchen. I had never worked with a designer before and didn’t know where to start, but I knew I needed help. My kitchen looked dated; it had old, harvest colored appliances. Although it wasn’t a large kitchen, I knew it could be an expensive project. I felt overwhelmed. I had wanted to replace the laminate countertops with high-end Cambria. Getting it right was important. I was relieved to let Marianne manage it. She suggested new lighting. This was a possibility I hadn’t envisioned. She took the kitchen design yet another step by adding a treatment which I still love today. She worked with a ceramic artist to create a hand-made back splash. The color and originality make it a fun conversation piece.
I have total trust in Marianne. I called her in recently to redesign our bathroom. In every part of the project she has delighted us with new possibilities. The former bathroom design included a Jacuzzi tub that took entirely too much room, leaving a shower stall that was too small. Also, the bathroom had only a single vanity. Rather than installing a double vanity, Marianne suggested two single vanities. At first, it didn’t make sense to me. However, as the project evolved, it became perfectly clear. She designed the vanities herself and contracted St. Croix Cabinetry to build them. They are the most beautiful elements in the room. She also redesigned the lighting using a combination of pendant and recessed lighting throughout, which softened the shadows. The biggest surprise was the size of the shower. Although she had drawn it out in the blueprints, I was happy to find out that it was bigger than I thought it could be. Finally, one of the most unique qualities of the new bathroom design also saved us money. Marianne recommended a type of flooring for the shower I didn’t know existed. Instead of installing expensive tile or marble, her design called for a beautifully custom-stained and texturized floor.
I continue to go back to work with Marianne. She is obviously a great designer. Marianne has a depth of knowledge and experience, which takes all the worry away. Working with her is a pleasure because she is also a nice individual. I especially admire how she manages the project suppliers. We put together a schedule and she was on top of it. Redesigning the bathroom was an invasive project. The bathroom was situated in our bedroom, so it was important to us that it stayed on schedule. She was good with vendors, conveying clearly her expectations.
“Design our living and dining rooms while we’re in China”
The third project I hired Marianne to design took place while my husband and I were staying in China. We had wanted wood floors in the main area in our home. We also wanted new furniture in the dining and living areas. Before I returned home, I sent Marianne an email to see if she’d help us with the floor installation and furniture. On a quick trip back to the U.S., I talked with Marianne, then returned promptly again to China. Communicating through email and Skype, she shared with us her concepts and budget. Once we gave her our approval, she moved forward with the project. All of the desconstruction happened while I was away. I never worried because I knew Marianne was there. When we came back we had beautiful new flooring and fabulous furniture. I felt as if I had come back to a new home. I love it so much that not a day goes by where I forget to think how happy I am with my decision.
Along the way, Marianne has helped with subtle things such as paint color choices. Currently, I am looking forward to a new project with Marianne, which will involve a new layout for the lower level of our home.