It’s definitely true that interior design involves selecting beautiful tiles and paint colors. However, keeping the bigger picture in mind, interior design is really about problem-solving. How can I improve the lighting in this bathroom? How can multiple cooks use this kitchen? How can I work from home effectively? How can my elderly mother bathe safely? With every job, clients pose challenges, and it’s up to the designer to solve them in creative and attractive ways. Some challenges are about convenience and efficiency, others are about safety. But all the solutions are intended to enhance the clients’ quality of life. Here are some client challenges and how we solved them.

Problem: I’d like to turn this powder room into a full bath so my guests can use it when they stay with us.

Solution: By removing the walls between the powder room and adjacent laundry room, we were able to reconfigure the entire space to allow for a stand-up shower, while still maintaining a separate laundry room. The curb-less corner shower has glass walls to keep the space light and airy, and I used the same tile on the floor and walls to make the room look as large as possible.

Problem: I need a space for kids’ backpacks, shoes and supplies, as well as a convenient place where I can fold and iron clothes.

Solution: Luckily, this house had a relatively large laundry area as you entered the house from the garage. Some creative space planning and custom cabinetry increased the efficiency of this room, giving kids a place to keep their jackets, backpacks and shoes, and parents a place to wash, fold and iron clothes. Custom cabinets allowed us to maximize every inch of the room.

Problem: I’d like a work space in my master bedroom that has plenty of storage but that looks beautiful from the bedroom.

Solution: To create this beautiful and functional home office, we removed an existing closet and rebuilt it on the other side of the room. That gave us ample space for this desk, with lots of storage space for books, files and supplies. Again, custom cabinetry makes this possible.

Problem: A family member is in a wheelchair and needs to be able to use the bathroom as independently as possible.

Solution: A curb-less shower with a hand-held shower head, conveniently-located grab bars and a wall-mounted sink allow a wheelchair-bound person to maintain some independence.

Problem: We keep our cat’s litter box in our master bath, but it gets in our way and looks unsightly.

Solution: A small problem, but a problem nonetheless! Our pets are part of the family, so why not take their needs into account when designing a room? When designing this bath, a recessed linen cabinet provided the solution. I designed the bottom portion of the cabinet with an open section to house the litter box. The removable center panel of the cabinet door can be reinstalled at a later date when this is no longer a need.