Monday, June 22, 2015

Small Space Design

Living in a city can be a joy.  To breathe in the life and energy that is constantly buzzing really puts me in my happy place.   But unless you're rolling in the dough, space can be a bit of an issue.  No problem though! Design for small spaces has really become a movement and there are plenty of stylish, functional options....ikea anyone? 
These couple tips will really open up little slice of heaven.

Nothing can help brighten and open up a space like a mirror.  

The living room below doubles up on the mirrors and in a not-so-small scale.

The bedroom below not only feels larger because of the two mirrors behind the headboard, it also has a great sparkle about it.  The mirror helps bounce the ambient light and create a gorgeous, cozy atmosphere.

Low and Lean Furniture
Many people can underestimate the importance of visual weight.  If you have a small bedroom, don't put a chunky, dark, four post bed.  Even if the big, heavy bed has the same overall dimensions, it will feel so much better to go lighter in weight and sometimes color.

Below is a great example of a lightweight dining set. It is super stylish and functional, and is a great fit in the space.

Now this next photo has low and lightweight furniture, yet dark colors.  There's no rule saying you cannot use dark colors in a small space.  It's the more cautious route, but hey, the pic below proves sometimes it pays to walk on the wild side.

Build Up, Not Out
This rule will help your space both visually and functionally.  Break the mold and think vertical! 

Ok so the idea of bookshelves on a wall isn't exactly novel, but the clean palette and negative space make this space especially appealing.

Everyone remembers their first trip to ikea.  Some simple storage solution that is just so novel.this next photo is the epitome of just that.  Get it off the counter, and attach it to your wall.

My last tip would be to have use a piece of glass furniture or accessories.  This goes back to visual weight, even if the dimensions and scale are the same, don't underestimate how light and airy something glass can feel.

The table seems large in scale, but feels light as a feather!

This end table would fit into most any living room! So delicate, yet subdued.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wine Cellar Wow!

Nothing screams abundance like a wine cellar...livin' in the lap of luxury, am I right?  Whether your wine cellar is for some serious storage, or just a great feature to your home, a wine cellar is a wow element. I am currently working on 2 homes with 2 very different wine cellars.  One house is ultra modern with a very commercial looking cellar.  This is great for this particular family because they have a hardcore wine collection and the commercial, metal racks hold a lot of bottles.  The other home is more modern mountain, and they only have wine for their guests.  So we decided to make their wine cellar more of an art piece with asymmetrical shelving, led backlighting, and a zebra wood wall it is all attached to.  

There are many elements that make a good wine cellar.  Some people want that intimate, almost secretive feeling to their wine cellar.  Let's look at some photos below to see how these designers created that feeling.

This wine cellar definitely has that forbidden and secretive feel.  Before you even enter the space you have a sense of an almost mideval chamber.  The door and it's frame are so substantial and established.
The photo below has that same feel.  The masonry as well as the arches create a great ambiance.  The candles on the table don't hurt either. 

Ok so the above looks are awesome, but they may not be for everyone.  Maybe you want your wine cellar to have a more modern, industrial feel.  The photos below are some good examples.

This wine cellar is similar to one I am working on.  I love how it still has that moody feel, but the finishes are more contemporary.  However, with the limited space, I think I would've turned the bottles.  When they run length wise, i don't think you are maximizing your space.

This next photo has a great comination of materials. Love the mix of stone, wood, and metal.  This wine cellar is quietly beautiful.

Here's an interesting, minimal racking system with simple copper pegs.

So maybe the commercial look is too subtle for some.  You can definitely make a focal point out of your wine storage.  Let's see how these designers created something spectacular.

This wine cellar is a great feature off the dining area.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Make Your Home Look More Expensive

So maybe you aren't the high roller you know you will one day be.  Nothing wrong with that my friend.  In fact, I think you should fake it until you achieve your greatness. Take your home for instance, just because you can't afford the high end finishes just yet doesn't mean you shouldn't try to knock off the look.  You've heard the phrase "it's not about the dress you wear, but how you wear it"? Same principles apply here....These few steps will instantly give you home a more expensive feel.

Hang your drapes high.  Like just below the ceiling is ideal.  Expensive homes have big windows, what better way to make your windows appear larger than high drapes?

Ok next item of business, texture.  If you are out shopping and are torn between two beige throw pillows, ditch the twill and go for the fur, or the linen.  If everything feels about the same "weight" and has the same sheen it's going to look like there's no depth.  Go for luxury and add some silks, furs, or whatever else catches your fancy.  Love the knit pillow below!

This is the Mecca of textures....

Don't forget the hardware!  Unless you have super sleek cabinetry, you should embellish with some knobs or pulls.  You can find inexpensive options at home improvement stores.

Ooh this kitchen cabinetry pulls at my heart strings! The soft, pale gray with classic white subway tile is so timeless. The gold hardware is a nice surprise.

This unique kitchen has so many awesome elements.  The windows are gorgeous, as well as the backsplash.  And the pulls are very unexpected but tie in with this eclectic look.

Lamp light goes a long way.  Nothing kills a room like ceiling light, IMHO.  Places like tjmaxx and target have great lamps.  Ikea is a great spot for sconces, pendants or art light.  Layer in your light and it will create a cozy atmosphere.

This bedroom nightstand (which could be done very inexpensively) has a cut little sconce attached.  Great idea if you are tight on space or money.

Here's an example of some lamps sitting on a ledge acting as a sofa table.

Hope you've enjoyed!  I'll have to keep thinking about this and write a part two! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Yellow & Grey Backyard Wedding

Last August I had the pleasure of helping with a backyard wedding.  It was so much fun, the couple was so happy, and the wedding was a blast!  Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the big homes and a help a new couple start their exciting journey.

They purchased an arbor, which I decked out with flowers.  This is where they said their vows, then cut the cake.  Six months later, the couple still has the arbor in their backyard.

All the guest tables were 60" round tables, which seat 6-8 people.  But the bride and grooms table was something special, we did a grey washed picnic table that looked like it came out of a cottage.  Those special spots had to be designated with Mr. and Mrs. Wood signs and baby's breath center pieces.

Thank you Pinterest, right?  Etsy too!  We found this cute sign to help this backyard wedding feel informal and fun.

Below is a close up of the arbor and it's beautiful flowers.  In the background, don't miss the T+C carved into the tree.  Don't think the grooms mother was too happy with this surprise (as it was her tree), but what a great photo! 

The bar was central to the fun at this wedding.  Lit with string lights and decorated with some paper mâché, it wasn't bad to look at while waiting in line.  Let's be honest though, I could've left it totally naked and people wouldn't have cared.

This bride loved lilies!  She was all about class and had a much more modern touch.  I feel that when going for a modern look, choose a lot of the same flowers, rather than an elaborate arrangement.

As the night was coming to a close, everyone was feeling relaxed and enjoying the fresh air.  This shot captured the cafe string lights and the gift table.  On a later post, I'll show the yellow birdcage that held all the envelopes.

Calling all Utah brides: do you want some help with your special day?  Comment on the blog, and I'll get in touch with you.  I'm offering extremely low prices on wedding coordinating and planning to help grow my new business.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Love Lamp

Nothing creates a cozy atmosphere like some good lamp light.  It was pretty much blasphemy to use ceiling light in my house growing up.  Aside from the ambience they give off, lamps are also a great, and very practical, accessory.  Let's look at some great lamps that may be just what your home needs...

Let's start with floor lamps, a great solution if you don't have enough room for an end table.  The arced lamps are also great reading lights.  
This first lamp is a great mix of feminine and industrial.  

These next two come from West Elm, a great retailer for some affordable, yet super cool lighting.  West Elm does a great job catering to today's young professionals.

This last floor lamp has a great shape, and I love the wood base.  Modern, yet warm.

Now let's move on to table lamps....oh the possibilities are endless...
These first two are from Arteriors, probably my first stop when hunting for lighting.  I've used this first one, and the stone is beautiful in person.

These next lamps are beautiful mercury glass mixed with a linen/burlap looking shade.  Great combo!

Lastly, let's look at some task lights.  A great company to start your search would be Herman Miller.
This is a great, out of the way light called The Flute.
This next photo of clamp lights from Pottery Barn would be great in a craft room.
We are ending with my favorite desk light, and it's from Target! So pretty!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trend Alert- Mixed Metals

Lately we've been seeing a lot of mixed metal finishes, and all I can say is, THANK GOODNESS!  If I ever do another satin nickel faucet, it'll be too soon.  Blah blah blah is what I think to matching everything.  This new look adds interest to your design, not to mention, a more eclectic look.  Nothing is more boring (in my opinion) than a bathroom with every last piece of metal having the same finish, and typically the plumbing and hardware are all matchy-matchy too.  

Sorry about the rant, but that is one thing I'm forced to do at work, match every last damn finish.  Even if the client doesn't want it, my boss insists because it's safe.  Ok I'm off the soapbox.  Now, let's see how designers are living out my dream of blinging it out to different finishes.....

Let's get things started off with John Legend's kitchen and those killer gold everything about it.

I have no idea who lives here, but still a lovely living room.....

Loving these gold pendants! Kinda industrial in a pretty feminine kitchen, great combo!

This would be a great look in a hotel! 

This photo comes from the magazine House and Home, which is one of my favorites!  I really enjoy the U.K. Edition and highly recommend.  Anyway how amazing is this faucet? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Loving these Living Rooms

So i know design is an arbitrary topic, relevant to every client's personal taste, but sometimes I have a hard time watching the train wrecks that occur.  We have a client that really doesn't know what they like, so rather than take the time to figure out what will make them happy, a coworker of mine just keeps throwing more random shit into this hodgepodge house.  I'm not trying to be negative or dramatic, but it's bad.  There was a $5,000 chair that had a "flame" fabric up for, huh?  It's bad when we refer to it as the "fire chair".  Anyway, some damage control has been done, at least that's what my eavesdropping ears overhead.  But the living room is still the problem child, so I thought we could look at some well done living rooms and talk about what makes them work...

This room has a calming neutral palette that would appeal to a lot of people.  It has some different textures going on to give it some depth, but clearly the most interesting aspect of the room is the gallery wall.  I love how the shape is organic and the frames and mattes are different.  The ceiling detail is another example of an understated detail that helps sell the look. A lovely room and monochromatic color scheme, with a couple of rich dark woods to help ground the space.

This living room does a great job of feeling fun and fresh!  Love the cool green mixed with the black and white patterns.  Looks like they have some cozy textures happening too.  Definitely would love to spend my springtime in this living room!

This room is much more formal than the previous photos.  The high contrast of the creamy fabrics with the rich dark woods give a more elegant feel.  The symmetry also furthers this look, notice the wall art, lamps, and the chairs that are mirrored.  

Ooh honey I'm home!  Who wouldn't love to welcome guests into this fabulous sitting room?!  This room has mastered the details.  The moldings and trim work is so beautifully don't, yet simple.  Herringbone floor? Yes please.  The silver frame around the artwork add yet another touch of class.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Creating Custom Furniture

Do you have an empty wall that is screaming for a console but just don't know what to get?  While many retailers have great options, if you can't find what your heart desires, consider getting a piece custom made.  We do this more often than not for clients, whether it be because we can't find the right size, or a certain finish, custom furniture is a great alternative!  When working with a designer, you will get a better price than just walking in off the street, but the prices aren't as scary as you may think, and they quality is usually far more superior than a retail store.  Plus you are supporting local craftsman, win win right?  

Let's talk about some of the elements to your custom furniture piece to really make it your own.  

Wood Species
Walnut: my favorite species! Walnut is characterized by its beautiful cathedralling and warm caramel color.  Not a very hard wood, so make your to consider that!  Character grade has more knots and is lesser priced than select grade walnut.

Alder is often used because it is fairly inexpensive and accepts stain very well.  Knotty alder is more rustic and busy with knots, clear alder gives a more uniform look.

The unique grain pattern of Curly Maple, also known as Tiger Maple, offers beautiful patterns which makes it an ideal choice for distinctive furniture pieces.  This wood is also strong, heavy and hard.

Teak is a great option is you like a more modern, contemporary look because of its straight grain.  It has a warm color and is very durable.

We can talk later about hardware and legs in a part 2 post of Creating Custom Furniture.,