Behind the scenes: Home tour

I believe when Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he was deep in the throes of participating in a charity home tour.

We are participating in the Lost Run Farms  “Homes of Distinction” home tour with just a couple of months left to complete the process. I can say I have experienced and learned more from this process than from all the years of experience that came before.

I truly believe the secret to a successful beginning in a show home, fit for the world to judge, is recognizing it is a jigsaw puzzle where each and every piece has to be gingerly and thoughtfully placed.

The “plan” has to begin when the design staff can still walk between the support beams of the new construction. This is the point when decisions can be made without the urgency of the builder on the phone saying, “I need it today!”

The “plan” begins with an inspiration. This inspiration can be as simple as a fabric or a piece of art. From this mustard seed, an entire house will grow.

The skeleton of the “plan” is always comprised of constants. These are immovable and unchangeable constraints at the point of design firm entry. The style, floor plan and elevation of the structure were our major constants.

The “feel” of the house is embedded in these constants. A modern structure will not ask to be decorated with traditional furnishings and a Cape Cod look might feel awkward if forced to wear minimalist furnishings.

Inspiration can be a piece of art. It can be a breathtaking rug. Ours was a textile that offered a color palette complex enough to be interesting.

The palette supplies the extension of colors repeated in a variety of values to achieve flow and tempo in the décor.

With two months before the doors swing open for the world to view our months of imagining, testing, trying, scratching, starting, considering and implementing, we are beginning to see the picture in the puzzle come together.

I think even the most seasoned designer can be humbled and almost brought to its knees by the moment when the vision becomes reality. It is probably due to the enormity of a seed of a vision developing into a stunning 6,000-square-feet structure … complete with every interior and exterior detail tended to.

  • WHAT: Homes of Distinction at Lost Run Farms
  • WHEN: June 7-17; Thursdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: Lost Run Farm is located in Zionsville. From Ind. 421, turn west at the big American flag at Templin Road (121st Street).
  • COST: Adults: $12; children 12 and younger: $6
  • INFO: www.homeofdistinction.com