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Master Plan: Perfecting the Fine Art of Designing Spaces
WRITTEN BY: Chris Stevens
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Woodard & Associates
After 30 years of interior design expertise, one would expect awards such as the NARI 1st META Award – Whole House & Kitchen / Residential Interior, NARI Gold META Award – Residential Interior ($100K+), and ASID Award of Distinction – Specialty Design to be part and parcel of a tenured career focusing on clients.
Such is the case with Woodard and Associates Inc. of Saratoga, CA. To proprietor Carol Woodard, awards are a natural byproduct of personally ensuring that no detail is too fine or expectation too high when professionally serving clients. Realizing that there is always room to improve, we learned that Carol’s clients love her vision of creating living spaces that are as functional as they are fabulous. From niche spaces to full house renovations with integrated smart-technology, Woodard and Associates has delivered design excellence for decades.
“I always remember that this is YOUR home.”
Interior Designer – Woodard & Associates
Developing a Master Plan
Not only having survived but strived through the Great Recession, Woodard & Associates is still going strong today by making luxury a reality for a long list of clients in the commercial and residential markets.
With homes being Carol’s masterpiece mainstay, she has guided clients through lows, highs, and everything in between. Interior design is the art of enhancing a living space – a process of planning and creating a pleasing environment.
When done correctly, homeowners accrue benefits in the form of exceptional interior spaces that “wow” guests while also adding significant value to the property.
As a passionate professional, Carol realizes that none of this is possible without the trust and willingness of clients to make changes. Developing a unique “Master Plan” for each client is her specialized trademark. Enter Carol’s design process that ensures client success in achieving their remodeling dreams. Here are just a few of the steps:
Determine the Scope of Project
Determining what you want your design transition to include is essentially what project scope entails.
Dreaming is a great start. In fact, Carol encourages clients to take a step outside their current boundaries to explore the possibilities of what could be. “If you could do anything you wanted with your remodeling project, what would it be?” is a common starting point Carol uses to enable clients’ minds to freely create a wishlist.
Woodard & Associates has taken on a 300 sq.ft. candy store to a 30,000 sq.ft. technology building. With an average size of 2,500 sq.ft. Carol’s prime design challenges involve room-by-room and whole house renovations of houses up to 6,000 sq.ft.
Refine Design Per Budget
Yes, the “B” word is often perceived as a limiting factor upon even the best-planned project, but a realistic budget prevents the pain of unwanted surprises. Carol often works with clients whose financial means are well over the median income level. In fact, many of her latest projects include clients who are managers and executives that expect their budgets to yield high-quality materials, seamless installation execution, and flawless finish work. All of Carol’s designs benefit immensely from her ability to develop a Master Plan to fit the lifestyle and monetary realities of distinctive clients.
It’s not over until the mirrors are left spotless, the pillows fluffed, the furniture polished, and every speck of dust is swept away. At the end of the day “Clients want it handled and done right,” says Carol. This must be why she excels at full project management – especially whole house remodels.
We were impressed with the depth of knowledge Carol shared while delving into each step in the Master Plan process. She loves sharing with prospective clients how their design dreams can be focused to become part of their remodeling plan. Carol’s sterling word-of-mouth reputation is why homeowners hire her directly to discover the possibilities of what can be.
Almost all her clients have complex, active lives which demand careful planning and flexible timetables that work around their schedules which is all part of Carol’s precise process.
Critical Color Connection
Did you realize that color influences us at a very early age? An entire book could be written about the wonders of color and its relation to architecture, remodeling, and the spaces we interact with daily. During Carol’s University of Berkeley days, she studied child development and applies some of what she learned to the world of design.
Our liking for specific colors can be traced back to our childhood. Favoring a color tone represents, in part, who we are whether that is warm, cool in tone, or both.
Colors speak to us and are anything but an afterthought which is why Carol’s Master Plan process includes discovery and consultation detailing how a color will be utilized in every aspect of a project. From the walls to the cabinets and counters, to the furniture and the floor, color is a major factor. “Carol was of immeasurable help in keeping us on track with our style and color choices when one or both of us would stray…” said one of Carol’s clients. Color can make your eyes flow smoothly from one section of a room to another. Savvy use of color can be used to focus your attention on certain spots or broad areas of a space. Nothing is worse than a mismatched color scheme staring back at you day after day.
That’s the kind of painful reminder you don’t need when your intention is to create an active great room, a peaceful bedroom, or a relaxing sitting area. Over the years several remodels Carol was hired to do dealt with past horrors of what unskilled decorating did to a house. No matter how fabulous some floor plans can be, using the wrong color palate within the room ruins the look and feel. Color may affect us psychologically and physiologically. In a favorably colored room, occupant’s brain waves, nervous system and emotions can all be “controlled” to some degree.
Use this powerful fact to your advantage. In Los Gatos, CA, a couple that had Woodard & Associates complete various projects stated, “We are both meticulous and opinionated, and poor at visualizing colors and fabrics that will actually work in our home.” They found Carol to be “…patient and perseverant…” when it came time to pairing color palette shades with walls, furniture, and hardware. Clearly, color is critical. In addition to her decades of design acumen, Carol is a member of the IACC/NA (International Association of Color Consultants, North America) and will artfully help you fulfill the need to get the right colors – the first time.
Proud Professional Peers
No matter how “great” a professional may seem during oneon- one interactions, how do you know if they work well with others? Here’s what a local general contractor said about Carol: “I am most impressed by her professional demeanor, high skill base and knowledge of her ‘art’, as well as the integrity she consistently brings to each project.”
A professional vendor from San Jose mentioned about his interaction with Carol, “It is one thing to put your best foot forward in front of a client but quite another when working with a vendor where the depth of knowledge of the design business and drilling down to complex details of custom items becomes critical.” To successfully thrive for many decades in one’s career you need a plethora of other professionals to vouch for your competency and talent – without expecting anything in return.
With a long history of successful interior design partnerships, we noticed Woodard & Associates has built up a large following and plenty of “buzz” from many industry professionals. Hands down, Carol’s connections directly benefit every one of her clients. With that said, Carol’s “alphabet soup” of well-earned designations includes the following:
• Professional Member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers)
• Professional Member of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)
• Professional Member of IDG (Interior Designers Guild)
• Professional Member of IACC/ NA (International Association of Color Consultants, North America)
• California Certified Interior Designer
• Founding Member of NARI Silicon Valley Chapter
• Active Member of the Saratoga Rotary
Better yet, a professional network like Carol’s comes with buying power that helps make projects much easier for some prospective client to take on in the first place.
Making Your Home Extraordinary
If you reside in the Santa Clara County or the surrounding area Woodard & Associates Inc. may be available to assist you to turn your house into a h-o-m-e. We learned that as an Interior Designer, Carol Woodard is a consummate professional. She brings business savvy, talent, and an artful eye to all projects she passionately engages in.
After speaking with Carol about her business, it was quickly apparent that she wears many hats successfully and with finesse. Knowing that her “working office” is essentially a client’s living space, she brings her “A” game in a most professional and polite manner.
After all, an interior remodel can easily be a large financial undertaking. There is no room for second best. It turns out that some homeowners put off enjoying a finished renovation for any number of irrational reasons.
After looking into the details, we found that the design aspect is a relatively inexpensive process compared to the total project cost. The key is working with a professional that knows the traps to avoid while revealing the tips and tricks to living it up in your new living space. As President and Principal Designer at Woodard & Associates, Carol invites clients to invest in a Master Plan to redesign their living space into something beyond what they thought possible.
What’s Your Remodeling Dream?
Convert your thoughts and dreams into reality by taking that first step.
Woodard & Associates