By Room

A Colorful Nursery Moodboard

I was excited to attend an event at Creative Wall Coverings just about 2 weeks ago where I saw a rep from Sanderson present some truly stunning new product. Each wallpaper and matching fabric was more gorgeous than the next and it had us all swooning. The textures and metallics were fantastic and exciting, and the children's line called "All About Me" by their Harlequin brand was just charming. It was so charming in fact that I even decided to create my very first moodboard to share with you here! I usually create a board to share privately with my clients, but after seeing sample boards at CW&I and being inspired by these patterns I thought I'd give it a whirl even though there is no particular client for the board. 

I decided to start with their Kaleidoscope pattern since I thought the geometry and colors were fun and generally gender neutral. There are several colorways for each pattern too, so make sure you see them all! 

The concept here is a contemporary nursery that could go mid-century. Since the wallpaper is so colorful and gorgeous, we'll let it steal the show and do all the heavy work by putting it on one main wall. By consolidating the pattern (as opposed to an entire room) it will keep the room from looking too busy and will provide a great backdrop to build upon. In front of the wallpaper we'll use white furniture that will really pop in front of all those colors. On the opposite wall we'll bring in some of the colors from the paper with smaller accessories. Depending on gender you could use more pink or blue accessories, but the use of the yellow & orange really works well too. 

And here's the board!

The format above is similar to Olioboard that layers each item for a more realistic look with consideration to scale. The other option shown below is a cleaner grid format that lets each product have it's own space. 

Which format do you prefer? If you're checking in please leave your comment below, I'd like to know! One format certainly takes longer than the other ;) 

Here are some other favorite "All About Me" fabrics that have been on my mind. It was hard to decide which to work with first!

Warm up by the Fire

Brr.... it's so sold here! We keep getting more and more snow, 2 snow days and a delay so far this week. I am feeling so ready for spring. In the meantime I just keep thinking warm thoughts and admiring some beautiful fireplace designs. If you have a fireplace and are looking for some inspiration to update yours, here are some ideas! These will focus mostly on different fireplace surrounds and in the next few weeks I'll talk about how to style the mantle ;) 

Classic Brick:

Brick is a timeless, versatile, and modest fireplace material. It can be whitewashed to soften the look and still show texture, or just painted an opaque color for a solid modern look. 

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Tile:

Tile is another popular choice that is just as versatile plus it's extremely customizable. It can be used to add subtle patterns such as the herringbone or diamond, or it can add a splash of color that ties into the rest of the room. 

 

 

 

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Super Bowl Rooms for Rent

So the Super Bowl is almost here and the preparations are well underway! Ever since the announcement that the game would be played at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ there has been much talk about the weather and if we'll have snow. I just checked the temperature and it's currently 1* Fahrenheit at my house, and Sunday looks like we might have a heat spell into the 40's! 

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We've gotten a lot of snow here lately and they've been hard at work clearing the stadium and getting ready. Snow is nothing new around here and I can attest to how well the airports have run during the storms this year. I always love to see behind the scene shots like these below from nj.com 

nj.com

nj.com

nj.com

Another interesting conversation I have been following is people renting out their homes, condos, or apartments for the game! I used to live in Rutherford NJ and work in Teterboro where I would see the stadium on my way in and out of town everyday. You can actually see the stadium when you are in the town, it is so close! I would have totally wanted to rent out my place for the game too, but since I don't live there anymore I checked out the other homes available. I found lots of options on flipkey and super-bowl-rentalz. 

Here is my favorite that is still available :) Now to be fair there was a designer involved so it's really quite lovely, but to see other people's actual homes click around and take a look! 

This is the front entry for a guest room for rent is in Edgewater NJ. They call it the Harlem Hideaway. Although the name is a bit misleading in terms of location the interior is very well done! 

Nice wood details everywhere add a warmth & depth to the space. 

I love the details of this room, especially that Guest List wall you can write on. Very cute idea for a

Broken Kitchen (Sets)

Kitchens are such a fascinating anthropological study of our social habits, and design trends are just the tip of the iceberg! Over time kitchens have radically evolved depending how families socially interact with each other. Kitchens of today are a very neutral space where everyone can participate in creating a delicious meal. In addition people are seeking an open floor plan where rooms flow into each other and they want kitchens to be part of that. 

 

I think one way that kitchens are achieving this open concept is by breaking up the sets. Just like so many other areas of the home matchy matchy is falling out of favor and the kitchen transition is following suit.  We are starting to see mixed cabinetry, perhaps the kitchen island is a different color than the cabinets so it looks more like furniture.

Via BeautifulHomes&Designs

Via becomegorgeous.com

Or sometimes the upper and lower cabinet finishes are mixed

 

Crafty Spaces

I just wrapped up a consultation with a fun client who wants to turn a spare bedroom into her crafting workspace. At the beginning of each design project I like to do some research that serves both as inspiration and an easy way to talk about their needs and wants for the space.

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Once I started researching I kept finding more and more creative storage and workspace solutions! There are so many great options out there it can certainly be hard to choose. Some general things to consider when making your decision are: how long you plan to stay in your home (which will help you figure out what type of investment to make), what is your budget, who uses the space, what for, and most importantly is how do you work?

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My biggest suggestion is to create a system that works the way you do. Are you a piler or filer? Do you like to spread out to work or do you keep things confined to one desk? Do you craft solo or with a group? Do you like to do crafts in the heart of the action so you don't miss anything, or do you like a peaceful escape? Everybody works differently and there is no wrong solution. It's a ton easier to create a custom workspace that fits your style rather than changing the way you work.

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After talking through some ideas we narrowed down the essentials to scrapbook supplies, finished album storage, and the longest possible work surface for spreading out pages while working! Given this criteria I suggested getting quotes from both California Closets and Elfa, the wall system from The Container Store. Both are fantastic options and I can't wait to see which she chooses!

California Closets - craft

California Closets - craft

ICFF KITCHEN & BATH: Part 1

Here it is... I am finally catching up on the rest of my ICFF material! Although quite some time has passed since I first went to the show I feel it is still worth showing all these beautiful designs. Some of them might not be a good fit for your home per se, but I love to show what the design world has been up to - pushing boundaries and exploring options. It's almost like the fashion runway for product design, and it's at shows like these that new designs are introduced and some design elements will trickle down into every day designs. 

Hardware in general is like the jewelry of the room. Literally... they are shiny, mostly metal, and used as an accent and accessory. Such a small detail in the grand scheme of a room design but it's something you physically interact with everyday so it becomes a very personal product, especially in the kitchen and bathroom!

My hands-down favorite during the show was Italian design company Fantini. Their collections are very diverse and each one equally beautiful! Their "I Balocchi" line was really fun and colorful. I liked their chunky handles and could see this working well in a kids bathroom or just anywhere you want to add some fun color!

I Balocchi

With their logo on the handle and bright color it also has a "sportcar" aesthetic - what do you think?

They also had a beautifully elegant collection called Venezia with handles made from murano glass. It's such a beautiful material combination for a bathroom that really creates a boutique feel, like a decorative perfume bottle.Venezia

Venezia

Venezia

 

And how about this spa-like bathroom? I love their shower head options mounted in the ceiling.Acqua Zone

And it comes with "chromotherapy" options, which basically means providing an atmosphere of color to help improve mood and energy levels. I actually did my product design thesis on color therapy and had a similar idea, but didn't pursue water as my method of transmitting color, although I do love this!

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy holiday weekend! Firstly, today is an important day of reflection and remembrance for members of our armed forces no longer with us. I feel extreme gratitude for their service to our country and I hope everyone can take some time to celebrate them this weekend. 

Memorial Day weekend also signifies the official kickoff of BBQ season and enjoying more time outdoors. If you are looking to spruce up your outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing we have a few tips to keep in mind when shopping the sales this weekend.

1- Create a Comfortable Conversation area

Just like arranging furniture indoors you want to create a seating area that's conducive to conversation and therefore entertaining. Try a seating area with several seats facing each other, or a "U" shape seating area with a table in the middle to put food and drinks.

(Frontgate)

If you have a small balcony or front porch try adding 2 chairs tilted at an angle towards each other with a table in-between for drinks.

(design sponge)

(Target)

2- Define The Seating Area

Rugs work like magic to carve out a designated seating area. There are many places you can get outdoor rugs for your deck or patio. This is also a great opportunity to try some fun colors you don't want to commit to inside your home!

(grandin road)

(Crate & Barrell)

3- Emphasize the Focal Point - Or Add One!

Some people might want to take advantage of a great view or gardens they have and arrange the seating area to enjoy it. If you don't have a natural focal point then try adding one like a fountain, fire pit, or pergola/ gazebo.

(Home Decorators Collection)

Bringing the Outdoors Inside Is Only Good Sometimes...

As I was gathering my thoughts for this post with Mother's Day quickly approaching I was thinking about all the different things I could show that a mom would love. Then I was thinking a mom would probably love nothing more than for her life to be a little simpler... just one less thing to take care of, right? And considering it's just the beginning of the messy outdoor season with gardening, yardwork, and generally muddy feet tracking in the great outdoors.... I thought that perhaps the idea of a mudroom could make a mom happy. A place where muddy feet stay, bags get tossed, wet rain drenched coats hung... and nothing filthy goes past this barrier so the house stays fresh and clean, ahhhh....

 

Are you with me on this? What do you think? Is this something a mom would appreciate? Here are some ideas for a mudroom that you could work into any space.

 

If you don't have alot of room for a built-in try framing out some cubbies around a window. This offers plenty of storage while still letting the light in. I would even suggest making the cubby in front of the window lower to create a window seat.

 

See how this concept puts the bench nice and low below the windows to create a seat? Cubbies with baskets neatly stacked above eachother are kept towards one side. Tile floor is easy to clean and the carpet catches all the mess.

 

If you have a cubby area or nook near the entry create an alcove for stashing your stuff. This Mediterranean design is just beautiful, look at that tile!  Try a rug by the door for wiping feet! They probably look bad in photos but they are very practical :)
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Dreamy Bedrooms

Sometimes when writing these blog posts I like to include relevant topics to conversations I've had or projects I'm working on. Today's post is about bedroom pillows because, well simply put, we are in the market for some new ones stat! After spending some time last week in a hotel it became apparent that I can no longer sleep on the ones we have. Nada, no more. I changed the sheets today and couldn't even bring myself to put the pillow cases back onto the old pillows.

Our upgrade will more than likely be a functional one as we still have some nice shams and pillow covers. But if you are in the market for some new pillows and you'd like to refresh the look of your room as well, here are some ideas for different ways to arrange them on your bed.

I think that all these arrangements above are nice and easy to work with. In general I would say that Euro shams provide a more contemporary look since they are square, compared to their standard rectangular counterparts. Mixing them together though is a nice way to add some variety.

 

Here are some pictures that demonstrate nice pillow decor...

This one mixes euro and standard pillows. I like the graphic punch of the accent pillows with a purple neck roll.

Traditional Bedroom
by Opelika General Contractor Stone Martin Builders

 

This one uses the same fabric on the headboard as the long roll pillow. A pop of matching yellow is pulled out for the back layer, and a soft blue pulled out to layer in front of that.


Traditional Bedroom
by Atlanta Interior Designer Cristi Holcombe

 

Check out this comfy tufted headboard! Black provides a sleek accent color and is softened with the gold and white of the bedset. I like the use of a matching graphic pillow as one of the layers.


Contemporary Bedroom
by Saskatoon Interior Designer Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.


Lots of layers in this bedset - the cute little round accent pillow in front centers the look and adds a soft touch with the ruffles.


Traditional Bedroom
by Morganville Interior Designer Marina Klima Goldberg - Klima Design Group

 

Crisp white linens are paired with neutral browns for a simple contemporary look. Mixed euro and standard pillows works well to add interest when using mostly white.

A Home Office On My Mind

Well it's been a whirlwind few months for my professional life but I am happy to say that I have officially transitioned into a full time consultant! I will be able to spend more time decorating as well as continue designing products on a contract basis. During this transition period I spent a lot of time thinking about home offices and how I wanted to set mine up. Last year I carved out space in our house that I could call my own and it has worked great so far. But with the additional work I'll be doing at home (including sketching and hands on work) I decided to bring in more storage for supplies and rearrange the room a bit.

I generally feel lucky to have a home office in the digital era - I am trying to go as paperless as possible! For those items I do need to have on hand closed storage is the way to go keeping clutter at bay and workflow efficient.  I'll upload some pictures of the updated office but for now here are some pictures for inspiration!

 

This home office color is kept pretty neutral with strong black accents. The versatile desk desk allows seating on either side and a variety of built-in storage. Window seat keeps furniture needs simple and curtain warms up the room with subtle pattern.

Modern Home Office
by Minneapolis Interior Designer INVIEW Interior Design


Glossy office is serene with just white and silver. Lots of storage and floating desk allows a spot for visitors to pull up a chair.

Contemporary Home Office
by Irvine Interior Designer Nagwa Seif Interior Design


This office is tucked away in a little corner. Built-in storage utilizes a small alcove in room and painted a soft green to coordinate with the wallpaper.
Traditional Home Office
by Charleston Interior Designer LORRAINE G VALE, Allied ASID

 

Great idea for an office turned guest room. Murphy beds tuck away when you don't need them but unfold to provide a full size bed.

Contemporary Home Office
by Orange Closets And Organization Tailored Living

 

If you have a shed or backyard space have you considered an outdoor office? I've seen so many great ideas for modular outdoor offices! Maybe I'll even do a separate post on these...


Contemporary Exterior
by Sydney Architect Danny Broe Architect

 

Quick Tips: Organizing the Kitchen

The kitchen always seems to be a vortex of circulating activity where things get thrown in all directions and are easily misplaced. And that can be especially frustrating in a small kitchen space! The more organization you can add to a kitchen the cleaner it will stay and the easier it will be to use it. While there are many beautiful custom cabinets with storage galore, here are a few tips that focus on small kitchens and ways to add organization without a renovation.