While Dionne and Marcus Banks are HGTV enthusiasts, they never expected a home revelation of their own. But that’s exactly what happened when they completely renovated their 4,200-square-foot, three-bedroom French-style home in Brendonshire. During the early part of the 10-week renovation, the couple stopped by and chatted with contractor Miguel Gonzalez and interior designer Chazzmin Jones. A few weeks before completion, Jones proposed a dramatic TV-style reveal. He had never done one before, and the Bankses who lived with Dionne’s mother were wild. They didn’t want to get in each other’s way and slow Jones down anyway. And they trusted him.
Dionne found Jones, Senior Designer at Jones Design Group, by searching Houzz for someone in Indianapolis with experience blending contemporary and traditional style. They wanted a designer who could combine Marcus’ aesthetics (heightened neutrals) with Dionnes (love of color). “It’s difficult to manage two different styles when you’re part of the couple,” says Dionne. “So we thought it would be good to have that design experience and not have to argue with each other about what we wanted.”
From their first meeting, the couple and Jones swung. It turned out that both Dionne and Jones wanted to do a green kitchen. Dionne thought a little the lines of light but not light green. Marcus was keen on mint and Jones wanted to try. (“Green is a color that will be available by 2021,” he says.) The Bankses had a query: They didn’t want an overly trendy color that they’d have to change in five or ten years. However, to get that perfect shade, they had to go back to the drawing board several times. When they finally found “Cilantro” by Sherwin-Williams, the Bankses gave the kitchen the go-ahead.
They let go of even more color in the dining room. The look starts with alternating yellow and butterfly patterned chairs that Dionne bought before the renovation. The deep blue paint on the walls was taken from the butterfly fabric. And the geometric wallpaper on the ceiling? Jones had seen it in Dallas, and Dionne thought it worth bringing it here.
Because of all the brave choices made, the dining room was the room Dionne looked forward to most and the one that Marcus was most hesitant about. “I was nervous about the dark color on the wall and how it would complement the kitchen, but I think it worked well,” he says. “I thought maybe Chazz knew how it was going to play better than me.”
It’s true: visualization can be difficult. It’s also difficult to share creative control. In these cases, Dionne offers the following reminder: “If you want to hire someone, be willing to trust them. Because that’s the whole reason you hired her. “For the Bankses, this meant swapping extra space in the guest room for a larger master bathroom. Jones also had fun with 4 year old son Malachi’s room. He went with a “search adventure” theme that includes a tent, a bed that resembles a tent, a campfire-inspired carpet, and road signs from the place where his parents met. “We got these at a thrift store in Arkansas, and I originally planned them for the basement,” says Marcus. “But I like her better up here.” At the unveiling, Malachi was thrilled. He loved the carpet, the tent, the colors. Mission accomplished.
Dionne learned a few other things from the renovation: Stick to your budget. Know your must-haves. Plan for interruptions. Be open to compromise. Again, let the experts be experts. “Part of the joy of hiring a designer is that you don’t have to think about the project all the time,” says Dionne. An interior designer can be a friend, a confidante, a psychologist. It’s not just about aesthetics; It’s also about trust and compatibility. “These days, Pinterest and HGTV make it difficult for a designer to really spread their wings with some customers,” says Jones. “I was really grateful that Marcus and Dionne gave me a lot of creative freedom.”
On the day of the unveiling, Jones lit candles and brought fresh flowers, which gave the place a welcoming atmosphere. “We went from room to room and I had the opportunity to show them everything,” he says. “A lot of my customers don’t understand because they are there during the entire process. It was really worth it to see their natural reactions and spend this moment with them. “