Designer Snapshot: Eliza Tan
March 2, 2011
While I was talking with Eliza Tan, the Acton, Massachusetts, interior designer featured in Wish List in our March/April issue, she mentioned that some of her favorite projects have been those in which an unforeseen challenge cropped up. Finding a creative way around a challenge can yield an even better result, she says. â€œIt’s like making dinner with what you have in the fridge, versus being able to buy any ingredient you want–and ending up with a fabulous meal.â€ Not to carry the metaphor too far, but here are a few instances in which Tan took lemons and turned them into lemonade.
The challenge: A hallway was too narrow, but when Tan looked into widening it by three feet she discovered there was a supporting beam in the ceiling. â€œReplacing it with a steel beam was too expensive and impractical,â€ she says.
The solution: Wainscoting, a narrow console, side chairs and sconces created a niche effect under the supporting beam. â€œI think it turned out better,â€ the designer says.
Photographs courtesy of Eliza Tan
The challenge: Actually there were two challenges. The original foyer was too small and a living room was too big.
The solution: Tan subdivided the larger room to create a new foyer, adding the pilasters and French doors, which mimicked the existing window wall to the left of the foyer table.
The challenge: Tan wanted a straight pediment across the breakfast nook’s window so she could install a rod for the drapery’s side panels, but the builder mistakenly installed a peaked pediment.
The solution: Tan used cabinet hardware to hang the drapery. â€œIt’s so jewel-like, and more unusual and elegant than a conventional drapery rod would have been,â€ she says.
–Paula M. Bodah